Manual vs. Electric Razors; Which is Cheaper?

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Manual vs. Electric Razors; Which is Cheaper?

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Shaving is one of the foundations of a men's personal hygiene. In addition to shaving my head once a week, I complete my squeaky clean look by shaving my face every morning.  

I've used an electric razor for years, but noticed recently that my shave just isn't as smooth as it used to be. I thought about switching back to using an old school manual razor, but was curious which one would be more cost effective. I know from buying razor blades for my wife that they are crazy expensive, so I thought an electric razor would definitely be cheaper.  

Before committing to one or the other, I did a little price comparison to see which would be the better choice.

Electric Razor:

You can spend anywhere from $50 to $350 on a razor. The most common price point, including the razor I currently own, is right around $90. The product comes with one set of heads included, so you're ready to shave right out of the box. Replacement heads cost $30, and the recommendation is that they are replaced once a year.

Cost of use: $90 for the first year, $30 every year after that.

Manual Razor:

A manual razor which allows the blade to be replaced can be picked up for about $10. Blade refill packages cost roughly $10 for 5 blades, or $2 each. A little research on the internet showed that while length of use may vary based upon frequency of use and the type of hair being cut, two weeks was the general lifespan of a razor blade:

Cost of use: $62 for the first year, $52 (26 blades in a year x $2 per blade) every year after that.


Let's see how the cumulative cost of each solution stacks up as time goes on:

Year       Electric  Manual

1              $90         $62

2              $120       $114

3              $150       $176

4              $180       $228

5              $210       $280

It actually takes a few years for the electric razor to be a less expensive solution. Although to be honest I admit I'm not including in this the price of shaving cream. After year threes, the electric razor solution seems to pull away in cost effectiveness. I don't know what the average lifespan of an electric razor is, but I've had mine for 8 years and it's still spinning. 

Since I already own an electric razor, I can get new heads for $30 and keep on using it. Over all it is the most cost effective solution, and I can keep my squeaky clean look.

What kind of razor do you use?

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Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family in Minnesota. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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  • Great post and comparison. I will say I'm still rocking a regular Gillette Fusion razor and shave every single day. I'm at 4 razors/year thanks to the steps in this blog post from a few years ago -

  • Keep rockin' that Fusion, Kevin....thanks for the pointer to a great article from our friends over at Wisebread!

  • I'm a women and I use the Merkur Long Safety Razor in Polished Chrome which goes for 50 dollars and buy Astra Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades ,100 Blades (20 x 5)  for 11 bucks. I got them about 4 years ago and I still have plenty left. I think buying disposable razors and/or electric razors are over-rated. Before I was expending over 60/m just on disposable razors and honestly, it's so much better and nicer to use the old style razor. I would highly recommended to anyone. Of course, men are different and have different needs, but for me as a women, the above has worked perfectly for the past 4 years.

  • Wow, I use a Fusion as well, and blades are very expensive. I have never used an electric shaver, but may be soon. The industry I work in requires a clean shaven face for respirator use. I am gonna look into the electric shaver after reading your comment. Thanks alot for the information Travis, it is something I never even considered. Also I have been in this amazing and Life saving program for quite  awhile and never really read or got into groups, conversations, etc..I am now reading and diving in more and more. Just so much great information and support at our disposal. Again Thank you my Friend

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