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Best Safety Razors

Adam Williams

Safety razors have seen a resurgence due to their low long-term cost of ownership and the ability to prevent razor bumps. However, our testing taught us that not all safety razors are created equal. Each can provide a unique shaving experience, so it’s important to find the one that works best for you.

Today we’ll review some top brands, including Merkur, Edwin Jagger, Bevel, and more.

Safety Razors Compared

RankingSafety RazorUniversal Blade?PricePiecesRating
1Merkur 34CYes$36Two98
2Edwin Jagger DE89Yes$41Three98.3
3Merkur 38CYes$61Two97.1
4Merkur 23CYes$37Three96.9
5BevelYes$50Three96.5
6Merkur 37CYes$50Two96.2
7Parker 99RYes$32One95.8
8Muhle R41Yes$44Three95.3
9Merkur FuturYes$86Two94.1
10Feather AS-D2Yes$160Three93.2
11Muhle 4-Piece SetYes$131Three92.5
12OneBlade CoreNo$40One92

Best Safety Razors of 2022

Here’s our list of some of the best safety razors on the market:

Merkur 34C Safety Razor

Rating

98

The Merkur 34C is a top-quality safety razor that provides a comfortable and close shave. It’s German-made with a knurled handle for increased grip and control.

Pros

Beginner-friendly price and shave experience

Well-made

German-made

Cons

Tough to control with large hands.

The Merkur 34C provides a very comfortable shaving experience, making it a favorite recommendation for beginners. It is smaller than other safety razors we reviewed at 3.19″ in length and 2.72 ounces in weight. However, despite the short handle, the Merkur 34C still performs exceedingly well and enjoys increased control while shaving. In addition, the smaller size makes it much easier to control and is suitable for those with smaller hands.

Additionally, the two-piece safety razor design has a universal fitting compatible with all major razor blade brands. Therefore, you can easily test between brands to find a blade that performs best for your facial hair density and skin.

To provide a good grip while shaving, the handle on the Merkur 34C features a diamond knurling pattern. This pattern provides a secure grip while shaving, even when wet. The knurling pattern also helps to prevent the razor from slipping out of your hand.

Like all Merkur safety razors, the 34C is made in Germany.

  • Zinc Alloy (Zamak) Construction: This is the biggest disadvantage of the 34C compared to other models. While you can expect the razor to last for years, it is not as durable as other safety razors made from stainless steel.
  • Warranty: Merkur backs its razors with a 2-year limited warranty. While the warranty covers faulty craftsmanship, it does not cover damage due to drops or other accidents.
  • Price: The Merkur 34C is a great value for the price. At $36, it should have no problem fitting into most budgets.
  • Included Blades: The Merkur 34C comes with one Merkur Platinum blade. While this is a good blade, it is not the best. We recommend picking up a few extra blades to try out different brands.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 3.19″
  • Weight: 2.72oz
  • Pieces: 2
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 1 Merkur Platinum blade
  • Price: $36

Read the Full Review: Merkur 34C


Edwin Jagger DE89 Safety Razor

Rating

98.3

The Edwin Jagger DE89 is a great entry-level safety razor. It’s priced affordably and offers a comfortable, mild shave.

Pros

Mild shave aggressiveness

Several finishes available

Affordably priced

Cons

Unknown metal interior

Some users reports that the handle is a bit short

Similar in design and size to the Merkur 34C, this UK-made safety razor by Edwin Jagger is another option that will last for years. With mild aggressiveness, the DE89 will provide smooth results without irritating. In addition, the handle stands a bit longer than others at 3.75″ in length, making it an ideal razor for most men.

As great as the razor performs, one aspect that we like is the affordable price. At $30, it is one of the most affordable safety razors on the market. So no matter your budget, you should be able to find a way to fit this razor into your shaving routine.

