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Best Safety Razors For Beginners & Pros – Reviews and Buying Guide
A classic safety razor is characterized by high quality and affordable blades. Shaving simply becomes more fun with a proper tool! Welcome to a better, cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to shave!
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.
- 0.1 6 Factors to Consider When Buying
- 0.2 1. Design
- 0.3 2. Double Edged
- 0.4 3. The Price
- 0.5 4. Handle
- 0.6 5. Fixed vs. Adjustable
- 0.7 6. The Weight of The Razor
- 0.8 Before You Buy a Double Edge Razor – Keep This in Mind
- 1 Top DE Safety Razors – The Best 10 at a Glance [Updated 2018]
- 1.1 Seki Edge Feather AS-D2 Stainless Steel Safety Razor
- 1.2 Here is a Closer Look at the Features Adorned by the Feather Seki Edge:
- 1.3 Merkur Futur 700 Adjustable Safety Razor
- 1.4 Features
- 1.5 Parker 99R Long Handle Super Heavy Safety Razor
- 1.6 Muhle R89 Closed Comb Safety Razor
- 1.7 Merkur HD 34C Safety Razor
- 1.8 Edwin Jagger DE 89 Knurled Handle Safety Razor
- 1.9 Muhle R41 Open Comb Safety Razor
- 1.10 Verdict
- 1.11 Merkur Progress Adjustable Safety Razor
- 1.12 Merkur 23c Long Handle Safety Razor
- 1.13 Merkur 37c Slant Safety Razor
- 2 Best Shaving Razor – Honorable Mentions
- 3 What Do You Need to Get Started With Traditional Shaving – AKA Wet-Shaving – Using a Safety Razor?
- 4 The Safety Razor Background
- 5 Safety Razor Head Design Types
- 6 Wet Shave Like a Pro With These Tips
- 7 Where to Buy Safety Razors For Best Shaving Experience
- 8 Safety Razors Compared to All of the Best in the Industry
- 9 How We Settled on the List in This Article
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 best double edge safety razor on the market. And now, without much ado, let’s get the ball rolling.
6 Factors to Consider When Buying
Before you spend your hard earned money, there are some factors that you need to consider.
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 Edged
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. The Price
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.
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 vs. Adjustable
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 a Double Edge Razor – Keep This in Mind
Please note that our list is not a ranking per se – it all comes down to:
- Your experience level with wet shaving
- Your skin type
- Your beard coarseness
- Your personal preferences
- Your budget
None of the products on this list is a bad product, it is just a matter of opinion and the before mentioned factors.
Top DE Safety Razors – The Best 10 at a Glance [Updated 2018]
Skill Level/ Aggressiveness
|Feather AS D2||Beginner/ Intermediate|
|High quality and craftsmanship, Stainless finish will not corrode, Great grip due to deep knurling||Expensive, Not suitable for men with coarse facial hair|
|Merkur Futur||Intermediate/ Experienced|
|Flexible, Lots of settings to make a perfect fit for your need, Great finishing and modern style||Wide cutting head, Handle can be a bit slippery, Changing blades requires a bit of attention|
|Parker 99R||Beginner/ Intermediate|
|Pretty Barber-pole style, Long handle makes it suitable for men with big hands||Some issues with quality control but less than before|
|Excellent design and finish, high end quality, Lightweight which is perfect if you are transitioning from cartridge razors||A bit expensive|
|Great value, Easy to load||Very short handle, not suitable for coarse beards|
|Edwin Jagger DE89||Beginner|
|Good value, Great finish||Slippery handle|
|Great for tough beards, gives a close shave||Blades will dull quicker, no room for errors|
|Merkur Progress||Intermediate/ Experienced|
|Simple design, Flexibility due to 5 different settings||Slippery handle, Manufacturing inconsistencies in terms of the alignment of the adjustment knob|
|High end product with an affordable price-tag, Rust resistant, Long handle, Easy to change blade||Shallow knurling, Slim handle might feel awkward for men with big hands|
|Merkur 37C Slant||Intermediate/ Experienced|
|Very efficient for coarse beards or sensitive skin||Blades will dull quicker, no room for errors|
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).
In all cases, you will also receive a 5 pack of Feather Hi stainless steel blades, considered by experienced wet shavers to be of the sharpest blades available.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Read our in-depth review of Parker 99R
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 Open Comb is usually recommended because it’s more aggressive blade angle, but R41 Open Comb 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.
Read our in-depth review of Muhle R89
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.
Read our in-depth review of Merkur HD 34C
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 Edwin Jagger 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 Edwin Jagger factory in England. They come in a classy package that is perfectly suited for gift giving.
Read our in-depth review of Edwin Jagger DE89
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 R41 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, the Muhle R41 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.
Read our in-depth review of Muhle R41
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.
Read our in-depth review of Merkur Progress
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.
Read our in-depth review of Merkur 23c
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.
Read our in-depth review of Merkur 37c Slant
Best Shaving Razor – 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.
Two of those razors are 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 review of Merkur 38c and Merkur 39c.
