Best Safety Razor For Beginners & Pros – Reviews and Buying Guide

In this article we will help you find the best safety razor available for your preference.

Kudos for being well-groomed and maintaining a neat beard. Those without a beard do not understand how much hard work it is to have it look as great as it does. But we do – so congratulations.

If you have been doing this for a long time, you can attest to the fact that for a complete grooming one needs to have a razor – and not just anything with a blade, but the best safety razor on the market.

Reading this, you surely are in search of a great razor to complete your grooming kit. You have lots of options from the electric, straight, disposable and safety razors. But in this piece, we shall focus on safety razors. We have reviewed all the top safety razors of 2018 – starting with the Seki Edge Feather. We will guide you in deciding on the finding the best choice for your needs on the market. And now, without much ado, let’s get the ball rolling.

6 Factors to Keep in Mind When Buying a Safety Razor

Before you spend your hard earned money, there are some factors that you need to consider.

1. Razor Design

Safety razors vary in make, model, brand, and design. The main designs are the butterfly head, three-piece, two-piece and one-piece designs. Of these, the open butterfly version is the most common one-piece designs.

We could go on and on about these different designs but let us focus on the basics. Let’s start with the three-piece version. It is probably the most popular of them all. The two-piece, on the other hand, is favored by most wet shavers while the one-piece designs often come with a rotating handle that opens at its cutting head.

2. Double Edge aka DE

Safety razors blades are considered to be double-edged. They are given this name as they can shave with both edges. You can shave using forward and backward strokes.

3. Price vs. Quality and Features

With the unstable economy, most individuals are required to work more than one job adding up to insane hours in a week. With money being earned the hard way, it is only logical that one would want to make the best use of it as possible – get the most value for every dollar spent. Before you buy any product, you should compare the prices of the different brands. I should mention that cheap is not always the best. There are, however, some instances that cheaper razors provide quality rivaling more expensive units.

Double edge versions prices vary from $10 to $200. Yes, this is a huge difference and yes, when comparing, the high-end units will certainly have significant differences in quality with the cheaper ones, but you don’t have to buy the most expensive safety razor to get a great result.

4. Handle Design and Length

The length of the handle boils down to personal preference. Different lengths appeal to different persons depending on the comfort level they provide. The longer the handle, the better suited it is for big hands. However, some users have gone on record to state that they are slightly awkward compared to short handle types.

5. Fixed Blade or an Adjustable Razor?

Many of the models available are designed with fixed blades. With fixed blades, the exposure of the blade cannot be changed.

But with the improved technology and diversity, more and more companies are coming up with adjustable razors. These have their fair share of pros and cons as do the fixed blade ones.

6. The Weight of the Razor

Each model comes with its own weight. Some are heavy and others light. Whichever the case, like the length of the handle, it still boils down to the preference of an individual. That said, some men feel that the heavier razor features more control than the light units. If you are a beginner to classic wet-shaving, a lighter weight makes the transition from a cartridge razor easier.

And now that we have the factors to consider out of the way, let us dig our teeth deep into the reviews. These reviews will shed some more light on the specific model and why they are preferred and the number one contenders on the market.

Before You Buy Any Safety Razor Brand – Remember This

Please note that our list is not a ranking per se – it all comes down to:

  1. Your experience level with wet shaving
  2. Your skin type
  3. Your beard coarseness
  4. Your personal preferences
  5. Your budget

Rating

We don’t rate the razors in our list, it is just a matter of opinion and the before mentioned factors.

The Best Safety Razor Reviews for 2018 (and Some Honorable Brand Mentions)

Model
Skill Level/ Aggressiveness
Pros
Cons
Amazon Rating
Best Deal
Feather AS D2

Editors Choice
Beginner/ Intermediate

Mild
High quality and craftsmanship, Stainless finish will not corrode, Great grip due to deep knurlingExpensive, Not suitable for men with coarse facial hair




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Merkur Futur

Top Pick
Intermediate/ Experienced

Adjustable
Flexible, Lots of settings to make a perfect fit for your need, Great finishing and modern styleWide cutting head, Handle can be a bit slippery, Changing blades requires a bit of attention




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Parker 99R

Best Buy
Beginner/ Intermediate

Mild/ Medium
Pretty Barber-pole style, Long handle makes it suitable for men with big handsSome issues with quality control but less than before




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Muhle R89Beginner

Mild
Excellent design and finish, high end quality, Lightweight which is perfect if you are transitioning from cartridge razorsA bit expensive




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Merkur 34CBeginner

Mild
Great value, Easy to loadVery short handle, not suitable for coarse beards




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Edwin Jagger DE89
Beginner

Mild
Good value, Great finishSlippery handle




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Muhle R41Experienced

Aggressive
Great for tough beards, gives a close shaveBlades will dull quicker, no room for errors




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Merkur ProgressIntermediate/ Experienced

Adjustable
Simple design, Flexibility due to 5 different settingsSlippery handle, Manufacturing inconsistencies in terms of the alignment of the adjustment knob




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Merkur 23CBeginner

Mild
High end product with an affordable price-tag, Rust resistant, Long handle, Easy to change bladeShallow knurling, Slim handle might feel awkward for men with big hands




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Merkur 37C SlantIntermediate/ Experienced

Medium
Very efficient for coarse beards or sensitive skinBlades will dull quicker, no room for errors




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Seki Edge Feather AS-D2 Stainless Steel Razor 

Review of: Feather AS-D2
Recommended Use: From beginner to experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Spectacular – Our Editors’ Choice Awards’
Best Safety Razor - Seki Edge Feather AS-D2

 

Editors' Choice

Amazon Rating

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Summary: The Feather AS-D2 is a slightly expensive option among DE competitors in the market, but if you truly believe in class and performance and the pocket pinch is not an issue, this is one buy you won’t want to pass up for the best shaving experience available in the double-edged category. They perform superbly with Feather razor blades and should only be paired with them.

