Guess what, tumblr? These *do* have a use.
I got a safety razor last week — a Merkur Solingen handle. The above one is the Futur, which is a modern take on the classic 1904 handle your grampa probably used — and one blade worked just fine for him! I really like it, and I’m not going back to cartridge razors.
The above Merkur replaces a Gillette Mach3. Much has been said on the internet about the “scam” or “conspiracy” about cartridge razors (or how old-style shaving is more manly, etc, as if masculinity depended on something as trivial and fashion-sensitive as shaving, let alone by hair or lack thereof on the face), but the simple fact is most of the marketing is hype. Multiple-bladed razors do work just fine, and can make the shave go faster, but can also cause razor bumps and get clogged a bit more easily. They’re also far more expensive.
It’s that price bit that’s made me switch over to a replaceable-bladed handle. The cheapest I could find for the Mach3 was $2 a head at Costco for more blades than I’d like, and I find they get dull somewhat quickly, leaving a poorer shave. Blades are closer to 50¢ each. Unfortunately you can’t find the handles in major stores in the US (only online and in specialty shops), but they’re both common and popular in most other countries — especially ones where people can’t afford to pay upwards of $2 on a razor blade every couple weeks.
I don’t shave as frequently as some people need to, but I think it handles longer hair better without clogging than my old razor. It’s a good tradeoff from the classical straight razor too, because it doesn’t require stropping and honing; the blades are cheap enough to replace easily.
The razor is hefty in-hand, and the weight of the thing makes it feel solid — which is only a surprise because the old one was very light. The safety razor has object-ness: it’s solid, heavy, and feels quality; a work of precise engineering. This weight also makes the thing slide smoothly across your face, but it requires shaving cream to glide and cut properly. I also have to shave in a couple more strokes than before, but I don’t resent this at all. If I take the time, I feel like the shave is at least as good as the best I got from my cartridge razor (and if you’re looking for a fast shave, you should look at an electric razor not a wet razor). Going for multiple passes with the old one would leave my face feeling raw, not smooth and clean.
Check it out. Handles can go for as little as $25 on Amazon and will probably last you the rest of your unnatural life.
Looks like it’s time to look for some good aftershave.
Mitchell’s Wool Fat Soap
Vulfix 404 ‘Grosvenor’ Badger Brush
Edwin Jagger De89bl Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor w/ Feather New Hi-Stainless Blades
Our lives just keep getting busier. We spend hours rushing around trying to save time or money, but it seems as though every new technological convenience leaves us with less time to ourselves. Below are five old-fashioned, but still relevant ways to restore true simplicity to your modern life.
I got a Merkur safety razor.
This was brought about by the ridiculously expensive practice of buying cartridges for those disposable razors, you can buy a safety razor for the price of like one replacement pack of cartridges. Safety razors use regular razor blades - the kind you can buy for like 25 cents a pop. I’ve only used it a couple times so far, but I’m noticing it’s much less irritating(there being only a single blade). Hair doesn’t get caught in it either, and I may be seeing things but it seems to shave closer too.
I’ll weigh in on this a little more as time goes on.
Closest shave with the safety razor yet. I think it will be even better when I start experimenting with some different blades, these Derbys don’t particularly agree with me. But my face feels like a baby’s butt, so I can’t really complain.
I’m going old school and purchased everything I need to shave with a double edge safety razor. Exciting and terrifying, all at the same time.