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Frugal shaving
Old 02-19-2016, 07:14 AM   #1
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Frugal shaving

A couple of years ago I began experimenting with saving money on razors. The blades that worked best for shaving my head were the Gillette Mach 3, but I began to chafe at the prices. I briefly and carefully tested a straight razor, but while extremely frugal it was also rather unnerving. And slow.

Google eventually revealed a truly cheap alternative, Dorco. They make the razors used by the Dollar Shave Club. They also sell direct, so I ordered a box of 24 blades. I also ordered the handle, which came with an extra 3-blade and 4-blade cartridge. So 26 blades in all.

The order shipped in late September, 2014. I probably started using the blades in October.

I just double-checked my supply. I still have eight blades left, not counting the one on the razor.

Now I shave my head twice a week, same for my face. I sometimes shave my face separately, but I probably average 2x/week over a year. Those are some long-lasting blades! And this might be my most frugal purchase ever.

18 blades over 16-18 months or so. I may be averaging a blade a month. Wow.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:37 AM   #2
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Luckily (?), blades last a lot longer than a month for me--I hated taking months to grow a mustache (and little more!) as a teen, but not complaining now.

My focus, instead of solely on price, has been on working toward "one carry on and nothing more" for any non-dive trip. Shaving cream/lotion was taking up too much space, so I've started using shaving oil. @$10 for 90 days worth, not sure that I'm saving any money, but the 30 ml container is nice and compact.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:41 AM   #3
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Good find! As I approach retirement I am torn if I will just stop shaving and go grizzly Adams or switch to an electric. I like to shave before I shower and if we spend time at the cabin (no shower - outhouse only) I doubt I'll want a bath in the lake every day.
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:43 AM   #4
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F has an unusually thick, tough beard and he is finding that frugal shaving seems to be a near impossibility for him. He tried Harry's, but wasn't at all happy with their blades or the shave he got.

He went back to the expensive Gillette blades for now, and he is drying them off after each shave to make them last longer.

As for me, one advantage of being an elderly WASP of my particular type is that I don't have hair on my legs any more to shave off.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:37 AM   #5
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I have had good luck with Harry's myself. I try to remember to change them every two weeks. (I shave my head and face about three times a week.)

2017ish, which shaving oil do you use?
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:44 AM   #6
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Head shavers: I've always wondered why you don't opt for an electric razor. Is there a reason why electrics aren't the tool of choice?
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:55 AM   #7
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Shaving with an electric just isn't as close as with a blade. And I end up going over and over trying to get it smooth.

And to be honest, it's partly just force of habit.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:01 AM   #8
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DH has a beard, and uses his electric trimmer to trim it close every two weeks. He hasn't bought blades in years. Of course, he probably bought a nice electric trimmer.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Slow But Steady View Post
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2017ish, which shaving oil do you use?
Right now, Somersets, but I'm a newbie. Works well (once I got used to the "three drops"), but strong, albeit not unpleasant, smell for short time after using (DW likes it after a bit of a delay...)

One of the Amazon reviews compares it to a couple of others, which I will try before we retire--once I work through the remaining gel/foam cans that we stocked up on at a good price.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 2017ish View Post
My focus, instead of solely on price, has been on working toward "one carry on and nothing more" for any non-dive trip. Shaving cream/lotion was taking up too much space, so I've started using shaving oil. @$10 for 90 days worth, not sure that I'm saving any money, but the 30 ml container is nice and compact.
Even cheaper, and takes up no extra room -- soap!

I tried some oils but blade cleanup was very problematic. Also, soap is everywhere. You don't have to carry it with you. This also means not having to worry about TSA regulations.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Google eventually revealed a truly cheap alternative, Dorco. They make the razors used by the Dollar Shave Club.
I use Dorco too. Purchased a sample kit in 2014 as well. Still have plenty. They seem to work great.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2017ish View Post
Shaving cream/lotion was taking up too much space, so I've started using shaving oil. @$10 for 90 days worth, not sure that I'm saving any money, but the 30 ml container is nice and compact.
I shave in the shower. I have a small fog-free mirror in there. I have not used shaving creme for years. Soap, shampoo or conditioner works just as well.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:41 AM   #12
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Shaving with an electric just isn't as close as with a blade. And I end up going over and over trying to get it smooth.
Here's an experiment:

First, shave with your blade, as normal. Then, every hour after, shave with an electric on one side of your face. Note when the blade-only side is as rough as the recently electric shaved side. Now you know how many hours of "cleaner shaven" you are buying with the blade. Say you come up with 2 hours. That's 2/16 or 12% of your waking day you're better off with a blade.