What Do You Need to Get Started With Traditional Shaving – AKA Wet-Shaving – Using a Safety Razor?
Learn the Art of Wet Shaving Like Your Grandpa Did
Traditional shaving as your grandfather did is very simple and easy. You only need 3 items:
- Safety razor (with blades)
- Shaving brush
- Shaving soap or cream
There are many other things that are nice to have – but strictly speaking, these are the 3 things you MUST have. Keep in mind – the equipment you purchase today will last you year after year. You’ll get a better shave and lower your expenses. A better combination is hard to find! To help the beginners a bit on the way to choose the right combination of these three – we will provide some general tips.
Once you’ve tried traditional shaving is highly unlikely that you return to modern razors or equipment – it is therefore not a big risk in buying the three essentials, safety razor, brush, and cream together.
Making this small commitment to getting the right wet shaving supplies from the get-go is sure to enhance your first experience in this new found pleasure in shaving.
Wet shaving, the proper way, is more of a lost art. Sure it is slowly finding its way back to the people but as it is, it has not yet attained the levels of popularity it had back in the day. Many males in the 21st century have no clue what wet shaving is all about. And the few that know, a very small percentage are skilled in the art. The rest are newbies trying to find their way around it. Instead, the 21st-century men have grown used to using disposable and chap shaving products from numerous companies in the current industry.
Back in the days of our great grandfathers, the art of wet shaving used to be passed down from generation to generation.
But somehow, something happened and it all stopped. The tradition of achieving a clean shave by wet shaving was cut short. But luckily, it is slowly but surely finding its way back to the heart of males all over the world.
What Are The Benefits Of Wet Shaving?
We shall not waste any time here. Instead, let’s get right into it.
1. Reduced Costs
Compared to cartridge razors, safety razors are cheaper. Let’s put things into perspective. An 8-pack of a 4-blade cartridge razor costs about $20. That translates to about $2.5 for each cartridge. Compare this to the cost of a safety razor which is only $0.25 and you get an idea of just how much you can save.
Aside from saving money on the cartridges, you also will save some cash on the traditional shaving soaps and creams. A small can of chemically processed gel sold in most stores costs about $5. During this process, you would expect them to last long. However, they do not and they do not even provide a quality shave.
On the flip side of things, the traditional shaving creams and soaps are made from natural ingredients. While their initial cost is way more than that of the chemical versions, small amounts produce adequate and quality lather. As such you end up saving a lot in the long run.
2. Reduced Environmental Impact
Traditional wet shaving uses far less waste compared to normal having cartridge razors. The only waste is the lather that goes down the sink. Unlike the razor cartridges, the double edges blades can be recycled.
3. Better, Quality and Consistent Shaves
Any men today will walk around with their head held high devoid of the fact that they have bad shaves. Electric razors usually irritate the skin causing redness, ingrown hairs and razor burns.
Safety razor shaving helps to get rid of the irritation on the skin and thus provide you with a clean more healthy looking shave.
The Safety Razor
There are many razors to choose from and they range from excellent for beginners to suitable only for those who have long experience with traditional shaving.
As a beginner we recommend you to choose a razor with a closed comb – this is a razor that protects you from the blade – only a small part of the blade is being exposed so it is very difficult to cut yourself.
Mühle R89 and Edwin Jagger DE3D14BL are examples of such razors. If you want to get yourself the best there is, then the Feather AS-D2 is the best bet. A less expensive option may also be the Parker 99R or the best selling model Merkur 34c.
Once you’ve worked up a bit of experience there are many other options that might suit your particular needs better – but at the start, we certainly suggest one of these more cautious options.
Looking for more options for what safety razor to choose? Read our in-depth article about various safety razor designs such as Open Comb, Adjustable and Slant Bar with our reviews of the best safety razors on the market.
Safety Razor Blade
When selecting your safety razor blade, we recommend you to feel free to experiment. What works for you is very dependent on your skin type and hair coarseness. A good choice for beginners is Astra Superior Platinum – it is reasonably sharp and provides low friction against the skin. When you have started getting the hang of it, you might want to consider the ultra sharp Feather blade.
The shaving brush is an important element to get a smooth shave. It should lather up a good froth – and distribute this foam evenly over your face. Obviously then it’s important to find a brush that works the way you want it. There are affordable options made from boar bristles and more expensive option that is made of badger bristle.
If you just want to try out traditional shaving and are unsure if this is something for you, then go for an affordable brush of boar bristle. A brush from Proraso creates a good lather and works great – but I am not going to hide the fact that the brush is somewhat stiffer than the more expensive badger brushes. But if you want a reasonable solution, I would recommend you a boar bristle brush. It is nevertheless important to be clear that there is a definite quality difference when stepping up to badger brushes.
Badger brushes can be found in almost all price ranges – but although the price of some of the brushes is high, they are quality products that can last for over 20 years with proper use and care. At the same time, these brushes give you a special, unique feeling every time you lather up.
Here is one of the most affordable badger brushes and here is one of the more luxurious shaving brushes. If you want to read more about shaving brushes have a look at our in-depth article and reviews of 10 great shaving brushes.
