Today I tested a $300 single blade razor: the OneBlade. It’s a precisely-made single-blade razor that feels premium in every single way which is, obviously, aimed at the luxury market. I really like the idea of it but, in reality, I’m nonplussed by the actual experience.
I get it — that whole Nick Offerman, “I’m the manliest” vibe. I do. There’s something about the notion of treating your face like a piece of wood being carved or handcrafted by an artisan — about doing something that requires practice and skill — that’s appealing to guys. Plus, who doesn’t love premium, luxury products? That’s what I feel the OneBlade razor is trying to sell me on: that experience. If I own the OneBlade razor I can be a craftsman when I shave every morning.
That’s all well and good but I’m a millennial. I grew up using electric razors and I’m hooked on them. They solve a couple of real problems for men: they are faster and less messy than traditional razors. If you’re in a hurry (which I am every day) they’re the fastest possible way to get shaved and out the door. And you don’t have to mess around with shaving cream, either.
Another big advantage of using an electric razor over a traditional razor is that it’s a one time purchase. Buy it and you’re done. Whereas traditional razors are cheap, you’ve got to continue buying the blades: and that’s where companies rake in the profits. You don’t have a complete product with a traditional razor — you’ll never have a complete product. You’ll always have to replace part of it for it to work. Not so with an electric razor. The electric razors I’ve used have routinely lasted me for several years at a stretch.
But the OneBlade razor is prestigious. It’s manlier. It’s a real tool you have to be adept at using. It’s like holding a Ferrari in your hands. It’s heavy and sturdy. It’s got sleek marketing and comes in a premium leather case. It’s really, really nice. I get it.
But what problem does it solve in my life?
My first shave with the OneBlade was tedious but the end result was okay. Not the smoothest shave in the world, but I knew there was a learning curve. That’s part of the appeal right? Becoming a master of the shave. Plus, I knew going into it that it wasn’t going to turn out perfectly the first time. The company asks you on it’s website to re-learn how to shave “properly.” To give it 21 days (to unlearn your “bad” shaving habits).
Honestly, I like the idea of using a new-school old-school razor and taking some time to myself to craft a morning routine that isn’t rushed. Part of me wouldn’t mind taking the time to learn how to use this razor the right way. To invest some time into becoming a shaving craftsman. But I’ve got one big sticking point: the blades.
I simply don’t want to pay $30 a month for blades. Since I already used the analogy of a luxury car (and since I’ll be driving a Lamborghini next week on The Blog Vlog, be sure to tune in) I might as well keep that going. Ferraris just need gas. They don’t need a tire subscription. Just because this is a luxury product, I don’t want to subscribe. Dollar Shave club is for cheapos. But I don’t like the idea of the blade subscription here. If it was buy once and be done, I’d be happy to give it a real shot in my life. Can I be any clearer? I resent the subscription.
To me the subscription feels like a way someone can make money off me. It solves a problem for someone else. Making money. But it doesn’t solve a problem for me. I can get prestige lots of ways. By being smart, for instance. And if this is really a razor that is supposed to be a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation… the subscription aspect bugs me there too. A Rolex is just a Rolex. You can pass it to your kids and they can use it without subscribing.
The idea behind the OneBlade is to bring the barber-style one-blade shave to the home. The thing is, I’m not sure everyone will enjoy that — if they did, maybe they’d have been a barber.
All said, the razor feels good (great) in-hand. I love the stand and the leather case is incredible. I’m sure there are people out there who may really like the OneBlade. But as for me, I’ll be sticking with my electric.