Join 3,375 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The best a man can get, for 8 months at a stretch.
October 5, 2011 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Don't worry, on YouTube there are videos of thrifty men* willing to share their secrets on extending the life of your disposable razor blade.

Sadly, the 132-day-old razor in that last video died on its 172nd day and had to be replaced. Despite this withering failure, Mr. Magiclifestyle101 has an entire YouTube channel devoted to his shaving tips.

* Adjectives 'balding' and 'white' withheld from the front page so as not to seem too editorial.
posted by mudpuppie (42 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I like these men, they are nice.
posted by mhjb at 2:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well... that was certainly the most depressing thing I've seen all day.
posted by indubitable at 2:46 PM on October 5, 2011


So, basically, it comes down to making sure the razor's not clogged with hair.

Um... Duh?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:49 PM on October 5, 2011


How many pairs of jeans died to keep that razor sharp?
posted by nathancaswell at 2:49 PM on October 5, 2011


Sys Rq, it comes down to focussing on one tiny aspect of your life and achieving absolute dominance over it. Not only do the blades last longer, but your growing sense of manliness will pervade all your other pursuits.
posted by mhjb at 2:54 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wait til these guys found out about double-edged safety razors, their heads will explode.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I am happy when people tinker with something that's 'untinkerable' and make it better.
posted by zippy at 2:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do this by only shaving my neckbeard twice a week.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:57 PM on October 5, 2011


I refuse to watch more than one video a day on shaving (personal policy), so I hope that one of those tips was: "Dry your razor after use".

In addition to the clogged hair thing, this is a huge factor. Leaving a wet razor around will deteriorate the blade very quickly.
posted by jeremias at 3:00 PM on October 5, 2011


Notice how he wastes water as he brushes shaving cream onto his face.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:04 PM on October 5, 2011


So, basically, it comes down to making sure the razor's not clogged with hair.

No, these techniques involve stropping the razor, akin to using a honing steel on a kitchen knife.
posted by zsazsa at 3:07 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks, those were interesting. I've never before heard the advice about rubbing the razor head on various surfaces (arm/jeans/finger) to prolong its life.

I can't bring myself to shave in the shower, though (comes up in the third link). Assuming people who do so are leaving the water running while they shave, isn't that somewhat wasteful of water?
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just make a little pyramid out of cardboard and keep the blade in it when you're not using it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


If anyone ever needs a good example of "penny wise and pound foolish" I'll show them one of these videos.
posted by device55 at 3:11 PM on October 5, 2011


There's, wait for it, a razor-thin line between a hobby and an obsession.
posted by tommasz at 3:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My solution? Safety razor.

re: shower shaving. Don't you spend a minute or two enjoying the hot water anyways? I sure do. If I didn't have glasses, I would totally shower shave.
posted by utsutsu at 3:36 PM on October 5, 2011


This is great, I have trouble getting a disposable blade to last for one whole shave. I'm not sure if my beard is actually steel wool disguised as hair or what, but I'll try a couple of these tips.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:49 PM on October 5, 2011


After thought: this should work for safety razor blades too, no?
posted by utsutsu at 3:58 PM on October 5, 2011


After thought: this should work for safety razor blades too, no?

Probably better, given that there aren't 3 other blades in the way.

Though you might have to ask yourself if honing 1/2¢ blades is the best use of your time.
posted by device55 at 4:38 PM on October 5, 2011


+1 for the DE love. I'm all for being thrifty, and I get why these guys want to get the most out of their blade cartridges. But, respectfully, they're doing it wrong. A better solution to this problem is to switch back to the shaving technology of about 50 years ago. It really just works so much better.
posted by kprincehouse at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011


BrotherCaine - I have friends that say the same thing - that the cartridge goes dull in a shave or two. I've never had that problem but I get horrible razor burn from using a cartridge razor.

Switched to a double edged safety razor about 8 years ago and the only time I've experienced burn again is when I'm travelling and am forced to use a Mach5 (or similar), even with the same creams.
posted by jeffmik at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2011


Nice! It's hard to tell how hairy the guy's arm is who uses it like a leather strap, and whether that is what makes it rough enough to do the same work, but I'm going to try it! Also, this may or may not have got mentioned, but it's not a bad idea to keep the blades in a dry place, to slow growth of skin-mangling rust.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2011


If I didn't have glasses, I would totally shower shave.

I have totally shaved in the shower with glasses. Yes, they get wet.
posted by odinsdream at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011


Assuming people who do so are leaving the water running while they shave, isn't that somewhat wasteful of water?

I shave in the shower because the extra humidity keeps everything nice and moist. If I am forced to shave in the sink (as I often do while traveling because hotel showers do not have mirrors in them), then all the shaving cream dries out. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another trick to keep the blades dry; get a jar with a closeable lid, fill jar with isopropyl alcohol. After rinsing the razor under water, shake dry, dip into the alcohol, shake dry, return razor to holder. I don't actually do this anymore since a Mach3 cartridge already lasts months for me.

Also, (even cheap-assed) shaving soap and a brush makes for incredibly smooth and close shaves. Less clogged hairs between the razor blades, too. I actually quite like the smell of the (new?) Proraso that comes in the white plastic jars (an ex of mine was allergic to the mint in the soap that comes in the green jars). Those small jars last for years.

