Looking for a new safety razor? That can be a difficult choice to make. Here’s our buying guide and top 7 picks to help you!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably tired of the subpar shaving experience that a disposable razor or cartridge gives. You’ve figured out by now that the best alternative solution is to use a safety razor.
But if you’re on the hunt for a safety razor, there’s a good chance you’re confused about which one to buy. After all, there are tons of varieties.
Not to worry — we’re here today with our guide to the best safety razors, and we’ve also included our top 7 picks. It’s taken considerable research and analysis, but we’ve compiled a list of the most important factors to consider when choosing a new safety razor. Let’s get started!
5 Best Safety Razor in 2023
Merkur Mk34c Safety RazorBest Overall Safety Razor
It is a durable and excellent safety razor from a reputable German brand. It's thick, short handle and heavy head make for an easy, close shave. The smoothness of this product makes it a good pick for beginner safety razor users.
Merkur is a highly renowned German razor brand established in 1906, making it a more than a century-old company. The high-quality manufacturing and wide range of products have made the brand an easy favorite among shavers of all skill levels.
Despite the brand’s evident supremacy, however, its prices remain reasonable. All of these qualities are embodied in the 34C safety razor.
This razor is the perfect choice for beginners because it only weighs roughly 3 ounces and features a short 3-inch handle length. As a 2-piece razor, it’s also super easy to use: all you have to do is unscrew the head, insert the single double-edged blade, and screw it back.
This safety razor is highly durable and gives a precise and close shave that is difficult to find elsewhere at this price point. And, despite being almost a hundred years old, the design of this razor has mainly remained the same, making it a popular razor choice amongst users. That should tell you something about its popularity!
- Super easy to maneuver thanks to the short handle
- Ideal for use on acne-prone or sensitive skin
- Reduces the possibility of cuts in hard-to-reach areas
- Lightweight yet highly durable construction
- Precise alignment and angles
- Might be considered too heavy for some beginners
- The handle can be somewhat slippery.
Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety RazorBest Safety Razor for Beginners
This affordable, non-aggressive two-piece safety razor works seamlessly with high-quality shaving creams and lotions. Well suited to shavers of all skill levels.
This 2-part razor from an English brand, Edwin Jagger (EJ), has justly earned its place in the shaving industry over the last three decades. Fitted with a classic EJ DE closed comb head, this safety razor is ideal for novices looking to enhance their shaving skills.
Thousands of men testify to the expert shave this razor gives, which is comparable to that given by a straight razor. Its brass build and chrome plating make it a highly durable and quality shaving implement that doesn’t leave a hole in your wallet.
Like the Merkur 34C, this Edwin Jagger safety razor has a handle length that is slightly over 3 inches. Furthermore, if you use Edwin Jagger’s Feather Blades as recommended by the manufacturer, you can also recycle them after use. However, another great feature of this razor is that it pairs well with almost any blade.
- High-quality brass build with durable chrome plating
- Can be used with nearly any blade
- Pairs perfectly with Edwin Jagger Feather Blades
- Short handle and lightweight build
- Easy cleaning and assembly
- Does not provide a very close shave as it is not too aggressive
- The handle can sometimes slip easily.
Parker 99RBest Heavyweight Safety Razor
The Parker 99R is a heavyweight butterfly razor with a double-edged blade that is loved worldwide for its close, moderately aggressive shave. It belongs to butterfly razors because of the easy mechanism that makes it relatively easy to replace blades with ease.
The 99R from Parker is one of the popular brand’s signature models. Despite being launched only in 2008, the razor has already garnered much attention and brought success to the manufacturers. Its heavyweight feel and knurled handle make this an excellent razor for users who prefer wet shaving.
The construction of this razor is also high-end, as evidenced by its superior stainless steel construction and coating of proprietary platinum and polymer. Despite its premium quality construction, however, the razor is quite affordable.
According to many users, one of the best things about this safety razor is the full-length texturing, which prevents slipping. Its blade exposure is relatively higher than the last two razors we reviewed, meaning you’ll get a more aggressive shave.
However, as the razor is a bit heavy, it might not be the best choice for beginners who want to enjoy greater control over their shave. For this reason, it can also be somewhat dangerous to press down on the skin with this razor.
- Comes with five platinum double-edge razor blades of premium quality
- The butterfly mechanism allows for secure blade insertion
- Corrosion-free comb
- The long handle provides an easy grip
- Handmade with real brass
- Aggressive blade not suitable for beginners
- High blade exposure
- The butterfly door mechanism is somewhat weak.
VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain Double Edge Safety RazorBest Budget Safety Razor
An inexpensive, easy-to-use safety razor keeps razor burn at bay while giving you a seamless, clean shave. Let the razor's heavy head do the work as you relax into its blade.
|Material||Stainless steel, brass, metal|
Another butterfly safety razor that we absolutely love is from Vikings Blade. This is the ultimate choice for those looking for a good razor on a budget or for those experimenting with inexpensive razors before settling on a final choice.
We love The Chieftain because it has a heavy top, which allows it to glide effortlessly on the skin and give you a satisfying close shave. Not to mention, your purchase will include free Swedish blades; despite their low price, these blades are noticeably efficient.
Even with its affordability, the construction of this razor is undeniably superior. Forged from premium stainless steel and plated with high-quality chrome, this razor will give you an excellent bang for your buck in terms of durability.
And thanks to the easy butterfly mechanism, changing the blade on this thing is also super easy. In fact, the manufacturers claim that it only takes 5 seconds to change the blade of this razor!
- Medium aggressiveness makes the chieftain suitable for various users
- Top-heavy weight distribution allows for smooth operation
- Comes in a luxury case with a mirror attached; portable
- Butterfly mechanism makes for easy blade-changing
- Highly durable and affordable
- Might be too aggressive for beginners
- Relatively sensitive to pressure.
Merkur 23c Safety RazorBest Safety Razor for Cartridge Razor Users
It's a super lightweight and maneuverable closed comb safety razor, a good choice for those transitioning from a cartridge razor. The Merkur 23c is durably made with simple assembly and usage.
Like the Merkur 34c, the 23c is another of their most popular creations, and it’s easy to see why. This closed comb safety razor has been made from the highest quality stainless steel. And compared to others, this is far more affordable.
Because this razor is relatively lightweight (it weighs just over 2 ounces) and comes with a long handle, it’s an excellent choice for those transitioning to wet shaving from using a cartridge razor.
Its chrome finish and non-slip grip offer easy movement, so you don’t have to worry about it slipping out of your hands. That’s also because this razor, like the Merkur 34c, also features a knurled grip.
Merkur’s blades are the perfect companions to their safety razors, and to ensure their customers know this, the brand includes a blade in all purchases of their razors.
- Easy to assemble and easy to use
- Prevents razor burns and shave bumps
- Much more affordable than other razors of the same quality
- Comes with a premium quality sample blade
- The hollow handle makes it non-preferred by the experienced wet shavers
- The handle grooves are lightly created.
Bevel Safety RazorBest Safety Razor for Coarse Hair
Designed specifically for men with coarse facial hair, the Bevel safety razor is definitely one of the more premium products on our list. Although it's more on the expensive side, it's definitely a worthy investment, especially for experienced users.
This item from Bevel is one of the most high-end safety razors you can get at this price. It is equipped with a weighty handle and precise double-edged blade. This razor easily prevents razor bumps and irritation, even if your facial hair is coarse and thick.
In fact, this razor is made specifically for those with coarse hair. The single blade cuts effortlessly and does not go beyond the skill level, which is what helps to prevent bumps and ingrown hairs.
We love the handle on this thing, too; made of brass, it’s weighted optimally, which helps the razor glide across the skin without requiring the user to put additional pressure.
Yes, it’s a bit expensive, but so are most good things worth having! Think of it as a long-term investment because if taken care of properly, this razor will last you a long time. That said, we don’t recommend this for beginners who are not sure exactly what they’re looking for in their safety razor.
- Ideal for use on coarse hair
- Weighted perfectly for an easy gliding shave
- High-quality brass handle
- Highly durable and will last generations
- Can be used on both the face and scalp.
- Not recommended for sensitive skin
- The handle might be too slippery for inexperienced users.
MÜHLE TRADITIONAL R41 Double Edge Safety RazorBest Open Comb Safety Razor
This is a premium safety razor with an open comb, a screw-off blade, and an unbelievable price tag. Sporting premium construction and an easily maneuverable lightweight build, this is one of the best mid-range razors money can buy.
|Material||Resin, Plastic, Metal|
The final pick on our list of the best safety razors is from Muhle, a brand that has established its name in the shaving industry over the last seven decades. The luxurious faux tortoiseshell handle of this open comb razor is one of its most significant selling points, but that’s not the only reason we chose it.
This classic open comb razor is an excellent selection for experienced wet shavers and those exploring their options. This razor gives a great close shave thanks to the optimally positioned teeth of the comb, which transfer hair into the blade with superior ease.
As this razor gives a pretty aggressive shave, it’s not really recommended for beginners who haven’t yet decided what kind of razor will suit them best. But if you’re willing to spend the money, this is hands down one of the most premium-seeming shaving razors you can buy without breaking the bank.
