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Arko ain't so cheap

Looks like I first joined in maybe 2007. I must have started in the wet-shaving hobby around 2002 or thereabouts.

I tend toward paradigm shifts, a few months to a year of sudden obsessive research and acquiring, then settle down. I will say happily that I finally did get through the soaps I bought nearly twenty years ago. Maybe I still have a puck of Mitchell's somewhere in my bathroom but all else did get used. My last new blade was four years of Dorco with my Gillette Tech after switching from 4-8 years of exclusively using Feathers before that. I do still have a box of lately untouched straights from my early days which I should re-explore. I can't seem to find that Gillette Old Type from around 1918 which I used to have.

I ran out of Arko recently. Looking for a new supply of el cheapo, I was amazed with all the new brands of shaving gear. Even some of the then-new brands have filled out and developed into much more interesting offerings. For instance, I bought a RazoRock Gillette clone probably in the first few years RR was around. Now look at them. And all these new, ridiculously-priced artisan options? Wow.

Suffice to say that my $2 Arko stick has become a rather expensive purchase.

I now have gotten around to experimenting with those slants I considered years ago. A Razorock German 37, followed by the Wunderbar, ATT S1/S2, Fatip open and closed crowns, Ikon X3, PAA glow-in-the-dark Bakelite replica, etc. And a few additional traditional heads such as a Fendrihan Mk, RR Gamechanger Jaws 84 and Mamba 70. I have enough blades to get me through the next quarter century, at least 1200. Don't forget the several obligate brushes including dipping into boar, horse, and synthetics. Not to mention the additional creams and soaps and aftershaves.

Maybe just a few more items before I batten the hatches for the next decade or two?

Happy the Arko is still priced right.
 
If you haven't tried them yet, I'd encourage you to take a gander at Captain's Choice shave soaps. They're phenomenal! They've provided me with the best shaves I've ever had!

Oh, also Captain's Choice also makes some fantastic shave bowls and recently released a line of scuttles. I'd been primarily a face latherer until I bought a Captain's Choice shave bowl.

And no, I have no affiliation with Captain's Choice aside from being a fan of the products I've used.
 
Sometimes it just takes a small purchase to awake an acquisition disorder.

Amen. I remember my innocent self, back in January when I was browsing cheap DE razors on Amazon thinking “let’s get back to basics instead of cartridges, save a few bucks…”

Oooohhhh boy. It led me down a dark, dark path. But hey, I still think it was all worth it. Plus I found these forums! Best online community ever.
 
Amen. I remember my innocent self, back in January when I was browsing cheap DE razors on Amazon thinking “let’s get back to basics instead of cartridges, save a few bucks…

Oooohhhh boy. It led me down a dark, dark path. But hey, I still think it was all worth it. Plus I found these forums! Best online community ever.

haha, so close to saving money. Just need to buy another $500 of stuff, then I'm ready to save!
 
B&B is a great place to find out about stuff that you don't even know you need.

After purchasing my first SR, a RSO, I discovered B&B. Then I found out that I needed a real SR. Then I found out I needed lapping films and diamond pasted balsa strops. Then I found out that I needed matching seven-day sets. Then I found out that I needed vintage SR's. Then I found out that I needed matching seven-day sets of vintage SR's.

I've saved a fortune by not buying replacement cartridges.
 
It is funny how things work out.

I, like many, changed to DE partly out of a growing frustration with cartridge prices.

I now spend far more on soaps, creams, balms, AS's etc (though not on blades - FTW! lol) than I ever did on cartridges.

But do you know what? I really don't mind because now I am spending it voluntarily on things that give me joy rather than being forced by P&G's accountants.
 
Jaws, quite a bit. Probably my favorite regular head razor thusfar. I find in general that relatively "efficient" or "aggressive" razors (GC Jaws, Wunderbar, ATT S2>S1) with moderately but not crazily sharp blades (Rapira Lux, Astra blue or green, Gillette Green, Bic, etc. ) are my most comfortable combination. I know, efficient doesn't equal aggressive but there is usually a correlation. The Jaws 84 shows me a lot of blade but with a light touch, the geometry must keep it in the correct angle so the whiskers come off easily. With a dull blade, I will have my usual problem of sticking and not passing my whole long strokes and I just get frustrated and feel uncomfortable. Even sharper blades (Feather, Gillette Yellow) still work fine but don't feel quite as smooth, feel more, well, sharp.

I haven't tried the closed or OC or the 68 plates and don't feel any need to experiment more with that razor. One benefit of the GC compared to my slants is that the GC has a "normal" head shape and shallower overall height profile so I am able to navigate around my nose and on the chin more easily, which is where I tend to have any problems keeping the right angle and have my coarser hair.

Milder razor versions like the Mamba or Fatip slants or X3 or vintage Gillettes can be quite painless and comfortable and at times feel hardly like there is a blade but I am left with more residual stubble after my usual 2 passes than I would prefer. I save these for when my girlfriend is not in town or I don't feel the need to faceturbate. TMI, I guess.

btw, the most disappointing purchase of this past year was a 200 blade pack of Personna reds. The Crystals (Personna blues, I understand) work great but the reds just halt and skip on my XTG pass. Haven't bought another large pack since without trying first. Funny how different blades are loved by so many and just don't do it for me or vice-versa.

And regarding the Arko, don't disagree. Hence the irony. Vitos and Cella in large quantity from the right seller are also great bargains, though not as cheap as Arko.
 
We had arko august and 1 cm of arko lasted me 3 weeks and would have lasted the month when I had taken a synthetic instead of that soap hungry badger which eats stirling (which i prefer over arko) at a rate of twice the sample since in under two weeks….

so for a frugal economic and still very good shave arko wins hands down.

still prefer my other soaps which last shorter and are waaaaaay more expensive
 
My addiction started looking for a decent blade to put in an old Gillette Superspeed I had. It's now 12 years later and God only knows how much money I've spent on razors, hones, blades, strops, aftershaves etc etc during that time. It really is a rabbit hole.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
The best I have been able to do is 10 ARKO sticks for USD 20 including shipping from Turkey to the Philippines. The trouble was that it was so popular with my wet-shaving friends in the Philippines that I gave a lot of it away and only left me with four sticks.
I just ordered a 12 pack which will give me a stash of 20 sticks. I also have a half dozen tubes of Palmolive and Kapo cream. I’ll never have to buy soap/cream again. I noticed that a box of ARKO has gone up a dollar over the past two years and I panicked. In a few years I’ll be able to sell it for $20 a stick as “vintage” ARKO and make a small fortune.
 
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