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Let's talk Gillette

King C Gillette blades are awesome, I'm a fan of them, and many people getting wet shaving to save money get bitten by the collection side of the hobby, have no self control, and spend so much money that they can't dig themselves out............buy what you need, use what you have, replace what's gone.
 
I have been thinking about Gillette lately. There are some thoughts I would like to share. And your opinion on them.

Let me start with one of the first things that caught my eye when I joined B&B. Many seemed to have started wet shaving out of frustration about cartridges. They consider shaving with cartdridges a bit unethical, considering the cost and the polluting nature of cartridges. On top of that big companies in general, but Gillette in particular are being criticized for this bussiness model, that promotes nonsensical illusions about ever improving shaves with their products. Plus companies like Gillette seem too dominant in this market. A position many as a matter of principal don't like.

I started wet shaving for some of these reasons. When I started to shave my head during the pandemic, I realised how fast the expensive Gillette cartridges deteriorated. On top of that they left too much stubble to my liking.
At first, I truly believed switching to wet shaving would save me money. I can now say it has not. Far from it. But that's me. Or us: those who discover the passion of real shaving. I don't mind that I spend MUCH more on shaving now than I ever did.
Some may save money, but I do not.
The pollution argument was never an issue for me, but I doubt that my shaving footprint is less polluting than when I used cartridges.
The conclusion should be that only my frustration about the lesser shave quality cartridges deliver remains valid. The funny thing is Gillette now provides the solution. Their DE blades are among my most beloved blades.
I admit I resented Gillette as a freshman to wet shaving. But my opinion has since changed.

Another thing that comes to mind is the resentment some seem to bare towards Gillett's bussiness model. They are the most powerfull player in the shaving universe and exploit their position by charging exorbitant pricing. This may be true. On the other hand: does Feather not do this? And artisan soap makers? I think they do and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Profit leads to investments, investments lead to better products and thus more satisfaction for us, the consumers.

A final thought that came to me is: what to think of the King C. Gillette line Gillette introduced? What was their intention? Profit, for sure. But what else? Personally, I don't know anyone that started wet shaving after buying the nice KCG razor and blades. Surely that must have been one of the reasons for Gillette to introduce the KCG line. I would think that would have been good for all of us too. In the West, we are a niche. More wet shavers would mean more possibilities for companies to develop more and better products. We would benefit.

So: my thoughts on Gillette have changed. I am curious about yours.
I started wet shaving for some of these reasons. When I started to shave my head during the pandemic, I realised how fast the expensive Gillette cartridges deteriorated. On top of that they left too much stubble to my liking.
I started Traditional wet shaving I wanted to save money possibly also, I'm glade I did venture into it and it became more of a hobby and of course my shaving gear increased over the years.
Where I live in Northern Alberta Canada I use to get my haircut at the mall for many years and spent about $27 a month with a tip and then about & $3 for gasoline to drive there & you had to book appointment, this ordeal took about 1 hr of my time.
I got some hair clippers for Christmas(2017) 4yrs 3months ago I have been clipping my own hair since. I spent yearly about $80 on cartridges and Gillette gel for shaving.
So that adds up to about $440 a year X 4.25 yrs since I started wet shaving of about $1,870.00 Canadian and this year I'm ahead in saving money. If I did not make this my hobby and just gave my self a haircut over that time would saved a lot more money also. Would I change anything I doubt it, I very much enjoyed this way of shaving and buying gear and on the forums.
If a person shaves his head(haircut) over the years and just have the basics for shaving yourself how could you not save money and have a great smooth cut every time. Haircuts vary depending on where you live and during the Covid 19 pandemic you could not go to barber during 2020-21 where I live and I was always groomed and shaved.
It's a time event saving money is my thought wet shaving & my first razor was a Gillette adjustable slim I bought for $20 at a garage sale(still use it once in a while).
Gillette has always made their money making proprietary shaving blades and a inexpensive razor to go along with the blades for the last 100 + years through wars and depressions and they are still making quality gear IMO.
 
