As you will probably be aware of the UK men’s shaving market is dominated by three big players -Gillete (owned by US giant Proctor and Gamble) and British brands Wilkinson Sword and King of Shaves (the brainchild of likeable entrepreneur Will King).
All three of these companies specialise in providing men with easy to use multi bladed cartridge razor systems, and in Gillette’s case, these products are backed and promoted with billionaire dollar marketing campaigns.
Thankfully there is still a market for traditional double edge safety razors, and its growing as more men get fed up with the increasing cost of cartridge razor blades. A recent study has found the annual cost of shaving with a Gillette Power Fusion, new cartridges and all, is an eye-watering £85.37.
But getting the message to the masses that double edge shaving is not only cheaper in the long run, but also much better for the skin, is a difficult one as the mainstream press favour the Gillette Power Fusion over the Merkur 34C and the Hydro 5 over the Edwin Jagger DE89.
Well that was until we contacted The Sun Newspaper journalist David Firth, who runs the highly popular Tried and Test section on The Sun website. David had previously tested out wet razors from the “big three” brands to see which was the best.
To our delight and slight surprise, he agreed to test three of our top selling safety razors – the Merkur 38c Barberpole, Parker 94R and The Bluebeards Revenge ‘Scimitar’ (which has graced the likes of the Daily Mail, Loaded and GQ).
So what did David think to the razors we sent him?
“My favourite of the three,” he said. David praised its balance, control and grip. “The diagonal thread design on the pole helps you keep a solid grip and I also like that you change the blade by simply unscrewing the base, rather than having to disassemble the whole thing. A great piece of kit,” he added. Price: £39.99. Buy here.
“The big plus-point with the Parker is the grip – thick, diamond-shaped ridges help keep this lodged in your hand no matter how much cream or water is knocking about,” explained David. He added that he liked the light weight of the razor; but found the short pole a little fiddly during the shave. Price £19.99. Buy here.
The Bluebeards Revenge ‘Scimitar’
David loved the look of the Scimitar. “It does look lovely, particularly with the laser-etched Bluebeards Revenge skull and cross bones logo on the razor head. As with the other two – it does give a great shave,” he said. Price £34.99. Buy here.
Overall, David loved the theatre of double edge shaving. “You splash your face with warm water, apply a pre-shave cream to help the blade glide, then apply the shaving cream all frothed up with an old-school brush to exfoliate a bit and lift up your bristles. And then you can shave. It takes time but it’s a lot of fun,” he explained.
In conclusion, David said: “If you follow all the appropriate hints and tips on how to use double-edged blade razors properly – you can find loads of videos on YouTube – you will get the best shave of your life.”
Thanks for taking the double edge shaving test David, and for helping to bring such as a cool method shaving back in to the media spotlight. You can follow David on Twitter at @davefirth.
Read his full review by clicking here.
What do you think think to David’s comments? Let us know by commenting below.
Ladies give their men the James Bond treatment with a close shave – Retailer reports bumper female sales of cut throat razors
Woman make up 73% of cut throat razor sales since Skyfall DVD release, with two-thirds planning to use the tools to give their man the best shave of his life
Women are getting more hands on with their men following the saucy shaving scene in the recent James Bond film release of Skyfall.
The newest in the Bond series, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 18th February and is available on the Sky store, sees actress Naomie Harris take control of the blade to give 007, AKA Daniel Craig, the best shave of his life with a cut throat razor, uttering the words; ‘sometimes the old ways are the best’.
This sexy scene has inspired women all over the world to pick up a cut throat razor and do the job themselves, James Bond style. The Shaving Shack, the UK’s leading online retailer of premium shaving products, found that sales of their cut throat razors had tripled within five days of the Skyfall DVD/Blue-ray release, with women taking on a whopping 73% of these sales.
This unusual trend led to the men’s grooming company conducting an email survey of these female customers. They surveyed 1,005 women and found that two thirds (66%) of these were intending to use the tools themselves to give their other half the best shave of his life.
