The right razor can make all the difference between looking tidy and trimmed or sloppy and sloppy. Using a cartridge razor is a method most men learn first (and tend to stick with), especially since replacement blades are available almost anywhere.
An electric razor is efficient and quick. Safety razors have been around since more than a century ago, but their recent emergence is due to the closer shave they provide – plus, they’re more eco-friendly and economical.
Also available are straight razors, which are typically the domain of professionals, but may also appeal to passionate shavers who want more control. Since so many brands make different models of the same type of razor, it can be even more confusing to choose one.
Our editors surveyed 17 men’s grooming experts – more than half were barbers – about their favorite razors and combed through our archives to find other worthy options recommended to us before. There is a razor (below) for pretty much everyone, including cartridge, electric, and safety razors, as well as hybrid razors and razors for sensitive skin.
Top 5 Bestseller Razor
No matter which type of razor you choose, Tony DeAngelis, a co-owner of Blue&Black barbershop in Carroll Gardens, says two other factors are crucial for a good shave: heat and stretching the skin.
His explanation is that “heat, whether from running the shower or the sink, allows hair to come off more easily, which means less irritation. As you stretch the skin while you shave, you create a smoother surface for the blade to glide over, reducing chances of nicks and scratches.”
Top 10 Best Razor Reviews
Merkur 34C Heavy-Duty Short Handle Safety Razor
- Extra thick handle
- Reliable grip
- Made in Germany
- Allows for a close, comfortable shave
Even though cartridge razors may be ubiquitous, our experts say a safety razor is actually the best. The safety razor only has one blade – more blades don’t necessarily mean a better shave, and multi-blade cartridges can result in ingrown hairs and razor burn. Chad Beightol, owner of the men’s-grooming store Consigliere in New York City, says the safety razor is the best option.
The experts admit that, at first, using a safety razor won’t be quite as smooth as shaving with a Gilette or Shick (and if you want to stick with those cartridge razors, there are some on this list). Once they get the hang of it, most people convert quickly.
“Using a safety razor is all about holding the handle at the right angle,” explains Patrick Butler, technical director of education and operations at Floyd’s 99 Barbershop. He adds that a safety razor needs to be guided by your own hand, unlike a cartridge razor that pivots easily. You’ll have to be careful about the angle, pressure, and steadiness as you shave.
Merkur was the brand most often recommended when we wrote about safety razors before. Our experts continue to recommend the Merkur 34C as their top pick, noting that its short handle makes it easy to maneuver for beginners. “The Merkur handle is thicker so you have more weight to hold on to,” Butler explains. It may take several passes to achieve the same type of shave you would get from a multi-bladed razor, but the end result will be similar.
Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor
- Unique Edwin Jagger DE razors offer a very close, comfortable shave with very low cost blade replacement
- Comfortable weight and balance for accurate, close shaving. This is an ideal razor, with a blade angle perfectly suited for both new and experienced Double Edge wet shavers
- Genuine Edwin Jagger razor produced in England. Register your new razor with the manufacturer for authenticity and excellent product support
- The two-part DE razor head is compatible with all standard Double Edge Safety Razor Blades and includes a FREE 5 blade pack of blades. Delivered in smart Edwin Jagger packaging, with instructions, traditional wet shaving advice and product registration information
As part of the same guide to safety razors, this razor was praised by two barbers – it has a short handle style like the Merkur model above. People of Interest’s Joey Tasca and Friend of a Barber’s Mark Miguez like the razors from British shaving company Edwin Jagger, but this one stands out.
Tasca told us that the razor is heavy enough to make you feel “like you are holding something powerful in your hand, which will make you less likely to cut yourself.” Miguez mentioned he switched to the Edwin Jagger because of skin irritation from Gillette and Bic cartridge razors.
Bevel Double Edge Razor Blades
- LUXURY SAFETY RAZOR - This razor is re-engineered to help prevent razor bumps and irritation using double edge razor blades and a generously weighted handle
- PERFECT GIFT FOR MEN - The Bevel Safety Razor makes for the perfect mens gift for your father, husband, son, or friend, for any holiday
- WORKS WITH COARSE HAIR - The single blade effortlessly cuts at skin level to prevent and reduce bumps, irritation, and ingrown hairs for coarse/curly hair
- HIGH QUALITY - Perfectly weighted brass handle glides across skin without additional pressure
- ECO FRIENDLY RAZOR - The environmentally friendly design is free of plastic, built to be reused, and can be safely recycled
Barber Julien Howard and Beightol both recommend Bevel as one of the newer safety-razor companies. They offer razors and blades on their own, as well as subscription options for scheduled blade replacements, along with a full line of shaving products.
