Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Evaluate a Razor for Purchase

You see a razor advertised on line or you read about it in a shaving forum. You think it might be right for you, or you're tempted to try it. Here are the general steps to decide if such a purchase might be a good idea or a bone-headed move:

1) First you must know your needs or desires. Do you have sensitive skin? Do you shave daily, on alternate days, less frequently, or all three on occasion? Are you looking for an all-purpose razor, or just for a specialty use such as a third-pass finishing razor, or a first-pass mow-the-lawn type razor?

If you know these things, you will have an idea of the razor capacity that you need, the versatility you will expect of the razor, and the degree of harshness that you can tolerate.

2) Then you have to sleuth out the qualities of the razor in question to see if its design will actually meet your needs (and if you don't review this article [by clicking here] and burn into your mind these qualities and why they're important, then your quest will be determined by luck). You do this through the following processes:
  • Reading various seller descriptions of the razor. Some sellers (unfortunately few) provide some objective data such as an accurately-measured blade-bar gap. Others will occasionally compare shave-head characteristics of one razor to those of a more-commonly-known razor. Weight and handle length will often be published (though these are relatively less important to the primary characteristics of capacity and harshness).
  • Studying pictures of the razor, particularly those with blades installed. Close-up photos of razor heads with blades mounted can give you important visual clues about blade reveal, blade exposure, and blade-bar gap (if a straight-bar razor). These in combination will help you understand the two key characteristics of a given razor, which are shaving capacity and harshness of shave. (It's sad when otherwise excellent close ups are printed but with no blade in the razor!)
  • Read user/purchaser reviews. They may be contradictory, illogical, even silly, but the more you are able to read, the more you may get a sense of the actual design characteristics, and thereby, the true character of the razor in question.
Strangely enough, it has taken me most of the time writing these shavelikegrandad blogs -- that is, about six months -- to ruminate and eventually come to these simple, obvious, and extremely-useful conclusions.

Ironically, with the first new razor that I bought after finding my father's old DE Gillette, I got extremely lucky and blundered into the purchase of a razor that was nearly perfect for me. But I didn't know it, and subsequently further blundered through the purchase of eight additional razors, all of which were not nearly as right for me as that first buy. The tenth razor that I bought, consciously, using this general process, may be the only razor that is better for me than that first blind-luck acquisition. This last razor is also likely to be the final one that I buy.

I hope you can use these steps and other (selected) information in this blog to have the same ideal results with your next razor purchase.

Happy shaving!

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