Revisiting The Razor Wars

Schick sent a Hydro five-blade razor sample in the mail and I tried it. I still like the Gillette Fusion better and I still haven’t tried the Pro Glide with Flexball because I really don’t think I need my shaves to get any closer. We’ve made some pretty big leaps over the past several decades to get from straight edge to this point.

But getting the free razor reminded me of a great expose on the disposable razor blade industry that the New Yorker ran 16 years ago. The article stuck with me for several reasons. Partly because there are not many magazines out there willing or able to delve 14,000 words into razor blade technology.¹ It’s one of the reasons I both love and hate the New Yorker at the same time. I love it because it practices longform and literary journalism at the highest level. Hate it because often the people who like to talk about what they’ve read in the New Yorker seem to do so specifically because they like to show off the fact that they read the New Yorker. (As if that in itself is an estimable endpoint.)

But what I like most about that razor article is that it reminds me that if you write well you can write about pretty much anything. John McPhee demonstrated the same thing with his 17-pound book about  Interstate 80.

But back to the razors. These things all have five blades now. Five. How will they top that? There’s got to be six or seven blades coming down the pike, maybe that you can wear in the form of some hip looking wristwatch. I hope somebody has something interesting to say about it.

1. I’m only guessing at 14,000 words but everything in the New Yorker seems to run that long. Except the cartoons.

9 thoughts on “Revisiting The Razor Wars”

  1. Back in 2012 I was dismayed at the cost of Fusion cartridges, bought an old timey double-edge safety razor set, including brush & shave soap, and never looked back. Shaving is meditative now, and I’ve spent under $10 on shaving materials since. Gillette et al. can suck it 🙂

      1. haha, you’ll have to find someone else to blame for that – no FB for this cat, nor Dollar Shave Club 🙂 You can get the good stuff at classicedgeca.

        Another bonus in old-timey razors: minimal plastic use/disposal.

  2. The best razor i ever had was some old brass thing my grandfather gave me.. Before they started their national campaign Wilkinson Swords were only available in places like lumber yards.. Lost it some where.Never liked anything much again. So when I got old enough I just stopped using any and all
    I carried that McPhee book around with me for a long time.Never thought it was that heavy.

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