Are carts better after all?

Discussion in 'Cartridge Razors' started by spinyeel, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. spinyeel

    spinyeel Member

    I have come to the conclusion after 3 years of trying numerous D/E,S/E and Injector razors,that modern cartridge systems give as good a shave,all be it slightly more expensive. With a decent prep,these modern day razors do it for me. I still lather up with a brush and a nice cream or soap and enjoy a splash of aftershave,but my vintage razors only get a run on weekend's,when I have time to really enjoy them. They did there job well in their day,but the latest technology has won me over.:o
  2. Williams Warrior

    Williams Warrior Well-Known Member

    No shame in feeling love for the carts, as it's your shave. I've heard that before I think.:happy102 The main issue people have is cost and irritation/ingrowns with the multi blades after several consecutive days of use. I have a new theory after being away from them for over a year now, and that is irritation results from bad prep, lather medium, and awful technique that most of us had while using them. I think if you use the no pressure, wtg first pass, etc... they probably do a fine job.
  3. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Active Member

    As far as the end result goes, I think you're right. You can get just as good a shave with cartridge razors. For me, I just enjoy the process a lot more when I use my DE. Whatever works for ya man, there's no right or wrong way.
  4. Regan

    Regan Well-Known Member

    I agree. For me DE is less tugging and a closer shave and more enjoyable. If I need to look nice until about 3-4 a cartridge will do it but if I want to keep my stumble at bay i need a DE. The new 5 blade systems... have too much tugging feel compared to a DE for me. That is why i keep it with a 2 blade disposable or a DE.

    But there are many who use a soap and brush and carts with great results. Sometimes when i travel and i don't have a brush i just rub some cream on my face and use a cart. Great glide and such just needs extra cream and extra rinsing.

    What ever you find works for you, is the best shaving set up possible :D
  5. Sodapopjones

    Sodapopjones Well-Known Member

    Last time I tried a mach 3 it didn't do it for me, I had nearly severed my right thumb off and was forced to use one.

    The face feel even with proper lather freaks me out, and unlike a Slant I have 5 o'clock shadow 5-6 hours after shaving.....
  6. gregindallas

    gregindallas Rolls Razor Revivalist

    I have believed for a lot of years now that the driving force behind the whole cart thing is safety. Liability and lawyers drove their development more than any requirement for a "better" shave. We have been trying to short circuit Darwin for a long time now. :D
  7. Sparafucile

    Sparafucile Member

    I learned with a DE in about 1960, and didn't switch to carts until the late 80s...

    I feel that the Mach 3 (especially once you remove the bottom rubber strip) gives a great shave, and is faster and safer than a DE.

    However, I refuse to pay $3.50 a cart!

    I went back to the DE when a Japanese colleague gave me a pack of Feather blades, and use a Feather in a Futur daily....
  8. Slivovitz

    Slivovitz Well-Known Member

    Some people may get the idea that the ritual denunciation of cartridges is necessary if they want to belong to the club around here. That's not the case.

    Leaving price out of it, and just going by end results, I'd have say that a Schick Hydro does just as well for me as single blade safeties. It helps if you snap off that useless goop strip it has.

    If you do factor in price, there are acceptable options for around $0.50 per cartridge, like generic Atra compatibles. The shave on those is acceptable, but not quite up to the level of my single blade safeties. There are other options in between. Not sure what the cheapest cartridge would be that would be fully up to the level of my best SE or injectors.

    Some people do report more irritation with cartridges. I used to think I was in that category, but it was really just bad lather and preparation. It's no longer a problem for me, but could be a problem for some. It probably has to do with things like beard growth patterns, skin type, curliness of the facial hair, not really sure.

    I honestly can't say, though, that any cartridge I've tried has actually been better than my favorite classic razors. They require a little less skill, and I think that's really their best justification for people who don't want to learn any more about shaving than they really need to. Learning to make a proper lather with a brush and soap will do more to improve your shave, not a new observation. Still, in my opinion, all the technical innovation that has gone into the Schick Hydro or Gillette Proglide hasn't improved on the results that I can get with my 1907 Gem Junior Bar. It's just a little easier to get there.

    De gustibus non est disputandum.
    Larry Stephenson likes this.
  9. spinyeel

    spinyeel Member

    I really believe,that creating time is the most important part of shaving,using traditional gear. I make sure that on weekends I have plenty of time to enjoy my Gem 1912 and get superb shaves,but during the week,I have decided to use an Azor in the shower. The weekend shaves are therefore even more enjoyable these days.:D;)
  10. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

    It is about the shave -- but also about the shaving experience. We make those choices every day. Fast food -- slow food, grocery shopping -- grow your own -- or visit your local CSA. Go to the butcher shop or kill & clean your own. These are all choices we make -- the shaving one is just one of these spectrum decisions. And if simplicity, speed, ease of selection -- you don't have to visit TSD to decide where to buy your next cartridge razor or blade -- then it is easy.

    Not a "better than" -- just a "different than".
    GDCarrington and ChemErik like this.
  11. jonny_j22

    jonny_j22 New Member

    Speaking as someone who has just this week returned to both from electric shaving, I can see the arguments a pros and cons of both.

    For myself the cartridge (hydro 5 in my case) is less concentration, less passes, which means quicker, and from the jaw line up effortless to get BBS.

    The DE (a cheap Wilkinson Sword Classic for the moment) is control over the shave - with one blade in contact it it easier to choose exactly where to contact the skin. My skill is not yet at the point where i can get as close as the hydro - I daren't yet attempt ATG, but over the jaw line and below the Adam's apple this is the only way i can get a truly close shave without irritation, there are just too many contours down there for the large hydro contact area.

