Best Safety Razor for the Money – Top Options of 2017
Men who take shaving very seriously would love the closeness and accuracy of shave done by a safety razor. Although the present market seems to be manipulated by electric shavers, a large of group of men still relies on the good old safety razors for super clean, baby-smooth cheeks. The popularity of wet shaving has never really gone out of fashion. The advantages of safety razors are plenty and most of all, you don’t have to break a bank to own one. A double edge razor adapts itself to the different contours of your face quickly, unlike cartridge razors, safety razors don’t subject your face to redness, ingrown hair or razor burn.
In your quest to find the best safety razor for an ultimate satisfying shave every time, you need to know about the brands that have well established themselves for the quality and design of their products. If you’re a newbie, perfecting the technique of wet shaving is certainly going to take a while. In this article, I have attempted to jot down all the necessary information regarding safety razors, including the guidelines to follow during the shopping, benefits of using a razor, a comprehensive list of the best value for money products and everything in between you need to know to make an informed decision.
Best Safety Razor - Handpicked Choices
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Reviews of the Best Safety Razors of 2016
Merkur “Futur” Safety Razor Satin Finish
The German based safety razor manufacturer Merkur has set a golden standard for themselves. There razors are an excellent bargain for money.
The terrific engineering and premium grade construction material make up for a design that is build to last for years. The stunning satin finish perfectly complements the elegant exterior of the model. The razor weight to handle length ratio provides a great balance.
You won’t need to press the blade hard on the same area over and over again to get a close cut. Shaving a fully grown long beard is easier and quicker due to the large shaving head, giving maximum coverage. However, the same advantage might turn into an obstacle while shaving confined spots such like under the nose. The double edge rotating head geared with adjustable razor blade angle is a blessing for guys who want an extremely detailed shave. In order to clean the blade, you just have to take it out by twisting the knob and whisk away the hair residue.
Merkur Long Handle Safety Razor
Merkur’s shaving equipments, crafted to perfection by expert German manufacturers, are optimised for outstanding shaving performance, comfort and durability. The shiny chrome finish design has a robust steel frame concealed beneath.
Men with long hands would find the long no-slip grip handle extremely easy to operate. The razor won’t slip even if you have oil or foam in your hands. The double edge blade assures a smooth shaving experience. The complete shaving kit comes in three variations-slim with guard, long and long with guard. Instead of numerous expensive disposable blades that don’t last for more than 3 to 4 shaves, you will need affordable, feather-light blades which don’t require frequent replacement. Just imagine how much money you will save by switching to a DE razor blade.
Muhle R41 Open Comb Double Edge Safety Razor
Muhle has the reputation of building some of the best safety razors, booming with quality features, solid ergonomics and elegant designs.
The chrome plated design adds a distinct touch to the equipment. Muhle R41 is the ultimate safety razor for intense shaving. The double edge razor is a monster, it cuts the thickest facial hair like a lawn mower. Every single stroke achieves the closeness of a barber shop shave, two strokes will get you silky smooth cheek.
The open comb design and adjustable razor head angle should also be held accountable for the superior shaving quality. The open comb doesn’t clog with hair and lather residue, so, you don’t have to waste your time dusting the grime away after each shave. If you lack adequate experience with safety razors, you better be extra careful while using it.
Edwin Jagger DE89Bl Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
If you’re looking for a professional grade safety razor without spending several hundred dollars, Edwin Jagger DE89bl will definitely interest you. The dual edge razor slides on the skin surface like butter, ending up with a baby-like cheek in a maximum of two to three attempts. The stellar chrome finish fits tightly in your hands. It has got a great balance too due to the perfect distribution of weight from head to bottom.
Edwin Jagger is a go-to option for the beginners who are most likely to be intimidated by an aggressive cutter. The short handle length is a blessing for men with short hands. Being a three-piece design, it would take minimal effort to sanitise the tool after each shave. The close comb structure features a scalloped bar, assuring irritation-free wet shaving.
Seki Edge Feather All Stainless Steel Double Edge Safety Razor
The Seki feather stainless steel model is the finest combination of aesthetic design and impeccable cutting performance. Its rugged steel casing along with no-slip handle grip makes for a well-balanced safety razor for demanding cutting jobs.
The feather blades are considered to be the sharpest blades for shaving. In this set, the blades are arranged in the head. Feather blades are an ideal choice for sensitive skin as they ensure the closest possible shave at one to two standard passes, reducing the chances of post-shaving skin reactions like razor burns and cuts.
