Shaving can be a grind, a real chore every morning. Something you do almost every day should not be such an unpleasant experience and the good news is, it does not have to be.
Read on: we will tell you why.
The more nostalgic and romantic side of me pictures shaving as it is portrayed in the old movies. A few ruggedly handsome men sit around in large, elaborate red barbers chairs. They chat about sports and old friends while a warm cloth prepares their face and the barber is getting the lather ready.
The unfortunate reality for most men is not such an ideal setting. You stand on the soggy bathroom floor in front of the dimly lit mirror trying to wipe the steam off. Bleary-eyed, you apply some shaving cream and begin the painstaking process of dragging a razor over your face as it slowly and reluctantly shaves the hair. You need a second cup of coffee and you are already ten minutes late. Some mornings it feels like you are hacking the whiskers off your face with a blunt, rusted machete.
This morning ritual that most men endure five, six or seven days a week is generally anything but pleasant. We have all been there. I seldom jump out of bed, excited about having to shave. It is a grudge, far removed from the friendly neighborhood barbershop scene described above. It is sad that something the majority of men have to start their day with is such a dreaded experience.
The great news is that I have finally found the answer. I won’t go so far as to say I look forward to shaving but I certainly do not dread it like I used to. What did I do? Quite simple really, I finally got the right equipment. It is now a faster, less painful and more pleasant task.
Without further delay, here is my selection of the 10 best double edge razors money can buy:
Let me be honest with you:
It did take me some time to find the good razors for this review. Same as with the electric razors and hair trimmers, there are so many safety razors on the market that I ended up going through many really nasty ones until I came across the stand out ones.
Fortunately for you, I kept notes so you do not have to suffer through that experience and you can move straight on to a good quality safety razor that will give you a smooth, comfortable shave. Not only did I test all of these razors and measure them against the important factors I will discuss below but I also read countless reviews from people that had used the various razors.
What are the advantages of a single blade razor?
For decades, single blade razors were pretty much the only option. Not that long ago, things got complicated and double, triple and multiple blade razors were touted as the greatest way to shave. These were normally in the form of disposable cartridges and their emergence on the market took single blade razors out of the spotlight.
We have all seen the adverts how the first blade lifts the hair and keeps it taut while the second one cuts it off. The result is that the hair is cut below the surface of the skin. This leads to a really smooth shave with no stubble remaining. While this is what we want, it does not suit everyone. With the hair being cut in this way, ingrown hairs and razor burn is more common. Some multi blade razors are great but such a close shave is not necessary. With a bit of practice, you can get a really close shave with a single blade razor that is much more gentle on your skin. As a result of this, single blade razors are seeing a bit of a renaissance with many people seeing the benefits they have to offer.
IN A NUTSHELL: The double-edge safety razor offers the closest shave you will ever get with no pain or irritation afterwards.
Many people are concerned that they do not know how to use a safety razor. The truth is, it is simple and easy to do. It might take a bit of practice but is not that different to using a cartridge razor.
As with most products, you get some great ones and some that are not so good. The difference with most products is you do not have to drag a sharp strip of metal over your face first thing in the morning. When it comes to shaving, quality is all-important. I have suffered so you do not have to. I will share my top finds with you shortly.
Before we do that, let’s take a look at what you need to look at when looking for the best safety razor.
Some important factors to consider when selecting a safety razor
There are a number of shaving options available these days.
Some men go for the electric shaver. This is great for some people but never gives a really close shave. It is more suited to traveling or those mornings when you just do not have time to lather up and have a proper shave.
Straight razors are great but best left to the professionals. Treat yourself to a good shave at the barber every now and then when you have the time. For most men, the choice is down to safety razor or a disposable cartridge razor.
There might be a slight convenience to the cartridge option and you do get a few good ones but, trust me, I have tried them all. Nothing beats a shave with a double-edge safety razor. It is the closest shave you will ever get with no pain or irritation when you are done. Selecting the right safety razor is the first step to a wonderful shaving experience.
