Ciarán aims to see if safety razors are a real alternative to traditional cartridge razors in mens shaving kits
I was browsing through Instagram one evening when I came across a comment by an intriguing brand name… @manlystuff.ie I clicked on the profile and was amazed that a small business in Ireland was stocking such interesting items. The name Manly Stuff got my attention and certainly stuck in my head so I ended up looking at a shaving set for men. Similar to the one that I remember my grandad using when I was young.
So let me tell you all about safety razors!
+ Stunning handmade wood bowl and brush
+ Less waste compared to plastic cartridges and their packaging
+ Massive cost savings
– Some might have a fear factor over this method but I had no nicks at all
– A bit of an upfront investment but when you do the math, it pays off quickly
I got the handmade wooden set from the Dublin Shaving Company costing €150. It isn’t cheap, but the second you open it you know you are holding something that has real long-term value. There is a depth of feeling in the wood and I love the softness of the bristles on the knot (the brush for lathering the soap onto your face). For starters, it felt like a big improvement from my old gel and Gillette setup.
There is also serious weight in the razor body. The razor included with the set is €40 but there are very similar options on the site for under €20. It has the Dublin Shaving Co. branding on it so you can tell which side you are using. I use one side for about five shaves then spin it around for the next five so I know how sharp each one is.
It does seem a bit daunting the first time you try a safety razor, but it’s not exactly brain surgery. This or a similar method has been used for almost a couple of hundred years.
Manly Stuff have a walk through guide on how to shave but the short version is…
- Put some shave oil on your skin (optional). Then put your gel or cream etc into the bowl and mix it with your brush until it lathers.
- Apply the lather to your face with the brush/knot.
- Use the safety razor at a 30-degree angle until you are as smooth as a bald man’s head.
I found this method to be pretty foolproof. I had no nicks or cuts at all and this is still the case many months later. It kind of felt like a rite of passage, moving from using disposable razors to a real handmade quality product. It’s like moving from sambuca shots to aged whiskey. I actually look forward to shaving now.
Do the maths
Safety razors have other benefits. I hate wasting money. I hate it. Did I already say that? In Boots, I used to buy eight Mach 3 Turbo blade cartridges for €24. I always felt this was daylight robbery but there was no way around it. I get about six shaves out of each cartridge before the smoothness turns into a drag and I really don’t like that drag feeling. So that’s €3 a blade or 50 cent a shave.
When I started shaving with the safety razor, I went and bought 100 blades for €24. Like I said above, I was getting about four to six full shaves (similar to the cartridge) with each blade before they dulled. BUT they have two sides so I was getting double the amount of shaves! Each blade was costing around 25 cent each for approx 10 shaves. That is 2.5 cent a shave compared to 50 cent a shave for each cartridge.
Please message me on Instagram if this is wrong but when I work that out it’s 20 times more expensive to use Cartridge razors! Mind. Officially. Blown.
If you have to shave five days a week over a year the difference is…………. €123.50! That will almost pay for your Netflix or Spotify subscription, plus I find it just as good a shave.
Waste of space
Which then brings me on to my second favourite thing. Saving waste. The amount of plastic I throw into my green bin is just terrible. Each Mach 3 pack is encased in a, what seems to be, impenetrable plastic case that even our sharpest scissors struggle to break through. Then we have the plastic on each cartridge.
Compare this to the cardboard the 100 pack comes in, well really there is no comparison. For some this won’t really register with them, but for me every little helps.
My overall verdict on shaving with a safety razor? I love it. I had zero nicks or issues, although right under the nose can be a little tricky to get to sometimes. And my verdict on the Manly Stuff and Dublin Shaving Company shaving kit? Well the handmade bowls aren’t cheap but you do appreciate the quality with each use. Plus, as you can see from the maths above, they do pay for themselves within a year.
Many males wouldn’t necessarily buy this for themselves so I do believe it would make a perfect gift. I think I will have these for many years, like my grandad did, so I would give this product FOUR out of five stars.
All their products can be found at www.manlystuff.ie
They actually also make made to measure suits which are found here www.huntertreacytailors.ie
Also check out our Neuu review for what we found to be brilliant natural products for men including shaving gel and post shave balm.