So you finally decided to ditch your cheap plastic cartridge razor for a manly, money-saving safety razor made of steel, but you’re not sure which razor to get? Use the table below to browse the best safety razors and find the ultimate razor that’s right for you. Click the the column labels to sort the table. All razor images are to scale. Razor weight, length and handle diameters are in grams and millimeters. Imperial measurements and more models coming soon.
|Razor Make - Model||Price||Length||Weight||Handle|
Safety Razor Edge Type
The edge type refers to the blade of the razor. When you buy a razor, there are two edge types to choose from: double edge and single edge.
Double Edge Safety Razors
A doubled-edge razor has sharp edges along two sides. The vast majority of safety razors are double edged. When shaving with a double-edged razor, you should alternate sides to wear the edges evenly.
So far, I’m only indexing double-edge razors in the safety razor comparison chart above, and they will be the primary focus of this site.
Single Edge Safety Razors
As the name implies, single-edge safety razors have only one sharp edge. These blades are rare compared to the double edge. Single-edge blades are often thicker, giving a more aggressive shave, and more skill and caution is required when shaving with single-edge blades. Some people say the single-edge is the next best thing to a straight razor, while others say they can’t tell the difference. With prices starting at over $200, however, it will be a while before I get my hands on one of these sleek single-edge safety razors.
Closed Comb vs Open Comb vs Slant
Safety razor heads come in three flavors: open comb, closed comb and slant bar. The open comb has teeth, like a comb, along the edges. The closed comb can be smooth or it might have ridges that resemble teeth, but it doesn’t have teeth with gaps between each tooth like the open comb does. The slant-bar razor has a slightly curved and twisted head.
Closed Comb Safety Razors
Closed Comb Safety Razors are the most common design, offering efficient and comfortable shaves. They are also called straight bar razors or safety bar razors. Popular closed comb razor models include the Merkur 34C, Muhle R89 and Edwin Jagger DE89L as they are universally praised for their quality craftsmanship and ease of use.
Closed combs are popular because of these key characteristics:
- They provide less aggressive shaves.
- The skin stretches across bar, providing a safer shave.
- Use for daily shaves rather than longer growth.
- Easier on sensitive skin.
- Many models to choose from.
Open Comb Safety Razors
Open comb razors have three characteristics that differentiate themselves from closed combs:
- More aggressive shave. This is typically true, but not always.
- Teeth allow more lather to remain on the face.
- Teeth prevent the razor from clogging when shaving longer whiskers.
- Better at lifting hair, resulting in a closer shave.
Modern open comb razors are now milder and more forgiving than in the past. Other factors that affect the aggressiveness of your shave include the blade you use, the blade gap and blade exposure.
Slant-bar razors may look like the result of the latest high-tech ergonomic research, but in fact the slant-bar razor was patented in 1915. The slanted blade cuts across the whiskers at an angle, removing stubble more easily and efficiently than standard models. Slant razors have a greatly reduced cutting resistance and require far less pressure than other razor models. Therefore, you should only consider using a slant razor after you’ve gained considerable experience with a standard double-edged razor. When you’re ready to try one however, you’ll find the closeness and sensitivity of the shave rewarding.
The length and weight of the handle play an important role in the balance of your razor. In fact, the main reason I created this site was so I could compare razor sizes and handle lengths visually, to scale, across multiple brands.
Some people prefer short handles because they feel it’s easier to control and balance. Others prefer short handles simply because they
have tiny girly hands travel a lot and want to conserve space. You might consider a long handle if you have large hands, but really it’s just a matter of personal preference. I mean, this guy uses a short handle, and he looks like he could pummel a bear. Personally, I prefer the long handle of the Merkur 23C because it resembles the dimensions of the cartridge razors that I used for the first 30 years of my shaving-life.
The weight, and the distribution of the weight, is also an important factor that you should consider when choosing your safety razor. Compared to cartridge razors, which are made of plastic and mostly garbage, safety razors are heavy. In fact, when shaving with a safety razor, you let the weight of the razor do the shaving for you. Do not mash the razor into your face, as you may be accustomed to doing when shaving with a cartridge razor. With a safety razor, you do not have to apply extra pressure on your manly, chiseled face.
If your razor is too light, you might apply more pressure than is necessary when shaving, increasing the chance of cutting yourself. Conversely, if the razor is too heavy, it could throw off your balance, which could also cause you to use undue pressure and increase the likelihood of cutting your handsome features. Like handle length, razor weight is a matter of personal preference, which you will develop over time as you experiment with different razor weights and sizes.