Andrea Azzola

Technology, Personal Development and Financial Independence

Save Money with Traditional Wet Shaving

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The multi-blade I have is a Gillette "Fusion ProGlide", a very effective razor, equipped with a movable head that allows you to reach all the protrusions and depressions of the face quickly, without the risks. It features a vibrating mechanism, which makes it very comfortable. But the cost of top-ups, no less than 11 euros for 4 cartridges, is not the most modest.

For some years now I have been interested in minimalism, especially from a financial point of view, I simply try to put more reason where I can to spend more consciously. In fact, there's no guaranteed moment of "shaving orientation" in the path of the becoming man: when the first beard appears in youth, our fathers often direct us towards the multi-blade razor as it practical and rarely dangerous. With the passing of the years it just ends up as a plateau for many.

The Safety Razor

Safety razors are characterized by a handle and a knife holder. On the longer sides of the blade holder the sharp sides of the blade protrudes, which during shaving must caress the face with an inclination of about 30 degrees, a parameter that can change razor to razor. The use of two sharp sides allows you to do more steps with less rinsing, while both sides can be equipped with combs that can be closed or opened, their purpouse is to stretch the skin before the passage of the blade. Replacing the blade is as easy as unscrewing the parts and removing the blade holder. Other models still have the TTO (twist-to-open) or "butterfly" opening which activates the opening of the blade holder by means of a "screw" on the handle.

The first safety razors in their traditional T-shape were produced in Sheffield, England, around the middle of the fourteenth century. In 1880 the American brothers Kampfe patented the design, their version had a single blade that was removed and sharpened like knives blades, while in 1900 are introduced the first disposable razor blades. It was the 1918 when the United States decided to equip the soldiers with razors: the beard made the gas mask inefficient! Gillette wins the contract bid and builds 3.5 million razors, accompanied by 32 million razor blades. The shape has since remained almost unchanged.

The price of the blades makes these types of razors extremely convenient: you can easily find quality razor blades at a price of 1 euro each, while the "Fusion ProGlide" multi-blade cartridges cost no less than 2.75 euro each, but guarantee a longer life. However, the comparison does not acquire a mathematical sense until the costs for shaving of the modern setup and the traditional setup are compared. So below a comparison of the two, considering 182 annual shaves.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide

  • Razor's cost=12 €
  • Start-up=12 €
  • Price for each cartridge 11/4=2.75 €
  • Each cartridge is lasts about 10 shaves, cost per shave=.275 €
  • 182 shaves cost=50 €

Edwin Jagger DE89bl

  • Razor's cost=16 €
  • Brush's cost=15 € (sintetic that emulates badger)
  • Start-up=31 €
  • Cost for each blade 10 €/100=0.1 €
  • Each blade lasts about 3 shave, cost per shave=.0333 €
  • 182 shaves cost=6.06 €


The start-up costs of the traditional setup are basically double, but they are compensated by the duration of the razor and the brush, at least several years. The example shows how you can spend up to 8 times less with the traditional setup.

Paradoxically, there is a well-developed market niche for lovers of traditional shaving, composed of a varied range of products and small-scale solutions often artisinal and luxurious. According to modern popular culture and the eternal rules of masculine style, traditional shaving "adds" to the individual and it is not considered "cheap".

After more than two years from the switch, I see the traditional shaving as a moment of wellness, in which experiment razor blades (different in hardness and sharpening) or appreciate the softness the density and the aroma of new soap .... And although I don't even make an effort for it, the savings aspect is always present and works for me.


A small note on this news ... nowadays it is possible to subscribe to cartridge supplies, and receive every few months (how many you can choose) the necessary razor blades. These offers aim to gain space in the monopolized market leaded by a few companies, by distrupting the business model, by committing the customer to the volumes, and preferring alternative suppliers and technologies, in order to offer competitive prices.

Personally I appreciate the existence of alternative services itself and the abundance of options, unfortunately I do not see an economic advantage when compared to traditional shaving, and by personal choice I'm extremely skeptical of recurring costs.

Categories: Extreme Saving