January 12, 2018

5 Best Safety Razors - Reviews of Top Brands for Beginners & Experienced

best safety razor

Most men grow up learning to shave with the plastic disposable razor blade refills that you can find in any store.

However, a recent upswing in all things vintage has brought back a resurgence in men using a single bladed safety razor as part of their morning ritual.

Instead of reaching for the plastic, high tech, vibrating razor with the swivel head and compass in the handle, or your electric shaver even younger gentlemen are opting for the well-crafted alternative.

However, if you are new to safety razors you may not understand why they are superior, and less sure about which one is right for you.

Today we’ll dive into what is a safety razor and why you need one, plus we’ll take a look at the five best safety razors on the market.

Our Top 3 Best Safety Razors - Quick Reviews

What Is a Safety Razor & Its Benefits

Before the safety razor, men relied on the straight razor for shaving. 

In 1880, the Kampfe brothers added a guard along the edge of the steel blade to help protect the skin of the person using the razor. And the safety razor was born.

In 1901 King Gillette improved on the original designs when he patented the disposable blade; and outside from a few basic design improvements, the safety razor has not changed much since then.

So why, then, would anyone prefer to use something designed over 100 years ago? Aside from nostalgia, the safety razor is better for your facial skin and gives better shaves.

best safety razor reviews

Benefits of Safety Razors

Over time, companies that make razor blades were able to stack multiple blades on top
of each other and the technology applied to them has become almost too good. I'm talking about the regular cartridge razors we're all familiar with.

This doesn't sound bad right? WRONG!

According to Dr. Terrance Keaney, a Washington DC dermatologist, the skin is not a smooth surface, shaving with multi blade razors results in "too much shave" - where the blades actually make cuts under the skin. This can cause in grown hairs, razor burn and other problems.

The safety razor solves this problem by giving a close shave without the problems of shaving too close. Additional benefits to using a safety razor are:

Close Shaves

With a safety razor you'll get very close shaves. You can even choose the razor by its aggressiveness level according to your preference, so you get to decide how close your shaves are.

No Irritation

Less pressure applied to the face means there is less chance for irritation or razor burn.

No Ingrown Hairs

You are less likely to develop ingrown hairs caused by multi blade razors pulling the hair up with the first blade and subsequent blades cutting the hair.

Less Expensive

Replacement blades are far less expensive than the plastic multi blade razors. Also, you will wind up using less shaving cream because you will soon find that a safety razor requires just
a bit of lubricant on the skin to do its job.

More Control

You have more control over your shave since more technique is required. Since you are less likely to rush through your shave, you reduce the chance that you find a missed spot later in the day.

benefits of safety razors

How to Shave With a Safety Razor

That last point mentions technique.

When it comes to safety razors, the technique is the most important aspect.

Unlike multiblade disposable razors, you cannot whisk the razor around your face in carefree swipes.

Shaving with a safety razor isn’t as hard as it may seem, and it may be a bit intimidating when you see the blade exposed. However, if you keep two important points in mind:
angle and weight; you will find the technique is easy to master.

First off, don’t over lather your face with cream. Your best bet is to use a good quality 
shaving soap applied to your face with a brush to help lift your whiskers from your face.


You are going to want to set the right angle of the blade to your face.

These razors are designed to move across your face at about a 30-degree angle. 

One trick that most people use is to rest the head of the razor against their face and let the handle drop, slowly, until the blade itself rests against their face. This will usually give you 30 degrees.


Safety razors are not meant to be pulled across your face like the cheap disposable ones are.

Instead, you need to let the weight of the razor guide the blade across your face. You don’t need to apply any pressure; the razor should glide across your whiskers with you controlling its path.

It does help to stretch your skin out to make your face tauter. Most razors have a double-edge to them so when you are rinsing feel free to flip sides to use the other side of the blade.

What to Look for When Buying a Safety Razor

You don’t want to make the mistake of going out and spending your money on any old safety razor. When buying one, you want to make sure that you pick the best safety razor that's right for you. 

Since they are not all made the same, consider some of the following options when choosing.


1. Price

You can go to about any store and find a plastic handled razor for under ten bucks.

Typically, it will come with one replacement blade head and after that, you are stuck spending a lot of money on packs of blades; sometimes over $20 for a pack of 5.

With a safety razor, you are going to spend more up front. A razor handle can cost anywhere from $25 to $200. However, when it comes time to buy blades you are going to see a big difference in cost. Typically, a box of 100 blades will cost you between $10 to $20. (which will last you for at least few months)

Another consideration is the cost of accessories. You can make do with just the handle, but
you may want a nice boar bristle brush to apply shaving soap or a stand to keep your razor upright. These can add to the upfront costs.