- One of the most durable razors you can find in this price range
- Solidly made with an unbeatable premium feel
- Gives an aggressive shave but efficiently prevents irritation
- Unparalleled aesthetic value
- Suitable for wet shavers of most skill levels
- Shallow knurling makes the handle somewhat slippery
- Not suitable for beginners.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Safety Razor
Picking the best safety razor as a beginner can be a bit of a daunting task. But as long as you keep the following factors in mind, you’ll know exactly what to look for:
There are three options to choose from in choosing the best safety razor designs: one-piece, two-piece, and three-piece. Here’s a rundown of each type:
One-Piece, Or ‘Butterfly’
The one-piece safety razor is exactly what it sounds like: it has only one piece, which is its whole body. When the handle of a one-piece safety razor is twisted to open the head, it fans out so that it looks like a butterfly with its wings spread — hence the alternative name for it, Butterfly.
After opening the head, you must insert and fasten a blade before closing the lead again.
Because there is no risk of parts falling off and their simple opening mechanism, one-piece safety razors are easy to use. They have moving parts inside, which may break or deteriorate over time.
When using butterfly safety razors, it is vital to ensure that the head is not over-tightened or that the hinges are not strained too much.
In the case of a two-piece safety razor, the user can unscrew the top of its head from the head’s base and the razor’s handle. This means that the handle is permanently attached to the head’s base.
The user must unscrew the top of the head from the handle to insert a blade between the disassembled parts. Then you screw the head back before using it.
If you’re a beginner wet shaver, a two-piece razor is an excellent choice because it’s easy to insert and align the blade without guessing where everything needs to go.
However, it can be difficult to clean this sort of razor; furthermore, as with butterfly razors, the parts of a three-piece can also break if too much pressure is used when screwing the head back.
The components of a three-piece razor are the top of its head, the base of its head, and the handle. The two parts of the razor’s head must be unscrewed for blade insertion.
Next, the blade is aligned and inserted between the two pieces of the head. Then, as with the other safety razors, the handle has to be screwed back.
Three-piece models are the easiest to keep clean out of the three safety razors. Plus, due to their lack of moving mechanical parts, they are also quite durable, given that they are well maintained.
However, this type of safety razor is not recommended for beginners as the blade must be handled frequently.
A razor’s aggressiveness is defined by how easily the razor glides across the skin and how close the razor cuts the hair follicle to your face. The aggressiveness is determined by the gap between the razor’s head and the comb (the bottom part of a razor’s head).
The wider this gap is, the more of the blade that will be visible to you and the more aggressive that the razor is.
A smoother shave is given by a razor that will glide easily across your face. This is a less aggressive shave. But if you want a closer shave, you need a more aggressive razor.
Starting with a safety razor that is mild and not so aggressive is essential if you’re a beginner.
An open-comb razor has a headline with teeth that extend underneath the razor blade’s edge. The base of the head of such a razor resembles a regular hair comb, so it’s easy to distinguish.
However, the teeth serve more than an aesthetic purpose: they guide the razor and place your facial hairs closer to the blade. Plus, they allow a greater amount of shaving soap/cream to pass through the razor, ensuring that your face stays well-lubricated and that your razor does not get clogged.
If you have very coarse and thick facial hair, you should consider getting an open-comb razor, as they tend to be more aggressive.
Closed comb safety razors are used more commonly than open comb ones. Such razors have a “safety bar,” or flat edge that extends underneath the blade’s edge.
The result is a smoother shaving surface and better protection for you. As you can probably already guess, closed comb razors give a much less aggressive shave, reducing the number of cuts.
Historically, safety razors were single-edged, with a very thick and sharp blade. These single-edged blades give very close shaves but are also very aggressive.
Over time, double-edge safety razors became much more popular as the users could use both sides. More importantly, the design of single-edged razors changed, so nowadays, single-edge safety razors no longer have anything extra to offer compared to double-edged ones.
For this reason, single-edge razors are not sold so widely anymore. However, you can find them if you look hard enough.
Mechanism: Fixed Vs. Adjustable
The blade of a safety razor can be positioned and secured on a head that is either fixed or adjustable. The right choice depends on your preference: do you want the blade to be as exposed as possible, or are you okay with leaving the amount of blade exposure up to the manufacturer?
Even so, here are the differences:
Most safety razors you will find on the market have a fixed blade, meaning you won’t have control over how much of the razor blade is exposed. Most fixed razor heads will give you a mild and medium aggressive shave.
Fixed blade safety razors are great for those who want to adjust their technique without worrying about the positioning of the blade.
