Are Safety Razors Better Than Disposable Razors?

Are Safety Razors Better Than Disposable Razors?

Safety razors have been around since 1762 and are still popular. Safety razors and disposable razors both can produce a close shave with comfort. But the safety razor requires more skill.

Shaving with a safety razor is a whole experience; shaving soap, badger brush, ceramic shaving cup and that wonderful smell. It’s not just a shave.

I have used both types of razors. They both are sharp and can produce a very close shave. Disposable razors are easier to use. The safety razor requires some skill to get the blade angle correct.

Razor Construction – Safety vs Disposable

Safety Razors – these can be works of art or very plain. They come in different colors and textures from silver to gold to patina and even black. Safety razors are well made and pretty heavy for their size. Most are all metal and mainly stainless steel. The handles are knurled to provide a non-slip grip. They hold one double edge razor steel blade. Razor steel is much sharper than regular steel.

Once you buy a good safety razor, like a Merkur 34C, you never have to buy another. They will last hundreds of years if maintained. Just don’t let it rust.

Disposable Razors – disposable razors can be very cheap plastic single blade or high tech 5 blade, complex and somewhat expensive. The better ones have a very ergonomically design handle that gives you great control and is very comfortable to hold. They have a rubber-like texture that feels great in your hands and is non-slip even with shaving gel and water on it.

Razor Blades – Safety vs Disposable

Safety Razors – the double edge blades that fit safety razors are made from special “razor” steel and are sharper than other steels. You can get about 20+ shaves from a single blade, as long as you don’t let it rust. Keep it dry and it will stay sharp and last a long time. Double edge razor blades are very inexpensive though. Some are as cheap as $0.15 each or as expensive as $1.00 each like Merkur. You get what you pay for. I buy Merkur. They are made in the Czech Republic.

Disposable Razors – disposable razors can have 1 blade to as many as 5 blades. More blades is not always better. You need to try various razors to figure out which ones shave the best for you. Generally speaking, 2 blades shave better than a single blade but 5 blades is not necessarily better than 2. I prefer 3 blades.

The blades can be made from stainless steel, stronger than steel materials and flexible steel. Some are titanium in construction and some are chromium coated. This reduces wear and prevents rust, making the blades last longer.

Here are my favorite disposable razors.

Best 2 blade razor – Gillette Sensor 2 Plus
Best 3 Blade Razor – Gillette Mach 3 and BIC Flex 3
Best 4 Blade Razor – BIC Flex 4
Best 5 Blade Razor – BIC Flex 5

Razor Head –┬áSafety vs Disposable

Safety Razor – safety razors have a steel rigid head that is polished smooth for maximum friction reduction. The head does not move or pivot, so you need to know how to move/hold the razor while shaving around facial contours like the jawline and chin. It can be pretty tricky.

Disposable Razor – The blade head is pivoting to allow the head to follow the contours of your face especially around the jawline and chin without nicking. There is a lubrication strip on the top of the razor head and a skin guard strip on the bottom. The lubrication strip applies lubrication while you shave, providing a smooth and close shave. The skin guard pulls your skin tight to ensure a close shave and prevent nicks.

Safety razors do not have these 2 features.

Razor Longevity –┬áSafety vs Disposable

Safety Razor – the safety razor itself can last forever. It’s heavy duty and made from steel. It will not wear out or break. The double edge blades however do get dull and rust. Once you buy a good safety razor, you will never have to buy another but you will always need to buy the blades. So it is similar to a disposable razor. Double edge blades are much cheaper than disposable razors though. Good double edge razor blades can last 10-20 shaves.

Disposable Razor – disposable razors can last for 30+ shaves if you take care of them correctly. You will only need to replace them when they become dull. The lubrication strip will wear out at some point and you will want to replace the razor then. I have had some razors that had worn out lubrication strips. They don’t slide as well but still shaved close. I think the lubrication strips wear out at about 30 shaves.

Razor Cost –┬áSafety vs Disposable

Safety Razor – a good safety razor like a Viking or Merkur can cost from $30-$60 for the razor itself and then blades can cost from $0.15 to $1.00 each. So, each shave after the initial razor investment, will cost whatever the double edge blades cost. I buy Merkur platinum coated blades which are about $1.00 each. But there are good double edge blades for $0.25 – $0.50 each.

Average Cost – $0.40 per blade divided by 20 shaves. The cost per shave would be about $0.02. That’s really cheap.

Disposable Razor – the cost of disposable razors can range from $0.50 to $4.00 each. You will most likely get 20 shaves from a single razor. You can get a really good disposable razor for $2.00. This will put the per shave cost at $0.10. This is more than the cost of using a safety razor.

Safety vs Disposable Shave

I have a Merkur 34C safety razor and disposable razors too. I use both. Both types of razors will give a close shave that is equal. However, for me, it is much easier to use the disposable razor. My favorite disposable razors are the Gillette Mach 3 and the BIC Flex 3. The handles are Awesome! They feel really nice in my hand. They are just so easy to use and shave smoothly with little effort.

The safety razor takes some skill to shave around the jawline, neck and chin. I have to really take my time and be careful. You have to hold a safety razor at the right angle too. The disposable razor allows you to just go.

The thing I like about the safety razor is the process. Lathering up the shaving soap with a badger hair brush and brushing it on my face. The smell of the soap makes it a really neat experience. It smells great and the soap leaves your skin clean and fresh. I like the mechanics of the safety razor. It’s a machined instrument and I’m mechanically wired. Safety razors also have a lot of history, which is cool too.