Too, too frugal

OK, I know. This time I’ve gone too far.

I mean, everyone wants to save a buck, but this time I think I’ve taken it to an extreme: I have found to make my disposable razors last longer. How? By sharpening them.

No, wait. Don’t leave yet. This system actually works. It’s really easy. And it’s free.

Remember those old black-and-white movies with a scene in the barber shop. The barber would lather up the guy in the chair for a shave. Then he’d take out his straight razor. (I just always knew he was going to dispatch the guy in the chair. I could never expose my throat to some cold-blooded stranger with a straight razor. But I’m getting off topic.) But before he started shaving, he’d run the razor back and forth along a flexible strip of leather, known as a strop. You’d usually see it hanging on or near the chair.


This diversion of a few seconds before the shave makes an amazing difference to the sharpness of the blade. If you thought that blade was sharp before, you’d be amazed how sharp it could be after just a few trips along the strop, and how much smoother the resulting shave would be.

It turns out that this principle works on more than straight razors and with materials other than leather. Canvas. Denim.

Hey, my jeans are denim. And a few strokes along the fabric (moving in the non-cutting direction), first one way and then the other, restores a keen edge to the blade.

So, it’s not so much that I’m trying to squeak an extra month or two of use out of my 10¢ disposable razor. It is a handy trick to know when you’re at the campground, have just pulled your razor out of your kit and, as you start to shave, realize you should have brought along a new razor. A few quick swipes (zip-zip-zap-zap) and you can finish your shave with more comfort.

As a long term cost-saving solution? Well, you get what you pay for.

Want more details and video instructions? Check out:


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