One other discovery I've made on "frugal shaving", and this is on the electric side, the cordless floating head rotories that don't have "self sharpening blades" are co$tly to operate; those blades go dull quickly and the replacements cost as much as the shaver! And the symptom of dull blades is having to go over and over and over the same spot. Norelco and Remington both used to produce rotories with self-sharpening rotory blades, but I'm not finding any currently marketed models. The old Remington's are R-225, R-400, R-425, R-450. I got mine as a black friday buy about 15 years ago for $15 or something. Haven't spent a dime since, beyond the electricity to run it. Corded, so no batteries to fail. The switch failed, but I hard wired it to always "on".
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:16 AM   #13
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I've done two things. First I now have a full beard. Definitely reduces shaving requirements. :-) Beyond that I use a Mach 3. You can see lots of videos on the internet on how to prolong these puppies using an old piece of denim. Been doing that for a couple of years now. Definitely prolongs their life, but I haven't figured out how to do the same thing with the little single-blade on these razors that are used for trimming.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:38 AM   #14
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I bought a couple of packages of 7 Schick injector blades a few years ago. One package is yet to be opened. $8.82 prime at Amazon. I have been using an injector blade since I started shaving. I have a full beard, but shave my neck and cheeks daily right after I shower with no shaving cream. A blade lasts me about 6 months.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:44 AM   #15
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About two years ago I was listening to Clark Howard and in his cheapness told his radio audience how to get a longer life on razor blades. I don't recall with clarity all of the options but I think there were three main ones:

1) You can sharpen razor blades (not sure how)
2) You can keep in alcohol
3) You can rinse and then shake/blow off any excess water between uses

I guess it's water/rust that dulls razor blades. So, I do the simplest of the three which is take time to shake out the water after I'm done. I have found that this has at least doubled if not tripled the life of my razors.

Just a few fun facts to know
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
...

One other discovery I've made on "frugal shaving", and this is on the electric side, the cordless floating head rotories that don't have "self sharpening blades" are co$tly to operate; those blades go dull quickly and the replacements cost as much as the shaver! And the symptom of dull blades is having to go over and over and over the same spot. Norelco and Remington both used to produce rotories with self-sharpening rotory blades, but I'm not finding any currently marketed models. The old Remington's are R-225, R-400, R-425, R-450. I got mine as a black friday buy about 15 years ago for $15 or something. Haven't spent a dime since, beyond the electricity to run it. Corded, so no batteries to fail. The switch failed, but I hard wired it to always "on".
In recent years I've used the Panasonic cordless (looks like this: Amazon.com: Panasonic ES8243A Electric Shaver Wet/Dry with Nanotech Blades for Men: Beauty). Has a nice readout that shows percent charge left. I do not clean it with water but just brush or blow out the shavings. I do seem to have to go over some spots a few times. Oh well, it gets the job done.

And so what if you are a bit grown out by 6PM. If you've got to look spiffy, just shave again.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:05 PM   #17
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what model do you use? I kind of like the single blade ones.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by big-papa View Post
I've done two things. First I now have a full beard. Definitely reduces shaving requirements. :-) Beyond that I use a Mach 3. You can see lots of videos on the internet on how to prolong these puppies using an old piece of denim. Been doing that for a couple of years now. Definitely prolongs their life, but I haven't figured out how to do the same thing with the little single-blade on these razors that are used for trimming.
+1 on the beard. Plus (don't tell anyone), every month or two I pick up a disposable razor from the club to use for the (approximately) weekly edging process. I've had a bar of shaving soap that I know is at least 10 years old and it's got several years left in it. So my costs are essentially whatever it costs to heat the hot water for the shave.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:54 PM   #19
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I use the Schick Hydro 5 blades and have never had a closer, more comfortable shave.

Since ER I shave about every 3/4 days and a single cartridge lasts me about 4 months. That's 30-35 shaves before I have to change cartridges! I'm religious about completely drying the razor after each shave as I know that really help with longevity. Anyway, I can't believe how long these blades last. They are not the cheapest, but worth every penny.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:55 PM   #20
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I've been using DSC "not so hairy" option, where they send four blades every two months (instead of monthly). Now that you've cracked the code on where I can get them direct, I'll probably cancel that and just order blades direct.

I, too, shave in the shower. I am hardly a tough shave, and don't need a mirror. I use a "pre-shave" face wash and just shave with that and use a regular SPF-15 face lotion after, no issues. On the road, I just use whatever hotel soap and lotion and get by for a few days, no issue.

I really like the Art of Shaving oils and creams, but I won't justify spending that kind of money just for a fancy shave whose end result for me is no different than shaving in the shower.
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