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Thread: Trying to find a decent cartridge razor for airline carry-on travel

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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Default Trying to find a decent cartridge razor for airline carry-on travel

    I'm trying to find a decent cartridge razor for airline carry-on travel, and it's not easy. I have not used cartridge razors in probably 15 or 20 years. They feel and shave like toys to me now.

    I no longer check luggage on airlines. I only travel with carry-on. So I can't take any bladed razors. No DE, no Injector, no Straight (obviously). That leaves cartridge razors or disposables. Of the two, I will choose cartridge.

    I inherited my late Uncle's Trac II set, his Schick Protector set, and I tried the Gilette Vector that takes the Astra cartridge blades. No thanks. They all yielded me very poor uncomfortable shaves with soap and mirror wet shaving. At least the Trac II had no cheaply made plastic "Give" that seemed to bend the cartridge when shaving because the frame slides onto the razor handle and is held tightly.

    I suppose if I just started shaving in the shower again, they might work OK for me, but I'm looking for a decent cartridge that I can use for wet shaving in the hotel bathroom in front of the mirror. The cartridges I've tried seem harsh and poorly made, but that's why we are wet shavers using real bladed razors I suppose.

    Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
    "I get some lather and lather-up, then I get my razor and shave! Zip Zop, see that? My face Is ripped to shreads!"

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    STF
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZipZop View Post
    I'm trying to find a decent cartridge razor for airline carry-on travel, and it's not easy. I have not used cartridge razors in probably 15 or 20 years. They feel and shave like toys to me now.

    I no longer check luggage on airlines. I only travel with carry-on. So I can't take any bladed razors. No DE, no Injector, no Straight (obviously). That leaves cartridge razors or disposables. Of the two, I will choose cartridge.

    I inherited my late Uncle's Trac II set, his Schick Protector set, and I tried the Gilette Vector that takes the Astra cartridge blades. No thanks. They all yielded me very poor uncomfortable shaves with soap and mirror wet shaving. At least the Trac II had no cheaply made plastic "Give" that seemed to bend the cartridge when shaving because the frame slides onto the razor handle and is held tightly.

    I suppose if I just started shaving in the shower again, they might work OK for me, but I'm looking for a decent cartridge that I can use for wet shaving in the hotel bathroom in front of the mirror. The cartridges I've tried seem harsh and poorly made, but that's why we are wet shavers using real bladed razors I suppose.

    Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.
    If I was travelling on a plane with only hand luggage these days Billy, I probably wouldnt bother with a cartridge jobby but get something like a cheap DE from the pharmacy when I arrived and bin it before i flew back.
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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STF View Post
    If I was travelling on a plane with only hand luggage these days Billy, I probably wouldnt bother with a cartridge jobby but get something like a cheap DE from the pharmacy when I arrived and bin it before i flew back.
    Thanks. I've actually done that in the past, Steve. The only issue is, sometimes you find yourself out of reach of a place to buy a cheap DE and blades. In those cases, you can always get a cheap disposable from a convenience store. But those are even worse (to me) than a cartridge.

    I don't think there is a solution. The best one is probably the Trac II, because it's the most rigid. I had thought that the Schick Protector would be wonderful, since that's a "Wire-Wrapped" blade similar to the Feather Pro Guard. But after trying it a few times, the shaves I get from it are less than desirable.

    Funny thing about Schick, my first job out of college was with Warner-Lambert Company. At that time they owned a bunch of subsidiaries in medical and consumer goods. One of their subsidiaries was Schick, and as an employee, I could buy Schick products for cost plus shipping. I never did. I had already discovered DE and Straight razors, way back then, so I passed on loading-up on Schick products. But they didn't have the "Protector" series back then anyway. That would probably have been the only "razor" I would have been interested in trying.

    At the time, I wasn't even interested in trying the Injector, that I probably could have purchased for around a buck with the employee discount. And back then, Schick also had Wilkinson Sword blades and razors. In hindsight, I should have tried those at the employee deep discount price.
    Last edited by ZipZop; 07-12-2022 at 04:51 PM.
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    I'm a social vegan. I avoid meet. JBHoren's Avatar
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    As you can see from my SOTD posts over the past 1-2 years, I only shave with disposable/cartridge razors. I've never failed to get a BBS shave from any of them; and I'd go so far as to say a consistently superb shave from the Gillette Trac II and Schick Exacta2 models (the first, cartridge; the second, disposable). I get five shaves from each.

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    Maybe a Bic Metal disposable? I used those for decades during my working career.

    If you know your itinerary far enough in advance, why not mail yourself your razors or blades? Ask the hotel staff to hold the package for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
    As you can see from my SOTD posts over the past 1-2 years, I only shave with disposable/cartridge razors. I've never failed to get a BBS shave from any of them; and I'd go so far as to say a consistently superb shave from the Gillette Trac II and Schick Exacta2 models (the first, cartridge; the second, disposable). I get five shaves from each.

    Actually, JB, I did notice you posting the Trac II razors, but didnt know that disposables or cartridges were your only wet shaving razors. But if it works, then it works.