One notable drawback to this razor is its grip. Unlike others that feature a knurling pattern, the DE89 has a semi-smooth ridged handle. As a result, should your hands be slick with shaving cream, or even a bit wet, you may find it difficult to maintain a firm grip on the razor. This could impact control and lead to nicks and cuts.

  • Scalloped Safety Bar: The safety bar on the DE89 is scalloped. This design helps to prevent the razor from cutting too close to the skin while feeding your whiskers through the blade.
  • Includes 5 Derby Blades: Most men find that Derby blades perform quite well for their facial hair. However, if they are not the best for you, you can easily swap them out for a different brand.
  • Nice Packaging: While it doesn’t necessarily impact the razor’s performance, the packaging is quite nice. So should you decide to give this as a gift, it will look just as good as some of the more premium razors on the market.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 3.75″
  • Weight: 2.36oz
  • Pieces: 3
  • Made in: UK
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 5 Derby blades
  • Price: $41

Read the Full Review: Edwin Jagger DE89


Merkur 38C Safety Razor

Rating

97.1

The Merkur 38C, also known as the Barberpole, is a great beginner-friendly safety razor. It’s chrome plated with a brass handle and die-cast zinc alloy head that provides a mildly aggressive shave.

Pros

Unique swirling design

The extra weight slices through facial hair easily

Chrome plated

Cons

Tougher to control for those with smaller hands

With a unique swirling design to represent the Barber’s pole, the Merkur 38C is a beast of a razor. At 4.25″ in length and 3.84oz in weight, it is one of the largest safety razors on the market. This allows the razor to provide more stability and control while shaving. Additionally, the larger size makes it easier for men with larger-than-average hands to hold.

When shaving with the Merkur 38C, simply let the razor glide across your skin. The razor will provide a close shave without the need to apply too much pressure. Like many other Merkur razors, the 38C is made in Germany. This ensures that the razor is made from high-quality materials and will last for years.

The head-on this razor is a closed comb, meaning that the blade is protected by a safety bar. So chances of cutting yourself are minimal.

  • Reduced Grip: While the swirling knurling is elegant looking, it doesn’t provide nearly as much grip as other safety razors (particularly those with a diamond knurling). So be sure to have a hand towel nearby to dry your hands while shaving.
  • Price: At $61, the Merkur 38C is a step up in price from other Merkur razors. However, if you currently use a cartridge razor, the long-term cost savings will more than make up for the initial investment.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 4.25″
  • Handle Weight: 3.84oz
  • Pieces: 2
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 1 Merkur Platinum blade
  • Price: $61

Read the Full Review: Merkur 38C 


Merkur 23C Safety Razor

Rating

96.9

The Merkur 23C is a great long handle safety razor that’s light-weight and beginner friendly. The chrome-plated knurled handle provides a steady grip.

Pros

Beginner cartridge-like form makes it good for beginners

Chrome-plated knurled handle

Competitively priced

Cons

Slightly more weight would make it even better

The Merkur 23C is one of the most popular safety razors due to its cartridge razor-like design. At 4″ in length and 2.21 ounces in weight, the razor is a bit larger than the Merkur 34C. However, the longer handle can make it more difficult to control. So if you have smaller hands, we recommend the 34C instead.

Given the lack of weight on this razor, it works well only if you have thinner facial hair. Additional pressure or shorter strokes will be required to cut through the hair if you have a thicker beard. Longer strokes may require greater pressure, leading to nicks and cuts or skin irritation.

  • Grip: The handle on the 23C features Merkur’s signature diamond knurling pattern. This pattern provides a secure grip while shaving, even when wet. The knurling pattern also helps to prevent the razor from slipping out of your hand.
  • Widely Available: From Amazon to West Coast Shaving, you should have no problem finding this razor.
  • Three-Piece Design: With a separate handle, base, and head, the 23C is easy to clean and maintain. Unlike a butterfly or two-piece design, you can remove gunk and other debris that may accumulate with time. This will help to keep the razor performing at its best for every shave.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 4″
  • Handle Weight: 2.21oz
  • Pieces: 3
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 1 Merkur Platinum blade
  • Price: $37

Read the Full Review: Merkur 23C 


Bevel Safety Razor

Rating

96.5

The Bevel Safety Razor is a good razor for those looking to prevent razor bumps. It’s brass weighted and features a polished and brushed finish. The shave performance is good, but it can be difficult to control.

