Shaving is a morning ritual. Even more than a hot shower, shaving lets us know we’re alive: Unlike most of our grooming regimen, we must be wide awake, alert, and present in the moment or things could get messy, if not downright dangerous. Like all rituals, shaving also requires the right accouterments. Shaving gels, shaving creams, and aftershaves may come and go, but a trusty razor may become a lifelong companion, and the one you choose can change based on your skin and hair type. That’s why we’ve reviewed a wide selection of offerings to bring you the best razors for men in 2021.
Looking for a new razor to add to your shaving routine? Look no further, we’ve got it here. Be sure to check out our other reviews of best face washes, shaving creams, and best moisturizers, too, so you — and your face — can look as sharp as possible.
Schick has taken personalized shaving to a whole new place with the launch of its Hydro Skin Comfort product line. Got a shaving challenge? There’s a razor for that. We particularly liked the stubble eraser version: This razor is perfect for those of us who like to be a little lazy with our shaving, skipping a few days for a more rugged look. The Stubble Erase can handle up to 7 days of growth comfortably, without leaving your skin feeling prickly or uncomfortable. A proprietary stubble comb aligns hairs with the leading blade for a close shave, then 19 gel pools (the colorful blue stripe on the top of the razor), infused with hydrating green tea help soothe and refresh your skin on a microscopic level. Easy-to-rinse blades have three layers of comfort coating and Skin Guards on each blade for extra protection. The best feature is that the head of the razor moves in an almost robotic way, allowing it to hug the face’s curves as if it were preprogrammed.
Bevel has won The Manual’s Grooming Awards before because the company has a penchant for paying attention to the details. This safety razor is one of the best we’ve ever tested. The silhouette is a simple T-shape, with a brushed chrome, cylindrical handle that seems perfectly weighted to give an awesome, safe shave: You’ll barely need to apply any pressure of your own, which is great for your skin. To change the blade, simply unscrew the handle from the head, remove the top section, (carefully) pull off the razor blade and replace it with a new one. Screw the assembly back together and get to work. Should you decide safety razors aren’t your thing, you can chuck it into the metal recycling bin. We think it’s the best because it performs as great as it looks and won’t end up decomposing in a landfill for the next 1,000 years like most plastic disposable razors.
Disposable razors are an environmental nightmare, and we’ve yet to find one that gives a great shave. That said, we all know that moments arise where a disposable razor just makes sense. While the Schick Xtreme 3 seems to have even more plastic than some of the other leading brands, that bulk is in the service of one of the most ergonomic handles we’ve ever seen. From the seemingly perfect shape to the nubby non-slip grips, it’s an impressive piece of people-centered design. The flexible head has three blades, perfect for sensitive skin (although not, pardon the expression, the sharpest blade in the pack). An aloe lubrication strip, as mentioned above, is a colorful band that looks like a bright design flourish, like pinstripes on a car. In truth, it’s a strip of polyethylene glycol (which has been identified as a carcinogen) infused with aloe to make your shave even smoother on a practically microscopic level.
The King C. Gillette razor seems to have been designed with Father’s Day, Christmas, or Birthday gift-giving in mind. Its contemporary shaving technology comes in an elegant package that looks at home in either a traditional or modern setting, while the minimalistic handle design — in a deep midnight blue — offers a firm grip courtesy of the rubbery finish at the neck. The razor ships with two of Gillette’s Skinguard blades for sensitive skin (but we suspect it can be used with many of Gillette’s other replacement blades if you have a preference).
It’s always good to have a choice, right? It’s what built our democracy. Here the Dollar Shave Club gives you the option to check out both its six- and four-blade razor models to see what works best for you and your skin. We liked the nice, smooth shave of the six-blade model, but four blades will work better on sensitive skin, for those with longer, thicker facial hair, or men who don’t shave every day. The accompanying handle, suitable for either blade, feels solid and weighty, offering nice glide while shaving, and a nubbly, rubbery grip.
To be clear, a 4-blade razor is a little bit easier on sensitive skin because it’s literally shaving less. You may have seen those commercials where the first blade cuts a hair, then the second blade cuts it even closer, and so on. At a certain point, like when using a six-blade model, the hair is getting cut so close that it is no longer sticking out from the skin’s upper layer. For many of us that’s just fine, but for those with sensitive skin and often men of color with thicker, curlier facial hair, cutting that close can lead to ingrown hairs, razor bumps, rashes, and worse. If your skin is normal, a 6-blade model may work better for you, allowing for a fast, super-close shave.
These days it’s tough to pick out one winner in the shaving subscription service wars. Everybody from the heritage brands to upstarts has recognized that guys don’t have time to shop for incidentals, so why not have them delivered? What makes Harry’s the best? Simple: Cheap blades that offer a decent shave. We also love the selection of razor handles, from the brightly colored Truman in orange, indigo, or tropical green, with its rubberized, textured grip, to the metallic Winston in graphite or holiday blue with the elegance of a sports car. There are also collectible limited-edition versions like the Summer 2021 “Shave with Pride” rainbow handle. Harry’s also has everything from replacement blades to face care, body wash, shampoo…practically all your grooming needs delivered to your doorstep. Join its premium membership program for a whopping $15 a year and save 10% on all Harrys.com orders, free engraving on handles and razor stands, faster shipping, exclusive access to member-only products, and early access to new products.
Read More: Best Shaving Subscriptions for Men
The founder of LVL designed this unexpected contraption so that his wife wouldn’t have to shave his neck for him. At first, we were skeptical, but upon watching some of the brand’s instructional videos, we were sold. No time for the barber? No worries. The LVL gives a “fresh from the shop” look in about a minute. It seems even easier to use than a regular shaver because all you do is curve the band around the back of your neck and with a few downward swipes, you’re done! The LVL is perfect for guys with furry necks who want to look neat, clean-shaven, and under control. The set includes three sets of razor blade cartridges and two rubberized finger handles. Simple, secure, and smart.
When it comes to how fast facial hair can grow, beards grow evenly over 24-hours, with variations influenced by genetics, nutrition, environment, and more. The best time to shave is when you need to look your best. Most of us want to look neat and clean for our 9-to-5 jobs, so a morning shave is usually the right time. If you’re working the night shift, you’ll want to shave in the evening. Either way, your beard keeps growing (hence the term “5 o’clock shadow,” referring to the light beard you may have at the end of a workday), but most of us can make it that far and still look well-groomed. Some guys may want to duck into the restroom for a quick refresher shave if post-work plans require a clean look.
It’s important that your razor is sharp to avoid nicks and cuts that you can get from putting too much pressure on the blade, or from pushing into and against your skin. Microscopic imagery shows how blades lift and slice hairs at the root: When blades are dull, we’re more likely to push harder to get a clean shave, therefore cutting right into the skin, rather than allowing the blades to rest on the surface and do the work for you.
Depending on the quality of the blades you’re using, the thickness of your beard, how often you shave, and the kind of shaving product you’re using, you may find that you need a fresh blade every day, while others can go a week or so without changing. Blades that are out of their packaging will be dulled by air and moisture, leading to corrosion and a dull shave. Finally, disposable razors aren’t our favorite from an environmental standpoint, but unless you’re using them while traveling or at the gym (where you’re going to throw it away after one use), you can get five to ten uses out of them. With any blade, as you’re shaving, be mindful of any pulling or tension on your skin. Do you have to go over a patch more than once to catch all the hair? Do your face a favor and grab a fresh blade.
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