Electric Shaver Manufacturing – Another Declining US Industry

The American electric shaver manufacturing industry is just limping along, according to a new report. The problems are a weak economy – shavers are, to a degree, a discretionary purchase items – and growing Chinese competition.

Total demand is actually growing, but the report, from IBIS World, says that the above trends have sparked “intense price competition within the industry, significantly pressuring the remaining US manufacturers’ profitability and reducing domestic production.”

According to the report:

Even though domestic demand for electric shavers and trimmers has increased over the past five years, it was mostly satisfied by imports, as their share of domestic demand increased from 78.8% in 2009 to an expected 87.5% in 2014.

Over the next five years, demand for electric shavers and trimmers is projected to increase. Unfortunately for industry players, imports are forecast to capture most of this increase in the long run. However, increased emphasis on exports and high end products is expected to help manufacturers offset some of the damage done by imports. Nonetheless, these responses will only slow the rate of industry decline, not reverse it. Therefore, industry revenue is forecast to decline in the five years to 2019.

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There’s an App for That

bigstock-man-shaving-20318897Yes, there is an app for serious shavers. It is called Shaving Buddy, and it does the following:

Record your shave in seconds and give it a rating or comment!
– Have an overview of all your shaving items in one place. Make notes (condition, cost, etc.) on every piece of equipment you have.
– See how your razors perform based on your rating.
– Coming soon: Shaving Buddy will always tell you how often you used that blade currently in your razor.

It also lets you make an inventory for all your:

– Razors
– Blades
– Brushes
– Soaps & Creams
– Aftershaves
– Additional care products

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That Barbershop Shaved Feeling

Campbells Shave CreamInteresting post at the Badger and Blade forum, on the merits of Campbell’s Liquid Shave Cream Concentrate.

After discussing my shaving practices with my barber, who has been shaving for over 50 years, he gave me a couple of technique and product suggestions….He uses Campbell’s shave cream for his hot lather machine at home. He said to put a couple of drops of the concentrate in the bottom of a bowl and whip it up with a brush and some hot water. No need to buy the $300 machine it’s supposed to work with. I’ve always liked the super clean smell of Campbell’s. 

The product has only three user reviews at Amazon, but all three share the love, rating it five stars. Here’s one of the reviews:

My father was a barber, and he used this product for many years in his lather machines! It is a great product for anyone that wants that barbershop shaved feeling!

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New Men’s Products from Dove

Dove men's careUnilever is working to ride the men’s grooming wave with a series of new products in its Dove Men + Care line.

According to Bloomberg Business Week:

“Fifty percent of guys don’t like shaving because of irritation,” says Rob Candelino, Unilever’s vice president for marketing. For this group, the company launched more basic Dove Men+Care face-moisturizing and shaving products last March, with prices under $8. It sold well, so executives decided to upgrade the concept.

Based on Amazon reviews, the Dove products have been extremely well received. For example, the Dove Men + Care Body and Face Bar has, at the time of writing, an amazing (for a bar of soap!) 373 customer reviews, the great majority of them rating it four or five stars.

Here is one typical review:

I had developed some dry skin on my legs, and thought I should try a soap like Dove. I never liked the feminine angle to the product which has been sold for years as a face soap for the ladies. I saw the Dove Men’s product at the supermarket, liked the smell, and decided to order in on Amazon (where I do most of my shopping for non-perishable groceries). After a week of using it, my legs are much improved, and I’m using it everywhere else as well. I like the scent, how foamy it gets, and how clean I feel after using it. Overall an excellent product that really is for men.

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Using Your New Shaving Set

Van Der Hagen shaving setThe Sharpologist website has a useful feature titled “How to Use That New Shaving Set,” for men wishing to take full advantage of a new Christmas gift.

An excerpt:

If you have been using a cartridge razor and you received a double edge (DE) razor, you may be entering new territory!  Don’t get discouraged if your first few shaves are not as good as you are used to.  You may have to “unlearn” some bad habits (particularly putting pressure on the razor) and learn (or re-learn) some simple skills to be successful at DE shaving.  

One of the best and most popular shaving sets, according to Amazon ratings, is the Van Der Hagen Men’s Luxury Shave Set (picture).

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Breakthrough – The Five-Year Razor Blade

bornSharp-MAIN7_self-sharpening-razor_940x392-1Early this year I quoted a columnist in the Los Angeles Times who wondered:

We can put men on the moon. We can make computers small enough to carry around in our pockets. But we can’t make a razor blade that stays sharp longer than a week?

Now comes word that a new start-up, BornSharp, has done exactly that. It has created a razor blade system that will give you around 2,000 shaves from a single blade – more than five years of daily shaving.

According to the company:

The BornSharp System consists of a handsomely designed and balanced razor, paired with the Sharpening Port, which fully automates the sharpening process while disinfecting the blade.

At the push of a button, the BornSharp System delivers a perfectly sharpened, disinfected, shave-ready razor.

After each shave, simply return the razor to its port. Push the Start button and let it do its thing automatically. The Sharpening Port locks the razor into place until the blade sharpening cycle is completed. Two sharpening cylinders spin to sharpen and polish both sides of the blade, precisely restoring the shaving edge. The blade is bathed in UV light, sterilizing and destroying any remaining microorganisms. The razor is then released and ready for your next shave. It happens in less than two minutes, with one button.

The company is seeking to raise $100,000 through funding platform Indiegogo in order to launch production.

