Are safety razors really better? You've likely heard a lot of the hype behind the old school single blade razor that's making a resurface. These razors use only one blade to shave while cartridge razors use 3-5 razors.
In this article I'll break down the pro's and cons of safety razors. I'll also show you how they compare to more modern razors out on the market. You should be able to quickly see why safety razors are a better choice of razor.
The Safety Razor Details
There are a couple variations of safety razors. The main type is a double edged safety razor that uses a single double edged safety razor blade. Most safety razors are made of quality metals and come in three different disassemble types.
You'll mostly see a three piece, two piece, or butterfly safety razor (1 piece). This only refers to how you have to replace the blade. The two piece twists apart the handle and head plate, the three piece comes apart into a handle, base plate, and head plate, and finally the butterfly which has a twist knob at the bottom that opens up the very top in a door flap manner. Butterfly safety razors are the easiest to replace blades in.
What makes one blade better?
If you have sensitive skin you'll benefit the most from changing over to a single blade. When you shave with a safety razor and a single blade you greatly reduce your risk of shaving related issues.
Issues such as razor burn, ingrown hairs, and skin irritation are far less common with a single blade. Here's why... when you shave with your cartridge razor that has 3-5 blades each pass runs 3-5 blades over your skin. Each blade technically counts as one pass. So, you're getting 3-5 passes over one area of skin with each stroke.
This extra exposure from blade contact on your skin opens you up to these issues.
When you shave with a safety razor you only have one blade making contact with the skin you have more control over your shaves. You will experience less shave issues guaranteed and you'll still get a close smooth shave.
What's the difference in cost?
If you're a frugal person then swapping to a safety razor becomes a no brainer. Here's the cost involved with changing over to safety razors. The most expensive item to purchase is the safety razor itself. If you're new to safety razors try going with a low aggression razor and there's some great budget options there as well.
Once you own the safety razor and take care of it the razor can last you a very long time. There's plenty examples of people passing razors down to their children. Even if that's not your thing you can get a decade of use from one razor with proper maintenance.
The only other things you need to purchase are shaving cream and razor blades. You can buy razor blades as cheap as 100 blades for $10. That's nearly two years of shaving blades for that amount.
Now take a moment and compare the prices of modern day cartridge razors. You're spending how much on razor blade refills? It's pretty easy to see the huge difference in price and how you could easily save money by swapping to a safety razor. One good reason why are safety razors really better.
How difficult is it to learn?
One concern from new comers to wet shaving and safety razors is how difficult it is to learn. With modern cartridge razors you can simply run them across your facial hair with no skill or other knowledge needed. This is great for young men beginning to shave and is likely why we no longer teach shaving to our children the way we use to in the past.
With a safety razor you'll need to learn how to hold the razor while you shave. You want to get a good hold at a 30 degree angle while you shave. You won't need any extra external pressure to shave. Just hold it at the angle and glide it across your skin and allow the razor to do all the work.
One last thing to learn.
The other part of safety razor shaving you'll need to learn is how to lather shaving cream. It's not a complicated process. You could use regular shaving cream but I recommend using shaving cream you lather yourself.
You'll need a normal bowl, shave cream, shave brush, and some water. You simply wet your shave brush and place a nickle size amount of cream in your bowl. Swirl your brush in the bowl until the cream looks thick and creamy. If it appears to thick add a couple drops of water and if it appears to bubbly add a small amount of cream.
Once you master the process it'll only take 2 minutes to lather your shave cream in the morning.
Tips For Your New Safety Razor
Are safety razors really better? Since you know what makes safety razors better and you're so going to go out and buy a safety razor like this Merkur razor, here are some tips for you.
Store It Dry
If you enjoy shaving in the shower that's fine but always remember to take your razor with you when you exit the shower. Some people leave their razor in the shower until their next shave. The problem with this is you open your razor up to oxidation.
Air drying a wet razor causes the blades to rust way quicker. You're not only going to need to change out razors more often but you run the risk of getting shaving infections from the rust. Even if you can't see the rust it may still be on your razor blade.
Instead take your razor with you as you exit the shower. Pat it dry with a towel and store it in a dry area. This will keep your razor ready to shave and your razor will last longer.
Extend Your Razors Life
You can extend the life of your razor blades by running them upwards on an old pair of jeans. Doing this after each shave can add several more shaves to your blade. Just a few rubs against some jeans takes a couple seconds and if that gives you an extra 3 shaves from one blade that will add up over the year.