This is one of those "that don't make no sense" kind of stories. I just don't see how they can make a throwaway razor for under a buck and yet the blades that go in my razor are going to run me about five dollars each.

Are the blade manufacturers shaving us just close enough to keep the wool over our eyes or does it really cost that much to create a quality shaving implement?

The answer to both questions is yes. I know you were hoping for an either/or here but the truth is really yes to both queries. Here is what I was able to discern on my quest for a close shave that won't make me cut off an arm and a leg.

Making razor blades is an expensive proposition. It's not like building space ships or owning a congressman expensive, but with all things being equal, it costs a lot for materials and manufacturing. The blades have to be of a certain kind of steel. Those blades then have to be sharpened to a fine point on one end while maintaining strength on the other end. These blades actually have to be forged like knives and swords.  As you might imagine, to do this on a large scale with a tiny product requires specialized machinery and processes.

Now on to the part where razor companies are giving the American shaver an multi-blade enema in the wallet. Since creating blades is so expensive it would cost a lot to get into the business. Therefore only a few companies are in the shaving business, I bet you can name two right off the bat. These companies, since there is little competition, can charge whatever they feel the market will bear. They feel like you and I are willing to pay almost $20 bucks for a four pack of blades.

Another almost bait and switch like tactic the razor people use is to give you the razor handle at little or no cost. I know the razor I use came as a free trial in the mail. I tried it, I liked it, I went to the store to buy blades and gave away my kid's college fund. Is it against the law to do this? Heck no. Giving away free samples is the greatest marketing tool of all. It worked on me and now I owe as much to the razor blade people as I do in student loans.

There are some discount razor blade places that have sprung  up on the Internet. I am sure you can find knock off blades manufactured in China, Guatemala, or some other third world hell hole like Alabama. You can also buy the disposable razors. In many cases they give a quality shave once then you're going to need little dots of toilet tissue to cover the carnage on your face.

So what is your choice? Do you spring for the expensive blades? Do you go disposable? Do you shave with an electric? Or are you like many women from Mississippi, content with a little facial hair? I'd like to know because I am nosy and since they won't let me put cameras in your home I will have to gather my information this way.