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Best Butterfly Safety Razors

The butterfly safety razor is a type of double edge razor that gets its name from the mechanism that opens the blades. With a simple twist of the handle, the two halves of the razor cap separate, allowing you to safely and easily insert a new blade.

This article will look at the best butterfly safety razors on the market from leading brands, including Rockwell, Parker, and Vikings Blade. We’ll also share some important considerations to remember when shopping for a butterfly razor, as well as tips on getting the most out of your new razor.

Let’s get started!

Butterfly Safety Razors Compared

Safety RazorCombCompositionCountry of OriginPriceShave PerformanceGripBlade CompatibilityWeight (oz)Weight (g)Length (in)Length (cm)
Parker 96RClosedBrassIndia$30.00MildKnurledAll double-edge safety razor blades2.79794.310.9
Parker 99RClosedBrassIndia$32.00MildSwirlAll double-edge safety razor blades41133.89.7
Rockwell Razors T2Closed (Adjustable)Chromed Zinc, Brass, Stainless SteelParts from China and US. Assembled in Canada$150.00Varies Based On Adjustment SettingKnurledAll double-edge safety razor blades3.631033.749.5
Vikings Blade ChieftainClosedStainless SteelChina$19.00MildDeep GroovesAll double-edge safety razor blades3853.759.5
WEISHIClosedBrassChina$17.00Mild To ModerateDeep GroovesAll double-edge safety razor blades2.61744.311

Best Butterfly Safety Razors in 2022

Here’s our list of some well-made butterfly safety razors that we think you’ll love:

Rockwell T2 | Twist-To-Open (TTO) Double-Edge Safety Razor | Full Metal | Includes 5 Fully Recyclable Stainless Steel Blades (Gunmetal Chrome)

Rockwell Razors T2

What We Think:

If you are looking for an heirloom-quality razor that you can use for the rest of your life and don’t mind paying a bit more for it, the Rockwell Razors T2 would be a great option. What’s unique about the T2 is that it is the only razor on our list with an adjustable blade gap. So if you are new to wet shaving, you can start with a mild setting and then increase the blade gap as you become more comfortable with the process.

We love the quality products that Rockwell Razors produces (see our review of the 6C razor here). Delivering a nice, smooth, close shave is something that this company seems to excel at, and the Rockwell Razors T2 is certainly no exception.

T2 Weight and Length

the t2 with a butterfly opening

The shortest butterfly razor to make our list, the T2 stands at just 3.74 inches in length. However, don’t assume that the small stature of this razor means that it is only suitable for those with smaller hands. While that may be true to an extent, the T2s shorter body provides unmatched precision and maneuverability. So if you need to clean up some edges, particularly around the mustache area or jawline, the T2 will allow you to do so easily.

With a weight of 3.63 oz, the Rockwell Razors T2 was the second heaviest razor on our list (only the Parker 99R was heavier). When using the T2, the weight of the razor itself will do a good deal of the work for you, making it a great choice for those new to wet shaving.

Shave Performance

Unlike all other butterfly safety razors with a fixed blade gap, the T2 is the only razor on our list with an adjustable blade gap – allowing you to customize your shave experience. If you are looking for more of a mild shave, simply twist the handle to the lowest setting. If you are looking for increased aggressiveness in your morning shave, you can increase the blade gap to your tolerance level. What makes the T2 special is that it’s the only butterfly razor that you can grow into.

Related: Best Adjustable Safety Razors

Composition & Country of Origin

rockwell t2 with case

The composition of the T2 is a blend of chromed zinc, brass, and stainless steel. Additionally, the T2 features parts sourced from both the US and China, with the final assembly in Canada. Because of the higher quality parts used to construct the T2, expect this razor to last for several decades.

Learn More: Full Review of the Rockwell T2

Pros

  • Extremely well-built
  • Offers unmatched precision
  • Provides a smooth, close shave
  • Adjustable blade gap allows you to customize your shave performance

Cons

  • At $150, the T2 is one of the most expensive razors on our list
  • The shorter body may not be suitable for those with larger hands

Product Specifications

FeaturesRockwell Razors T2
Length (cm)9.5
Length (in)3.74
Weight (g)103
Weight (oz)3.63
CompositionChromed Zinc, Brass, Stainless Steel
CombClosed (Adjustable)
Price$150.00
CompositionChromed Zinc, Brass, Stainless Steel
GripKnurled
ColorsRose Gold, Brushed Chrome, Polished Chrome, Gunmetal Chrome
Shave PerformanceVaries Based On Adjustment Setting
Number of Pieces1
Country of OriginParts from China and the US. Assembled in Canada
Parker 96R - Long Handle Butterfly Open Safety Razor & 5 Parker Premium Platinum Double Edge Razor blades

Parker 96R Safety Razor

What We Think:

The Parker 96R is a high-quality butterfly razor that is perfect for those new to wet shaving. While it’s not the most aggressive razor on our list, it’s still capable of delivering a nice, close shave. The longer length of the 96R may make it a bit more difficult to maneuver around tight spaces, but the increased length does make it easier to clean up the neck or for those used to cartridge razors.