 

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Seki Edge Feather AS-D2 is the final word when it comes to male grooming with a double-edged safety razor. Feather gives AS-D2 the finest Japanese craftsmanship to produce a real gem that is as beautiful and enticing as a Japanese Samurai sword. To buy a razor from the land of the Samurai swords ensures that you get the best of the craftsmanship in stainless steel design available.

When it comes to the design – you will either fall in love with it or you may think it has somewhat been overdone. For those who are familiar with the high durability 316 surgical stainless steel design, Seki Edge has taken the design of the Feather AS-D2 one step further.

The design incorporates chrome plating and matte finish that makes this product fit for Japanese Royalty. One cannot expect anything less from Seki Edge, for their next generation design.

The Feather AS-D2 is built for a medium to less-than-medium aggressive shave. It perhaps is designed for style and class rather than high-end aggressiveness. The use of the solid base plate in the AS-D2 gives it a less aggressive stance than some of the other double-edged types out there. Ordering from Amazon, it comes in a really exclusive burgundy gift box. There is also a version called AS-D2S that comes with a matching highly exquisite all stainless steel stand (including the previously mentioned gift box).

Feather AS-D2 is a cutting-edge tool that gives you the best shave possible.

Here is a Closer Look at the Features Adorned by the Feather Seki Edge:

  • Seki is a Japanese based brand. It is well known for producing Feather blades. If you have never heard of these, they are among the sharpest blades on the market. They are by far the most effective and efficient as well.
  • While these sharp blades may cause newbies and the less experienced to shy away from using it, Seki has constructed the safety razor for precision and delivery of a gentle shave.
  • The Seki Edge boasts a stainless steel design. Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials and one with the strongest resistance to corrosion, it is easy to see why this is a big deal. The plate and the handle are carved from stainless steel that will last for an eternity (or close to it). You will find the stainless steel easy to clean and sterilize.
  • The kit comes complete with a total of 5 stainless steel blades. The blades are double-edged and highly effective. When one edge of the blade dulls, you can use the other instead of replacing the blade altogether. Overall, the blades on this precision tool are easy to remove and fit perfectly onto the shaving head. As a result, there is minimal movement while shaving.
  • The Seki Edge’s handle is compact measuring just 4-inches. With this length, it is by far one of the shortest models on the market. As earlier pointed out in the guide, this short handle provides for better control while shaving. The handle is finished with deep grooves which increase on its non-slip grip.
  • Compared to most safety razors, the Seki Edge comes with a slightly more aggressive angle. As such, one needs to adjust their shaving angle and technique as well to achieve a close and clean shave. This clean and close shave is without irritations. But despite the aggressive angle, it does not feature a steep learning curve.
  • How does Seki manage to have all these features fit so well in what is a quite small package? Well, Seki is not a new entrant to this industry. It has been operational and manufacturing rooming, medical and barber kits since 1908. They, however, created their first safety razor back in 1932.

 

We Like
  • Extremely well manufactured, it scores top marks for beauty and function
  • Stainless steel construction providing the most durable finish in the market that probably will last you a lifetime
  • Proprietary design of the head makes alignment of the blade a breeze
  • Superb design and manufacture of the handle provides excellent balance, comfort, and grip, essential for your enjoyment of shaving
  • Suitable for all shavers; from beginner to highly experienced
Keep This in Mind
  • Compared to most other razors the AS-D2 is quite expensive
  • Probably not the best choice for those that have a thick, tough beard

Read our Seki Edge Feather AS-D2 review

 

Merkur Futur 700 Adjustable Razor 

Review of: Merkur Futur
Recommended Use: Intermediate/ Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4/5)
(5/5)
  • Outstanding – Our Top Pick Awards’
best safety razor - Merkur Futur 700 Adjustable DE Razor

 

Top Pick

Amazon Rating

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Summary: The adjustable Merkur Futur is perfect for experienced wet shavers looking for flexibility and versatility with regards to the aggressiveness of the blade. When in a high setting, the Merkur provides a smooth, close shave. The high quality and adjustability make this a DE razor you can purchase with confidence.

 

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Many persons ask themselves this question – which is the best safety razor. Now I probably should say this right off the bat – there isn’t any perfect or best one per se. There are lots of contenders for the top position. But be that as it may, the Merkur Futur Adjustable is at the top of the list.

