Why I hate "which razor is better" posts

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by PLANofMAN, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    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?

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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. Again, this one is better than most. "How much is it worth" posters still tend to be single post wonders, though.


    I think we also all need to remember that the group should help inform our perspectives, not dictate them.
    Especially when it comes to things that are supposed to be fun.

    Enjoying shaving is fun. I like to figure out which things I like the best, and which details, upgrades, and scents manufacturers think are important this year. That’s fun for me. I can’t live inside your head. I shouldn’t be the arbiter of your taste.

    And I don’t really want to be.
    waffen, Tinmantoo, bayercy and 31 others like this.
  2. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    Well said......:happy088:
    brit and Terry like this.
  3. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    I understand where you're coming from, but that's one of the drawbacks of posting on the internet. Learn to love your "delete" button.
  4. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I hate all which is better , which _____ should I buy, , and of course the endlessly recurring should I use a pre shave query. I also hate the matter fact let me tell you what you should do responses, when the only truly reasonable response is we don't have your face/head/hair/technique/taste/,budget so how the hell am I gonna tell you what's best for you so man up and figure it out yourself.

    Technical or help me understand my options questions are of course another story and why we're here.

    Oh I also hate the use the delete button thing. But I'm a grumpy old guy maybe the kids are cool with that.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Eeyore, PLANofMAN, Frijolero and 3 others like this.
  5. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Hmmmnnn... I am 62 (occasionally grumpy too, just ask my wife) and have come to grips with technology, especially the "delete" button.
    Enrico, wristwatchb, mrchick and 3 others like this.
  6. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I like technology fine. To know something is delete worthy means it's already offended my delicate sensibilities. I would simply prefer folks ask more intelligent questions.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    mrchick, Frijolero and brit like this.
  7. poppi

    poppi Well-Known Member

    I understand. I have searched for the perfect razor, that's why I have about 70 of the darn things and my favorite of all time keeps changing. I should just pick one and be done with the whole thing. But I won't, just to darn much fun trying things out
    wristwatchb, MPF9, mrchick and 2 others like this.
  8. Spyder

    Spyder Well-Known Member

    Plus just because I read it on the internet does not make it true. I’ve seen it over and over on various subjects; total bs being passed around as truth.
    I’m a cynical old fart and believe little that I read. I still don’t believe anyone can lather the new version of Williams :scared003:
    mrchick, DesertTime, Shaver X and 3 others like this.
  9. brit

    brit in a box

    as a volvo specialist technician/ business owner / now service adviser for the last 30 odd years i have been asked many questions, how much is it worth?, which is the better one?, is the car worth it?.. i get it .somewhat tricky questions to answer correctly..is it worth it to you..do you love the car?,can you afford a newer one?. i ask back..all subjective.. case by case...its sometimes comes with the territory. if you are seen as a guy who knows something, people will ask you questions, good or bad..just my 2 cents..your articles and knowledge on stuff is awesome, thank you..you have answered many of my questions over the last 2 years and it has helped me immensely.. oh and grumpy is my middle name...
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  10. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Spyder and brit like this.
  11. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I agree.
    Spyder and brit like this.
  12. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I take it this "new" version doesn't have "Since 1840" on it.
    brit and Spyder like this.
  13. MacDaDad

    MacDaDad Well-Known Member

    Less Filling !! :)
    Tinmantoo, Spyder, brit and 2 others like this.
  14. Paul Turner

    Paul Turner outside the quote(s) now

    I use delete quite a lot here...it's me saying "Ahhhh, I shoulnda said that"
  15. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    For newbies to ask which razor, blade, etc. is the best is only natural. They are new to traditional wetshaving. How would they know beforehand that there often isn't any one size fits all right answer?

    It might be a good idea to have a locked Q&A format Wetshaving FAQ sticky with the ten most commonly asked questions. When somebody shows up asking "What is the best _______ ?", he or she can be directed to the FAQ section. Locking the thread will prevent ongoing discussion and a bunch of opinions in the thread from distracting the reader. The Q&A format works particularly well for individuals new to products and their use.
  16. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    That's a very empathetic response but I don't think an unqualified what's the best anything is a very intelligent question. What's the best razor is hardly better than what's the best car or frozen dinner, or pain reliever. It should be self evident to any consumer that the reason we have choices in a competitive marketplace is that there is no best for everyone (Except for PolSilver apparently (joke)). What factors should I consider in buying a safety razor is an intelligent question. So is what's your favorite DE and why. What's best/ what should I buy is juvenile.

    Just my opinion.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    PLANofMAN, brit, mrchick and 2 others like this.
  17. Badgerstate

    Badgerstate Well-Known Member

    True but if someone asks you for your opinion, whats wrong with sharing it with them? If it werent for those kind of discussions, forums like this wouldnt exist.
    BamaT, brit, wristwatchb and 2 others like this.
  18. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    I have only helped a few guys into wet shaving. They of course ask the same question I did.
    Well, I give them razors to try out. I give then 3 different razors and 3 different blade types. After they try them out for a while they form an opinion and then I can let them use other razors/blade combos toward their liking.
    After a little while longer they have their likes and dislikes then order a razor/blade combo that they have used and like. I find that the better question is " what is the worst razor/blade for me to use?". Only they can answer that with time on different razor/blade combos.
    I lend out razors and give out blades just for that.
    So far so good here.
    I also give out samlpes of soaps and creams. When I get a new one in, I take in samples. Razorock, PAA, and Stirling so far are the top picks.
    brit, wristwatchb, Lancre and 4 others like this.
  19. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    I do share my opinion which is I can't tell you what's best for you. I can and do share what to consider. These opinions are typically buried in an avalanche of specific recommendations which provide no real basis for intelligent decision making.

    I disagree that forums wouldn't exist without lame questions. They would be in fact easier to wade through without another what blade should I use/should I try a preshave thread.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
    Dansco, Spyder, mrchick and 1 other person like this.
  20. battle.munky

    battle.munky Has the menthol.munky on his back!

    Is it better to bloom your razor or to decant your shaving cream into a glass container?
    CrustyCat, Demidog, brit and 9 others like this.

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