I started Traditional wet shaving I wanted to save money possibly also, I'm glade I did venture into it and it became more of a hobby and of course my shaving gear increased over the years.
Where I live in Northern Alberta Canada I use to get my haircut at the mall for many years and spent about $27 a month with a tip and then about & $3 for gasoline to drive there & you had to book appointment, this ordeal took about 1 hr of my time.
I got some hair clippers for Christmas(2017) 4yrs 3months ago I have been clipping my own hair since. I spent yearly about $80 on cartridges and Gillette gel for shaving.
So that adds up to about $440 a year X 4.25 yrs since I started wet shaving of about $1,870.00 Canadian and this year I'm ahead in saving money. If I did not make this my hobby and just gave my self a haircut over that time would saved a lot more money also. Would I change anything I doubt it, I very much enjoyed this way of shaving and buying gear and on the forums.
If a person shaves his head(haircut) over the years and just have the basics for shaving yourself how could you not save money and have a great smooth cut every time. Haircuts vary depending on where you live and during the Covid 19 pandemic you could not go to barber during 2020-21 where I live and I was always groomed and shaved.
It's a time event saving money is my thought wet shaving & my first razor was a Gillette adjustable slim I bought for $20 at a garage sale(still use it once in a while).
Gillette has always made their money making proprietary shaving blades and a inexpensive razor to go along with the blades for the last 100 + years through wars and depressions and they are still making quality gear IMO.
I agree that Gillette’s business model never really changed. Like any company, they are in the business of making money for the owners/stockholders. If they do not evolve their product, then someone else will dominate in that market.

Companies do not need to determine what is best for their customers as it’s up to the customers to decide if their product meets their needs. It’s all a matter of providing a product that the market will buy.

There are options available to all of us if we do not like Gillette for whatever reason, but we should not expect that they must conform to our way of thinking. TWS is a niche market and we’re just a blip for P&G’s revenue.
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Weird thing for me is that Personna might as well be the only name for shave-quality stainless GEM-style blades.

Folks in North America usually get the best price on those blades from Connaught’s despite the higher fuel use of making the blades in the USA, shipping them to some island in the Atlantic, and having them boomeranged back.

With six continents able to make such things, it’s wacky to me that Personna is the only company making bank off this expired patent design.

So I’m hoping some other company can find a way to profit from the sub-niche of folks enjoying GEM-style stainless blades or for Personna to generate an ad campaign that takes something innocuous as “don’t be a bigot or generally disrespectful of others” and makes it into sanctimonious hectoring along with lower prices for the blades. Or just lowers the prices. I’m cool with that, too.

Adding them and that blade as they’re sort of competing with Gillette.
 
Well I for one avoid P&G/Gillette the giant corporation doesn't need my money. In the cart days I was also a Schick user so.... bad blood.
 
I just love my vintage Gillette razors, and the new King C Gillette blades are the bomb, but their newest razor offerings weren't even designed by them, just Mühle and EJ clones.

I got into traditional wet shaving to save my face from the electric monsters I had been using for decades, not to save money, which I certainly have not.

Which leads me to this question, did Gillette ever make an electric razor?

~doug~
I think now Procter and Gamble owns both Gillette and Braun (electric).
 
I moved to double edged shaving in the early 90's, and the pollution aspect wasn't on my radar. Cartridges were expensive, and barely lasted me a week, even shaving every other day. Double edge blades (Wilkinson Sword Classic being the only option on the peg at the time) were very significantly cheaper. I figured it was worth a try, and found that they also lasted far longer, and gave me a vastly superior shave too. There was no going back... well, except for the occasional blade drought, or using a Christmas present razor until it ran our of carts.

I have used two older Gillette razors, and neither shaved me as well or as comfortably as my Edwin Jagger DE3D14. The only other Gillette products I have bought in the last three decades, are around 100 double edged blades.

So, I can live without Gillette products quite happily. However, I do seem to have much less problem cutting out unwanted life elements than others might. No wife/partner, kids or pets. No Amazon or Google account. No Television. No social media. Easy job.
Gosh, you're not far from my situation. No television or social media; don't drink or smoke (any more). I married at the age of 44 because my randiness got the better of me, and it was a one-off finding a woman with the same don't dos as me.
 
TL;DR - girl stuff is slightly different, but mostly the same take on going DE. Big business bad. Can't do much anyway.

Coming from a somewhat different angle on all this...

Multi-national Corporations have pretty much always been evil. In fact corporations were always pretty sketchy, but when a large number of laws went through, including that a corporation could be treated as a 'person' under the law, it got a whole lot worse. Whatever safeguards were there pretty much got torpedoed and businesses ran amok.

We live in late stage capitalism, its only got worse.

So, Gillette is what it is, like any other business of that size, for whatever product you want to name. Marketing of any company hones in on what fits for them, high prices for niche markets, low prices but low quality (usually) for mass produced, and some tweaking based on what competitors are doing.

I got into DESR for many of the same reasons. I started with Daisy razors because when you went to the 'girl' section, that was the main thing there, but I always felt bad throwing out the whole razor. I tried a Flicker once, hideous thing, got more nicks with this 'safety' razor then anything else. (for writing this, looked up to see who produced it, lo and behold Personna). So, when cartridges came along, I started using them. A Sensor, and then a Sensor Excel... and many years later was annoyed that it was hard to get razors, and toyed with the idea of three blades, but they were horribly expensive. So, with the move to four razors, and me still stocking up on Excels when I can find them, I decided to give DESR a try. I'd seen a few DE razors in the shaving section, and there was a bit of nostalgia from seeing my dad and brothers shave, and I liked the enviromental angle, because besides getting more and more blades, the cartridge movement was big on bizarre handles with gimmicks and lots of added plastic and rubber, and it was just silly.

