#1
Can someone please explain why some companies charge so much for DE razors? Some vendors are selling DE razors for well over $200! I'm looking for of an explanation as to what makes these razors better? Do they use better materials? Are the products better quality? Will a $200 razor necessarily be better then a cheap razor?
I know that this reasoning is flawed and it has been proven wrong for most products including soaps, cream, AS...etc, but what about razors? I've only ever used two razors: a EJ de89 and a Parker 22c. Thanks!

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#2
(This post was last modified: 07-29-2015, 01:02 PM by steeleshaves.)
Better is debatable!  Most of the high end razors have emmaculate machining and use more expensive materials and most are made by hand and not mass machined or produced.  The reason they are expensive and their makers can charge that much, is simply people Have proven they are willing to pay that much for them.  There are very good quality razors in the 60-100 range that are very well built and shave great; Merkur, Muhle, and Ikon fit this mold.  Don't feel you need to break the bank to get a razor that will last for years, shave wonderfully, and look nice to boot. 

To me, getting a great shave is three parts; one is the razor and second and most important, technique and lastly, the blade of choice. If your technique is average, a 200 razor won't make a bit of difference.  A great shave can be had with a ten dollar razor and good technique, lather, etc.

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#3

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
(07-29-2015, 11:49 AM)steeleshaves Wrote: Better is debatable!  Most of the high end razors have emmaculate machining and use more expensive materials and most are made by hand and not mass machined or produced.  The reason they are expensive and their makers can charge that much, is simply people Have proven they are willing to pay that much for them.  There are very good quality razors in the 60-100 range that are very well built and shave great; Merkur, Muhle, and Ikon fit this mold.  Don't feel you need to break the bank to get a razor that will last for years, shave wonderfully, and look nice to boot. 

To me, getting a great shave is three parts; one is the razor and second and most important, technique and lastly, the blade of choice. If your technique is average, a 200 razor won't make a bit of difference.  A great shave can be had with a ten dollar razor and good technique, lather, etc.

For me, this explanation just about covers it. Smile
#4

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
I think it all comes down to personal value.  would I pay $200 or more for a razor?  absolutely not, but there are a lot of people who are willing to do so because they feel they're getting a better quality product.  if there wasn't a demand out there, the market would diminish.  since we keep seeing more and more artisans making $150+ razors, the market is definitely there.

for example, I wear brooks sneakers on a daily basis. they're incredibly expensive at $115 or more per pair. does everyone need to wear a pair of brooks sneakers? no, but they've been the best shoe for my feet (high arch and an underpronator in a 4e width).

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Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
#5
Like has been said in previous posts, it's an individual thing. I personally have an ATT H2 and it is my go to razor. Between it and the iKon SE handle, I'm over $200 on it and wouldn't trade it for anything. I get consistent, close shaves from it, so to me, it was well worth it. I did have a hard time justifying the purchase at first, but have never regretted it.
#6
(07-29-2015, 09:10 AM)C@nn@r Wrote: Can someone please explain why some companies charge so much for DE razors? Some vendors are selling DE razors for well over $200! I'm looking for of an explanation as to what makes these razors better? Do they use better materials? Are the products better quality? Will a $200 razor necessarily be better then a cheap razor?
I know that this reasoning is flawed and it has been proven wrong for most products including soaps, cream, AS...etc, but what about razors? I've only ever used two razors: a EJ de89 and a Parker 22c. Thanks!

I agree with the other responses. What it really comes down to, I think, is materials and tolerances. Most razor heads are now made of pot metal aka zinc alloys. These are very inexpensive metals melted together in one "pot." If they are coated properly with chrome or nickel, and cared for properly, they should be quite durable in normal use. Mass manufacturing methods mean that sometimes a razor head will have an uneven blade gap, giving you more blade on one side than the other. The pricey razors are generally made of at least 303 stainless steel, like ATT, and some, like Wolfman, are made of marine-grade stainless steel. They still require care if they're to last. And, for the money, you expect a razor with very exacting tolerances--perfectly even blade gap, excellent balance. 

I have an ATT Atlas with an M1 plate, having recently traded my R1 plate. It looks beautiful. It will outlast me. I enjoy using it. But, if I'm being honest, my Merkur 34C shaves just as well, if not a smidgen better. 

