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When Generics Bite Back — Razor of Death…

Poor Micah’s face is all cut up and he suggested I put out a warning. He decided to go the generic route and buy the CVS razors which fit the Gillette Sensor handle. I’ve had pretty good luck with generic disposable razors, so he thought they were safe.

Well, not so much. He’s tried a few different blades over the last few days and none of them work. Each one just cuts up his face. It’s really pitiful.

I’m impressed that he thought to try the generic thing on his own. And I hope this won’t bias him against other generics. We’ve had some good and bad luck with them over the last few months.

So we’ll scratch razors off the list. Even if we found something decent, I don’t think Micah would want his face to be a testing ground. He’s been pretty miserable about it and he doesn’t like shaving anyway. What we need is a completely painless way to remove all the hair he’ll never use. And affordable to boot.

The question is, should he start shaving the more old-fashioned way? I don’t think that’d help with these razors but it may help with shaving in general.

Some exiting news coming on another generic front—but I’ll save that until I actually test it.

{ 3 trackbacks }

The Friday Gathering for 2/15/2008 - The late edition
February 17, 2008 at 10:13 am
IttyBiz » Frugality Vs. Reality: Cash Flow When Working From Home
February 17, 2008 at 10:01 pm
Generics: For Better and Worse | Frugal Hacks
November 16, 2008 at 5:30 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kyle February 12, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Thanks for the tip. Small pieces of toilet paper all over my mug is not my best look!

Joanne February 12, 2008 at 8:18 pm

I cannot keep my husband away from MY girly disposable razor. He says it gives him a much more nick-free shave than men’s razors do. heh He just doesn’t take them to the gym (employee perk). I do get him his own, though… men’s hair seems to be much coarser than women’s, and if he doesn’t rinse it thoroughly, then it becomes more difficult to get his hair out of my razor.

oxymoron February 12, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Oh…I know his pain. I tried our local market brand razors and decided it was not worth the savings. I spent more time cleaning up than it was worth. It is alright to bleed frugality, but not from the face. The Simple Dollar had a good post on shaving last year.

Becky@FamilyandFinances February 12, 2008 at 9:22 pm

This is good to know. I actually didn’t even realize that they made generic blades to go with your name-brand handles. If I had seen it in the store, I probably would have tried it. Now I know better. “Yeah” for saving money by not buying something you would end up not using!

Chief Family Officer February 12, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Like Becky, I appreciate the warning – not that I knew they make generic blades for name brand razors, but I would have tried them if I saw them.

My husband uses an electric razor on his face and name brand blade on his neck (using the electric on his neck irritates it too much). So if Mr. Micah is okay with an electric, I would recommend that – since it doesn’t bother my sensitive hubby’s face.

Simple Tam February 12, 2008 at 11:30 pm

I used to use the Mach 3 from Gillette but found it way too expensive to replace the cartridges. But then I switched to Gillette Sensor 3, which is pretty much a disposable version of Mach 3. The key here is that I purchased it for around $5 at walmart and got 4 disposable razors. Each lasts me close to a month and a half, much more than what a mach 3 cartridge would and definitely cheaper than them.

Early Retirement Extreme February 12, 2008 at 11:40 pm

I use a straight razor. An easier and only slightly more expensive solution is to get a decent safety razor and buy the replacement blades. Oh yeah, forget about the shaving cream. Just shave in the shower after soaping up the stubble. A blade lasts more than half a year this way.

Shauna February 12, 2008 at 11:42 pm

While you’re at it, scratch generic antibiotics off that list. Back in my broke, uninsured college student desperation, I took up Meijer’s “free antibiotic” offer for a relentless cold. Not the best idea I’d ever had. Not only did it take 2 weeks of horse-sized pills, I’m pretty sure my own immune system did all of the work anyway. If I’m ever in that hellish situation again, I’m sticking to orange juice!

Feel better Micah! Btw-bulk razors from Costco (and such) are much cheaper. Also, I’m not sure if it’s true of men’s razors but, I use Venus razors and ALWAYS pick the cheapest option. They package it to differentiate the razor type, but it’s always a fit!

Looby February 12, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Like CFO my s/o uses an electric razor because he hates to shave. He got a great Philips one on sale. It’s a really close shave and doesn’t irritate him at all. Plus it’s much quicker and doesn’t require shaving foam or aftershave. It’s a bigger initial expense but lasts a long time, he’s had it almost a year and hasn’t had to replace the blade or foil yet.

Glblguy From Gather Little by Little February 13, 2008 at 6:15 am

Thanks for the link. I’ve been shaving the “old fashioned way” for more than a year now. One of THE BEST decisions I ever made. Disposable razors provide a terrible shave, are expensive, and a bad for the environment.

Bite the bullet and my a nice Merkur razor some high quality blades, a shaving brush, and some good shaving soap/cream and he’ll never look back.

It does take a little getting used to, but after a few shaves, he’ll love it. Close shave, no cuts if you do it right, and best of all…NO razor burn!! Buying good quality shaving cream really helps with the experience too. It makes me actually look forward to shaving.

Ryan S. February 13, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I haven’t used generic razors, but I use a really large pack of Gilettes bought from Costco. I also shave in the shower, which saves me about 10 minutes a day and lets me stay in the shower a few minutes longer. 🙂

Mrs Micah's Mom February 13, 2008 at 3:14 pm

In his youth, Mrs. Micah’s father used a straight-edge razor, one of those ‘cut-throat’ razors. He never had any trouble and got a very smooth shave, but it was a lot more trouble. I’m glad he had stopped long before we were married because I would have worried about it, however needlessly.

A straight-edge razor is cheaper, though, once you’re past the initial cost. If you try one, be sure to get 7 blades, one for each day of the week; the blades stay sharp longer if they have a rest before the next use. You’ll need a sharpener, too, and brushes and a shaving mug. It still seems dangerous to me, though.

K February 16, 2008 at 1:13 am

The Simple Dollar site had a good article a while back about shaving you might want to check out:

Ronald March 30, 2008 at 10:22 pm

How long does a double edge blade last? How good of a shave will a blade give?
As with a “cut-throat” razor it depends on the sharpness of the blade and the durability/hardness of the steel.
Has anyone looked at the edge of various maker’s double edge blades under a 10 power magnifying glass, or, better yet, a microscope, to see if they can see a difference in the blade edges?
I looked at a Schick, and a Merkur, under a 10X glass. The Merkur, even at only 10X, has a rough edge. The Schick has a much smoother edge.
I checked this out after using one of each blade. The Schick gave me 25 good shaves before it started pulling,
The Merkur blade gave me a worse (it pulled more) shave on the first shave than the Schick did after 25 shaves.
I used to get 60 good shaves out of the Gillette Blue Blade. Now I am doing good to get 30 out of stainless steel, platinum, etc.
Seems the blade makers are just not putting as good of an edge on their blades just so they will get duller faster.
I have not tried the Feather Blades yet, but have ordered some, as they have a reputation for sharpness.
A person should be able to tell just how long, comparatively, a blade will last just by looking at its edge under a microscope.
The whole thing seems to be a “sting” operation though, as sharp blades could go out for weeks and then start sending out less sharp ones.

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