You might be thinking:
This is great, Dave, but how do I get the right safety razor? There is around a bazillion options out there - which one should I go for?
Glad you asked! I've pulled together all the important factors to think about when selecting the best double edge safety razor:
- Weight. This is very much a personal preference. Safety razors come in a standard or classic weight or a heavy-duty weight. I find the heavier ones more comfortable and easier to control but many prefer the classic razor. A bit of weight makes the razor more efficient and requires less effort on your side. With lighter razors, you will have to apply pressure as you shave.
- Handle length. Again, this is very much a personal preference and, partly I suppose, the size of your hands. There is a range of handle lengths available, depending on your preference.
- Safety Bar or Open Comb. With a safety bar, the blade is protected by metal strip whereas the comb style consists of teeth that guide the hairs towards a more exposed blade. I would strongly recommend a beginner start with a safety bar and the more experienced shaver can try an open comb.
- Fixed or adjustable blade. The majority of safety razors work on a fixed blade system. A few manufacturers have introduced an adjustable blade. If you are an experienced shaver and want a bit more control and adaptability, you could consider an adjustable blade. It is not necessary for a good close shave but some people do like to tinker.
- Aggressiveness. This refers to the amount of exposed blade and the angle it is set at. If you are a more experienced n shave and you have heavy hair growth, go for a more aggressive design. If you are just starting out or your growth is not that intense, a mild or average setup will be perfect.
- Blade changing mechanism. This is a design feature that has little bearing on the performance of the razor. Some have a two or even three piece mechanism whereby the top of the head screws off in order to change blades. Others employ a twist or butterfly design to open the head for blade replacement. It will come down to a personal preference or other features of the razor although the screw top design might be slightly more durable in the long run as there are less moving parts.
- Budget. The best safety razor does not necessarily have to be cost more than the others. I have tried the full range of safety razors from the really reasonable to the more expensive. I realized that you can get a good razor without breaking the bank and there are some great options across the pricing spectrum. Much of what you pay for on the more expensive models are nice to have features or finishes that are great but not necessary for a good close shave.
Keep these points in mind when buying a safety razor. Below you will find my detailed review of a wide range of top quality razors that will suit any style or budget. In my humble opinion, these are the 10 best double edge razors the money can buy.
Top 10 Best Safety Razors Countdown
1. Best for Precision Shaving: Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic Double Edge Safety Razor - Chrome
One of the features of this Mekur razor is the heavier weight that many find makes it easier to control and good for precision shaving. It also means less pressure is required while shaving which helps reduce razor burn, small cuts and skin irritation. You will probably spend a bit less time shaving with the 34C. It is also perfect for shaving your head. The Mekur 34C glides smoothly over your skin giving a close comfortable shave. Many people find the shorter handle design of this razor gives more control and precision.
It is a mid-priced razor but feels like you are using a top-end product. The chrome finish gives it a classy, sophisticated look. It is sturdy and robust enough to tackle the toughest of facial hair while still giving you a surprisingly gentle shave.
I really enjoyed using this product and I am clearly not alone based on the many positive reviews I read online. It is a good all rounder that provides a good balance of quality and value for money. It has a comb design and gives one of the closest shaves I experienced.
It is not only men that enjoyed this razor. There was an interesting amount of feedback for ladies that were extremely happy with the 34C. You will have to either keep a close eye on your razor or buy the lady one as well. Just don’t get them mixed up.
Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Classic Double Edge Safety Razor - Chrome
2. Best Travel Razor: Feather Double Edge Shaving Razor
This top-selling safety razor received tons of positive feedback from many satisfied customers. Feather makes some of the finest razors on the market so they know what they are doing. Their double-edge safety razor is ideal for those on a tight budget or wants an additional inexpensive shave for traveling. Another factor that also makes it good for traveling is the lightweight 1.2-ounce design. Generally, butterfly razors are not as durable as screw top razors due to the additional moving parts but that is not the case with this good value for money razor. It makes swopping out the blades quick and easy.
