$having For Life: A Financial Face Off Between Razors

Gentlemen, it’s time we did the math once and for all. Based on a Razorpedia.com survey, more than 50% of the 186 respondents said they were dissatisfied with the price of their razor and razor blades. Since shaving costs are one of the most commonly cited reasons for switching from cartridge shaving to DE or straight razor shaving, we’ve decided to set the record straight and do the math ourselves.

We’ll take you through each type of wet shaving methodology and estimate the lifetime shaving cost of an average male. Keep in mind that individual results will vary. First, we ignore the cost of pre-shave oils, shaving soaps, gels, creams, badger brushes, and after-shaves to focus solely on the blades themselves. Secondly, we assume the average male shaves once per day, 365 times per year, for 70 years.    

Razor Cost

Disposable Razor: Bic Comfort 3 Advance ($7,777 total, or $111 per year)

Disposable razors range from $0.33 for a single blade Bic Sensitive to $1.75 for a four blade Bic Hybrid Advance 4. For our analysis, we chose a middle of the road three blade Bic Comfort 3 Advance, which currently costs $1.22 at Walmart.com. We estimate that disposable razors will last about four uses on average, so the cost of a single shave using disposable razors is approximately $0.30/shave.

Cartridge Razor: Gillette Fusion ProGlide ($6,863 total, or $98 per year)

Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide razor is arguably the most advanced (and most expensive) cartridge razor system on the market today. The lowest price we’ve seen for replacement cartridges is a whopping $28.40 for eight cartridges ($3.55/each) from Soap.com. Beyond the blades, you’ll also need to buy the Fusion ProGlide handle which costs $10.97 at Walmart.com. Despite Gillette’s claim of its ProGlide blades lasting five weeks (YouTube), our Razopedia.com reviews show that Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide cartridges last about 14 uses on average. Assuming the handle is replaced every two years, the cost of a single shave using Gillette’s Fusion ProGlide razor is approximately $0.27/shave.

Cartridge Razor: Dorco Pace 6 with Trimmer ($2,752 total, or $39 per year)

Dorco is somewhat of a newcomer in the US cartridge shaving market. Aside from Dollar Shave Club’s “Humble Twin” two blade razor, Dorco’s blades are the absolute cheapest on the market. On DorcoUSA.com, you can purchase 24 replacement cartridges for Dorco’s Pace 6 razor for $24.22 ($1.01/each) and the handle for $4.95. Our Razorpedia.com reviews show that Dorco’s Pace 6 cartridges last about 10 uses on average. Assuming the handle is replaced every two years, the cost of a single shave using Dorco’s Pace 6 razor is approximately $0.11/shave.

Double Edge Razor ($1,781 total, or $25 per year)

Since I am relatively new to classic shaving techniques, I asked Mantic59 himself for guidance on pricing and blade life. He suggested that a good DE razor costs about $50 and can last many years. For blades, he suggested a fair price would be about $0.33 for a blade that lasts five shaves on average. Based on these figures and assuming that a handle lasts 10 years, shaving with DE razor will cost just $0.07/shave.

Straight Razor ($350 total, or $5 per year)

Also according to Mantic59, a good straight edge razor and strop should last a lifetime. Though prices can vary dramatically, a good mid-range straight edge razor and strop should cost around $250. On top of this, you’ll need another $100 for a whetstone and polish. Based on these figures, shaving with a straight razor will cost you just $0.01/shave.

So there you have it. Shaving with disposable razors is 22x more expensive than using a straight razor, and shaving with a Gillette cartridge razor is 4x more expensive than using a DE razor! Put another way, you can boost your retirement savings by $7,427 by trading in your disposable razors for a straight razor. Or, if you’re one of the mainstream shavers using a Gillette cartridge, you can save $5,082 by trading in your cartridge for a good DE razor. Take that Roger Federer (YouTube)!

Do these numbers surprise you? How much do you spend on razors and blades every year?

Related Posts:

16 Inexpensive Product Entries Into Traditional Wet Shaving

Cheap vs. Inexpensive: A Tale Of 3 Razors

What Is The Best Fusion Proglide Alternative?


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  1. says

    Love the comparison to how everyday savings on the small things in life can equate to a significant sum later on. Same thing goes for things like coffee I remember reading somewhere that you could send your kid through school if you and your spouse invested your daily coffee wisely.
    Interesting read though – Cheers – Jimmy

  2. Mike says

    I know these kind of things are far from exact, but I’d argue most cartridge system handles last far longer than 2 years. I had a Sensor handle that lasted 13 years until I dropped it one too many times, and there are plenty of people still using the all-metal Gillette Atra and even Trac II. And Mach IIIs are everywhere.

    Few men buy new handles except when they change systems or if it’s cheaper than getting cartridges by themselves.

    I have read Dorco/Dollar Shave Club handles are prone to breaking, however.

  3. Joseph says

    The time cost was certainly not measured in this equation.
    It takes me less than 3min to shave with a disposable razor from start to finish.
    After reading multiple reading multiple webpages (but not trying one myself), it seems that a straight razor shave takes anywhere between 15-30min.
    The cost of this time will vary between people but when adding up 12min difference between the straight razor time starts to add up.
    Assuming a man shaves daily, starts at 15 and ends at 80 years of age, the time difference between the straight razor and the safety/disposable razor will amount to just under 200 total days when it comes to the end of your life, or 260 days of waking life, or around 600 working days (8 hour day)
    The average income of an american in 2011 was ~50K. If the time difference (12min) between razors was spent working, the potential income that could be earnt would be upwards of 80K before tax.
    This is ignoring external costs and benefits and rests on a few assumptions, but I know what I’d rather spend my time/money on.

    • Don says


      Can you please let me know what employer is going to pay you for this time? I see this argument all the time, and it makes absolute no sense because your simply can’t package up all these loose bits of time and get someone to pay for them.
      The time you don’t spend shaving is worth exactly zero to anyone.

      • DJ says

        If you work freelance and have more clients than there are hours in the day, then it makes total sense to spend some extra money to save time. But yeah, the calculation seems pretty bogus once you get up to 80 years of age (I know I’m not going to be working in any form at age 80).

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