TheShaveDen

Nov
26
by PLANofMAN at 5:14 AM
(9,821 Views / 34 Likes)
158 Comments
I sometimes get questions from people who are shopping for razors through random Google searches and land on one of my reviews. Then they ask me if one razor is better than another.

That’s not the most outlandish thing in the world right?
Hmmm....

Except it’s often a nightmare question to answer.

Sometimes I haven’t even tried the razors I’m asked about.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like if I were one of the top popular reviewers and found myself constantly inundated with such requests at every waking hour.

1) THERE ARE TOO MANY RAZORS (AND BLADES)

The ironic part is that, as a shaving consumer myself who doesn’t take review units, I understand.

I totally understand the frustration of the people asking me these questions. Even browing a regular online shaving shop, you’re presented with about a hundred different razors, many of which have nigh-identical combinations of features at nigh-identical price points. (Especially the stainless steel razors)

But here’s the thing: I don’t know which one you should get any better than you do.

2) SUBJECTIVITY

Sure, I’ve tried a lot of razors.

But that’s because I’m weird and I’m obsessed with little details. I like to see all the minuscule differences that separate these various razors, and then write about them on the internet. Often, the history of a razor design is more interesting to me than the razor itself.

But none of that makes me an expert for what you should do with your money or time. Beyond what I write in the review, I often don’t have much more to say about a particular razor.

I have a weird brain. Thanks to a lifetime of shaving, and too many years of school that taught me to be overcritical of every aspect of the things I love, I can’t help but form a whole series of opinions about every razor (or any other shaving product) I try.

That’s what I like about razors. I like to check out new and old models and see what they’ve done in the desperate bid to differentiate their product from everything else on the market (both then and now). That’s what makes it fun for me. And my reviews are just a way for me to get that information out of my head and into the world, so that those thoughts matter in some way.

The thing is, what you personally like or need in a razor is probably very different than what I like or need.
And that’s great and part of the joy of being a person! But just because I think something is better, it might often be for reasons that don’t even appeal to you.

Every single aspect of razor “quality” is subjective.

A zamak (zinc) razor can shave just as well as a high-end stainless razor. I don't expect ot to last a lifetime, sure, but that doesn't mean I couldn't buy a lifetime supply at half the cost of a titanium Wolfman razor.

Visually, a 50 inch HD tv will show almost the same picture as a 4K tv. 99 out of a hundred people wouldn't notice the difference. If fact, an HD plasma tv would probably look better than an led 4K tv. It isn't until you get to about 100 inches that the differences become clear. I speak from experience here. Mostly. I own a 4k and an HD tv, and the blu ray and 4K players for each. Both upscale stuff pretty well. Even DVD's look good on either system. The color palette and the blacks are what make 4K stand out more to me than the pixels per inch. Alas, I don't own a 100 inch tv, so that at least, is not from my own personal experience. ...but I've looked at them in the stores.

The differences between razors that all take the same blade are much less than those televisions I was just writing about.

3) HAVE SOME CONFIDENCE!

Reviews don’t exist to validate purchasing decisions. They exist to help you expand your perspective so you can make those decisions, or simply learn more about the thing being discussed. They exist to challenge your brain’s sense of the status quo, so you are better informed.

It seems like, as time goes on, fan communities on forums tend to gather around reviews solely for the purpose of validation.

The shaving community is no different. Every time a new razor review comes out, other owners gather around and judge it for its worthiness and whether it matches their own opinions.

I would be okay with that if people didn’t so intrinsically tie this evaluation into their own self worth and the worth of their decisions. This mostly isn't a issue here, but I've seen it on other forums.

It literally doesn’t matter if I don’t like a razor you like, or if I love a razor you hate.

This is among the most insignificant things that matter in the entire world.

I’m 99 percent certain that no one who shows up solely to ask on the forum which thing is better ever comes back again, because I’ve done my job as their free servant and I’m now useless again.

...Okay, that might be true of most forums....
Jul
06
https://i.imgur.com/rsxVaDc.jpg
by PLANofMAN at 4:00 PM
(1,896 Views / 12 Likes)
13 Comments
Growing up on a ranch in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Range, I had a dog...actually I had quite a few dogs over the years before I moved to the city. But this dog was special. He saved my life when I was a child. I fell in a stream, and he pulled me out, and then went and got my folks before I froze to death.

This dog had a nice collar. Full grain leather, solid brass hardware. A working collar for a working dog.

Fast forward 20 years. I got another dog. So I needed another collar. A collar like the one I used to have. So I went to a pet store. I couldn't find a good collar. Chrome, plastic, and nylon everywhere. The few leather collars were low quality. So I figured I would try a feed store. Same thing. Looked at the halters and other horse tack and saw those were good quality, but the leather dog collars were not.

The search continued. Surely someone made an off the shelf dog collar that would bring back memories of bygone days when a boy and his dog would go on adventures?

My criteria was simple. Full grain vegetable tanned leather and brass hardware. Two D rings. One for the tags, and one for a leash. (And I wanted a matching leash). Edit: I never did get those two D rings on a collar. :)

Custom made collar and leash was going to cost me about $300. I was willing to pay, but the wait time was about a year and a half. I needed a collar now.

Then I found Tasman's Natural Pet Co. and let me tell you, they spun a nice story. I'm going to paraphrase thier description because they are a bit "wordy."

They make stuff for thier equestrian customers (horse folks). They decided to make stuff for dog folks too. So they took Bridle vegetable tanned Bison and backed it with American Elk. They then stitched it together and used brass hardware.

So it's got the durability of Bison (American buffalo) on the outside, which is pretty durable stuff. Rhino and elephant leather is tougher, but that's about it. Elk leather is mostly used in gloves, owing to it's softness.

The most expensive bridle collar is $27.50. That's cheaper than most of the chinese made collars I saw at the feed store or pet shop. Having one custom made in those materials would cost me over $300.

At the time, I think his collar and matching five foot leash cost me a little over $50...but that was eight years ago. Thier prices have gone up some.

[​IMG]
Shown is a matching traffic lead, which I purchased several years ago. The collar is eight years old and looks it.

So, if anyone wants a high quality dog collar at a good price, I highly recommend Tasman's.

I just purchased another collar and lead for my second dog. Black and pink this time. Nickel plated brass. Girl dog. :) Smaller collar and thinner lead, because she weighs half as much. Total plus shipping was $70.95. As I said, their prices have gone up some, but they are still competitive with "top tier" collars and leashes found at pet stores, and much higher quality.
[​IMG]