How to choose a safety razor for your

2. Usage

When it comes to using your razor, you are going to want to consider two important factors:

  • The Handle
  • The Weight


The handle gives you control on the razor. There are short or long handles.

If you have big hands or want more control over your razor then you may want to look at longer handles. (Although I know of a lot of men with big hands that like short handle razors, so don't get too stressed about it)

Shorter handles give you less area for your fingers, so you want to be sure that you are comfortable guiding the blade before you move to one of these unless you have small hands and the longer handle feels too awkward.

At the end, it's a matter of preference, choose whatever you find comfortable.


Safety razors typically come in either classic or heavy duty weights and weights vary among the different manufacturers. Commonly, people feel that heavier razors are easier to control for clean shaves while lighter razors help shave around facial hair.

3. The Razor's Head

When it comes to the head of the razor there are different options:

Single Edge or Double Edge (DE)

In a single edge, only one side of the blade is exposed where both sides are exposed in a double-edged, these are known as DE safety razors. It's a matter of preference, but double edge razors are the most popular ones and are recommended for beginners

safety razors buying guide

Adjustable or Fixed Blade

Most razors you find will have a fixed blade. However, some manufacturers allow you to
adjust the amount of blade exposed. These should only be used by people experienced 
with safety razors. This is how you can actually set the razor's aggressiveness. 

Open Comb or Safety Bar

With the open comb style the razor blade is exposed and a set of teeth that looks like a comb, helps guide the whiskers into the blade. Those more experienced with a safety razor generally prefer this type.

Beginners often stick with the safety bar option to keep that piece of metal between their face and the blade as they better learn to control their razor. More on open/closed comb here.

Twist to Open (aka Butterfly)

The twist to open or butterfly razor is a design that allows to use a knob at the handle to open the head and replace the blades. The butterfly razor is one piece razor, you will often hear about 2 or 3 piece razors, where you need to screw out the heard to replace the blades. These are usually also referred as closed head razors.

Usually the butterfly razors don't last as long as other razors because of the moving parts - but you can definitely expect them to last for at least a few years!

The double edge razor in the image above is a butterfly one.

4. Shave Quality / Smoothness

Different razors will give a different experience based on skin type, beard type and the type of razor itself. This can be a hard thing to discover because you likely won’t have all the razors available to you to test out on your own.

To see what type of razor will give you the best shave for you make sure to read up on what others have to say. However, make sure that you read reviews that match your personal choices as well as your skin, face, and beard.

5. Quality and Reliability

Safety razors are often more durable than their plastic counterparts, but that’s not to say that there are some brands that don’t quite measure up to the others.

Look for razors that offer a warranty; there are a lot of moving parts that can break on a cheaply made product. Those that come with a warranty are often solid brands that are more reliable.

See what other people have to say about the individual razors. You may be surprised that an expensive razor doesn’t hold up or perform as well as a mid-range one.

As a general thumb rule, a decent safety razor will last you for years. So don't worry about it too much.

5 Best Safety Razors Reviews

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  • Type: Double Edge
  • Handle: Short (3.5 inches)
  • 3 Piece


  • Superior construction
  • Easy to grip & handle
  • Precision alignment for head assembly making blade replacement easy
  • Long lasting


  • Expensive


This razor is clearly one of the top of the line models. 
It's well constructed and made from stainless steel which means that this razor won't break anytime soon. You can expect it to last for years and years.

Together with the razor you'll get 5 Feather blades, which are extremely sharp. I also recommend to buy feather blades that will work best with this razor. 

This razor is going to give one of the best shaves you have ever experienced.


This razor is not very aggressive, which makes it easy to use and won't take long to get used to. The non slip handle size is great and makes it easy to control the razor.

If you get the blade angle correct and allow the razor to do its job without forcing or fighting it, you are going to get a smooth, close mild shave. 


Solid construction makes this an ideal razor for the rigors of daily shaving, paired with the right blade for your skin type and you're not going to be dissatisfied.

Its mild aggressiveness makes it very good for beginners, more experienced shavers may feel that it's not aggressive enough. Nonetheless it will be an amazing razor for everyone.


Overall, the Feather double edge is a fine instrument and it's one of the best double edge safety razors. The cost may turn off most beginners who are only looking to save money with a safety razor. It is the perfect razor for those who truly enjoy wet shaving and want to use high quality tools.


  • Type: Double Edge
  • Handle: Medium (3.7 inches)
  • Butterfly


  • High quality materials
  • Very good price
  • Great for beginners
  • Good for women as well
  • Very easy to replace blades


  • The blades that come with the razor don't last very long
  • If you're experienced you might want to try a different razor


Vikings blade has been around since 1985, and they've built a great reputation for them selves. They are very focused on high quality shaving products so it's not surprising the Chieftain safety razor is very well built.

