A good double edge (DE) razor is a fine tool, and I have no desire to go back to cartridge razors. But I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and so I’ll note one notable advantage cartridge razors have over DE: I’ve never had a problem taking them in a carry-on bag on an airplane. Since a DE blade by design can easily be removed from the razor, for the time being they can only be brought on a plane in checked baggage. That’s no problem if you’re bringing a suitcase along, but if you’re like me then you prefer to travel with just a backpack or small carry on bag. Assuming you intend on obeying the rules, that means you’ve either got to skip shaving for the trip duration or find an alternative solution. For Christmas we went back west to visit family, so I ran into that very problem. I figured that I had a few options, among them:
- I could bring my old Mach 3. It would work just fine, but I kinda liked DE shaving so I wanted to avoid that option if possible.
- There are internet forums to connect volunteers that help out fellow DE shavers who are traveling by meeting up with them somewhere and giving them a blade to use during their trip. This seemed strange, weird, and a bit creepy to me, so while I applaud the generosity of those who do it I didn’t feel like doing so myself.
- Of course, there are drug stores all over the place so I could just but a blade once I got there. This would mean though that I would have a bunch left over that couldn’t be brought back on the plane, thus being costly and wasteful.
Finally I settled on a simple solution: I’d just mail myself one. While this wouldn’t have worked if I was staying in a hotel (unless they accepted mail for upcoming guests), staying with family allowed me to do some advance work. I just took an old plastic razor package, taped the end so the blade wouldn’t slide out, then dropped it in a letter with a stamp about a week before I left. Just be sure if you do this that you mail the blade safely. Razors ship by mail all the time so it’s not inherently unsafe, but you don’t want the razor cutting its way through the envelope or injuring a postal worker. That’s why I used the plastic package that the razor had shipped in, kept the blade from getting lost, broken, or hurting anyone.
It worked out great. Before I left I took the blade out of my razor, making it both safe and acceptable to fly with, and by the time I landed in SLC there was a new blade waiting for me. Once the trip was over I just threw the blade away and flew back. Everyone was happy, I got a great shave while on the road, and no one had to worry that Mountain Man McGee was sitting next to them on the airplane.