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How did cartridge razors become so popular?

Hi to all,

Cartridge razors, is definitely the most commonly used tool for shaving nowadays.
I am wondering why did at the time people decide to adopt cartridge razors rather than any other solution.

Does anybody recall or know what happened?
I am born in '69, so I can recall how we went from one blade cartridge razor to multi blade cartridge, but know nothing of what happened before that.

Why did people prefer the cartridge razor over the more efficient DE for example?
Was it pricing? Ease of use? Marketing?

How did the transition happen? What was commonly used for shaving previously?

I understand why people switched from straight razor shaving to other tools for example. The former needs more skills, more material and more time.
But I can't understand what process led the majority to use expensive, less efficient multi blade cartridge razors today.

Thank you in advance for your input.
Actually, the first cartridge razor was the Wilkinson Bonded.
It was intended as an improvement over DE's.
It actually was an improvement in some ways.
IMHO the best cart ever.
The insanity came later, with Gillette & others producing twin bladed cartridges to one up the competition.
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The Twin Blade cart razors up to the Gillette Sensor really were an improvement over the DE razor. they gave a shave that was comfortable and smooth

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The Twin Blade cart razors up to the Gillette Sensor really were an improvement over the DE razor. they gave a shave that was comfortable and smooth

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk
What got me to switch back to a DE razor was when the prices for the cartridges doubled back in the early nineties. I still enjoy using my Trac-ll, and Sensor razors.


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I didnt know
For me it was the simple fact that Wilkinson Sword blades were the only DE blades available here in Canada and when they shifted production out of England and into Germany or wherever it went, the blades really didnt agree with me or my father. He switched to Bic disposables and eventually grew a beard instead. I switched to the Gillette Sensor in the late 80's or early 90's. Then the Sensor Excel when it came out. I still have it and 2 or 3 of the original cartridges for it because I changed to electrics.

Even today, the only DE blades available for sale here in a city of 400,000 are the very same Wilkinson Sword and at $5.88 for a tuck of 5 at Walmart, or $15.99 for a tuck of 10 from Shoppers Drugs.

I really resent the fact that Gillette manipulated the market as they have and to be blunt, removed the enjoyment of the shaving experience for me and so many others just for the sake of greed. I feel they've robbed me of almost 30 years of enjoyable shaves. It was fun for me when I learned on my fathers old Brit Rocket and its been fun for me these last few months since coming back to DE shaving. Being robbed of that enjoyment for the roughly 27 years really bothers me.
I'm pretty positive that in most places it was more of "this is the only thing that's in stores" rather than it being popular. Most manufacturers stopped making DE blades, brick and mortar stores stopped carrying the ones that were still made, and so everyone was really forced to switch to cartridges. I assume the same goes for brushes, soaps, and lathering creams.
Carts are easier to use and easier to learn. They are also quicker and more 'modern'. More profit for the companies.

The rest was marketing (and this has been very successful)!
People tend to forget that sometimes "new" isn't always "better".
I agree, and I've got a feeling by what Gillette's charging for carts now that it's going to bite them in the butt in the end due to the resurgence of the wetshaving movement, and guy's being tired of paying high prices for blades.


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"Slather goo on your face and drag a cartridge over" can be leaned in a couple minutes and preformed in the shower (no cleanup) in under a minute.

When I first took an interest to wet shaving I collected the equipment, spent hours reading about blade angle, pressure, doing a 3 pass shave, different kinds of blades, how to build a proper lather, etc. And I still nicked myself several times.

Cartridge razors are an improvement over DE razors.

Unless you're one of us!
Stores found it more profitable to promote carts. Pricier products have higher margins. In retail, shelfspace is everything: where, when, and how much. What is displayed and promoted is also what is sold.
My shaving experiences began 60 years ago. Only choices I remember were: de, injector se, and electric. Many dads tried to get their sons into electrics to avoid, what they perceived, as the pains of wet shaving. Now alot of us get a kick from those pains, and electrics were never my cup of tea.

The early carts were simple one, maybe two, blade instruments similar to se injectors. They were not unreasonably, priced, gave a pretty good shave, and compared to a de, were more convenent for a society that wanted to get on with it, and didn't think much about DF or BBS shaves.

Madison Avenue knows a gold mind when they see one. "We can add more blades, put on lube strips, add vibration, and tout how much we've improved wet shaving and make a mint at the same time." A great, case, study for the business schools, but a good deal of smoke and mirrors.

A good, simple cartridge, system is a great idea for those folks who want to "get it done" and don't have to have a spit shine everyday, and also for those who don't enjoy all the rigamarole several of us do. Nothing too wrong with either way.

Best regards,
It was a sad time for me when i tried Cart razors, Ingrown hairs, razor burn and a higher expense. thankfully I was able to find supplies for DE/SE shaving at my local pharmacy
In my research I found that DE or SE shaving was a bigger saving per year than Cartridge shaving. But this is just my personal findings.
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