Merkur is one of the companies that have been in this industry for a long time now – 30 years to be precise. Over the years, the company has grown courtesy of its attention to quality. The Futur is one of the high-quality products carefully designed and crafted by the company.

Merkur Futur is a popular razor with an adjustable head. The unit features a cool and unique design and look. It provides its users with unmatched versatility courtesy of its six settings. These six settings are designed to adjust the blade exposure.

It can be adjusted from Level 1 (sensitive) to Level 6 (aggressive) and therefore adapted to each individual’s skin type, beard coarseness, and shaving preference. The first setting provides minimal exposure of the blade while the 6th setting exposes more of the blade thus providing the most aggressive shave. The distance between the blade and comb can also be adjusted for a closer shave as your skill increases. Are these settings necessary? Yes, they are perfect for accommodating to different face shapes and facial hair texture.

Now, while the adjustable blades may seem as though they are a new technology, Merkur has been in the business of making them for the longest time, since the 1980s. They have been over the years been ironing out the bugs in the design and function of the adjustable safety razor design.

Merkur Futur is cast from brass and has a chrome finish. It feels solid in the grip and looks very futuristic. Comes in a gift box and is available in matte chrome (700 version), polished chrome (701 version) and a gold-plated (702) version.

Features

  • The unit features a smooth and brushed chrome finish. The chrome finishing differs between gold-plated chrome, satin, and the standard chrome finish. The chrome finish you get depends on your personal preference.
  • It comes with a long handle. Guys into safety razor shaving and with large hands will feel it is comfortable and with a perfect grip.
  • It has a great weight which makes it easy to maneuver even as the blade exposure settings and aggressiveness are increased.
  • Made in Germany. Needless to say, German craftsmanship is at the top end of the scale when it comes to quality.
  • In the hands of inexperienced shavers, Merkur Futur might need some getting some used to. Additionally, you will need to operate in the lower settings. Experienced shavers, however, will enjoy the quality of the results provided.
We Like
  • The ability to quickly and easily change the aggressiveness of the shave allowing a “customized” wet shaving experience
  • Weight and handle length makes Merkur Futur suitable for all but the largest of hands
  • A beauty of fine finishing and solid, good-looking modern style
Keep This in Mind
  • Wide cutting head can be a bit difficult to maneuver in tight spots, such as the lip and nose area
  • Shaver’s used to a knurled handle may get the feeling of slipperiness and require extra care when changing settings
  • The new head design will require a bit of care when changing blades

Read our in-depth test of Merkur Futur Adjustable

 

Parker 99R Long Handle Super Heavy Razor 

Review of: Parker 99R
Recommended Use: Intermediate
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(4/5)
  • Excellent – Best Buy Awards’
Parker 99R Safety Razor - The Butterfly Opening

 

Best Buy

Amazon Rating

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Summary: This is a heavyweight product that beats all others in the industry with great ease. It features a premium construction and design. The Parker 99R is a great option for a beginner who is just learning the ropes of wet shaving – and especially a beginner with big hands. It has a great weight and balance that you can use to practice with. Remember practice makes perfect. With the Twist to Open (TTO) design on the 99R, you will have an easy time cleaning and loading blades. The only problem you might have is the issue of the butterfly doors durability.

 

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The best word to describe this unit is heavyweight. This unit is a bad boy – in all sense of the word. Once you first handle this unit, you will notice that it is considerably heavier than the rest you might have handled in the past. It weighs a total of 4 ounces.

Parker 99R is a large, heavy and sturdy tool. It is cast in brass and chrome plated for extra shine. The shaft has small grooves that provide a very good grip. The blade is accessed by means of a butterfly mechanism, which means that when you twist a knob on the end of the handle – the razor head opens up allows you to insert a new blade.

Needless to say, this unit garners plenty of attention courtesy of its weight. The good thing is that the weight certainly works to its advantage. All individuals with large hands prefer this unit as it is comfortable and easier to handle. That said, I should also point out that the quality of Parker 99R is through the roof. If this were not the case, the unit would not have made it on this list.

But getting back to the weight – how does heavy safety razors compare to light ones? Does it even make a notable difference? Well, in all honesty, it does make a difference. The choice of whether to get a heavy or light is determined by personal preference to a great extent. But generally, with heavier ones, less pressure is applied when shaving as shavers let the weight of the tool do all the work.

On the other hand, individuals who prefer light razors feel that it provides them with slightly more control in comparison to heavier ones. This is particularly when trying to get the hard to reach areas like under the nose.

With heavier models, you benefit from high aggressiveness. But the aggressiveness can work for you and against you.
As such, you need to be careful just how much pressure you apply when shaving. Once you are through the learning curve, you should be warned; you may never want to use a light safety razor again. I guess, once you go heavy you never go back.

Long story short, getting a close shave is not dependent on the weight of the tool. Provided you have a quality safety razor in your hands, you are bound to get a close and clean shave. Actually, the weight distribution and balance of the tool is far more important to most individuals as most experts have gone on record to state.

While the Parker 99R is heavy, it is also surprisingly comfortable. It features a long and knurled handle designed to provide a quality grip. With this knurling, you will not have to worry about slippage as you maneuver around the face.

