Your Milage May Vary YMMV

YMMV is not a very common acronym, yet it is widely used in the shaving community. The abbreviation stands for Your Mileage May Vary which means that you could have a different experience to someone else. It is often used in posts where the poster is expressing opinion about a product or technique and it is not too dissimilar in it’s meaning to the IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) acronym more widely used elsewhere on the interwebs.

It is hardly surprising that YMMV has become so popular when discussing shaving because very few daily activities can give experiences that vary so much from person to person, all you have to do is read the reviews for just about any piece of shaving equipment to see the huge variance of opinions that a simple item of kit can generate.

Of course this largely stems from escaping the patent protected walled garden of the big global shaving companies and their highly expensive multibladed cartridge based system razors. In the tradition shaving world we have infinite choice and anarchy reigns. It is fantastic but means that the only way you can express a valid opinion is by qualifying it, hence the value of YMMV.

One area where YMMV rules is razor blades, the experiences that different users have with a given brand are all over the place, and this variance isn’t just from user to user, it is also from razor to razor with the same user. So someone might prefer a KAI blade in their Merkur Slant Bar and a Bolzano in their Weishi. It is entirely up to them and their preferences and experiences. Hence the popularity of razor blade sampler packs that allow a shaver to try many different blades across their different razors.

Of course this high level of subjectiveness also extends to razors, brushes, creams/soaps and technique. Some products are particularly divisive: Mitchell’s Wool fat soap, Treet carbon steel razor blades, Boar brushes, Weishi razors and method shaving are just a few examples of this. The answer is simple, if you add YMMV to anything you write it will upset those who disagree with you less.


  1. Scenes from Vanishing point?

  2. Yep, thought they illustrated the headline.

Comments are closed.