You’re new to wet shaving and you’re looking for the best safety razor, lost in the sheer number of products claiming to be the best safety razor.
Well stick around in this post we’ll briefly go over the history of the Safety Razor and finish up with our personal choices for what we believe are the best safety razors, based purely on our experiences.
The Wet Shaving History Lesson
The first narrow-bladed folding straight razor was listed by a manufacturer in Sheffield England in 1680.
There’s quite an element of skill involved in using a straight razor so in 1847 the “hoe” style razor aptly named as it resembled the garden tool, was invented by an English inventor called William Henson.
This style took the first steps towards the Safety Razor as we know it today.
Safety razors were invented in the 1880’s by Fredrik and Otto Kampfe.
Unlike the straight razor, safety razors have a protective comb between your skin and the razor blade.
They patented their idea which was a single-edged (SE) blade attached to a handled at a right angle behind a protective comb.
An awesomely named gentleman King Camp Gillette came up with and patented a disposable double-edged (DE) razor.
This design earned a lot of popularity as it became the standard razor for the American military in WWI.
You may not realise it but you may be using a Safety Razor yourself!
Most modern days disposable like the popular “Mach 5” are technically safety razors, though when people refer to a razor as a Safety Razor they aren’t referring to the modern day disposable, they are thinking of the luxurious yet manly old-timey style which we're going to discuss below.
The advantages of a Safety Razor
What? asides from being awesome, actually there a lot of benefits to using a safety razor.
You get an extremely close shave
Much closer than that disposable you’ve been using whilst still being safe, allowing you to get that near barbershop quality shave without the risking your life.
The only type of Razor that will give you a closer shave is a Straight Razor, but learning to use a Straight Razor is pretty hard with a risky learning curve and good luck trying to find someone to practice on
The upfront costs may seem steep with an initial investment for roughly the price of a cup of coffee, which can go as high as triple digits if you opt for a luxury razor.
But once you’ve invested in your razor the only additional cost is the blades and these bad boys are cheap, costing around 2 cups of coffee for 100 doesn’t take long for the Safety Razor to start saving you money in comparison to the costs of replacing those Mach 5 disposable blades.
Not only are the double-edged blades cheaper but due to how close the shave is, you will be shaving less often.
I don’t know about you but those 5 blade disposables always leave me with razor burn.
For me and many men those additional blades just a cause of irritation to the skin, moving to a safety razor meant Razor Burn was a thing of the past.
Did I mention that they're cool?
Seriously walking into someone’s bathroom to see your chrome safety razor and your shaving brush hanging on your shaving stand, theirs nothing more awesome than that in a standard bathroom.
Peaked your interest yet..?
So how do you find the best Safety Razor for you?
Well, that starts with understanding what makes up a Safety Razor.
A safety razor is made up of a number of parts/characteristics these are the weight, bar style and comb (or rake) style.
Number of Parts
The number of parts a safety razor is made up of varies usually between 2 or 3 parts.
These being the Handle, base-plate and the bar (also known as a cap).
The handle is what you hold onto.
The base-plate is where blade sits.
The bar holds the blade to the base plate.
Some safety razor's break down into all 3 parts others only 2 parts (only the bar/cap detaches) and some are an all-in-one solution where you turn the handle to open the bar to replace the blade.
The design doesn’t affect the performance of the razor, the design just comes down to your personal preference and how much time you want to spend replacing the blades.
The weight although doesn’t affect the razors performance it does, however, affect your comfort level and ability to shave.
The idea isn’t to pull the razor across your skin; instead, you want to let the weight of the razor do the work, now you may be thinking that clearly a nice heavy razor will be the best, but as the weight increases your sacrifice control over the razor.
The weight of the razor comes down to your personal preference.
There are two types of basic bar styles, flat and slanted, they are exactly how they sound they hold the blade at a flat angle or slanted.
A slanted blade gives a scything motion which translates to a much more aggressive shave.
