Razor’s Edge


I blame James Bond (that’s something I never thought I’d write), and that scene from ‘Skyfall’.

Like most guys of my age, my father had a traditional safety razor, a type I now learn to be known as a ‘butterfly’ from the way the case opened to allow the blade to be replaced.

Then in the sixties he ‘upgraded’ to a Gillette Techmatic. This featured a strip of sharpened blade in a cartridge that wound on like a roll of film.

I started out as a teenager with a twin-blade ‘bonded’ (no pun intended) razor and over the last forty years both Gillette and Wilkinson Sword have ‘upgraded’ (and I’ve followed) twin blade, triple blade and so on, right up to the latest Gillette Fusion 5+1 cartridges.

I also had a beard for twenty years, but that’s another story for another time.

Similarly I, like most guys in the seventies, used aerosol cans of shaving foam, eventually moving to shave gels. The gels were luxurious and effective, but could be expensive – the ‘Elemis’ shave gel is around twenty quid. I would shave using shave gel and my 5+1 Gillette ‘Fusion’ while a badger hair shaving brush stared balefully at me from the shelf above the wash-basin.

Then came ‘Skyfall’ with Daniel Craig, the badger hair brush, the cut-throat razor, Moneypenny… and I started thinking.

Now I know my mate Andy Thornton (whose blog is here)  has gone the whole hog and uses a cut-throat razor, I didn’t think I was brave enough for that, but I was tempted. That was when I saw a Kickstarter promotion for Rockwell Razors – a new ‘adjustable’ razor from the United States.

Now I’m a sucker for helping people follow their dreams, so I became an early Kickstarter subscriber. The Rockwell arrived a few weeks ago and after a few experiments, and a few nicks and cuts, I’m getting used to it. I’ve set it on the ‘gentlest’ setting with very little blade on display, and it takes a little longer to shave than with a more modern ‘bonded’ razor, but it’s kinda therapeutic.

And financially?

Well I invested a tenner on a bowl of Crabtree & Evelyn ‘West Indian Lime’ shave soap, and after a couple of months use there’s little sign that I’ve used any, so that’s promising. I’ve since ordered fifty ‘platinum’ double edged blades on a well known on-line auction site, for a fiver… so assuming each blade lasts me a week that could be a full year’s shaving for about fifteen quid; that’s less than the price of a single pack of Gillette Fusion cartridges.

Mind you, Kickstarter follower that I am, I also have a Beluga razor coming later in the year, let’s see how that one works out.


Seems I was slightly ahead, or just on the curve… Esquire published an article on safety razors recently, you’ll find it here:


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