Author Topic: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors  (Read 5878 times)

Bracken_Joy

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So, what are your tips and tricks on extending the life of disposable razors?

I recently saw a product called the "Blade Buddy", which I guess is a silicone pad to reallign the blades. Link here, not affiliate or anything, just seemed interesting: https://www.thegrommet.com/bladebuddy-razor-blade-sharpener  Any sort of way to do this without buying a device?

I've also heard about people using mineral oil? What is your system on this? I feel like it would be hard to avoid getting oil on the handle, making it hard to hold onto, and if you spill in your bathroom that's a mess. So it seems like a lot of work. Am I wrong?

Basically, we've gotten our spending on the individual razors very low (Droco or whatever has amazon coupons + subscribe and save), but I want to replace them as rarely as possible for the environmental benefits as well. So I would love to benefit from everyone's advice and experience!

Tom Bri

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Strop the blade backwards against your wet skin. Works great. Keep blades clean and dry between shaves. I once kept a single cartridge for an entire year, as an experiment. Last few months were increasingly unpleasant, but it still shaved. I routinely get a couple of months.

littlebird

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I do the same thing as Tom Bri above. Twenty times backwards on my inner forearm about once a week keeps my razors going strong for a long time.

yyc-phil

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I strop the blade down on a leather belt between 20-40 times before and after using the razor, then dry it on a towel to avoid rust.

stripey

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I used to shave my legs using baby oil (which is mineral oil) or coconut oil.  Apart from being much kinder to my skin, it used to keep blades longer. 

Bracken_Joy

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I used to shave my legs using baby oil (which is mineral oil) or coconut oil.  Apart from being much kinder to my skin, it used to keep blades longer.

I use coconut oil, but I feel like it clogs faster that way.

I do the same thing as Tom Bri above. Twenty times backwards on my inner forearm about once a week keeps my razors going strong for a long time.

That seems mildly terrifying to me! But I will give it a try. If I had a leather belt other than DH's very nice one, I would give that a go. Thanks everyone for the recommendations.

OlyFish

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we bought a razor saver from Lehman's. it's a piece of mirrored glass inside of a plastic housing. it definitely makes it feel sharper. We use either conditioner or shaving soap.

I also use the razors from Harry's, which I am pretty sure are less expensive than anything equivalent you can buy from the store.


StockBeard

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Shave less often.

stlbrah

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Just posted this a few days ago, but here is what I do to get 6-12 months from a cheap gillete sensor excel blade. A pack lasts years.

When done shaving, pad dry, don't rub it or it will eventually break to pad that keeps you from shaving to close. Then put the blade into oil. I use vegetable oil.

To sharpen (every 3-4 weeks or so), get an old pair of denim jeans, and lightly run the razor back and fourth 10 times in each direction. Once again, don't apply too much pressure or you will break that pad that keeps you from shaving to close, then the blade is ruined.

That's it.

Terrestrial

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This isn't a tip on extending disposable blades, just a different option that I use:

If you use a safety razor you can get decent two sided blades on amazon for around 12 cents each and they last 4-6 shaves with no effort made to preserve/sharpen them aside from wiping it dry on a towel.  I bought a box of 100 for about 12 bucks a couple of years ago and I'm probably around halfway through it...so my ongoing shave cost for blades is on the order of $3-4 per year (though you do have to buy the razor up front).  To boot, I think it's a better shave than disposables, but that is probably personal preference.  Environmentally - when you pitch one it's a small piece of metal...no plastic.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 08:12:27 AM by Terrestrial »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2015, 08:27:43 AM »
This isn't a tip on extending disposable blades, just a different option that I use:

If you use a safety razor you can get decent two sided blades on amazon for around 12 cents each and they last 4-6 shaves with no effort made to preserve/sharpen them aside from wiping it dry on a towel.  I bought a box of 100 for about 12 bucks a couple of years ago and I'm probably around halfway through it...so my ongoing shave cost for blades is on the order of $3-4 per year (though you do have to buy the razor up front).  To boot, I think it's a better shave than disposables, but that is probably personal preference.  Environmentally - when you pitch one it's a small piece of metal...no plastic.

I'm guessing this recommendation is targeted at the men out there. I'm not sure a safety razor is a viable leg-shaving strategy haha.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2015, 11:56:38 AM »
This isn't a tip on extending disposable blades, just a different option that I use:

If you use a safety razor you can get decent two sided blades on amazon for around 12 cents each and they last 4-6 shaves with no effort made to preserve/sharpen them aside from wiping it dry on a towel.  I bought a box of 100 for about 12 bucks a couple of years ago and I'm probably around halfway through it...so my ongoing shave cost for blades is on the order of $3-4 per year (though you do have to buy the razor up front).  To boot, I think it's a better shave than disposables, but that is probably personal preference.  Environmentally - when you pitch one it's a small piece of metal...no plastic.

