The safety razors have stood the test of time as the most preferred shaving tool. Having origins dating back to the 19th century, it is undoubtedly a must have for every man. Manufacturers of this portable yet affordable shaving implement have over the years produced safety razor blades that have been kind on our chins. But the question is which one is the best safety razor? In this article, I will be analyzing factors that make the best safety razor, the types of safety razors and qualities of perfect safety razor blades. I hope that you will be able then to find a razor that offers the right balance – be it head weight, the right handle length, not forgetting aggressiveness. You can agree that no one wants to suffer through unnecessary cuts and nicks so relax the best safety razor for you is out there.
What is a safety razor?
Before going deeper on safety razors or identifying the best safety razor, we need to know what it is in the first place. It is a razor that has a guard to protect the skin from cutting due to the exposed razor blade. One of its great components is the replaceable safety razor blades. Unlike the traditional straight razors, it is not only safe and quick for shaving but also convenient. Most safety razors nowadays come in the form called DE (double edged). They consist of two exposed sides of the same safety razor. This was a shift from the now less popular SE (single edged) safety razors which were used to shave with slightly different types of safety razor blades considered as being more aggressive than DE. Hence the DE can be considered as the best safety razor in this regard.
What are some of the benefits of using a safety razor for shaving?
You will definitely agree with me that when it comes to shaving with safety razors every rookie does start from somewhere. The safety razor blades are generally easy to use. As such you will not have trouble in coming up with the best safety razor according to your taste. To help you decide, I have put up a couple of advantages of using a safety razor
For you to get the best safety razor, no huge amounts of money are involved. Believe it or not you can get a great find for only $30 or $40 even less. As if that is not enough, you only part away with $10 for a pack of 100 safety razor blades! This compared if compared to the various ranges of blade vibrating ultra-razor – is very affordable. Again it is refreshing to note that most are manufactured using durable materials provided that if there is proper maintenance – you can still have them for centuries to come!
Gentle on sensitive skin
The fewer the safety razor blades available on a safety razor, the more it cuts deep enough and less pressure you apply. Again it allows you to lather your face for the optimum amount of moisture so that you will enjoy a pleasant shaving experience and no skin irritation.
Provides an intimate deep shave
Ideally, a safety razor guarantees you a close shave with its more exposed blade unlike using a cartridge razor. On top of it, you do not put much pressure using the safety razor blades as what you would do on the boxed cartridge razor blades.
Convenient and portable
You do not have to worry about electric cords or even charging batteries. Safety razors can be carried and used anywhere. You just put one in your pocket, backpack or luggage bag with ease as it does not occupy much space.
What to look for when choosing the best safety razor?
Obviously, we all can agree that we will look for two important components when searching for the best safety razor i.e. the handle’s length, weight (grip) as well as finish, also if the head has features such as a straight bar or open comb. Below I will help you make that decision of selecting the best safety razor before looking at some of the best examples of safety razors on the market:
Handle Length, Weight and Finish
The length of the handle defines the amount of pressure needed when you shave. If it has short grip it will work best for a beginner due to less pressure required and lack of experience. On the other hand, a long grip is the best safety razor for men who are gifted with bristly or thick beard and requires an advanced user and the right skill before using it. Usually, though, longer handles are preferred by guys with big hands – you don’t grab the safety razor with the whole palm still.
The handle’s weight is another particularly important factor in picking the best safety razor. Typically the best safety razor will be perfectly balanced; being a bit heavy but having equal weight distribution across the handle. I have experienced that if you are using heavier handles, you will have more control over the razor. Aggressive razors, in particular, require total user control if you look forward to smooth shaving strokes.
Most safety razor handles are made of a metal finish typically aluminum. Other metals like chrome, stainless steel, nickel or brass are also involved in the manufacturing process to cover different functions. Again you will notice is the safety razors on the high end have stainless steel as the main ingredient. Premium and highly expensive razors are often made of animal horns like ivory – these are for those from the greener side of town.
Well, my reference for the best safety razor is one that has a short handle, is relatively heavy with a metal finish. What’s yours?
The Safety Razor’s Head: Do you go for Straight Bar or Open Comb?
You will notice that when choosing the best safety razor, the head is also of concern. An open comb head usually gathers your facial hair while guiding it to its safety razor blades. It offers you a close shave, whether you have a well-endowed beard or opted for not shaving for a couple of days.
However, one of its demerits is that it there is increased exposure of your skin much more directly to the edge of the razor blade. As a result, this causes razor burn and gives room for having nicks. On the other hand, a straight bar razor provides you with an even smooth blade, reduces chances of friction and protects you from having nicks even for the inexperienced user.
So there you have it, now we are going to focus on some of the top razors so that you can make the right choice to have your best. They will range from those for beginners and the best on the market so far. I also have included pictures to help you as well. Take your pick!
Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic
This safety razor is one of the best for the rookie who has never shaved before. Manufactured by one of the best safety razor making companies in the world, indeed Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic does not disappoint. Armed with a short grip as well as the safe for beginners straight bar razor – it gives the ideal baptism of fire to the beginner.
The 34C Heavy Duty Classic is notable for a handle that is somehow larger in diameter as compared to other models within its range so as to be in equilibrium with the weight of the head. The result is a well-proportioned texture in your hands. Manufactured with chrome-plated zinc alloy- this shaving implement also boasts of a solidly designed handle that has a criss-cross pattern for that firm grip as you shave your beard wherever you desire.
