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photo: joan_thewlis

Some Background

In case you missed it, some time ago, I did a big article on my new found love for shaving with a safety razor. It was not only cheaper than shaving with expensive quadruple blade razors and their ilk, I also got a smoother shave. If this makes no sense to you, you might want to go there and get up to speed.

The Test!

When I first started shaving with double edged safety razors, I bought a bunch of name brand razors , so I was set for quite awhile. On my next ordering round, I picked up another three pack of the same razors.

A while ago, my war chest of razors went dry. I had forgotten to order any more, so I decided to pick some up at the local pharmacy. I ended up picking up the generic brand at Discount Drug Mart as that was the only brand they had. They were simply marked “Platinum Chrome.” I am guessing that is their coating, not their makeup, as that would be really expensive. Sticker price? $2.99 for ten blades!

So cheap, but does it pay?


I used Merkur Razors , about 60 of them before trying out the bargain brand.

Here’s what I found:

With the Merkur blades, I paid about $15 for 30 blades. Fifty cents a pop. With these blades, I would get about 8 shaves out of each of them before they started to show a sign that they were ready to toss. I use my blades until I feel that they are about to get dull. I don’t use them any further. I don’t have a rough beard, and my skin is not that sensitive, so I would say my wear on the blade is average.

With the bargain blades, I found that I was getting about five shaves before it was time to let them go. I also found that the blade felt completely different than that Merkurs. While the Merkurs felt stiff and rigid in the handle while I shaved with them, the bargain brand felt noticeably less stiff. While it didn’t make a difference in the shave i got, and the sturdiness was just a mental thing, it really felt different.

The Breakdown:

BrandCost Per PackShaves Per BladeCost Per Shave
Merkur$5.0086.25 cents
Bargain Brand$2.9955.98 cents

So yes, the bargain brands are about a quarter of a cent cheaper, I think it’s worth that quarter of a cent to pick up that extra rigidity, and not have to change the blade as often.

One thing of note:

the bargain brand had one really neat feature going for it. It has a small receptacle on the back for used blades. The Merkur blades do not. There is a little wax paper envelope that each blade comes in that works for disposal, but on your last blade, you will have to pitch it commando. Yikes!

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