The soaring cost of cartridge razor blades under the spotlight again

By Nick Gibbens on October 23, 2012

Posted in Double Edge Shaving, Shaving in the News | Comments (0) 

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.

e88b4fdf55c026717fba8f67e49e3572 300x300 The soaring cost of cartridge razor blades under the spotlight again

The cost of a DE safety razor is much cheaper in the medium to long term

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.

scimitar razor 300x300 The soaring cost of cartridge razor blades under the spotlight again

A safety razor like this Bluebeards ‘Scimitar’ offers a much closer shave

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….

About Nick Gibbens:


 The soaring cost of cartridge razor blades under the spotlight again
Nick is a wet-shaving enthusiast and men’s grooming expert. He is a football fanatic and supports Arsenal for his sins. He also loves playing cricket, darts, rugby, badminton, tennis and squash. Nick, 31, has been wet shaving for five years and says he would never go back to the "awful" electric shaver. He loves his trusty Merkur 33c Classic far too much!! Follow him on Twitter @nickgibbens

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