Pros

Widely available

Moderate aggressiveness

Cons

Long and smooth handle may be tough to use

Men’s grooming brand Bevel was founded in 2013 and has quickly made a name for itself. Available at Target and other retailers, Bevel is a great option for those looking to try a new razor that they can pick up today. Specifically designed to reduce or prevent razor bumps, the Bevel Safety Razor is a good option for those with exceptionally curly or coarse hair.

When using the Bevel Safety Razor, you will notice that the shave is quite smooth. The razor is mild, so it will not cut as close as other razors. It is rather long at 3.1 ounces (88g) in weight and 4.25″ long. To provide the weight, Bevel relies on a brass frame.

  • Matte & Polished Finish: The handle on the Bevel Safety Razor features a matte and polished finish. This gives the razor a unique look that is sure to stand out. However, the smooth finish may make it difficult to maintain a firm grip while shaving.
  • Solid Safety Bar: The safety bar on the Bevel Safety Razor is solid rather than scalloped. This helps flatten the skin and prevent the razor from cutting too close.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 4.25″
  • Handle Weight: 3.1oz
  • Pieces: 2
  • Made in: China
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 5 Bevel blades
  • Price: $50

Read the Full Review: Bevel Safety Razor  


Merkur 37C Slant Safety Razor

Rating

96.2

The Merkur 37C, also known as the Merkur Slant, is a great safety razor for experienced wet shavers. The slanted design cuts beard hair at an angle, which reduces tugging and irritation. The increased weight makes it easier to cut all beard types.

Pros

Reduces post-shave irritation or razor burn

Slanted design

Easier to cut all beard types

Cons

Intended for intermediate users

The 37C is truly a unique safety razor. With a slanted head, the razor is designed to cut your whiskers at an angle rather than straight on. Many liken this to a scythe. This design helps to reduce the amount of tugging and irritation on the root of the hair. Additionally, the slanted design makes it easier to cut through thicker or coarser hair.

While this razor may take some getting used to, it is a great option for those who have been wet shaving for a while. The slanted design is not recommended for beginners as it can be difficult to control. However, once you get the hang of it, you will find that the razor provides a close shave without the need to apply too much pressure.

Regarding specifications, the 37C is rather small. At 2.72oz and 3.31″ in length, it is especially easy to control for men with average to smaller handles. However, if you want a larger slant safety razor, consider the Merkur 39C. It features the same cutting head as the 37C but has the handle of the 38C.

Like other Merkur razors, the 37C features a Zamak frame that has been chrome plated. This provides a durable and corrosion-resistant finish.

Despite the angled blade setting, the 37C remains compatible with all standard double-edge blades. So you can use your favorite blades with this razor.

  • Knurling: The diamond knurling pattern on the handle provides a secure grip while shaving.
  • Niche Product: Despite the effectiveness of a smooth shave, the 37C remains relatively niche. So you may have a hard time finding this razor in stores. Instead, we recommend going through a niche retailer such as West Coast Shaving or Maggard Razors.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Moderate
  • Handle length: 3.31″
  • Handle Weight: 2.72oz
  • Pieces: 2
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 1 Merkur Platinum blade
  • Price: $50

Read the Full Review: Merkur 37C  


Parker 99R Butterfly Safety Razor

Rating

95.8

The Parker 99R is a great butterfly safety razor that’s simple to use and provides a smooth shave. The moderate blade exposure helps reduce irritation and ingrown hairs. The swirled handle design provides a steady grip when wet shaving.

