This is a review that has been several months in the making, but the results are finally in! I guess to start off, I should let my new readers know about my post outlining why I stopped using plastic razors and changed to using a safety razor. You should read that post before reading this one.
This review will cover four main topic areas: ease of use, effectiveness, and cleaning and storage and finally any cons for using a safety razor. Let’s get started!
Ease of Use
So, of course, the most important concern for many people who are considering switching from the popular plastic razors to safety razors are how easy and safe they are to use. I also was very nervous when I used them the first time, but in all honesty, my fears were unfounded. The Viking Razor came with an excellent instruction guide and the set that I started with also came with blades that are perfect for beginners (apparently, there are more ‘aggressive blades on the market for those that have coarser hair than I). The blades are easy to install; the bottom of the handle twists to allow the top ‘claws’ to open up for the blade to be inserted.
Using the razor is also very easy once you get the hang of it. You don’t have to apply any pressure when using this razor; the weight of the head is enough pressure to get a close shave. You don’t have to go over the same patches multiple times either. Finally, you have to try to keep a consistent angle in order to get the closest share (admittedly, it took awhile for me to get used to that, but now I feel comfortable). I was extremely worried about getting cuts–who hasn’t gotten numerous cuts on their knees from those cheap disposable razors??–but I have used my safety razor to shave my legs, underarms, and bikini line and have not cut myself a single time. Just be more aware when using this and you will be fine!
I am going to start by saying that I honestly cannot believe I ever thought I had a good shave before using this razor. In my post about why I switched, I had heard that some women got razor bumps when using a safety razor, and I did the first time I used it; however, I have discovered that using a very liberal amount of coconut oil is all it takes for me to not get those bumps!
Also, the shaves I got from using this razor are the closest and longest lasting shaves I have ever experienced. In summers past, I was shaving two or three times a week, but now I only shave once a week. Time not shaving is time free to enjoy life!
Cleaning and Storage
Once you are finished shaving, you can remove the blade and clean all of the shaving cream (or rather coconut oil)from the blade and the inside of the razor and then hang it or set it aside to dry. Easy peasy! Admittedly, the razor does get a bit clogged up when using coconut oil, but that is a minor inconvenience compared to the chemicals in traditional shaving creams. I am also very careful to remove any excess coconut oil from the blade to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
After the blade and the razor are finished drying, I put the blade back in and then put it all in the case. I also store all of the used blades in the case–do NOT throw away the paper or throw the blades into the regular trash–until I am ready to send them off for recycling. Safety razor blades (also known as double-edged blades) are recycled at several shops via mail and can be cleaned and sharpened or melted down and remade into new blades. In order to recycle your old blades, put them back into the paper sleeves that you took them out of, put them in an envelope, and ship them to a recycling center.
My safety razor kit cost me $36.97 and it came with five blades. I also got a box of 50 replacement blades for $14.97. For both of those, I was able to use free shipping. So I have spent a total of $51.94 on for the blades and the razor. The razor will never cost me any additional money (unless I lose it). Based on the last four months since I purchased the razor, I use two blades a month. So the 55 razors I have should last about two years and one and a half months. That total price comes to $2.04 per month for the first two years. After that, I will only need to purchase refill blades. That cost comes to $0.60 per month. This is so much cheaper than using the cartridge-blade razors I was using before! I am kicking myself internally for not making this switch–and therefore saving money–sooner. When I think of all the money I could have saved (and consequent trips I could have taken with my freshly shaved legs….)….
Cons of Using a Safety Razor
Like everything in life, there are cons to using the safety razor and I want to make sure that you are fully aware of them before making the switch yourself. First of all, safety razors are not allowed in carry-on luggage. While this is understandable, it is also a bit frustrating. As expats, we often travel more than the average person and therefore need to have our toiletries handy in our carry on luggage. The second con I can think of is the learning curve. I have been very careful (and lucky) so I have not cut myself since making the shift (knock on wood); however, be prepared to tend to a few nicks as you adjust to the new razor. Once you get the hang of it though, you will be fine!
There you have it: my comprehensive review of the Viking Safety Razor. I hope this has encouraged you to quit your disposable razors and try out this bad boy! Please put your thoughts, comments, and questions below!
To find out more about what I use for sustainable living or blogging, check out my resources page.