Moving on to durability (yet another important factor to consider when choosing a product to last), the Parker 99R is designed to last for ages. But in the unlikely event that one of its three parts weakens, there is always the availability of a replacement for the specific piece needed.

We Like
  • Mild – perfect for beginners
  • Great balance and weight
  • Easy to load the blade
  • It is easy to clean
  • Has a long knurled handle
Keep This in Mind
  • Some quality control issues
  • Difficult to find the perfect shaving angle
  • The finish does not appeal to some individuals

Read our in-depth test of Parker 99R

 

Muhle R89 Closed Comb Razor 

Review of: Muhle R89
Recommended Use: From beginner to experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Outstanding
Muhle R89

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: Muhle R89 is a great, but slightly expensive choice for beginners that want to get into classic wet shaving. It has a stunning German quality and finish. It is also a great 2nd razor for men who’ve mastered the skill of wet shaving and looking to invest in a high-end quality razor.

 

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Muhle R89 is being produced in Mühle’s own factory in Stützengrün, a half hour drive from Leipzig in East Central Germany. Although it has a classic design, factors such as weight, material, the distance between the blade and razor, and the angle of the blade have been carefully thought through and represent the latest in shaving technology.

After individual parts of the razor are cast in brass or steel, they go through a special chrome plating process. This provides the Muhle R89 its classic glossy appearance while protecting the metal underneath.

When you hold this razor in your hand you will notice that this is real German quality!

Perfectly suited for Muhle razor stand or Muhle razor stand & shaving brush and a perfect companion for the Muhle Silvertip shaving brush.

Please be aware that the blades have a lot to say for how shaving with your razor is experienced. Try different blades and you will quite quickly find your favorite! That being said, the rust-proof MÜHLE razor blades are the perfect match for this superb addition to your kit.

There are plenty of manufacturers on the market today that will provide you with either a 3 or a 2-piece variant. The Muhle R89, however, offers them both with the Traditional version and a version called Muhle R89 Twist. It also takes this flexibility even further by providing you a version featuring an extra-long handle called Muhle R89 Grande for users that have bigger hands. There is also a Rosegold version that is based on the Traditional 3-piece version.

Mühle R89 Close Comb is a lot more forgiving than for example Mühle R41 Open Comb – particularly if you are new to wet-shaving. For more experienced users with thicker hair, the Mühle R41  is usually recommended because it’s more aggressive blade angle, but R41 is not recommended for novices to this kind of shaving.

Muhle offers a separate head with an open comb, so if you have a Muhle razor with a closed comb such as the R89, you can change it later by purchasing this head, making the transition to a more aggressive version easier.

We Like
  • Muhle R89 has an excellent design and construction as well as a perfect chrome finish
  • It provides you with options to choose from; the three piece or two piece razor. If you prefer a longer and thicker handle, there is that option as well
  • It is perfect for persons who prefer a mild save (especially beginners)
  • It is lightweight which is perfect if you are transitioning from cartridge razors
Keep This in Mind
  • The two-piece R89 Twist variation is comparatively expensive

Read our in-depth Muhle R89 Review

 

Merkur HD 34C Razor 

Review of: Merkur 34c
Recommended Use: Beginner/ Intermediate
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Outstanding
Merkur 34c

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: Overall, the Merkur HD 34C is a great razor, suitable for both beginners and seasoned wet shavers. The design and construction are of great quality, but it still is a very reasonably priced product. The 2-piece design it sports makes assembly easier in comparison to most of the 3-piece products available today.

 

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A best-selling razor with a classic design from 1931! The Merkur 34c has a double edge design that features a short handle that makes it easy to maneuver. Molded in brass and chrome plated for extra shine. Excellent for beginners, but is also popular razor for people with sensitive skin.

We Like
  • A quick glance at the Merkur HD 34C and you will see that it has a simple, but great design and build
  • While there are many 3-piece shavers in the market, the 2-piece design that Merkur 34c features makes it very easy to adjust the blade so that it is even on both sides
  • The chrome finish is shiny and smooth and will not scratch even sensitive faces as you shave
  • The handle is made complete with knurling that helps to prevent your hand from slipping
Keep This in Mind
  • The Merkur Heavy Duty 34C is certainly not the most aggressive razor on the market, but when you think about it, this is what makes it perfect for beginners in the first place
  • If you have a coarse beard, this one might not be your best pick

Read our in-depth test of Merkur MK-34c HD

 

Edwin Jagger DE89 Razor 

Review of: Edwin Jagger DE89
Recommended Use: Beginner
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
  • Excellent
Edwin Jagger DE89

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: The Edwin Jagger razor is without a doubt a high-class product. It is the right pick for all skin types. Additionally, it has great longevity and can serve you for a long time.

 

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Edwin Jagger DE89 is an incredible piece design and workmanship! It looks good and has a perfect weight and grip so that you have very good control even if your hands are wet. The razor is elegant and stands out from the crowd with multiple stylish details. The handle has several small and precise knobs which ensures great grip while providing a nice effect.

Edwin Jagger is a family-owned company in Sheffield. The safety razors designed in England have a solid reputation. They have above average design and craftsmanship. While there are many models one can choose from, the one we chose to feature in this review is the DE89. Among the many reasons why this unit has grown to its popular status is its ability to shave sensitive skin. It is without a doubt the perfect choice for gentlemen with skin prone to irritations, nicks, and cuts.