The razor is made from high quality Swedish material and steel. The build and finish really look and feel good.

The Chieftain comes in a nice travel case that has a mirror in it, you also get 5 blades that give you  an excellent shave and are very friendly and forgiving to beginners.


The length and weight of this razor are perfect, which makes the strokes effortless. The butterfly design makes it very easy to replace the blade, 5 seconds and you're done!

The guys at Vikings Blade really made it easy for beginners and seems like they thought about everything.

They've added micro comb system to prevent accidental cuts, actually these are very tiny lines in the razor's head that hides the blade just a bit, to prevent you from cutting yourself.

The blades that come with the razor have a special coating to make it easy for beginners, you can really feel that these blades are much more forgiving. Nonetheless the shave with this razor and blades is great, even the second pass still feels great.


This razor is the best safety razor for beginners. It ticks all the boxes for a beginner and if you're just starting out your wet shaving journey, this might be the perfect razor for you.

Women can enjoy this razor as well, it's not very aggressive and can be great for leg shaving.


For the price tag and quality Vikings Blade safety razor is a great choice, I don't think you'll regret getting that razor. It will last for years and you get a life time warranty.


  • Type: Double Edge
  • Handle: Medium (3.8 inch)
  • 2 Piece


  • Extremely well balanced to make shaving easy
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Well respected brand name


  • Delicate parts that can snap if over tightened
  • Three-part design can make blade replacement difficult for beginners


The DE 89 price falls between $30 to $40. The chrome finish makes it feel great when holding it. While it is well-crafted, some of its components are subject to breakage if you are not careful when replacing the blades. Most damage comes from dropping the razor or over-tightening the screws.

Overall it's a great razor for a great price. Especially for beginners.


This razor provides a very close shave for all skin types and is great for those with sensitive skin.

It is not a heavy razor; however, it is extremely well-balanced making it easy to control and glide across your skin. You'll get a close shave with this one although it's not very aggressive which is another factor that makes it great for beginners.


Designed for both new and experienced shavers alike, it is a razor that you can start with and once you master your technique, grow with. If you have a sensitive skin this razor might be a great choice.


The DE89 is a good all-around razor that is extremely versatile. It is the perfect model for someone who is looking to get a great close shave and not break the bank.


  • Type: Double Edge
  • Handle: Long (4 inches)
  • Butterfly


  • Long handle provides plenty of area to hold the razor
  • Handcrafted
  • Heavier weight makes it easy to learn with


  • Their butterfly design may shorten the life of the razor


Crafted from brass and chrome plated, the razor is built for durability. It's not recommended for beginners because it's a pretty aggressive razor.

It has a butterfly head, long handle and it's quite heavy. You should expect this razor to last for at least a few years, which makes it a great value for the price. Together with the razor you'll also get a set of 5 blades. Not Bad!


This Parker has a long handle and it's quite heavy. The long non slip handle has a great grip and you can handle and maneuver the razor easily.

It has a butterfly head, which makes it very easy to replace blades (just turn and replace).

As mentioned before this razor is pretty aggressive, but it's weight makes this aggressiveness much more manageable.


I wouldn't recommend this razor for beginners because it's an aggressive razor. If you have some experience with safety razors, the 99R can be a great addition to your arsenal. 


If you want a cheap aggressive razor that will give you close shaves for a cheap price you've found the perfect safety razor for you, the butterfly design will make it easy to replace blades.

A quality safety razor and 5 blades you get with the razor makes it a great value for the price.


  • Type: Double Edge
  • Handle: Long (4 inches)
  • 3 Piece


  • Large handle for easy grip
  • Well-balanced
  • Easy to control



Priced at about 30 USD this razor also comes with a 2-year warranty. Made in Germany, this razor is a three-piece design with an open comb head that helps protect your skin while still giving you the closeness of a comb styled razor.


This razor was made to provide a close shave without having to run the blade aggressively down your face. Expect smooth draws across your whiskers without having to make multiple passes.


Made for the novice to safety razors, this razor is built to handle all skin types. Women have even found this razor to come in handy because of its ease of use and level of comfort.


For the price, it is hard to find a better-quality razor. Especially for those new to safety razors. You could go out and buy a cheaper brand if you are looking to give this a try, but the experience you get from a Merkur razor will show you what using a safety razor is all about.

Wrapping Up

Making the jump to a safety razor may seem a bit intimidating at first. Once you learn how to shave with one, and you get the best safety razor for your skin and beard type, you will be hard-pressed to ever go back to the plastic disposable kind again.


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