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Gift Ideas – A Travel Shaver – Here Are Some Of The Best

A travel shaver makes a highly practical Christmas present for any man. Prices are reasonable and quality is high.

Here are some of the best:

Braun MobileShave M-90* Braun M90 Mobile Shaver

This quality product is the most popular of all travel shavers. I wrote about it:

Braun’s smallest shavers are the MobileShave line of pocket/travel shavers, in two versions, the M-90 and the M-60b. The only difference is color, and the M-90 (picture) incorporates a long hair trimmer.

The dimensions are 5.2 x 3.1 x 1.5 inches. At 6.9 ounces these models are slightly heavier than rivals from Panasonic and Remington, which are both under six ounces. Like most other popular travel shavers, they work off two AA batteries. They are washable under running water. You can read a little more at the Braun website.

Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet:Dry Travel Shaver* Panasonic ES3831K Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver

Another quality product. I wrote:

Is Panasonic’s Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver the best of all the many travel shavers on the market?

It’s quite a call. But certainly the product ticks so many of the boxes. With dimensions of 4.56 x 2.36 x 1.4 inches, and weighing just five-and-a-half ounces, it can fit into a pocket. Rather than a rechargeable battery, it runs for up to 90 minutes on two AA batteries. As a wet/dry shaver it can be cleaned under water. With a list price of $19.99 – substantially less at online sites like Amazon – it is no more expensive than most rival products.

Remington MSC-140 Men's Titanium Battery Operated Foil Travel Shaver* Remington MSC-140 Men’s Titanium Battery Operated Foil Travel Shaver

I wrote:

The low-priced Remington Men’s Titanium Battery-Operated Foil Travel Shaver has become one of the most popular of all the travel shavers. Weighing less than five ounces, and with dimensions of 7.9 x 4.0 x 1.8 inches, it is most suitable for travel, as well as for use as an emergency “back-up” shaver for the car, briefcase or office drawer.

Like many of the other popular shavers, it operates on two AA batteries. But, unlike others, it is a dual-foil model.

It has attracted many favorable comments at Amazon – some 120 reviews with an average of four stars – as well as at the official Remington website, where reviews are solicited.

Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Electric Razor* Philips Norelco PQ208 Travel Electric Razor

Here is part of what I wrote:

The PQ208 is the Philips Norelco entry in the travel shaver market. In the US it is sold mainly at Walmart, and is even sometimes bundled by them as a giveaway for purchasers of a more expensive product.

It is very compact, but is weightier than rival models, though it boasts self-sharpening blades and independently floating heads that follow the curve of your face. Like others, it operates from two AA batteries, and claims that these will give 60 minutes of shaving. However, unlike some of its rivals, it is not a wet/dry model.

Mangroomer Travel Shaver* MANGROOMER Professional Edition Rechargeable Travel Shaver with Power Burst and Pop-Up Trimmer

I wrote about this model when it was still new and had just one Amazon review (it currently has five):

It’s not cheap: $29.95 is the list price, although it is substantially less at sales sites like Amazon. But this still makes it dearer than popular rivals such as the excellent Panasonic Pro-Curve Wet/Dry Travel Shaver….So far it has attracted just one review – highly favorable – at Amazon. The initial impression is that this is a good shaver. But expensive.

Eltron Travel Shaver* Eltron #el-3040 Compact Travel Shaver

This was also new when I wrote about it:

Hollywood-based Eltron is a long-time manufacturer and distributor of electric shavers, despite lacking the brand-name recognition of the majors like Philips Norelco or Braun. The EL 3040 model is its entrant in the burgeoning travel shaver market.

It is a battery-operated, lightweight shaver, with dimensions of just 3.5 x 2 x 1 inches, and it incorporates a trimmer. It is for dry shaving only, and cannot be washed clean. You can read (a little) more at the Eltron website.

It has attracted only a few reviews at sites such as Amazon, though these are generally very favorable, pointing out that it gives a good shave at a very competitive price.

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The Best After-Shave for Men

Jovan After-ShaveLooking for an after-shave as a Christmas gift? One of the best guides to what men really want is at Amazon, where customers review and rate their purchases.

Here is what Amazon customers tell us are the best men’s after-shaves.

* Jovan Musk By Jovan For Men – an Amazon rating of 4.9 stars (our of 5). A typical commentI always (at least once a day) get such nice compliments from women and men alike about how nice I smell while wearing Jovan Musk. I love the smell and everyone says it blends perfectly with my skin to provide a natural sexy scent.

Baxter After-Shave Balm* Baxter of California After Shave Balm – a 4.8 star rating at Amazon. One commentthis after-shave came highly recommended from a barber friend. Love the cooling/tingling sensation that almost immediately comes after applying. No alcohol which is good for not drying out skin. Also this aftershave does not leave you feeling greasy at all. It absorbs nicely.

CADE After-Shave* L’Occitane CADE After-Shave Balm for Men – also a 4.8 star average rating. One commentthis has to be my favorite personal care product that I have ever purchased. It goes on as smooth as butter, doesn’t leave a greasy residue and calms and relaxes my face. The smell of it is also wonderful and it lasts and lasts.

Proraso After-Shave Lotion* Proraso Aftershave Lotion – a 4.7 star average rating at Amazon. Here is one typical commenta very pleasant surprise. I saw it has a near-cult following among straight and safety shavers, and now I know why. Simplicity. Very nice low tone fragrance which is neither ‘old guy’ or ‘young’ in essence. Just right.

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