you are shaving your face or your legs,
you could be paying several dollars each
for these multiple-blade cartridge refills.
To save money, you could buy cheaper blades,
but many consumers claim the more expensive
new razors are, indeed, superior. So the
other way to spend less is to make the blades
How can consumers make razor
blades last longer? There are many proposed
methods. But Gillette and Schick declined
to allow interviews with executives or blade-research
personnel to discuss them.
The most a Gillette spokeswoman
would say by e-mail is that "Gillette
scientists have not seen any data to substantiate"
methods of making blades last longer. Schick
would not comment at all.
Granted, some proposed ways
of extending blade life seem far-fetched
or impractical for everyday consumers.
They include cryogenically
freezing blades, coating or submerging blades
in various oils or rubbing alcohol, storing
blades in a magnetic holder to avoid warping
or placing your razor in a prism to somehow
take advantage of the earth's magnetic properties.
But one very simple method
has great allure and at least anecdotal
support: dry your razor blades after shaving.
The concept is this: Razor
blade dullness stems more from oxidation,
microscopic rusting, than from contact with
whiskers. Water that sits on blades between
shaves causes the oxidation.
Corrosion can cause metal
on the blade to flake off and the edge to
become blunted and jagged. That results
in blades pulling and tearing hairs instead
of cleanly slicing through them.
Degraded performance prompts
most people to ditch the blade for a new
If water causes rusting, and
rusting is the main culprit of blade dullness,
then, presumably, drying your razor blades
could increase the life of blades. A high-profile
test of this happened when consumer-advocate
radio host Clark Howard of Atlanta used
a 17-cent disposable razor for an entire
year. He said he extended blade life by
blotting his razor dry with a towel after
Howard's report intrigued
Atlanta resident Brian Cohn, who then tried
it himself. Cohn said his results weren't
quite as good but still amazing. Instead
of blades lasting the usual 10 days to two
weeks, his blades lasted five to six months.
"I just couldn't get
over it," he said. "I truly hated
buying razor blades."
Cohn has since invented a
razor-storage device with a small fan for
drying razors. He hopes to market it under
the name RazorPro.
Because the only evidence
he had was anecdotal, he paid for testing
research from an independent laboratory,
360-Degree Testing Service of Yonkers, N.Y.
It tested a two-blade razor from Bic, a
three-blade razor from Gillette and a four-blade
razor from Schick.
The results? Using the fan
device to dry blades extended blade life
an average of 122 percent, or more than
None of this is conclusive
proof that drying your blades after shaving
will make them last longer. But it's worth
a try, especially if you use expensive cartridges.
If it doesn't work for you, you've lost
Other ideas for reducing shaving
expenses are to buy cheaper disposable razors,
use an electric razor or use coupons for