Switching to the best safety razor you can find will change the face of your daily routine, forever. No longer will you wake up and fear an encounter with that dulling, beard-tugging, five-bladed monster. Making the switch to a safety razor pays off in spades. First of all they cut much closer and easier than their “high tech” counterparts. The blades also cost much, much less than the ones you find locked away in that ridiculous glass case. The savings alone will keep your blade fresh, and your face smooth. Finally, a safety blade razor will transport you back in time. Back to the days when men were men, gas was cheap, and even lumberjacks were clean shaven. Check out our top picks for the best safety razors, and blades, for your next shave.
Back in Time - Finding the Best Safety Razor
Before you buy
The ideal safety razor for your first purchase has a couple of fundamental aspects that will keep you safe and give you a clean shave. There are two major components you need to look for first, a balanced razor with appropriate weight and a decent handle. Then you can dig into the details by checking out materials, adjustability and build quality!
Best Safety Razor Value - Vikings Blade, The Chieftain
Vikings Blade (formerly Julian Vue) knows safety razors. They’ve been building them for more than 3 decades. The company’s founders, self-proclaimed “Australian-based Pirates” are of Swedish heritage and share a strong affinity for quality products. In fact, all Vikings Blade products are constructed of materials imported from Sweden, Germany and Japan.
The awesomeness doesn’t stop there. The company owns the patents to all of their designs, and builds in-house. So these safety razors are truly one of a kind.
• Butterfly head for easy blade changes
• Patented micro-comb system reduces cuts and resistance
• Hand-crafted from a manly mix of brass and bronze and coated in shiny chrome
• Bonus travel case and a mirror for the nomads
• Comes with 5 complimentary super sharp platinum-coated blades made from Swedish steel
Best Safety Razor with a Cause - Shaveology
In 2014 two long time friends wanted to combine their love for wet shaving with thier desire to help our veterans and troops. So they started Shaveology. A shaving company that builds great razors and makes awesome skin care products. Best of all, Adam and Kenny are highly involved and dedicated to taking care of past and present members of our Armed Forces.
But, don’t think they’re skimping the product to do some good. They use high end materials and only the finest ingredients in all of their products. Plus, each product in their lineup is designed and formulated by Adam and Kenny. Beyond that, the two owners are the guys you’ll hear from if something goes awry. We stand behind these two entrepreneurs and truly appreciate thier business philosophy.
• Closed-comb Double Edged Safety Razor is the perfect edition to any man’s shaving routine
• Chrome Plating on the neck, head and base so it not only looks Great, but it will not rust or tarnish. Comes with a non-slip black acrylic handle that is weighted for total control
• Includes 5 platinum-coated blades, leather blade cover, and a polishing towel
• Backed by a 90 day guarantee
Our Favorite Safety Razor Blades
These are our favorite safety razor blades, hands-down. They’re made in Japan from high quality stainless, platinum-coated, and come in pack of one hundred. That’s right, a hundred pack. And, before you take a peek at the price do a little math.
Think about how much it would cost to buy 100 refills.Probably more than a couple hundred dollars, right? Also, double sided safety razors provide two independent cutting edges. Your multi-blade, with each pass, is wearing all five, ten, or however many blades they have these days.
One more thing before you check the price on these replacement blades. These are kind of expensive in the world of safety razors. There are much cheaper options available. For instance, Russian made Astra’s are even more affordable, and they’re very popular as well. However, we’re brand loyal Feather fans at The Brilliant Blade.
Escali 100% Pure Badger Shave Brush
If you are new to wet shaving finding a good brush is important, but not entirely critical. In fact brushes can get expensive, fast. On The Art of Shaving entry level models start around thirty dollars, but quickly climb to two hundred plus. You read that right; two hundred bucks for a brush you use to shave. As a “noob” we hope you don’t drop that kind of coin on a relatively simple item.
Now simple might sound a bit condescending, but we really doubt a new user will notice the subtle variations of a high end badger brush. We do however think a new wet shaver should buy a brush with the following characteristics.
First, get 100 percent badger hair. That should almost go without saying. You’ll want a brush that develops a great lather, holds water well, and rinses easily. Finally, you’ll want something that doesn’t profusely shed its hair. This affordable brush does all of that for well under twenty bucks.
Are there better options? Of course there are. But, this is an awesome starter brush that won’t let you down. Save your cash initially and upgrade as necessary.
OneBlade® - Our Favorite Single Edge Razor
Initially, we did not include single-edge models in our top picks. Mostly because they’re kind of rare, a little old school, and we think double edge are better for the new safety razor user. However, after seeing what OneBlade® is currently crafting, we had to add them to our list.