So more $ does not mean a better shave. All the razor does is hold the blade in place with enough torque and exposure to give you the kind of shave you want, e.g., comfortable or aggressive. As long as the razor head doesn't let the blade move around in it and flex, you're fine. Gillette made some wonderful razors back in the day. They were loss leaders, sold very inexpensively in order to ensure that customers would have to buy blades, which is where the money was and still is for the big boys. Those razors were made of brass, usually, and plated with chrome or nickel and will still perform flawlessly if they've been cared for properly. 

Ultimately, the fancy razors provide a lot of esthetic gratification. I love knowing that my ATT was made here in America by a guy who really cares about the quality of his product, and that it was built to last. It's handsome as George Clooney. That adds to the joy of using it, caring for it, cleaning it. Does it shave better than my Merkur? No.

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#7
Some time ago I purchased a $200+ Feather AS-D2. There were two reasons that lead me to make this decision. First, I have somewhat sensitive skin and so if I shaved daily with most other razors I would experience razor burn and the AS-D2 is such a mild razor that I can shave twice a day with a feather blade without any burning or irritation ever. The second reason was that I had a new son and I wanted something to pass down to him--this was the strongest factor in my decision.

As far as the quality of the shave, the AS-D2 often gives me shaves that are inferior to the PAA Double Open Comb from which I regularly get BBS shaves with 3 passes and some buffing. However, the AS-D2 can give me a damn fine shave in two passes so it is a uniquely good routine shaver. Is that difference work $170 more? Yes, for me that plus the fact it is beautifully crafted, and will be a family heirloom are well worth the price.
#8
It's not unlike the question, why does anyone need 10, 20, or 100 razors? Adding need in there, the answer becomes simple. You don't. Why people do is more aligned to want or a quest for something. Want vs need is the issue there. The razor count goes up because you enjoy having different razors around. Face it for many wet shaving and safety or straight razors turn shaving into something you enjoy vs. a task that must be done. You don't need 50 soaps either. I still have plenty and acquire more. I do enjoy them.

With the cost issue, yes there are reasons, that have already been stated- better materials (in most cases yes) closer tolerances (in most cases yes) etc. ATT makes a great razor. Wolfman by all accounts, a great razor. They are made by craftsmen that care about and love creating their product.That has a value and really all of those razors are heirloom quality. There was a time when every Gillette produced was heirloom quality, or close to it. That's why there are some many 100 year old Gillettes around. You see far fewer old Merkurs. Doesn't mean Merkur or Muhle don't make great razors. Zamak is not an eternal material though. Yet you do see some Probaks that are in great shape and others that are pitted and falling apart. In order to produce a quality product, from great materials, with excellent quality control, on a smaller scale, is more expensive that mass producing with cheaper materials and higher quality tolerances.

Then there is the quest angle. That "holy grail" razor is just over the horizon. I don't think many really believe that, but it's fun looking none the less.

Aesthetics certainly play into it as well. Because this becomes a hobby or a ritual you enjoy, adding new and interesting razors adds to that.

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Jay, owner of Delta Echo Razor Works.
#9
A personal choice as to wether a $300 is better than a $25 razor.  I have the spectrum (a wolfman on the way shortly) ATT, Ikons and the trusty  Maggard MR7 v1 head, Fatboy, and a $15 GEM clog proof.    You know what?  I get a BBS from all of them and I love how they all shave differently.

Could  I get by with a $15 razor absolutely.  Would I get by on ONE $15 razor, not if I can help it!
#10
I agree.
Especially a beginner will not feel so much difference.
However also a beginner will need at least a decent razor that let them develop a good technique. So just buying that 3 bucks chinese knockoff, will not cut it.
But thankfully you can get cheap performers like a Razorock Mission, Merkur 23c, Edwin Jagger or PAA DOC. All excellent razors for below 40 bucks.

Now when you had some time and really appreciate differences in razors I think you will feel a difference between all of them.
I have long said, that it does not matter to buy an expensive one, as the under 50 crowd does the same job nicely. And I was encouraged when I got to test an ATT H1. It was a very good well crafted razor, but honestly I thought my Razorock SLAB shaves just as good.
On the other hand I did want to experiment further, funny guy that I am, and bit the apple and bought an ATT S1 slant. Now I have to say I was totally impressed. The steel in it is excellent, the weight and craftsmanship is outstanding and most of all, it is mild and efficient in one razor. It is by far my favourite shaver now.

The question remains, is it 4 or 5 times as good as the PAA DOC or RR SLAB? No, but it is better and I can appreciate that and would buy it again. Also the "cast" metal razors I have will over time wither away, the ATT stainless steel will probably outlive me for quite some time.

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