Now that you’ve decided to begin a traditional wet shaving routine, you need to wade through the plethora of razor options available. From size, number of pieces, level of aggressiveness and more, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing the perfect razor for you.
TWO-PIECE VS. THREE-PIECE VS. BUTTERFLY
Safety razors are constructed in three standard designs, each offering a different method to clean and replace blades. Two-piece safety razors have a removable top plate that screws into the handle. The cutting head holds the blade, making it easier to align and secure the blade in place.
A three-piece razor is a more traditional design, with the three separate pieces being the top and bottom of the razor head, and the handle. These razors make it a bit more difficult to replace the blade, but are easier to clean and maintain over time.
A butterfly, or twist-to-open razor, are the most modern design with no removable parts. To open, a simple twist of the knob at the end of the handle opens the razor head for super easy blade removal. Since this design is more mechanical and includes hinges and other moving parts that can trap build up of hair and shaving cream, cleaning and maintenance over time is more difficult. Considered the easiest to operate, the butterfly design is very popular among wet shavers.
There are three standard razor head designs, and your decision between them has much to do with how aggressive you want your shave, as some are better than others at tackling coarse beards. An open comb razor is lined with teeth that comb through the hair as it cuts. These heads are considered to be quite aggressive, so they are recommended for tougher hair, and not necessarily recommended if you have sensitive skin. Open comb razors are also more fragile, as teeth can break off if dropped. So if you are particularly clumsy, you may want to avoid using an open comb.
Closed comb gives a gentler shave, and provides more protection against nicks and cuts. The safety bar adds a barrier between the blade and your skin, making this razor a good choice if your skin is particularly sensitive.
Slant bar razors have a very unique design, with their slanted blade guard slicing through facial hair as opposed to pulling. Similar in design to a guillotine, the angled bar is built to tackle the toughest facial hair. Despite its unique design, a slant bar razor is handled in the same way as any other safety razor, and doesn’t require any special techniques. Still, this is not a razor for the faint of heart, and is recommended for more advanced shavers.
ADJUSTABLE SAFETY RAZORS
With an adjustable safety razor, you are able to adjust the blade gap to tailor the level of aggressiveness to your skin type and hair density. If your beard look tends to vary and you don’t want to commit to a razor designed for any one hair length, an adjustable razor is ideal!
LENGTHS, WEIGHTS AND FINISHES
Safety razors come in a variety of handle lengths, weights and finishes, each of which contributes to the razors maneuverability. Some shavers prefer an extra-long handle that fits comfortably in hand, while others prefer a shorter handle for more precise movements. Heavier weighted razors allow you to reduce the amount of pressure applied to your skin, as the weight itself will drag the razor. If you prefer more control, a lighter razor may be for you.
Handles can come in a wide range of shapes and finishes, including chrome-plated knurled handles, smooth, curved handles made of faux porcelain, and everything in between! Stainless steel, chrome or gold-plated are the most popular finishes.
Your choice of length, weight and finish is one that comes down to personal preference. If the razor feels comfortable in your hand, and maneuvers the way you want, that’s your perfect tool!
Overall, it can certainly be overwhelming to choose a safety razor when there are so many options available. It may take some time to discover what your ideal shave entails, but once you discover what type of razor is for you, you’ll be amazed at how much it improves your shaving experience!
Browse our entire selection of safety razors here!