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At the sharp edge

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

At the sharp edge

This may perhaps only interest the clean-shaven amongst us but, do you think razor blades are somewhat expensive for what they are?
I paid (in Sainburys) £7.30 for a pack of 4 Gillette Mach3 turbo yesterday. Which are not exactly at the cutting edge (pun!  Embarrassed) of technology these days. Which represents £1.83 a blade. Some of the later tech blades are much more expensive!!
Ok, excepting there are overheads but, I wonder what the unit cost is to the manufacturers...
Makes one consider growing a beard.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
16 REPLIES
nadger
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Re: At the sharp edge

It's well over 50 years since I last had a wet shave - it would probably now be a blood bath, if I did, after all those years of using electric razor.
randpwar
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Re: At the sharp edge

I much prefer a wet shave. I found that an electric shaver gave me a rash and felt uncomfortable especially on the fourth or fifth day consecutively; also felt that I got a better shave with a blade.
Have to admit that I wouldn’t have known how much a pack is but £7.30 for 4 does sound pricey 
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Re: At the sharp edge

I have never had a wet shave having always used electric.
I would imagine the manufacturing cost of a blade would be in the pence but they are priced according to what the market will stand.
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Simon_M
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Re: At the sharp edge

Another one with zero wet shave experience.
Battery driven Boots electric while at boarding school (dreadful thing).
Proper electric at college, but it didn't have much to do because by then I had a moustache & 70's sideburns, which didn't leave much in between to shave.
Full beard at 24 & never shaved since. I do have a natty little beard trimmer with a rechargeable battery though. Had it for years & can't understand why the NiCad batteries haven't died long ago (tempting fate here!).
I wonder how much time & money I've saved over the years? Quite a lot, if that's what razor blades cost these days.
nadger
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Re: At the sharp edge

I did wet shave in my earlier years - doubt one would have got away with electric shave in the army.
In Sept 1953, when I went in to do National Service the chaps in the office had a whip round and bought me a Rolls Razor.

Isawitall
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Re: At the sharp edge

10 pack disposables from tesco less than a quid  Smiley
Palmolive shaving foam stick 60p.
I wanted to try a cut-throat but never could get a hold of one, doubt i would try one now though.
Interestingly i bought myself a mini lathe recently and saw an online video showing the basics of lathes, the tutor explained that razor blades were made by turning steel on the lathe, so i would imagine the actuall profit margin is very high.
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Re: At the sharp edge

Quote from: Isawitall
I wanted to try a cut-throat but never could get a hold of one...

You'd probably need a CRB check Wink
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nadger
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Re: At the sharp edge

Quote from: Isawitall
the tutor explained that razor blades were made by turning steel on the lathe,
They'd initially be produced as blanks by press tool
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Re: At the sharp edge

Wilkinson.
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oldgeezer
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Re: At the sharp edge

I can't remember if I've posted this before, but if I have accept my apologies.
Many years ago I worked on the technical side for Light Products, Stocksbridge Works.
At that time we produced about 80 % of the worlds razor blade strip.
The main customer was of course Gillette.
I was lucky enough to be picked for a test panel for Gillette products.
We would be sent retail packed blades and asked to comment on the shaving experience and how long the blade lasted.
The packs were labelled in different languages although they were all made in Britain.
One thing that puzzled me was the fact that the English text labelled blades were marked "Made in West Germany" and the German text labelled blades were marked "Made in Great Britain".
I asked about this and was told that the English thought German made was better and the Germans thought the British product would be superior.
Our wire department produced thousands of kilometres of copper-clad steel welding wire which was finish wrapped in rust-proofed crepe paper and a label attached with the name of a well known Swiss engineering company and the words "Made in Switzerland".
I suppose the EEC has put a stop to all this malarky but you never know. Roll eyes Roll eyes Roll eyes
oldgeezer
oldgeezer
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Re: At the sharp edge

Quote from: Isawitall
10 pack disposables from tesco less than a quid  Smiley
Palmolive shaving foam stick 60p.
I wanted to try a cut-throat but never could get a hold of one, doubt i would try one now though.
Interestingly i bought myself a mini lathe recently and saw an online video showing the basics of lathes, the tutor explained that razor blades were made by turning steel on the lathe, so i would imagine the actuall profit margin is very high.

I don't know where he got that from but razor blades are made from steel which is cold rolled many times down to tolerances of microns ( thousandths of a millimeter)  and requires heat treatment in hydrogen atmosphere furnaces between rolling operations to soften it again in order to allow further rolling. It is then sent of to the blade manufacturer for slitting to size and sharpening. Special coatings are applied to allow the sharpness to last.
Steel slabs  from Stocksbridge Melting Shops used to be sent to Shepcote Rolling Mills to be hot rolled and then the coils came back to Stocksbridge to be rough rolled in a special multi-roll mill before annealing and finish rolling to size. The coils were up to 14 inch wide at that time. The hydrogen gas required for annealing had to be very low moisture and was very expensive in the huge quantities required. A razor blade is a very expensive product to produce. All the razor blade strip production at Stocksbridge finished years ago.
oldtgeezer.
nadger
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Re: At the sharp edge

http://www.bruceonshaving.com/2010/11/09/how-double-edged-razor-blades-are-made/
In my years in press tool design one thing I never worked on was razor blades but basically they'd be produced from coil on pierce & blank tool.
That's fairly basic stuff and the really clever bit would be sharpening etc
As oldgeezer has said getting steel just right, before pressing, wouldn't be a cheap process.
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Re: At the sharp edge

Check out Aldi.
You can get a razor and five triple edged blades for around £ 2.70 and additional packets of 10 triple edged blades for around the same price.
I Remember a half price sale of the Gilette 5 edge razors in Asda and as the manager pointed out to me the razor and set of blades were a bargain but you paid for it when purchasing further sets of blades (Which were not on offer)
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Re: At the sharp edge

Quote from: Isawitall
10 pack disposables from tesco less than a quid

On the principle you get what you pay for; I've tried disposable razors occasionally. Indeed used to keep an "emergency" pack in my wash bag when travelling around. Never got a decent shave with one, slashed myself to ribbons wishing I'd remembered not to use them. Keep a "decent" razor on standby now.
You can still get open (cut-throat) razors http://www.virtualvillage.co.uk/open-straight-cut-throat-razor-for-traditional-shave-001010-002.html...
My young lady barber uses one with great skill. But uses the type with a replaceable clip-in single edge blade, the principle's the same though. Tried one many years ago, was Ok on one side of the face, but not so good with the other side. My dad also used one, he suggested practising shaving lather off a (blown-up) balloon.
Edit: just noticed that link's open razors are out of stock...oop's
petlew retires with a sharp object, which he's not normally allowed to handle....

2nd edit: but this IS in stock: http://www.executive-shaving.co.uk/shaving/gift-sets/open-razor-gift-set.php ;     If you've got lots of money!!
So is this: http://www.beautyextra.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=12419
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.