Compared to the others on this list, the Bevel razor also has a sleeker, more contemporary look, and a slightly longer and narrower handle that might be more comfortable for some.
Merkur Progress Adjustable Safety Razor
- The angle of the blade can be altered by simply twisting the handle to one of the six settings featured
- Guaranteed to leave you with blemish-free skin and an ultra close shave
- Compatible with all other standard double edge blades
Safer razors are pretty straightforward: The razor’s head closes around the flexible metal blade, which is then locked into a predetermined angle. Most people will benefit from this construction, but some may want to be able to adjust the angle at which the blade meets the skin.
A lower angle allows for a more gentle shave with less irritation for someone with sensitive skin. On the other hand, someone with coarse facial hair might prefer a more aggressive angle. This is entirely a matter of personal preference.
That’s why both Xavier Rodriguez of Fellow Barber and Peter Solomon of Tweed Barbers of Boston recommend the adjustable Merkur Progress to anyone who wants to customize their safety-razor shave.
You can toggle between the five different blade-angle settings by twisting the dial at the bottom. This razor also comes with some blades if you decide it’s the right one for you.
MÜHLE Forest 3-Piece Silvertip Fiber Shaving Set
- CLOSED COMB RAZOR: Grooming has never felt more nostalgic. This classic safety razor head has a closed tooth comb design that, paired with a gap behind the foam edge, prevents build-up. The blade angle is a special design for the closest shave.
- THE BRUSH HEAD: Made from silvertip fiber, the tips are very soft with a stable middle section. It produces a pleasant, soft sensation on the skin when the lather is applied, without forgoing the desired firmness of the hairs in the lathering process.
- MODERN HANDLES: Designed by renowned Berlin designer Mark Braun, the hexagonal profile of these handles combine contemporary design with traditional, and thoroughly practical, elements to ensure ergonomics, grip, and functionality. Stand included!
- MÜHLE DIFFERENCE: Our actions are driven by an affinity with nature and a desire for the very highest quality. Expert know-how and pioneering spirit flow into every product, whether it be a handcrafted unique item or serially produced goods.
- SUSTAINABILITY: As a member of the Environmental Alliance of Saxony we are committed to sustainability and cooperate with suppliers who uphold the same high standards. Our products come completely without plastic.
Experts have also recommended Mühle as one of the high-quality safety razor brands. A master barber at Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa, Brittany Raposo, believes this set will look stunning on a bathroom sink and is worth its price tag.
The safety razor isn’t as intimidating as it might seem – it shaves similarly to the cartridge razor most men might be used to, but requires patience and mindful strokes. It will feel like a gentle scratching of the beard.
The brush exfoliates the skin and lifts the beard, making it easier to cut and to create lather. The gift would be ideal for guys who have outgrown their pandemic beard phase.
Andis Cordless Profoil Lithium Plus Shaver 17200
- Staggered head shaver blades for a closer shave.
- Great for finishing fades & removing stubble.
- Lithium-ion battery provides maximum power.
Electric razors will likely provide the fastest and easiest shave, and some experts believe that using one can also reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs. “For those who don’t like traditional methods, I recommend foil shavers,” Langevin says. Using foil shavers, individual hairs are fed into tiny holes in the metal sheet covering the blade; the blade below cuts through the hairs.
As Langevin explains, the resulting shave is the closest you can get with an electric style, and comparable to that of an analog razor. A foil razor gets almost as close as a traditional razor, sometimes even closer. The Andis Cordless Profoil Shaver is recommended by Langevin, Karac Ruleau of Mott NYC, and Heather Manto of Independence Barber Co. in Austin.
Langevin uses the Andis 17200 while Manto and Ruleau use the slightly older 17150. As well as being on our list of the best electric razors, the Andis Profoil appears on our list of the best safety razors. The shaver is designed for commercial use, but Manto says it would also be suitable for home use.