The shaving head is of known Edwin Jagger quality, like any other Edwin Jagger razor providing a good and tight shave. Both weight and balance makes the DE89 a tool that is well liked by many. It has a closed comb which is well adapted to the chrome base.

With regards to the design, you will be pleased to note that it features a unique design and has great balance. Its balance contributes greatly to its use on sensitive skin. But does this unit only excel on this kind of skin? Certainly not, it also scores highly in providing clean and close shaves on any skin types courtesy of the Edwin Jaggers Precision DE razor blade head. The shave it provides can be compared to that gotten from an old-fashioned straight razor unit.

Adding to the list of features is a beautiful chrome finish which also contributes to its longevity. It is designed to have three parts which make it easy to replace worn out parts and clean it with great hygiene.

The handle of this unit has been constructed from tubular brass and finished in chrome. It has great weight and balance which adds to the overall performance. When compared to other units in its class this beauty is rather light.

All Edwin Jagger products are hand assembled and given the finishing touch in their factory in England. They come in a classy package that is perfectly suited for gift giving.

We Like
  • DE89 is a great safety razor for both novice and experienced wet shavers
  • It has a beautiful chrome finish – nearly as nice as Muhle R89
  • Edwin Jagger is very affordable especially if you buy it from Amazon stores
  • They have an excellent blade alignment
  • Has great balance
  • It is perfect for sensitive skin
Keep This in Mind
  • The chrome polish will wear out over time, but this should not be an issue when you properly dry your Edwin Jagger DE89 after use
  • Some users have complained about a slippery handle
  • Occasionally users have also complained about the bolt that holds the head to the handle breaking off
  • The handle could be shorter to accommodate those with smaller hands as well

Read our test of Edwin Jagger DE89

 

Muhle R41 Open Comb Razor 

Review of: Muhle R41
Recommended Use: Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
  • Excellent
Muhle R41 Traditional

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: For men that sport coarse beards or those that have sensitive skin, those who are out in search of an aggressive razor to get a clean look in fewer passes, the Muhle razor will provide you with the best option. You should ensure that the edition you get is 2013 or later. Other editions of the product feature some features that make it slightly less aggressive or less forgiving on the skin.

 

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The Muhle R41 has over the years built for itself solid reputation. Many who have used in the past nicknamed it “The Beast”. Unlike in most situations where the term is used negatively, in this case, it is used as a term of endearment.

But why the nickname? What has this brute got that they have unanimously decided to call it the Beast? Well, the Muhle razor is among the most aggressive safety razors available. Courtesy of its aggressiveness, it is not exactly something that beginners learning the shaving techniques should consider.

Muhle R41 has a head with “open teeth” or open comb – meaning it is more aggressive than most of the other razor models in the market. For those with coarse beards this can be an advantage, but be aware that Muhle R41 will require somewhat more skill to use than other models.

The open tooth design is complemented by a gap behind the razor edge. This helps to ensure that the edge of the blade is always free of residue and stubble when shaving.

For safety purposes, Muhle features a safety bar. This allows for a close shave while minimizing cuts and nicks. In this light, it beats the cheap low-quality versions hands down. But despite this safety design, you should not hack on your face as though you are chopping off a branch from a tree.

We do not recommend you to start with Muhle R41 if you have had no previous experience with traditional wet shaving.

But if you have the technique mastered, it is the perfect partner to glide through all those rough facial hairs with ease.

The R41 features several designs; 3 designs to be exact. These include the three-piece Grande, the traditional 3-piece design, and the 2-piece twist. Of the three designs, the Grande design features an interchangeable handle. If you are not okay with the grip of one handle, you can change it to another that you feel more comfortable using. Of the three designs, the Twist is the heaviest and comes with the longest handle as well.

They all feature a chrome plated finish that gives it a feeling of great craftsmanship and design- a clear sign that this is a German brand.

With its aggressiveness, you should expect a clean and clean shave without applying a lot of pressure. It features an open tooth comb design. With this design, the blade is held at an angle and helps experienced shavers get the closest shave with ease.

Aside from its aggressiveness, the Muhle R41 weighs way less compared to other products in the market. It also has a one of a kind balance – the kind you only expect from a high-quality product from a reputable brand.

We Like
  • Features great craftsmanship and an ergonomic design
  • Has an open comb design that helps to shave beards in fewer passes
  • Has great knurling design that helps provide a non-slip grip
  • Have three different designs
  • Provides a close shave
Keep This in Mind
  • Slightly expensive
  • It is aggressive and not ideal for beginners
While it is not perfect for newbies, you should not let it scare you away. The moment you get used to its aggressive nature you will be happy with the close shave you get each time.

The product comes in 3 variants which vary not only in weight, handle size, length, and weight but also in cost. If you love the 3 piece design, go with the Grande or the Traditional version. On the other hand, if you are looking for a 2-piece design then the Twist is perfect for you. Give it a try, and you will surely not be disappointed.

