13 Best Safety Razors [Beginners & Pros] – Reviews and Buying Guide
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In this review & buying guide, our goal is to assist and guide you to find the best safety razor available for your preference.
First of all – 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.
TOP 5 Safety Razors (Summary)
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 – starting with the Seki Edge Feather. We will guide you in deciding on 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 Looking For The Best Safety Razor
Before you start to spend your hard but well deserved 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 Brand – Remember This
Please note that our list is not a ranking in itself – it all comes down to:
- Your experience level with wet shaving
- Your skin type
- Your beard coarseness
- Your personal preferences
- Your budget
We don’t rate the razors in our list, it is (as always) a matter of opinion and the before mentioned factors.
The Best Safety Razor Picks (and Some Honorable Brand Mentions)
1. Seki Edge Feather Stainless Steel DE Razor – Our Top Pick
Feather 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 has taken the design of the razor 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 this company, for their next generation design.
The Feather razor 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 razor 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 this Safety Razor:
- 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 razor 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 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 razor 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.
Read our Feather AS-D2 review
2. Merkur 700 Series (Futur) Adjustable Safety Razor – Best Adjustable Safety Razor
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 700 series 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 type of skin, 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.
The Merkur razor 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.
- 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, the Merkur razor 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.
Read our in-depth test of Merkur Futur Adjustable
3. Parker Long Handle Super Heavy (99R) Safety Razor – Top Pick on a Budget
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 agreed upon.
While the Parker razor 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 long handle heavyweight butterfly open safety razor 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.
Read our in-depth test of Parker 99R
4. Muhle Closed Comb Safety Razor – German Handcrafted Classic
The Muhle safety razor with closed comb 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 razor 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 closed comb (also known as ‘R89), however, offers them both with the Traditional version and a version called Twist. It also takes this flexibility even further by providing you a version featuring an extra-long handle called Grande for users that have bigger hands. There is also a Rosegold version that is based on the Traditional 3-piece version.
Mühle closed comb is a lot more forgiving than for example Muhle open comb – particularly if you are new to wet-shaving. For more experienced users with thicker hair, the Mühle open comb usually recommended because it’s more aggressive blade angle, but the R41 model 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 closed comb, you can change it later by purchasing this head, making the transition to a more aggressive version easier.
Read our in-depth Muhle R89 Review
5. Merkur Classic 2-Piece Double Edge Safety Razor – Best Beginner Razor
A best-selling razor with a classic design from 1931! The Merkur Classic 2-piece safety razor 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.
Read our in-depth test of Merkur MK-34c HD
6. Double Edge Safety Razor Edwin Jagger (DE89 Series) – English Classic
Edwin Jagger de89lbl 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 de89bl. Among the many reasons why this unit has grown to its popular status is its ability to shave delicate 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 razor 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 fragile 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 type of skin 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.
Read our test of Edwin Jagger DE89
7. Muhle Open Comb Safety Razor – Best Open Comb Razor (Not For Beginners)
The Muhle open comb safety razor has over the years built for itself solid reputation. Many who have used in the past nicknamed it “The Beast” or more commonly ‘R41. 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.
The Muhle razor 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 razor 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 this model 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 safety razor with open comb 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 razor 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.
Read our Muhle R41 test
8. Merkur Adjustable (500 series) 2-piece Double Edge Safety Razor – Classic Adjustable
Merkur 500 series 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 preference. Merkur adjustable 2-piece double edge safety razor 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.
Read our Merkur Progress review
9. Merkur Classic 3-Piece Double Edge Safety Razor – Bestseller at an Affordable Price
Merkur Classic 3-piece double edge safety razor (also known as 23c and 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 Classic 3-piece 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.
Read our Merkur 23c test
10. Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Safety Razor – Top Slant Bar Razor
Merkur Slant Bar double edge safety razor 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.
Read more about Merkur 37c Slant
11. Merkur 33c Safety Razor – Good Quality Razor
When we are talking about excellent DE razors, the Merkur 33C Classic must be on the list. Several factors put it on the map for wet shaving enthusiasts. At the top of the list of these factors is an excellent balance between price and performance. Also, the fact that it’s a product from Merkur adds to its popularity. Over the years, Merkur has won over the hearts of many men by offering high-quality products. The Merkur 33C is no exception.
