25

When I'm at home I use a double edged safety razor to shave. TSA won't let me fly with safety razors, so when I travel I use a Mach 3 razor.

My problem is that when I open a package of Mach 3 razors and use them only for my relatively infrequent travels (mostly short business overnights, some longer vacation travel), the whole package is oxidized and dull by the time I make a second trip so I waste most of the package.

I've looked for individually packaged razors but have only found cheap disposables in bulk packs of 500.

What's a good way to keep travel razors around without them getting dull before they're ever used?

  • 6
    You might posisbly have gotten a better answer at lifehacks.stackexchange.com – Mawg May 3 '17 at 8:51
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    You could try carefully smearing a little petroleum jelly on the unused blades. That should stop them oxidizing but wouldn't cause trouble when you start to use them. – brhans May 3 '17 at 11:59
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    How do you know a blade has oxidized? It takes me a year to use up a package of mach3 blades. In that time I've never noticed anything, but I am not especially picky about the perfection of my shave. – stannius May 3 '17 at 17:48
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    Put your safety razors in checked luggage. Source: TSA - What can I bring? - Sharp objects – wjandrea May 3 '17 at 22:18
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    Store them under a pyramid – Mark May 3 '17 at 23:34
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I also use a safety razor. Any USA drug store will have 3 or 5 packs of really terrible disposable razors, maybe $1.50 each razor. If you have a heavier beard than I do, you may need more than one for a single decent shave.

I've considered flying with an empty safety razor for vacation and buying a pack of blades at my destination, figuring I can use half of them before getting back on a plane. For short trips, I'm blessed with a job in an industry where appearance is ignored and a beard that's gone completely grey and harder to see.

  • 28
    Speaking as a grey-bearded UNIX sysadmin who turns 50 Real Soon Now, I had not previously considered how convenient my industry is in that regard! – MadHatter May 3 '17 at 6:18
  • more than one? I can eat through a 5 pack of these if I have more than a 3 days beard.... one pass and the blade doesn't do much anymore... (then again my beard is reeeeeally heavy) – Patrice May 3 '17 at 13:29
  • I've considered this as well. The main downside is that it requires that I go shopping every time I arrive at my destination – emmby May 3 '17 at 13:55
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    @emmby I like going to groceries and drug stores in foreign countries, to check out the differences. But razor blades are very expensive in some of them. – Andrew Lazarus May 3 '17 at 23:08
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    That link doesn't work consistenly - for me it says it's not available in my country. – Nobody May 4 '17 at 21:25
16

Thank you for all the great suggestions. Here's the solution I found that works well for me. I bought a pack of original Gillette Venus women's razors, which come individually packaged in sets of 4+. They fit the Mach 3 just fine. Whenever I go on a trip I toss one or two in my dopp kit and have the confidence that they will be fresh when I open them. They also have the advantage of taking up less space than a cartridge of Mach 3 razors.

The original Venus have a slightly larger bevel than the Mach 3, but they don't have all of the extra foaming moisturizer strips of the later Venus models (which are unpleasant on the face and much clumsier to work with)

Be aware that the blade angle on women's razors is slightly different than on men's. I haven't found this to be a problem but YMMV

razor packages

  • 1
    Great solution, but I need to ask: why not just by your razors at your destination? It's a rather universal product. – Weckar E. May 4 '17 at 10:30
  • Someone else also suggested this, see that thread. But the short answer is because it is often inconvenient to do so on short business trips – emmby May 4 '17 at 15:10
  • If this is your soluton, then please award it the answer, to help future readers. A great solution, btw (+1) – Mawg May 5 '17 at 6:58
13

Would you consider purchasing a very cheap electic/battery razor, just for travel?

Not my personal choice, but they (sort of) get the job done and cost from $7 on Amazon

  • 1
    If the asker travels often, it might be worth investing some money in a nicer one. I prefer to shave with a blade but I'm very glad to have the electric (not a cheap one!) as a backup plan. You can easily shave with an electric almost anywhere, any time, so it comes in handy if you wake up late for work or something like that. – Todd Wilcox May 3 '17 at 12:54
  • Yes, an electric is a good potential solution, thank you – emmby May 4 '17 at 4:16
8

Storing them under mineral oil might work. It's a bit messy, but that's what people do in the lab to stop alkali metals oxidising in the air, so it should work for steel blades too. Failing that, keeping it in one of those vacuum food saver things might work.

I'm not sure how the moisturising strip on the blade will hold up to any of this though.

  • 1
    I do this with spearfishing knives to prevent them from rusting. Coat the blades in olive oil and you'll make them somewhat rust-resistant. – JoErNanO May 3 '17 at 13:46
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    I am using Vaseline at home to make the blades last longer. You can get small tubes that would be good for travel. It's more viscous than mineral oil so I think it would be better for travelling. – Stephen Rasku May 3 '17 at 16:09
  • I'm a big fan of submerging my blades (I used to use mineral oil but switched to rice) to keep them sharp. I do this with my daily razor, but doing it with a pack of cartridges I use rarely does seem messy and inconvenient. I had also thought about the vacuum sealer idea but wasn't certain about it enough to justify buying one just for this purpose. – emmby May 3 '17 at 20:49
6

Moisture causes oxidation. Store your leftover blade cartridges in a sealed, airtight container with a desiccant.

  • This seems like a good idea. It wouldn't be hard for me to put a pack of razors in a jar or bag with rice or silicon desiccant pack – emmby May 4 '17 at 4:18
3

If you don't have one, get yourself a leather belt. You can later invest in a proper strop but for now use this...

Hang the belt by the buckle on a door handle. Pull on the other end of the belt so its taut, then push the razor away from you (in the opposite direction that you would use it to shave) and do this several times

Your razor should be 'stropped' back to a degree of sharpness.

This promotional video gives a good visual indicator of what I have just described.

  • 17
    You can 'strop' a disposable "Mach 3" razor? – brhans May 3 '17 at 12:09
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    But this does nothing for the listed main problem of oxidation or corrosion. – Benjamin Kelley May 3 '17 at 18:10
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    @BenjaminKelley the question did ask about sharpness. One would think the stropping process would also buss away the oxidation on the blade. Apparently you can achieve a similar result using plain blue denim, that is pushing a razor across jeans. – Criggie May 4 '17 at 9:40
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    @Criggie Indeed. I have seen that as a quick fix as well. – chriszanf May 4 '17 at 13:37
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    @Criggie fair enough, I guess it's interpretation of that could cause my difference of opinion there, but stropping a disposable blade would only remove oxidation/corrosion from the cutting and outer surface of a blade tho, leaving it free to deteriorate from any inaccessible exposed areas. – Benjamin Kelley May 4 '17 at 21:42
2

They will probably last longer in a ziplock bag with a packet of moisture absorbant. Those come often with bags and stuff that is sensitive to moisture which is probably why your blades oxidize. Mine have almost never gone bad (even stored for 6 months or so in a travel pouch) since I live in a relatively dry place.

What I suggest though is to just finish the pack. Suppose you travel for 2 weeks with a 5-pack, you will probably use 3 blades during that time and if you continue to use them after you return, the pack would be finished in another week. It's the same thing with those small travel toothpaste tubes, otherwise you end up with a bunch of semi-used expired ones.

protected by JonathanReez May 3 '17 at 13:20

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