Men’s razors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but choosing the right one for you makes all the difference when it comes to achieving that smooth, comfortable and enjoyable shave. So what is the best razor and what do you need to look for to find it?
How To Find The Best Razor
The best razor for you is unlikely to be the same as the best for the man that sits next to you. There are loads of factors that impact comfort and smoothness, from the thickness of your hair to personal preference and shaving technique. Think about each of these categories below to help you find the best razor for your hair, skin and shave.
Type of Razor
The style of razor is a really important decision. In recent years, the double edge safety razor has seen a huge increase in popularity but many men still opt for the easy-to-use cartridge razor. Some people prefer to go electric for a fast, dry shave…
Double edge safety razors
These are a traditional form of razor that your granddad would have used, but they’ve seen a big comeback in recent years. The safety razor has a single blade at 90 degrees to the handle, which means that you have to hold the razor at the right angle -- unlike cartridge where the blades are already angled. It provides a much closer shave than most cartridge razors.
It also has the advantage of being much more environmentally friendly and cost effective. The razor doesn’t need replacing, only the blades, which can be recycled and bought at very low prices.
Best for: New through to experienced shavers; those who want a very close shave and are willing to spend a little extra time learning the correct technique to prevent nicks.
Cartridge razors include Gillette, as one of the leading designs, and feature multiple blades held at the correct angle for shaving. They usually also have a moisturising or similar strip so you know when the razor head (or whole razor, depending on the type) needs replacing.
Best for: New to experienced shavers; those who want an easy shave without worrying about technique.
These are the kings of shaving tradition. A single blade that needs honing and stropping, they take a lot of learning to get the technique right, but produce one of the closest shaves once you’ve got it.
Best for: Experienced shavers; those who want to spend time perfecting technique.
Electric shavers are used in dry shaving and therefore cut down on the time you spend shaving. Some men find they reduce irritation because they cut hair above the skin rather than underneath -- as cartridge and safety razors do -- but this does mean hair grows back quicker than with other razors.
Best for: New to experienced shavers; those who are often in a rush and want to cut down on time spent shaving; people who prefer dry shaving.
Your Hair Type
Your hair type makes a difference to the kind of razor that would work best for you.
The best razor for thick hair is one that’s a bit more aggressive. Depending on how thick your hair is, you might want to opt for an open comb safety razor -- especially if you’ve used closed comb before -- such as the Muhle R41. You could try any kind of safety razor, but pair it with some particularly sharp blades, such as Feather.
If your hair grows back quickly, you’ll want to opt for a razor that produces a very close shave and cuts the hair below the surface of the skin, either a cartridge or, even better, a safety razor. The closer your shave, the longer the smoothness will last with your quick growing hair.
If you have fine hair, you should find that most razors are appropriate. You’ll likely want to opt for a less aggressive razor to minimise the risk of cuts and nicks, such as a closed comb safety razor, for example, or a cartridge.
Your Shaving Priorities
It will also depend on your priorities as to what kind of razor will work best for you.
If you’re very busy, you might prioritise getting your shave done quickly so you can get on with the rest of your day. In which case, an electric shaver might be the best choice. You don’t need to prepare a sink of water, your shaving soap and brush, but can quickly shave away your stubble even on the move.
If ease of shaving is important to you, then some razors take less practise to use than others. Both cartridges and electric shavers are very intuitive, while safety razors can take a few tries to get accustomed to. Straight razors take by far the most amount of practise to perfect!
If you’re concerned about the environment, you might want to avoid cartridge razors and instead opt for a double edge safety razor. They last for decades and don’t contain any plastic. The razor blade will need replacing periodically, but these can be recycled.
It could be that the feel of the shave is the most important thing to you. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience then swap the cartridge or electric shaver for a double edge safety razor, or even a straight razor. These razors force you to slow down and enjoy the shaving experience.
So what’s the best razor? It all depends on your specific needs and requirements. Safety razors are one of the best choices for a range of different needs, but many men prefer the familiarity of a cartridge or the ease of an electric shaver.