Compared to cartridge blades, safety razors can provide a substantially smoother and closer shave to ensure a better look.
However, the main reason why so many people decide to make this switch lies in the economic benefits.
In fact, most of them are often tired of spending so much for expensive cartridge blades, while using safety razor blades can save a lot of money in the long term thanks to a significant reduction in the frequency of replacements.
But how can you know if switching to safety razors might actually save money? Keep reading to find out the answer and some useful tips to keep these units last for a longer time.
Before giving you an estimated answer on how long safety razor blades often last, let's check out some common reasons that affect their longevity.
The grinding, coating, and metallurgy options may have a significant impact on the longevity and durability of a safety razor blade.
What is its coating? Is it chrome, stainless platinum or stainless steel? How thick is it? Does it have a grinding finish?
Understanding the finishing techniques and blade materials can give you an insight into their longevity.
Some people might have a thick beard on their chin and cheeks, and very little hair on the neck, while the others might only have hair on their chin or above the lip.
In most cases, the more shaving area you need to shave, the higher the frequency of replacing blades will be.
Beard thickness is generally the number of hairs on each square inch. If your beard is thick, it is highly likely to change the blades out more frequently than those guys with a thinner beard.
It might be surprising that human hair is very strong and can be compared to copper wires. Thus, if you have coarse and thick hair follicles, it might cause the blade to dull faster than a fine and thin facial hair.
Shaving against or with the grain can play an important role in deciding the sharpness of your safety razor blade. It is often recommended to shave with the grain on your first past.
Otherwise, not only might the blades deteriorate more quickly but it can also cause a bit of irritation on your skin.
Just like any other products made of stainless steel, the combination of salt from the skin and water or humid in the air can eat away and break down the construction of safety razor blades.
As a result, rust or corrosion would make the metal flake off, thereby causing the blades to be jagged or blunt. Thus, storing in the right place and performing proper maintenance tasks can help extend the lifespan of your blades.
This last factor seems to be quite obvious to us. If you shave your beard on a daily basis, the blades are certainly going to dull much quicker than when you just shave every 2 or 3 days.
However, this does not mean that you can use the blades for weeks if your shaving frequency is only once a week. The reason is that there is a "time limit" on using a safety blade due to the impact of oxidization as mentioned above.
When it comes to the lifespan of the safety razor blades, it is often shorter than both electric and cartridge razors.
On average, you should and can expect to change a safety blade on a weekly basis or approximately every 5 - 6 shaves, plus or minus a few.
This estimation assumes that you are making 3 passes with a safety razor blade in every shaving session: with the grain, against the grain, and across the grain.
Of course, the exact number can vary from people to people as it depends on personal routine and other important factors mentioned earlier.
While most experienced wet shavers could get more than 5 haves with a safety razor blade, we do not recommend a beginner to go this long, even when the blades are still in a good condition to use.
This is mainly because using a dull blade can make it more difficult for a beginner to learn the basics and fundamental techniques of shaving such as applying pressure while making passes.
Here are several methods that you can apply to extend the lifespan of your safety razor blades:
It is widely accepted that dullness is often the result of oxidation while it is not being used. If water remains on the razors between shaves, rust or corrosion would make the metal flake off, thereby causing the blades to be jagged or blunt.
Thus, make sure to dry these units with a towel or blow dryer.
In addition to water, salt from the skin and oxygen in the air would also lead to the quick demise of your razor blades.
Thus, it is better to soak the razor in a vial or cup filled with some substances that can provide full protection from these damaging elements, including alcohol, mineral oil, baby oil, grape seed oil, barbicide or vinegar.
Simply run your safety razor blade against an old pair of blue jeans after each time you shave can help both dry and sharpen it. Thus, this simple tips might extend the lifespan of your blades up to one week.
The last thing you can do to reduce the replacement frequency is to store the safety razor blades in the right place.
As water is the major enemy, your bathroom - which is the most humid rooms in the house - should not an ideal area to store your safety razor. Instead, it is advisable to keep it in resealable bags and place inside a closed cabinet or drawer.
Or you can simply keep your blades in a dry area in your house.
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