This is good for a thick beard and for the experienced.
However as a beginner it's recommended that you use a flat style bar.
The Safety part of the razor specifically the bar is the comb.
There are two styles of comb, open and closed.
Closed style combs usually give your a less aggressive shave.
Open style combs will give you a much more aggressive shave.
If you don’t have a bad thick beard that gives you 5 o’clock shadow by 10am and wants a smooth shave then I would look for a closed comb bar if you do however have a crazy growing beard you may want to look at the open comb style bars.
Some Safety Razors actually contain both, with an open style comb on one side and closed on the other.
Our picks for the Top 5 Safety Razor Reviews
Any of these would be great buys and all deserve their spot on the list of best safety razor.
Much of it comes down to personal preference. Like with any product, you can get some really nice razors if you’re willing to spend a bit of cash, there really are great products in every price range so plenty of choices for you to find the best safety razor for you.
- Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl Lined Detail Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
- One Size
- Chrome Lined
The Edwin Jagger De89lbl is beautiful.
The chrome finish is essentially a mirror, I’m certain the Silver Surfer’s board from The Fantastic Four inspired the design.
It really is a really fine piece of metalwork.
This safety razor is made up of 3 pieces.
The bar is a mixed of open and closed; it's essentially a closed comb bar with groves in it instead of a fully open comb design.
This means you get a slightly aggressive shave, but that said the shave is very smooth, it doesn’t pull or tug the facial hair at all – at least not with a new blade.
The weight of the handle helps with this, it has a big of heft to it, but not too much.
The Edwin Jagger brand put a lot of effort into their design which can be seen in the razor.
But not just in the razor much to our surprise the design also continued to the black box that the safety razor comes in.
It's clear that Edwin Jagger truly wants you to feel like a distinguished gentleman when you’re using their products and in my opinion, they've achieved that goal.
The razor does have a downside, the chrome… it's so shiny it picks up all the fingerprints and gets smudged up after some use, but that’s easily fixed by investing in a polishing cloth.
The Edwin Jagger De89lbl Safety Razor will add a huge amount of class to any bathroom and is the perfect razor to be on the list of best safety razors.
- Faux horn resin handle adds a refined look to an already-elegant shaving piece
- Long bulbous handle for increased grip and comfort in bigger hands
- Heavily-weighted head for effortless glides over your skin
If you’re willing to invest a bit of money, you can get the Truefitt and Hill Wellington Safety Razor with Ebony Handle.
This is a double-edged safety razor made by Truefitt and Hill who are known for their high-end products.
The first thing you will notice is the design, its elegant with a sloped faux porcelain handle which you can get in either ebony or ivory.
The handle is really nice and allows a good grip which is a lot less slippery in comparison to chrome finished Safety Razors.
The handle is on the shorter side but it is longer than the Edwin Jagger DE89lbl.
Truefitt and Hill Wellington Safety Razor with Ebony Handle has a 2:1 handle to head weight ratio, which means that the handle is twice as heavy as the head.
This will give a slightly more aggressive shave than the heavier headed razors, this isn’t a bad thing and may work better for you.
With the level of craftsmanship and style put into this, the price is higher than other models but this model is nowhere near as highly priced as some of the models products by Truefitt and Hill’s top models.
It's not outrageously price and if you are a shaving connoisseur, it could be the best investment you make today!
The Merkur Model 180 Long Handle made the Major Beard list for the combination of price and quality.
It's a really popular model which can be found at most retailers.
It's incredibly sturdy and comes from a reputable company which has a lot of history in creating top quality razors.
There are only a few big companies in the safety razor market and Merkur is one of them
The Merkur Model 180 is a 3 piece safety razor.
This means you will need to take the razor apart of replace the blades, You may think that this is a hassle, but we found it really cool, we loved satisfying our manly urges to tinker with stuff, we loved taking it apart and putting back together again.
