15 July 2014
What is the Best Safety Razor?
When it comes to wet shaving, there is a lot to take in from the start. Surprisingly, the way that traditional shaving works hasn't changed much over the years, with the simple adjustment that it is now easier than ever to shave, but the process itself has devolved into something akin to a couple of railroad workers beating a metal railing instead of using modern machinery. Easier, but less effective.
The safety razor got its start way back in the early 20th century, when a gentleman by the name of King Camp Gillette (he wasn't a real king) invented the "Gillette", which is the predecessor to all modern day disposable razors. Before that everyone had to use a simple straight, which is actually more complex than it looks, but for all intents and purposes, was very crude. Gillette however created a guard, an elongated handle which was easy to grip, and a simple disposable blade. The resulting product rocked the grooming world and would change the way we would look at body hair forever.
Today, there are more than a dozen well known safety razor brands, including merkur, Parker, Edwin Jaeger, and Feather; and interestingly enough most countries have a preferred brand of choice which they stick to. Merkur for instance, is a German based company. Surprisingly however, Gillette is not on this list, as they have completely departed from safety razors and not mass produce innovative(but inferior) disposable razors. (Check Hello HairStyling for more information on razors)
Choosing Your Blade of Choice
When it comes to choosing the right safety razor, preference plays a HUGE part in the final analysis. I have tried many different types of razors, and have been totally disappointed with some brands, while ecstatic about models which have received poor reviews. Having said that, here is a run down from my experiences.
Parker: Middle of the road type, it has a balance of sharpness and catch, so you won't chaff yourself yet you will get a clean, close shave. My brand of choice.
Merkur: Very similar to Parker, maybe a bit less edge
Feather: Extremely sharp, but extremely uncomfortable. I nicked myself several times when I first was introduced to these.
Edwin Jaeger: Probably the dullest blades from amongst the top. This is for people who have very sensitive skin.
One more attribute to note to keep an eye on, "skinny" versus "heavy duty". While the name is a bit of a misnomer, heavy duty razors are actually smaller than skinny blades in terms of size and length. However, they have a very thick head and get their name from the weight, which helps make shaving easier. You guide the blade, you don't apply pressure.
"Skinny" varieties however are a little longer, and the especially long ones are designed for people who have large hands, so that they can grip. Here is a video from Nick over at How to Grow a Moustache. He's one of the communities most friendly razor experts, and he has a ton of fun videos like this one where he gives valuable instruction on how to use these tools. For more information on other razors, like straights and their brands, check out
Why to Shave with a Safety Razor - Beginner Series Ep. 1
The first video in my shaving Beginner Series about how to shave with a Safety Razor. Making the switch to a safety razor is a worthy investment that will no...