Shaving with a safety razor seems to be making a comeback. If you’ve never used one before, fortunately, figuring out how to shave with a safety razor only requires a few simple steps. And because a good safety razor should last a lifetime, we highly recommend you get the best double-edge safety razor and a top-rated shaving cream for the smoothest, closest shave. Once you’ve mastered the single blade razor, using a safety razor will become part of your daily grooming routine.
Below, you’ll find some expert advice detailing the best razors for men and how to get a good shave with a safety razor, double edge razor, or straight razor. Ultimately, learning to use a safety razor is straightforward, cheap, and very effective – guys just need a little practice handling the blade.
What Is A Safety Razor?
The best safety razors are often characterized as single blade shaving tools. They are handy grooming products that offer a traditional, high-quality shaving experience, especially if you buy one that fits well in your hand, provides a nice grip, is heavy enough to guide your shave, and was built with quality in mind. It also helps that these types of razors are cheap and environmentally-friendly, unlike disposable or cartridge razors.
Finding a heavy safety razor is important since the weight allows you to apply less pressure to your face while shaving. This minimizes the risk of nicking yourself with a sharp blade or causing razor burn, ingrown hairs, skin irritation, and other painful, unattractive cuts that can come as a result of using a multi-blade razor.
Although there are different kinds of safety razors, the most popular tends to be a double-edge (DE) razor, which simply means there is a blade on each side of the razor head.
Why Use A Safety Razor?
There are many reasons to use a safety razor vs a cartridge razor or any other shaving product. Here’s why you should start shaving with a double edge safety razor.
- Get a close shave. Experts generally agree that a safety razor gives men a closer, smoother shave compared to multi-blade systems. Because double-edged razors are positioned better, with a sharper and more exposed blade, guys must apply less pressure to cut their facial hair. The flip side is that the blades can more easily cut the skin if the proper technique isn’t applied.
- Less skin irritation. Cartridge razors with multiple blades often cause bumps, burns, and skin irritation. This is because running multiple blades across your skin increases the chances of irritating your face, especially if you have sensitive skin. Furthermore, even when using lubrication in the form of shaving gel or cream, the first couple blades scrape away any lubricating lather protecting you, leaving your skin naked when the remaining blades come through.
- Affordability. While cost may not be as much of a priority for some guys, using a safety razor will actually save you money. Although the handle may be an unavoidable upfront investment, most products come with several free blades. Moreover, safety razor blades are often made of high-quality stainless steel, meaning they stay sharper and last longer than cartridge razor blades. This is how DE razors are able to cut hair with minimal pressure. Even so, replacement blades are still cheaper, with a box of 50 or 100 costing between $10 and $30.
- Better access. The slimmer design of the razors also allows you to access those pesky, hard-to-reach spots on your face and neck.
Best Safety Razors 2018
Here are the best safety razors for men, including the top double edge shaving tools.
|WEISHI Nostalgic Long Handle Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor||1,229 Reviews||$16.98||Buy Now|
|Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor||4,608 Reviews||$24.53||Buy Now|
|Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor||6,639 Reviews||$28.88||Buy Now|
|VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain Safety Razor + Swedish Platinum Super Blades + Carry Case||3,691 Reviews||$36.97||Buy Now|
While understanding how a safety razor works can take some time, following the guidelines below will teach you the best way to use these razors.
Shaving With A Safety Razor
Here’s a step-by-step guide to properly shaving with a safety razor.
- Prepare your skin. The first step is to shower. Showering before shaving creates moisture, softens your beard, and opens up your pores, making the process easier. In fact, you may want to start shaving in the shower. Next, wash your face in the sink using warm water and a good men’s soap or gel. If you don’t already, you can try using a glycerin soap, as the ingredient has been to known to exfoliate and remove dead skin from your face without drying it out too much.
- Apply shaving cream. Shaving cream or butter is absolutely essential to a good, clean shave, and many of the best shaving creams work well with safety razors. If you’re a beginner who has just started using a DE razor, apply your cream generously to protect your skin and increase glide.
- Start your shave. Use a fresh blade and wet your razor with warm water. Now position the blade at a 30 degree angle on your skin for the best chance of a close shave with minimal cuts. Make sure not to use excess pressure on the skin, allowing the weight of the safety razor to do most of the work. Start by gently shaving with the grain (the direction your hair grows) and be sure to use short strokes — not long, continuous strokes. For an easier shave, you can also try using your other hand to hold the skin taut in certain places.
- Clean your blade between strokes. To prevent hair or shaving cream buildup on the razor, continuously dip your razor into a sink or cup of warm water. Similarly, you can just clean and rinse the blade under running water.
- Repeat the process. Now that your first round is done, most of the longer hair on your face should be removed. The second pass is meant to remove any excess stubble and give you as close of a shave as possible for a completely clean look. Make sure to apply another coat of shaving cream all over your face and neck. However, this time, you can choose to shave against the grain for the closest cut. If needed, repeat again to get your desired shave.
- Post-shave routine. After you’ve achieved the perfect shave, splash your face with cold water. This will feel refreshing if you have cuts or irritation on your face, and will also cause your pores to close. Next, be sure to give your face the moisture it needs by applying an aftershave, facial moisturizer, or both. Reapply later in the day if you feel your facial skin has dried out again.
- Clean your safety razor. Last, clean your razor by submerging it in warm water and getting rid of any excess hair or product left on the blades. You can also briefly submerge the blades of the razor in rubbing alcohol for extra sterilization.
If you’re not aiming for a completely clean-shaven face, you should probably use a stubble trimmer.
Safety Razor Shaving Tips
These basic shaving tips will help you avoid common mistakes for beginners.
- Apply no pressure. These types of razors aren’t meant to be pushed into your skin or face – they will cut you deep. Instead, sharp safety razor blades are meant to gently glide across your face with minimal friction. This is why they offer a superior trim. For beginners who need easy handling, get a heavy double-edge safety razor with a long handle.
- Cut at the right angle. Double edge razors maximize cut best when positioned at about 30 degrees. Don’t stress about getting the angle perfect, just pull the blade naturally and let your hand adjust to the contour of your face.
- Shave slowly. If you’re just learning how to use a safety razor, start with short, light strokes. The goal is to get comfortable with the blade on your skin and the handle in your hand.
- Less passes. To prevent skin irritation or cuts, it’s very important that guys don’t over-shave an area. Given the quality, sharpness and precision of these blades, make sure to aim for 2 or 3 passes at most.
- Stretch your skin. Tight, firm skin ensures each pass cuts close and removes the most number of hairs.
- Keep your face lubricated. Pre-shave oils, creams, balms, butters, gels and soaps minimize friction and help your DE razor glide over your skin.
- Clean your blade and store safely. To avoid bacteria and infections, always wash and clean your blades before and after use.
Using A Safety Razor
Using a safety razor is classy and practical. In addition to all the benefits, the coolness factor is off the charts. Just remember that it takes practice to learn the proper way to shave, so take your time and don’t rush if you want to avoid cuts or irritated skin.