Shaving is the time in which we as men get to spend a few minutes per day to care for ourselves and for that face that looks so undeniably good (with or without a beard). Obviously, you don’t want to care for it with any old razor – you deserve better than that. You deserve something that represents to pinnacle of manhood; something more traditional. You deserve a safety razor – the perfect solution.
Finding the best safety razor can be a time consuming challenge. Here at Razor Foundation, we have done all the leg work and compiled our findings for you. Take a look at what we think are some of the best.
What is a Safety Razor?
A safety razor is a shaving device with one or more blades (normally one or two) designed to remove hair while protecting the skin underneath. In some razors the protective instrument is a comb, but more often nowadays it is a solid metal bar. Before the adoption of safety razors, one would have been forced to use a straight razor, requiring great precision and skill to use. Most people would seek a professional barber. A combination of low cost and a low maintenance requirement made DIY shaving common all around the world. Safety razors can come with either stainless steel or carbon steel blades. The latter will provide a closer shave but require more looking after, whereas the former will be resistant to rust and is likely to last longer.
Originally invented in 1880, today safety razors are viewed as an item of luxury and a way to re-live times gone by. They are not to be mixed up with cartridge razors which are technically still safety razors, although they are typically made from plastic and contain a disposable blade.
Advantages of Using a Safety Razor
Apart from possessing a luxurious feel and macho look there are actually a lot of benefits to using a safety razor over a typical cartridge shaver.
• A closer shave – you will get a much closer shave with a safety razor than with a cartridge or electric razor, especially if using a carbon steel blade. The only thing that will provide you with a closer one is a straight razor, but there is a significant learning curve and lots of cutting before you will be able to use it.
• Cost – although you will be required to fork out a much larger up front investment than with a cartridge razor (a good safety razor will cost anywhere between $30 and $200), a safety razor will save you a lot more in the long run. Safety razor blades are a lot cheaper than cartridges and also last a lot longer. The fact that you get such a close shave also means you can do it less often, so the blades will last that much longer.
• Pride in your work – safety razors let you appreciate the art of shaving. You get that fuzzy feeling of a job well done that you just go not get with a cartridge razor.
How to Find the Best Safety Razor
To make sure you get the right shaver for you, there are a number of things you should consider when buying yourself a safety razor.
• Price – first and foremost, before you buy a razor, you will need to know what you are able to afford and buy a shaver within that price range. We recommend spending above $30 to ensure you get a good quality shaver. You should also take into consideration the cost of replacement blades as well as the initial investment itself (although the blades should cost less that replacements for cartridge shavers).
• Comb – the comb or rake is the protective element of the shaver. They come in two varieties: closed-comb and open-comb. Those who shave on a regular basis are normally better suited to a close-comb as this gives a nice smooth, close shave. If you tend to have long or thick hairs, you will need an open-comb to capture them, although this type of comb can feel more aggressive. It is worth noting that some safety razors come with both varieties, one either side.
• Bar – the bars come either flat or slanted. Slanted bars are recommended for those with longer or thicker hairs. Unless you fall into this category or are used to this type of shave, we suggest sticking to a flat bar as this will provide you with a smoother and less aggressive shave.
• Weight – a lighter razor offers more accuracy and precision, however, a heavier razor will stop you pulling the razor across your skin and do most of the work for you. If you are less fussy about the amount of control you have over the razor (because you don’t sport an intricate goatee or other high maintenance style) and just want to remove hair from your face, we would recommend purchasing a heavy razor.
• Number of parts – the base components of most safety razors boils down to a handle, a base plate and a bar. However, different shavers break down into a different amount of whole pieces. Some break down into all three parts, some to two and some remain whole. Generally more pieces means more time required to replace the blade.
The Top 5 Safety Razor Reviews
So, what’s the best safety razor? See below for safety razor reviews of what we consider to be the best 5 available on the market today.
Feather AS-D2 All Stainless Steel Double-Edge Razor
This high quality, rust protecting, Japanese razor is stainless steel and comes with a matte finish for a comfortable grip. It’s highly durable and should last a life time.
This is a closed comb 3 piece razor. It’s the most expensive item on our list at around $150, but also the best. You get what you pay for and with the Feather AS-D2 you get a lot. It is not the most aggressive razor, but it doesn’t need to be. The quality of this item still offers a fine, close shave.
This item is highly rated by users – most report it is the best shave they have ever had. If budget is not an issue, and you can afford this razor, we would highly recommend you try it.
Merkur-Razor Progress Long Handle Adjustable Safety Razor
This razor has a long contoured handle which is weighted to make it easier to control. It has 6 settings that allow you to angle the blade to select how close a shave you would like and is compatible with all standard blades. This is definitely the best adjustable safety razor out there. With a price tag of under $70, it is a bargain!
On the highest setting this is a very aggressive shave, so perhaps is not the best for beginners. Merkur claim this razor will leave you with blemish-free skin and most users on Amazon agree with that.
Muhle R41 Open Tooth Comb Double Edge Safety Razor
The Muhle R41 is chrome plated with a fine engraved finish and looks great. It’s a fine addition to any man’s bathroom. This German made razor is built with one blade and certainly demonstrates why the German’s are famed for their quality engineering.
This is a fairly aggressive razor, but by no means the most aggressive on this list. It should be suitable for novice and expert shavers alike. Costing under $60, this razor wont break the bank.
Merkur Heavy Duty Long Barber Pole Safety Razor
This Merkur razor is brilliantly engineered with it’s knurled handle and easy blade replacement system. It’s a closed comb razor so you get a close shave every time. It is designed to be heavier than most razors making it easy to control. That, along with the fact that it is not particularly aggressive, makes it great for beginners.
This razor is one of the greatest double edged safety razors out there and has become an instant hit with the shaving community. Costing only around $40, it is easy to see why.
The Parker 99R is the cheapest safety razor on our list, costing around $30. For that price, you get a great shave.
This is an aggressive razor so should probably be avoided by complete beginners. After a little practice, however, you get a really decent finish.
Which is the best of these razors? The answer is not so clear cut. Shaving is a personal thing and what works well for one person may not suit another. However, if you stick to the quality razors mentioned on our list, you can get sure to get a great razor and a damn good shave.