Which Razor is the Best?
Hello, and welcome. Shaving is a very personal thing. Some people like to savor and enjoy it, while others want it done as fast as possible. Some people require precision accuracy while others just want the job done. Thankfully, there are different types of razors to suit everyone’s needs. However, finding the best razor for men can be time consuming and tough. That is why we have put together the ultimate resource to help guide you through the world of shaving.
As you know, a razor is a bladed device used to shave off excess or unwanted hairs. In the case of men, it is used mainly to shave or trim facial hair. They are used by millions of people world-wide and have been in existence and used by man (and woman) since the Bronze Age. The first modern razor as we know it originated from Sheffield, England. Today, there are 4 main types of razors commonly in use. These are safety razors, cartridge (or disposable blade) razors, straight razors and electric razors. Before the dawn of the 20th Century the straight razor was the most popular. However, it began to fall out of fashion and gave way to the safety and electric varieties.
How to Find the Best Razor for Men
For men, finding the best razor is essential for having the ideal shave – but before you go and pick the best razor you first need to decide what type you need. You can do this by reading the paragraphs below. From there you will be able to follow the links to further information regarding that type, as well as an interactive chart. You can use the chart to sort the razors by the attributes you feel are most relevant to you, whether this be cost, average user rating or another metric. You should then read the reviews provided so you can understand exactly what you’ll be getting. You’ll then have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
What Type of Razor Should I Get?
When considering what the best razor is, there is no one right answer. The answer is dependent upon your personal preferences or facial hair style. This website will help to guide you through the various choices. As mentioned, there are 4 main types of razors: straight, safety, cartridge and electric. So – which one is better for what?
The Straight Razor
Straight razors are more commonly known as cut-throat razors because of their long, curved blade. They are considered old fashioned having reached the pinnacle of their use in the 20th century. Straight razor blades are constructed from stainless-steel, carbon-steel or ivory (today, the use of ivory has been discontinued, but they are still produced using fossil ivory) and the blade is able to fold back into the handle. Despite being old fashioned, they are still produced. DOVO and Thiers Issard are two of the best known manufacturers in Europe.
There are various reasons why men all around the world still choose to use straight razors over their modern counter-parts. These reasons range from the nostalgia of using a traditional blade to the desire not to waste disposable blades (as a straight razor can last for decades). Many people feel that using a straight razor still offers a superior shave due to the large blade and the potential for greater control over this blade. This provides less irritation and enables them to handle much tougher shaving scenarios than traditional blades can (such as longer facial hair). Straight razors also require rinsing less often (as the blade acts as a scoop) and are much easier to clean.
The main disadvantage of using a straight razor is the skill and time required to shave. Shaving properly using this tool requires a practiced hand to avoid injury and achieve the best shave possible. These blades also require more care and attention than their modern counter-parts and require a larger up-front initial investment, despite the fact that they are more cost effective long-term.
A popular straight razor on Amazon at the moment is the low cost Utopia Care Stainless Steel Straight Edge Barber Razor with 100 Derby blades. This razor offers a closer, cleaner shave for under $10. Over 120 people have vouched for and reviewed its effectiveness.
Visit our straight razor page to use our interactive chart and discover the best straight razor for you.
The Safety Razor
Safety razors are a shaving tool with protection placed between the blade and the skin. In some razors this protective device is a comb, but more commonly it is a solid safety bar. Before the adoption of safety razors, one would be required to seek the skills of a professional barber. Since their invention, DIY shaving has been possible as the level of skill required to shave has been dramatically reduced. Originally, the blades in these razors were made from carbon-steel. However, the British company Wilkinson Sword popularized the use of stainless-steel blades that were a lot more resistant to rusting. Common models include the single-edged blade and double-edged blade.
Safety razors are the successor to straight razors. They became popular due to their low cost, low upkeep and protective element which meant a lower skill level was needed to shave. Even today these blades are one of the cheapest to come by. They produce a quick yet effective shave that is closer than most electric razors. It strikes the best “bang per buck” balance between cost, a better shave and the time required to shave. That’s what makes them one of the best razors for men available today.
Safety blades sit in the middle of straight and electric razors. Straight blades produce the best shave but require more skill, take more time and need maintenance to achieve a great shave. Electric devices offer the quickest shave, are the easiest to maintain and require the least amount of skill. However, the trade-off here is that it is not quite as close as with straight or safety shavers.
The Merkur Model 180 Long Handled Safety Razor is a popular choice on Amazon at the moment. This double-edged razor boasts Germanic quality and offers an extra close shave for around the $30 mark. Thousands of happy Amazon users can vouch for its ability.
The Cartridge Razor
Cartridge razors are a subset of safety razors, the distinguishing feature being that one or more blades are contained within a cartridge (usually plastic), further reducing the risk to injury. These cartridges (and sometimes the handle) are designed to be disposable. After a small number of shaves the disposable portion of the razor should be removed and replaced with a new one. The first razor of this type was introduced in the 1970s by Wilkinson Sword’s Bonded Shaving System. Today, cartridge razors are for men and women, with the differences only being aesthetics or with different shaped handles. The cartridges are usually interchangeable.
As the blades are not designed to last long, cartridge shavers offer the lowest cost of entry and are the cheapest type to buy. As mention, the fact that the blades are encased in a cartridge means there is less risk of injury. Being disposable, there is also no need to maintain or care for the blades, as they will be thrown away after a small numbers of shaves. This saves you both time and money.
Although the entry level purchase cost for a cartridge shaver is less than other types, over the long term it will usually work out to be more expensive. Generally, cartridges do not offer the same quality of shave as a safety or straight razor. Some people also argue that cartridge shavers are less aesthetically pleasing and do not allow for personal taste.
The Gillette Fusion Proglide Manual Men’s Razor Blade is very popular on Amazon at the moment. It offers a low resistant coating to effortlessly cut through hair and uses a blade stabilizer to maintain optimal blade spacing for comfort. It has a great rating and over a thousand approvals.
The Electric Razor
The electric razor is also known as the electric dry shaver and does not normally require any soaps, creams or water to use, although modern versions do also allow for wet shaving. They are usually powered by a small motor either by means of a battery or directly from the mains. Many models include a rechargeable battery. Although they did not gain significant popularity until much later, the first electric razor was patented in 1928 by Col. Jacob Schick, an American manufacturer.
There are two main types of electric shavers: rotary and foil. Rotary shavers comprise of a series of cutters that spin around a fixed position (typically 3 rotating blades placed in a triangular pattern) and cut hair entering the razor at skin level. Foil shavers are constructed from one large head that is covered with a metallic foil designed to raise hairs and guide them into the blade. Foil shavers offer a slightly closer shave than their rotary counterparts.
Electric shavers are great if you are busy. Dry shaving with an electric device is much faster and easier than a wet shave, so an electric shaver is the best razor for a man on the go. They offer a good quality shave without the hassle the other types can bring. They also require a lot less maintenance as the blades only need to be replaced approximately once every 12 months. Due to the fact that the blades in these shavers are hidden, the risk of injury is significantly reduced.
Although electric shavers offer the quickest and easiest experience, they generally do not offer the closest shave. Some people also feel that using an electric device takes joy away from the experience. Quality electric shavers also require a large initial investment in comparison with the other types. You will, however, pay out a lot less over the long term for this investment. Discover what makes a great electric razor here.
For a popular foil shaver try the Braun Series 7- 790cc Pulsonic Shaver System. For a great rotary shaver, why not try the Philips Norelco 1250X SensoTouch 3D Electric Shaver.
Once you have got yourself a great razor, you will need a great after shave. Check out our article: What is The Best After Shave Balm?