Gentlemen, it’s time we did the math once and for all. Based on a Razorpedia.com survey, more than 50% of the 186 respondents said they were dissatisfied with the price of their razor and razor blades. Since shaving costs are one of the most commonly cited reasons for switching from cartridge shaving to double-edge ("DE") or straight razor shaving, we’ve decided to set the record straight and do the math ourselves.
We’ll take you through each type of wet shaving methodology and estimate the lifetime shaving cost of an average male. Keep in mind that individual results will vary. First, we ignore the cost of pre-shave oils, shaving soaps, gels, creams, badger brushes, and after-shaves to focus solely on the blades themselves. Secondly, we assume the average male shaves once per day, 365 times per year, for 70 years.
Disposable razors range from $0.33 for a single blade Bic Sensitive to $1.75 for a four blade Bic Hybrid Advance 4. For our analysis, we chose a middle of the road three blade Bic Comfort 3 Advance, which currently costs $1.22 at Walmart.com. We estimate that disposable razors will last about four uses on average, so the cost of a single shave using disposable razors is approximately $0.30/shave.
Cartridge Razor: Gillette Fusion ProGlide ($6,863 total, or $98 per year)
Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide razor is arguably the most advanced (and most expensive) cartridge razor system on the market today. The lowest price we’ve seen for replacement cartridges is a whopping $28.40 for eight cartridges ($3.55/each) from Soap.com. Beyond the blades, you’ll also need to buy the Fusion ProGlide handle which costs $10.97 at Walmart.com. Despite Gillette’s claim of its ProGlide blades lasting five weeks (YouTube), our Razopedia.com reviews show that Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide cartridges last about 14 uses on average. Assuming the handle is replaced every two years, the cost of a single shave using Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide razor is approximately $0.27/shave.
Cartridge Razor: Dorco Pace 6 with Trimmer ($2,752 total, or $39 per year)
Dorco is somewhat of a newcomer in the US cartridge shaving market. Aside from Dollar Shave Club’s “Humble Twin” two blade razor, Dorco’s blades are the absolute cheapest on the market. On DorcoUSA.com, you can purchase 24 replacement cartridges for Dorco’s Pace 6 razor for $24.22 ($1.01/each) and the handle for $4.95. Our Razorpedia.com reviews show that Dorco’s Pace 6 cartridges last about 10 uses on average. Assuming the handle is replaced every two years, the cost of a single shave using Dorco’s Pace 6 razor is approximately $0.11/shave.
Double Edge Razor ($1,781 total, or $25 per year)
Since I am relatively new to classic shaving techniques, I asked Mantic59 himself for guidance on pricing and blade life. He suggested that a good DE razor costs about $50 and can last many years. For blades, he suggested a fair price would be about $0.33 for a blade that lasts five shaves on average. I used the cost of Feather blades purchased in bulk for $0.28/blade and assumed that a handle lasts 10 years. Based on these figures, shaving with DE razor will cost just $0.07/shave.
Straight Razor ($350 total, or $5 per year)
Also according to Mantic59, a good straight edge razor and strop should last a lifetime. Though prices can vary dramatically, a good mid-range straight edge razor and strop should cost around $250. On top of this, you’ll need another $100 for a whetstone and polish. Based on these figures, shaving with a straight razor will cost you just $0.01/shave.
So there you have it. Shaving with disposable razors is 22x more expensive than using a straight razor, and shaving with a Gillette cartridge razor is 4x more expensive than using a DE razor! Put another way, you can boost your retirement savings by $7,427 by trading in your disposable razors for a straight razor. Or, if you’re one of the mainstream shavers using a Gillette cartridge, you can save $5,082 by trading in your cartridge for a good DE razor. Take that Roger Federer (YouTube)!
Do these numbers surprise you? How much do you spend on razors and blades every year?