How to pick out the Best Safety Razor

September 16, 2015

Just getting into wet shaving and beginning to look for the best safety razor?  Look no further, read this, and you'll be ready to pick out the best safety razor for you!

Not long ago I was shaving with a cartridge razor just like the majority of men.  I guess it's easy to understand why most people don't use safety razors and that's because when you go to the store the shelves are filled with cartridge razors, disposable razors, and maybe if you are lucky a single lonely safety razor sitting by itself.  

For years shaving was a chore and the razor was the tool.  I didn't really think about it and just bought the replacement blades when my old ones were dull and ripping my hair instead of cutting it.  The $30 or so for the blades sickened me, but what choice did I have?  Nobody told me about safety razors and wet shaving was a term that was not familiar.  I just knew that I needed to shave and my goal was to extend the blade life as long as possible so I didn't need to drop a small fortune on replacing them.

The vibrating razor, number of blades, ball heads, and other fancy razor features would usually get me to buy the latest and greatest when it was discounted.  I guess I was a sucker hoping for a better shave, but the reality was that I just got another razor that pretty much shaved the same as the previous and the cost of the replacement blades were not any cheaper.

Ok, enough about cartridges.  You are here because you are trying to figure out what really is the best safety razor.  When I first learned about safety razors the amount of information seemed to be overwhelming.  There were 3 piece safety razors, slant safety razors, open comb, closed comb, single edge, double edge, short handle, long handle, fat handle, aggressive, adjustable, and of course vintage safety razors.

Some of the razors look almost identical except one will weigh 98 grams and the other weighs 93 grams.  Who knew there were so many different types of safety razors on the market.  The prices were also all over the place.  You can buy a safety razor for $5 and some of the high end safety razors were $200.  I really didn't want junk, but I also didn't want to spend a fortune.

I started searching for the best safety razors, beginner safety razors, then I went into forums asking different opinions and flooded with different answers.  The amount of time I spent trying to figure out what safety razor was right for me was ridiculous.  Buying a car or a house would have probably been easier than figuring out the best safety razor for me.

The time eventually comes where the research gets frustrating and it's just time to make a decision.  At that point in time I decided that I would purchase two safety razors.  One cheap one and the other a bit more expensive.  I spent something like $5 on the cheap one and about $20 on the other razor.  

Buying the blades were easy because I just picked up a few sample packs and had about 50 double edge blades and because safety razors are universal the blades would work in either razor without a problem.

At the end of the week my new safety razors arrived and the difference between a $5 and $20 razor were very obvious.  The $5 safety razor looked and felt extremely cheap and the $20 one was actually very impressive.  It was a very solid handle, nice weight, and felt like it could probably last a lifetime.

Since my first safety razor purchase I've gone a bit crazy when it comes to safety razors.  I'm buying vintage safety razors constantly from thrift shops, auctions, and have worked with a handful of safety razor manufacturers and got a chance to get my hands on pretty much every type of safety razor that I explained above.  

So now the millions dollar question..  What is the best safety razor?

I'll assume that you are new to wet shaving and just want to get started, so here is my advice.  Don't buy a $5 razor because you are going to get junk.  Buy a 3 piece razor, don't worry about the length, weight, or anything else unless you have a strong preference.  Plan on spending about $20 and buy from a reputable shop.

The best next step that you can take is just to buy something and start using it.  Once you get the hang of shaving with a safety razor (and it will take time) then you can decide if you want something shorter, longer, fatter, more aggressive, open comb, adjustable, etc, etc, etc.  

The best safety razor is the one in your hands that you begin learning with :)

 




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