Penny Shaver

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IMG_0426_Penny_Shaver.jpg
Just arrived this morning: Penny Shaver from AP Shave Co in Canada which has single blade carts. But it cost more than a penny: The handle with one cart plus 4 refills was $32.94 CAD including $8.95 CAD shipping which at Paypal exchange rates translated to £19.96. However the carts are cheap if 100 is bought. This could be yet another missing link between multi-blade Carts and DE/SE single blade. I already have a Gillette Guard (India) single blade razor and carts so I'll be interested in doing a comparison. Stay tuned.
 
Is this spam or just heads-up so the rest of us won't get screwed?

I would never consider such a thing.
If you are referring to my post, why do you think it's spam?

AP Shave Co is a respected maker of shaving brushes and branched out some two years ago with the Penny Shaver. Since then the main brickbat I've seen is, "Why get a Penny Shaver when a Gillette Guard is a lot cheaper? So ... an imminent comparative review. Re. getting screwed: 100 Penny Shaver single blade cartridges cost £33 plus shipping and the blurb claims 10 shaves per cartridge. Not exactly screwed. Stay tuned.
 
I'm interested in hearing about how it shaves!!!
All I've done so far is unpack it and hold it, I'll be having my first shave with it tomorrow: The Penny Shaver is Fusion compatible and anyone who has used a Fusion will be in familiar territory. The Gillette Guard is a good razor and provided me with comfortable shaves. But I'm not sure about the durability of the handle which appears to be rather flimsy.
 
If you are referring to my post, why do you think it's spam?

AP Shave Co is a respected maker of shaving brushes and branched out some two years ago with the Penny Shaver. Since then the main brickbat I've seen is, "Why get a Penny Shaver when a Gillette Guard is a lot cheaper? So ... an imminent comparative review. Re. getting screwed: 100 Penny Shaver single blade cartridges cost £33 plus shipping and the blurb claims 10 shaves per cartridge. Not exactly screwed. Stay tuned.
I can easily get ten shaves per blade, and free shipping.

Screenshot 2024-06-18 203749.png
 
All I've done so far is unpack it and hold it, I'll be having my first shave with it tomorrow: The Penny Shaver is Fusion compatible and anyone who has used a Fusion will be in familiar territory. The Gillette Guard is a good razor and provided me with comfortable shaves. But I'm not sure about the durability of the handle which appears to be rather flimsy.
The handle looks very similar to a Gillette Fusion 5 handle, with a Mach 3 type release button. I would imagine that Gillette lawyers would be all over a 3rd party Fusion copy that was Fusion compatible, so my guess is that its actually made by Gillette, with material quality reduced to that price point ?
 
@TobyC It looks like you are missing the point: The Penny Shaver's main marketing targets are multi-blade cartridge shavers and new wet shavers who are findiong the going hard if not impossible. I know several people who made the switch from multi-blade to DE and then soon went back to cartridges because they just couldn't master the technique. Personally, I think the Penny Shaver is a step in the right direction while for some DE just doesn;t cut it, pun intended.
 
This is the cartridge forum ... and that's a cartridge razor. Opening discussion of a new innovation for the world's most popular shaving system is pretty on-topic.

I've had a nose at these a couple of times as I've been very happy indeed with the Gillette Guard, particularly as a "better than (fully) disposable" for when travelling*. Last time I was away, I clean forgot a new head for my Guard and ended up being very pleasantly surprised by just how good the plebian Blue II was.

I digress ... I do.

Yeah, these would appear to be everything in the spirit of the Guard but in the (somewhat larger) Fusion format. I'm certainly interested in hearing thoughts on this product, as I've found the Skin Guard (two blades) to be quite horrible for my face.

* I actually have a vintage Wilkinson Sword Traveller now for tavelling. It's a fixed II format where the blades are stored in the handle. I've left the vintage Wilkinson Sword cartridges in there rather than replacing with modern as they really were amazing.

Anyway, onwards ...

Regarding technique, having given the various 3,4,5 and beyond blade systems a go while I've been a traditional shaver I'd say that technique should follow traditional shaving. Follow your face map with long over-lapping strokes, aiming for reduction and second pass for pick-up, third if you really must. I like good soap and a brush, even with cartridges.

Have fun!
 
I like the Fusion 5, but find they can really dig into tough stubble - good for everyday shaving, but not great if it has grown for a few day.

My overall technique now is to do a very light DE shave and finish off the difficult areas like adams apple with the Fusion 5. The back edging blade on the Fusion 5 is better than anything else for getting that last bit high up under the nostrils.
 
Penny-Guard.jpg
And so the promised comparison and I'll start with a brickbat and a bouquet.

AP Shave Co states on their Penny Shaver web site that the Penny Shaver blades are extra sharp so they last longer and they are not kidding. They say to be careful and not press for the first few shaves. But the spring in the pivot on the cartridge is quite strong so the razor has to be pressed to get it to work. Personally I recommend not using the pivot for the first shaves with a new cartridge and using the wrist to pivot as we do with DE. Gillette does better with the Guard and the pivot is very slack and works without pressing.

On with the shave:

The Gillette Guard works like any other cartridge razor, sharp and with feedback and I didn't get any nicks at all. The cartridge is placed on the handle by squeezing the prongs on the neck together. If in the course of the shave the neck is held as I do there is a danger that due to that squeeze the cartridge will fall off although that didn't happen to me. I got a BBS with two passes wtg and atg. Overall, I got the claimed seven shaves per cartridge.