Unlike the previous two safety razors, this has a long handle with a textured finish.
This textured finish ensures a confident grip with you are shaving, even in the wet! Which you may struggle with some smooth chrome finished handles.
This is a great safety razor which is priced in the low to mid range.
It’s also ideal for beginners, so if you are a beginner this may well be the best safety razor for you.
- Chrome plated brass frame for durability
- Twist-to-Open ("Butterfly Open") design for easy blade replacement
- 4 inch long textured handle for a sure grip - even with wet hands
The Parker 99R is a butterfly razor.
This means you turn the handle to open the head giving you access to the blade.
Wow, this razor is a beast, it's a long and heavy razor, the only razor tested that beats it was the Merkur Vision which is the largest razor in production, neither razor is far apart in terms of size and weight.
This safety razor sports a textured chrome finish handle and a large base screw which is used to open the head giving your access to the blade.
The heft of this razor is immense and turning the handle to open the massive head makes you feel like you are opening your garage.
This is the least luxurious razor on the list so far, but it's great for guys who big hands who like to feel they are holding onto a sturdy razor when shaving, that's right, if you have big hands this may well be the best safety razor for you.
It's also the cheapest razor on the list!
Shaving with the Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge Razor #34C is a different experience…
Why? it’s deceptive! It’s relatively small, but yet also has some heft to it.
The weight though makes for an amazingly smooth shave and the size lends itself to excellent control, well unless you have huge hands then this may be too small for you.
The razor isn’t suited for long passes when shaving, it is however designed perfectly for short and intricate strokes, ideal for guys who are shaping their facial hair.
This is a 2 piece safety razor meaning the handle and the base plate is connected.
The bar inserts into the handle and attaches to an internal screw.
which is a tightened by a knob on the base of the handle, we loved this razor and we think this is the best safety razor.
But you have to remember that with all things shaving what's the best safety razor for us, may not be the best safety razor for you, so experiment.
But wait I’m a beginner! What's the best Safety Razor for me?
The list above is all well and good, but what if you new to all of this newfangled shaving malarkey?
The one thing we do is think of the beginners, to make sure that you are eased into the world of safety razors in the most inexpensive way possible whilst also ensuring you get the most blindingly close shaves from the best safety razor.
Below we’ve listed a few examples of what we think are the best safety razors for beginners.
So if you’ve just starting out, you do much worse than to try these razors out, we guarantee once you’ve tried these out you won’t ever go back to those pieces of plastic that you have to replace each week.
The Weishi 9306-G is made from a copper alloy and is a little lighter than the traditional safety razor, so it should feel closer to the weight of the old shaving instruments you’ve been using.
The razor looks all vintage with a nice ripple design handle.
Although it's made from a copper alloy the chrome plating means you won’t have to worry about the Weishi 9306-G looking like the strangest penny in the bathroom.
This razor also comes with a travel case which if you’re on the go is perfect.
It also keeps the razor secure when you’re not using it, this is especially good for beginners since it's removed that nagging feeling that your new razor could be getting abused when others are using the bathroom.
Once again another beautiful razor from Edwin Jagger.
This is a double-edged safety razor and is very good for the close shave novice due to its rubber handle.
Sure the handle doesn’t feel manly or look at amazing as those all chrome versions.
But the secure grip ensures an amazingly close shave whilst having no concerns of the razor slipping in your grip.
We felt that the rubber grip added to the look of the razor.
It's sleek and the black rubber within the handle just contrasts so well with the chrome, you won’t feel like you’re shaving with the training wheels on. You just an eye for aesthetics.
It's well worth its price tag as the construction won’t let you down.
Unsure what shaving soap or shaving cream to use with your new safety razor?Check our list of the best shaving soaps and creams.
If you don't know whether a shaving cream of shaving soap is right for you, or you don't know the difference, we've written a guide shaving soap vs shaving cream.
Last update on 2018-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API