The safety razor is a simple device that has been in use for decades. It had fallen by the wayside with the advent of the disposable razor and in favor of dry shaving techniques designed to make a man’s morning routine much quicker. Of course, speed came at a price. To some, the quality of the shave suffered greatly and skin irritation became more common. Now that wet shaving is back in vogue, there are many razors available. Common over-the-counter disposable razors tout the number of blades and, of course, the need for so many blades. The truth is that a single blade will suffice if you have the right safety razor and become skilled in its use. Below, we will describe the basic qualities to look for in a safety razor, then go on to review the best safety razors on the market today.
5 Best Safety Razors Recommendation
Edwin Jagger Safety Razor
|3-piece, DE||3.8 inches; |
Merkur Long Handle Razor
|3-piece, DE||4 inches||$||5/5|
Parker 99R Safety Razor
|Butterfly; DE||4 inches; |
Bluebeard's Revenge Scimitar Razor
|3-piece, DE||3.7 inches; |
|Butterfly, DE||4.4 inches; |
Review of the 5 Best Safety Razors
The Edwin Jagger DE89Lbl is a spectacular entry into the double-edged safety razor niche. Edwin Jagger is well known for its quality control standards, so you know that you will be getting a razor with even blade exposure on both sides of the head. The DE89Lbl is a well balanced, medium weight razor that will fit the needs of novice and experienced shavers alike. The sharp brushed finish and excellent lines create a sense of luxury each time you shave. This model also comes equipped with five blades, so it is shave ready upon arrival.
On the downside, many first time buyers say they have had trouble with the screw portion of the razor. It seems as if this may be just an issue of not knowing to lubricate the screw upon arrival and about once a month. Just a touch of mineral oil will do.
Merkur is an outstanding German made razor. It features a long handle for those who may have large hands. The double-edged design is perfect for a close shave every time. Finished in a spectacular chrome, but made from stainless steel, the Merkur is not only a showpiece, but a reliable shaver that can be kept in the shower or cabinet. The Merkur is packaged with one blade, so it is ready for use the day it arrives.
While the Merkur long-handled razor offers many benefits, it does have an issue to be aware of: replacement blades can clamp down off-center. This is going to cause an uneven shave and occasional cuts. The issue is more prominent with inexpensive blades.
3. Parker 99R
The Parker 99R is a long-handled safety razor that is heavier than many others. The weight and the long handle ensure that even the heaviest beard can be tamed with relative ease. The textured handle of the 99R guarantees that you will maintain a solid hold even in the shower.
On a more negative note, the Parker 99R can be a tad aggressive for the novice. You may experience quite a few cuts in the beginning. This will stop as you become more skilled.
The Scimitar from Bluebeard’s Revenge is a short-handled safety razor that is built in England. The company enjoys a solid reputation within the industry and the Scimitar will provide a close shave on a consistent basis. The quality of the razor is given quite a bit of character by the etched pirate logo on the head.
The only really quasi-disappointment with Bluebeard’s Revenge Scimitar is the smooth grip. The lack of a texture can make it difficult to control the razor with wet hands, leading to unexpected cuts, especially in the shower.
5. Parker 22R
Another solid entry from Parker. The 22R is lighter than the 99R reviewed above, but it delivers a solid shave every time. Since it is less aggressive than the 99R, it may be a better fit for lighter beards and less experienced safety razor users. The design and finish are spectacular and your grip on the handle will be quite secure.
Now for the bad. You may have trouble seating a new blade. The butterfly opening works very well, but the blades to not always seat flat. You will be forced to tap the blade once the razor is closed, so you may cut yourself before taking the first stroke.
Qualities of the Best Safety Razors
A safety razor is a very simple device. There are few working parts, but you do need to keep two things in mind, primarily. Start by considering the handle and overall weight of the safety razor. If the head or handle outweighs the other you may find it difficult to maneuver, leading to nicks and cuts on your face. A razor that is too light may cause you to apply additional pressure while shaving. A razor that feels too heavy in your hand can cause you to do the same. Either situation will lead to cuts or an uneven shave.
The second quality to look for in a safety razor is blade exposure. Not really how much blade is exposed, just that an even amount is exposed on both sides of the cutting head. An uneven exposure will make it difficult to shave with the razor because you may never acquire a feel for how much pressure to apply. Again, this can lead to cutting. At the very least, it will create an uneven shave, forcing you to spend more time on our morning routine. The best safety razor manufacturers have quality standards in place to ensure an even amount of blade expose across all of their products.
A final note to first time safety razor users: you should start with a sample pack of blades. You may find that some will fit into your razor more easily and that others will offer a more comfortable cut. The only way to find the right blade for you is through experimentation.