Review: Cut-Throat Dreadnought Shavette
(2018) Let’s say you’re packing the bags for a long cycling trip and you’re contemplating what sort of shaving essentials to pack. As a cyclist this ranks a bit higher than most of the standard population. For the male cyclist, keeping the pins shaved is key to looking the part. The optional close shave on the face is also a consideration. The shave soap is selected, the scuttle is packed, but what to bring that is simple to use, doesn’t break the bank, and has a small footprint? Look no further than the Dreadnought Shavette.
We have discussed the benefits of wet shaving on creakybottombracket.com. Wet shaving is technically any form of shaving, but when used in context it boils down to old-style shaving. That means scraping body hair off with any variation of single blades. We have discussed double-edged safety razors, classical straight razors, but now we focus on the in between. The shavette has the simplicity of a safety razor with the look and feel of a straight razor. At an affordable $20 (USD), let’s take a look at the benefits of a shavette for the cyclist.
Replacement cartridges for contemporary razors can set one back anywhere between fifteen and thirty dollars depending on how many come in the kit. For the same price, a cyclist looking to maintain the body hair can purchase a Dreadnought Shavette along with a supply of razor blades for the same amount. Further benefits can be found in the fact that the razor blades must be snapped in half, providing the user double the amount of blades. The question becomes, why aren’t you stocking the Dreadnought Shavette?
Double-edged safety razors can become clogged with hair depending on how cold the weather has been prior to shaving. Straight razors can be intimidating and can require a bit of maintenance in the form of accessories such as strops and sharpening stones. The shavette takes the best of both worlds and provides a clean shave with the ability to discard the blade after every couple shaves. It’s a constantly sharp blade that is sanitary and convenient.
To start with, Dreadnought razor blades come in a wax paper envelope making it convenient and safe to snap the blades in half. Once the blade is snapped, reach for the shavette. Lift the swing arm at the top of the blade to open the blade holder portion. The next action is to split the holder and slide both parts in opposite directions to access the two spokes in the middle of the holder. These spokes coincide with the holes on the razor blade. Snap the blade in, slide the blade holder together, and lock the swing arm down. The shavette is ready for use.
The shavette is similar to a French straight razor, a small blade meant for beard maintenance that is light and easily maneuverable. French straight razors are typically light in weight, which could be a bit of a concern for those with thicker facial hair. Those with coarse hair may have to use a fresh blade every time. So it goes.
There are only a handful of detractions that come with the Dreadnought shavette. Go ahead and open the swing arm with the expectancy of pinching your thumb. The smaller-than-typical blade means more passes are necessary to scrape off facial hair and pre-race leg readiness. The final detractor is the blade’s effectiveness. Having a new blade at the ready means it shaves really close, almost too close. It could create slight discomfort some people when they put their cheek down on the pillow or go for a swim.
Shavettes – among other reasons – were designed to create a straight razor experience with the benefits of sanitary conditions. There is no need to worry about blood-borne pathogens when the blade is easily discarded (a concern for those who visit shops that don't sanitize their blades). A quality safety razor can easily set a person back $75. Straight razors fetch hundreds of dollars. With a delivery system worth more in its convenience than its price tag, it should be a strong consideration to stow in the team bag for cycling trips this year.