Pros

All-in-one design

Simple and easy to use

Quick and easy blade changing

Cons

Perhaps not as durable as others

The Parker 99R remains a popular choice due to its one-piece design. With a twist of the handle, the Parker 99R butterfly razor allows you to quickly and safely change out the razor blade after every 5 to 7 shaves (just make sure you dispose of the blade properly).

However, one minor drawback to this design is that it adds some bulk to the head, making it slightly more tricky to shave around the nose. Additionally, with moving parts, the razor may not last nearly as long as some of its counterparts.

Regarding the key specs, the 99R weighs 3.36oz (95g) and is 4″ in length. This makes it a suitable razor for most men.

For the shave, expect the moderate blade gap to provide smooth results that help reduce irritation and ingrown hairs. In addition, the swirled handle design on the Parker 99R will provide a good (but not great) grip when wet shaving.

Lastly, this razor is aggressively priced at $32, making it a great option for those looking to try a new razor without breaking the bank.

  • Brass Construction: The Parker 99R features a brass construction that provides a durable and corrosion-resistant finish. This is a nice change from the Zamak construction used on most Merkur razors.
  • Made in India: One aspect that reviewers often mention is that the Parker 99R is made in India. There may be some quality control issues with this razor, so you may want to consider a different razor if you are looking for a reliable option.
  • No Warranty: There is no mention of a warranty on the Parker website. So if you have any issues with the razor, you may be out of luck.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 4″
  • Handle Weight: 3.36oz
  • Pieces: 1
  • Made in: India
  • Warranty: None
  • Included Blades: 5 Parker blades
  • Price: $30

Read the Full Review: Parker 99R


Muhle R41 Open Comb Safety Razor

Rating

95.3

If you are an experienced wet shaver or barber looking for a close shave, the Muhle R41 is a great option. The open comb design is less susceptible to clogging and provides an aggressive shave. The handle is available in various finishes, including knurled chrome, black, tortoiseshell, and rose gold.

Pros

Extremely aggressive shave

Made in Germany

Open comb design

Cons

Only for experienced shavers

If you want an uncompromising close and aggressive shave, the Muhle R41 sets the standard. With an open comb design, the razor is designed fully remove all facial hair to provide smooth, silk-like results. When shaving with this razor, even if you have a thick or dense beard, you will notice that the razor will never clog.

The handle for the Muhle R41 is available in various finishes, including knurled chrome, black, tortoiseshell, and rose gold. The safety razor is 4.21″ in length and weighs a modest 3.17 ounces. Along the length of the handle is a unique grip that provides a secure hold while shaving – so when using this razor, you will always feel in control.

Lastly, the three-piece design makes cleaning this razor a breeze. Simply unscrew the head and rinse the razor under warm water. The razor is also compatible with all standard double-edge blades.

  • Aggressive Shave: This razor is not for beginners. Even those who have been wet shaving for a while will likely cut themselves at least once when using this razor. So be sure to have a styptic pencil handy.
  • Affordable Price: Given that this is a German-manufactured safety razor, the Muhle R41 is surprisingly affordable. At $56, it is much cheaper than its fellow country counterparts.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Aggressive
  • Handle length: 4.21″
  • Handle Weight: 3.17oz
  • Pieces: 3
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 1 Muhle blade
  • Price: $56

Read the Full Review: Muhle R41


Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor

Rating

94.1

The Merkur Futur is a fantastic safety razor with an adjustable blade gap. The Merkur Futur is a well-designed and minimalist razor that borders on being artistic. The Progress is a suitable alternative for those who might have trouble navigating around both their nose and mustache areas.

Pros

Beautiful, modern design

The extra weight requires no extra pressure

Adjustable blade gap

Cons

The lowest setting is still aggressive

Bulky design

Evoking some of the same modern design aesthetics as those found in the Supply and OneBlade line of razors, the Merkur Futur is an adjustable safety razor that features a user-friendly design. With a simple twist of the handle, you can adjust the blade gap exposure to customize the aggression of the razor to your liking.