It is well designed and expertly made out of a combination of metal and plastic. The black plastic handle is slightly longer than average and is grooved to ensure a good grip. The wide head incorporates a less severe blade angle leading to a close shave that is really easy and gentle on the skin. It is so gentle that it is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Although mild, the light weight design will mean you have to apply a bit more pressure in some areas to get a really close shave. This takes a bit of practice so while most men will not have an issue with this; I would say beginners should go for a razor with a bit of weight to it.
It comes with 2 hi-stainless blades to get you started.
3. Best Budget Razor: Wilkinson Sword Classic
Wilkinson Sword needs no introduction and has been making fine blades for many years. They are a household name that is known for quality and sharpness. This is an entry level product and it is good to know that you can still get top-quality at such a low price point. This razor received a lot of praise from customers who like the value for money quality Wilkinson Sword provide with this product.
It is made of plastic but they were clever enough to give it good balance and a similar weight to your average safety razor. In this way, they can offer a really inexpensive razor that does not feel cheap and is comfortable to use. It is very safe and has a mild blade angle making it suitable for those that have recently started shaving or people with sensitive skin.
If you are looking for a decent shaving experience on a tight budget then this is a good option. The razor comes with 5 safety razor blades included making the deal even better.
4. Best Value for Money: Lord L6 Safety Razor
The Lord L6 is a great well-priced model with many clever design features that you would expect from a much more expensive option. It has a 3-piece design so it is easy to clean and change blades. It is constructed with a longer handle making it versatile and easy to use. The handle is aluminum and the head is chrome plated which makes for an elegant, somewhat retro looking razor. This gives a good weight and it looks like it costs way more than its reasonable price. It is still easy on the skin and can be safely used by those prone to skin irritation or razor burn.
This great value for money product is made in Egypt and is well-liked for its good design and long handle. It is a top seller that received many rave reviews by people that have been using the Lord L6.
5. Best Butterfly Safety Razor: WEISHI 9306 New Double Edge Safety Razor
This is a great butterfly or twist to open razor that is well made. It is constructed from durable copper alloy and other metals making it well weighted and durable. The copper also adds a good weight to the razor making it glide smoothly over the skin for a smooth comfortable experience. The butterfly mechanism is strong and will not let you down in a hurry.
Weishi has textured the grip to make is safe and sturdy when wet. Again you get the look and feel of a very expensive razor for a reasonable price.
It comes in a blue box that has a mirror on the inside making this a good option for a travel razor. It is also an ideal option for a gift, for beginners or those wanting to experiment with double edged razors for the first time. Also included is a generous pack of blades.
The 9306 is a budget butterfly razor that is mild and gentle. This might not work well for you if you have coarse facial hair. It is a great value for money option and is well liked by customers.
6. Best Safety Razor for Beginners: Parker 99R Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor
The Parker 99R is a good seller that is highly regarded by many customers. This popular razor has a long 4-inch handle with a textured sure-grip finish for perfect control and safety. This also increases the precision and maneuverability of the razor and makes it highly responsive. Parker has also used extra weight on this model for an easy comfortable shave.
The twist top or butterfly design makes changing blades effortless. As it is made from quality materials you can expect a good lifespan on the opening mechanism.
The classic design looks good and feels great. It is solid and durable with a brass frame that is plated in chrome. It comes with a pack of 5 Shark Super Chrome Blades. This razor is great for those moving from cartridges or just starting out with wet shaving.
7. Best Razor for Coarse Hair: Merkur-Razor Safety Razor 37c Chrome with Slant Bar
The 37C is built to cope with thicker facial hair and has the necessary aggressive design to give you a close shave. It is not for everyone so if you need a mild or tamer razor rather skip this one. I would also say it is not ideal for those still learning to shave and it is unlikely they would need the additional aggression.