And Scottish lasses are leading this trend, with 167 out of 220 Scottish customers surveyed (76%) intending to give their own Bond a close shave.
English ladies took second place, with 445 out of the 666 (67%) surveyed planning on carrying out a cut throat shave, followed by Welsh women (50%) and Northern Irish (43%). Thirty-eight per cent of women from outside of the UK plan to use the shaving weapons on their man.
The company has attributed this trend to the release of Skyfall with Miss Moneypenny’s take charge moment, inspiring ladies to give their man the James Bond treatment.
Nick Gibbens, brand manager at The Shaving Shack, said: “It’s great to see more women taking control of their partner’s grooming and who wouldn’t want to recreate the shaving scene from Skyfall?
“I’m sure couples are still feeling the love after Valentine’s Day and for men, it’s nice to be able to sit back and let someone else do the hard work.
“Skyfall saw Bond return to his Scottish roots and perhaps this is why more ladies from Scotland than any other country surveyed are keen to take control of the razor.
“Shaving with a cut throat razor is certainly one of life’s pleasures as it will give you the closest possible shave. But it does take time to master the technique and you’ll certainly need a steady hand and plenty of practice.”
Women need not cut corners – or chins – when shaving their men, as The Shaving Shack have put together a handy how to film to help these women give their men the best possible cut throat shave.
You can also watch the video at: http://youtu.be/qMVAhDqPbv0
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact: Nick Gibbens on telephone 01752 898191 or email email@example.com.
About The Shaving Shack:
The Shaving Shack is one of the UK’s leading online retailers of high quality wet shaving accessories. The firm stocks high end razors, shaving brushes, double edge razor blades, shaving creams, soaps, bowls, pre-shave lotions and gels, alum bocks and aftershave lotions.
More information can be found at http://www.shaving-shack.com.
One in six motorists admit to shaving while driving, according to a new survey.
The survey, carried out by road safety charity Brake and insurance firm Direct Line, found drivers using their cars for work were most likely to be offenders.
Of those who used a vehicle for work, 17% said they shaved whilst at the wheel compared with a figure of 14% for non-work drivers.
We would like to highlight to all our customers of the dangers of drink-shaving and suggest they keep their grooming routines confined to the bathroom.
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shaving retailer reports sharp increase in cut throat sales after 007 gets the shave of his life
The Shaving Shack, the UK’s leading online retailer of premium shaving products, has attributed the latest James Bond movie for a whopping 405% increase in sales of cut throat razors.
During a scene in Skyfall, British actress Naomie Harris gives 007, played by Daniel Craig, a close shave using a cut throat razor, whispering in his ear “sometimes the old ways are the best” as she performs the shave.
And The Shaving Shack says this intimate shaving scene is the reason for the dramatic sales surge over the last five days.
The online retailer has also seen a 123% increase in web traffic since the film was released in the UK on October 26. Traffic from Internet searches for “cut throat razor” and “straight razor” have soared by a staggering 735% over the last five days, the firm added.
Nick Gibbens, The Shaving Shack’s Brand Director, believes Bond’s legendary style and iconic status have inspired men to try out a new method of wet shaving.
“Bond fans have an emotional attachment to 007, they love his Aston Martin cars, Omega watches and dinner suits. So it comes as no surprise that they have jumped on his love for cut throat razors.
“These luxury, old-school razors range in price from around £60 up to £300 so it’s fair to say that Bond fans are spending big to ensure they look as clean cut as 007.”
But Bond fans that can’t splash out up to £300 on a razor are instead opting for a cut-price shavette – a close relative to the cut throat razor with the difference being that the blades can be changed. Sales of shavettes on The Shaving Shack website have risen by 509% since the release of Skyfall, with bumper sales of the budget £9.99 Bluebeards Revenge Shavette.