In the wet shaving industry, the manufacturers of this safety razor, Feather from Japan are famous for their sabre tooth sharp blades than for their safety razor range. For beginners, the Feather Popular is a superb safety razor to start the journey of shaving with.
You will be marvelled by its sleek design having a smooth bar as well as a short handle for starters. A non-aggressive shaving tool due to its twist to open mechanism as a butterfly or silo design – it will tickle your fancy. This tiny but effective machine comes with a complimentary travelling case and safety razor blades.
However, some of its shortcomings are that this device was designed using low cost material as it was made from resin. The only redeeming feature being the metallic butterfly mechanism as well as other minor areas on the handle. This look will not only woo away the potential buyer as it will appear as poor quality but also give doubts on its durability.
Anyhow, you will not be robbed of a great shaving experience using this tool whether you are still a learner or not. I also recommend the beginners not to start off with the complimentary Feather blades that come with it; they require advanced users. They do have an option still as this machine also accommodates other types or brands of razor blades. So this may as well be the best safety razor for someone out there.
The Japanese generally are “Popular” (mind the pun) with high quality swords, knives and razors in the world so the cutting edge razor blades that come with it need experience. Therefore I am not discouraging the ambitious novice who may want to try them out. What I can suggest however, is that due care ought to be taken as this tiny machine if underrated judging by its cover, may outshine the user!
Edwin Jagger DE89
For awesome quality and lengthy life span, the Edwin Jagger range of shaving products is outstanding. The model under scrutiny, DE89 comprises an all chrome short grip and straight bar razor. Indeed for those who look for an attractive product that also gives elegance to the bathroom this one is for you. The charming yet distinct “blue chrome” finish adds value to this quality razor.
To complement the beauty, Edwin Jagger shaving products have “brains” too! The DE89 has a marvellous fit and feel on your hand due to the vertical groove designed handle which is also smooth.
Being a flexible yet in overall a great safety razor for the beginners due to its non-aggressive nature as compared to the rest. You will agree with me that it is designed for those need a very close shave. Being a short safety razor does not compromise on its delivery and if you are one who requires aggressiveness, you can press down a little bit while shaving.
One more thing, this is an ideal choice razor for those who have sensitive skin though a little care is always recommended when you shave. On top of that, this razor comes with the valued customer freebie if you purchase it online to enjoy that added shipping bonus of a whopping five Derby Extra blades!
Furthermore, this a razor that is rightly priced – it is truly a value pick. I bet that you enjoy this masterpiece that will not only offer better quality but enjoyment whilst using it out there for a good price.
Well this one is for those who have thick facial hair as it is an open comb mechanism. The Parker 24C together with the next razor have almost similar duties though there are minor differences. While understanding that the majority of debutants mostly would not have heavy beards, it will be unfair to say that there are not even heavy beard novices out there.
Therefore the Parker range is there for you. This model is a bit heavier than the next and as such is more aggressive in tackling however huge your beard is. Due to its mechanism, it is not easy to get used to at first so you would require a fitting razor blade such as Derby Extra before trying out other sharper blades.
Parker 45R Super Heavy Weight
Another Parker shaving product, the 45R Super Heavy Weight joins the list of the novice needed shaving implements. This is an aggressive DE razor designed for the lumberjacks or those who have the heaviest beards ever as its name suggests. Its key components are a dedicated long grip and a suitably heavy head to fit its purpose. For an unforgettable experience, do not rush to use very sharp blades but start with a non-aggressive blade such as a Derby Extra. This is mostly the rule when using the Parker brands.
The Top Choice for Beginners
Over and above, when we closely analyze the five models above, the top choice for beginners basing on its short grip as well as balanced head will be: Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic. This is the best safety razor that will not only give premium close shaves to the novice but also be there for you for a lifetime.
Market Leaders under $100 as at December 2016
I think this article would not be complete if I do not give special mention to the market leaders for 2016 under $100. However, I will provide a few details on them as I have provided details for some of them already but you can always refer to online markets such as Amazon for more details. Therefore there is no excuse for you not to find your best safety razor from the two types of lists provided in this article. Based on the various reviews from a variety of markets, the market leaders under $100 are as follows:
- Merkur 180 Long Handled Safety Razor
A silver coloured and seductive best safety razor has deceptive looks but isn’t very expensive. Despite its heavy metallic appearance, it is rather lightweight, has a shiny chrome finish and superbly great grip.
- Edwin Jagger DE89 Safety Razor
Well as mentioned before this is a quality razor that is both sensitive to your skin and will leave your face that soft and clean shaven look that you desire. Has a great design and a fitting performance that never disappoints.
- Bluebeards Revenge Scimitar
This looks like one made for the pirates with a skull and crossbones engraving on the surface. It gives you an extremely close shave due to its blade that will not slip or cut easily even at extremely close shave. For you to fully enjoy using it, you need some experience. It’s a steady and reliable razor guaranteed to provide you with the closest and premium quality shaves in your entire life!
- Parker 99R Safety Razor
The butterfly open mechanism designed model is 3.4 ounces in weight. On top of that, it has a four inch long handle. It is both heavy and has the right girth for it to easily manoeuvre your beard however huge –must buy!