I sort of saved money, and didn't. I got into *collecting* and that put me out a fair bit, however, when I gave up my collection, it was to the Saint Sue charity auction, so I don't count it as a loss financial for me, it was a donation. Since then I have stuck to two razors, and razor blades I pick up at the barber shop or drugstore, and a silver trip badger brush that is seven years old and still going strong. Poraso/Cremlo for soap, but I'm going to be picking up a new soap soon, probably a bit better, but not too expensive. So, now, I am definitely saving money. I usually give a couple of male friends cartridge blades for Christmas, and am always astounded at how much they cost. They go through spray can foam faster than I go through my soap. It might not make much of a difference as a 'protest' but I'm still happy to go with my vintage razor and blades. Will it make a world of difference? no. Do I have other areas in my life where I'm not careful of the enviroment? yes. But I still like the feeling when I slip an old blade into the safe, and take a new one out.

It's not wrong for a business to make money, or work demographics to their favour, but its a captive market...most men and women shave in North America, and many other parts of the world. When you have a captive market, you don't have to care about your customer, these companies may compete, but within their own world, they don't want to ruin the game for everyone.

We're a captive participants because it is almost impossible to escape. Short of a lifestyle of going 'back to the land', we have a society that has so strongly bought into fast/cheap/plastic/novelty that there isn't much else left. We're paying for it now, too.
All you say is true. My way of dealing with it is to buy blades made by firms not yet bought by P&G/Gillette. I love Treet Platinum made in Pakistan. I am also fond of Dorco made in Korea. Both brands are surprisingly cheap.
 
It’s not just Gillette and it’s not just cartridges. Besides the other companies like Harry’s that produces plastic encased blades, think of all the disposable whole razors. And about the same time someone thought we needed toothbrushes with handles the sizes of broomsticks. Don’t get me started on OTC pill bottles being sold half full. Seems the scarcer petroleum gets the more throwaway plastic is marketed.
 
I will never forgive the “best a man can be” advertisement. Gillette PERMA-SHARP blades are in my rotation, and I wish they were not from Gillette. They are great blades for me and I cannot be a critic of “cancel culture” and then be a hypocrite. But I do enjoy that Gillette does not derive revenue or profit from all of the vintage Gillette razors I purchase…
 
They are great blades for me and I cannot be a critic of “cancel culture” and then be a hypocrite.
Cancel culture is more than a person boycotting a company. Cancel culture tries to destroy a person or company. It’s much more vengeful and mean.
 
There is a nostalgic thing for me using a safety razor. I think more people would use it if the grocery stores actually had it in the shelf. I wish I discovered this method sooner.

I was in the military. For as much as we have to shave, I wish safety razors made it back into the military culture.
 
I shaved everyday for 22 yrs because I had to, then retired from that and grew a beard for 8 yrs (used the same Mach 3 cart for 8 yrs to dry shave my neck line!), and on a whim purchased 4 new carts ($22-wince) and shaved off the beard and remembered why I hated carts. Not wanting to go back, I did a whole Mach 3 shave just using the single trimmer blade and it was just as efficient but more comfortable. I remember thinking, "wait a minute..." and I began to look for an alternative; deciding to try and find a razor like the one my dad let me play with when he first went to carts in the early 70s. After buying/using a few antique store razors, I figured out it was a NDC SuperSpeed, but by then I was hooked. I hadn't heard about the toxic masculinity ad until I joined B&B, so it holds no sway or angst with me. I use DEs, SEs and straights for the nostalgia, comfort and self-sufficiency that they foster. I still have the 3 remaining carts in the package I purchased, and that first cart I used to shave with gets pulled out on occasion to quickly catch any stray hairs I missed after a DE/SE/straight, but I doubt I will ever do a full shave with it again. I just hate that flippy/floppy blade, and the way it suctions to my face--there's just something wrong with being able to stop mid stroke, let go of the handle and the razor will just hang there, stuck to your face... vibrating...
 
A very good read. The original, and continued intent was to sell
razor bades to make money and handles to hold them were cheap
to keep you buying the blades.

Hmmmmmm?

Can't hold the patents any more for DE blades so corner the market for
research into, and corner the market on, cartredge razors. It's good business.