Shaving Soap and Creams
When choosing shaving soap or cream there are a lot of options – the important thing is to find a soap that provides a rich lather. The lather has two functions – it will soften your beard so that it becomes easier to shave, and it will provide less friction against the skin so that you prevent nicks and cuts. You can choose either a shaving cream or shaving soap.
The advantage of the shaving cream is that it is easy to lather up and simple to use. Shaving soaps, on the other hand, require a bit more work to create a good lather but provides a richer and thicker foam when it is done right. What you choose is pretty much your own preference and taste. Soaps usually give you more “mileage” than creams, so even if the price is sometimes higher for soap than for the cream, it is still cost-effective to use over time.
The Safety Razor Background
The traditional safety razor was invented by Mr. King Camp Gillette in 1901. Since then a lot has happened in the market, but has is it really been an improvement or just a way to make shaving more complex and expensive for you? We believe that one blade is enough, a fact which has been proven in several tests! Save money, make less trash and give your day a better start!
With a double-edge razor, you can choose between many different types of blades. Common to all is that the prices are much lower than cartridges blades. A 5 pack of high-quality blades usually cost less than $5. Lots of people go through a 4 pack of Gillette’s a month. The savings will quickly add up over a year when a 4 pack of Gillette Fusion blades costs nearly $20! Let’s just keep it simple and say that is $ 200 a year vs $50 a year in high-quality safety blades. Gillette comes out at least once a year with new designs that cannot be used with older blades or handles. And now you know that a high-quality handle and comb will probably last you a lifetime…!
It is more certainly more pleasurable to shave with proper equipment. Combine a high-quality one with a good shaving cream or soap and make a previously dull daily routine into a great way to start your day!
Quality and Environment
Once you have purchased a top quality product, it will last more or less forever. Nor will there be new models with a slightly different “improvement” that require you to throw away the old one. Get a simple hand-made quality product and be proud as well as happy. Proud that you are having the minimum impact on the environment and happy that you are getting a smoother shave.
Safety Razor Head Design Types
Safety razors vary a little in design; some have a different mechanism for inserting a new blade, others have a uniform design, and some are assigned to specific tasks. Here is an overview of the most common types.
Safety Razors Having a Closed Comb
A closed comb is the most common type of head on a DE razor. This is recommended for the majority of people, both beginners and experienced. With a closed comb only a small portion of the blade is being exposed, hence the name “safety razor”.
Most versions we will discuss have a closed comb. Razors from the German brand Mühle have a common head with a closely aligned closed comb (apart from a few varieties that have open comb). Whether you go for the test winner Mühle R89 or another variant of Mühle with a different design, rest assured you will get a good shave!
Safety Razors With an Open Comb
An open comb allows more of the blade to be exposed. An open comb is thus more aggressive in its setting than one with a closed comb. In reality, most safety razors have a partial rather than a completely open comb. In addition to more exposure of the razor’s blade, there is also a slightly different angle of the blade. A razor with an open comb is ideal for those with a coarse and dense beard. A good razor in this category is Muhle R41.
Note that an open comb version is a little harder to shave with at the beginning, so if you have no experience with traditional shaving we recommend that you choose one with a closed comb to initially learn the ropes.
Please note: Mühle offers a separate head with an open comb, so if you have a Mühle razor with a closed comb like the R89, you can change to an open comb later by purchasing this head.
Safety Razors With a Slant Bar Design
The head on these razors is tilted at an angle. While regular razors cut the hair by pushing the blade straight towards the hair, the angle of a slant bar design makes the blade cut the hair slightly sideways. This ensures an even closer shave than a regular razor can provide. The chance to nick yourself is a bit higher, but if it is used correctly; the angle creates a very nice shave for people with sensitive skin since it requires less pressure against the skin. A great razor with a slant bar is the Merkur 37C.
Safety Razors With an Adjustable Design
Some razors are adjustable. This means that you can regulate the distance between the comb and the blade. The longer the distance, the more aggressive and closer shave you will get. These are nice because as you get better at shaving, you can adjust the gap and get a closer shave. Some users will choose to use the same setting on the razor for their entire shave, while others use a more aggressive setting for the jaw and a gentler one for the neck. Probably the most popular one in this category is Merkur Futur and Merkur Progress.
Please note that Slant and Adjustable heads are available on fewer models and usually have longer delivery times and may be sold out due to limited production.
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.
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
This is obvious, right? Fresh double-edge blades have sharper edges and as such provide closer shaves.
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 safety razors 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 safety 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.
Frequently run water over the razor to get rid of the shaving cream, free hairs, and other debris.
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 Safety Razors For Best Shaving Experience
Perhaps you aren’t so familiar with where to buy the best safety razors 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 (you can do it by just clicking a mouse), 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.
Where to Buy Safety Razors That’ll Make You Happy?
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.
Safety Razors Compared to All of the Best 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 straight razors are 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.
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 razor, 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.
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 List 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 razors. I’ll like to read your reactions after having tested my suggestions and hear of any items I may have left out of the list.
Last update on 2018-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API