A good friend once proudly, even slightly giddily, informed me that a men’s fashion blog he routinely reads coaxed him into buying something that would, among other things, add a little class and badass-ness to his bathroom shelf. His purchase? A Merkur 34C Double Edge Razor. That’s one blade, with two sharpened edges, which is to say, quite different from the Mach 5, or whatever the blade count is these days. The Merkur is great but it particularly appealed to me for a couple of reasons: (1) It’s cost saving (each blade is around $0.20), and (2) less disposing of the disposable, ergo better on the environment. With that being said, however, I didn’t go to Amazon.com and buy the razor straightaway because of a picture text I received from my friend — the guinea pig. The picture was after his first attempt at employing the new man-tool. It was of a bloody, mutilated slab of flesh where his freshly-shaved cheeks and chin should’ve been. The photo slightly disheartened my enviro-friendly attitude and made getting one lower on my priority list.
It ultimately took a passage in a book that I recently read to cajole me into making the life-altering (or with shaky hands, life ending) purchase. In the book, Carte Blanche, the author Jeffery Deaver (good writer, but no Ian Fleming), noted that James Bond shaved with a heavy, double-bladed safety razor. Bond, James Bond, “used this fine accessory not because it was greener to the environment than the plastic disposables that most men employed but simply it gave a better shave–and required some skill to wield; James Bond found comfort in small challenges.” Naturally, I thought. So as cheesy as it may be Mr. Bond, my fictional hero, influenced me enough and I immediately bought the razor with an assortment of blades from Israel, Egypt, Russia and Asia. And yes, I did cut myself up on my first try, but just a little, though. I’ve now mastered it, which truly isn’t difficult, and at my current shaving rate I will end up spending a whopping $7.20 USD over the next 12 months on blades.
Pros: Good on the environment, saves you money and potentially makes you more interesting, and it would also make a great gift, I think.
Con(s): On your first try you will most likely destroy your face, but meh, whaddya do.
For you visual learners out there, here’s a little instructional video from Shave Nation.
In support of Movember, please don’t shave until December! Thanks!