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Make Your Razor Blades Last Longer

Those darn disposable razors cartridges.  So expensive and it seems they go bad so quick.  Reader J has a great tip frugal tip to help extend the life of our disposable razor cartridges:

“If you use a manual razor to shave in the morning (Gillette Fusion, in my case), dry the razor after use.  I didn’t want to suggest it until I tried it myself…but it works. After 6 months, I’ve only replaced the razor cartridge once. The trick is to rinse it well, and spend 20 seconds or so holding the towel firmly against the blades. This takes moisture away from the steel blades, and helps prevent rust, which is why razor blades go dull (mostly).

Maybe a truly minor thing, but as the cost of everything rises, it can’t hurt to tell others. Like I said, I’ve been testing this myself for the last 6 months, and I thought it best not to say anything until I had tried it.”

Thanks, J.  Great tip.  I dug up a chicagotribune.com article that agrees with you.  I’ll begin making a conscious effort to do this.

More Free and (Almost) Free Razors

In the past I’ve shared some Free Razor Sample Links.  Well, I searched the internet once again and here are the latest freebies (or almost free).  Remember to sign up using email addresses (if required) you don’t mind getting spammed.

Got any other frugal shaving tips?  Let me hear them in the comments below.

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Last Edited: November 15, 2010 @ 9:42 pm
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Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

5 comments
RC
RC

Principles of Materials, Cyrstallography, and Chemistry courses and textbooks will tell you that corrosion of the blade is what makes it go dull. Nomatter how "rugged" you may be, your hairs are not hard enough to damage your steel blades.

Drying your blades after use will extend their useful life. Even more than that, storing them in mineral oil will keep them sharp even longer. However, the razor manufacturers know this and purposefully include this "lubrastrip" that is compromised by the presence of oil. When stored in oil, the strip expands to the point of disrupting the proper angle between the blade and your face.

The sad part is that we've had the technology to make razor blades that will never go dull during the course of a human lifetime for decades. Amorphous metal blades (without a crystalline structure) or ceramic blades will corrode so slowly that they'll never need sharpening. The Gillette, Shick, Bic trust won't let those go into production, though, for obvious reasons. Why would anyone buy expensive, short lived cartridges from them when a $20 ceramic razor would last forever if it isn't accidentally shattered?

A quality straight razor can be sharpened and may be a suitable alternative to costly cartridges as it will last a lifetime when properly maintained. However, sharpening them takes time. And, shaving with a straight razor requires a bit more skill and focus than a so-called "safety razor."

Razor Blades
Razor Blades

In my opinion it is best to dry them thoroughly, although I am not sure if it makes that much of a difference.

ChristianPF
ChristianPF

I don't really know if that idea works or not, I will probably give it a try. But the thing I do know that makes razors last is only shaving every 2 weeks! Sometimes my razors will last for months! :)

J
J

Jimmy, if you're only getting four shaves from any cartridge, you may want to try a different brand. Then again, if the "lubrastrip" degrades that fast on you, maybe it's a reaction to whatever shaving cream you're using. Heck, I'm 1/4 Italian and very rarely have to change blades!

Jimmy
Jimmy

I hate to be the cynic, but I've found that drying the razor blades thoroughly make absolutely no difference in the longevity of disposable razor cartridges. In my completely informal study, it's the degradation of the "lubrastrip" that causes the razor cartridge to shave inadequately.

I've tried just about everything to increase the lifespan of them, but the most I've ever gotten out of one is four shaves. Any more than that and I have to start raking the razor across my face which is pretty painful as you can imagine. The claim that some people can shave for months on end with a single cartridge is pretty hard to believe.