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Guest: Brett McKay, Art Of Manliness

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This month’s guest post comes from Brett McKay, who runs Art of Manliness:

I started taking part in the traditional wet shave about three years ago. I grew up watching old movies where men lathered up their faces with brush and a hot mug of lather. I also found the doubled edged razors these men would use much more appealing than the 8 bladed contraptions I was accustomed to. When these men would shave, it looked more like a ritual, rather than a chore. I wanted to take part in that manly ritual, too.

And I’ll be honest, I started shaving with a DE razor and traditional soaps and creams so I could save money. I grew tired of forking over $20 every time I needed to buy new razors. The amount I spend on soaps and creams has gone down compared to what I was spending on the green goo I used to use.
My best shaving tip for a newbie getting into traditional wet shaving with DE is to not press down on the razor at all when passing it across your face. Just let the weight of the razor do the work. My biggest mistake when I first started shaving with a DE was I pressed the blade down on my face like I did when I shaved with my Gillette Fusion blades. Man, did I ever slice my face up. Once I stopped pressing down, the cuts and nicks stopped, and my faces was a smooth as a baby’s behind.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

8 thoughts on “Guest: Brett McKay, Art Of Manliness”

  1. Secret Guide to Shaving

    I too stress this issue of not pressing down too much on my blog! It was the toughest thing to get used to shaving with a D.E.
    I initially started using a DE because it cleared my face up COMPLETELY. If you factored in the expensive Rx medication I was using monthly to try to keep a clear face with the usual Mach-whatever razor I'm saving close to a 100 dollars…a month.

  2. Hey, y'all be nice to each other now. Regarding cost of DE vs. cartridge, I did a cost comparison spreadsheet a couple years ago, and the "return on investment" or "total cost of ownership" was lower for the DE after a couple years (give or take depending on some variables). I'll do a separate posting with some examples.

  3. @ Anonymous- Come out the closet already. Btw, I was referring to Feather blades. Not those shitty cheap-ass blades. You're also forgetting S&H per pack. That's another $1 or $2 added to your bill.

  4. I don't think it equals out. Just bought a pack of Iridium Super blades (30 count) for $15.00. I get about 5 shaves per blade. That's 150 shaves for $15. I could only get 2 or 3 out of my Mach 3, which cost a lot more per cartridge. Plus, there is no comparison in the quality of the shaves at all, and now I enjoy it!

    I'm fairly new to wet shaving myself but didn't have any trouble using NO pressure. Remember, NO pressure, not LIGHT pressure. My mind wandered last night and I pressed down out of habit. Luckily, I didn't cut myself, but it sure was close!

  5. Here's the thing though. Wouldn't buying a $30+ DE razor + $5.00 of 10 pack of razors overtime equal to the amount of money spent on cartridge razors?

    At least with the cartridge razors they are more convenient to buy and find. Plus you can apply coupon discounts too for extra savings. I just think we're giving cartridge razors a bad rep here. Yes the cartridge packs are super expensive but will you go through life without ever picking up one ever again? I doubt.

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