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The Economics of Straight Razors vs Disposable Razors

The Economics of Straight Razors vs Disposable Razors

One of the key selling points of cut throat razors is that it is the last razor you will ever buy, and that the economics will stack up in your favour ending up with you saving money.

But how much money?

This is a simple exercise to demonstrate how much money you really will save and at what point you will end up ahead.

As with any mathematical model we need to start with some assumptions:

  • You shave everyday - this means that you will need a new disposable razor daily. It also means that you will need the full works to maintain your straight razor including strop, honing stone, and shaving brush.
  • Cost of disposable razors - $1 each (some razors can be up to $7 per cartridge which really blows this whole comparison out of the water in favour of cut throat razors but I've kept it focused on the cheapest disposable razors to keep things fair)
  • Cost of straight razor - $450 one off payment that will last for 25 years (in reality can last much longer with proper maintenance)
  • Cost of double edge razor - $50 for the razor and $1 per blade (of which you use each side only once)
  • I have excluded the cost of soap and cream as you would need to purchase it for all types of shaving

From this we can put together a few different economic outcomes.

#1 - Yearly Cost of Shaving

The difference between each type of shaving is staggering!

Straight razors come out way ahead for one reason - they are the last razor you will ever need, so there costs get distributed out for the next 25 years.

Double edge razors are almost half that of disposable cartridge razors for a fairly obvious reason - you can get twice shaves out of each blade - one each side.

A lot of people have experienced the benefits to their wallet that straight razors and wet shaving in general provide.

Yearly Cost of Shaving

#2 - Return on Investment

This same data set can be used to calculate the return on investment and how long it will take to pay off your new straight razor.

From this the monthly cost of shaving can be calculated and we find the results in the graph below, which shows it will take 1.2 years for straight razors to come out ahead of disposable razors.

Double edge razors only take 3 months to become the cheapest option.

Straight razors take 2.25 years to become cheaper even than double edge razors.

 Straight Razor Economics

This gives a return on investment that is better than most stocks, real estate, or any other common investment tool. 

For someone who shaves less frequently and only uses a new disposable razor every second shave then the economics change somewhat, but will still end up ahead after 2.4 years with a cut throat razor.

But there is more than the money

Saving money is just one reason to get started in wet shaving, but it is not the most important reason.

The best reasons are because it gives the closest possible shave, it turns a chore into something enjoyable, it is a great hobby, and it is really fun!


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