Granted there are other single edge models out there, and they’ve been around for a very, very long time. But, they aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as double edge models. However, when we saw this razor we couldn’t resist sharing. It’s truly a thing of beauty.
While we’re in love with its looks; we have to admit that we haven’t tried one yet. And, we still recommend the more common double edge models for beginners. However, once we get better acquainted with this model; our opinion may change. But, with a non-beginner sized price tag… it would have to be a complete game changer.
Balance, Weight, and Handling
When purchasing a razor, this might seem obvious, but you are going to want to have a well-balanced shaving razor. That means the blade and the handle counterbalance one another. This way when you hold it in your hand you can manipulate it in different angles around your face for the perfect clean. If it is not well balanced, then you might find yourself getting little cuts when trying to get the corner of your jaw.
It’s not just about a balanced blade, though, you need to also make sure that your overall razor isn’t too heavy or too light. If your razor is too heavy, you may accidentally apply too much pressure and end up scraping your face. The heaviness of the razor will deter you from wanting to give old fashion shaving a try, but at the same time, you can’t have a super light razor either.
When the razor is too light you will naturally lean more into your razor and might cut yourself shaving. If the razor doesn’t feel right in your hand, whether it is the balance or the weight then you are more likely to make mistakes or not get the smooth shave you desire.
Once you have found the right weight and balance, you are going to need to purchase a razor with the right handle for you. Even from the same manufacturer on an essentially identical razor, the length of the handle can shape how comfortable you are while shaving. Popping into a store to first see which handle fits your hand best can make or break your purchase. The material of the handle also matters, most razors are going to have metal handles to make wet shaving a lot easier, a slippery razor is not ideal. If you are worried still about butter fingers while shaving, opt for a razor with rubber covering. Finally, if a premium razor for yourself or a gift is what you are looking for you can upgrade to handles made out of polished wood or even an animal horn!
Edge Numbers Matter
As you are shopping for your blade, you might begin to wonder why you are seeing adverts for both single and double, and which you should choose. A single razor head is easily explained, it simply has only one side of the blade exposed and is actually quite different to use. If you are looking for a shave similar to a straight razor, then this is the one for you. Using a single edge is a little more dangerous and not great for beginners, but if you have some experience then you get one great close shave.
In the same simplicity, a double edge razor has two identical shaving edges for you to use. The reason people love double edge razors is because you can take less time to continuously rinse the blade as you shave. These are also more common and will be easier to find and purchase, the double edge blades for replacement are also easy to find online or in store so you can keep shaving right away.
As you start out, look into blades that aren’t rated high on sharpness, this will keep your skin smooth but safe from nervous hands. You can either opt to sharpen your blades for a more pristine edge as you get better, or simply upgrade to sharper blades. If your blade is hurting your skin, it might be the sharpness or the frequency at which you shave, most experts will tell you that finding the perfect blade is trial and error. Play around with a few levels of sharpness before landing on a brand and style.
Can You Adjust It, Can You Change it?
There are two other factors to decide on when looking at all of your options, and that is a fixed blade versus an adjustable blade. While fixed blades are more common, they do not give you as much flexibility when it comes to determining the aggressiveness of your shave. That being said, if you are a beginner an adjustable blade can be very unforgiving if adjusted to the wrong positions or level of exposure. If you are just starting out, luckily most fixed blades are less expensive so you can feel free to burn through a few options when finding the right one. As you get more experienced you can determine whether or not having the flexibility of an adjustable blade is right for you.
Finally, as the last consideration, while it is not necessarily high on the priority list, is how will you change out your blade. There are three major razors listed below with their rationales for purchasing:
- The butterfly razor: This type of razor is one solid piece with a twist knob that opens up your top plates and allows you to change out the cutting head.
- Two-piece razor: Simply unscrew the cutting head from the base and pop in your new blade, easy to use and less likely to cut your fingers.
- Three-piece razor: Perhaps the most popular version, it is broken down by base, top of the head, and handle, all which come apart. They last longer, have no knobs or screws to break and are pretty easy to care for.
Enjoy Your New Blade!
You are now ready to go start the process of trial and error and select the best safety razor for your soon-to-be-smooth face! As you embark on your great adventure of finding ‘the one’ to purchase make sure that you look into the unique care options that some razors come with, and also add in purchases such as shaving cream, shaving brush, and a good aftershave.
The combination of the right products and the right technique will give you the clean shave you are looking for and will be an exciting hunt for that perfect combination! Remember, if you are just starting out, no need to go with the most expensive product, start on the lower end of costs and keep trying different brands and styles!