Read our Muhle R41 test

 

Merkur Progress Adjustable Razor 

Review of: Merkur Progress
Recommended Use: Intermediate/ Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4/5)
(4/5)
(4.5/5)
  • Excellent
Merkur Progress

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: The Merkur Progress is an adjustable type of razor. It is loved by experienced wet shavers as it offers them versatility. The 5 adjustable settings vary the aggressiveness of the unit between mild and highly aggressive.
It is durable and has a high cutting performance. Beginners may opt to stay away from this unit due to the long learning curve involved. But nonetheless, it is a great investment for users who have mastered the wet shaving technique.

 

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Merkur Progress is a very popular razor with an adjustable head. It can be adjusted to 5 different levels of aggressiveness and thus be adapted to your skin type. Merkur Progress is cast from brass and has a polished chrome finish. It feels good and solid in the hand and sports a nice classic look. This model is also available in a long-handled version.

We Like
  • The adjustable Merkur Progress can be varied between mild and aggressive depending on the needs of the wet shaver
  • Simple construction – Merkur Progress has a great design, is easy to use and made to last for a long time
Keep This in Mind
  • Features a slippery handle
  • To use Merkur Progress, one has to go through a learning curve. This learning curve makes it fall short of the number one recommended safety razor for beginners
  • Assembling Merkur Progress, though a two piece razor, comes with a slight learning curve for beginners

Read our Merkur Progress review

 

Merkur 23c Long Handle Razor 

Review of: Merkur 23c
Recommended Use: Beginner
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(5/5)
(5/5)
  • Excellent
Merkur 23c

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: Merkur 23c is perfect for both men and women looking to save some extra dollars that they spend on cartridge refills.
The unit is 4 inches long and is perfect for men and women with large hands. If this long-handled version is not your preference, there is the Merkur 34C HD mentioned earlier that you could try out.
It is important to note that the unit comes with a 3-piece design. This design makes it very easy to assemble, disassemble and clean.
With the right technique, you can get a smooth, close shave. Last but not least, the unit is insanely cheap and affordable for all and will serve you for a reasonably long time.

 

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Merkur 23c (also known as Merkur 180) from the German manufacturer Merkur is one of the most popular safety razors on Amazon. This is a long-handled version of Merkur 34c. Made of steel with quality chrome finish its powerful and trustworthy design is made to keep for a lifetime. Merkur 23c gives a closer and more frictionless shave than you get with a multi-blade razor without irritation and red rashes as there is only a single razor-sharp blade extending over the skin instead of several. The razor has a great weight in your hand, gives a close and comfortable shave.

We Like
  • High-quality safety razor with an affordable price tag
  • Easy to clean courtesy of its removable head
  • Has a guard inclusive option for newbies in wet shaving
  • The chrome plating finish is highly rust resistant
Keep This in Mind
  • The knurling is shallow
  • For many men with big hands, the handle will feel slim
  • The screw holding the different parts in place may corrode and break off with time

Read our Merkur 23c test

 

Merkur 37c Slant Razor 

Review of: Merkur 37c
Recommended Use: Intermediate/ Experienced
Editor’s Rating
Value for Money
Quality
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
(4.5/5)
  • Outstanding
Merkur 37c Slant bar

 

Amazon Rating

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Summary: Merkur 37c Slant is perfect for experienced shavers who have a firm grasp on their wet shaving skills. This is due to the aggressive nature of the razor courtesy of its slanted blade.
It is not recommended for beginners who really should learn the art of wet shaving before advancing to something as aggressive as this. Lastly, Merkur 37c Slant is perfect for sensitive skin and coarse facial hair.

 

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Merkur 37C Slant Bar is suitable for those with heavy or coarse beards. The slanted head enables the blade to make an even closer shave than a regular type. The downside is that it increases the chance to nick yourself, but used correctly this tool is great for people with sensitive skin since it requires very little pressure against the skin to get a really smooth, great shave. A favorite among experienced wet shavers! For best results with this razor, you should have some experience with traditional wet shaving.
We Like
  • The slanted angle of the blade gives a close shave with fewer passes
  • It is great for men who have sensitive skin
  • Effective for men with coarse beards
  • The weight is evenly distributed
  • Great grip for men with small or normal size hands
Keep This in Mind
  • The safety razor is rather aggressive – it is pretty easy to cut yourself if you don’t pay attention or if  you are new to classic shaving
  • Not for men with large hands due to a short handle
  • In my opinion, it is not a pretty design – but effective – to be sure!
  • It is not ideal for beginners

Read more about Merkur 37c Slant

 

Honorable Mentions

There are lots of great safety razors that for some reason did not make it to our top 10 list. The reason can be design, price, availability or just that it did not make an overall high score, but they might have great specific features – that maybe fits your needs.

For example the Merkur 38c and its sibling Merkur 39c – both are great razors, especially if you are a person with bigger hands. If that is something that fits your bill, you should check out our test of Merkur 38c and Merkur 39c.

If you are looking for an alternative to adjustable Merkur razors, you should check out our Parker Variant article – a highly recommended pick.

Another great razor is the Merkur 1904 – aka – Merkur 41c – this is an open comb razor with a very affordable price tag.