“It helps remove ingrown hairs, doesn’t cause razor bumps, and is effective when used wet or dry,” she adds. This foil shaver’s lightweight, durable, and affordable, and it doesn’t need frequent charging.
But one thing to remember: Foil shavers like this aren’t designed to cut long hair; they only work on short, “stubble length” facial hair. While that might seem limiting, Manto thinks it makes them a great choice for people who shave frequently.
Wahl Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer (Corded)
- High-Performance Clipper: Can be used as both a clipper and a trimmer for versatile hair cutting; great for shaping your beard
- Professional-Grade Hair Clipper Kit: Includes lightweight 4” electric trimmer, 4 guide combs, cleaning brush, blade oil, instructions, and blade guard
- Replace Blades Easily: The detachable blade makes maintaining and replacing clipper blades easy
- Leader in Men's Grooming: Wahl has been trusted by hair care professionals for over 100 years
- America's Clipper Company: Wahl Professional is the leading authority in modern short hair grooming
Four experts have told us that Wahl’s Peanut is the best electric solution for longer hair (or sensitive skin) because it has a powerful motor, is easy to maneuver, and has four guards to give you the exact length of facial hair you want.
(Experts say the Peanut is also great for shaving your head and manscaping.) DeAngelis calls it a “compact, sturdy machine that can cut what you need, but still allow you to work safely around your mustache and lips.”
The trimmer will cut facial hair down to the desired five-o’clock shadow length if not equipped with those guards, say pros, adding that a trimmer like this is also ideal for people with sensitive skin (because it doesn’t cut so close, which causes less irritation). Wahl also sells a cordless version of the Peanut, but our barbers prefer the corded model, which they say offers more consistent power.
Philips Norelco Rechargeable Wet & Dry Electric Shaver
- Philips Norelco Shaver 7700 delivers a smooth shave while reducing skin irritation. Only Philips has ComfortGlide rings, a special coating to protect your face from irritation.
- Shaving heads are surrounded with ComfortGlide rings, a special protective coating with skin gliding properties, to shield your face from irritation.
- With up to 90,000 cutting actions per minute, the SkinProtect blades deliver a close shave with fewer passes for more comfortable skin vs. Philips Norelco Shaver Series 3000
- Powerful cleaning pod thoroughly cleans and lubricates your shaver in just 1 minute, keeping it performing at its best for longer
- With a powerful Li-ion battery, get up to 60 minutes of cordless shaving - about 20 shaves - on a 1-hour charge. 5-minute quick charge for one shave
We’ve talked about this electric shaver twice – for this story and for our guide to the best electric razors. Whenever he shaves, he uses the shaver’s cleaning pod – you just dip the top of the razor into the pod and within a minute, it’s clean and ready to use.
However, Butler prefers to shave wet with it – washing his face, applying shaving gel for a minute, and then shaving. The shaver’s circular motion gives a closer shave, and the pop-up trimmer cleans up along the hairline.
DOVO Bizmark Straight Razor with Ebony Wood Handle
- Ebony Handle
- Blade Depth 6/8"
- Carbon Steel Blade
- Full Hollow Ground
Straight razors are best left in the hands of the pros, but if someone is committed to mastering the technique, there is nothing quite like shaving with one. Butler explains that the method is “old school” and requires “practice, practice, and more practice.
” When we asked hot towel barbers about their favorite straight razors, DOVO was one of the most frequently mentioned makers. In Butler’s experience, the Bizmark’s solid construction helps you master your angles and grip since it feels heavy in your hands.
It can be challenging to get into tight spaces under your nose or under your jawline with a straight razor. A cartridge razor offers the luxury of having multiple blades to remove every hair and pivot to the area it is gliding over.”
Once you get the hang of it, this razor provides the satisfaction of knowing you did it all yourself.
The Art of Shaving Steel Straight Razor
- Country Of Origin: United States
- Item Package Dimension: 7.87" L x 2.36" W x 1.06" H
- Item Package Weight: 107.0 lb
The razor’s thin, sharp blade provides a clean, close shave, according to Waldman. He says the blade is made of carbon steel, and the handle is made of stainless steel, which wears well even when wet.
The post-shave pro-tip from Waldman is to immediately use cold water to tighten pores, reduce irritation, and gently apply a balm or moisturizer to “seal the deal.” And don’t rub – that could cause inflammation.
