A Lifetime of Shaving

I get pleasure from the daily ritual of shaving. I only came to this realisation recently. I don’t know how long I have enjoyed it, many years certainly. I remember thinking it a chore when I was a young man. I have now been shaving for about forty years.

I am very fussy when it comes to my shaving equipment however, how much I spend and what sort of razor I use.

I refuse to spend more than £1 per blade, that is my absolute maximum. Of course I can afford more but I can not bring myself to pay more than my limit or I feel cheated. I get the feeling the manufacturers think men will pay anything when in comes to buying razor blades.

Not many cartridge blades come in under my £1 max. The Gillette Sensor slips under the bar if it is on offer (an excellent blade). I have also nabbed some of the King of Shaves blades when they have been on offer but I find they can not be used with the precision I like.

I started shaving with a double edge razor as a teenager. It was a Gillette with butterfly opening. I also remember using a Shick razor that used blades that came out of a gadget that injected them into the side of the head.

Over the years I have returned again and again to the old fashioned DE or double edge razor (also known as a safety razor). For almost 30 years I have used a cheap black plastic model that is still available today made by Wilkinson Sword called The Classic and currently available in Boots for £4.25. I still use mine. When I got it all those years ago I could not have anticipated the advantages of being able to take it apart and put the pieces into the dishwasher, or that it would have lasted so long.

I have now decided it is time for me to get a new razor. I have let my wife know she can get me one for Christmas. I have suggested a Merkur razor.

An advantage of a safety razor is the blades that are available. Not only are double edge razor blades much much cheaper than the cartridge type but there is a huge choice of brands. Each brand has different blade characteristics so there is something for everyone. Wilkinson Sword double edge blades are what I usually end up with, mainly because they are good quality and are the ones I most often see for sale in supermarkets or chemists. According to some though, they are not the best and perhaps it is time I tried some of the others. Feather are made in Japan and are supposed to be the sharpest made. The German Merkur blades are highly rated too.

If you are reading this, have used modern cartridge razors, and want to try a safety razor for the first time, be careful, go slow. Little pressure is the thing to remember. The weight of the razor alone is enough to do the business. There are starter razors available if you are nervous.

And today I bought, on Ebay, a Rolls Razor. This is a razor where the blade is not replaced but can be sharpened and so can last for many years. My successful bid was £2.70. Not too expensive for a work of craftsmanship that is almost 100 years old, even if I only shave with it from time to time.

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