The Shaving Shack says it’s delighted to see an increasing number of men ditching the multi-bladed cartridge razor in favour of a straight but they are also keen to point out the increased complexity of a cut throat shave.
“Shaving with a cut throat razor is certainly one of life’s pleasures as it will give you the closest possible shave. But it does take time to master the technique and you’ll certainly need a steady hand and plenty of practice,” said Mr Gibbens.
“We strongly advise that all men take the time to read up on the correct technique.”
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact: Nick Gibbens on telephone 01752 898191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Shaving Shack:
The Shaving Shack is one of the UK’s leading online retailers of high quality wet shaving accessories. The firm stocks high end razors, shaving brushes, double edge razor blades, shaving creams, soaps, bowls, pre-shave lotions and gels, alum bocks and aftershave lotions. Leading brand names featured on the website include The Bluebeards Revenge, Merkur, Cyril Salter, DR Harris, Tabac, Truefitt and Hill, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Kent and Parker.
More information can be found at http://www.shaving-shack.com.
The increasing cost of cartridge razor blades has been a grave concern for millions of men all over the globe.
And now Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have expressed their concern over the cost of shaving. So much so that three of their MPs have backed a Commons call for the pricing to be looked at.
The Early Day Motion notes “the exorbitant increase in the retail price of men’s razor blade cartridges where in three years the price has increased in some cases by almost 100%”.
The three MPs, East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell, South Antrim MP Willie McCrea and David Simpson, have called on the Office of Fair Trading and consumer bodies to investigate why prices so are so high.
They said “it has been reported that the production costs per cartridge are in pence, while marketing, packaging and profiteering are resulting in margins of around a 1,000%, with an eight-cartridge pack currently retailing at many outlets at approximately £22″.
Here at The Shaving Shack we agree that the cost of cartridge blades is something that needs to be addressed, but there is an easy solution guys – change your shaving habits and ditch the overpriced cartridge razor. Opt instead for a double edge safety razor and if you’re feeling really adventurous, a straight or cut throat razor (as it’s more commonly referred to).
Not only will both types of razor give you a better quality of shave, they are also much cheaper in the long run.
A lot of men are simply unaware over the financial benefits of using a DE razor instead of a cartridge, so I thought it would be interesting to commission a new report and treat the exercise as an investment decision.
I spoke to leading business author and wet shaving enthusiast Andrew Wilson, who took time out of his busy schedule to look at the subject in detail.
And this is what he found:
“If you assume you buy a reasonable DE razor for £50 and a shaving brush for £35, shaving soap for £9 and just buy one blade for 20 pence, your upfront costs are about £94.20. To buy a “typical” cartridge razor, some foam and 1 blade costs you £17.86. So in upfront costs you need to spend £76.34 more on a DE razor.
“Now if you look at the annual renewal costs of each of these types of shaving you find that the DE method costs about £20.10 a year if you shave 6 times a week and change your blade after 4 shaves, and use half a shaving soap a year. The “typical” cartridge razor comes in at £100.22 a year. This assumes you get 10 shaves per blade and you shave 6 times a week. It assumes you have to buy a new razor every three years and that you buy 4 cans of foam a year. (Altogether not unrealistic)
“This means that each year that you shave with DE, you save £80.12. So is this a worthwhile investment. If you assume inflation at 3% and discount the cash flow over 20 years, that £76.34 investment is worth over £1,000 (Net present value) to you in today’s money! Or an Internal rate of return (IRR) of over 105%.
“Basically if you were a private equity business and this was an investment deal, the project would be a go.”
So guys please, please bin the multi-bladed cartridge razor and invest in some decent shaving equipment that is not just going to give you a closer and more comfortable shave (here is why), but also save you hundreds of pounds.
Change your shaving habits today….
The RazorPit Blade Sharpener has made a “6 of the best men’s bathroom gadgets” feature on The Sun website.
Sun journalist David Firth was full of praise for the wonder product that is now available to buy on The Shaving Shack.