But what makes this a high-quality blade? Aside from the intricate manufacturing process and the use of heavy-duty machinery, the razor is made of steel. This alone guarantees you of longevity and quality. And since steel doesn’t rust, the razor will serve you for eons without the blade becoming dull. To top it off, the steel build has chrome plating. This chrome plating improves its rust resistance and also enhances the look of the razor to simple, stylish and classic.
Complementing the steel build is a unique and attractive design. The most noteworthy design feature is the grip. The razor’s grip (like is the case with many razors), is designed to improve your grasp even when shaving with wet and soapy hands. Courtesy of the grip, you have great control and improved confidence in your razor and consequently your wet shaving skills. More to this, the Merkur 33C is one of the lightest safety razors available. But despite its lightweight nature, Merkur made sure that the razor is reliable.
The razor’s weight gives it a nimble feel and offers a lot of freedom. We should point out that many lightweight safety razors have poor balance and hence, poor control. But unlike other razors, the Merkur 33C has impeccable balance and control.
It’s also worth mentioning that the 33C has a 3-piece design. This gives it a competitive advantage over many safety razors in the market. With a 3-piece design, very few things could go wrong. And if you take great care of the razor, it will last for ages.
However, if you have large hands ad are looking for a razor with a long handle, you might want to look elsewhere because the Merkur 33C has a short handle. As for its aggressiveness, you’d be pleased to note that it’s moderately aggressive.
Because it is a lightweight razor, you’ll have to exert some pressure to get a close shave. But even with the added pressure, the razor will glide over the skin gently and won’t give you a hard time of dragging it through a coarse beard.
12. Weishi 9306 Safety Razor – Good Starter Razor
Weishi 9306 Safety Razor is part of a couple of models including heavy-duty, long-handled and classic versions. These razors are available in either chrome or dark silver plating. This safety razor is nicknamed the ‘Squeaker.’ The Weishi has grown in popularity for a couple of reasons.
Below is a quick review sharing the features.
While the butterfly opening on the renowned Feather Popular safety razor gives the razor a durable feel, the Weishi is a level higher since it’s made of metal. And for its price range, a metallic construction alone is a huge bargain.
However, if you are one how is used to using high-end safety razors, you’ll feel a difference in quality when you use the Weishi 9306. But quite frankly, the quality difference is expected given that you don’t pay a premium price for the razor. And if you compare the quality against the price, you’ll appreciate the razor and the fact that it feels relatively sturdy in hand and it has minimal blade movement.
Like the Feather Popular, the Weishi 9306 safety razor features a butterfly or twist to open design. It is made from a copper alloy which gives them durability. And though it’s not the most beautiful safety razor we’ve set our eyes on (given that its style is somewhere between modern and classic), it does a decent job in shaving facial hair.
Speaking of clean shaves, the razor has mild aggressiveness. And because of this, it is not the first option for beginners. And even with its mild aggressiveness, if you have sensitive skin or coarse hair, you should choose a different safety razor altogether. Why? Well, with the Weishi 9306, you’ll need to make several passes to achieve a clean shave which can end up being problematic for your skin. On the flip side, if you have a standard beard and don’t need to shave daily, the low aggression shouldn’t be a problem.
13. Feather Popular Double Edge Shaving Razor – Good Value
Feather is a safety razor brand from Japan that is popular the world over. The razors are of high-quality and loved by many men. But before we proceed, we should mention that the name ‘Popular’ refers to how excellent the products are than anything else. And with that said, let’s dive right into the reasons that make this safety razor popular.
The Feather Popular safety razor is crafted from a combination of metal and plastic. And even though it is priced low, it’s one of the best butterfly razors on the market. But unfortunately, many of the twist to open razor variations do not operate as well as they are designed to.
If you were to sideline its value for money for a second, you’d notice that the razor’s build is not the best. The razor tends to turn slightly when one is shaving. And though for most wet shaving beginners lightweight razor designs sound like the best feature when it comes to actual shaving, they can prove to be a challenge to use, and they don’t exactly command trust.