In my first shave with the Penny Shaver I made my initial stroke down my sideburn area and got no feedback at all. So I ran a finger down the channel in the lather to see if it was actually cutting hair and found an almost BBS. It was that smooth. And so rather carelessly I embarked on a speed shave and got two nicks on my chin. Refer to my first paragraph re. blade sharpness. In the following shaves I treated the Panny Shaver with respect as I do with DE. Comfortable shaves but I needed to watch out for nicks due to the sharp blades. Overall, I'm still on the first cartridge and done seven shaves and It's still going strong. I tghink I will get the claimed 10 shaves and more.

Both razors have a leading comb which is similar to the Nick-Stop Technology on the Supply SE. On the Gillette Guard this works very well and achieves near shaving perfection. But the comb on the Penny Shaver is possibly compromised by the sharp blades and doesn't work very well. I managed to shave without nicks in all the shaves after the first but I had to be careful to keep my skin taut.

Weights

The all plastic Gillette Guard with cartridge is about the same weight as the yellow Bic single blade disposable - very light. The metal with plastic grips Penny Shaver with cartridge is identical to a Gillette Fusion non-orbital.

My verdict

Six of one and half a dozen of the other. I mainly use a cartridge razor for rare tidying up after a DE shave or when I need to get a move on and have a quick shave. Most of the time I'm on DE. So I'm going for the Gillette Guard. However if I was a cartridge user and wanted to stay with it but get rid of multi-blade the Penny Shaver is the obvious choice.

Lastly, we need to consider the longevity of the systems. The Gillette Guard is only on sale by Gillette in India and we don't know how long they will be available to us in U.K. via ebay. I hear that Gillette is already progressing to a twin-blade version and a price increase. The Penny Shaver has been going now for over two years and is a product of respected shaving brush maker AP Shave Co.

As usual YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary.
 
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And so the promised comparison and I'll start with a brickbat and a bouquet.

AP Shave Co states on their Penny Shaver web site that the Penny Shaver blades are extra sharp so they last longer and they are not kidding. They say to be careful and not press for the first few shaves. But the spring in the pivot on the cartridge is quite strong so the razor has to be pressed to get it to work. Personally I recommend not using the pivot for the first shaves with a new cartridge and using the wrist to pivot as we do with DE. Gillette does better with the Guard and the pivot is very slack and works without pressing.

On with the shave:

The Gillette Guard works like any other cartridge razor, sharp and with feedback and I didn't get any nicks at all. The cartridge is placed on the handle by squeezing the prongs on the neck together. If in the course of the shave the neck is held as I do there is a danger that due to that squeeze the cartridge will fall off although that didn't happen to me. I got a BBS with two passes wtg and atg. Overall, I got the claimed seven shaves per cartridge.

In my first shave with the Penny Shaver I made my initial stroke down my sideburn area and got no feedback at all. So I ran a finger down the channel in the lather to see if it was actually cutting hair and found an almost BBS. It was that smooth. And so rather carelessly I embarked on a speed shave and got two nicks on my chin. Refer to my first paragraph re. blade sharpness. In the following shaves I treated the Panny Shaver with respect as I do with DE. Comfortable shaves but I needed to watch out for nicks due to the sharp blades. Overall, I'm still on the first cartridge and done seven shaves and It's still going strong. I tghink I will get the claimed 10 shaves and more.

Both razors have a leading comb which is similar to the Nick-Stop Technology on the Supply SE. On the Gillette Guard this works very well and achieves near shaving perfection. But the comb on the Penny Shaver is possibly compromised by the sharp blades and doesn't work very well. I managed to shave without nicks in all the shaves after the first but I had to be careful to keep my skin taut.

Weights

The all plastic Gillette Guard with cartridge is about the same weight as the yellow Bic single blade disposable - very light. The metal with plastic grips Penny Shaver with cartridge is identical to a Gillette Fusion non-orbital.

My verdict

Six of one and half a dozen of the other. I mainly use a cartridge razor for rare tidying up after a DE shave or when I need to get a move on and have a quick shave. Most of the time I'm on DE. So I'm going for the Gillette Guard. However if I was a cartridge user and wanted to stay with it but get rid of multi-blade the Penny Shaver is the obvious choice.

Lastly, we need to consider the longevity of the systems. The Gillette Guard is only on sale by Gillette in India and we don't know how long they will be available to us in U.K. via ebay. I hear that Gillette is already progressing to a twin-blade version and a price increase. The Penny Shaver has been going now for over two years and is a product of respected shaving brush maker AP Shave Co.

As usual YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary.
Nice write up.
 
The Gillette Guard is only on sale by Gillette in India and we don't know how long they will be available to us in U.K. via ebay. I hear that Gillette is already progressing to a twin-blade version and a price increase.
They have a three bladed version of the Guard out already, the Gillette Guard 3. It uses a different blade attachment mechanism and is a fair bit more expensive.
 
far to expensive for what it is.
I understand the purpose & i understand some will buy it.
But the price is a no no for me.
I don’t get the benefit over other cartridge razors and iv seen others with one blade.
The main point is who makes the blade,
Not a criticism on the op
 
far to expensive for what it is.
I understand the purpose & i understand some will buy it.
But the price is a no no for me.
I don’t get the benefit over other cartridge razors and iv seen others with one blade.
The main point is who makes the blade,
Not a criticism on the op
Penny Shaver - 100 carts - $55 CAD - £32 GBP approx plus shipping. £19.50 GBP approx including shipping to start for the Penny Shaver handle and 5 carts. But if you're currently shaving with a famous 5 blade razor you perhaps don't need the Penny Shaver handle. But it's nice to have the full Penny Shaver system.

Gillette Guard - £6.99 GBP for the handle and 19 carts on ebay, seller named engraving-world. For as long as it's available.
 
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