The RazorPit, which uses a unique and patented friction technology to clean and sharpen your razor blades, was described as a “neat addition to your bathroom”.
“Even the very best, most expensive blades tend to dull dramatically after just a handful of uses, mainly due to a build-up of gunk and other bits of your face in between the thin strips of metal. No matter how much you rinse your razor, you just can’t shift it,” said David.
He added: “But this gizmo does a great job. Stick a bit foam on the surface, push your razor across it four times and then rinse both clean. And it really does make a difference – a new blade I put on is now a good ten shaves in and is still cutting beautifully.”
So what are you waiting for? If you want to make your razor blades last longer and save lots of pennies in the process, then the RazorPit is the product for you.
The RazorPit retails on The Shaving Shack for just £14.99 – £25% off the RRP.
Three popular Shaving Shack products have been nominated for a coveted men’s grooming award.
The Bluebeards Revenge’s beard-reducing shaving cream and the Men-U shave cream have been shortlisted for best shaving product in the Lookmantastic Hair and Grooming Awards 2012.
The Men-U Facial Moisture Lift is up for Best Moisturiser.
The public have until June 19th to vote for their favourite products, with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in London on July 11.
The Bluebeards Revenge and Men-U brands are no strangers to winning prestigious awards and accolades. The Bluebeards “Scimitar” Double Edge Razor was named the winner in the About.com 2012 Readers’ Choice Award for best wet shaving razor.
The brand’s shaving cream has also picked up two About.com awards and was shortlisted for a Pure Beauty 2011 grooming gong.
Men-u scooped an FHM award in 2004 for best wet shave product.
In January 2011, I blogged about why a double edge razor is technically better than a cartridge based razor system. Now there is yet another reason for men to ditch the horrid multi-bladed cartridge razor in favour of the single bladed razor.
“Replacement cartridges for Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide can be as much as £3.49 each,” the newspaper said.
It went on to say that blades for Gillette’s top-of-the-range Fusion ProGlide cost less than 10p to manufacturer, which in my book is a fairly decent profit margin.
The paper also blames Gillette, the world’s largest shaving company by quite a distance, for imposing a stealth price rise by cutting the number of replacement cartridges in its Mach3 Turbo packs from five to four.
“The smaller pack did not bring a corresponding cut in the price, leaving men paying at least 20 per cent more,” the article says.
It went on to blame the increasing cost of cartridge blades for men’s poor shaving habits.
“At the same time, men worried about making ends meet are either trying to make their razor blades last longer, with the resulting scrapes and cuts – or ditching their shaving regime and opting for designer stubble.”
A better quality shave with a long term saving
This all makes me rather angry as there is an easy solution – change your shaving habits and ditch the overpriced cartridge razor. Opt instead for a double edge safety razor and if you’re feeling really adventurous, a straight or cut throat razor (as its more commonly referred to).
Not only will both types of razor give you a better quality of shave, they are also much cheaper in the long run, as a number of the comments on the Daily Mail article point out.
“I switched from cartridge razors to a straight razor and have never looked back. True your initial investment is a little higher but the payback on these cartridge blades is 6 months or so. Have not had to buy a single razor blade in 18 months now,” commented Derrick Young, Wasaga Beach, Ontario.
Roy, from York, also pointed out the massive cost savings men could experience from switching to a DE razor: “I have used an old fashioned Double Edge safety razor for years and blades for that can cost as little as 10p. As they are cheap you can afford to change them regularly and get a good shave. With multi bladed cartridges because of the price people carry on using them when they are going blunt. With DE razors, OK the razor is more expensive but it lasts for many years, but one sharp blade every couple of shaves is better than a dull multi blade being stretched out over a week. People have had good shaves with single blades for centuries. Multi blades are a marketing gimmick.”