For those that do require it and are getting frustrated with the milder razors or not getting a close enough shave from the tamer blades, the 37C will give you what you are looking for. What makes it work better on coarse hair is the slant bar. This causes the blade to angle or slope. In other words, one end of the blade is higher than the other.
8. Best Razor for Looks: Muhle Closed Comb Double Edge Safety Razor - R89, Chrome Plated Metal
Muhle has a long standing reputation for quality long-lasting razors and the R89 is no exception. One of the features that sets this particular model apart is the outstanding handles. They are beautifully crafted with intricate detail engraved on the chrome plating. Not only does this look amazing but it also makes it easier to grip while shaving.
This is a top-quality razor that will last you many years and still look amazing and work perfectly. Precise German engineering standards are most apparent when you use the R89. Many people consider this to one of the best safety razors they have tried.
The enclosed comb gives you great control and is safer and more gentle on your skin. The R89 will suit a beginner that is just starting out with double edged razors.
9. Best Safety Razor for Sensitive Skin: Feather All Stainless Steel Double-Edge Razor, Model AS-D2
If you are in the market for a premium razor that will give you many years of great shaving, the Feather All Stainless Steel is a good investment. The AS-D2 is considered by many to be the best single blade razor on the market.
Made out of solid stainless steel it could well be the last razor you ever buy. With a little care, it will look just as good decades from now, that is the strength and beauty of stainless steel. It is a quality Japanese product that is designed for a mild, gentle shave. The Japanese have a proud history producing top-quality ultra-sharp blades and that shine through in the Feather range. The razor uses a unique solid bar baseplate making it less aggressive than most razors. While this will suit many men perfectly, those with heavy facial hair might need to use more pressure for a really close shave. For best results, it should be used with the ultra-sharp Feather blades which rate as some of the best safety razor blades available.
The last thing you want is for your significant other to “borrow” your razor and once she see how efficient and gentle this razor is, you might be in trouble. Consider getting one for the lady in your life as this would be the perfect gift for a comfortable leg or bikini shave for the ladies.
The Feather AS-D2 is superbly crafted, as you would expect from a fine Japanese product. The durable stainless steel body is plated in a matte chrome for a classy, quality look.
If you spare the cash, this is an outstanding razor and if you consider it is a long term investment that you use almost daily, why not treat yourself. The comfort and gentle experience will make it all worthwhile.
10. Best Long Handle Razor: Parker 26C - Black Handle Three Piece OPEN COMB Double Edge Safety
Another Parker Razor that makes my top ten is the 26C designed for the more experienced shaver that needs something with a bit of aggression. I would not recommend this to beginners or those with a more sensitive skin as it is aimed at those that need a close shave on heavier growth.
It will suit men that like a longer handle and it has quite a bit of weight behind it. The handle is textured for a cool look as well as excellent grip. If you know what you are doing, this will give you an effortless shave that is extremely close. In the hands of those with less experience it will not be a pleasant shaving experience.
It comes with a pack of 5 Shark Super Chrome Blades.
Wrapping it Up: The Winner
So there you have it, my top 10 razors are many months or testing and researching. There is something for everyone from the sensitive skinned man to the rugged, rough types. Price wise there are options from really budget friendly inexpensive razors to pricier long term investments. If you factor in the cost of the various razors, none of these will disappoint. They are all tried and tested, not only by me but by the buying public. All of these shaving options were highly rated by people that had bought and used them.
There was a clear winner in each category so if you fit into one of those, the decision is easy. If not, your budget will be a guiding factor and then look out for the specific features that you need from a shaver. Whatever you decide on, the classic double edged safety razor is the way to go.
The Merkur 34C stood out as the overall winner. This was based on my personal experience with this double edge safety razor as well as the numerous happy comments from the buying public.
I liked the weight and feel of this razor and it gave a really close shave with no irritation and minimal effort. The fact that it looks the part of a classy classic razor and is very good value for money just made the decision even easier.
Give some thought to your needs and preferences and one of these razors will be perfect for you.