Wednesday, May 21, 2008

saving on shaving, the straight story

Here is a neat concept: save cash on your shaving supplies in the long run by going old school. And I mean really old school: a straight razor. Badger and Blade crunches the numbers to show how using an old-fashioned cut-throat razor, complete with strops and honing, will save you about $5/month on your shaving needs.

Now, let's start out with the obvious: for the amount of work and learning of new skills and whatnot this requires, $5/month is a pretty shabby savings. They say every little bit adds up, and if you're making a bunch of similar savings, that would be true, but if you just switch to a straight razor, you'll never save enough cash to notice the difference.

What you may well notice, however, is the experience. A number of the commenters have noted that using a straight razor, along with a brush and cream from actual shaving soap (or just quality, natural non-canned shaving cream), makes shaving enjoyable rather than one of many morning chores.

I have to admit that this appeals to me. It probably wouldn't save me money, as I don't grow much facial hair, nor do I grow it quickly, and can use the same disposable razor for a long time. It would make more financial sense for me to invest in an electric razor, allowing me to shave faster, go years without replacing any blades, and stop buying cream entirely.

I'm a huge sucker, however, for Victorian era accoutrement. As the proud owner of a pocket watch, an engraved whiskey flask, and a three-piece suit, the prospect of having and learning to use a straight razor, along with the strop and cream and little brush and mug, makes me a little giddy and warms my fin-de-siecle soul.

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