How to Choose the Best Safety Razor
Closed or Open Comb
Most safety razors (if not all) come with closed or open combs, also known as safety bars. An open comb safety razor’s blade has a very few teeth exposed. The blade is protected behind a metal mark in order to lower the hazard of nicks and cuts. Open comb razors are best suited for aggressive cutting. If you don’t have a thick beard, a closed comb with straight bar will do fine.
The best safety razors for the money are made from the highest quality heavy-duty carbon steel. A sturdy construction last for a long time by combating the weather elements and the test of time effectively. Carbon steel blades are incredibly sharp and possess great edge retention property as well.
The length of the handle is an important thing to take into account in a safety razor. Long or short isn’t the main concern here. It depends on how well your hand controls the handle. People with short hands are comfortable with short handles while bigger men get a better grip on long handles. Consider which length fits the best in your hands and choose accordingly.
Switching the Blades
Most guys don’t have the patience to tinker with a complex mechanism. Changing the blade in a good safety razor should be a few minutes’ affair. If ease of changing the blade is your top priority, I would recommend a butter safety razor. With just a twist of the knob, the top plates set apart and expose the blades. Three-piece models are also super easy to rearrange and detach as the three parts come separately.
Like the handle length, choosing the right razor weight is also about individual preference. Lightweight razors are effortless to manoeuvre. Yet, most men have inclination towards the classic and heavy duty blades as they give them more control. Furthermore, heavier razors deliver satisfying shave without putting much pressure on the skin, thus reducing the chances of nicks and cuts.
An ideal safety razor should be composed of a double edge adjustable blade. Instead of juggling with multiple blades, you just have to pivot the cutting head to a right angle to get a desired intensity of shave. Setting the blade at a proper angle will accelerate the process and prevent the hazards of razor burns and cuts. Adjustable razor blades ring at a higher price than regular safety razors with fixed blades. Skip an advanced adjustable head model unless your hands are accustomed to safety razors.
Getting a perfectly clean shaven look is impossible without the right balance. A steady safety razor should have a moderately heavy shaving head as it will aid smooth movement across the skin contours.
Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razor
This has been a subject of heated debate among shaving experts for years. My personal inclination towards safety razors won’t influence the judgement of those who are still unsure. Cartridge razors are a sub variant of safety razors and have been in existence from the ancient times. These are basically multiple blade disposable razors mounted atop a reusable, replaceable handle.
The blades need to be snapped in place properly before shaving. King Camp Gillette was the man behind the idea of disposable razors. Not only reusing a normal blade is a compromise on hygiene standard, it also affects the impact of the razor to a great extent. Modern safety razors borrowed its principle mechanism from cartridge razors, but they were free from the flaws of the former.
The steel used in manufacturing the double edge blade of a safety razor is of superior quality. If you take a glance at the premium models, you will find most of them boasting of a medical grade carbon steel blade for maximum gentleness on skin. The edges tend to be much thinner yet sharper than the cheap razor blades used in cartridge razors. A fine steel blade is sharp enough to give you a desirable shave with just two to three passes.
If you study the shaving quality of both razors from a scientific point of view, you will understand why increased number of blades do not necessary tantamount to precision shaving. In fact, manoeuvring multiple sharp blades on your skin causes adverse reactions in the form of inflammation, redness, rashes and cuts. Safety razor employs a single sharp blade to administer a clean shave with just a few moderate strokes, thus lowering the occurrence of irritation.
Don’t be a fool by choosing price over quality. Cartridge disposable razors might seem like a cost-effective deal during the purchase, the number of new blades you will require to buy every year will make you want to bang your shaved head on the wall. On the other hand, safety razors will cost you twice of a regular wet razor, but that’s only the initial cost. It is a onetime investment as you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on cartridges of disposable blades in every second week. A single double edge blade costs less an even a dollar! Well, that sounds like some serious cost saving, doesn’t it?
Having all said and done, at the end of the day, the final decision is always yours to take. Tallying the merits and demerits of both razor types is the most reliable method to make a sensible decision. From the thorough analysis of all the primary factors that influence the performance of a shaver, the final verdict goes in favour of safety razors.
Advantages of Using a Safety Razor
The best all-round razor is capable of meeting your ever-changing shaving needs. These humble shaving tools are no hassle to operate, they are easy on your pocket and above everything, and the best double edge razors are simply beyond a competition when it comes to close shaving. A safety razor is a valuable addition to a man’s personal care kit for a good number of reasons.