Is this your first safety razor, then the 96R makes it easy to transition from a cartridge razor. Check this out:

A Cartridge Razor-like Length

At 4.30″ in length, it’s one of the longest razors on our list. The increased length of this razor makes it fairly easy to grip and clean up the neck, jawline, and other difficult-to-reach areas. However, the length could be a downside, as making precise cuts with this razor could be more difficult than with shorter models. Our recommendation with the 96R makes it well suited for those with larger hands or those who simply prefer a longer razor.

Eco-Friendly

If you are coming from a cartridge or disposable razor, the 96R is a much more eco-friendly option that doesn’t rely on pricey refills, nor does it produce as much plastic waste as a cartridge razor.

Light Body

Despite the longer-than-average frame of the 96R, it is fairly light compared to other butterfly models on our list (2.79 oz). When using this razor, expect to add a slight bit more pressure to your strokes to get a nice, close shave. For context, the Parker 99R weighs 4.0 oz, and the Rockwell T2 comes in at 3.63 oz.

Other Details

parker 96r has a butterfly opening

Like the 99R and WEISHI safety razors, the 96R has a brass frame and treated with a chrome-plating finish. This makes the 96R resistant to corrosion and rust while providing a modern look. We should also point out that the knurled metal handle provides a nice grip, even when your hands are wet. In terms of the head, the 96R comes equipped with a closed comb design that is rather mild in terms of aggressiveness – making it suitable for those with sensitive skin or new to wet shaving.

Learn More: Full Review of the Parker 96R

Pros

  • Very well-built
  • Resistant to wear and corrosion
  • Excellent grip, even when wet

Cons

  • Not the most aggressive razor on our list
  • The lightweight may require more pressure to get a close shave

Product Specifications

FeaturesParker 96R
Length (cm)10.9
Length (in)4.30
Weight (g)79
Weight (oz)2.79
CompositionBrass
CombClosed
Price$30.00
CompositionBrass
GripKnurled
ColorsBlack And Silver
Shave PerformanceMild
Number of Pieces1
Country of OriginIndia
Double Edge Safety Razor by VIKINGS BLADE, Fat & Short Handle, Swedish Steel Blades Pack + Luxury Case. Twist to Open, Heavy Duty, Reduces Razor Burn, Smooth, Close, Clean Shave (Model: The Chieftain)

Vikings Blade Chieftain

What We Think:

If you buy razors based on value, there is no beating the Vikings Blade Chieftain. Beautifully designed and perfectly weighted, the Chieftain is an excellent razor for those new to wet shaving and an excellent gift for those already familiar with the process.

Crowned the most popular butterfly safety razor on Amazon, the Vikings Blade Chieftain is a beautifully designed razor that offers excellent value for the price. Here are a few things that we liked about the Chieftain:

Weight, Length, and Design

Weighing in at 3.00 oz, the Vikings Blade Chieftain is right in the middle of the pack in terms of weight. Perfectly balanced from top to knob, the weight of the Chieftain feels quite comfortable to hold without ever feeling unwieldy. In terms of length, the Chieftain is more comparable to the Rockwell T2 and Parker 99R at 3.75 inches.

One of our favorite things about the design of the Vikings Blade Chieftain is that the deep grooves on the handle help to provide an excellent grip. So even if you shave in the shower with wet and soapy hands, you shouldn’t worry about the razor slipping out of your hands.

A Nice Presentation Box

chieftan presentation

Included with your purchase of the Vikings Blade Chieftain is an elegant presentation box that makes for a great gift for any occasion – whether it be a birthday, father’s day, or Christmas. In addition, the case includes:

  • A small travel mirror.
  • An inset for your razor.
  • A small separate compartment for your razor blades.

The all-in-one case protects the razor while not in use and makes it easy to bring your razor when traveling.

