What is the best cartridge/disposable razor system of all time?

Messages
6,285
Location
New Forest, England.
After regularly nicking myself after several years of untroubled use of my old Gillette Tech I went back to a Mach 3 a few months ago. Perhaps it was my ageing skin that was the problem. Smooth shaves, no nicks, very content. And the badger brushes are taking a well earned rest while my love affair with the Yaqi tuxedo knot continues. And my stocks of Palmolive and Arko soaps will probably see me out.
 
Messages
1,722
After regularly nicking myself after several years of untroubled use of my old Gillette Tech I went back to a Mach 3 a few months ago. Perhaps it was my ageing skin that was the problem. Smooth shaves, no nicks, very content. And the badger brushes are taking a well earned rest while my love affair with the Yaqi tuxedo knot continues. And my stocks of Palmolive and Arko soaps will probably see me out.
For me the Mach 3 is th best cartridge razor. I'm currently favouring it over DEs at the moment. Still using an Omega brush and Woolfat soap. Best of both worlds ;)

Similar to yourself @Fido have always found the Mach 3 to be a smooth & close shave. No complaints. Wish I still had my original handle from the late 90's.
 
OP
W
Messages
385
I have used the Mach 3 Glen_Lee and found it gave a good shave, but I personally found the shaving head a little large. I can vividly remember an article many years ago where Taylors Barber Shop in Jermyn Street were utilising the Mach 3 in preference to the single blade (cut throat as it was generically known); so it must have been considered a very good shave by them. I have recently tried the Gillette Blue II Slalom (35p a unit) and I have found them to be comparable to most other 2 / 3 blade disposables currently available. What I like about this particular version of the Gillette Blue II Slalom (which comes in a pack of 10) is that the head is very small and does not include any rubber or lubricating strips, which means that they are very versatile at getting into the hard to get at areas. I don't now tend to shave every day, so I need two passes, but the results are quite good. The shave, I feel would be even better, if there was a sturdy handle that these heads could be inserted into - does anyone know of any?
 
Messages
2,699
Location
UK
I have used the Mach 3 Glen_Lee and found it gave a good shave, but I personally found the shaving head a little large. I can vividly remember an article many years ago where Taylors Barber Shop in Jermyn Street were utilising the Mach 3 in preference to the single blade (cut throat as it was generically known); so it must have been considered a very good shave by them. I have recently tried the Gillette Blue II Slalom (35p a unit) and I have found them to be comparable to most other 2 / 3 blade disposables currently available. What I like about this particular version of the Gillette Blue II Slalom (which comes in a pack of 10) is that the head is very small and does not include any rubber or lubricating strips, which means that they are very versatile at getting into the hard to get at areas. I don't now tend to shave every day, so I need two passes, but the results are quite good. The shave, I feel would be even better, if there was a sturdy handle that these heads could be inserted into - does anyone know of any?
Blue 2 should be the same as a TracII/GII but I don't believe the head can be removed. There is quite a markup from disposable to a pack of 10 carts. You could buy the 100/70 packs of Ultrex blades off the bay...
 
Messages
66
Depende de cómo te guste afeitarte.

Para barbas duras y que nunca se atascan, tenemos el BIC METAL de 1990 fabricado en Grecia.



O la cortadora de césped WILKINSON HIDRO 5, la mejor para eliminar el generador de baba de jabón retráctil.





Mas barata es la Personna M5




En la gama de cuatro hojas tenemos la espada clásica Wilkinson (Quattro Titanium Precision) en sus versiones navaja y portacartuchos o la clásica Wilkinson con cuatro mangos metálicos.


PRECISIÓN WILKINSON


Estas versiones tienen cartuchos de cuatro hojas y algunas compatibles como qshave con más hojas.

Aqui algunas de las mas usadas..



 
Messages
2,699
Location
UK
Depende de cómo te guste afeitarte.

Para barbas duras y que nunca se atascan, tenemos el BIC METAL de 1990 fabricado en Grecia.



O la cortadora de césped WILKINSON HIDRO 5, la mejor para eliminar el generador de baba de jabón retráctil.