The principle advantage of using a safety razor is definitely the outstanding shaving effect every guy desires. When you opt for the traditional wet shaving, you decide to take your shaving expertise to the take level. The entire process requires a little patience, a good shaving cream or gel for lubrication.
Wet shaving is a most ancient and efficient shaving method of all time. Shaving with the traditional shaving foam, water and razor is the man’s thing. The high grade steel used for constructing the blades and handles increase the weight of the equipment. That’s a good thing rather than being a drawback. It provides a perfect balance of weight and convenience. You don’t have to attend the same spot over and over again. A single pass is sufficient to neatly wipe the target area. It means you don’t have to put extra pressure to get a closest possible shave, therefore the common after-shaving predicaments like skin rashes, razors burns won’t anymore bug you. Safety razors are probably the most pocket-friendly solution for demanding shaving. Even the best double edge razors will set you back at a few cents only.
Proper Techniques to Use a Safety Razor
A safety razor can shave faster than any other shaving equipment, if you know the right techniques to use it. It will require a week or two if you’re not familiar with wet shaving with a double edge razor blade. The four main components of a safety razor are-the comb, the handle, the shaving head and of course, the blade. The first task is to learn to assemble the parts properly. I’ll break down the process into the following small steps: first, place the razor blade in between the head and comb and lock it securely in its position with the help of the screw on the handle.
When done with the basics, it’s time for you to move on to the actual shaving part. You have to prepare your face first for wet shaving for maximum effect and comfort. Lubricating the face will help you soften the hair follicles and open the skin pores, so that the razor can glide over the surface smoothly. Try to get your hands on a fine shaving cream made from natural ingredients unless want to torture your skin with a chemical-based pre-shaving cream or oil. You may also try other methods like exfoliating the dead skin cells by washing your face with a mild soap. Lubricating the face sufficiently will ensure a closer shave without putting your skin into a trouble.
Lathering the shaving foam nicely all over the shaving area is also an important part of wet shaving. For this job, you will need a shaving brush, preferably made from boar hair. Dip it into a mug of warm or plain water, put a pea-sized amount (or as recommended by the manufacturer) on the brush and apply it all over the skin for half a minute in a smooth circular motion. Next comes the most vital part, clear off the beard with the razor. Don’t hold the razor too close to the head as it might result in extra pressure on the blade.
If the handle is short, wrap your finger firmly lower on the handle and start pivoting the blade against the hair growth. Keep your hands steady to avoid injuries or redness. Using the right amount of pressure will ensure maximum hair removal with a few passes. Carry on this until you’re satisfied with the result. Then rinse your face thoroughly with cold water and lastly, to prevent post-shaving burns or any other skin issue, apply a cooling after shave lotion.
Types of Safety Razors
Double Edge (DE) Safety Razors
These are the most popular type of safety razors on the market. As the name implies, the blades have two sharp edges to be used alternatively. DE razor can be divided into four sub-types. One-piece, two piece, three piece and new kid on the block, the silo design.
The one-piece DE blade incorporates moving parts instead of the regular detachable parts, common in vintage models. To set the blade, you have the open the plates by twisting a knob. The fuss-free design of the tool makes it easy to handle. However, cleaning the bits of hair from the unit is quite tricky. The silo or butterfly head design is an upgraded version of one-piece models. Reassembling and detaching the parts is a breeze, thanks to the ergonomic handle that needs to be twisted to open the cap.
The two-piece counterpart comprises of detachable components. The blades could be aligned simply by unscrewing the top. The base of the shaving head and the weight of the handle help you maintain the right balance. By far the safest and most dependable of the lot are the three-piece designs. The three pieces are-the handle, the base of the handle and the shaving head. Each part is easily removable and washable. Three-piece designs are engineered to last long.
Single Edge Razors
No striking differences from the double-edge blades, except that this kind of razors use single edge blades.
Cartridge razors are safety razors, minus the comfort and safety, but they are pretty fast and precise which still make them still quite popular among barbers and veterans, although barbers usually prefer straight razors. A cartridge of blade consists of around disposable 4 blades.
A shaving tool is an indispensable part of a man’s grooming kit. I understand that on some days you like to sport a stubble look, some weeks are just no-shaving weeks for you, but not shaving at all will end up making you look like a cave man. Finding a reliable safety razor is a walk in the park as long as you know the actual value of the product you’re bidding the money on. More often than not, expensive models crammed with ample features do not guarantee excellent performance. Perfection is a hypothetical. There isn’t a single perfect safety razor for everyone. The credibility of any product depends entirely on how you intend to use it, your exact requirements. The best safety razors are those which tick all the boxes in your checklist.