I'm guessing this recommendation is targeted at the men out there. I'm not sure a safety razor is a viable leg-shaving strategy haha.

Actually it is!  I'm a lady and I just switched to a safety razor for the legs and pits.  (I cannot speak to the um..."other" area. That would probably be a little more nerve wracking.)

It gives a much better shave than my old stupid Venus razor and so far I haven't nicked myself at all.  I use coconut oil as shave cream -- which probably makes it a little easier to avoid nicks. 

If you have environmental concerns I highly recommend switching to safety razors. 

JLee

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2015, 12:12:10 PM »
This isn't a tip on extending disposable blades, just a different option that I use:

If you use a safety razor you can get decent two sided blades on amazon for around 12 cents each and they last 4-6 shaves with no effort made to preserve/sharpen them aside from wiping it dry on a towel.  I bought a box of 100 for about 12 bucks a couple of years ago and I'm probably around halfway through it...so my ongoing shave cost for blades is on the order of $3-4 per year (though you do have to buy the razor up front).  To boot, I think it's a better shave than disposables, but that is probably personal preference.  Environmentally - when you pitch one it's a small piece of metal...no plastic.

I'm surprised you're only getting 4-6 shaves per blade - I use DE razors almost exclusively (exception being when I am flying without checked luggage, because they don't allow the blades) and I've used about 1/4 of a 100pk over the last three years.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2015, 12:21:16 PM »
I'm surprised you're only getting 4-6 shaves per blade - I use DE razors almost exclusively (exception being when I am flying without checked luggage, because they don't allow the blades) and I've used about 1/4 of a 100pk over the last three years.

As someone new to DE blades...how do you know when they are "done"?  When I used cartridges I would basically just use them until the cartridge looked gunky and gross (way, way longer than I was "supposed" to use them, for sure).  I've heard anecdotally that women can, or do, use blades much longer than is really recommended, though, since we aren't shaving our faces...

JLee

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2015, 12:24:52 PM »
I'm surprised you're only getting 4-6 shaves per blade - I use DE razors almost exclusively (exception being when I am flying without checked luggage, because they don't allow the blades) and I've used about 1/4 of a 100pk over the last three years.

As someone new to DE blades...how do you know when they are "done"?  When I used cartridges I would basically just use them until the cartridge looked gunky and gross (way, way longer than I was "supposed" to use them, for sure).  I've heard anecdotally that women can, or do, use blades much longer than is really recommended, though, since we aren't shaving our faces...

I change blades when they aren't shaving well anymore.  Then I swap blades and realize how much better a fresh one is. :P

catccc

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2015, 01:25:10 PM »
I've heard just keeping them clean and dry significantly lengthens their life.   A hair dryer is a quick way to remove any excess moisture.  I store mine in the closet instead of the shower.  I'm a lady and not really hairy, though.  I shave my pits maybe 6 times a year and my legs maybe once or twice a year.  The lady area is well contained as is and requires no additional grooming.  I've been using the same disposable razor for years and years now.

Terrestrial

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2015, 03:13:48 PM »
I'm surprised you're only getting 4-6 shaves per blade - I use DE razors almost exclusively (exception being when I am flying without checked luggage, because they don't allow the blades) and I've used about 1/4 of a 100pk over the last three years.

As someone new to DE blades...how do you know when they are "done"?  When I used cartridges I would basically just use them until the cartridge looked gunky and gross (way, way longer than I was "supposed" to use them, for sure).  I've heard anecdotally that women can, or do, use blades much longer than is really recommended, though, since we aren't shaving our faces...

I change blades when they aren't shaving well anymore.  Then I swap blades and realize how much better a fresh one is. :P

This isn't to say I couldn't get more than 4-6, just that at a cost of $3 a year I don't exactly go out of my way to stretch them....I'd rather use a fresh one more often and not have any pulling/etc from a slightly dull one.    Also - I usually go a few days between shaving ('stubble' look) so when I do shave it is going through a reasonably thick ammt of material...which may dull it faster?  I usually use each side 2 or 3 times then pitch it for a sharp one.

I agree they will last longer and still shave 'adequately'. 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2015, 03:17:14 PM by Terrestrial »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2015, 03:17:00 PM »
So, what are your tips and tricks on extending the life of disposable razors?

I shave once a week whether I need it or not. Disposable razors last me a long time. I probably buy a package every couple years.

Syonyk

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2015, 09:22:21 PM »
Beards are in style now...

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2015, 09:38:51 AM »
Beards are in style now...

Agreed, and a frugal approach for men. Sadly, no such trend is liable to occur for the other 50% of the population. (And I am not helping that trend- I have no desire to stop shaving).