Unlike other two-piece safety razors with a cap that you must screw into the handle, the Futur features a snap-on cap that makes it easy to change the blade. Additionally, the razor is compatible with all standard double-edge blades.

Compared to other safety razors, the Futur is a beast. Among the heaviest at 4.44oz it requires no additional pressure to slice through even the thickest or coarsest hair. However, this also means that it is not the most nimble razor. So if you have a small or average-sized hand, you may find it difficult to control.

  • Large Blade Cap: Some reviewers have mentioned that the blade cap is too large. So if you have a tough time shaving around your nose, the Futur may not be the best option for you.
  • Several Finishes: Merkur makes the Futur in several different finishes, including chrome, brushed metal, and gold. The chrome finish is the most popular, but the brushed metal and gold finishes are also quite nice.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Adjustable
  • Handle length: 3.94″
  • Handle Weight: 4.44oz
  • Pieces: 2
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: 1 Merkur blade
  • Price: $86

Read the Full Review: Merkur Futur

Feather AS-D2 Safety Razor

Rating

93.2

The Feather AS-D2 features a solid stainless steel design that is rust-resistant and not susceptible to cracking or chipping like chrome should the razor be accidentally dropped on hard ceramic bathroom tiles. Meticulously crafted in Japan, the 3.2oz (90g) body provides a confident, familiar feeling when held.

Pros

Expertly made of fine materials and craftsmanship

Solid stainless steel design

Japanese made

Cons

Best for wet shaving enthusiasts

Expensive

Forged in Japan, the Feather AS-D2 is one of the finest safety razors. Unlike other safety razors made from brass or zinc alloy, the Feather AS-D2 is made from stainless steel. This provides a durable and corrosion-resistant finish that will last a lifetime, making it a good heirloom razor. Moreover, even on the off-chance that you drop the razor, the stainless steel construction will prevent any damage to the razor.

Aside from the solid construction, stainless steel is a bit more eco-friendly than brass or zinc alloy. This is because stainless steel can be recycled, whereas brass and zinc alloy cannot. The stainless steel construction makes the razor easy to clean and maintain to prevent bacteria buildup.

For specs, the razor is moderate in all regards. The weight is 3.4oz, and the length is 3.54″, making it an ideal razor that can easily work for just about all men.

  • Includes 5 Blades: The Feather AS-D2 comes with 5 Feather blades, some of the most highly regarded blades on the market. The blades are made from stainless steel and are coated with platinum to provide a smooth and irritation-free shave.
  • Small Head: The narrow head on the AS-D2 makes shaving a breeze around the nose and mustache area. When shaving, you’ll have a clear view of the area you are shaving, making it easy to avoid nicks and cuts.
  • No Warranty: After checking the Feather website, we were unable to find any mention of a warranty. While we don’t suspect there will be any issues with the razor, it is something to keep in mind.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 3.54″
  • Handle Weight: 3.4oz
  • Pieces: 3
  • Made in: Japan
  • Warranty: None
  • Included Blades: 5 Feather blades
  • Price: $160

Read the Full Review: Feather AS-D2


Muhle 4-Piece Gift Set

Rating

92.5

This safety razor gift set has all the essentials: a safety razor, shaving brush, shaving bowl, and stand. The razor contained within this gift set is beginner-friendly. With chrome-plated finishes, it should also last for several years before showing signs of wear.

Pros

Everything needed for a barbershop-like shave

Respected brand

Cons

Expensive

Hard to find

ust getting into wet shaving but uncertain where to start? The Muhle 4-Piece Gift Set is a perfect starter option for those new to wet shaving.