    I posted above that the best cartridge shave I have received was with the old Trac II. I found replacement cartridges on eBay and they are on the way. That will probably be my razor of choice for travel. The way the cartridge slides on to the razor body so firmly makes it a stiff blade, while the others flex. I am really disappointed in the Schick Protector. I have always wanted to try one because of the wire wrapping of the blade to prevent nicks and cuts. Mine was not a good shave. But I did notice that even though my Protector razor was New Old Stock, that the blade "glide" band on the cartridge head had deteriorated. I doused it with 91 percent alcohol, but who knows what crud that band may have been putting on my skin. Those razors are long since discontinued, so in 25 years, lots of things can happen, even to new old stock.

    I ill try the Schick Exacta 2 razors. Thank you.
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    Senior Member ZipZop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve56 View Post
    Maybe a Bic Metal disposable? I used those for decades during my working career.

    If you know your itinerary far enough in advance, why not mail yourself your razors or blades? Ask the hotel staff to hold the package for you.
    I thought about this, Steve. I've done this with other items in the past, usually without issue. I have two concerns about doing this now.

    1.) Mail theft. There is a rash of mail theft out there. It's not rampant, but it is present. I don't want to chance losing a good razor to theft.

    2.) Last minute change of plans. I sometimes have to change my plans last minute to another hotel, or another city or cancel altogether. That can get costly and risky as I am sending my beloved razors all over the place.

    Saying all this, I just got an idea. There is a very decent DE razor at Amazon made for travel that WAS very inexpensive (made i China that comes with a 3 pack of Chinese blades). The BAILI Razor. It's actually not a bad DE razor at all, especially for the price. I have two of them. They are still only $12 with FREE SHIPPING WITH PRIME. They even come in a small travel case with a small mirror for shaving on the go. I may just have Prime send me one to my hotel. That would be the same price as shipping a razor myself, and save me trips to the post office. I'm glad I just thought about that. I assumed after about 8 or 10 years that these razors would have doubled or tripled in price, but on the contrary. I just checked and they actually came down a buck or two since I last bought them. Amazing.

    The only issue would be, I don't know how decent those included Chinese blades may be. I assume they would not be too bad, but I've never used them. I pulled them out of the case and put in Lord of Voskhod blades for travel when I traveled with them in checked baggage. So that would be the only downside of going this route.

    I will try the Bic Metal razors, along with the Schick disposables that JB recommended. Thanks.
    Last edited by ZipZop; 07-12-2022 at 11:44 PM.
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    If I was to travel I would not shave.

    The wiskers hold the mask away from your face and allow you to breath.
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    The best I have ever used of all the disposable or cartridge razors was a nice metal throwaway made by Kai, which I have found only in Japan. Every time I was there and had an hour or two to spare, I would go ashore and pick some up at the 7-11. Yeah, they got them there.

    To me, a throwaway should have a non-swiveling head, and a single blade. Two or more just clog up. Swivel head prevents you from controlling your shave angle at all.

    BIC makes some decent throwaways. The BIC Metal is hard to find but it is pretty good. The BIC Sensitive is also very nice. Cheap and cheesy, no heft, yeah, but they do work pretty good.

    DE blades can be found almost anywhere in the world. Of course, quality varies considerably, and in more primitive economies, what is available might be kind of sucky. There should be no problem with an empty DE razor in your carryon. Just in case, make it a cheapie that you have found shaves okay. You can even 3D print one if you have a 3D printer, for the ultimate in expendability.

    Another solution is to just check a bag. I used to fly a lot with nothing for carryon except a plastic bag with in-flight necessities. Sometimes none at all. If I had a proper carryon, it would be because I had a lot of valuable or sensitive items I couldn't risk in checked baggage. It is such a hassle to duel over overhead bin space. The luggage carousel is a good place for your ground party to meet you, anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZipZop View Post
    I have two concerns about doing this now.

    1.) Mail theft. There is a rash of mail theft out there. It's not rampant, but it is present. I don't want to chance losing a good razor to theft.

    2.) Last minute change of plans. I sometimes have to change my plans last minute to another hotel, or another city or cancel altogether. That can get costly and risky as I am sending my beloved razors all over the place.


    I will try the Bic Metal razors, along with the Schick disposables that JB recommended. Thanks.

    Where I live, mail theft is not something that I am overly concerned with, but even if it were to happen, as long as I send only one or two blades no major loss would occur.
    I see no reason to mail an entire safety razor.
    At no airport security check-point have I ever been stopped for carrying a disassembled 3-piece safety razor in my carry-on baggage.

    I also do not find it too difficult to find DE blades in most international destinations, but in some countries the majority of shops still close over weekends.

    For emergency use, if all of the above should have failed you, you can always toss a disposable in your carry on (and hope you won’t have to use it).

    But I would rather put my faith in my blade(s) getting there and in an emergency ask the hotel for a disposable razor. Most hotels have toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors etc. for cases when baggage gets displaced or guests simply forget to bring them along.
    They may not be stellar, but can be used in an emergency.


    B.
    Last edited by beluga; 07-13-2022 at 05:30 PM. Reason: typo
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