Roy’s last sentence is a very accurate one, “Multi blades are a marketing gimmick”. Let’s face it Gillette are excellent at marketing their products, they have pretty much convinced men that 3 blades are better than 1 and 5 blades are better than 3. They also spend millions of pounds on celebrity endorsements, with sports stars like Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, and Thierry Henry (who now wears a beard) fronting lavish TV and newspaper campaigns.
It was Gillete who first worked out that men would indeed fork out for overpriced cartridges as long as the initial cost, i.e. the handle, was affordable. It’s pretty much the same business model adopted by ink jet printer companies. Sell a cheap printer, then sell really expensive “cartridges” that run out quickly. It’s simple, but very effective.
Dollar Shave Club
It will be interesting to see how successful the much-hyped Dollar Shave Club will turn out to be. Dollar Shave Club’s business model is similar to LoveFilm, which sends subscribers movies in the post for a small monthly fee. Dollar Shave Club will send customers a monthly supply of disposable razor blades starting at $1 a month (however, when you add in delivery costs it’s more like the 4-Dollar Shave Club). A catchy brand name and I must say a pretty cool launch commercial, which has picked up nearly 5 million views on YouTube. And according to widespread media reports, more than 12,000 people have signed up for the service.
There is no question that the Dollar Shave Club YouTube video is hilarious. But aside from the online hype, can the Dollar Shave Club compete against the likes of Gillette in the long term? I’m guessing not…
Looking ahead, I really hope men will start to see through all this cleaver marketing and take a stand against the rising cost of cartridges. For those switching to the affordable yet luxurious world of double edged shaving, all I can do is welcome you to the real men’s club. And I will finish this article by saying; shaving should be regarded as a pleasure, not a chore.
The Bluebeards Revenge “Scimitar” Double Edge Razor has been named the winner in the About.com 2012 Readers’ Choice Award for best wet shaving razor.
The iconic razor beat off competition from Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide and the Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 to scoop the coveted first prize.
Nick Gibbens, The Bluebeards Revenge’s PR and Marketing Manager, said: “We are truly honoured to win such a prestigious award. To beat the world’s biggest two shaving brands is a massive achievement and something we are extremely proud of.
“It’s also nice to see that people voted for a traditional single bladed safety razor over a multi-bladed cartridge system. Hopefully this shows that times are changing and men are turning their backs on expensive cartridge razors and investing in a shaving solution that provides a much closer shave and is cheaper in the long run.
“I would like to thank everyone who voted for us.”
The ‘Scimitar’ is a totally stunning, bespoke, German engineered double edged razor. It’s designed to cut through the manliest of stubble.
Meanwhile, The Bluebeards Revenge’s beard reducing shaving cream took second place in the best shaving cream category.
Now in its fifth year, the Readers’ Choice Awards honour the world’s best products, features and services across more than a dozen categories, ranging from technology to hobbies to parenting and men’s grooming, as selected by its readers.
In January, the site’s readers were asked to nominate their favourite shaving cream brands and aftershave products. After a nomination period that saw a flurry of activity, three finalists were chosen in each category. From February 18 through March 21, 2012, readers cast tens of thousands of votes every day via the About.com website.
The Shaving Shack is celebrating after two of our luxury shaving products were shortlisted in the prestigious About.com Readers’ Choice Awards 2012.
The Bluebeards Revenge’s beard reducing shaving cream has been nominated in the best shave cream category, while the brand’s iconic ‘Scimitar’ double edge razor has made the best razor (wet shaving) category.
The Bluebeards Revenge scooped two awards in last year’s About.com Readers’ Choice Awards. The brand’s shaving cream was named runner-up in the best shave cream category, and its post shave balm took third sport for best aftershave balm.
The legendary Merkur 34C was voted the world’s best razor in the 2011 About.com Awards.
You can vote for The Bluebeards Revenge at http://menshair.about.com/b/2012/02/22/2012-readers-choice-awards-vote-now.htm. Voting will close on March 21, with the winners announced on March 30.
About.com’s popular reader-driven awards program highlights the best products, features, and services across a wide variety of topics.