Is this the end of the SE blade?

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
JimT
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Post by JimT »

I am seething about the ASR bankruptcy news and I hold Walmart responsible. I recently submitted a post on my "Ultimate Minimalist Shave" in which I received a few flaming replies relative to Walmart which I believe were totally unwarranted especially considering the background I provided for why I use Basis Sensitive Skin Bar soap. This was unexpected to me as my desire was to provide useful information to SMF readers. I only purchase four items from Walmart - Tom's of Maine bar soap, Williams Mug Shaving Soap, Personna Double Edge blades, and Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap which require me to be at the store at most two times a year. Two of those four items, Williams and Tom's of Maine products, are no longer stocked at Walmart. My biggest single reason for walking into Walmart was to buy the last American made shaving product I use - the Personna Double Edge blade. Ok, they were not the best but they were good enough, and in these times, I liked buying American.

This straw broke the camel's back. I agree with Chris - boycott Walmart.

JimT
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paperpundit
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Post by paperpundit »

Of those saying to boycott Walmart, most of them have previously stated that they would never use Personna blades.

If you don't buy them, they are not stocked.

If they are not stocked, the company goes out of business.
Jack

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notthesharpest
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Post by notthesharpest »

paperpundit wrote:Of those saying to boycott Walmart, most of them have previously stated that they would never use Personna blades.

If you don't buy them, they are not stocked.

If they are not stocked, the company goes out of business.
I suspect that this explanation falls under Mencken's "simple, neat, and wrong" classification.

It would be hard to believe that ASR products' sales went down sharply this year compared to last year, five years ago, or ten years ago.

Wal-Mart apparently has a practice of requiring periodic scheduled price concessions from its suppliers. Price concessions on already-cheap razor blades can only go so far.
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paperpundit
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Post by paperpundit »

We will have to choose to disagree, my friend.

We complain about Walmart driving local competitors out of business, yet most of us insist on purchasing items online.

There is a reason why I can go to the nearest retirement community and still buy many "old time" shave products right off the shelf -- first, the density of user-consumers and, second, they shop locally.

Sure, as the bulk of wetshavers fall victim to the mortality rate, those of us who are younger are going to find it harder and harder to buy products like DE blades locally. I think we only make the hunt harder by ignoring local vendors.
Jack

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lanolite
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Post by lanolite »

Not to divert the topic from all the entertaining Wal-Mart bashing, but isn't it a minor miracle that single edge blades are (were) so widely available decades after Gem/Treet/Pal single edge razors have been nationally promoted? I doubt there was a national advertising campaign for them after the 1960s -- that's essentially fifty years, folks.

Even on the shaving forums, the Gem users appear to be a small minority. I'd say under 10%. Yet you can go into chain drugstores and dollar stores and buy blades!

Even if they've reached the end of the line, it's been one hell of a run. Well done.
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paperpundit
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Post by paperpundit »

I remember, as a kid in the 1970s, that if you bought a box of blades you could send away for the SE razor. In fact, I think the offer stood into the 80s...perhaps Gordon or Squire could help me out with this...
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lanolite
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Post by lanolite »

I did it about 8 or 9 years ago, just had to send a dollar. At some point not long after, they stopped putting the razor offer on the packaging.
merkri
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Post by merkri »

Somehow this thread has me wondering if I have a straight in my future.
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ateace
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Post by ateace »

paperpundit wrote:Of those saying to boycott Walmart, most of them have previously stated that they would never use Personna blades.

If you don't buy them, they are not stocked.

If they are not stocked, the company goes out of business.
$1.99 per 10 pack from personna.com and free shipping.

We can buy direct from the manufacturer and boycott Wal-Mart all in one move.
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Post by desertbadger »

paperpundit wrote:I remember, as a kid in the 1970s, that if you bought a box of blades you could send away for the SE razor. In fact, I think the offer stood into the 80s...perhaps Gordon or Squire could help me out with this...
You are correct, Jack. Schick used to run an ad in the newspaper, sports magazines, etc. that if you clipped out the coupon and mailed it in they would send you a free Schick razor (usually a model L) and a small pack of Injector baldes. It arrived about a month later in a small cardboard shipping tube. The only cost to you was a postage stamp and your time.
That's how I got one of my model L's and I still have it today.

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Post by michiganlover »

paperpundit wrote:Schick used to run an ad in the newspaper, sports magazines, etc. that if you clipped out the coupon and mailed it in they would send you a free Schick razor (usually a model L) and a small pack of Injector baldes. It arrived about a month later in a small cardboard shipping tube. The only cost to you was a postage stamp and your time.
I scored one of these Type L's off of Ebay about two months back for the low cost of around $20. I don't think most people looking at the auction were aware that the cardboard tube contained a NOS type L Injector.

