I used to use a regular cartridge razor, but switched to safety blades about a year ago. I find that I can get roughly 10 shaves out of a safety razor blade before I need to replace it, or else it starts getting dull and I start cutting myself.

The cartridge razors I used to use had a blue strip like this one to track how much 'life' the cartridge had left:
Blue strip on razor blade

Because I work from home, I don't follow a regular shaving pattern (some weeks I shave 4 times, some weeks I don't shave at all). Thus I regularly am unsure as to how much life my blade has left. Furthermore, sometimes my wife uses my razor as well, which further makes it difficult to track (and she certainly doesn't want to write entries in a manual log).

Here is a picture of a safety razor and a corresponding blade which you load it with:

enter image description here

Short of writing or typing a manual entry down every time I (or my wife) use the razor, is there some trick you can suggest to keep track of how many times we've used the blade?

  • 2
    Buy your wife her own razor. Dullness aside, if the razor gets nicked or dropped you'll be stanching blood flow, and usually when you're in a hurry to get somewhere. Jun 10, 2015 at 15:29

11 Answers 11


Get 11 small pieces of scratch paper that are all the same size. (I use the backs of old business cards. They're white, sturdy, and all 2" x 3.5".)

On each one, write one of these: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, "change blade"

Stack them up in order, 1-10, with "1" face-up on the top, and "change blade" face-up at the bottom of the stack.

enter image description here

Put your shaver next to them (or on top of them, though it might make them wet).

Each time you or your wife picks up the shaver to use it, take the top card and put it face-up on the bottom of the stack.

When the card that says "change blade" comes up, change the blade and put that card on the bottom of the stack. The "1" card will be showing again, and they'll all be in order. :)

My wife and I use this technique for feeding our fish 6 days and skipping the 7th. Our cards show days of the week, so we can also tell if one of us already fed him that day.

  • 3
    I really like this technique +1. It wouldn't work for me but it's still clever. You could try laminating the cards in order to help them survive in the bathroom.
    – Lefty
    Jun 9, 2015 at 10:17
  • @Lefty Laminating is a good idea! You could also cut your own cards out of thin, opaque plastic, like one of those flexible cutting boards. Or with paper cards, they could go in a small box to limit the amount of water that gets on them, or in some place dry like a medicine cabinet. Jun 9, 2015 at 16:06

I think you need abandon the idea of keeping track of the number of times you use the blade unless you want to go to the overkill method of "self surveillance" in Harish's answer.

Personally, I work on the basis of the first time I notice that the shave was even slightly uncomfortable, I immediately throw away the blade to force me to replace it before the next shave.

If you don't think that will work for you, I think you need to get your wife her own razor - they do them in pink for this very reason. If your wife has some objection to using a pink razor then you use the pink one instead, you just need to keep them separate. With your wife removed from the randomness, you can start to change the blade after a regular TIME period rather than after a certain number of uses; maybe every Saturday or the first of the month or whatever regularity suits your usage and your wallet.

If you like none of the above, the question implies that you would like to MARK the blade somehow. I don't think you'll be able to do that with a blade but there's a lot more scope for that if you switch to using disposable razors instead. Then you can mark the handle somehow, perhaps by nicking it or even biting it maybe.


Note: this is not how to count but an easy hack you can avoid this long procedure.

Always keep one extra blade, so whenever you feel it is not going to work or not working, change it that time ,or else you will end up cutting yourself.

you can easily know that razor is not perfect at first glide , so keep an extra blade always and change it.

  • 1
    maybe I have dull senses, but to me, I can't tell if a blade really needs replacing unless I start cutting myself with it, which obviously I dont want to do :( I can tell if a blade is not brand new, but that 'brand new' cut wears off after 1 or 2 uses.
    – n00b
    Jun 8, 2015 at 19:25

What I do is place 4 tiny rubber bands around the handle and each time I use I remove one. I hate going to shower and find I have a dull razor.


Set up 10 small boxes in a row. Number each. When you put in a new blade, put your shaver in the first box. When you or your wife uses it, put it back in the next box each time. When you take it out of the 10th box and use it, you know it's time to change the blade.