Built for Durability & Affordability

chieftan product shot

Stainless steel is one of the most sought-after materials for butterfly razors due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. Yet, despite the reliance on great material, the razor is extremely affordable. At a modest price of just $19, the Vikings Blade provides excellent value for your dollar and is a great starter razor for someone new to wet shaving.

Pros

  • An extremely affordable option
  • Deep grooves on the handle provide a great grip
  • Includes a nice presentation box that makes for a great gift

Cons

  • The modest price may make some people question the quality of the razor

Product Specifications

FeaturesVikings Blade Chieftain
Length (cm)9.5
Length (in)3.75
Weight (g)85
Weight (oz)3.00
CompositionStainless Steel
CombClosed
Price$19.00
CompositionStainless Steel
GripDeep Grooves
ColorSilver
Shave PerformanceMild
Number of Pieces1
Country of OriginChina
Parker 99R - Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor for Men & 5 Premium Platinum Double Edge Razor Blades

Parker 99R Long Handle Heavyweight Safety Razor

What We Think:

The Parker 99R is a butterfly razor that performs best on those with thicker or more dense facial hair due to its heavy-duty design and weight. Aside from the core specs, people love the reliably mild yet close results.

Do you have a thick beard or are looking for the heaviest butterfly razor available? Then you’ll love what the 99R has in store for you:

Ample Weight

The heaviest razor to make our list is the Parker 99R. At 4.00 oz, this razor has plenty of heft to easily slice through thick, dense facial hair. When using the 99R, just let the razor’s weight do the work for you. We should point out that this razor is still fairly well-balanced thanks to the brass frame, so it’s not going to feel too “top-heavy” when used.

Moderate Length

Despite the heavier-than-average weight, the 99R falls right in the middle of all the butterfly safety razors we reviewed for the length. At 3.80 inches long, we think it works extremely well for most people. Of course, if you have particularly large hands, you may prefer a longer razor like the 96R or WEISHI, but if you aren’t certain, the 99R is a suitable option.

Related: Parker 96R vs. 99R

Grip & Craftsmanship

parker99r with blade

For the grip on this razor, you’ll find that the 99R has a distinct swirl design – similar to the Merkur 38C (Barber Pole) and 39C (Sledgehammer). While it looks classy, holding the razor with wet or soapy hands can be slippery.

Questionable Craftsmanship

Made in India, the 99R suffers from some quality control issues – as we found in customer reviews. Specifically, the butterfly mechanism may wear out. It’s important to note that Parker doesn’t offer a warranty on the 99R, so if you experience any issues with the razor, you may be out of luck.

Mild and Smooth Results

Whether you have sensitive skin or are susceptible to razor bumps (ingrown hairs), the 99R should smoothly glide across your skin without any problems. The butterfly mechanism ensures that the blades are always locked in place, so the blade is set at the optimal position each time you use the razor.

Learn More: Full Review of the Parker 99R

Pros

  • Heavier than virtually all other butterfly razors
  • Provides a smooth, close shave
  • Very well balanced

Cons

  • Swirl design on the handle can be slippery
  • The weight could make precise cuts more difficult

Product Specifications

FeaturesParker 99R
Length (cm)9.7
Length (in)3.80
Weight (g)113
Weight (oz)4.00
CompositionBrass
CombClosed
Price$32.00
CompositionBrass
GripSwirl
ColorSilver
Shave PerformanceMild
Number of Pieces1
Country of OriginIndia
WEISHI Safety Razor Double Edge Nostalgic Long Handle Butterfly Open Razor

WEISHI Butterfly Safety Razor

What We Think:

The WEISHI is a great choice for those on a budget or those new to wet shaving. With a rock-bottom price of just $17, the WEISHI will give you a sense of the safety razor shaving experience without spending much money.

The lightest and cheapest razor on our list is this safety razor by WEISHI. Simply put, it is good for those who want to try a safety razor to see if it works for them.

A Long Featherweight

Tied with the Parker 96R in size, the WEISHI is a long safety razor at 4.30 inches. However, with a weight of just 2.61 oz, the WEISHI is actually closer in terms of weight to the Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide (1.7 oz) rather than the Parker 99R (4.0 oz) – clearly demonstrating that even the longest safety razors can still be quite lightweight.

But you might wonder how these key specifications will impact your shave performance. Well, the long body of the WEISHI is not bad as it provides good reachability to cleanly shave the neck and jawline. With the weight, however, some pressure will be necessary depending on your facial hair type. If you have thinner or sparse hair, the razors weight should suffice. However, if your beard is thick and dense, you may want to consider another razor on our list, such as the Vikings Blade Chieftain, which offers a bit more heft.