Mas barata es la Personna M5




En la gama de cuatro hojas tenemos la espada clásica Wilkinson (Quattro Titanium Precision) en sus versiones navaja y portacartuchos o la clásica Wilkinson con cuatro mangos metálicos.


PRECISIÓN WILKINSON


Estas versiones tienen cartuchos de cuatro hojas y algunas compatibles como qshave con más hojas.

Aqui algunas de las mas usadas..



Very true....
 
Messages
13
THE BEST: The ORIGINAL single blade Wilkinson Sword bonded cartridge.

I still remember how wonderful was the pleasure of shaving with one: smooth, sharp, close, and no blood. The blade could last a week or two. And they were inexpensive.

When it hit the stores in 1970, I promptly bought one. I don't think I ever used my Gillette adjustable razor again.

Then the Trac II pushed the Wilkinson from the store shelves. It was vastly inferior, not nearly as sharp or close, but at least it didn't swivel, like later razors.

The BIC Sensitive single blade disposable razor is a similar shaving experience to the Wilkinson. If you pull the plastic apart, you will see why: It is a similar bonded blade concept, with the plastic holding the blade firmly in place, eliminating hysteresis. However, the BIC blade is almost paper thin, and, once you remove it from the razor, bends almost as easily as foil. So this is different from the old Wilkinson. Because the BIC blade is so ridiculously thin, it stays sharp for a long time, but is susceptible to chips on the razor edge, making it harsh after awhile.

If you want a sense of what the old Wilkinson was like, just buy a BIC Sensitive single blade, and save yourself a lot of money buying NOS. However, the BIC disposables still are not as cheap as DE blades.

If BIC would sell the Sensitive as a removable cartridge with a cool looking handle, they might be able to overcome the "cheap" stigma. But 90+ percent of the shaving public has been brainwashed into believing more blades = a better, closer shave.

That's the other merit of the original Wilkinson: The bonded cartridge was absolutely the most beautiful cartridge razor ever made. And it was probably the best system for replacing cartridges in a snap.

As to the BIC Metal, yes, lots of folks say it is better than the BIC Sensitive, which is not the fastest razor around. I have been meaning to try it. It is probably better. And if I were inclined to use multiple blade cartridges, I would probably go with BIC titanium cartridges.

But I get fast, close shaves with no nicks and zero razor burn with my DE razor and blades. It's a big improvement over the 60s Gillette gear.
 
Messages
13
To belabor the obvious, I cannot say what the BEST cartridge/disposable razor of all time is -- because I have not tried ALL the cartridge/disposable razors ever made. After buying way too many Gillette, Schick, Personna and Dorco (the worst!) cartridges that were over-priced and so dull and irritating they wound up unused in the garbage, I largely gave up. Frankly, I was offended by the treatment of these corporations.

However, years ago I did find a delightful three-blade standard cartridge in China under the "Apache" label of Personna/ASR commonly for sale in department stores. They gave a sharp, close, comfortable shave and easily lasted a month. The package said the blades were ceramic coated. I am skeptical. I think because they were so cheap, Personna didn't want them eating into sales of their more expensive, new-patent razors.

They sure shaved like they were titanium coated. Except that the more expensive titanium blades (and the Personna titanium DE blades) weren't actually all that good. Why, I never determined, but there are different ways of applying titanium to blades, with greatly varying durability (Sharp Titanium vs Bolzano, for instance). But titanium nitride sputtering on blades is technically a ceramic. Also, I found consumers in China weren't well informed about things like titanium, platinum, or even Teflon. But they sure knew what ceramics are: they invented them.

Can anyone figure out the moral of the story?

Razor blade manufacturers are perfectly capable of producing an excellent cartridge razor, without using new patents, gimmicky handles, 5 blades, etc. They can do it using old cartridge designs and technology that has been around for years or decades. And they don't have to be expensive. But they don't, in part because P&G and Edgewell constitute a world-dominating oligopoly. And because corporations can make more money with clever, manipulative marketing and exclusive patents, than with competing on the basis of quality and price.