It doesn't detract from the fact that King C. Gillette made the leap from straight
razors to a more user friendly safety razor. This by no means means I won't
fall down the straight razor rabbit hole. Soon.

You get to shave tomorrow!

KCG.jpg
 
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I guess, based on this thread, that my experiences among our little community are somewhat different. I always thought I had good shaving using Gillette cartridge razors. Yeah, I noticed the price increases for cartridges over the years.

But when Gillette came out with their power handles, I saw a marked improvement in my shaves. Because of my former occupation, I know a bit about surface tension and I even sold equipment designed to break down surface tension to get improved cleaning of printed circuit boards. So I liked their products. I started using Edge gel back when it first came out. I've tried the Fusion gel but I liked the Edge better.

All that to say... I don't hold a grudge against Gillette. I started with their Trac 2 and ended up with a Fusion Power. As I've related here several times, our youngest son gifted me a RR Lupo DE Aluminum and some blades. He was reluctant to do so... very apologetic... Dad, I'm not telling you you are doing it wrong. Just try it.. if you don't like it, I won't be offended... he said stuff iike that. I didn't really care for the Lupo as a piece of equipment and I didn't get a good shave either, but I had no idea what I was doing, so there's that.

Fast forward to now... I've been using a Claymore Evolution since Feb. 18th. I just love it... love shaving as a result. I enjoy the rituals I've already developed when shaving. The whole process of learning.... a new hobby... the journey is engaging.

But I don't hold Gillette responsible for the years I wasn't doing "traditional wet shaving".... I was content...my issue, not theirs.

Just one man's opinion.
 
I guess, based on this thread, that my experiences among our little community are somewhat different. I always thought I had good shaving using Gillette cartridge razors. Yeah, I noticed the price increases for cartridges over the years.

But when Gillette came out with their power handles, I saw a marked improvement in my shaves. Because of my former occupation, I know a bit about surface tension and I even sold equipment designed to break down surface tension to get improved cleaning of printed circuit boards. So I liked their products. I started using Edge gel back when it first came out. I've tried the Fusion gel but I liked the Edge better.

All that to say... I don't hold a grudge against Gillette. I started with their Trac 2 and ended up with a Fusion Power. As I've related here several times, our youngest son gifted me a RR Lupo DE Aluminum and some blades. He was reluctant to do so... very apologetic... Dad, I'm not telling you you are doing it wrong. Just try it.. if you don't like it, I won't be offended... he said stuff iike that. I didn't really care for the Lupo as a piece of equipment and I didn't get a good shave either, but I had no idea what I was doing, so there's that.

Fast forward to now... I've been using a Claymore Evolution since Feb. 18th. I just love it... love shaving as a result. I enjoy the rituals I've already developed when shaving. The whole process of learning.... a new hobby... the journey is engaging.

But I don't hold Gillette responsible for the years I wasn't doing "traditional wet shaving".... I was content...my issue, not theirs.

Just one man's opinion.
No judgement here. Just relating my personnal evolution of feelings towards "Gillette" the
corporation from "King Gillette" a truly gifted man with some crazy Utopian thoughts about
the future of humanity. A contemporary of many of the great thinkers of the Gilded Age/
industrial age. Fascinating time.
 
Gillette amuses me.

I love how they make a cartridge, release it with great fanfare, and then, a few years later, come out with a new cartridge. In order to convince you buy the new cartridge, which is more expensive, they have to make commercials that trash their own cartridge! It never ceases to entertain. "Are you still shaving with that piece of crap 3-bladed thing we made just three short years ago? That thing sucks! It's terrible? We now have a brand new 5-bladed cartridge that pivots in a brand new way. It's awesome. You should buy it!" (I may have paraphrased a bit.)

How is that not amusing? I can't remember another company doing this. For example, Samsung's new TVs are better than the ones they made three years ago, but I have never seen a Samsung ad in which they OVERTLY TRASHED their OWN product. Ever. It cracks me up.

On the other hand, I have no problem whatsoever with their controversial commercial about toxic masculinity. And I don't really have a problem with them charging 5 bucks for a product they make for 22 cents, or whatever it is. It's business, and it's the market, and they are playing the game. They are not the only company making bank on huge markups. I have a Mont Blanc Starwalker pen in my shirt pocket even as I type this (it was a gift; I would not have bought it). It's a nice pen, but $350? Does anybody think Mont Blanc spends more than maybe $30 on the component parts?
 
I can get a RazoRock razor, Voskhod blade, Proraso cream, Duke Cannon Ice Cold balm and avoid them, their greed, and toxic masculinity ad campaigns.

They make great product, just not for me.
 
I would be ok with Gillette if they also put out an ad for female-marketed products that calls out toxic femininity. (Something tells me that's not going to happen, though.)
 
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