The Shocking Cost of Razor Blades

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One thing that's always irked me is the cost of replacement blades for my Gillette Mach3 Power Nitro Razor. I received the razor as a birthday present from my wife (then girlfriend) a few years ago as an update from my ageing Gillette Mach 3 Turbo Razor (note the slightly different name). To be honest, there is little difference between the two other than the newer one has a battery powered vibrator which helps the blade glide more smoothly across my skin.

However, the real difference comes in when you buy blades. I've just spent �9.76 in the local Tesco buying just eight Mach3 Razor Blade Cartridges, which is just a bit of a rip off. However, this is nothing compared with buying the matching green blades for the Nitro, which would have cost over �13. I'm not sure if there is any significant difference between the two other than colour and marketing. Both types of cartridge look identical and fit perfectly on the handle, but I'm sure as hell not going to pay the extra money just to be colour coordinated!

Gillette are currently in the middle of a massive advertising campaign to persuade people to upgrade to the new Gillette Fusion Power, but despite any technical improvements, the utterly scandalous cost of replacement blades (over �18 in Tesco) is more than enough to put me off. The older, but more affordable Mach 3 blades won't fit on the new handle anyhow so I'm certainly not going to upgrade.

I have an electric shaver which does the job (and doesn't require regular replacement blades), but the resulting shave is nowhere near as close as with a wet shave. I could invest in a proper old style cut throat razor and sharpener, which I'm sure would result in a great shave after the learning curve, but with curious young children in the house that is a definite no go. Cheap disposable razors are another option, but having used them in the past they tend to give a very harsh shave which isn't as close as with the more expensive options - plus it seems such a shame to throw so much plastic away each time.

What is a man to do, other than continue to prop up the Gillette corporate monster?

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As someone who has to wet shave every day (remarkable when you look at the top of my bonce) I totally agree.

I got sucked into using the mach3 power cos it was on offer, but no way was i buying the new blades. it's the razor that vibrates, not the blade!

The biggest swizz of all is the new gel. It's funny to keep seeing it reduced cos surely no-one's being taken in by that. I've switched to King of Shaves' gel. It costs a bit more, but you use less and the shave is far better.

I hear ya there. I use the old skool Mach 3 myself, and the blades here are AUD $22 for 8. Insane!

Ultimately, as a software guy, this is the kind of software I'd like to make. Software which people use day in day out, and pay a small fee for. Then when they "run out" they just pay for more. I've used the term "razorblade software" for ages. I should buy the domain :)

Razorblade software. Interesting idea, though isn't it already called "Episodic gaming"? ;-)

I thought it was called World of Warcraft...

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This page contains a single entry by KeefJudge published on July 1, 2009 2:20 PM.

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