If you want to have a razor that has a great grip, but maybe a bit different style than some of the classics, you should check out our Merkur 20c review.

Another great one is the Edwin Jagger Kelvin razor – a great alternative to the de89bl if you prefer a shorter handle.

Wet Shave Like a Pro With These Tips

Let us be honest for a moment guys. Shaving with a safety razor means that you are finally thinking of upping your game. You are tired of mediocre looks and you are looking to reel in those good impressions from everyone you meet. Starting to shave with a safety razor can be compared to ditching your piece of junk car, with about 180,000 miles on it and purchasing a Mercedes, a jeep or any great dream car you have in mind. So in case you were wondering, making the shift is a big deal, and it is an upgrade.

But before you start thumping your chest with pride, you should know that using a safety razor is different from using a disposable cartridge. The two are worlds apart. Safety razors call for much more precision, skill and finesse. Sure it will get you that clean and close shave you want, but you need to be patient to acquire the skill and technique of doing so. To keep you from nicking and cutting yourself, below are some tips to guide you in the journey to becoming a pro shaver using safety razors.

Prepare Your Skin

The first and most important step is preparation. Not that preparation time is never wasted time. It is crucial to the overall results (though it might not feel like it). You should wash your face (preferably with some warm water) and later generously apply your favorite shaving cream or soap. Use a quality shave brush for this, it helps to remove dead skin and prepares you for the next step. For this reason, the best time to shave is right after a shower. Instead of taking a shower or washing your face, you can use a hot washcloth for several minutes on your skin. This will also work to soften the hairs on your skin.

Lather Up

Take a small amount of shaving cream and add it to a mug. Pick up the brush that you had earlier soaked in water and swirl it in the shaving cream until you have a thick lather. Apply the lather with your brush in simple swirling motions. When your face has been covered, smoothen it all out.

Use a Fresh Blade in Your Safety Razor

This is obvious, right? Fresh double-edge blades have sharper edges and as such provide closer shaves.

The Shave

Wet shaving requires some technique and skill. This is not the case with cartridge shavers. And it is the reason most men love cartridge shaving. But while it does require some skill and technique, once you have got it mastered, there will be no stopping your efficiency. That said, here are some 4 successful shaving tips you should apply.

Do Not Apply Pressure

Why shouldn’t you apply pressure while wet shaving? Here is the thing. With disposable razors, to achieve a somewhat close shave, you needed to press down the razor on your skin. Well, with safety razors, this is not necessary. The weight of the razor is usually enough. As a matter of fact, the only weight your skin should feel is that of the blade. Hold the razor by the tip of its handle. Any more pressure will cause you to nick or cut your skin. Yes, this pressure is sufficient to provide you with a close shave.

Angle

This is probably the trickiest bit of wet shaving. The right angle is between 30 and 45 degrees. To achieve the proper angle, you should place the head of the razor directly on your cheek and hold the handle parallel to the floor you are standing on. In this position, slowly lower the razor’s handle until you cut the hair. If you are not comfortable practicing with the face practice on the arm until you get a hang of it. If you find this tedious to maintain, you can always get razors with this angle designed on their heads.

Shave With the Grain Rather Than Against It

Shaving against the grain may seem faster and more effective and can provide you with a smooth shave but this will only result in nicking and irritating the skin. Always shave along the grain. It is slightly slower and takes ages to achieve the desired results but you will feel fresh. Note that different hairs grow in different directions for all men. Know your hair’s direction and shave along.

Stretch Your Skin

A safety razor will perform best when the skin is tight. Use the free hand to stretch the skin in the area you are shaving.

Less is Always More

We have already gone over the importance of easing the pressure. The other thing you should ease up on is the passes you make on the skin. The fewer passes made the better. Remember to take smaller strokes – you are using a safety razor and not a disposable razor. Shaving is a gradual process. You should not expect to remove your beard in just one swoop. Trying to hack it in one swoop will cause skin irritations. To keep this from happening, lather up properly and make several passes.

 Rinse Frequently

Frequently run water over the razor to get rid of the shaving cream, free hairs, and other debris.

Post Shave

Once you are done shaving, rinse your face with cold water. Cold water helps to close up the pores. Apply an aftershave of your choice. Aftershaves are built to reduce skin irritations and enhance healthy skin.

Can You Shave Your Head?

Agreed, this has got nothing to do with your safety razor shaving technique. But all the same, it is important that it is addressed.

Yes, you can use your safety razor to shave your head, but you will have to be super careful. The skin on your head is more sensitive than that on your cheeks. As such, be patient and remember to ease up on the pressure.

Where to Buy Your Safety Razor For a Great Experience

Perhaps you aren’t so familiar with where to buy the best safety razor for classic wet shaving. You don’t need to feel stressed about this.

I’m sure that you must have noticed the fact that the best models aren’t always available at local supermarkets and retail stores. Many times the few models on display at these stores are those you wouldn’t place near your face – not to talk about using them for wet shaving.

In fact, buying a good safety razor is quite different from just purchasing a common cartridge razor. After all, using a DE razor isn’t only about shaving. You also need to consider your safety and comfort.

With that in mind, the question that needs an answer isn’t really,’Which is the best?’, but, “Where to get the best?”.