GuitarStv

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2015, 10:01:46 AM »
I'm surprised you're only getting 4-6 shaves per blade - I use DE razors almost exclusively (exception being when I am flying without checked luggage, because they don't allow the blades) and I've used about 1/4 of a 100pk over the last three years.

As someone new to DE blades...how do you know when they are "done"?  When I used cartridges I would basically just use them until the cartridge looked gunky and gross (way, way longer than I was "supposed" to use them, for sure).  I've heard anecdotally that women can, or do, use blades much longer than is really recommended, though, since we aren't shaving our faces...

I change blades when they aren't shaving well anymore.  Then I swap blades and realize how much better a fresh one is. :P

This isn't to say I couldn't get more than 4-6, just that at a cost of $3 a year I don't exactly go out of my way to stretch them....I'd rather use a fresh one more often and not have any pulling/etc from a slightly dull one.    Also - I usually go a few days between shaving ('stubble' look) so when I do shave it is going through a reasonably thick ammt of material...which may dull it faster?  I usually use each side 2 or 3 times then pitch it for a sharp one.

I agree they will last longer and still shave 'adequately'.

Yep.  There's a point of diminishing returns with DE blades . . . at 4-5 cents each and getting a little under a month of use out of each of them before they seem to require too much pressure I'm not terribly concerned about trying to reform an edge or spend much time trying to keep them sharp.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2015, 10:03:44 AM »
In a thread on another forum the members came to the conclusion that shaving cream reduced the lifespan of a razor.  I think the density of one's beard makes a big difference as well.  Both in terms of wear on the edge and ability to tolerate a less than perfect edge.  I have a thin beard, use soap, shave my face every workday, and my razors seem to last forever.   I keep using them long after the "lube strip" is gone.  I make no special attempts to dry after use.  Certainly not as good as a new razor, but they seem to stabilize at a level that is plenty usable.

webcat86

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Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2015, 10:27:07 AM »
I stopped using disposables. Awful things. The silicone pad you refer to is essentially a strop (remember the leather straps barbers used to have? That's a strop and it realigns the edge to keep it sharp).

I use a straight razor. There's a higher cost upfront but it can be free thereafter. Alternatively a shavette is a good option, as you only buy the blades and they are really cheap.

Using a straight has really made shaving more enjoyable, and the quality soaps and creams make a huge difference to the skin. And who wouldn't want to shave with this??
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 10:35:01 AM by webcat86 »

Apocalyptica602

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2015, 10:39:17 AM »
I have a 'light' density beard and can show a few days worth of stubble at work without looking too unprofessional.

Shaving once every few days with a disposable plus stroking it backward against the palm of my hand and running water through it to clear out the stubble makes a single cartridge last for at least a few months.

I also don't use shaving cream, I shave in the hot shower with a fog-free mirror. Razor burn is non-existent for me and ingrown hairs are rare. Strangely enough I tend to get the most ingrown hairs with a fresh sharp cartridge.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #24 on: November 04, 2015, 11:18:01 AM »
Definitely a male dominated thread so far! I'll recommend the safety razor to DH once his Dorco stock is out, but no guarantee he'll bite.

This isn't a tip on extending disposable blades, just a different option that I use:

If you use a safety razor you can get decent two sided blades on amazon for around 12 cents each and they last 4-6 shaves with no effort made to preserve/sharpen them aside from wiping it dry on a towel.  I bought a box of 100 for about 12 bucks a couple of years ago and I'm probably around halfway through it...so my ongoing shave cost for blades is on the order of $3-4 per year (though you do have to buy the razor up front).  To boot, I think it's a better shave than disposables, but that is probably personal preference.  Environmentally - when you pitch one it's a small piece of metal...no plastic.

I'm guessing this recommendation is targeted at the men out there. I'm not sure a safety razor is a viable leg-shaving strategy haha.

Actually it is!  I'm a lady and I just switched to a safety razor for the legs and pits.  (I cannot speak to the um..."other" area. That would probably be a little more nerve wracking.)

It gives a much better shave than my old stupid Venus razor and so far I haven't nicked myself at all.  I use coconut oil as shave cream -- which probably makes it a little easier to avoid nicks. 

If you have environmental concerns I highly recommend switching to safety razors. 

Although I am very interested by this! I do feel like my coconut oil shave gel would be far less damaging to a safety razor than to a disposable in terms of longevity.

So is the consensus that you can, indeed, strop a disposable razor, even if it has a moisture strip?

webcat86

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2015, 01:02:17 PM »

Definitely a male dominated thread so far! I'll recommend the safety razor to DH once his Dorco stock is out, but no guarantee he'll bite.