The tube was still fully sealed. I had to open it with a can opener. :D It's great to know that I am the first user of this particular Schick Injector.


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Post by Pauldog »

I got my $1 Gem Contour II by mail some time in the mid or late 1980's. I too have wondered why it's still so easy to find shave-grade single edge blades. Someone working at Walgreens told me he thought it was because they were used to cut cocaine.

It certainly seems as though there are very few people using single edge razors, but the cocaine theory doesn't explain why you can find at least three single edge blades in the USA - Gem stainless, Treet non-stainless, and Gem Blue Star non-stainless. Or why people need to cut cocaine with shave grade blades rather than the cheaper hardware store variety. And aren't single edge blades for shaving very rare in England?
Last edited by Pauldog on Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
merkri
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Post by merkri »

Pauldog wrote:I too have always wondered why it's still so easy to find shave-grade single edge blades. Someone working at Walgreens told me he thought it was because they were used to cut cocaine. It certainly doesn't seem as though there are that many people out there who use single edge razors...
I know a lot of people who use SE blades for various practical uses, like scraping goo off of windows, cutting boxes, etc. As razor blades, they're useful, and safer than DE blades for obvious reasons, and more maneuverable than a utility knife. My guess is most people are using them as a sort of generic around-the-house razor blade.
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Post by KAV »

JimT In my reply I stated my comments were not personal. The simple truth is we all compromise our integrity and values daily. One would have to become a sort of mendicant monk eschewing all worldly goods not to.
Bashing Walmart here pushes the forum rules envelope.
"For the want of a nail the shoe was lost. For the want of a shoe the horse was lost and for the loss of a horse a kingdom was lost."
So far, Walmart doesn't sell horshoe nails.
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Post by brothers »

merkri wrote:
Pauldog wrote:I too have always wondered why it's still so easy to find shave-grade single edge blades. Someone working at Walgreens told me he thought it was because they were used to cut cocaine. It certainly doesn't seem as though there are that many people out there who use single edge razors...
I know a lot of people who use SE blades for various practical uses, like scraping goo off of windows, cutting boxes, etc. As razor blades, they're useful, and safer than DE blades for obvious reasons, and more maneuverable than a utility knife. My guess is most people are using them as a sort of generic around-the-house razor blade.
That's me for sure. I've always had a box or two of SE blades in the garage for just what you suggest. Far more of my small in-house stock of SE blades go to a family member's work-related need to carry a small box cutter at all times for just that purpose.
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koso
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Post by koso »

Walmart has been consolidating brands across the board. It has nothing to do with ASR, black products or anything so granular.

They even (for a while) kicked out Hefty and Glad trash bags.

My local Walmart had dropped VDH soap for a while, but I notice it's back now.
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Post by notthesharpest »

Though the SE blades sold in hardware stores for paint scraping/box cutting/etc are apparently not sharpened well enough for shaving, it means the machinery to make those blades has to be kept running. I guess if you have to run the machines anyway, you might as well make as many sales as possible off of your investment.
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Post by haiti222 »

notthesharpest wrote:Though the SE blades sold in hardware stores for paint scraping/box cutting/etc are apparently not sharpened well enough for shaving, it means the machinery to make those blades has to be kept running. I guess if you have to run the machines anyway, you might as well make as many sales as possible off of your investment.
Also, I think some people who need paint scraper blades will by the more expensive Gems and Treets at the local drugstore, for quality, convernience, or availability.......
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Post by brothers »

haiti222 wrote:
notthesharpest wrote:Though the SE blades sold in hardware stores for paint scraping/box cutting/etc are apparently not sharpened well enough for shaving, it means the machinery to make those blades has to be kept running. I guess if you have to run the machines anyway, you might as well make as many sales as possible off of your investment.
Also, I think some people who need paint scraper blades will by the more expensive Gems and Treets at the local drugstore, for quality, convernience, or availability.......
That's why I've always done it that way.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
JimT
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Post by JimT »

Gents,

Discovering this post once again in a calmer moment, I have to retract my boycott Walmart recommendation and vote to let open market forces decide the issue. Thus, Walmart will only make a profit on the one item I would still purchase from them and that would be the Basis Sensitive Skin Bar.

My thanks to ateace for noting that the Personna blades can now be purchased directly from ASR online. I would rather direct all profits to ASR for future buys.

JimT
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