I could see myself forgetting what box I took it out of, so I'd probably put a pebble or a marble or something in the same box with my shaver. I'd take out the shaver, move the pebble/marble to the next box, shave, and then just put the shaver into the same box as the pebble/marker.

  • It turns out this was similar to what I did, but replace boxes with tiles, and marble with "bottle of shampoo"
    – n00b
    Oct 19, 2015 at 14:10
  • Oh, I get it! Smart! Oct 19, 2015 at 16:22

Although my "stack of cards" answer was pretty popular, I came up with another idea that I've started using myself. It works for disposable razors, but it might also work on your disposable blades.

  1. Get a fine-point permanent pen.
  2. Each time the blade is used, draw a small "tick mark" on the blade.
  3. When you get to 10 ticks (maybe 5 ticks on the right and 5 on the left?), it's time to replace the blade.

(I've been drawing the tick marks on the handle of my disposable razors.)

  • Unfortunately the only place to write on a safety blade that you can see is the edge, and personally I dont want to write on the part that i put on my face.
    – n00b
    Oct 19, 2015 at 14:09
  • I wouldn't want to put that on my skin either! Oh well. Oct 19, 2015 at 16:21

Our solution ended up being simple, but specific to our setup. I have accepted the most popular answer, but I share my solution in case it helps anybody else. I have a shelf/alcove in my shower that looks similar to this:

shower alcove

We store our razor in this alcove. When we change the blade and use it for the first time, we place it on the tile furthest to the left. Each time one of us uses the blade, we move it one tile to the right when we put it back. When the razor has reached the 3rd or 4th tile, I know its time to replace the blade.


There are a few ways I would like to suggest you,

  • Indoor security cameras might help you. You can have one near your shaving place (washbasin maybe). Since most of the system have 24/7 surveillance, so you can simply track down the usage of the blade by fast forwarding your video. It also shows the exact time and date of your usage.
  • Take a micro tip permanent marker and write the date on the blade. You can write the date when you installed it or the date when to change it. This helps you to track the usage based on date.
  • Or simply check out the blades, based on the usage blades have small red dots(rust) due to oxidation. This is a visible clue to know the usage. So if your razor blade have more red dots then its time to change it.

Since you don't shave every day I assume you shave at least 4 to 5 times a week.

Just change the blade every second week on a the first Monday and third Monday of the month.

So you should use 2 blades a month. Should not be an issue keeping track. Just take out 2 blades at the beginning of the month.

Use the first in the first week and after the 15th of the month use the second. If the second blade is not used after the 15th of the month you know you forgot to change it.


Why would you need to keep track of usage?

  • If the razor feels like it's not working okay, change it.
  • If the razor is working fine, keep using it.

I also find the 5–10 uses hard to believe; my disposable razors last for more like 4–6 months, shaving every second day.
Perhaps it has to do with how one prepares for shaving.
In particular, I never shave at the sink, only in the shower:

  • When I shampoo, I shampoo my chin too (making sure I use fingernails to scratch the stubble).
  • Ditto when using soap.
  • The last thing I do before rinsing is to apply shaving foam and then shave. By then the hot water and soap have thoroughly opened the pores and softened the stubble, making it easy to cut through.

Also, I'd never share a razor. All it takes is one dry-shave to ruin the blade.


At about 10 cents a piece, you could simply change the blade each time you go to shave and then you will always have a new fresh blade to shave with, and still be "in it" for less money than a cartridge razor...

  • 1
    This is the easiest way if you don't mind replacing blades that have plenty of life left in them. Of course, far from being "10 cents", many blades now can cost as much as £3 each and I would normally use one of them around 50 times before replacing. Of course, if you are going to use this simple approach then it's very easy to extend it to 2 uses of the blade: 1) if you find the razor empty, insert a blade and use it, 2) if you find a blade in the razor, use it and then dispose of it.
    – Lefty
    Jun 8, 2015 at 22:39

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