Ever since Warby Parker gave fancy accoutrements the old ecommerce treatment everyone from bag manufacturers to watchmakers have gone high tech. This is especially true in the realm of shaving where you can either pay a dollar for a razor or $299 for a razor that looks like it was handcrafted by Elvish silversmiths. The OneBlade is basically a fancy single-blade razor designed like one of those fancy multi-blade disposables. It has a tilting head, all-steel construction, and takes special Japanese blades that are available for a subscription fee.
The blades cost $27.95 for a 30 blade pack and come every month to 90 days, depending on your subscription. Presumably this is how the company makes its money.
The entire kit is very lumberjack meets coffeehouse poet. The case is made of rough leather, as if hand sewn by a wounded Union soldier confined to an infirmary but the handle and head are beautifully crafted and surprisingly light thanks to a skeletonized handle. The head pivots around angles like a disposable but the action is crisp and nice. To insert and remove the blades you push and pull them out of the head with great care, a process that can be a little dicey.
Porter Stansberry, founder Stansberry Research, created OneBlade to offer “the quality of a straight-razor shave, with the safety and convenience of a cartridge razor.” Stansberry has a colorful past with some brushes with the SEC but let’s assume that this makes him good at finding the right figurative razor.
Stansberry build OneBlade after receiving a razor shave in the “small Italian town of San Marino.”
“In partnership with leading design firm Pensa, Porter Stansberry and the OneBlade team set out to design and create the perfect razor,” wrote his media outreach folks. Tod Barett is the CEO and he has a background in consumer goods.
How does it shave? First, a little lesson on shaving. Barbers will tell you that when you shave you’re actually taking of a thin layer of dead skin along with your whiskers. This, along with the general irritation of shaving, causes ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Further, fans of single or safety razor shaves believe that multi-blade razors will shave and irritate your face five or seven or ten times more than single blade razors because they simply have more razors embedded in the cartridge. Therefore if you suffer regular facial irritation due to shaving, something like OneBlade may help.
I’ve tried multiple safety razors over the years and have never liked them. Even with some shave oil and good lather I cut the heck out of my neck. The OneBlade didn’t. I did get a few scratches under my chin but not nearly as many as when I used other single blade solutions. My wife, independent of any coercion, said that she felt the shave was smoother than when I used my traditional multi-blade disposables. However I had to take much more care, especially around the nose and chin, to grab all the hairs.
It’s a solid razor at an arguably high price but after trying multiple alternatives – including the traditional cartridge razors with upwards of seven blades – there is something satisfying about OneBlade. It wouldn’t be my go-to everyday blade simply because I don’t get much skin irritation when shaving but if you’re one of the lucky few be-speckled with razor bumps then this might be a good if pricey solution.