This isn't a tip on extending disposable blades, just a different option that I use:

If you use a safety razor you can get decent two sided blades on amazon for around 12 cents each and they last 4-6 shaves with no effort made to preserve/sharpen them aside from wiping it dry on a towel.  I bought a box of 100 for about 12 bucks a couple of years ago and I'm probably around halfway through it...so my ongoing shave cost for blades is on the order of $3-4 per year (though you do have to buy the razor up front).  To boot, I think it's a better shave than disposables, but that is probably personal preference.  Environmentally - when you pitch one it's a small piece of metal...no plastic.

I'm guessing this recommendation is targeted at the men out there. I'm not sure a safety razor is a viable leg-shaving strategy haha.

Actually it is!  I'm a lady and I just switched to a safety razor for the legs and pits.  (I cannot speak to the um..."other" area. That would probably be a little more nerve wracking.)

It gives a much better shave than my old stupid Venus razor and so far I haven't nicked myself at all.  I use coconut oil as shave cream -- which probably makes it a little easier to avoid nicks. 

If you have environmental concerns I highly recommend switching to safety razors. 

Although I am very interested by this! I do feel like my coconut oil shave gel would be far less damaging to a safety razor than to a disposable in terms of longevity.

So is the consensus that you can, indeed, strop a disposable razor, even if it has a moisture strip?

You can strop any blade but SE/DE razors work out far cheaper

Bettis

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2015, 01:36:05 PM »
That straight razor looks boss.  I shave in the shower(I know, waste of water) but I like it.  Unfortunately, I wear glasses and am so blind without them so I think a straight blade would be a hazard for me.  I manage fine with regular old disposables I can buy at the flea market (new in package of course) for about 75c/unit.  They last me 2-3 months each so I'm under $5/yr.  It's the shaving cream that's "killing" me at $1.29 for a can that lasts less than a month.  I'll have to go homemade at some point but I love the smell of Barbasol.

webcat86

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2015, 01:48:46 PM »

That straight razor looks boss.  I shave in the shower(I know, waste of water) but I like it.  Unfortunately, I wear glasses and am so blind without them so I think a straight blade would be a hazard for me.  I manage fine with regular old disposables I can buy at the flea market (new in package of course) for about 75c/unit.  They last me 2-3 months each so I'm under $5/yr.  It's the shaving cream that's "killing" me at $1.29 for a can that lasts less than a month.  I'll have to go homemade at some point but I love the smell of Barbasol.

Shaving cream in a can is junk. Palmolive sticks are great and CHEAP.

Bettis

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2015, 01:57:16 PM »
Never even heard of the shaving sticks.  I presume I would have to buy a brush to go with it.  I doubt my wife would change over but it's worth a shot.  Either way, we're not talking big bucks.  It's more the fun of optimization.

webcat86

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2015, 02:18:00 PM »

Never even heard of the shaving sticks.  I presume I would have to buy a brush to go with it.  I doubt my wife would change over but it's worth a shot.  Either way, we're not talking big bucks.  It's more the fun of optimization.

No you can rub Palmolive in by hand. Brushes can also be cheap though especially on shaving forums

Easye418

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2015, 07:48:11 AM »
Conair iStubble. 

Keep a glorious stubble year round, $50 bucks upfront cost, works like a dream.

I am 26 and look like a baby if I shave my face so I keep a nicely groomed stubble most of my days.

dcheesi

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2015, 01:40:55 PM »
In a thread on another forum the members came to the conclusion that shaving cream reduced the lifespan of a razor.  I think the density of one's beard makes a big difference as well.  Both in terms of wear on the edge and ability to tolerate a less than perfect edge.  I have a thin beard, use soap, shave my face every workday, and my razors seem to last forever.   I keep using them long after the "lube strip" is gone.  I make no special attempts to dry after use.  Certainly not as good as a new razor, but they seem to stabilize at a level that is plenty usable.
This. Only other "weird" thing I do is rinse the blade in cold water between strokes, rather than warm. Seems to give me a better shave, and it might have some effect long term as well?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Product/Tip Recommendations Wanted: extending the life of disposable razors
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2015, 02:25:33 PM »
In a thread on another forum the members came to the conclusion that shaving cream reduced the lifespan of a razor.  I think the density of one's beard makes a big difference as well.  Both in terms of wear on the edge and ability to tolerate a less than perfect edge.  I have a thin beard, use soap, shave my face every workday, and my razors seem to last forever.   I keep using them long after the "lube strip" is gone.  I make no special attempts to dry after use.  Certainly not as good as a new razor, but they seem to stabilize at a level that is plenty usable.
This. Only other "weird" thing I do is rinse the blade in cold water between strokes, rather than warm. Seems to give me a better shave, and it might have some effect long term as well?

Oh, this is an interesting idea. I will give this a try- easier to instate than changing my equipment! (And I have a lot of disposables to go through still).