The set includes the following:

  • Muhle Rytmo safety razor
  • Muhle pure badger shaving brush
  • Shaving bowl
  • Razor & brush stand

The razor, featuring a plastic resin handle, provides mild to moderate aggression, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced wet shavers.

While the shaving brush isn’t made from the finest badger hair, it still can generate a rich lather. The brush is also easy to clean and maintain. In addition, the bowl and stand are plastic-free and add a nice classy touch to your bathroom.

Priced around $125 (varies depending on sales), the kit is rather pricey. However, if everything was purchased separately, the total cost would be around $150.

  • Three Finishes: You can choose between three different finishes for the razor, including black, petrol blue, and steamed ash.
  • Handle Can Be Slippery: The Muhle Rytmo features a smooth plastic resin handle rather than using a knurled handle. While this makes the razor easy to clean, it can be slippery when wet. So be sure to use caution when using this razor.
  • No Blades Included: Unfortunately, the only thing missing from this kit is the blades. So you will need to purchase blades separately.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild to Moderate
  • Handle length: 3.7″
  • Handle Weight: 2.47oz
  • Pieces: 3
  • Made in: Germany
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty
  • Included Blades: None
  • Price: $125

Read the Full Review: Muhle Rytmo


OneBlade Core Single Blade Razor

Rating

92.0

The OneBlade Core is a hybrid alternative between cartridge razors and safety razors. The pivoting head on the OneBlade Core allows the blade to remain at the optimal cutting angle for close, comfortable results.

Pros

Pivoting head lessens the chance of nicks

Comfortable shave

Cons

Limited number of compatible razor blades

Blurring the line between cartridge and safety razors, the OneBlade Core is a hybrid razor that showcases the best of both worlds. The razor features a single blade that is housed in a pivoting head. This allows the blade to move with the contours of your face, providing a close and comfortable shave.

Unlike when using a cartridge razor, where razor bumps and ingrown hairs are common, the OneBlade Core is designed to prevent these issues. The single cutting edge is designed to cut hair to the skin’s surface rather than below it. As a result, after a single pass, you are left with a smooth and irritation-free shave.

However, compared to other safety razors, one notable drawback to this system is that the OneBlade Core is not compatible with standard double-edge blades. Instead, the razor uses single-edge blades. While the blades are not expensive, the number of manufacturers that make them is limited.

Luckily, Feather makes the FHS-10 blades compatible with the OneBlade Core. In addition, these blades are well-made and can be purchased in bulk, making them a good value.

While reviewing the OneBlade Core, OneBlade makes a few other varieties of their razor, including the Genesis and Hybrid. These alternate models feature better materials (stainless steel vs. plastic) and are more durable. However, they are also more expensive.

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty: We love when a company stands behind its product. The OneBlade Core comes with a limited lifetime warranty, which is a nice touch.
  • Beginner Friendly: The OneBlade Core is a great option for beginners. The pivoting head makes it feel familiar to those used to cartridge razors.
  • Made in the USA: The OneBlade Core is made in the USA, which is a rarity for safety razors.

Razor Specifications:

  • Aggressiveness: Mild
  • Handle length: 4.5″
  • Handle Weight: 2.4oz
  • Pieces: 1
  • Made in: USA
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
  • Included Blades: 5 FHS-10 blades
  • Price: $40

Read the Full Review: OneBlade Core

9 Considerations When Buying a Safety Razor

Take a moment to consider the following before buying a safety razor:

1. Head Design

Safety razors will have one of the following combs: closed comb, closed comb adjustable, open comb, or slant.

Closed Comb

This is the most common design. The closed comb is a solid piece of metal that rests between the base of the blade and the cap. The closed comb is designed to flatten the skin before shaving, reducing the risk of nicks and cuts. The design of the closed comb may vary from one razor to another. For example, some combs may be solid, scalloped, or have a series of ridges.