My memory is sketchy, but I think the orange Apache cartridges were about 30 yuan for five cartridges, or about 50 U.S. cents. And I think they were made in America, as were most/all of the Personna/ASR blades in China at the time. Personna has since been bought out by Edgewell; so much for competition.

I can see the potential appeal of cartridge razors: There is a lot of variability in quality of DE razors and razor blades, so a beginner can waste a lot of money, if he doesn't get good advice. Cartridges simplify that for a beginner, if you hit upon a good razor.
 
OP
W
Messages
385
Very true....
Hello Sabre
Can you translate the post you have commented on please. It seems a shame with the amount of effort gacelito has gone into with this post for many Brits not being able to understand it. Yes, at school in the late 60's early 70's, I did attend French lessons for one year but never really understood it (or indeed mastered it); the only phrase I can personally remember is "It's cold in here, isn't it?" and I have only been able to use this once in a restaurant in Bristol, but was totally flummoxed when the waitress actually thought I could speak French and started to converse in her natural tongue. Just the product of a secondary modern school education unfortunately.
I may even have gacelito's language complete incorrect, apologies in advance, but I look forward to your interpretation never the less.
regards
whitesix
 
Last edited:
OP
W
Messages
385
THE BEST: The ORIGINAL single blade Wilkinson Sword bonded cartridge.

I still remember how wonderful was the pleasure of shaving with one: smooth, sharp, close, and no blood. The blade could last a week or two. And they were inexpensive.

When it hit the stores in 1970, I promptly bought one. I don't think I ever used my Gillette adjustable razor again.

Then the Trac II pushed the Wilkinson from the store shelves. It was vastly inferior, not nearly as sharp or close, but at least it didn't swivel, like later razors.

The BIC Sensitive single blade disposable razor is a similar shaving experience to the Wilkinson. If you pull the plastic apart, you will see why: It is a similar bonded blade concept, with the plastic holding the blade firmly in place, eliminating hysteresis. However, the BIC blade is almost paper thin, and, once you remove it from the razor, bends almost as easily as foil. So this is different from the old Wilkinson. Because the BIC blade is so ridiculously thin, it stays sharp for a long time, but is susceptible to chips on the razor edge, making it harsh after awhile.

If you want a sense of what the old Wilkinson was like, just buy a BIC Sensitive single blade, and save yourself a lot of money buying NOS. However, the BIC disposables still are not as cheap as DE blades.

If BIC would sell the Sensitive as a removable cartridge with a cool looking handle, they might be able to overcome the "cheap" stigma. But 90+ percent of the shaving public has been brainwashed into believing more blades = a better, closer shave.

That's the other merit of the original Wilkinson: The bonded cartridge was absolutely the most beautiful cartridge razor ever made. And it was probably the best system for replacing cartridges in a snap.

As to the BIC Metal, yes, lots of folks say it is better than the BIC Sensitive, which is not the fastest razor around. I have been meaning to try it. It is probably better. And if I were inclined to use multiple blade cartridges, I would probably go with BIC titanium cartridges.

But I get fast, close shaves with no nicks and zero razor burn with my DE razor and blades. It's a big improvement over the 60s Gillette gear.
Great post(s) KMS Davis, thank you.
I will try the BIC sensitive.
I totally agree with your observation that "90+ percent of the shaving public has been brainwashed into believing more blades = a better, closer shave". I do not think that any more than two blades are really needed and also the actual shaving surface then becomes too large to get into the nooks and crannies', which leaves me personally with a very unsatisfactory shaving experience.
I also acknowledge and agree with your observations that "Razor blade manufacturers are perfectly capable of producing an excellent cartridge razor, without using new patents, gimmicky handles, 5 blades, etc. They can do it using old cartridge designs and technology that has been around for years or decades. And they don't have to be expensive. But they don't". My favourite cartridge razor being the Gillette Sensor (not the Sensor Excel), which provided me with a very good and quick shave for many years, is a good example of this.
Whilst off topic, which DE razor and blades do you use?
I set up this particular thread because of my total failure to get on with DE shaving after spending a small fortune purchasing all of the gear etc.
regards
whitesix
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,699
Location
UK
Hello Sabre
Can you translate the post you have commented on please. It seems a shame with the amount of effort gacelito has gone into with this post for many Brits not being able to understand it. Yes, at school in the late 60's early 70's, I did attend French lessons for one year but never really understood it (or indeed mastered it); the only phrase I can personally remember is "It's cold in here, isn't it?" and I have only been able to use this once in a restaurant in Bristol, but was totally flummoxed when the waitress actually thought I could speak French and started to converse in her natural tongue. Just the product of a secondary modern school education unfortunately.
I may even have gacelito's language complete incorrect, apologies in advance, but I look forward to your interpretation never the less.
regards
whitesix
I think I must just have been sarcastic...
 