Attempting this razor on thick hair while also over-applying pressure could lead to razor burn or even nicks and cuts – so proceed with caution.

Rock Bottom Price

At $17, this razor will give you a sense of the safety razor shaving experience without spending much money.

Risky Investment

Unlike other safety razors made by reputable companies such as Parker or Rockwell, WEISHI is a lesser known brand. We tried to find the company website but were unable to locate it. So if you decide to purchase this razor, you aren’t covered by any warranty nor can you easily get in contact with customer service.

Pros

  • Works with anyone’s budget
  • Lightweight and long
  • Great for those new to wet shaving

Cons

  • Not a very well-known brand
  • No mention of a warranty

Product Specifications

FeaturesWEISHI
Length (cm)11.0
Length (in)4.30
Weight (g)74
Weight (oz)2.61
CompositionBrass
CombClosed
Price$17.00
CompositionBrass
GripDeep Grooves
ColorSilver
Shave PerformanceMild To Moderate
Number of Pieces1
Country of OriginChina

What to Know When Buying a Safety Razor

Before clicking that “add to cart” button on your latest shaving purchase, you must know a little about what you’re getting into. So here are a few things to consider before buying your next safety razor.

Razor Length

When considering the length of the razor, it’s important to consider your hand size and the control you want while shaving. A shorter razor may be easier to control, but a longer razor will be better for cleaning up your neckline. Generally, anything greater than about 3.75″ is considered long. The Parker 96R and WEISHI safety razors fall into this category.

The other butterfly razors we reviewed are just about equal in length and range from 3.74″ (Rockwell T2) to 3.8″ (Parker 99R). These, perhaps, are better suited for people with average or slightly smaller hands.

For context, here’s how all the safety razors compare in length:

Butterfly Safety Razors Lengths

Razor Weight

The weight of a safety razor plays an important role in the quality of the shave. A heavier razor will provide a more consistent and close shave, while a lighter razor may be more comfortable for some users. There is no single “perfect” weight for a safety razor, and what works for one person may not work for another. Generally speaking, heavier razors require little to no pressure when shaving while lighter razors may require some additional pressure, especially if your facial hair is thick or dense (or you simply have a heavy stubble).

The safety razors we reviewed range in weight from 2.61 oz (WEISHI) to 4.0 oz (Parker 99R). Generally, a safety razor is considered “heavy” if it weighs more than 3.5 oz.

Here’s how all of the safety razors compare in weight:

Butterfly Safety Razors Weights

Razor Price

When buying safety razors, it’s important to set expectations and choose a model that is in line with your budget, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good quality razor, but at the same time, the best razors often come with a higher price tag.

Nearly all butterfly safety razors we reviewed were less than $40, with prices ranging from $17.00 (WEISHI) to $32.00 (Parker 99R). The Rockwell T2 was by far the most expensive at $150.00.

Here’s a helpful chart to demonstrate the costs of the different models:

Butterfly Safety Razors Prices

Razor Composition

What’s on the inside of the razor is almost as important as what’s on the outside. Therefore, the materials used in the construction of the razor will play a large role in its longevity and durability. Common materials used in safety razors include stainless steel, brass, and chromed zinc.

Each of these materials has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the one that best suits your needs is important.

  • Brass: This metal is relatively soft and is often treated with a chrome finish. Brass is also quite inexpensive and is found in many lower-priced razors, such as Parker.
  • Stainless Steel: It is a strong, durable material that is resistant to corrosion and can withstand repeated use. Stainless steel can easily last a lifetime if properly cared for.
  • Chromed Zinc: A durable material that is resistant to corrosion and can withstand repeated use. However, it is quite soft and make break at high use points (i.e. the mechanism that allows the butterfly head to operate).

Razor Grip

Grip impacts the control you have over the razor when shaving. Some have a knurled handle, which means they have a series of raised bumps or ridges (Rockwell T2, Parker 96R). This helps to improve grip and prevent the razor from slipping. Other safety razors have a swirl pattern (Parker 99R). This pattern provides more grip than a smooth handle but could lead to some slippage.

Lastly, as an alternative, the Vikings Blade and WIESHI razors have a deep groove pattern designed into the steel handle. This provides a good level of grip while remaining smooth to the touch and preventing the razor from slipping.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of razor is right for you.

Country of Origin

Safety razors are a crucial part of many people’s daily grooming routine. They are precision instruments that require high engineering and manufacturing precision.

The country of origin of a safety razor is important because it can impact the quality of the razor. For example, safety razors made in China may not be held to the same manufacturing standards as those made in Germany.

