I’m tired of the quality of razors diminishing over the years, along with the prices increasing almost laughably. When I was a child, my father would go to the local drug store and buy a pack of razor blades for what seems like pennies comparedly. Those blades would slide out of a holder, and he’d use it for 1 or 2 times then toss that blade. After 1979-1981 everything seemed to go to disposable razors and it wasn’t easy to find the double-edged blades any longer. I was fine with that until the prices started to increase to the point that it almost seemed like the industry was seeing how far they could go. I bought a 12 pack of cartridge blades for $27. That’s over $2/cartridge, with materials that are obscenely below that price. I decided it’s time to make things I’ve learned in history useful to me. I’ve decided to go with double-edged razors (safety razors).
In the above photo are the three models I’ve used so far.
From left to right, Weishi butterfly razor (chinese model), MyLifesDesign Minotaur razor, and a 1930’s/1940’s Gillette Tech razor (USA).
I wasn’t too terribly happy with the Weishi, honestly. It’s priced on par with other razors that are far better, so I’ll chalk it up to a newbie learning thing. The Gillette Tech I was pretty happy with! It firmly held the blade, and the angle was just right. The difference is I’m shaving my scalp along with my face, so I needed heft/weight along with a deeper angle. That’s when I decided to go with the Minotaur, which I have to admit was well worth it. The weight allows the blade to control itself and hold it’s body down in the hair follicle as the head runs through. This allows more hair to be removed per run, which makes it easier on the skin. It also felt more controllable when out of view, since I could “feel” it in my hand more. It definitely takes hand control though, as you can quickly cause devastation if you do not control the blade motion.
Using a shaving brush and shaving soap in a shaving cup, the lather that I use makes Barbasol shaving cream seem barbaric and expensive. One bar of soap will last 150-200 shaves (head and face) without any issues, and above all is about luxury and ritual. Your face and hair is yours, treat it better than anyone. It took me probably 3-5 times of trying before I found the smoothest way to shave, but now I’m baby bottom smooth.
The razor blades I’ve gone through so far are Gillette Silver Blue, Astra, Personna, and a couple of korean & chinese models. Gillette Silver Blue is rough but does a great job on the face. Astra is less aggressive and took 3-4 runs to clear my head. The Korean & Chinese models were sharp but not very clean cutting. The last one I’ve used is Personna which is made in USA and it’s clean cutting and smooth. I’m going to try a couple of other models as well like Voskhod, but so far Personna is where I’m staying.
EDIT February 5st 2016:
I tried a sample of the Voskhod blade and I have to say it’s amazingly forgiving on the scalp. I’m learning how to control it and get the most out of it, but the teflon coating seems to really help with not scratching up the skin when ran across too harshly. The downside is it’s a Russian blade, but I can get 100 of them through ebay for about $10.