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I usually buy cheap razors like the one in the picture below. However because they are so cheap, they only last a couple uses a piece before becoming pretty much useless and I have to use a new one.

I've tried using my older, less sharp razors to remove the majority of the hair and then get the remaining stubble that it leaves with a newer, sharp one which helps a little, but my razors are still going dull too fast.

What else can I do to keep my razors sharper for a longer period of time?

  • 4
    Isn't the point of these razors that they are disposable and only intended to last a few uses? – James Webster Dec 28 '14 at 16:33
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    @JamesWebster Yes, but I like saving money where I can – Zach Saucier Dec 28 '14 at 17:27
  • With multi-blade razors I find a slightly used razor works much better than a new one. I use mine a long, long, time. The theory is, if you remember the TV commercial when these first came out, the first blade grabs the whisker, and the second blade cuts more off before it pulls all the way back, leaving the end slightly below the surface of the skin. As the blades become dull this has a greater and greater effect until finally the razor pulls too much when used. Triple edge work best for me. Double edge tear up my face. More than three blades have no additional value and waste money. – subjectivist Feb 12 '15 at 21:52
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    @ZachSaucier then you should switch to double edge safety razors. – JP Hellemons May 4 '17 at 6:57
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Here's a list of things to do to insure that you get the most out of your razors:

  1. Clean out the hair and other gunk right after you use it. This will help prevent corrosion and build up of material on the blades. You can do so by running it under some water, making sure to aim the water down both sides and up the blades, and mixing in some small taps against the side of the sink to try and get out as much as you can. As Sompuperoo commented, shaving everyday can help because longer hair is harder to get out of the razor than stubble.

  2. Dry it off well - This is probably the most important thing you can do to lengthen the length of a razor. Wet environments make the razor last a lot shorter than dry ones because it also corrodes the blade. You can dry it off pretty well with a towel, just make sure to run the razor in the reverse direction as you shave and do it well so it's completely dry.

  3. Keep it protected. There are a couple ways to do this:

    • Put the plastic cover back on it. Simply put the little plastic cover that comes with the razor back on the blade after you've dried it of the razor. It helps keep it protected from particles in the air and a little bit more dry than it otherwise would be. Make sure the area in which it's stored is relatively dry (not humid) as that helps it corrode faster. It's easy to do this when traveling as well as opposed to the below method.
    • Keep it submerged in a protective liquid between uses. The trick is to simply keep the razor submerged in the liquid you use between your shaves. Only use one of the following or something very similar - keeping it submerged in water or something like that is the opposite of what we're trying to do.
      • Rubbing alcohol dissipates the water, encourages drying, and sanitizes the razor for an extra benefit (especially if you are prone to acne problems).
      • Mineral oil works well and helps your skin when you use it as well. Grape seed or Almond oil also work
      • Baby oil and other types can also help, though perhaps not as well. I haven't done tests to compare other oils.
      • Dip it in alcohol then keep it submerged in oil. Some people do this to clean the blade then keep it protected in the oil of their choice.
  4. Use denim jeans to hone it. Even after doing all of the above, the razor eventually gets dull even though there is a good portion of the blade left. Simply run the razor in the reverse direction of shaving up a pant leg of the jeans a dozen to twenty times or so. This will hone the blade so that you can continue to use the razor past its designed lifespan. Shokhet commented suggesting that a leather strop or a leather belt can replace jeans if you don't have any with you.

  • 3
    shave every day not to go 2 days or more without shaving. If facial hair gets past light stubble much easier for hair to get stuck inbetween blades weaking the effectiveness of the razor, and I haven't found a good way to get the hair unstuck. – CRABOLO Dec 28 '14 at 15:30
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    I was going to suggest stropping it, but that's effectively what you said in point 4. I'd add that you could use a leather strop or a leather belt for that purpose as well. – Shokhet Dec 28 '14 at 22:23
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    Thanks for the comments! I added both to the answer itself – Zach Saucier Dec 28 '14 at 22:28
  • Really wondering where you get grape seed or almond oil, if you're getting it cheaper than mineral oil. – Shog9 Dec 29 '14 at 19:50
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    Technically, when you strop a blade, you are not sharpening it, you are honing it. And yes, there is a difference. Sharpening a blade is the process of removing metal from the edge of the blade, creating or recreating the cutting surface. This is done with a grinder or sharpening stone. Honing a blade realigns the edge of the blade, but does not remove metal. When you use a blade, the edge becomes dull because the metal warps and gets pitted. Honing removes the warp but does not remove the pitting. – Timothy Winters Dec 29 '14 at 22:47
6

One trick that I've discovered is to shave with the edges, not the center of the blade.

Look at an old blade and notice that the center is worn, but not the edges. Thus, any wear that you can move to the edges is essentially extending the life of the blade. Shaving with the edges is especially easy to do on the moustache, sideburns, and adams apple areas.

A nice side effect of this trick is that the same areas that are easy to shave with the edges of the blade are pretty much the same areas where one desires a sharper blade, especially the adams apple.

5

To keep your disposable razors sharp for weeks:

  • Shake the water out and dry it using some cloth
  • Sharpen it using the inside of your underarm by pushing it in the 'wrong' direction. (This also takes away some moisture and provides corrosion protection from a little bit of skin grease).
  • Put it away and make sure that the blades are protected

Before using the razor make it wet and sharpen it again on the inside of your underarm (sharpening it in the wet state gives me better results, but you can leave this out).

Instead of just a few shaves, you will get dozens!

Reference: Article on lifehacker.com

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    In my opinion, sharpening on the forearm is supperior, and no jeans are needed while the forearm is always at hand ;) I added the link lifehacker.com where I first read this awesome tip. – Floyd Dec 29 '14 at 18:41
3

A plastic toothpick keeps your razor efficient over time. It may damage the blades, but it makes the razor feel like new.

I shave every two days, which tends to make the hair accumulate no matter how much water, shaking, scrubbing against old fabric, and tapping I did.

Whenever the razor efficiency feels like meh, use the pointy head and scrap between the blades, then bash the razor under running water.

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3

Shave with an electric razor prior to using the blade.

I have thick beard growth and need to shave more than once per day to stay clean shaven. For me, an electric razor isn't enough to do the job on its own, but if I use it prior to using a disposable, it limits the amount of "work" the disposable has to do. It hurts less, and as a side effect, the disposable razor will last a month or so.

2

In addition to everything else, soften your beard.

I found that shaving in the shower after my beard was well-soaked and clean was less resistance for the blade. I could get more shaves in the shower than over the sink with hot lather and brush. I think the shave was better, too.

I think that the less resistance allows the blade to hold its edge longer. My tip amounts to reducing the abrasion that dulls the minimally thin edge.

I have no statistics but that's my experience. Your mileage may vary.

1

I've found that keeping my safety razors submerged as recommend by another poster significantly lengthens their usable lifetime. Mineral oil definitely works, but it can be a bit messy. I keep my blade submerged in a small cup of rice instead, which also works well and I find to be easier to work with.

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