I have been waiting months to use up my very last disposable razor head cartridge so that I could invest in a safety razor. Not only to eliminate plastic waste from the disposable heads but also to save money. I was really interested in getting a stainless steel razor because I thought that they would be the most durable but after some research I found that the most inexpensive option was $70.00. I decided to check out my go-to site for anything and everything, Craigslist. I was in luck. My first search yielded a lot of options and I decided to check out a listing that was offering a variety of safety razors. After emailing the seller, I found that he was a wealth of information on all things razor. He told me that a vintage stainless steel razor is a very scarce thing and would run me about $500-$1000. For a first time safety razor user, a 1961 brass plated in nickel flare tip superspeed Gillette would be my best bet. I was worried about the durability of nickel but he said that this particular razor did not have any springs and works on pure gravity and friction. In fact, he recommended investing in an older safety razor as opposed to a new one because things were built to last back then.
I asked him about getting a new Merkur razor, and while he loved the older models, he said that the new ones have terrible quality control issues with the chrome plating and that the heads of them are made from zamak which is a zinc alloy that is horribly prone to corrosion. Once it is exposed, the heads get zinc pest and corrode from the inside out. He said that Germany always seemed to use zinc for razors probably because of the need for brass in wartime, but they did a better job of plating back then so it could cope. Additionally, he told me that Edwin Jagger razors are zamak but have a very thick plating. The only problem is if you drop it the screw holding the cap on tends to snap off because the metal is brittle. Parkers are brass, but are poor quality according to him.
So I decided that I would go with the Gillette. He gave me a great deal, $15.00, which is about the same price as four refill heads of the Venus Gillette that I was using before, and even recommended some plastic free boxed razor blades that I could get at Pasteur Pharmacy in NYC. For a women using this razor for legs, underarms etc. he recommended the Personna red blades which can be recycled. I am going to make sure to dry the blades and the razor after each use to prolong its lifespan. Plus, it is gorgeous, I mean look at it! I will feel cool each time I shave, that’s a first! I can’t wait to try it out!