Shavette vs Safety Razor: Differences, Pros and Cons
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If you are a beginner, you have probably come across a lot of blogs and videos on straight razors vs. shavettes. And since safety razors and shavettes are quite similar, it’s expected of us to do a shavette vs. safety razor comparison. If you are new to wet shaving you are wondering what the hype is between these shaving tools. So without much ado, let’s review the similarities, differences, and everything in between.
Shavettes are also known as disposable blade straight razors. Their name stems from the fact that they resemble straight razors in design. On the flip side, their difference is that straight razors have permanent razor edges while shavettes feature replaceable razor blades. As such, barbers prefer shavettes to straight razors because of their hygiene levels.
Is a Straight Razor Better Than a Shavette?
Unfortunately, there’s no direct answer to this. Overall, whether the straight razor is better than a shavette or vice versa depends on the user. Why? Well, because they are useful in different situations. And the fact that one has a permanent blade and another has a disposable blade makes a huge difference.
With both, you have to go through the pro steps of wet shaving. You’ll also have to use the best shaving creams or the best shaving soaps to ensure you get a clean and smooth shave. However, you will have to learn how to sharpen a straight razor. the process includes stropping and honing. Stropping helps to align the edge and ensure a clean cut. The reason for stropping the blades for a straight razor before every shave is that hair has the tensile strength of copper. Therefore, the facial hair causes micro misalignment to the edge.
Also, from time to time, you’ll need to hone the blade to bring back its sharpness. When you hone a blade’s edge, you are removing steel from it to create a new and sharper edge.
On the flip side, you don’t have to learn how to sharpen a blade with a shavette. Once a blade gets dull, you simply replace it with a new sharp blade. But the trick is in disposing of the blades. You don’t want to throw the razor blades ‘naked’ into your trash can because no company will recycle the blades. Instead, you want to throw them out while in a blade bank for safety.
How to use a Shavette
If this is your first time using a shavette, you might cut yourself. Therefore have a styptic pencil or an alum block to stop the bleeding. To start shaving, take a warm shower or place a towel dipped in warm water on your face. This will open the skin pores, soften the facial hair, and have them erect ready for slicing. Next, apply shaving cream or shaving soap on your face and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
When you are ready, pick up your shavette. Hold it at a 30-degree angle to your face. If you hold it at a higher angle you increase the risk of nicking yourself. Start from the top of your sideburns and shave downwards with tiny light strokes. The reason for starting with your sideburns and cheeks is because the skin is thicker and flatter. Follow the cheeks down to the jawline and then move towards the mouth.
You can make single or multiple passes before proceeding to another spot on your face. For subsequent stokes, make sure you reapply the shaving cream. Also, it helps to stretch the skin with the freehand.
Of all places, shaving around the mouth is the trickiest bit. Therefore, we suggest that you leave this spot for when you have a better handle on your shaving technique. But generally, you should use small strokes, stretch the skin and be patient.
Best Shavette Razor
There are quite a number of shavette razors we can recommend. But at the top of the list is the Feather SS Shavette. This shavette is not only light but hardy and durable. It is made from stainless steel and the blade is sharp enough to wow experts in the industry. Aside from this, the handle has a firm grip which makes it comfortable and easy to maneuver in the hand.
Pros and Cons of Shavettes
Now that you understand what a shavette is, here are some of its pros and cons to consider.
- Shavettes have been in use for centuries. Heck, your granddad might have used it to stay neat in his time.
- The replaceable blades improve their hygiene especially for those who use them in commercial settings like barbershops.
- Disposable blades are cheap
- You get a clean and close shave courtesy of the new sharp blade used every time.
- Like straight razors, shavettes have a steep learning curve. This is especially for people who are used to cartridge razors.
- Unlike safety razors, the design shavettes have don’t protect the skin from the sharp blade gliding over it. You therefore ought to be careful and take it slow when shaving.
- In comparison to safety razors, getting the right angle when you shave is difficult. Moreover, beginners find it harder to master the art of holding a shavette than a safety razor. Partly because of the shape and the grip many manufacturers offer.
Safety razors were introduced back in the late 1800s. They were introduced to the world to help wet shavers and barbers get a safer way to achieve a closer and smoother shave. In comparison to shavettes and straight razors, safety razors need less skill to master. Their ease of use boils down to their design. Safety razor heads feature safety bars/caps that protect the double edge safety blade from exposure.
Because of the cap, a lot of the contact is between the skin and the safety cap and not the blade. Consequently, the risk of cutting or nicking yourself is reduced. Also, the pressure you’d use reduces significantly.
However, bear in mind that these feature doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of nicking your skin. We should also point out the fact that safety razors and shavettes have a different design. The difference in design alone contributes to the ease of use and the reduced learning curve when using safety razors.
Pros and Cons of Safety Razors
Despite having a large following the two tools have a fair share of pros and cons. Below is a shortlist of what to expect from safety razors.
- It’s clear that safety razors need less practice and skill to achieve a close and smooth shave in comparison to using a shavette or straight razor. Also, for men who love collecting safety razors, there’s a wide variety to pick from including different types of multiple double edge safety blades. You can always try to discover which type works best for you.
- Moreover, safety razors are designed with a firm grip in mind. Some safety razors have crisscrossing grooves and others are long to provide comfort to men with large hands.
- The cost of using a safety razor is low. And this is despite needing razor blade replacements. The safety razor blades are cheaper in comparison to cartridge razors. According to experts the blade replacements cost less than five cents and can give up to 5 shaves.
- Though the learning curve is reduced, using a safety razor still requires some bit of practice especially if you are used to cartridge razors.
- Replacing the blades is an easy task. However, given their sharpness, you run the risk of cutting yourself in the process.
- In comparison to shavettes and traditional straight razors, safety razors do not give you a badass look. Honestly, nothing beats the look of holding a sharp steel blade to your face and cutting hair.
Does a Safety Razor Give a Closer Shave?
How does a safety razor shave compare to that of a shavette? With a shavette, you’ll definitely get a smoother shave that will last longer. But with a safety razor, the shave is closer and with minimal skin irritations, ingrown hairs and shave bumps.
Why is this so? As we pointed out earlier, safety razors have caps that reduce blade exposure to the skin. Consequently, the shaving process is a little more forgiving and leaves room for errors as you shave closer to the skin.
So does a safety razor give a closer shave? Yes, it does. But you also have to use the right products including pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and aftershave.
Are Safety Razors Better?
This is not quite true. From the above guide, it’s evident that safety razors excel in some areas and fail in others where shavettes fail and excel in respectively. A safety razor is ideal for a beginner who is yet to master the art of wet shaving. If you are used to disposable razors, you’ll not have a hard time transitioning to safety razors.
Moreover, safety razors are ideal for men who do not have the patience or time to use a shavette every morning. The latter requires a lot of time to get a smooth shave.
On the flip side, if you work in a commercial setting like in a barbershop, a shavette would be ideal because of its hygiene levels. Every customer who walks into your barbershop you’ll use a new razor blade.
Conclusion: Shavette vs Safety Razor – Which is Better?
From the above comparison, it’s clear that though the shaving tools are great, they both excel on different fronts. As such, you cannot completely favor one and disregard the other. It depends on what you need as well as your preferences.