I guess I have a different opinion. I pulled out my old Bic 3 blade disposable cartridge system the other day and am on my third day. It's been about 9 months since switching to DE and straights since I last used a cart. I will say that I've been getting shaves that are 98% as good as my DEs. The Bic system I uses costs about $1 per cartridge and the handle is disposable. I feel that my success can be attributed my knowledge of proper pre-shave techniques and using quality products. I've been using TOBS Avocado without pre-shave oil and have finished up with quality aftershaves lotions and balms. Here are my observations and experiences (YMMV):
-- Carts are idiot proof. You can have atrocious technique and still be able to get a very nice shave. You can apply tons of pressure and shave any direction on your face without the risk of cutting yourself. I tried the fool's pass (ATG on the upper lip) with my Bic and experienced zero discomfort. This sort of usability is perfect for the average Joe that just wants to shave and go.
-- I had zero razor burn. The plastic bumpers on the cart make it difficult for the blades to scrape off too much skin vs. a DE with a fully exposed blade. I've had very close shaves with DEs (R-41) that resulted in razor burn a couple of hours later. While I was learning, I sometimes had to give my face a break for a day or two.
-- They are easy to handle. I can't remember the last time I cut myself while handling a cart.
That said, I still prefer DEs.
-- Carts don't teach you proper shaving technique. They are so forgiving that the average user will never learn about how to map their face or how much pressure to apply because, frankly, they don't have to. Using good technique with a cart will provide a much better shave.
-- Carts can be sometimes difficult to control because the one I used had a rotating head. It was sometimes difficult to get the right right blade angle set. Once I did, it was fine.
-- Carts are messy and require more cleaning. They clog up easily (especially when shaving longer hair) and because they essentially perform like a SE, they require cleaning after one pass vs. two passes. They also leave trails of lather on the face so it can sometimes be difficult to tell which areas of your face needs a touch up.
-- 3 blades vs. 1 blade scraping your face? I'm not sure about this one. I haven't received any more irritation than normal using carts despite 3 blades scraping my face vs. one. On my chin area, I can distinctly feel one blade doing the cutting because I have to adjust my angle/pressure in order to get a smooth shave. On curves, it's very difficult to get three blades to touch the skin at the same time unless you apply an ungodly amount of pressure.
-- The products associated with carts are very poor. I think this has more to do with why people are unsatisfied with their shaves. Using brushless garbage that dries your face will give you a poor shave no matter what razor you use. Try using cheap goo without proper prep...and they try shaving one side with a cart and the other side with a straight. See which side is less bloody. I dare ya!
I'm probably going to use the cart in my Bic for a few more days. After my experience, I won't badmouth carts because I've gotten some really good shaves. I will definitely use them for traveling...they are just so much easier to throw in a bag and get through an airport screener, plus I don't mind if they get lost or stolen. In my kit, however, will be a quality brush and soap/cream.
Last edited by BrookR1; 08-20-2012 at 10:47 AM.
"Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead..." Buk