The razor has an old school design. It features a fat head which reduces on the steepness of its blade’s angle. This gives it a mild character meaning it is ideal for men who have sensitive skin. But since it is made from light materials, one has to exert a lot of pressure during shaving, to get a close shave which could result in skin irritations.
The razor has one of the longest handles on the market. This is perfect for the men who have large hands or those who prefer using long razors.
Now, though it offers excellent value for money, the performance could be better. In our research, we’ve come across safety razors that have better performance than the Feather Popular.
But even then, many people are okay with the performance because they don’t have to pay a premium for it. For most men, it’s about striking a balance between value and performance. In light of this, the Feather Popular safety razor seems to have nailed it.
As we conclude this product review, we should point out that the razor is ideal for men who are starting on wet shaving – those who are still learning the ropes. This is because it is not overly aggressive and therefore leaves room for error during the learning curve. Also, courtesy of its long handle, it’s comfortable and easy to control.
On the other hand, it’s ideal for the men who do not have coarse hair and those who don’t usually have to shave fast. For men who are always in a hurry when shaving, this safety razor will not achieve the desired results. With patience and some knowledge, the Feather Popular Twist is the best budget option.
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. And we have just done a review of Rockwell 6S and 6C that is worth checking out.
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.
Shaving Guide & Recommended Accessories
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.
Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream – Classic Shaving Cream For Safety Razors
Wet shaving started regaining popularity in the past couple of years. But even with its popularity, there are still men who have not yet tried it. If you are one of those who have stumbled upon the concept of wet shaving recently and are putting together your wet shaving kit, then you should throw in the Taylor of Old Bond Steer shaving cream. As it is, this shaving cream is the default shaving cream for wet shaving beginners – and there are good reasons why this is so.
The Taylor of Old Bond Street continues to amaze many with its lotion-like consistency coupled with its ability to make a rich lather. For a long time, these two qualities were mutually exclusive. So it’s understandable why people are impressed by it.
Now, the Taylor of Old Bond Street brand was first established in 1854 by Jeremiah Taylor. It was a popular brand with your grandfather. Heck, it just might be what your grandfathers used when shaving.
And since a shaving cream’s scent is important to most men, we feel it’s good we mention it early in the review. The Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream has a manly sandalwood scent. It is earthy and resembles cedar but with some undertones of vanilla. But hey, if you don’t dig the sandalwood scent, there are still many options to choose from. The additional scents include;
- Lemon and lime
But aside from the scents, this shaving cream is designed for high performance. This means that it will provide you with a rich lather that isn’t too airy.
Moreover, the cream’s texture when fully lathered feels slick. As such, when you apply the cream on your face, it provides excellent cushioning that will facilitate a comfortable shave. After the shave, your skin will feel smooth and moisturized.
Complementing the cushioning is the glycerin added to the cream. The glycerin moisturizes and smoothens the skin even more. Given the addition of glycerin, the cream is ideal for men with dry and sensitive skin.
When purchasing this shaving cream, we insist that you buy a shaving brush as well. While you might be tempted to scoop it with your finger and rub it in your hands to lather, it will not yield a rich lather. If you want high performance with this product, you should invest in a complete wet shaving kit. So yes, you will need a bowl as well to help with the lathering process.
While the shaving cream is slightly expensive, some men have gone on record to say that it can last for six months. As such, it’s doubtful that it will feel like a waste of money.
Semogue 620 Superior Boar Bristle Shaving Brush – Great Shaving Brush to Use With Cream and Safety Razors
You’ve probably never heard of Semogue before now. As such, it might be shocking for you to learn that it is an industry leader, and it has years of experience in the industry (60 years). Because of its experience, the men who’ve had the chance to use its products (in this case the Semogue 620 Superior Boar Bristle Shaving Brush) have nothing but praise for the brand.
If you are a pro wet shaver, or have just stumbled upon wet shaving in the recent past and want to give it a shot, the Semogue 620 will help you to get the best experience ever. The brush is handcrafted for a beautiful finish and a superior performance. Many men love it for many reasons. At the top of the list is the fact that it helps to build a significant amount of lather without causing skin irritations like the low-quality shaving brushes do. Also, the boar bristles on this brush are denser than in most brushes on its level. And because of this, you are guaranteed of achieving desirable lather with soap or shaving cream.