Apart from some barber shops and reputable retail outlets, the best place to get good safety razors is online. Often you can only get the best models online and you’ll have the opportunity to choose your preferred brand from different vendors.

Don’t forget that the best consumer goods are only available in a few places. This is also true for the best models.

Being an avid user of the complete range of these products myself, I can say with confidence that you will only get the best ones through the internet.

Online purchase of safety razors isn’t only convenient, but also very economical compared to the listed prices in the local stores.

I’ll share with you an online site where you can find the best you’re looking for. This is a place where I’ve had the privilege of purchasing things from and I can attest to their great customer service and credibility.

Amazon is an online store that doesn’t need much introduction.

However, the secret which many people aren’t aware of is that Amazon has the best brands of razors available on the market. I buy all my DE razors straight from Amazon. They usually have the best prices as well.

Even beside razors, you’ll also get the best shaving supplies on Amazon with after-sale services of free shipping depending on the value of your order (usually starts at $35). They provide a super quick delivery service.

There are also subscription sites like the Dollar Shave Club and West Coast Shaving that can be an option.

How Does Safety Razors Do Compared to all Other Shaving Tools in The Industry?

Most men believe that safety razors are the best option for those who take their shaving seriously. But we shall not force this thinking on you. We shall provide you with all the relevant information and let you decide for yourself. However, we too think that they are cool shaving gadgets.

So here is the question. Are safety razors better than straight razors, cartridge razors, and electric razors? Well, this still depends on the individuals you talk to as well as the experience you prefer. The decision of the best also boils down to which you have experience using tending your facial hair.

Below is a list and comparison of some of the different types of shaving razors and how they may be the top razor for men.

1. Safety Razors

Given that we have already gone through the safety razors above, we shall keep this short. Let’s go back to the basics. These were developed after the original straight razors. Compared to the straight razors, the new products were an advancement at the time with regards to safety. They recorded a reduced number of cuts and nicks.

Most of the safety razors in the current market feature double-edged bladed. This allows a shaver to use both sides of the blade with great ease. They feature a lot of benefits including a much higher economy in the long run. The initial buy might seem costly compared to other units, but over time, they end up saving you cash. Quality types can last a lifetime or get very close to a lifetime. The replacement blades are inexpensive compared to the price of disposable razor blades.

And the beauty of using safety razors is that they provide a close shave similar to that of a traditional most trusted straight razor.

2. Straight Razor

If you want to do it as your grandfather did, then an open razor is perfect for you. If you love those old western movies, you might have seen the rugged men using these tools to achieve a smooth and close shave.

Straight razors are simple and come in two parts; the handle and the blade. The handle also doubles as the storage for this blade. It is a fact that straight razors provide close shaves courtesy of the complete control they afford the user. The fact that the blade is fully exposed also helps the situation. Additionally, it is also a fact that straight-cut razors are known for their infliction of cuts, nicks, and other minor wounds.

To help maintain the blade’s sharpness over the years, it is imperative that you hone and strop the blade. While not many individuals use straight razors (it takes a long time to master the shaving technique), it popularity in the current century is fast growing. I know that straight razors can be a tough step, that is why we also have written a review and buying guide to help you pick the best straight razor set.

3. Cartridge Razor

When you think of a cartridge razor, the first thing that pops into your head should be convenience. The cartridge razors were first introduced to the people in the 1970s by the popular brand Gillette. Most men have made this razor type their preferred choice courtesy of its ease of use as well as ease of purchase.

The beauty of this type of razor is that even when you forget yours at home, you can always get a new one from any gas station or drug store. Aside from their ease of use, they feature a fixed angle which helps to reduce the chances of nicking or cutting yourself.

Cartridge razors are not only efficient but also cheap and affordable. They always provide a shave that does not disappoint. Their convenience is certainly far above other forms of wet shaving.

4. Electric Razor

These units take convenience to another level. If you are not into the mess related with other shavers, you should prefer an electric razor. With an electric shaver, all you need is to turn it on and start shaving. No prior preparations are required to ensure you achieve a close shave.

There are Two Types of Electric Razors

These include foil and rotary. The rotary shavers feature between 3 and four shaving heads with blades behind them. Foil shavers on the other hand feature a floating head with the blades seating behind a metal grid for protection. Aside from their design, they also vary in their ease of cleaning and the close shave they provide. The rotary shavers are perfect for the close shave while the foil shavers are easy to clean.

Electric razors also come in corded and cordless versions. There is a lot to love about these shavers from their lightweight design, portability, and efficiency. But on the flip side, irritations are more rampant since no prepping or lubrication is involved in the process.

Remember This

Wet shaving technique will take some time to get a hang of. This is true. But it is also true that once you have hacked the process and technique, your face will thank you.

How We Settled on the Best Safety Razors in This Article

Well, the decision we made was a combination of three things; research, personal experience, and customer reviews. While we might not have had the resources and ability to test out every model out there, we sunk our teeth deep into those we could get our hands on. I hope you’ve now gotten a good idea about where to get the best safety razor.

More Reading

Which Safety Razor Should I Choose?

What Do You Need to Get Started With Traditional Shaving – AKA Wet-Shaving?

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