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Safety Razors Versus Disposable Cartridge Razors

Cartridge razors are common, provide a good shave if not particularly close, and are convenient. You don’t need to be particularly skilled to get a fairly decent shave. Safety razors need a more careful hand, provide an excellent clean, close, shave, and are much less expensive over time than their cartridge counterparts. Safety razors lead to slightly longer shaves times. An extra five minutes can be expected.

What, exactly, am I talking about as I throw these razor terms around?  Let’s get into that.

Cartridge Razor

A cartridge razor allows you to change out the razor head assembly while keeping the handle. The handle of a cartridge razor is higher quality than a throwaway disposable. It’s got a pleasing heft to itand pretty good endurance. A release button on the back of the handle just below the head assembly frees the head from the handle, allowing a new head to be attached to the handle. A cartridge is usual at least two blades, more often three. Most cartridge heads also have lubricant strips above and below the blades.

A safety razor is made up of a metal handle that supports a double-edged razor by means of a screwed-on clamping top. Safety razors have a distinct design, resembling the letter T. The blade, although thin, isn’t very flexible. To use the razor wellyou must learn how to angle the razor so that the blade makes the right contact with your skin. Compared to cartridge razors, safety razors have a solid, firm and even heavy feel that generates a sense of using a tool.

Cartridge razors are usually plastic throughout, except for the blades themselves. The blades are set into a disposable housing (the cartridge) that can be disposed of, while leaving the handle ready for a new cartridge. Usually cartridges have a least two or three blades, sometimes even more. The blades are very thin and layered one on top of the other. Despite this, the blades curve to meet the contours of the face.

History Of The Blades

Shaving started with knives, thousands of years ago. The straight razor, a bare blade with a handle, was the next step. Gillette was the first company to sell the idea of replacement blades for safety razors, in 1903. As each of their patents on safety razors expired, they kept innovating and creating new designs, but the basic layout of the safety razor stayed the same.

One innovation that’s still a big selling point, although controversial, is the number of blades a cartridge razor uses. It’s always a competition for companies to add more blades, but there’s some good evidence that more blades simply leads to greater skin irritation, and who wants that? In contrast, a safety razor has only one, incredibly sharp blade. A single pass removes all hair, quickly, neatly and with a minimum of potential for irritated skin. That’s important for a few reasons. Irritated, chafed skin becomes rough, making close, clean shaves harder to get.

 Cost Comparison

The handles of the safety razor and disposable cartridge razor don’t need replacing. Initial layout of cash for a quality cartridge razor hovers around 15 USD, while a high-quality safety razor will hit your wallet for about 30 USD.However, the solid metal handle and head of a safety razor will endure far longer than the plastic handle of a cartridge razor.

It’s challenging to do a cost comparison, as the razor blade for a safety razor doesn’t wear quite the same as those in a cartridge. It’s safe to say that on average, a safety razor is considerably less expensive. Razor blades for a safety razor are very inexpensive, and brands are interchangeable. That’s not the case for cartridge blades. Most brands require a particular brand and type of cartridge to fit a handle made by that company.

Shaving Techniques

Safety razors can take some getting used to, especially if a guy has shaved primarily with an electric shaver, cartridge razor, or disposable. There’s a distinct process to shaving with a safety razor, composed of the following steps:

  1. First, get your skin nice and hot. Exfoliate using a gentle cleanser, then apply a high-quality shaving oil. Shaving oil absorbs into the skin, preparing it for the razor and firming the skin. Next, use a thin layer of shaving cream.
  2. Don’t use high pressure! The blade’s sharpness will do all the heavy lifting. This is in contrast to cartridge razors, that do need firm pressure.
  3. Take short, slow strokes. Remember, that it’s a razor blade gliding across your face.
  4. Stretch your skin by arching your neck for those hard to reach places behind the jawline. Use your hand to pull any area of loose skin taut, but not drum-top tight.
  5. Go with the grain of your hair growth for your first pass, then against the grain for your finishing pass.
  6. Complete your shave by rinsing your face in cold water. This both cleanses and closes your pores, which the hot shave has opened up.
  7. Finish with a top-notch shaving balm.

It’s a good idea to have a styptic pen at hand, for the occasional small cut. You won’t be getting those for long, as it’s easy to adjust to a safety razor, as long as  you go slow and steady. Styptic pens are an inexpensive, quick way to stop minor bleeding. Stypic pens should never be shared between individuals.

Remember, with skin prep products, you truly do get what you pay for. High quality shaving oils, laters and creams make for great skin care and eliminate the need to use a second skin care product first thing in the morning. You really do save more time than you might think!

Give yourself the look and luxury of a clean, close shave by trying a safety razor. You won’t be sorry.