The cost of shaving over a quarter century

I was pondering over my morning coffee today how much shaving really costs us… or could have cost us, if we didn’t go all in buying all those razors, brushes, soaps, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And all those et ceteras do add up.

Consider a spherical cow in vacuum… actually, no.

Consider a hypothetical scenario where the software – that is the pre-shave, the lather, and the post-shave – is identical, but we’ll consider different hardware – razor and blade / cartridge. In other words; I’ll only look at the cost of razor + cutting edge.

The Gillette Sensor I got as a promotion in boot camp lasted about 25 years of somewhat infrequent use before breaking. That should make a good baseline as a lifespan of a razor (even if at least one of my razors is a century old and still shaves great).

For the “cheap and nasty route”, Amazon charges roughly 13USD for a Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide Power Men’s Razor Handle (quite the mouthful to say) and 34USD for a pack of 12 refills. Gillette suggests that a cartridge lasts “up to” a month of shaving, so a 12 pack should last a year. The total cost of the handle and 25×12 cartridges at Amazon (which is cheap compared to buying in brick and mortar stores) is 863USD.

Looking over at BullGoose Shaving, a mid-range razor like the Muhle R41 Twist Safety Razor will set you back 75USD. He sells one of my favourite blades – the Green Astra – in packs of one hundred for a reasonable 15USD. In my experience, blades lasts for about a week, so a pack will lasts a little under two years – or 13 packs for the projected 25 years. Doing the math, we’ll find that going this route will costs a total of 270USD.

Or in a more visual format:

The break even point seems to be around two years and five months – 2,3665 years, which works out to roughly two years, four months, and twelve days – so if you plan to shave for more than two and a half year into the future, it pays to switch to DE once you used up any carts you already have bought.

Caveats: Amazon is as mentioned usually cheaper than buying from a physical store. You can get less expensive traditional safety razors, as well as significantly more expensive ones. I picked the R41 as an example of a mid-range model.

Again; this ONLY looks at the cost of shaving with a single razor and using the same blade, and assumes that you’ll use the same software regardless.

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