Skip to content

Video – The Cheapest Shave Possible?

Listen to this article

In a previous article where I experimented with a “shave of the week,” I got a few comments suggesting I try a shave as cheaply as possible.  I think there are a couple different ways of doing this: one is using products purchased off internet sites and the other is one using products purchased in “brick and mortar” stores.  This article will concentrate on products off the internet, then I’ll do a follow-up article with products from the “megamarts.”

An Inexpensive (OK, Cheap) Wet Shaving Kit

Note: Amazon links are affiliate.

For this experiment I’m using a set of products you can get for under $20 on Amazon, or even cheaper if you shop around a bit.  It consists of:

  • Dorco PL602 safety razor
  • Omega Syntex brush
  • Arko shave soap stick

This may not be the absolute cheapest kit available, but it is the cheapest I will put up with.  🙂  There are obviously going to be some performance compromises here, particularly with the shave brush, and you’re sure not going to get a fragrant, luxurious experience.  But if you’re looking to try old school shaving on the cheap, and want to get an idea of the results you can get, I think this isn’t a bad kit to try.  Let’s briefly take a look at each component.

Dorco PL602 Razor

Sharpologist has written about the Dorco PL602 razor before.  It’s a two-piece, all-plastic razor that has a reputation as a relatively mild-but-efficient razor.  Even though it’s plastic the head design is actually rather good and blade alignment is easy.  There are other plastic razors to be sure, but the 602 has a surprisingly devoted set of followers who know what they’re doing.

The razor comes with a couple of Dorco blades.  I decided to use my own preferred blade since blades are so inexpensive anyway, but the Dorco blades are certainly worth a try.

Omega Syntex Brush

The Omega Syntex brush is probably the “weakest” product in this kit, from the performance standpoint anyway.  It uses an early generation of nylon synthetic bristles that have not only been far out-paced by the latest synthetic materials but also are inferior to most animal hair brushes as well.  Still, it can be purchased very inexpensively and will actually hold together much better than most of the poorly-made animal hair brushes it’s competing with.  If you use this kit to try old school shaving and end up wanting to do more, this is probably the first item you will want to upgrade.

Arko Shave Soap Stick

The Arko shave soap stick is very inexpensive but its performance has a reputation of “punching above its weight.”  Most people can get a excellent lather out of it that is both lubricating and cushioning, outshining shave soaps that cost much more.  The only real problem is its scent, which can be…an acquired taste.  Some don’t mind it at all, describing it as a generic mild citric soap scent while others compare it to a urinal cake.  Luckily the scent is not strong so even if you’re not a fan of the smell it’s easy enough to put up with.

The Shave

Using this kit is not too different from using any other old school shave kit, though there are a few quirks to keep in mind.  First is using the Arko shave soap stick.  You rub the soap over your face then use a moistened brush to build lather directly.  It may take a few shaves to get the water ratio correct and building the lather may take a little longer using the Omega brush, but with a little persistence you will be rewarded.

Using the very lightweight plastic razor means not taking the usual advice of not putting any pressure on the razor, letting the weight of the razor do the work.  In this case you will probably have to use some light pressure.  But maintaining a good blade angle has not been difficult for me when using this razor.

Other than that the usual old school techniques like beard reduction in passes still apply.

Keep these ideas in mind and you will be rewarded with good shaves from very inexpensive supplies!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

5 thoughts on “Video – The Cheapest Shave Possible?”

  1. Focus on India and your setup will sound expensive and premium 🙂
    Let me have a go at this.
    Razor – Gillette Stirling / pearl safety razor
    Blade – Any Indian Gillette / Super-Max blade
    Soap or cream : Godrej shave round and shaving cream
    Post shave : Good old alum block
    Brush : cheap Gillette or Parke Avenue nylon brush (like omega syntex fiber)
    That is where I actually started when I was tired of dull expensive blades which I had to continue dragging across my sore face full of razor burn, redness and razor bumps.
    Then I took to YouTube and found your video. Hooked for life!

  2. I think the only way cheaper (up front cost) might be to use a shave oil and eliminate the brush and shave stick. Cheaper over time? The brush and shave stick, for sure.

  3. In this category, I highly recommend the Turkish “YUMA” razor. It’s simply one of my favourite razors, price disregarded (around 2 $).

  4. Not sure how much the Syntex brush costs but the Omega S brush is much better and still cheap. The syntex is better at scrubbing food particles off dirty dishes before loading them in the dishwasher however?

    1. Brian Fiori (AKA T he Dean)

      Yes, there are Omega boar brushes that cost less. I can’t pass judgement on their synth, as I never tried it. But surprised Mark picked the synth over the boar. One reason might be the break-in period required for the boar to really blossom.

Comments are closed.