In the world of shaving, shavers often treat their options as mutually exclusive. That is, safety razor shavers often spurn the pansy, costly nature of cartridge shave systems. This “us vs. them” mentality is problematic because to be fair, the choice of the type of razor you use might be situational. To understand how this might be the case, let’s take a look at some of the features of both systems to determine whey one would want to own both cartridge razors and double edge safety razors.
- Convenience. The biggest difference between cartridges and safety razors is convenience. Many like the convenience of using a razor that does the thinking for them (e.g. pivoting head) and that butchers most of the hair in a single pass.
- Time. It can be somewhat more rapid to shave with a cartridge razor. However, with experience, the gap dramatically decreases.
- The Zen. Many love the feel, time and experience of pampering one’s self. There is less of an art and “love” of shaving that comes from the cartridge version. The lather, the style. It’s classic.
- The Price. Try $2 per cartridge razor to $0.10 per double edge safety razor. There is literally no comparison. While some would claim you spend much more on soaps with safety razor shaving, having a single soap pan for six months, is not going to cost you nearly as much as a bunch of cartridges over that same time period. There is literally no comparison here.
In some cases–there may even be other reasons you may wish to use circumstantial awareness on whether or not to choose one type of razor over another. For instance, for men that like to manscape and shave EVERYTHING, there may be an argument that a pivot head with multiple blades is easier on areas of the body that 1) are difficult to see, 2) may protrude a bit more than others or 3) are difficult to navigate. After all–and without getting to specific–it may be difficult to map the shave of a different area of your body when trying to determine shave angle and hair growth patterns.
Many men use both a safety razor and a cartridge razor. For the truly cost-conscious, the safety razor can become the razor of choice for the more frequent regular shaves. Consequently, the cartridge razor is then used for extenuating circumstances where speed and convenience override the cost of a few extra seconds of lathering up and making more than one pass. In my mind, it is important to note that you would likely need to be in a pretty big hurry as the different in shaving speeds is measured in just a couple of minutes when one becomes truly proficient at the art of shaving with a safety razor.
If I’m in a major hurry and want a quick shave–maybe in the shower–I may opt for my cartridge razor. However, for my typically daily shave routine, nothing beats the lovely smell of a soap and the feedback I get from a traditional double edge safety razor.