Closed Comb Adjustable

Found in adjustable safety razors like the Merkur Progress, Merkur Futur, or Parker Variant, the space between the safety bar and cap is adjustable. This allows you to change the aggressiveness of the shave by narrowing or widening the blade gap.

Most adjustable safety razors are adjustable by a simple twist of the handle. However, other designs exist, such as the swappable baseplate design found in Rockwell Razors.

Open Comb

Similarly designed like a rake, the open comb is a series of small teeth that reduce skin pressure and increase blade exposure. The open comb is designed to provide a more aggressive shave. This comb design is best suited for those experienced with safety razors, as it often results in more nicks and cuts if the proper technique is not used.

Note: The open comb design is also good for thick facial hair as it will be less likely to clog.

Slant

Only a few companies make slanted safety razors, with Merkur and Parker being the most well-known. The angle of the blade setting and safety bar makes a slant safety razor different from other designs. Both are slightly angled to alter the cutting angle of the blade. This design is intended to provide a more comfortable shave by reducing irritation or tugging on the hair follicles with each pass.

Related: Types of Safety Razors

2. Size

Safety razors come in various sizes that directly impact the quality and comfort of the shave. Here’s what you should know about both the weight and length of a safety razor:

Weight

Safety razors typically vary between 1.3 oz (Henson AL13) and 4.44 oz (Merkur Futur). Weight is important as it directly affects the performance of the shave. Heavier safety razors (greater than 3oz) provide greater shaving stability and control. Additionally, when making a pass, the razor’s weight will help push the blade through the hair follicles without needing additional pressure.

Lighter razors (less than 3oz) may require additional pressure (depending on the thickness of your facial hair) and may require more passes to achieve a close shave. However, lighter razors cause less fatigue and are easier to maneuver around the face.

Length

Safety razors vary in length from 3.19 inches (Merkur 34C) to 4.41 inches (Bevel). Generally, shorter razors are easier to control and make precise passes. However, longer razors may provide more leverage. Aside from shaving, comfort for your hand is also important. A shorter razor is easier to hold and maneuver if you have smaller hands, whereas a longer razor may be more comfortable for those with larger hands.

3. Number of Pieces

Safety razors will come in one, two, or three pieces. Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of each:

One-Piece

Also known as butterfly razors, one-piece razors are all welded together and cannot be disassembled. With a simple twist of the handle, the top cap will open to reveal the blade, making it easy to change blades. However, with convenience comes some notable drawbacks. One-piece razors often have a bulky design making it harder to shave, particularly around the nose. Additionally, the lack of a removable head makes it difficult to clean the razor.

Two-Piece

The two-piece razor has a handle welded to the base cap. The cap screws into the handle and can be removed to reveal the blade. This design allows for easier cleaning and maintenance. However, the baseplate is still welded to the handle, which could break if the razor is dropped or mishandled.

Three-Piece

Favored by wet-shaving enthusiasts, the three-piece razor has a handle, baseplate, and cap. As a result, you can clean and maintain the razor more easily with three separate pieces. Additionally, the baseplate can be swapped out for a different comb design or a different blade gap (this typically only works with the same brand of a razor).

4. Blade Gap

The space between the safety bar and the razor blade is known as the blade gap. The blade gap is measured in millimeters and is typically between 0.5mm and 1.5mm. The blade gap is important as it directly affects the aggressiveness of the shave. A larger gap will increase aggressiveness as more of the blade will be exposed. Conversely, a smaller gap will reduce aggressiveness as less of the blade will be exposed.

5. Grip

closeup of variant adjustment knob

As you browse through safety razors, you will notice that some have a knurled grip while others have a smooth grip. Knurled grips are designed to provide a better grip and reduce slippage. You’ll find diamond, swirl, or crosshatch patterns within knurled grips.

We recommend diamond knurled over other patterns as it provides the best grip.

