Inside the weird world of disposable cartridge razors

I found an interesting piece of journalism from last year while bouncing around the internet a little while ago, and wanted to share it. It is about the 34 billion(!) world of disposable razors, and the shenanigans the large and small players gets up to in order to get a larger piece of the cake.

Some interesting nibbles:

  • Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide Power Razor consists of more than 60 parts, while several of my razors consists of just three parts.
  • The journalist point out there is an increasing market for traditional safety razors and straights, and this leaves the big players in a conundrum; “They can’t say, ‘Actually, you don’t need five blades, you just need one really sharp one.’.”.
  • The M3 Power was “proven” in court to shave closer than “any other blade on the market” (implied to be carts) – by a whooping 0.0143mm (a little over 5/10000″)…
  • Simple lack of space means seven and eight blade carts are unlikely to happen. But the manufacturers have off course tried for six and seven blades…
  • There are 20,000 patents active in the razor market, and who knows how many that has expired.
  • Shaving your body is – apparently – the latest fad and the height of fashion for guys. Who knew?

A minor niggle: The journalist claims that the safety razor is “a prosaic piece of plastic designed to be thrown in the bin as soon as its short life is over.”. My selection of metal DE’s and SE’s beg to differ – a couple of them are centenarians by now.

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