The Razor's Edge: Happy 4th of July!
Wetshaving and Razor Blades
If you are just learning to wetshave or have some experience, then it is important to learn about razor blades. For a proper wetshave, it is key to use a double edge razor, single edge razor, a shavette or a straight razor. Today, we will look at double edge razor blades. These blades were once common around the world until around the 1970’s, when cartridge razors and disposable razors began to dominate the market. You would think that more blades lead to a smoother shave but that is not the case. The art of wetshaving may not be as prominent as it once was, but the old school method is the best. You may have gotten into wetshaving for a various reasons. It is more cost effective than cartridge razors (pretty much the reason I started), you have a friend that won’t shut up about how he loves wetshaving (how I got various friends into it), better for the environment, etc.
The double edge blade is another important part of every wetshaver’s den. As such, everyone has their own preferences as well. While it is easy to recommend a particular soap because of the scent, it is not easy to recommend blades. Everyone’s skin is different and there are hundreds of blades on the market. If you are new to wetshaving, you may have picked up a starter’s pack that contains a small variety of different blades. It is essential to experiment and try different blades out. Because everyone has different skin, some blades will give you a terrible shave and others will provide a wonderful shave. Perhaps one of the starter blades you purchase is the perfect one for you. On the other hand, a starter blade may just tug the hairs instead of cutting them and irritate the skin. With hundreds to choose from, it can seem like a daunting challenge. One of the upsides to this is that these kinds of blades are significantly cheaper than cartridge blades. For a refill of cartridge blades, you are look at a minimum of 16 dollars for 4 cartridges that you will have to refill in 3 months. With those 16 dollars, you could purchase far more double edge blades and they would last you far longer. Packs of 50 or 100 are available for fewer than 40 dollars and if you happen to get you preferred blade, it is entirely possible for years to pass before having to buy more blades. I speak from personal experience. My personal blade of choice is the Polsilver Super Iridium, which is now out production and the several dozens in my possession will last me for years while I scour the Internet looking for more of these blades. I am going to give you some tips on finding razors blades and trying them out.
- Double edge blades are cheap. As such, if you ever see them in store for $5, $10, or even more dollars, don’t buy them. You are being ripped off. This also applies to online shopping, especially on Amazon.
- One of the best places to get individual blades, packs, or variety bundles is from www.tryablade.com I know the website seems a bit strange and isn’t updated often, but this is the go-to place to get double edge blades at a great price and with a huge selection.
- What works for you may not work for your friend/ family member and vice versa. Everyone’s skin is different and it makes it difficult to recommend a blade to someone else.
- Double edge blades are better for the environment since they can be recycled. Do so whenever and wherever possible.
- When trying out a blade, it is always possible for there to be a dud or two that just don’t work as intended.
- It is entirely possible for a single double edge blade to last weeks or months if proper technique is used and the blade agrees with your skin. Consider yourself lucky if you find a blade like this.
- Blades perform differently in different razors. If you have multiple razors, you may have a blade that works best in one razor and not as great in the other.
- Dry your blades and place them somewhere dry to further promote their lifespan.
- Once used up, keep used blades somewhere out reach from young children and pets. They may be dull but they are still capable of cutting. Use an empty soap container and label it.
In the coming weeks, I will go in depth on the single edge razor, the shavette and the straight razor.