The last razor you’ll ever need

The MK-23001 costs four times the standard razor, but it’s worth it

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From the February/March 2014 issue of the magazine.

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razorHow many blades do you need for a good shave? Three? Five? The answer is one, insist devotees of old-fashioned safety razors like this Merkur MK-23001. Many fans believe they enjoy the smoothest and least blemished skin this side of the barber shop (or wax salon; the design is unisex). At $35 or so, the MK-23001 costs around four times a standard razor, but will save you in the long run if you buy the blades online. And it could be a very long run: Toronto retailer Men Essentials told us they had seen safety razors from the 1920s still in use. The chrome-plated zinc and brass body of the Merkur will never rust, but will it break? We subjected it to a series of high drops onto a tiled bathroom floor and it survived with barely perceptible denting.

Tip: Extend the razor’s life by always rinsing the shaving foam off and lubricating the threads occasionally with sewing machine oil.

2 comments on “The last razor you’ll ever need

  1. I have shave with these. And although the razors are cheap you will do a far better job with your 2nd tier disposable. In theory it’s a nice idea but when you have 2-3 blades on a these newer disposables… This guy, however retro and cool looking, can not compete. Maybe you to will end up with this guy warming the bench in your shaving bag like me…

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  2. While it may be true for many, I have a very coarse facial hair and only a single blade cuts it best. I went up and down every tier of disposable razors. From the lowly Bic and Gillette Good news all the way up to the newer fusion proglide. I’ve even went with electric razors. They either gave me ingrown hairs (Bic and Goodnews) or tug and pull at my face (proglide).

    Now in terms of cost not even the lowest teir disposables can even come close to the value even when buying in bulk. At best disposables are 80-90 cents a razor, when even one of the highest quality Double Edge blade (ie the Japanese Feather Blades) at very worst is around 50-75 cents a blade. If you buy 100 blades they are approx 33 cents a blade. That’s value!

    Now there is a learning curve and trial and error in finding the right blade for you – there are so many different blades, so one really needs to stick with it to get into the groove. Many do give up and go back to their disposables, but those that do stick with it have a better, closer and more comfortable shave routine.

    Thanks fo readind and as with anything, everyone’s mileage may vary. But for those that do try it good luck and happy lathering!

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