Some people, however, might believe that all razor blades are the same. There is nothing more false than that.
What to Consider When to Select a Razor
Truth be told, there are many different types of razors, including multi-blade razors, disposable cartridge razors, electric razors, and straight-edge or safety razors. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to each type.
It is probably time to throw away your current razor if you’re having troubles getting a close, smooth shave, such as breakouts, skin irritation, razor bumps, and burn.
However, before you grab a bag of those inexpensive, disposable razors from your local drugstore, think twice… Those cheap razors are probably doing more harm than good to your skin and your shave.
If you’re looking for a new razor, but aren’t sure which one to choose, then this article is for you. Discover some of the factors to consider when choosing the best razor to give you a smooth and enjoyable shave.
When looking for a good-quality razor, consider safety first. Safety razors that also meet your shaving needs and preferences can be difficult to find, but not if you know what to look for.
Yes, a decent safety razor will cost a little more upfront, but we are willing to bet that it will provide you with a smoother shave overall, free of nicks and cuts.
Size Does Matter
The right razor handle size for you in terms of weight and size is a great place to start. As a result, choosing the right razor size and feel will prevent you from holding the razor awkwardly and applying too much pressure while shaving. Shaving with too much pressure is the primary cause of razor burn and skin irritation. Choosing the right razor size will make your shaving experience easier and safer.
Map Your Face
Understanding your face’s shape is crucial before choosing a new razor. Each individual’s face is unique, as are their hair growth patterns and skin type. Some people have dry skin while others have oily skin. Knowing your skin type and the unique curvatures and shapes of your face can help you choose the right razor in terms of size, fit, design, and style.
Mind The Gap
Fixed gaps and adjustable gaps are the two types of razor designs. Blade gap refers to the distance between the top of the blade and the bottom of the razor. To understand the difference between the two, the wider the gap, the more aggressive the shave.
Gap razor designs are exactly that: adjustable, so users are able to adjust the gap distance. When you are a new wet shaver, a fixed gap razor type might be the best option since it is easier to get used to while trying out different razor types.
Make sure your blades are of high quality. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Therefore, if you purchase low-quality disposable cartridge razors, you can expect a poorer shave.
Additionally, disposable cartridge razors become dull after only one or two uses, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. Be aware that dull blades are more likely to cause nicks, cuts, and razor burn.
Maintaining the edge of your razor blade will keep your face smooth. Investing more money in a quality razor now, such as a safety razor, will pay off in the long run.
It’s Okay to Miss a Few Times
If you aren’t sure where to start, do some research on specific blade types, read online reviews, and look at other people’s mistakes with each type of razor. Thus, when you are ready to purchase a razor, you will have a better idea of how to use it and what to expect.
In case you decide to switch razor types or upgrade to a different safety razor head type, remember it can take some time to adjust to it. At first, you may not get the best shaving experience. There might be a few times that you miss. Practice makes perfect, though. With a little experimentation, you will eventually discover which razor type and shaving technique works best for you.
Further, much like shaving itself, choosing the right razor type for you may take some trial and error. Take your time during this process. Take your time to research and find the right razor type for you.
How to Choose the Right Razor Blade
As you rush to get ready, you throw on your new dress. When you put on your heels, you find that the pesky stubble you tackled yesterday is back like a vengeance. When you glance in the mirror, you know you’ve lost the daily battle against the dreaded five o’clock shadow.
Since junior high or high school, shaving probably has been a part of your morning routine. So why do you still encounter the same issues? Ingrown hairs, irritation, and razor bumps can ruin an otherwise clean and smooth shave. Maybe you need to take a closer look at the type of razor blade you use.
After shaving, your hair may grow back and cause irritation. While growing, hairs curl inward, causing painful and unsightly ingrown hairs and razor bumps. To combat these issues, you should develop a shaving routine that includes a razor that is sharp and a shaving cream or gel that is effective for you.
There are many different razors available, from electric to disposable, and each will offer a different shave experience. Regardless of the type of razor you choose, the most important quality is that the blade does not become dull.
From that point on, you will want to consider your personal shaving needs when choosing between the different types of razors available. Does your skin seem particularly sensitive? Do you plan to shave just one area, such as your face, or will you shave areas that have different needs, such as your legs, armpits, and bikini line? All these factors can play a role in determining which type of razor blade is best for you.