For people with horrible razor burns, try shaving after a hot shower with the grain and/or treat your face with salicylic acid anti-acne pads (or make your own homemade tend skin [warning: pink] and apply with cheap cotten roundels/pads) after shaving/before aftershave/moisturizer (I'm particularly fond of Biotherm Homme's Aquapower).
posted by porpoise at 6:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That first link looks like it's coming from the multiple-channel bathroom mirror in Sleeper.
posted by condour75 at 7:54 PM on October 5, 2011


Bath and Body Works (usually at the mall) sells C.O. Bigelow shave cream, which is actually Proraso. $10 a tube, lasts ages. Use it with a brush and enjoy.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:05 PM on October 5, 2011


You people who resist shaving in the shower because of corrective lenses and/or no mirror are educated stupid. I have terrible eyesight and no mirror in the shower but I shave in there every day.

1. You know from repetitive motion where your beard starts on your throat and face; and even if you don't, you can feel that shit with your fingers. Smooth skin and a razor don't cause a matter/antimatter reaction; you just don't shave any hair.

2. Your mustache starts on your face, a lateral inch or two from your nose, and ends at your upper lip. Again, you might be able to employ tactile sensation to figure out where the razor goes if shaving the same area every day since adolescence hasn't made it clear.

3. For argument's sake, your sideburns start where your ear joins your head. Compensate by fingertip measurement as necessary.

If these instructions seem oversimplified because of a goatee or something, I wish you the best of luck. If you're lucky enough to be in the postseason, it's the most stressful time of year for a relief pitcher.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


In addition to the clogged hair thing, this is a huge factor. Leaving a wet razor around will deteriorate the blade very quickly.


Interesting. I have a jar of mostly water that I store my razor in between shaves. I thought that was what was so successfully extending my blade life. Live and learn.
posted by notreally at 8:53 PM on October 5, 2011


Yeah it's a little obsessive to take it as far as the guy in the videos, but the jeans-as-razor-strop trick is pretty neat if you're ever stuck somewhere with a dull razor and you really need a shave. It beats the hell out of just tearing your face up with a dull blade if those are your only two options.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:54 PM on October 5, 2011


I would just add to Major Curley's advice the caveat that your handedness may result in your sideburns being slightly asymmetrical, so a sighted touch-up once a week with a mirror may be required.
posted by alasdair at 11:25 PM on October 5, 2011


Mayor Curley: "You people who resist shaving in the shower because of corrective lenses and/or no mirror are educated stupid. I have terrible eyesight and no mirror in the shower but I shave in there every day."

Agreed. It's easy to do by feel. I usually do a quick sideburn even up when I step out, and good to go.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:14 AM on October 6, 2011


In order to minimise water wastage while shaving in the shower, simply reduce the flow of the shower to a trickle for washing the blade while you are shaving. The shower cubicle has probably reached steam room like levels of heat and humidity already.

That is unless you have one of those fancy walk in showers and an over zealous extractor fan. Then again, you probably have a coiffed beard and a personal stylist, so shaving in the shower isn't a concern.
posted by asok at 7:41 AM on October 6, 2011


It's a whole new way to think about shaving. Don't question it. Don't say a word. Just key the music, and call the chorus girls, because we're on the edge—the razor's edge—and I feel like dancing.
posted by obscurator at 12:48 PM on October 6, 2011



If anyone ever needs a good example of "penny wise and pound foolish" I'll show them one of these videos.

I was reading an article today on how to save money by washing Ziploc bags in the dishwasher. Here's an idea: don't use them in the first place. Or, indeed, a dishwasher.
posted by mippy at 1:44 PM on October 6, 2011


My SO got really into the whole shaving subculture this past year. It's one deep rabbit hole. But yes, gentle people, mostly.
posted by Miko at 7:42 PM on October 6, 2011


mippy: "I was reading an article today on how to save money by washing Ziploc bags in the dishwasher. Here's an idea: don't use them in the first place. Or, indeed, a dishwasher."

Doesn't washing dishes in the dishwasher use less energy/water than doing them in the sink?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:55 AM on October 7, 2011


> Doesn't washing dishes in the dishwasher use less energy/water than doing them in the sink?

I think that's probably dependent upon hand washing techniques and individual machine efficiency.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:35 AM on October 7, 2011


It is. There have been several analyses done on handwashing vs. dishwashing, and you can Google up some green websites for them, but basically it's a wash unless you have a really ineffecient dishwasher or a really super-green washing technique, that involves things like reusing your pre-rinse as graywater for a garden, and doing scrubbing and post-rinse in a cup or two of water.

I have an almost-no-plastic household but I do use ziplocs, selectively, and wash them in between. They last a really long time. There are some things for which they are simply the best container, and if they allow you to, say, preserve food in the freezer longer than you could in a glass or other container, they are helping.
posted by Miko at 8:50 AM on October 7, 2011


> but basically it's a wash

I see what you did there.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:51 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never had a dishwasher, so I'm not sure, but it seems a bit pointless if you're just washing the dishes used to cook and consume one meal. For a family, perhaps.
posted by mippy at 5:38 AM on October 10, 2011


I use a Schick Quattro in the shower every weekday and one cartridge lasts almost 6 months for me. I just shake it out and leave it right on the shelf under the shower faucet.
posted by daHIFI at 12:19 PM on October 10, 2011


« Older Most states have enacted laws banning texting whil...  |  The Hieroglyph Project.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments