I'm sure you've noticed that there seems to be an increasing amount of hype around safety razors. But why? It seems like a step backwards, right? I mean after all, safety razors were the link between straight razors and today's disposable and cartridge razors, and they date all the way back to the 19th century. So why, all of a sudden, is there this urge to re-visit the safety razor? I'll tell you.
It's economical. Sure, the upfront cost is more. Safety razors range anywhere from $15 to $500+. My Model 921 starts at $145 for the As-Machined finish, where a pack of six disposable razors or a cartridge razor can be had for $12 and $10, respectively. And, for a mere $10/month, you can have one of those fancy six-blade (seriously, it has six blades) razors delivered to your door through a subscription service.
However, when you get past the initial costs and start needing replacement blades, the safety razor looks like a hero. Typically, one double-edge blade lasts me at least five shaves, so theoretically I would need 73 blades per year if I shaved every day. The average cost of one double-edge blade is $0.24, making my yearly total $17.52.
For the disposables, lets assume you get seven shaves per razor (might be a little ambitious, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt). Each razor costs $2, making the yearly total $104.
Now to the cartridge razors. You can find a pack of 12 replacement cartridges for $40, and they claim that you can get a month of shaving per cartridge. I was once a cartridge guy, and I never got anywhere near this kind of life, but again, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. So here, you're looking at $40/year.
Finally, the shave subscription. For your $10/month, you get a handle and four cartridges. Therefore, you're looking at $120/year.
As you can see, the safety razor takes the cake when it comes to replacement blades.
You get a better shave. Contrary to popular belief, more blades are not actually better, and they're probably the reason you get irritation and in-grown hairs. When using a razor with multiple blades, the leading blade grabs your hair and pulls it further from your skin. Then, the trailing blade, or blades, cuts the hair, causing it to retract below the surface of your skin. Over the next few hours, the skin closes over the hair, and voila, in-grown hair.
With a safety razor, there is one blade, that's it. No tugging, and no irritation. Whether you're shaving some light stubble or your No Shave November masterpiece, there is no uncomfortable pulling, which is a result of the larger blade gap and blade exposure of the safety razor.
It's environmentally friendly. The EPA estimates that we throw away approximately 2 billion razors each year. Given the current plastic epidemic, that is not a good figure. Disposable and cartridge razors are typically not recyclable, as they are comprised of multiple materials and are difficult (and dangerous) to separate. Also, producing plastic is a very energy-intense process, creating high amounts of carbon dioxide.
Safety razors are entirely eco-friendly. The blades are recyclable and the body will last a few lifetimes. There is no plastic, and no waste. Are you convinced yet?
Last, and definitely most important to me, is if you buy a Model 921, you're supporting a small, family owned and operated business. Our razors are 100% made by us here in the USA, and the money from our sales supports myself, my family, my employees and our shop. I know our razors are a little more expensive than some of the competitors, but there is a reason for that. We machine our 921's from solid, marine grade 316 Stainless Steel, where a lot of other companies cast theirs from a cheap zinc metal and coat them with chrome. We are able to hold much tighter and more consistent tolerances in a much better material, producing a higher quality product that is guaranteed to last a lifetime.