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You Use a Cartridge Razor? Dump it!

An evening pause: Recently my cousin Ken Kueny, a former software manager at Orbital ATK and now the owner of Karn Custom Woodwork, a major carpentry company in Virginia, made me aware of a new example in the movement to buy dumb (rejecting modern hi-tech for older technology developed in the 20th century), this time related to shaving utensils. Apparently, men appear to be abandoning the modern expensive cartridge multi-blade razors for old-fashioned safety razors and double-edged blades.

I, who hate shaving and have a beard partly so that I only have to do a trimming about twice a week, was astonished. The video below gives a quick lesson on how to shave with a safety razor, for those too young to remember these tools. It also gives a sense of why it is better to do it this way. This video shows just a sampling of the many different types of available safety razors, and the engineering differences for each. Do a search on youtube and you will see numerous similar videos touting the advantages of going retro when shaving. All are quite convincing.

This new trend won’t make me shave my beard, as I also like it very much, but it does illustrate once again that while new designs can certainly improve things, newer is not always better.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • Gary M.

    I switched to a double edge razor over a decade ago. Simple. Cheaper. Better. Fun. Now it has almost become a hobby. The range of excellent products from razors, brushes, after shaves, and soaps is amazing. I get super smooth and comfortable shaves. Best move I could have made.

  • Gene Shipp

    Tried those about 18 years ago. Cut me like I had used a weed eater to shave.
    I bet my dad could use one. He uses the cheap-twenty-razors-in-a-bag.
    When my gillette quits on me I’m going for a schick. Schick is the only brand, other than gillette, I can find that makes a vibrating razor.
    As far as I can tell schick hasnt been lecturing men in their ads. I will NEVER buy gillette again. I wish I could find comfortable shoes that weren’t nike and I won’t stop looking.

    As far as other manly things, I took up leather crafting. I love being able to make gifts that really do last an entire lifetime such as custom tooled coasters, belts, scabbards. They’re a short project that doesn’t involve much leather. It may get worn, dirty and need repair but when the time comes I can do that too! If there’s not a Tandy leather in your town there is probably a saddle shop or shoe repair shop.
    but I digress.

  • Lashkar-e-Trumpi

    As a guy who has been shaving regularly since 16, I can tell you after switching to safety razor was amazing. For the first time since 21, I can shave every other day, since the safety razor gets real deep.

    It does take a bit more time than a disposable or cartridge razor, so I keep one as a backup when travelling or in a hurry, but the old way is the best way.

    Also, I oppose Gillette because I refuse to have myself and my sons labelled as evil and wicked for BBQ and roughhousing.

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