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Old 04-06-2008, 12:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So I've always thought of myself as a pretty environmentally-friendly guy.
I recycle all that I can.
I take my own bags to the grocery store (when I can remember them.)
And I even got a Kill-A-Watt to reduce power usage around the house.

What then was I doing shaving with a disposable plastic razor and a virtually un-recyclable aerosol can of shaving cream?

I guess the short answer is that I'm just cheap.

I know full well of King C. Gillette's "Razor and Blades" business model.

Buying a normal razor-blade just seems to be playing into the marketing of the big razor brands.
If you walk into your local big-box store, there is only one alternative that is given to the "Razor and Blades" model. Disposable razors.

So we have a choice: Cheap or Re-usable.

This all lead me to ask the million-dollar question(s):
"How did people shave before the advent of cartridge razors and aerosol shaving cream? And what about all those people in the third world, how do they shave?"

Enter Wikipedia to save the day with the Safety Razor.

There it is. Infinitely reusable AND cheap.
Since there is no co-mingling of plastic and steel (like in a cartridge blade) the blades are even recyclable. As for finding blades, I hear rumors of blades for sale on the interwebs for less than $0.10 each. I was pleasantly surprised to see that most drugstores still carry them, about $0.99 for 5 blades.

But where to find an old-school safety razor these days? Ebay, of course.
You can find any kind of safety razor on ebay, even the coveted 40's-era Gillette Super Speed.
Heck, there are even web sites that'll sell you a brand new safety razor for about $30.

And what about that can of aerosol shaving cream? Sure, it's steel, you could recycle it but it's got all that pressurized gas that most recyclers want absolutely nothing to do with.

Enter the shaving brush and shaving soap. The drug store had these for $5.99 and $1.29 respectively.

So now I'm set with my Eco-shaving kit!
But how does it compare to the "modern" shaving tools?
Pretty darn well I'd say.

I can safely say that I'll never go back to aerosol shaving cream again, the brush and soap just work sooo much better.

The razor took a little getting used to, but I'm getting along quite well with it.

"I got 350 heads on a 305 engine. I get 10 miles to the gallon. I ain't got no good intentions." - The Drive By Truckers.

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use the EV of shavers.... Electric shaver... I change the blade once a year - and the batteries have lasted 4 years and going strong....

And EV where disposables are gassers, "reusable" are diesels and safety razor and straight blade are the HPV's....

Cars have not created a new problem. They merely made more urgent the necessity to solve existing ones.
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My Norelco rechargable is 17 years old, and the batteries are finally starting to die this year. After that, I could probably use it while is plugged into the wall. When I bought it, it was the most expensive rechargable I could find: $80. I changed the blades only once.

Also, I abused it pretty badly, so it probably could have lasted much longer.
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Another alternative is an ulta old-timey straight razor.

Must take a little work to figure how to sharpen those things right, but they sure look cool.

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Old 04-06-2008, 01:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A friend just bought a true straight razor, figures it will last the rest of his life, strop it when it gets dull, completely recyclable as well, I've used the shaving soap a few times as well and I like the stuff, when I do shave I use it, but more often I just take a pair of buzz clippers and go for a trim, as it's getting warmer that trim will get closer and more often, no batteries there, and the buzz clippers can be taken apart to be serviced, so they should last for a good 20+ years.
if you have a double sided razor blade you can also sharpen old dull blades in a glass drinking glass, hold it in side the glass, and move it around, the glass has just enough imperfection to it that it will grind away at the edge, but is smooth enough that it will leave a fine edge, and the shape works both sharp edges of the blade at once.
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Little late on the thread but I used a straight razor for about 5 years. It has a pretty steep learning curve(ouch). Just hit it on the strap a few times before each use. It was kind of fun but then I found an electric and have never though of going back.

"Judge a person by their questions rather than their answers."

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Old 04-16-2008, 03:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I used to shave, I used a straight razor that I got from my grand father, for awhile--I was a freshman in college and wanted to be different. Then I decided to grow a beard, and now I just trim with a scissors monthly or so, maybe trim my neck more often, and I think that the pair of quality barber scissors that my wife bought new 35 years ago got replaced a year or two ago, after doing haircuts and trims and beard trims for up to 5 people for many of those years. Grandpa's straight razor still seems fine, for what I need it for. I use whatever soap or shampoo is handy and shave in the shower after I am all wet.

Why shave??
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My EV's batteries started dying after about 7-8 years, since then I've used it as a plug-in. Blades never replaced. This Christmas I wanted a set of new blades, but they cost 80% of a new EV, so I have new EV. I still use the old every week or two. For camping trips I use a disposable. I start to get used to it by the end of the trip, until then I'm donating blood.
e·co·mod·ding: the art of turning vehicles into what they should be

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Piwoslaw's Peugeot 307sw modding thread

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Old 02-11-2009, 04:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I learned to shave using the Gillette Double Edge razor. It was a bloody experience. Must have used a roll or two of TP to stop the bleeding before the blades started to improve. I still have my fathers shaving mug, brush & mirror (see attachment for a similar mirror).

I started using the GEL Shaving Cream when it appeared on the market over 38 years ago.

Ya'll can have the eco-retro-cool looking 19th century shaving equipment. Personally I keep that equipment in the antique collection and continue shaving with GEL and MULTI-BLADED razors.

Facial skin is a terrible thing to waste.

Never did like the strait razor ever since Mom used the razor strap on my buttock!
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Arminius View Post
My Norelco rechargable is 17 years old, and the batteries are finally starting to die this year. After that, I could probably use it while is plugged into the wall. When I bought it, it was the most expensive rechargable I could find: $80. I changed the blades only once.

Also, I abused it pretty badly, so it probably could have lasted much longer.
If you opened it up, you'd probably find that they used standard AA or AAA size NiCads--cheap to replace.


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