Depending on how aggressive you want your shave to be, you can change the blade exposure — or “gap” — on an adjustable razor head.
Adjustable models are not recommended for beginners, as figuring out the right blade positioning depends significantly on your skill and the time and effort you’re willing/able to give. And remember, you’ll have to repeat the process each time you insert a new blade.
So, if you’re a beginner or novice wet shaver, we recommend sticking to fixed blade safety razors for now.
If you’ve ever used a cartridge razor, you know that pressure needs to be applied for a good shave. However, the same is not true for a safety razor — it does not require pressure as it does the job for you.
These points are essential to remember when considering the weight of a new safety razor. If a razor is too lightweight, you’ll have to apply more pressure, resulting in a bad shave. But if the razor is too heavy, you might feel less in control of the shaving experience.
So settle for something in between; a razor that gives good balance throughout and lets you get a good shave with the right amount of pressure. According to us, the optimal safety razor weight range is between 2.2 and 4 ounces.
The most common material for safety razor handles is chrome or metal. Animal horn or wood is also used; alternatively, you might find safety razors with a metal or chrome handle encased in a rubber cover for better grip.
You must consider the idea of whether the handle will give you a proper grip, be easy to clean, and of course, whether it is durable.
It would be best to always consider reputable brands when looking for the best safety razors. These brands have a track record and have built trust with customers. Hence, it is easier to trust them than other brands. In addition, you stand lesser chances of getting scammed when you use reputable brands known for their quality and efficiency. If you have doubts about any brand, always research before paying for any product. We have included reputable brands with the best safety razors in our roundup. You can use these brands to get the best shaving experience.
Customer reviews will help you to avoid scams and harmful products. The best products have many positive reviews that show their efficiency and reliability. You can also compare the user satisfaction quotient by checking the overall product ratings. Also, you need to check how these products made their users feel. If you usually get burns or bumps from using safety razors, you may want to pay attention to the product comments section for live experiences from customers.
Pricing Vs Durability
It is common knowledge that safety razors cost quite some money. Hence, it would help if you considered the pricing and durability of each product before purchasing. The material used for the blades and their durability will help you make the best purchase decisions. Some products offer 20-pack refills at affordable rates. You can leverage such products to save money. As an alternative, you can go for products with thick blades. Such blades do not get blunt quickly. Thus, you can use them for more extended periods.
Additional Tips for Buying & Using
So now you know which factors to keep in mind when choosing a safety razor. Here’s a small summary of the right safety razor for you depending on your skin/hair type, skill level, and budget:
Beginners: Choose a mildly aggressive safety razor with an open comb safety bar. These are easy to use and let the blade access more hair.
Thin Facial Hair/Sensitive Skin: Go for a mildly aggressive razor with an open comb safety bar.
Coarse, Thick Facial Hair: A more aggressive razor is recommended for you, so choose one with a wider gap between the blade’s bottom and head. Furthermore, if your hair needs help being guided into the blade, then a closed comb model would be perfect for you.
Low Skill: If you feel somewhat heavy-handed in handling your safety razor, go for an open comb razor whose blade is less exposed. You can get a faster and smoother shave this way, even if you’re not skilled with a safety razor.
Price: As with most things in life, the higher your price for a safety razor, the better its quality will likely be.
However, this does not mean you should buy an expensive razor immediately. Choosing a safety razor with a lower price tag is recommended for beginners because it allows you space to experiment and figure out what kind of safety razor is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes A Safety Razor Better?
It gives a better shave: compared to electric and cartridge razors, shaving with a safety razor reduces the shave bumps, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs. Furthermore, safety razors are more environmentally-friendly and affordable.
Can A Safety Razor Cause Acne?
It can be quite challenging to manage facial hair with acne. It’s important to keep pores unclogged; disposable razors are a poor choice because they are challenging to keep clean. And so, they let in pollutants to your skin more easily.
Safety razors, however, are much easier to keep clean. Plus, it is easier to change their blades frequently.
How To Clean A Safety Razor?
Your safety razor should be cleaned every 2-3 uses. It’s easy to do this at home; mix one part of vinegar with four parts of water, then take apart your razor and soak its parts in the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Afterward, use an old toothbrush to scrub the razor to get the dirt out.
Are Safety Razors Dangerous?
Safety razors get their name from being one of the safest razors to use. However, you should not press down too hard on the skin with it; otherwise, the friction may cause bleeding.
How Often Do Safety Razor Blades Need To Be Replaced?
Generally, a safety razor blade should be replaced once a week if you are wet-shaving daily. Otherwise, the frequency reduces, but always ensure your razor blade is clean.