Are Safety Razors Good?
Safety razors can shave as close as any disposable razor or straight razor. Disposable razors may have 3, 4 or 5 blades but don’t always shave as well as a good safety razor with a quality blade. Quality is what counts when shaving.
Safety Razor Benefits
Safety razors have been around for over 70 years and the exact same design exists today. Safety razors have been around this long because they work very well.
- Long Life
- Customized shave
- Variety of razor designs to suit personal taste
- Low cost per shave
- Simple and reliable
- Very close shave
- Very little waste
- No plastic
Safety Razor Construction
Safety razors are made of stainless steel, brass or aluminum. These metallic materials make the safety razor last a lifetime. You never have to replace one because it has worn out. The only maintenance item with safety razors is the double edge razor blade. A double edge razor blade can last 5-10 shaves before it needs to be replaced.
Most safety razors are a 3 piece design consisting of the handle, base plate and a top plate. The top plate has a threaded stud that goes through the base plate and screws into the handle. The double edge razor blade goes in between the top plate and the base plate. It’s a very simple design and is extremely durable and reliable. The top plate and base plate are heavy duty metal and are practically indestructible.
Most safety razors are chromium plated to prevent corrosion and enhance it’s ability to slide over skin. It also enhances the appearance of the razor. Everyone likes something shiny. Chromium is also extremely hard and wear resistant.
Safety razor handles can be many shapes and sizes from long and thin to short and thick. Some are contoured, ringed, oblong and knurled. There are hundreds of different handle designs. Some are coated with other materials like ebony, carbon fiber or colored plastic.
You can select a safety razor that fits your personality. Or buy several and have some variety. I have 6 safety razors that I currently use.
Safety Razor Design – customize your shave
There are basically 3 types of safety razors, closed comb, open comb and adjustable comb. These 3 types address how aggressive the razor cuts hair.
Closed Comb Safety Razor
A closed comb safety razor is the ideal razor for beginners because it has a minimal amount of blade exposure or gap. Closed comb razors are the least aggressive and are actually mild cutters. The blade gap is very small which means there is more metal to protect skin from getting cut. The closed comb base plate has a safety steel bar under the blade to pull your skin tight which prevents nicks and cuts. It also makes the hair stand up and therefore easier to cut.
If you shave everyday then you might want to consider a closed comb safety razor. Hair does not grow much in 24 hours and so you may not need an aggressive razor like an open comb. Most everyday shavers use a closed comb safety razor.
Open Comb Safety Razor
An open comb safety razor has a larger blade gap and a slightly different base plate design. This larger gap and the tooth base plate design allow the hair to be guided over the blade. The larger blade gap facilitates cutting longer or curly hair easier. The larger blade gap will also resist clogging from hair and shaving soap or cream. Since the open comb base plate allows more blade exposure, care must be taken to prevent cuts.
Adjustable Comb Safety Razor
Adjustable comb safety razors come in 2 different styles, multiple base plates and a true adjustable comb via screw settings. These are great because it gives you more options. You can try various settings to see the effect on the shave. Change the setting until you find the one that gives you a perfect shave.
I have a Parker 69CR adjustable safety razor. It has 2 base plates, a closed comb and an open comb. I prefer the closed comb because I shave everyday and do not need an aggressive shave. The Parker 69CR is a fantastic safety razor. You can see it in the above photo on the right hand side.
Safety Razor Double Edge Blades
Safety razors are very economical since you only need to buy blades instead of an entire razor like disposables. There are many brands of double edge razor blades. They all pretty much cut a little different. So buy a variety pack and try them. When you find one that cuts without any sensation and without nicks, stick with it. I have found that Feather Hi-Stainless and Astra double edge razor blades work best for me. Here is my review on double edge razor blades.
Safety Razor Longevity
If you are eco-friendly minded then you will want to use a safety razor. There is minimal waste and no plastic. The only waste is the stainless steel blades which can be recycled and are biodegradable. No toxic crap.
The safety razor itself will last an entire lifetime or more. They are made from heavy duty metal and will never wear out. You only have to buy one.
Disposable razors accumulate in the landfills. They are mostly plastic which is not biodegradable. You have to throw one away every 10 shaves or so. Seems like a lot of waste. And they are not cheap.
Safety Razor Cost
There is only one shaving method that is cheaper than using a safety razor and that is using a straight razor. Most straight razors only need to be sharpened periodically. If you sharpen it yourself then there is no maintenance cost.
Safety razors only require the replacement of the double edge razor blades after you buy the razor. The safety razor itself will last for 100 years and still not be worn out. The double edge razor blades cost between 10 cents and $1.00 per blade. The blades can last for 10+ shaves.
A good safety razor like the Edwin Jagger DE89 or the Parker 69CR cost about $40.00. After that investment, you only need to buy blades. Using a safety razor will reduce your shaving cost to pennies per shave. Plus you’re not adding plastic to the landfills.
I really enjoy shaving with a safety razor. It’s a slower more complicated process but much more enjoyable. I enjoy creating a rich lather with a fragrant shaving soap. Your skin feels and smells great all day. I like to take my time when shaving. It gives me more time to enjoy the clean soap aroma. I also like NOT using plastic.