Messages
13
Great post(s) KMS Davis, thank you.
I will try the BIC sensitive.
I totally agree with your observation that "90+ percent of the shaving public has been brainwashed into believing more blades = a better, closer shave". I do not think that any more than two blades are really needed and also the actual shaving surface then becomes too large to get into the nooks and crannies', which leaves me personally with a very unsatisfactory shaving experience.
I also acknowledge and agree with your observations that "Razor blade manufacturers are perfectly capable of producing an excellent cartridge razor, without using new patents, gimmicky handles, 5 blades, etc. They can do it using old cartridge designs and technology that has been around for years or decades. And they don't have to be expensive. But they don't". My favourite cartridge razor being the Gillette Sensor (not the Sensor Excel), which provided me with a very good and quick shave for many years, is a good example of this.
Whilst off topic, which DE razor and blades do you use?
I set up this particular thread because of my total failure to get on with DE shaving after spending a small fortune purchasing all of the gear etc.
regards
whitesix

Agreed.

Part of the problem, as others have observed, is that manufacturers like P&G and Edgewell put cheaper, duller blades in older model cartridges after introducing more expensive razors with more blades or some other gimmick. So the two or three blade cartridges that once were state of the art decades ago are now unpleasant to use. (They also buy up brands and put duller DE blades in the same packaging, often after moving the factory to a locale with cheaper manufacturing costs.)

I remember when Dorco proudly introduced their six-blade cartridge, the first in the world. I was there. All of South Korea rejoiced -- Korea is No. 1!

There are several things that were quite bizarre about this. One is that most Korean men shave with an electric razor, and then only once or twice a week. (Same with Japanese men, which makes the whole "Feather is the sharpest in the world" an exercise in pointless macho pride.) I only ran into a few tucks of blue and white Dorco DE blades (and a DE razor) ONCE in my three years in Korea, and then only in a remote corner of a dusty hardware store in an unfashionable part of town. Most seemed to think that shaving with a blade, especially a DE blade, was only for peasants (same in China).

Another is that after trying several Dorco cartridge razors with various blade permutations, I concluded their motto should be: "Ever striving for mediocrity, but never quite arriving" (Semper certando ad mediocritatem, sed non satis perveniens). Their five-blade razor was just another dull version of their four-blade razor and their three-blade razor and their two-blade razor. But, Koreans are convinced, if it is more expensive, it must be better. If they were the only razors in the world, I could use them. I never plunked down a pocket of Won for their ridiculously priced six-blade razor. Adding more dull blades does not a better razor make.

But the biggest reason I was not impressed by Dorco was that their quality control was non-existent. Literally.

I bought a package of 10 triple blade razors and could not shave with any of them. This is not hyperbole. I literally could not shave a single whisker off with any of them. Puzzled, I tried running my finger lengthwise along the razor edge. Nothing happened. No blood. It didn't feel at all sharp - just strips of thin metal.

Not a single one of the three blades on any of the 10 razors had been sharpened at all. None. They had all gone from one end of the production line to the other: Into the plastic bags, into the cartons, onto the trucks, into the stores, onto the store shelves, into the hands of Korean consumers, without a single person ever complaining once.

But, hey, Korea makes the best razors in the world, because they have six blades!

