The Best Safety Razors for an Irritation-Free Shave

Whether you have a full face of whiskers or a babyface on the regular, shaving never truly goes away for a bearded man. When it’s time to chop everything down or maintain a refined line around the edges, there are four different kinds of razors available for you: electric, disposable, safety, and straight. Straight razors are by far the most effective for steady-handers and professionals, there’s no question there. But what about us common folk? Safety razors are the next best option to get rid of razor bumps and pesky post-shave irritations en route to a close and comfortable shave.

Not only do safety razors offer more of a closer, cleaner, and ultimately irritation-free shave than their disposable or electric counterparts, a high-quality safety razor can save you money along the way because of how cheap the quality replacement blades can be. Most blade cartridges will run you about the price of a burger and a beer and should get you through one year’s worth of shaving.

Using the sharper, single blade that comes with safety razors also requires you to do a little more work beforehand to make sure your hair is soft and your skin is more supple. You don’t need to do much, but splashing on a little priming pre-shave oil or applying a hot towel before shaving will go a very long way towards obtaining the cleanest and most comfortable shave possible.

Types of Safety Razors

Although safety razors are a great option for obtaining a better shave, not all safety razors are built the same. Here’s a breakdown on some of the differences you’ll find when weighing out your options.

  • Design: Double edge safety razors are available in three appropriately named styles: one-piece (also known as butterfly or adjustable), two-piece, and three-piece. 
    • One-piece: Built-in mechanism that opens the cutting edge of the razor to make the blade easy to change. However, a one-piece design is usually more difficult to clean, and due to inevitable wear and tear from the mechanism, they don’t seem to last as long (with a few exceptions). 
    • Two-piece: A two-piece design is signified by the ability of the cutting head to be removed for blade replacement. This makes the razor blade still relatively easy to replace, but considerably easier to clean. 
    • Three-piece: Although it’s a more demanding task to replace the blade on a three-piece safety razor, it’s not rocket science, and the benefits outweigh the extra effort. The difference is simple: you can take a three-piece razor (handle, cutting head, and base of cutting head) apart which makes it much easier to clean and maintain properly; a dirty razor is as good as an empty box of cigars. The only issue you’ll run into here is perfecting the blade alignment when replacing the razor blade, but a few practice runs should do the trick.
  • Adjustable vs. fixed blade: Most safety razors you’ll find are what you would call a fixed blade safety razor. This means that once the razor blade and its height is locked in place, it doesn’t move, and you should expect to get the same cut every time. Adjustable safety razors have become increasingly popular as of late due to their versatility in cutting performance and variance in cutting aggression. Essentially, an adjustable razor gives you the capacity to apply a more aggressive shave and is thus suited for men with thick and coarse beard growth.

Best Safety Razors

Bevel Safety Razor

Bevel Safety Razor

Bevel vends one of our favorite safety razors because of its thoughtful and functional design. The Bevel safety razor is highlighted by a balanced weight that cuts just far enough without cutting underneath the skin in order to spare your face from nicks, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs. It also dons large openings between the blade and the cutting head that makes it easier to clean hair out of the razor head, which is ideal for both beard shaving and a serviceable tool for shaving your head.

Highlights:

  • A durable and versatile safety razor (doubles as a razor for head shaving)
  • Optimal weight for a close, effortless glide during use
  • Equipped with a matte textured grip for an accident-free wet shaving experience

Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor

Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor

England’s Edwin Jagger has made itself into a grooming powerhouse for men over the last 32 years of existence and its quality craftsmanship is sharply showcased in its double edge safety razor. It’s perfectly weighted and boasts a great blade angle, which provides added accuracy when shaving, and ultimately, a closer, more comfortable, and irritation-free shave for all skin types.

Highlights:

  • Razor head is compatible with all standard double edge razor blades
  • Crafted with a durable chrome plate
  • Delivered with five razor blades for free to get you started

MERKUR Futur Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor

MERKUR Futur Adjustable Double Edge Safety Razor

If you’re a host of thicker or coarse facial hair, you may want to opt for a safety razor that is more aggressive, or in other words, adjustable. MERKUR’s Futur safety razor is one of the most popular adjustable safety razors because it’s reliable, effective, and is madly good-looking. Its matte chrome finish is luxurious enough for any bathroom counter, while the adjustable head gives you total control over the blade gap, allowing you to dictate the closeness of the shave.

Highlights:

  • Adjustable blade gap makes it suitable for all skin and hair types, especially coarse hair
  • Boasts a unique magnetic snap design for easy blade replacement
  • Can be used for head shaving too

VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain 5BC Double Edge Safety Razor

VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain 5BC Double Edge Safety Razor

VIKINGS BLADE offers a line of heavy and handsome safety razors suited for everyone from a baby faced fellow to a fully bearded Nordic viking. It’s the heaviest weighted and most luxurious design in The Chieftain series, providing you with even more durability, versatility, and cutting performance for beginners and experienced shavers alike. 

Highlights:

  • Made of eco-friendly, durable brass
  • The Chieftain series boasts models for every budget
  • Delivered with a stout carrying box

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