Like most new bristle brushes, the Semogue 620 requires break-in time. Fortunately, this time is not too long. And once it has broken-in, it will only take about 15 minutes soaked in water to soften. The beauty of this brush is that during the soaking, the tip of the brush not only becomes soft but also retains water which is not the case with many other shaving brushes.
And last but not least, the Semogue 620 is designed to last for ages. It made with a strong backbone. Its handle is acrylic, and it is just the right size. Or added comfort, it is well balanced. On the other hand, the boar bristle knot is secured by a sterling ring which adds to the beauty of the brush.
Wet Shave Like a Pro With These Tips
1. 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 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Rinse Frequently
Frequently run water over the razor to get rid of the shaving cream, free hairs, and other debris.
11. Post Shave
Once you are done shaving, rinse your face with cold water. Cold water helps to close up the pores. Apply an aftershave or face moisturizer of your choice. Aftershaves are built to reduce skin irritations and enhance healthy skin.
Pre de Provence #63 – Great Classic Aftershave
This aftershave is perfect for men who suffer from skin irritations when they use normal shaving soap and detergents. It is made of grapeseed oil, shea oil, and shea butter to ensure that it leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
Aside from this, it has healing properties courtesy of Aloe Vera and Allantoin it contains. For best results, gently massage it on the skin and let it work its magic. You will love with spicy, warm and masculine fragrance it has.
12. 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. Check out our article about if you should shave your head or not.
5 Easy Tips For Maintaining Your Safety Razor
One of the nice thing about traditional safety razors is that they can last a lifetime. The razor blades they use will always be available, and good metal lasts longer than plastic. To get as much mileage out of the razor as possible, it is important to give it some tender love and care now & then.
Here are some tips for maintaining your razor:
1. Wash & Clean the Razor When Changing the Blade
Although traditional razors get rid of hair, cream or soap far more efficiently than a multi-blade razor, they will sooner or later have to be dismantled and cleaned. In this way, you avoid bacterial spread, skin rash – helps you if you suffer from Acne or struggle with sensitive skin. This will also help you in keeping the razor nice and shiny.
Most people change the razor-blade once a week. This is an excellent opportunity to wash the parts with a mild detergent and a brush. Razors without a wooden handle (such as Merkur Futur) can be put in the dishwasher, but we recommend hand-washing for the best results.
2. Assemble the Razor Correctly
Many safety razors have a separate head, comb (also called guard or base-plate) and handle, which are screwed together. These razors are often referred to as 3-piece razors. When replacing the blade, it is important that the base-plate faces the correct way, so that the long sides slopes up towards the head and not down towards the handle.
As with all bolts, the threads can hit askew if one is really unlucky. It is noticed by the head suddenly becomes extremely hard to screw in – when the threads are aligned correctly there should be no resistance before the head meets the guard and the handle.
A simple trick to always get this right: Press the bolt gently against the handle and turn it slow and gentle the “wrong way”, ie counterclockwise from the head. Then you will sooner or later hear a small “click” – this is the point where the threads start. Then turn the head gently clockwise until it tightens against the base-plate and handle.
There is no need to use any force, nice & gentle does it. If you turn too hard, you will destroy the threads. If you need to use any force, this is a sign that there is something wrong.
3. Rinse and Dry the Razor After Use
Do not hang the razor straight back into the rack after shaving. Take a few seconds to rinse it under the tap and wipe it dry with a towel or soft cloth. This will remove the white soap coating that will otherwise form, and wipes away any moisture that might otherwise form on the chrome plating and cause cracks if your razor has a wood handle.
4. Use Maintenance Oil
Some of us have/ had mothers who regularly put the cutlery in oil overnight so that the wooden handle should not dry out. With a coat of oil, the wood handle of the razor is saturated with oil so that water cannot penetrate. The water causes the wood fibers to swell, and when the water evaporates after a while, the wood will be completely dehydrated so that it will eventually crack. Put a drop of oil on the metal to keep the threads fresh and the surface shiny and neat.
