Buying Guide: Best Safety Razor Models and Features
The mirror is a sacred place, a chance for us to admire ourselves and prepare mentally for the day that is to come. A lot of us are in a hurry, we want to get in, get out, no nonsense. That is what electric shavers are for. However, sometimes its nice to slow down, relax, and take care of the man underneath.
Safety razors are for men, who want to get the closest shave possible without resorting to straight razors(dangerous!). They are a bit traditional, but that is the point. Its our time to pamper ourselves in what little ways we can, and getting our perfect shave on is one of the ways in which can do that. Nothing looks sexier than a freshly shaved man with a chiseled jaw. Yet, finding the best safety razor can be a huge task, if you don’t know what to look for. We’ve gone ahead and found the best safety razors that are on the market. We’ve also included a list of recommendations and attributes to look for, to make life that much easier for you. We are sure you’ll appreciate the hard work we’ve put into this!
Top 5 Models
Taking our top spot is the Merkur 38, also known as the “Barber Pole” Long Safety Razor. It has two different styles, hd and c, with HD being “heavy duty” and C being lighter and having an open comb. This is a finely built and popular razor, from one of the best companies in this line of work, Merkur. Some of the great features that you will notice on this item, are its firm grip(very important when holding a razor), 3 ¾ inch handle, and its sturdy core.
This particular blade features a closed comb, which means it is going to give you a very close shave and you should use it often. These kinds of razors take a lot more skill to master, so if you are looking for a very similar type, go with the 38C, which is an open comb and you can use with thicker stubble.
The design is great, and it is well built. In order to replace the blade, you have to unscrew the top and insert it, so it is pretty easy yet still sturdy. All of the models in our top 5 are great, but this one gets a slight edge because it simply shaves better. If we are being very nitpicky, the price could be a bit lower, but its not outrageous considering it’s the top safety razor on the market.
Edwin Jagger De89bl
The Edwin Jagger De89bl, overall, is very close to the top Merkur model, and that is because it is helped along significantly by its entry level price point. Where this razor lacks is its construction and its cumbersome razor replacement setup. Although DE razors aren’t often replaced, it should still be easier to replace than the 3 piece locking mechanism.
Merkur Heavy Duty 34
Merkur’s Heavy Duty razors are different from their counterparts, in their long handles. Its almost a misnomer, because they look smaller, but they are actually heavier. The construction is almost entirely the same, except these particular razors come with shorter handles. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because longer handles can make it harder to reach tight areas of your face, so it is mainly just personal preference.
Edwin Jagger De86bl
Edwin Jaggers 86bl, just like the Merkur HD 34, comes with a short handle. Some people may find this annoying, but once you’ve mastered shaving you’ll understand that a shorter handle means more room to maneuver and make that perfect shave. The price point is excellent because it is an older generation model, our only complaint is that the guard is close to the razor that it is difficult to shave. This is good if you are just starting out with safety razors, but if you’re a chiseled veteran, it can be annoyting.
Parker 99R Heavyweight
Coming in with the last spot on our best safety razors list, is the Parker 99R. Parker has unique blades called “Sharks”, which they taut as the best on the market, although we see little difference between the Merkurs, Jaggers, and Parkers, they are all excellent quality blades. They have a Twist-to-Open design which makes blade replacement a cinch compared to the Jaggers, and they have a nice entry level price. It’s a fantastic razor, and all of our top safety razors come down to preference. What we don’t like, is the long handle, at 4” this is designed for people with larger hands. It’s also a very tight shave, so the first two or three times that you use it, you may nick your face!
Advantages of Going Traditional
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many advantages to using a safety razor, beyond just the fact that it looks cool and its something neat to try. Why else would people actually be reverting back nearly 100 years, to a more cumbersome and less refined methods of shaving? Believe me though, these are definitely worth it.
Shave: Without a doubt, the number one reason why people go with safety razors, as opposed to disposable models, is that it gives an incredibly close shave that cannot be replicated with conventional methods of shaving.If you have a fast growing beard, you’ll know exactly what I mean, as you probably have to shave at least once daily in order to keep your stubble at bay. Traditional methods however will greatly reduce the time between cuts.
Also, if you’ve been paying attention to television, you may have noticed that most of the more expensive razors which are being marketed today have two, or even three blades on each neck. This method is designed to pull up hair and cut beneath the surface layer, giving a very close shave. The problem with this method however is that the guard still prevents the blades from hitting every whisker, and the hair that does manage to get pulled up, is actually a bad thing, as it creates in grown hair. You are basically pushing your hair follicles up, and then grinding them down into your skin, creating horrible skin conditions and potential acne problems.
Cost: Another huge advantage of using a traditional safety razor, is the cost. If your using a high quality disposable razor today, and are being very conservative with how often you use it, lets say you go through one cartridge a week, shaving three times a week. That is the cheap route, and will still probably cost you about $5 a refill. Safety blades however are extremely cheap, especially the double edged variety(de blades are the most prominent ones). Each of these costs you about 20 to 30 cents on average for a new blade, so if you use each side once, and shave every day, you are looking at about a dollar a week or less.
Therapeutic: Its been proven that men who use about twenty or thirty minutes of quality time to themselves each day, are much more relaxed, productive, and develop less stress. If you treat wet shaving as more than a means to an end, but as a nice solace for you to reflect on your day, it will pay you with some serious meditative benefits.