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What is the point of lubricating strips on cartridge razors? WHY?

Good evening to all on this forum.

I just felt the need to get this off my chest this evening. WHY are these so-called 'lubricating strips' found on most cartridge razors? I can understand that some people like the cartridge razors for their ease of use, but surely the lubricating strips are more of a hinderance than anything else since they serve no real purpose; apart from giving the illusion that the razor 'glides' better. Or at the risk of answering my own question; its just an excuse for companies to charge more money than ever for cartridges?

Jason.
 
For guys that scrape their face for a month with the same cart refill and use nothing but water either splashed on or in the shower, it's the only lubrication they get.
If the razor manufacturers could sell the razors without the strips and save .002 cents per cartridge they'd do it, so I don't think it is for profit, except in terms of trying to attract customers.
 
Lubrication. When I used Gillette Fusion and similar razors, I shaved in the shower with water. No shaving cream or soap. I did this for many years and got good shaves.

Whatever crap they put on the cartridges is super slick. For a few shaves anyways.

I haven’t used one in years, doubt I ever will again, and don’t miss them, but I can’t deny that that lube strip worked well.
That's probably another reason these companies put in the strip. If the strip stops lubricating (before the blades dull or the cartridge clogs irretrievably), a person might toss the cartridge early, meaning more cartridges are used and sold.
 
I think I know precisely why they started putting those things on there. Most guys don’t re-lather; they don’t do a pass, evaluate, re-lather, and then do a second pass. They put on whatever canned foam or gel they are using and start scraping away.
They go back over an area several times, if needed, without re-applying lather. The lube strip leaves stuff on their face that allows them to do that without much irritation.

Pretty much every cartridge ”innovation” is there to make up for a serious deficiency in shaving skill. That’s the real reason for many blades, too; it makes up for too much pressure because it spreads the pressure out over the multiple blades (like lying on a bed of nails instead of a single spike).

The razor makers know full well that the average Joe hasn’t the faintest clue how to shave. They also know that it easier to change the razor so that it punishes stupidity less harshly than it is to teach people how to properly use a razor. Voila! Cartridge razor “innovation.”
 
The combination of the rubber before the blade & the lube strip after the blades was originally designed to flatten out the portion of the skin being shaved. The rubber pulls at the skin & the lube let's it go easily. The effect is similar to that of stretching your skin with your off hand.
 
The combination of the rubber before the blade & the lube strip after the blades was originally designed to flatten out the portion of the skin being shaved. The rubber pulls at the skin & the lube let's it go easily. The effect is similar to that of stretching your skin with your off hand.
What I have never been able to understand is why, on most cartridges, the lube (I call it a slime) strip is located after the blades rather than before. Why would you want to apply slime after the blades?
 
I've just had a brilliant idea!

I'm going to buy some new cartridges and dismantle them to extract their slime strips. I am then going to glue these new slime strips along a straight razor's spine-wear area. Imagine shaving with a SR and also getting the benefit of cart slime.

Before I waste my hard earned that could be better spent on more SR's, has anyone here tried this?
 
When I was still using cartridge razor many years ago, I was really used to lazy shaving with only water and lubricating strips (plus facial cleanser at most).

But I still believe that the invention of lubricating strips has a circular causal relationship with "patent benefits", "increased prices" and "convenience".
It may be that an engineer came up with an interesting idea at the beginning, and the company also thinks that it is in line with the benefits/increases the brand characteristics and decides to produce. When consumers develop a habit, they will rely on such a design and continue to be lazy, thereby reducing other competitors ; Until the patent expired, opponents adopted similar technologies one after another, so engineers had to come up with new ideas again.

Digression~
Perhaps some people will remember the RAW RS18 DE razor with lubrication strips.
It is a pity that they ended the brand after a short period of operation due to partner disputes.
Although it complicates simple things and adds consumables, we encourage any innovation.
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What I have never been able to understand is why, on most cartridges, the lube (I call it a slime) strip is located after the blades rather than before. Why would you want to apply slime after the blades?

That's because the original purpose of the lube strip was not to provide shaving soap/lube for the purpose of shaving.

It was to provide a flatter, stretched skin surface for the razor to navigate, by reducing friction after the blade. It's quite effective in doing that, especially when coupled with friction increasing fins before the blade.

Decades after those lube strips were introduced, people now assume that they're intended as shaving lube. Big Shave hasn't made any effort to change that misconception, - instead, they've bought into the myth & let consumers think that's what they're for. So much so, that some women's razors have lube strips on all sides, largely defeating the purpose of the strips in the first place.

Double open comb razors like the vintage Grand Shave King were the first to use that concept of friction reduction after the blade. The upper comb reduced friction by providing a reservoir for lather, & by reducing the amount of metal actually in touch with the skin, so the effect was similar to that of modern lube strips.

Razorock's SLOC, PAA's DOC, & many others work on the same concept.

In fact , even Gillette jumped onto the DOC bandwagon - Gillette Guard razors have an upper comb that replaces the lube strip. Since the comb doesnt wear out, the life of the Guard is dependent on the life of the blade, not the lube strip, making it potentially one of the longest lasting cartridges.

That comb was so successful, that they incorporated it into their SkinGuard razor as well.

Certain Feather AC blades also use fins to reduce friction in the same way. The upper comb is built into the blade itself.

There are a few discussions about this on other forums, but since it's forbidden to post links here, it's best if you google "self lubricating razors" for more information.
 
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I've just had a brilliant idea!

I'm going to buy some new cartridges and dismantle them to extract their slime strips. I am then going to glue these new slime strips along a straight razor's spine-wear area. Imagine shaving with a SR and also getting the benefit of cart slime.

Before I waste my hard earned that could be better spent on more SR's, has anyone here tried this?


Grooved plastic tape is available if anyone really wants to try something like this.

 
I think it's marketing. In all those razor companies there are a bunch of guys who's job it is to think of ways to convince rubes to buy new, and more expensive razors. At the end of the day, it is just cutting your beard off, how many "options" can you add? Vibrating handle? Check. One more blade than the competition? Check. Lubricating strip? Check. Hologram projector that projects your favourite Kardashian? Still a trade secret...
 
Until recently I used to use this kind of razor, and the slime strips are bloody awful. I used to take them off and bin them every time I changed blade cartridges. Which isn't all that easy tbh, you need a thin penknife to kinda lever it off in pieces.
 
Gillette makes Good News disposables with lube strips. I used to shave with them in the shower without lathering. They worked . . . at least for me.
 
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