The fine art of shaving has been all but lost in the 21st century. With double, triple, and quadruple blade razors on the shelf of every store, it’s easy to take shaving for granted. The act itself is now nothing but a boring chore for most men, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower.
A traditional safety razor is a great way to get you excited about shaving again. They offer a closer shave and cost pennies on the dollar to use, compared to the over-designed plastic contraptions most men use nowadays.
Before multi-blade disposables, fathers had to set aside time to teach their growing boys how to give themselves a proper shave – one that would make the girls swoon – without carving their face up to ribbons in the process!
Top 6 Double Edge Safety Razors
|#1||Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor (MK 23C)||More Info|
|#2||Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor||More Info|
|#3||Parker 99R Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor||More Info|
|#4||Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge Razor||More Info|
|#5||Weishi 9306-c New Mithril Double Edge Safety Razor||More Info|
|#6||Microtouch One Razor Classic Safety Razor||More Info|
Benefits of Using a Safety Razor
All the fancy modern razors out there take a lot of cash out of your pocket, ranging from $2 – $5 per replacement blade. Sure, you can buy 20 cheap disposables at a discount store, but we all know those don’t offer a smooth shave! After buying the handle, it’s easy to source blades that cost as little as 2 cents a piece if you buy them in bulk packages of 50 or more.
There’s a reason that the barber uses a straight or double edge razor to shave your face. Hands down, you get a smoother, more stubble-free shave that just plain feels invigorating. Ingrown hairs are all but unheard of once you shift to a double edge.
Yes, there is a learning process to using a traditional single blade razor. It’s inevitable that you’ll cut yourself a few times, as you learn how to really shave your face like the old-timers did in the past. Disposable razors scrape layers of skin and oil off your face that a traditional double edge won’t. After a short learning phase, you’ll start to notice how your skin glows after shaving, instead of looking flat and dry.
Yes, you’ll still be throwing the metal blade out with each shave, but think of all the plastic you’re saving from the dump. You can pat yourself on the back each time you save yet another ounce of plastic from being wasted!
What to Look for in a Quality Safety Razor Handle
The main trick to finding a good double edge is in the material used to manufacture it. Rusty steel isn’t good for your skin, and rust is exactly what you’ll get if you cheap out on price. It’s quite fine to buy cheap replacement blades, as you’ll only use each one time. However, don’t trust a cheapo $5 double edge handle from Ebay, they just won’t last. Look for stainless steel or chrome-plated copper or bronze.
The main consideration here should be length. Men with large hands won’t be comfortable trying to do a delicate shave on their face with a short-handled razor. Similarly, men with small hands may not enjoy trying to manipulate a long-handled razor while shaving. Look for a heavily textured handle too. Smooth handled designs are notoriously hard to grip with wet hands!
3.Blade Replacement Method
There are two main designs in the head of a double side razor: 1) A screw-on handle that requires you to take the razor apart in three pieces in order to change the blade., 2) The butterfly or “twist to open” design, requires nothing more than a 180-degree twist of the handle – the blade pops in and out with ease. There are quality brands that use both methods. Butterfly is easier, if you’re not comfortable handling sharp objects.
Weight is a huge factor in choosing a smooth-shaving, safe double edge razor. While you’ll find a few men out there who prefer lightweight, most men will tell you the exact opposite. You want a razor that has a bit of heft to it. The weight of the razor will determine how much pressure you have to apply to your face while shaving – more pressure inevitably leads to more cuts! If you’re ordering online, look for a shipping weight of 3 ounces or more. A great idea for newbies just starting with double edge shavers is to buy 2 razors: a lightweight handle weighing around an ounce in weight; and a heavy handle weighing 3 – 4 ounces.
Note About Replacement Blades
Don’t get sucked into the idea that you have to match a blade manufacturer’s name to the handle you choose. You’ll soon find a blade that you prefer over all others, but all double edge blades are designed to the same dimensions, they’re razor sharp of course, and most importantly: there are massive price differences between the big brands and many equal-quality lower priced ones.
Review of The Best Double Edge Safety Razors
#1.Merkur Long Handled Safety Razor (MK 23C)
Merkur razors are manufactured in Solingen, Germany: the one true birthplace of the world’s greatest blades. This long handled razor is a lighter weight model, weighing in at just over an ounce. It’s one of the closest-shaving razors you’ll find and the quality’s second-to-none. Newbies need to keep in mind that there is a learning curve with this razor, as the safety guard is designed for the closest shave possible and thus a few initial nicks should be expected!
#2.Edwin Jagger DE89bl Chrome Plated Double Edge Safety Razor
This is a very lightweight double edge, manufactured in the UK. Even though it’s lightweight, it’s still one of the highest recommended razors for the quality shave it offers. This Edwin Jagger is made of chrome-plated copper, is a twist open design, and comes packed in an Edwin Jagger signature gift box. This is another ultra-close shaver guys!
#3.Parker 99R Long Handle Heavyweight Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Razor
The Parker 99R weighs in at 3.4 ounces, making it a true heavyweight among double edge safety razors. It’s a butterfly opener with a 4 inch textured-grip handle for comfort and ease-of-use. The guard on the Parker 99R allows you to control the aggressiveness of the shave simply by changing the angle you use.
#4.Merkur Heavy Duty Double Edge Razor
The first Merkur we reviewed is the lightweight variation of this model. This Merkur Heavy duty weighs 3 ounces. It has a short, heavy textured handle that’s the approximate length of an average store bought disposable. As with all Merkur products a super-close shave is a given with this razor!