And whilst off the topic (what some might call a "rant"), to answer your question, I use a great many different DE razors, old, new, cheap, pricey, rare, plebian, but only one at a time. The list would be too long to inventory. I have used so many different razor blades over the years that I've lost count, well over 50, perhaps as many as 100. Before you say that's impossible, they don't even make 100 different razor blades, consider that I lived in India for several years, and, yes, they make a whole lot of different blades there (SuperMax is just the tip of the iceberg/monsoon) -- why, I don't know, because after trying most of them, I concluded that almost all of them aren't very good. And then there are the incredibly atrocious Chinese blades (mostly), although some are quite good, of course.

However, I can answer that I use the Sharp Swiss Titanium blade most of the time, along with the Treet 7 Day Platinum and Treet carbon Dura Sharp blades. I also like the Laser Ultra Triple Coated blades and the Derby Extra blades, which I prefer over their pricier permutations (there is a reason why some people get lots of great shaves with Derby Extras and others only get one). I also have BICs, which are, indeed, extremely sharp and smooth. But I generally prefer the feel of the Sharp Titanium blades.

And yet there are still blades I have not tried, including tucks in a cardboard box somewhere on the back of a shelf that were included with razors I ordered, with names such as "Black Widow," not to mention some intriguing vintage blades (Don Juan!). That box also has several tucks of genuine Feathers, unopened; I will take them for a spin again, one day, perhaps when I run out of Titaniums.

Life is never boring as long as there are new blades to try. But most of the blades are. I received a stock of a new blade yesterday that I kept seeing glowing reviews of, and tried it out today. It only lasted half a shave because, while it was smooth, it did not provide a close shave even in an aggressive razor, and in a mild razor was useless.

I will try it again tomorrow. Certainly, every blade deserves at least three tries. But this is absolutely the last new razor blade brand I am buying. Period. The other new blade I got recently is good and useable. People all over the world rave about it. But it is not as good as my top three. When I use these so-so blades, I really have to wonder what people are comparing them to.

However, one's experience with a blade is highly contingent on one's prep, along with the razor, whether it is aggressive or mild, and what blade bevel works best with it. So I shouldn't be too judgmental of others.

But, after too many years wandering in the desert, I suggest that most people would do well to pick a good razor -- such as a Merkur, Baili, Long Comb, Tech, Fatip, etc., a good blade -- such as the Sharp Titanium or Treet 7 Day Platinum or Dura Sharp, and just shave and get on with it. And never, ever use a DE in the shower.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking with it.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,699
Location
UK
Agreed.

Part of the problem, as others have observed, is that manufacturers like P&G and Edgewell put cheaper, duller blades in older model cartridges after introducing more expensive razors with more blades or some other gimmick. So the two or three blade cartridges that once were state of the art decades ago are now unpleasant to use. (They also buy up brands and put duller DE blades in the same packaging, often after moving the factory to a locale with cheaper manufacturing costs.)

I remember when Dorco proudly introduced their six-blade cartridge, the first in the world. I was there. All of South Korea rejoiced -- Korea is No. 1!

There are several things that were quite bizarre about this. One is that most Korean men shave with an electric razor, and then only once or twice a week. (Same with Japanese men, which makes the whole "Feather is the sharpest in the world" an exercise in pointless macho pride.) I only ran into a few tucks of blue and white Dorco DE blades (and a DE razor) ONCE in my three years in Korea, and then only in a remote corner of a dusty hardware store in an unfashionable part of town. Most seemed to think that shaving with a blade, especially a DE blade, was only for peasants (same in China).

Another is that after trying several Dorco cartridge razors with various blade permutations, I concluded their motto should be: "Ever striving for mediocrity, but never quite arriving" (Semper certando ad mediocritatem, sed non satis perveniens). Their five-blade razor was just another dull version of their four-blade razor and their three-blade razor and their two-blade razor. But, Koreans are convinced, if it is more expensive, it must be better. If they were the only razors in the world, I could use them. I never plunked down a pocket of Won for their ridiculously priced six-blade razor. Adding more dull blades does not a better razor make.

But the biggest reason I was not impressed by Dorco was that their quality control was non-existent. Literally.

