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Why a £200 razor?

Discussion in 'DE Razors' started by Puffafish, Monday March 20, 2017.

  1. No doubt this will be a contentious issue that make do more harm than good...

    While I am now quite happy with DE shaving, and would recommend it to anyone, I still don't know how to answer this question; what makes a £200 razor so much better than the £20-£30 ones?

    I can see what happens as you from the sub-a-tenner to the £20-£30 range; build quality, materials and finish all improve dramatically. A good razor will last many years, so spending £30 isn't silly, and is a lot more sensible than spending £10 every six months or so. But what does the extra £170 get you?

    It can't just be the rarity value, after all The Shave Lounge (other retailers are available) has multiple razors at over £200 that are off the shelf. Is it possibly just because it's there?

    (I am probably asking the wrong people. I do remember the story about an audio company that sold cables up to £1000 per meter, their best equipment could tell the difference between a £500 per meter cable and the £1000 per meter stuff, but the sort of people spending that money on audio equipment would always claim a better sound...)
  2. A £200 razor won't shave any better than a £30 one.

    But it will be made of better material (most likely stainless steel) rather than cheap zamak that has been plated with chrome.

    Also the quality of the finish should be better.

    I didn't think expensive razors were worth the price until my less than 4 month old Merkur 34c started to have the chrome plating starting to peel off.

    Google Merkur plating quality control and it's not a isolated incident. I've also heard Edwin Jagger razors don't always last long.

    So, I guess you are paying for durability and better materials. True heirloom pieces that are made to last.

    Or in some cases, the flawless finish, desirability and design. And in some cases (Wolfman razors), you even have to join a virtual queue to get your hands on the razor you are after.
  3. You've answered your own question,...It's because they can.
    The same reason that people who can buy Bentleys, Patek Phillipes and ocean-going yachts.
    There are cheaper alternatives that will do the same job, but if £170k means as much to you as £13k does to me, would you drive a Ford Fiesta or a Bentley Continental?.
    Bogeyman and Mark Catana like this.
  4. Interesting........ I put a strong magnet up against my Muhle R89 recently, it is mildly magnetic, much like some of the low grade stainless steels are but definitely chrome plated and heavy. I have not come across any metals named or nick-named 'zamak' before?

    I made a 316 stainless steel handle with knurling and an M5 thread recently. 316 is a high grade non-magnetic stainless, it just doesn't corrode. It is evil stuff to turn, drills and taps grab and break quite easily and knurling it is a steady number... put it this way, I would not volunteer to go into making them for people :)
    Blackmass likes this.
  5. riverrun


    Blademonkey and Barry Smithson like this.
  6. The Wolfman was very nice and gave a lovely shave, none better than my R41 though?

    I bought a custom straight and again, didn't shave any better than a mass produced one.
    Bogeyman and Blackmass like this.
  7. JayGee


    There a plenty of parallels:
    Clothes, shoes, cars, the device you posted onto this forum with etc.

    The value for money curve certainly flattens out considerably as you approach the aspirational strata of various markets.
    Some higher end products can be a good buy, we're all familiar with the idiom buy cheap, buy twice.

    As far as shaving products go soap is probably the most brilliantly marketed.
    £30 soap in a fancy box with a bow on top vs. a 50p shave stick.
    In a blind test, I think a few may well prefer the 50p offering.

    I'm an engineer & for the ticket price an 303/316l razor CNC machined from billet stock for £150, ain't bad at all. Not to mention the design effort, even with 3d printers expect a fair few iterations before the head geometry works as well as it should & is repeatable with tolerance stack-up. Then you have to hope someone likes it enough to buy it (which ultimately is what it comes down to, perception of value).

    Brushes, now there's another one.
  8. Buy a £200+ razor to shave with a 10p (or less) blade??? :eek::eek:
    Reevers, Steve Bowles and bagman like this.
  9. The Same Reason that Someone Marries Wee Fat Jeanie with the Gammy Eye & Milk Bottom Specs & Bazookas Down to Her Knees..:eek:

    Because they Can..:D:D

    Luckypip, pj3r, Mr Bigmem and 2 others like this.
  10. PLANofMAN


    Most of it boils down to perceived value. As long as people are willing to pay £200+ for a stainless steel razor, people will continue to sell them for £200+.

    I foresee that tend continuing until someone comes out with a stainless razor or line of razors at the £50-£100 mark, that is equal to or superior in quality to other £200 razors.

    Provided those razors are manufactured in sufficient quantity to maintain a good supply to demand ratio, the £200 razor companies will be forced to match price, shut down, or hope they have a devoted enough clientele to keep them in business.

    I suspect "niche" makers like Wolfman will do just fine, relying on exclusivity to maintain high prices. Other manufacturers that deal in higher volume at a slightly lower price point will feel the pinch, though.

    Some of it has to be due to price fixing. The value of materials in a stainless, or even titanium razor is less than $5. And while stainless and titanium are hard on drill bits, carbide bits make short work of both metals, and last for a very long time. The CNC machines they are made on can cost $250,000 or more, though, so a big chunk of the money paid for a £200+ razor is helping to pay for the machine that made it. Repairs to those machines can be brutally expensive as well.
    JayGee and Blademonkey like this.
  11. JayGee


    Most of the £200 razors are exquisitely finished & even at mates rates you couldn't get close to that.
    CNC time is at least £50 an hour( if you shop around & waaay more if you only want a 1-off) + set up charge. Don't ignore the design time, the shop will only work from a CAD file, hours of fun (there are open source tools if you are not a business, easy to spend a couple of grand on the design SW otherwise).
    Get that wrong & break the tool, £200 will suddenly seem like terrific value.
    Then it needs to be tumbled or polished, don't know anyone that will do that for free
    If you have an existing business making parts for some other supporting industry then making razors could be a nice side line, not much more.
    Don't forget that £200 includes sales tax and in most cases a resellers margin. I think most artisan producers of razors do it because they have an interest not for the yacht + race horse.

    Will it shave better than a DE89? Probably not!
  12. Bogeyman


    Please refrain from interjecting sound logic and proven business methodology into an otherwise emotionally wrought thread as it confuses the natives.

    :D ;)
    finnegan, SeanC, chris.hale and 7 others like this.
  13. Let's not bring you best lass Ms Sturgeon into this. :confused:
  14. :D:D
    Oh..The Boy..:D:D

    Barry Smithson and Blademonkey like this.
  15. If you make it, some one will buy it (at some point).
    It's nothing to do with cash but all to do with good old consumerism/choice.

    Even if you had to buy a cheap decent DE like a Weishy every three of years because you clobbered it somehow, you will not get to spend even half of £200 in your life time.
  16. Buy a OneBlade you'll thank me for it later :rolleyes:
  17. Which is now £400, right?
    Blademonkey likes this.
  18. @JayGee summed it up beautifully. Don't forget that CNC machining doesn't scale as a production process either, so if it takes you an hour to machine a part at £50 an hour, machining two will take you two hours.

    There is no reason at all to own one except that they're really, really nice. :D
  19. JohnnyO


    The heart wants what the heart wanrs ...

    JohnnyO. o/
    Blademonkey likes this.

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