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best safety razors

9 Best Safety Razors for a Close Shave

Equipped with a single double-edge blade, safety razors are both less irritable and more economical (in the long run) than the standard multi-bladed counterpart. They also deliver a much closer shave than even the highest-grade electric razor.

Of course, don’t think you can just pick up the first safety razor you find online because that would be a mistake. You’ll want one of the best safety razors instead, from brands like Edwin Jagger or The Art of Shaving. But first: what are safety razors and what should you consider before buying one?

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What are Safety Razors?

If you’ve seen the average Gillette commercial, you know that cartridge razors are still quite popular and arguably more advanced than ever before. One might also deduce from the very same commercials that more blades equal better performance. However, they also increase the likelihood that you’ll irritate the skin or develop ingrown hairs.

What happens with multi-blade systems is that the first blade—which does most of the cutting—dulls down with use and starts pulling hairs up instead of chopping them off. In comes the second or third (or fourth or fifth) blade, which pushes down into the skin, leading to irritation, cuts, or ingrown hairs. On top of all that, multi-blade cartridges aren’t consistently dependable for creating tight facial lines.

By possessing a single double-edge blade, the best safety razors widdle your close shave down to its most efficient form. And while the razor itself may cost you more upfront, blade replacement is quite affordable, saving you money over time.

What to Consider When Buying a Safety Razor

Despite the straightforward veneer, safety razors come in a variety of different types. Here are some things to consider when buying your next safety razor:

  • Straight or Slant Bar – Traditional safety razor bars position the blade at a 90-degree angle (i.e. straight) to the handle. By contrast, slant bars inject a literal twist on the shape of the double-edge blade, adding stiffness to the handle and cranking up the effectiveness of each pass. One might think of straight razor blades as being generally ergonomic and predictable, and slant blades as being more powerful.
  • 1-, 2- or 3-Piece – On a 2-piece safety razor, the handle is fused to the base of the head. On a 3-piece safety razor, the head can be unscrewed from the handle. For both variants, you insert the blade between the top plate and base of the head and then fasten at the handle. Then we have 1-piece safety razors, also known as ‘butterfly’ razors. For this variant, you twist at the bottom of the handle to unscrew head flaps, which is where the blade goes before you re-tighten at the handle. Blade replacement is typically easiest on a 1-piece safety razor.
  • Type of Comb – The majority of safety razors have a protective bar along the edge of the head. This is called a comb and it typically takes one of two forms: closed or open. Closed combs look like subtle grooves while open combs appear as individual teeth. The differences between them are minor, though most experts recommend closed combs for daily use and open combs for thicker stubble.
  • Handle Length – As a general rule of thumb, people with longer hands should aim for longer handles while people with smaller hands should stick with shorter handles. The idea is that a comfortable grip enables more control and thereby decreases your risk for cuts.
  • Weight – Unlike disposable razors, the best safety razors deliver palpable heft and that’s a good thing. With the increase in weight, you get a stronger degree of natural pressure, greaping more performance and effectiveness out of every pass.

Best Safety Razors

Looking for the best safety razors money can buy? Like stubble on your face, we have you covered. In no particular order, here are nine of the best safety razors for a close shave.

King C Gillette Double Edge Razor

1. King C Gillette Double Edge Razor

The world’s most ubiquitous razor brand drew from over a century’s worth of precision and innovation when crafting this single-blade stunner. Named for the brand founder, it features a chrome-plated handle, closed comb, and ultra-sharp blade.

Key features: chrome-plated handle, long-lasting blades, closed comb
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and five platinum-coated single blades

Buy it here

Merkur Progress

2. Merkur Progress

Worthy of the nearest barbershop, this top safety razor allows you to choose between six different blade angles by twisting the handle. Chrome finished and compatible with all standard double-edge blades, it brings the exact weight and precision you need for a close shave.

Key features: adjustable blade, 2-piece design, closed comb, heavy-duty handle
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and one blade

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

Weishi Nostalgic Long Handle

3. Weishi Nostalgic Long Handle

Do you have long hands? Then here’s one of the best safety razors just for you. Touting a ‘butterfly’ design, it delivers palpable weight and a slanted blade angle. Plus, it’s quite affordable.

Key features: slanted blade, butterfly design, long handle
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and five single blades

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

Vikings Blade The Chieftain

4. Vikings Blade The Chieftain

The legendary Chieftan has been scientifically designed to give you a smooth shave with zero irritation. Thanks to unique weight distribution and patented architecture, the safety razor offers supreme balance and effortless performance. A pack of Swedish 13C26 steel mild blades—i.e. some of the best safety razor blades you can find—is included with purchase. Skip right past the numerous imitators and go straight to the source.

Key features: butterfly design, 5-second blade change, heavy-duty construction
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and a pack of steel mild blades

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

Muhle Traditional Chrome Safety Razor

5. Muhle Traditional Chrome Safety Razor

Classic and long-lasting, Muhle’s single-blade razor features a corrosion-resistant handle of chrome-plated brass. Being entirely free of plastic, this is a sustainable alternative to disposable fare and a luxurious one at that.

Key features: corrosion-resistant handle, closed comb, classic design
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

The Art of Shaving Safety Razor

6. The Art of Shaving Safety Razor

With its chrome-plated handle and textured grip, this double edge razor is yet another streamlined classic of highly functional proportions. The art of shaving, indeed!

Key features: chrome-plated handle, twist-top release, closed comb
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and five single blades

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

Feather Double Edge Razor

7. Feather Double Edge Razor

Feather makes some of the world’s best safety razor blades for people with sensitive skin. This butterfly razor was purposefully designed to maximise the performance of those very same blades. It might be aimed at women, but don’t let that stop you from reaping its benefits.

Key features: medium blade exposure for sensitive skin, butterfly design,
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and two single blades

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

Edwin Jagger Double Edge Razor

8. Edwin Jagger Double Edge Razor

Ask a seasoned groomer to name the best safety razor and he might very well bring up this one from Edwin Jagger. The two-part, chrome-plated shave head has been engineered to deliver an optimal shaving angle. Combine that with a triple-plated handle, scratch-resistant coating, and meticulous detailing, and you get a high-quality razor to rule them all.

Key features: precision manufactured blade head, 2-piece design, signature detailing, closed comb
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and five single blades

Buy it here (US) Buy it here (AUS)

Merkur Double Edge Safety Razor

9. Merkur Double Edge Safety Razor

Crafted in Germany from high-quality materials, Merkur’s safety razor offers heavy-duty construction and streamlined performance. The knurled American barber pole handle makes for a nice touch.

Key features: straight angle, 2-piece design, closed comb, chrome-plated construction
What’s included with purchase: one safety razor and one replaceable blade

Buy it here

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General FAQ

Is shaving with a safety razor dangerous?

When handled properly, single blade safety razors are in some ways safer than their multi-bladed counterparts. Apply shaving cream or gel and use the razor with care to avoid nicks or cuts.

How long does a safety razor last?

While a high-quality safety razor—meaning the handle and head—can last a very long time, the blade is a different story. If you shave daily, you should generally replace your blade after a full week of use.

Why are they called safety razors?

With their protective guards, safety razors are designed to prevent excessive cuts and other amateur mistakes when you shave. Hence, they're safer than non-protected alternatives.