I don't claim to be the original source of this conspiracy theory. I might have overheard it or discussed it in conversation and forgot all about it.

The companies that mass produce disposable razor blades seem to be on a quest to produce the most advanced disposable blade razors. The pinnacle of razor blade technology at the moment is debatably the Mach 3 razor produced by Gillette.

The reason for this quest seems obvious, each company must produce a razor that gives a cleaner, safer and all-round more satisfying shave than their competitor's razors. Fine. I can live with that. It is getting a tad silly. We have razors who's blades are sharpened by lasers, razors with one, two and even three blades, razors with a rubber "wipers", razors with lubricating strips of soap, razors with blades suspended on springs and razors with ergonomic contoured handles.


Here's the conspiracy theory bit. Razor companies must continue to support their older razors for people who are not early adopters. To encourage people to switch to their newer razors they deliberately impair the shaving experience of these older razors. They do this by either blunting the razor blades or changing the angle of the blades so they don't produce a good shave.

Do you honestly feel your latest and greatest razor gives as good a shave as your previous razor? Does the extra blade make much of a difference? Does the lubricating strip do anything at all? I think it's all one big hoax perpetrated by the razor manufacturers to generate extra sales of the new razor handles.

What the first writeup fails to deal with is the fact that the razor companies (Gillette et al) sell the handles at a loss, or they give them away with a purchase of a certain number of razor blades to fit the handle. This is a cunning ploy to get you to use their brand of razor, and all these gimmicks like 4 laser-sharpened, diamond-tipped, samurai forged mini-swords help re-inforce in your mind how wonderful a new razor is.

This all comes from when King Camp Gillette invented the safety razor, the first safety razors used a common blade which is a pattern stamped from sheet steel and sharpened on the edges. Before long, other companies started copying the design and using it in their own razors. So Gillette started making changes, and therefore we get to the situation today where every razor needs a different blade. And a pack of eight blades for a Mach 3 costs ~£8.

(A bit like the situation with printers, manufacturers selling the machines as cheaply as possible, then making a killing on the ink.)

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