Gentlemen, it’s time to get back to the art of shaving. We’ve come to forget that pampering ourselves and our skin takes time and care. We’ve lost our way in the shaving world, allowing cheap plastic pieces or overpriced cartridge blades to muddy the sweet waters of an honest wet shave that leaves our face clean, refreshed, and ready to face the day. We’ve come to accept that dry, stripped skin full of nicks is merely our lot in life, and that is a travesty of what shaving is supposed to be.
To make our mugs feel truly comforted, as well as free of hair, we need all the right ingredients. That means a quality shaving cream, a good aftershave balm, exceptional moisturizers, and first of all a good razor bearing a quality blade. You’re not going to get that from disposable hunks, but from razors made for the old world, done in style, and loaded with blades that do a professional job of removing hair. You need a safety razor that is built to strip away stubble without harming your skin and give you a close, clean cut that isn’t riddled with the choppy hack job you get from a disposable. This kind of wet shaving saves you money, saves waste, saves the planet, and saves your skin. So get one of the 14 best safety razors and give your grill the gift of true joy.
A Note On Blades
Here’s the thing to know about buying a safety razor: The blades you load into it are going to change how it functions. A quality safety razor handle is a big part of the battle, but the war is won or lost based on the Double Edged (DE) blades you’re putting into it. Those who have been around the wet shaving world usually know which blades their face loves, but newbies might not have the skinny. The only way to figure it out is to get yourself a trial and error sampler pack that has a lot of different blade types, then try each one until you figure out what will do you proud.
For starting out, here’s a few popular blade brands to get your feet (and face) wet.
- Derby – My personal favorite
- Feather – Usually not good for safety razor rookies
Onto the razors…
There’s no need to spend a lot of money to try a decent safety razor. While it’s not going to blow your hair back, the PL602 is a serviceable, low-cost piece that gives you a handy introduction to the wet shave, or can work as a travel razor for those rough trips where it might go missing. Purchase: $5
Feather Double Edge Popular Twist
A single piece that uses a butterfly opening mechanism to eliminate extra pieces, this is simplicity itself. Though you’ll need a couple of passes to get every stray whisker, you’re less likely to end up with razor burn, even using the deadly Feather blades. Purchase: $12
RazoRock Old Type
Here’s where the offerings get really serious. Don’t let “Old” be a turn-off for you. The RazoRock is a sturdy classic that uses an open comb design that allows more blade to reach your face for a closer shave that’s better for guys who’ve had a little practice and a good lotion on hand. Purchase: $15
Maggard is one of those companies that can’t seem to make a bad razor if they tried. Among their exceptional product line, the V2OC stands out as a close cutter that’s also extremely kind to your skin. Best of all, this head works with all standard handles, so you can pick any grip you like. Purchase: $16
Merkur Long Handled
Made with a slimmer handle that’s better for those with long, lanky fingers, the knurling all over gives a superior grip for getting all the angles right. The head has a closed comb, which gives better protection for the amateur looking for something that moves quickly, but safely across the skin. Purchase: $20
Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge
From the long and slim to the short and burly, Merkur has covered all the major bases. A weighty brute with extra ridges on the handle’s base for better circular manipulation, guys with fingers like a railway worker will find the extra real estate more to their liking than smaller, daintier shafts. Purchase: $30
Edwin Jagger DE89
Polished chrome perfectly balanced, Edwin Jagger is another safety razor brand that consistently hits it out of the park, with the DE89 being the best of an impressive name in the business. It’s a mid-grade razor that can last a lifetime in the wettest, sloppiest conditions. Purchase: $31
Looking like a showpiece straight out of a traditional barbershop, the ornate good looks harbor the secret that the 99R is a seriously dense tool made for hacking through thatches with grit and austerity. Butterfly fanatics make note. Purchase: $32
Merkur Futur Adjustable
That satin finish is a thing to behold, practically aching to be put to work, begging your chin to do its worst. One of the few adjustable choices that doesn’t drop the ball, you can fine tune your angle of attack to get the optimal shave each and every time. Purchase: $55
Giving major emphasis to the “safety” in safety razors, the R89 tends to work best for those who get razor burn when they only think about putting blade to skin. It’s a classy, gentle choice that only looks like a steel slasher. Guys who like a little more pomp to their razors would do well to give the Mühle store a look. Purchase: $56
That’s tool-grade stainless steel right there. Largely thought to be the Cadillac of safety razors, there’s fancier options out there, but nothing stands up to abuse, does the job better, and has more honest to Jagger swagger than the 6S. You can spend more, but you won’t get more. Period. Purchase: $100
Jack Black Double Edge
Don’t tell anyone, but this is actually a Mühle razor that has been repurposed for sale in the United States. A nice, chunky handle with that JB blue coloration, the added price is based on looks alone, though the grip feels damn fine in your fist. Purchase: $125
Seki Edge Feather AS-D2
Not terribly splashy, the Edge Feather is beloved by those who adore incredible under-the-hood engineering. Intended to be an heirloom piece, odds are pretty good that when the aliens are sorting through the rubble of our failed world, they’re going to find these. Purchase: $154
Above the Tie Atlas S2
Machined out of 303 stainless steel right in the heart of the USA, this is a tough piece of customizable gear that lets you go with an open or closed comb, and select the handle that fits your fingers. When you’re ready for a bespoke razor, this is as close as you can get off the shelf. Purchase: $185