#5.Weishi 9306-c New Mithril Double Edge Safety Razor
The Weishi 9306-c doesn’t have near the pedigree of the other handles discussed so far. However, it’s got a handy butterfly opening design, looks sharp, and will certainly be resilient against rust being a mithril-plated copper design. It’s also fairly heavy, weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 ounces. The kit comes with 5 free razors and a travel mirror.
#6.Microtouch One Razor Classic Safety Razor
This is another affordable shaver, endorsed by master shaver, Rick Harrison, from TV’s Pawn Stars. It has a short 3.5 inch chrome-plated brass handle, and comes with a chrome stand to show it off. The reviews claim the heft of the blade to be nice, and you won’t find a much cheaper rust-proof setup to start double edge shaving with.
After purchasing your new safety razor, and before you start using it, watch the video linked to below, to give yourself the best possible chance at a reasonably cut-free first shave. Buy yourself some Proraso shaving cream, lotion, or soap – and matching brush. If you really want to do things right, buy yourself an authentic 100% badger hair brush for maximum lather and brush life.
How to Get a Close Shave Using a Safety Razor Without Irritation
For most people today, shaving is about finding a balance between getting a close shave and not having to endure any skin irritation. Unfortunately, for most guys, it’s one or the other. You go for a close shave and you increase the risk of skin irritation. You try to avoid ingrown hair and you may have to settle for a less than smooth shave.
But in reality, it’s possible to learn how to get a close shave using a safety razor without irritation. The process is called wet shaving. You keep the skin throughout the shave with the help of hot (but not scalding) water.
• You should shave right after a hot shower, and try to keep the skin wet at all times while you are shaving. Since you have plenty of water between the skin and the lather, your razor can glide over your skin instead of dragging on it. When the razor drags on the skin, it causes the redness and shave bumps you find so annoying.
• You’ll need the right razor. To get a great shave you cannot use disposable razors. The blades on these razors do not match the quality of cartridge razors, and safety razors (the classic ones with the double edge) are better than both. Today, there are many classic razor designs which use safety razors.
• You will also need a good shaving cream. Pick a high quality shaving cream that is suited to your skin type.
• Then you will need a shaving brush. This is not an affectation. It actually will improve the quality of your shave considerably. Get a good one, such as one made from badger hair, and it will work wonders.
A good shaving brush, when used correctly, provides a richer and thicker lather than when you only use your fingers. Soak the brush in hot water as you fill the sink. Then you swirl the brush on the cream until you get some amount of visible white lather. You then use the brush to spread the lather on the area you will shave.
The brush also exfoliates your skin before you shave, so that there’s nothing that comes between the blade and the hair. Brushing also lifts your whiskers so that they remain standing upright in the lather, and that exposes a longer length of hair for your razor to get at.
• Shave downwards, in the direction of the hair growth. With the tools you’ve gathered, it’s now possible for you to make just one pass on your skin to get a close shave. Making more than one pass increases the chances of skin irritation, and that’s also true for going against the grain.
• Once you’re done, rinse your face with cold water. This closes the pores and prevents bacteria from entering inside your skin. Pat your face dry, and then use a moisturizer or aftershave that doesn’t contain alcohol.
Use a safety razor properly, and you get both a close shave and a skin that’s free from irritation.
Shaving Rash: How to Treat and Prevent It
Most people shave because they want to look clean. That reason applies to men when they shave their face and neck, and for women who shave their armpits, legs, and their pubic area as well. So it’s very annoying that a procedure that’s supposed to result in a more attractive appearance usually ends up with shaving rash. Not only does this rash feel uncomfortable, it really doesn’t look nice as well.
So what’s can you do to prevent shaving rash?
There are two kinds of shaving rashes. One type is called a razor burn, and it is a rather mild skin irritation. The other type is caused by ingrown hairs, and it is also called razor bumps. Either way, the treatment is similar for both types:
• Rinse the rash with cool water. You can then use a mild astringent like witch hazel to treat the rash. Never use men’s aftershave or rubbing alcohol, as these can exacerbate the rash.
• You can also use over the counter medications such as hydrocortisone. You just need to make sure that you follow the instructions on the label.
• If the treatment doesn’t work and the rash never goes away on its own, you may want to consult a dermatologist who can give your prescription medication.
Usually, by avoiding shaving the area of the rash it will get better on its own. But of course, the better option is to prevent any sort of rash in the first place. Here are some tips you can use to reduce the chances of getting a shaving rash:
• Don’t try to get a close shave. You may want to use an electric shaver instead.
• When using a manual razor, always wet the skin and the hair. You want your skin wet so that the razor does not drag on the skin and cause a rash. You also don’t want the razor blade to pull on the hair instead of cutting it.
• Always use a sharp blade. A dull blade is actually more liable to cause nicks that can irritate your skin.
• Always use a clean razor. A dirty razor can irritate your skin, and the same goes for rusty blades.
• Make sure the shaving cream, lotion, and moisturizer you use is right for your skin. People’s skins react differently to various brands and types of lather and moisturizer, so pick those that agrees with your skin.
• When you use shaving cream, give your hair and skin time to absorb the moisture.
• Try to shave in the direction of the skin growth. You should also make only one pass on your skin.
• Don’t forget to exfoliate regularly. This gets rid of dead skin cells which can cause rashes when you shave.
• Wash your face with cold water after you shave. This closes the pores and prevents bacteria from entering.
It is possible to get rid of shaving rash, but it’s always better to use some common sense when you shave.
Never shave dry, always use high quality razors and lotions, and keep your skin clean.