6. Razor Blades

Safety razors are designed to be used with double-edged razor blades. Astra, Feather, Gillette, Kai, Merkur, Personna, and Wilkinson Sword are the most common brands. The most popular blades are the Feather Hi-Stainless, Astra Superior Platinum, and Gillette 7 O’Clock SharpEdge.

You aren’t locked into a proprietary blade system with a safety razor.

However, it’s important to note that new brands, such as Supply, OneBlade, etc., have a limited number of compatible blades. This is due to the design of the razor. For example, the OneBlade Core is only compatible with single-edge blades, with the most notable being the Feather FHS-10. Supply, on the other hand, is only compatible with injector blades – which is only a small subset of double-edge blades.

7. Brand

You’ll find razor brands such as Merkur, Parker, Rockwell, and Edwin Jagger when shopping online. These brands are well-known for their quality and craftsmanship. However, many other brands are just as good. Some of these brands include Henson, Muhle, and RazoRock.

We recommend avoiding knock-off brands as they are often poorly made and may break easily. Additionally, unknown brands typically never offer a warranty or guarantee.

8. Price

The price for a safety razor will vary depending on the brand, design, and materials used. However, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $160.

Safety Razor Blades

holding a safety razor blade

When buying a safety razor, you’ll need certain razor blades, specifically double-edge razor blades. These blades are designed to be used with safety razors and are typically sold in packs of 5, 10, or 100.

If this is your first safety razor, we recommend starting with a variety pack of blades. This will allow you to try different brands and find the one that works best for you.

How to Use a Double-Edge Safety Razor

Most men mistakenly pick up a safety razor and start shaving with it the same way they would a cartridge razor. This will undoubtedly lead to nicks, cuts, and irritation.

Here are the steps you need to take to get a perfect shave with your safety razor:

  1. Wet your beard entirely with warm water. This will soften your facial hair and make it easier to cut.
  2. Apply shaving cream. We recommend using thick shaving cream to provide more lubrication and cushion.
  3. Take your safety razor and start with the grain of your beard. This means shaving in the same direction that your hair grows.
  4. Once you’ve gone with the grain, you can go against the grain for a closer shave. Just be careful, as this can easily lead to nicks and cuts.
  5. Rinse your face with cold water and apply a soothing aftershave balm.

Shaving Cream

While your standard canned shaving cream or shave gel can work with a safety razor, wet shaving experts recommend using traditional shaving cream or shaving soap. The reason is that shaving creams and soaps are thicker and provide more lubrication and cushion. This allows the razor blade to glide across your face with less friction, reducing nicks, cuts, and irritation.

Shaving Brush

Shaving brushes provide a few benefits when worked into your shaving routine. Most notably, shaving brushes help create a rich lather that is thick and well-cushioned.

Additionally, when you use a shaving brush to apply shaving cream, it provides gentle exfoliation. This helps not only remove dead skin cells but to soften the facial hair. This allows the razor blade to cut through the hair with greater ease. There are many different types of shaving brushes available. However, we recommend that you consider a badger hair-shaving brush. Badger’s hair is soft and gentle on the skin.

Double Edge Safety Razor FAQs

Here are answers to a few common questions when first using a safety razor:

How is shaving with a safety razor different from a cartridge razor?

When shaving with a safety razor, you must hold the razor at the optimal cutting angle of 30 to 45 degrees. This differs from a multi-blade cartridge or disposable razor with a pivoting head. After two weeks of practice, you should expect close and comfortable results.

Will my safety razor include razor blades?

In most instances, the safety razor you buy will include a few razor blades. You should buy additional double-edge safety razor blades with your new razor. A variety pack is a good and affordable way to test many different brands and determine which blade works best for your skin and beard type. Be sure to follow the razor disposal laws of your local municipality and dispose of or recycle razor blades accordingly.

Are safety razors good for the environment?

By relying on a solid metal body, safety razors have little impact on the environment during production or when they are disposed of, as they can be recycled. Therefore, safety razors are a sustainable alternative to cartridge razors.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more.

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