Unfortunately, German brands like Merkur or Muhle don’t make butterfly safety razors. This leaves us with a mix of Indian (Parker), Chinese (WEISHI, Vikings Blade), and China/USA/Canada (Rockwell T2) made razors. Of the three, Rockwell tends to favor a higher level of manufacturing quality while offering a more premium product.

Color

The color of a safety razor is simply a matter of personal preference. Some people may prefer a certain color because it matches the rest of their bathroom hardware or because they simply like how it looks. Go with the color that you like best.

Warranty

When choosing a safety razor, it is important to consider the warranty. Unfortunately, most butterfly safety razor brands offer limited to no warranties. When comparing the brands, only Vikings Blade offered a warranty (1-year limited warranty). The next best offering was from Rockwell, which offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Blade Compatibility

All the razors we reviewed have a universal blade setting that can be used with any double edge blade. So you are free to purchase blades from popular brands, including Gillette, Feather, Schick, and Derby. Or my personal favorite, Astra Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades.

Note:

Some brands include a few demo blades with the razor to get you started. While this is nice, do yourself a favor and test out various blade brands to find the one that works best for your unique skin and facial hair type.

Beard Type

Whether you have heavy stubble or only a little grit, it’s important to know how aggressiveness and blade quality can affect your shave. In general, a larger blade gap (read: more aggressive razor) tends to work better for those men who are shaving with considerable length to their beards. On the other hand, a smaller blade gap (mild to moderate aggressiveness) is suitable for those with lighter growth or those who shave daily.

If you vary in your beard style (some weeks heavy, and some weeks you shave every day), then you are likely best served by using an adjustable safety razor (Rockwell T2). By opening the gap on the razor, you can increase the aggressiveness of your shave and cut through your long beard. Then by closing the gap, you can cleanly shave a very light stubble.

Peer Reviews

Different people have different preferences for what constitutes a good razor. Some people are more concerned with the smoothness of the shave, while others are more concerned with the lack of razor irritation. Some people prefer a heavier razor, while others prefer a lighter razor. Different blades will also produce different results. Some people find that they get a better shave with a particular blade brand, while others find that another brand works better.

When reading reviews at online stores or in forums, it’s important to remember that they are highly subjective. The technique, shaving cream/gel, blade, and razor model all play a role in the quality of the shave.

How to Use a Butterfly Safety Razor

Shaving with your new butterfly razor will undoubtedly lead to a few initial nicks and cuts as you become accustomed to the new razor (here’s how to quickly stop those cuts). However, with some practice, your shaving will become much smoother. Here are a few pointers that can help get you started.

  1. Your butterfly razor should come with a few starter blades. To load the blade, unscrew the bottom of the razor, insert the blade between the two metal plates, and screw the bottom of the razor back on.
  2. Before shaving, it is important to properly prepare your skin. Use warm water to wet your face and note how your facial hair grows; this is commonly known as “mapping the grain.”
  3. Liberally apply shaving cream or soap. We recommend Taylor of Old Bond Street shaving cream (reviewed here) for beginners because it can generate a barber-quality lather with relatively little effort (this does also require owning a shaving brush)
  4. When you are ready to start shaving, hold the razor at a 30-degree angle and use short strokes in the direction of hair growth (with the grain). Avoid pressing too hard on the razor, as this can cause razor burn or small cuts.
  5. After a few strokes, rinse the razor in warm water to remove hair and shaving cream buildup.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until your entire beard area has been shaved.
  7. Rinse your face with cold water to limit bleeding and constrict blood vessels.
  8. Apply aftershave lotion or balm.

Optional: If you want smoother results, you can try shaving across and against the grain (ATG, XTG). However, we only recommend this once you are confident in your shaving skills, as it is more likely to cause razor burn, nicks, and cuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do barbers ever use double-edge safety razors?

Barbers often use shavettes rather than safety razors because it is much easier to see the client’s hairline and get precise cuts. Butterfly safety razors, especially, have bulkier heads, making them not as practical.

How do I know a particular safety razor is right for me?

Finding the right razor for you can be tricky and may take some trial and error. Often it’s not the razor itself that could impact the quality of the shave but rather the ancillary products that you use with the razor (i.e., the blade, shaving cream, etc.). If you are new to wet shaving, patience and practice are key, as the learning curve can be steep.

Conclusion

We hope that our round-up and guide to finding a butterfly safety razor were helpful in your search for the perfect razor for your shaving routine. As always, we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback.

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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