I bought a package of 10 triple blade razors and could not shave with any of them. This is not hyperbole. I literally could not shave a single whisker off with any of them. Puzzled, I tried running my finger lengthwise along the razor edge. Nothing happened. No blood. It didn't feel at all sharp - just strips of thin metal.

Not a single one of the three blades on any of the 10 razors had been sharpened at all. None. They had all gone from one end of the production line to the other: Into the plastic bags, into the cartons, onto the trucks, into the stores, onto the store shelves, into the hands of Korean consumers, without a single person ever complaining once.

But, hey, Korea makes the best razors in the world, because they have six blades!

And whilst off the topic (what some might call a "rant"), to answer your question, I use a great many different DE razors, old, new, cheap, pricey, rare, plebian, but only one at a time. The list would be too long to inventory. I have used so many different razor blades over the years that I've lost count, well over 50, perhaps as many as 100. Before you say that's impossible, they don't even make 100 different razor blades, consider that I lived in India for several years, and, yes, they make a whole lot of different blades there (SuperMax is just the tip of the iceberg/monsoon) -- why, I don't know, because after trying most of them, I concluded that almost all of them aren't very good. And then there are the incredibly atrocious Chinese blades (mostly), although some are quite good, of course.

However, I can answer that I use the Sharp Swiss Titanium blade most of the time, along with the Treet 7 Day Platinum and Treet carbon Dura Sharp blades. I also like the Laser Ultra Triple Coated blades and the Derby Extra blades, which I prefer over their pricier permutations (there is a reason why some people get lots of great shaves with Derby Extras and others only get one). I also have BICs, which are, indeed, extremely sharp and smooth. But I generally prefer the feel of the Sharp Titanium blades.

And yet there are still blades I have not tried, including tucks in a cardboard box somewhere on the back of a shelf that were included with razors I ordered, with names such as "Black Widow," not to mention some intriguing vintage blades (Don Juan!). That box also has several tucks of genuine Feathers, unopened; I will take them for a spin again, one day, perhaps when I run out of Titaniums.

Life is never boring as long as there are new blades to try. But most of the blades are. I received a stock of a new blade yesterday that I kept seeing glowing reviews of, and tried it out today. It only lasted half a shave because, while it was smooth, it did not provide a close shave even in an aggressive razor, and in a mild razor was useless.

I will try it again tomorrow. Certainly, every blade deserves at least three tries. But this is absolutely the last new razor blade brand I am buying. Period. The other new blade I got recently is good and useable. People all over the world rave about it. But it is not as good as my top three. When I use these so-so blades, I really have to wonder what people are comparing them to.

However, one's experience with a blade is highly contingent on one's prep, along with the razor, whether it is aggressive or mild, and what blade bevel works best with it. So I shouldn't be too judgmental of others.

But, after too many years wandering in the desert, I suggest that most people would do well to pick a good razor -- such as a Merkur, Baili, Long Comb, Tech, Fatip, etc., a good blade -- such as the Sharp Titanium or Treet 7 Day Platinum or Dura Sharp, and just shave and get on with it. And never, ever use a DE in the shower.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking with it.
Oh look Aliens...
 
Messages
1,471
Location
Not too far from LHR
Hello Sabre
Can you translate the post you have commented on please...

I may even have gacelito's language complete incorrect, apologies in advance
regards
whitesix

Hey Whitesix I've just stumbled on this thread. Gacelito is (writing in) Spanish. His name means "little gazelle" literally, or "graceful one" figuratively. Here's what he said...

It depends on how you like to shave.

For tough beards that never clog, we have the 1990 BIC METAL from Greece.

Or the WILKINSON HIDRO 5 lawnmower, the best for eliminating the retractable lube strip.

Cheaper is the Personna M5

In the four-blade range we have the classic Wilkinson sword (Quattro Titanium Precision) in its razor and cartridge holder versions or the classic Wilkinson with four metal handles.


WILKINSON PRECISION

These versions have four-blade cartridges and some compatible ones like qshave with more blades.
 
Top Bottom