5. Polish Chrome
A lot of the popular safety razors are made of forged brass, which is then chromed. Neither brass nor chrome is capable of rusting, but if the razor has been damp for years (see tip no. 3), the chrome surface may corrode. This will look like a dark, small burgundy-colored coating. This is easily removed with chrome glossing, a mild polish available at most hardware stores or online. Polish the razor as you would with any silverware, first with the gloss (cream or liquid) on a soft cloth, then with a dry cloth. The finish becomes mirror-glossy and put on a layer of protective wax while at it. You do this at most once a year.
Important: Do not polish stainless steel razors. Exclusive razors such as Rockwell 6S and Feather AS-D2 are made of stainless steel with a silky matt, anodized finish. Do not polish these with chrome gloss as it will remove the original finish. Since the anodize is hard and the stainless steel cannot corrode, it is only necessary to dry the razor after use.
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.
How Does Safety Razors Do Compare 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, but there are some that will make it easier for you, check out our article on best straight razor for beginners), 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.
Muhle on ‘TV2 Helps You’ Against Gillette Fusion Pro Glide
Muhle R89 was tested against Gillette Fusion Pro Glide with the Norwegian “TV2 Hjelper Deg” (“TV2 Helps You” is a consumer aid- and unbiased reviews tv program).
Below is a translation from Norwegian of the main points.
The original article is found here (with video)
Gillette is the Most Expensive, But Not ‘The Best a Man Can Get’
“We test market giant against competitors which is ten times cheaper, and the result is surprising”.
Gillette’s newest model “Gillette Fusion Power ProGlide” is being put to test against the traditional safety razor from Mühle and the disposable razor “Dual Blade Diamond” from Rema 1000 (Norwegian grocery chain).
To determine the best razors we have found three men with different beard.
They are being shaved by a professional barber blindfolded (not the barber!) so that they do not know which razor that shaves where done with.
The razors get points on comfort during shaving and the quality of the result.
All testers use Gillette’s razors at home, and two of them have the most faith in the market leader’s product.
- I choose to believe that Gillette has spent all their money on making a good razor, so I think they are the best, says Andreas Loef before starting the test.
The last one thinks, however, that the traditional razor will get grab the victory.
- I think the traditional razor is best. It looks better and sharper, comments Magnus Rokenes.
After the shave is completed and the boys have assessed the results of their experience, the winner is clear.
The traditional razor (Mühle R89) takes away with the victory with a total of five stars.
Gillette finished second with four stars and the disposable razor even razor finished last with three stars.
The favorite Gillette did not win, this was not as Loef had expected.
- I thought Gillette would win maybe just by a “hair”, but I’m not surprised that the traditional razor is the winner, he says when he learns the result.
Huge Differences in Price
A pack 4 count refills razors for Gillette Fusion Power ProGlide costs 217 NOK ($26 USD) on Rema1000 (currently available for around $17 on Amazon).
This is more than ten times as expensive as traditional safety razor blades (for Mühle R89 or similar types of safety razors) that cost 25 NOK ($3) for five blades (currently you can get a pack of 3 x 5 blades for around $5 at Amazon) , and disposable razors for 0.99 NOK ($0.12) per razor.
Asked about the difference in quality is enough to defend the price difference the boys in unison agree.
- I think not at all. When I learned that traditional shaving costing as little per blade I was quite surprised, says Roekenes.
- The disposable razor I think it’s okay to drop since the results were so bad, Loe adds.
The price is about 55 NOK ($6.64, $4.25 at Amazon) per Gillette Blade, unlike traditional blades, which costs a maximum of 5 NOK per blade ($0.6$ or currently 0.33 at Amazon).
The money you save makes it tempting to switch, the boys think.
- I actually come to consider it, because the traditional was cheaper, it won the test and was then the best, says Kloosterman.
- When I have worn out my Gillette, I’ll probably make a change, yes, commenting Rokenes.
When asked why they are so expensive, Gillette has the following to say.
- The price of products reflects the research and development invested in them, says Gillette’s communications manager Andras Papp.
How much research that actually lies behind the products is Johan Brox, founder of barbershop.no and the barber shop “Dapper” skeptical about?
- Gillette worldwide has a 70 percent market share of razors and razor blades, so they can basically set the price they want. It’s probably the simplest explanation for the price as it is, says Brox.
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.