Shaving is boring and can get expensive. Around 2005, I received a free Gillette razor with umpteen blades. Schick had discontinued the Diamond FX blade I liked so well and I looked at what was in my future. It went on the shelf unopened, and is still there. I started haunting second hand stores looking for old double edge razors. Probably have several dozen, from “like new” to “trash.” There is a learning curve to this. I did try a straight razor, very briefly. That proved to be more excitement than I can handle. Purchased a Merkel, a beautifully made razor with (in my opinion) horrible balance. I grew up shaving with Bic disposables, which may explain my sense of “razor balance”. Finally settled on and used a very nice old Gillette with an aluminum handle for several years.
Tried a couple made in Pakistan DE razors and they made mincemeat out of my face. Beautiful on the outside, the pins that hold the blade in alignment with the head were undersized allowing the blade to cock in the razor leaving corners hanging out. I’d tried Feather blades and they are one of the best, if not the best – but expensive for a double edged blade. I ran across their Feather razor, currently $15.82 and eligible for free shipping. I gave it a try. For me, it is as near perfection as I could hope for in a razor. Lightweight, and the balance is where I like it. Been using it for about 6 years and it is as good today as when it was new. Handled a couple drops to the floor and sink with no damage.
One of the coolest things about these razors are that the blades are standardized. I have blades from all over the world – Israel, South Korea, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, Russia … the list goes on. All fit and work perfectly in the Feather razor or any other quality double edge razor. Some blades are better than others, some last longer than others. Most are quite inexpensive. I have my favorites, but for a change of pace shuffle the blade deck on occasion and try something different. 100 blades for under $10 (and eligible for free shipping). Both Amazon and eBay are full “exotic” double edge blades. Even the packaging can be pretty cool.
The quality of the shave is equal to that of the Diamond FX I loved. After the initial shave, I splash water on my face and do a quick second pass. I shave daily, and while the life expectancy of the blades varies considerably, even between blades in the same package, a blade normally goes for close to 2 weeks before I replace it.
After learning to be careful when waving the razor around my nostrils, I rarely nick myself. Like, almost never. Every third day I’ll carefully wipe the edges of the blade by pinching it between 2 fingers. The soap scum buildup makes the blade act dull when it actually has quite a bit of life left in it. The Rainbow blade I’m currently using is on its third week. Pretty much everything is recyclable, the paper the blades are wrapped in and even the blades themselves.