    The DE is more enjoyable and given the choice I would every day, but if I'm late, or on a Tuesday when I have to be up an hour earlier, it'l most likely be 5 blades in my hand.
  12. nav

    nav Active Member

    I recently had to switch back to carts (circumstances out of my hands) after 3 years of DE. I am using Mach3 Turbo and today tried a Fusion. I don't have time for the full brush lathering routine and I hate anything artificial/canned goo so I went back to my tried and tested, Somersets shaving oil.

    I must say, the carts give me a shave as good as a DE but in about 30% of the total time the DE shave takes. The oil has also left my skin looking and feeling great! I also use a Razorpit to keep the blade going for longer but I am only a few shaves in so will see how well this works. I am hoping for a minimum of 30 great shaves from one cart, based on what I have read about the razorpit.

    I also tried the Gillette Guard and I must say, I am super impressed with it! It is amazing how they have got a one bladed cart to work as well as it does.
  13. Nick A

    Nick A Active Member

    I haven't been doing DE wet shaving all that long, but I'm finding my shaves are tons better. Before, I could never get a Bic or Schick to work for me. Only the Gillette Razors would do, the Mach 3 being the best I tried. The Fusion it seemed like the blades were too close together and it would just skate over the densest areas of stubble on my face and pull.

    I have to say, I'm really liking the control that the DE razor is giving me over my shave and I've managed several times already to get my face as smooth as it was when I was a child. Something I had never accomplished with the cartridges.

    The DE has given me a way to customize my shave to my face. That's what it's really about, I can choose blades, soaps, creams, razors and get a shave that suits me best.

    Granted, it might take me a while to get away from my Lord L6. SWMBO would be very angry if I spent all my expendable income on shaving stuff. Maybe it would help if I bought her something nice from the TSD store in the order I'm planning for next week. :biggrin:
    Dridecker likes this.
  14. skyfox12

    skyfox12 Active Member

    :) I still have an affinity for DE razors, and even straights, but the time it takes to properly maintain a straight is simply an endeavour that I choose not to pursue at this time. A DE is very nice when you have a good quality handle and blade. At first, I scoffed at those multi-blade creations, especially after what they wanted for the price of the refills. However, you can buy 3, 4, 5, or even 6 bladed razor refills (even with a trimmer) that are not made by Gillette and are considerably cheaper, almost half the price of Fusion refills. I have never tried the Fusion, so I have no place to opine on that; but the ones I have used have given me very smooth and close shaves.

    The only drawback is whiskers getting caught between the blades and you can't swish the razor in the sinkwater to get them loose. What I do is after each stroke I very carefully take my thumb and rub the blades in the direction of them and then swish the razor in water to get them out. That does the trick. You do not, in my experience, have to do multiple passes either. Perhaps a wee bit of buffing in fine areas, but that's it. I never shave ATG anymore with any razor because irritation and bumps ensue, but I'm very satisfied with the shave I get.

    I'm currently using a six-bladed razor that Pace/Dorco makes but sells them under different brand names according to what grocery or drugstore chains they vend them to. I believe that they do sell them under their own name on ebay, however. Its called the Pace XXL or something like that. So for right now at least, I'm hooked on these because they do a superlative job. After I shave, I rinse the blades thoroughly and pat it very lightly on a towel and put it in front of a fan to dry it off. I have an old leather wallet that I lightly oiled and then run the razor over a few times to gently strop the blades. My second shave was actually more comfortable than my very first after doing that. Something to consider perhaps. Happy shaving!
  15. otherstar

    otherstar Rodney Dangerfield of TSD

    I have no problems with carts other than the price. I've been using mug and brush since a friend turned me on to them in college. I've been using a DE for almost 4 years. I switched to a DE after shaving off a beard that I had worn for 3 years and in the interim Mach3 carts got too expensive for me to want to use anymore so I started searching for alternatives. That's when I saw a post that linked to The Art of Manliness and an article about traditional shaving and TSD, B&B, etc. Since I was already using a mug and brush with a Bic disposable, it was easy to switch to DE. For me, it's about the experience and about economics. I can get 100 Astras for about $15.00. I get close 10 shaves from an Astra. That's a LOT of shaves for my money. I can get 15 Mach3 carts for $39.00 and I only get about 5 shaves from one cart...that's NOT very many shaves for the money. For me, honestly, shave quality was nearly identical...but I ENJOY using a DE more than a disposable or a Mach3 (which I still use for travel).

    IF one could stay away from the various AD's associated with the boards like these, once COULD shave money....but that's another fun part of this hobby.
    Alebrewer and Dridecker like this.
  16. fishcrow

    fishcrow Birdman of TSD

    I personally would never go back to cartridges. Beside the high cost, I could not justify the cost for such inferior shave.
    If cartridges work for you thats great, hope you get great shaves with them.
    Alebrewer likes this.
  17. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    As I said in another post, I have a lot of respect for cartridge razor users, but I just prefer not to use those razors.
  18. Infotech

    Infotech Active Member

    After I learned how to prep for a shave I went back to the cartridge and got a much better shave than I could with a DE. Now days I can get a better shave faster with a DE.
  19. crackstar

    crackstar Israeli Ambassador to TSD

    Even my Dad who's 90 years of age realizes that cartridge razors are not saving him money. He went back to DE shaving.

    RABIDMONKEY Active Member

    I keep some track II cart around for last pass and head shaving , most the time I use the de or se razors

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