There are so many ways to shave your face it can be intimidating trying to branch out into new territory. Breaking out of old shaving habits can be tricky, but education and awareness of your options should help you choose the best razor for you. Choosing a razor that is right for you will be a breeze after reading this post.
As we see it, there are 4 ways to shave: Electric razor, disposable razor/cartridge, double edge razor/safety razor, and straight razor/shavette.
Below, we evaluate each of the 4 types of razor and recommend what we think is the best shaving method. We also put together a handy chart for easy comparison.
An electric razor is great for the guy who travels frequently and needs a quick shave. One item is all you need to clean up. There is no need for shaving cream, razors, brushes, or towels with an electric razor. Plug it in and get shaving!
The downside to electric razors is that they do not really give you that close of a shave. You will find yourself going over the same spot many times, which can deposit oil, skin and hair buildup from the razor into your open pores. This is fairly unsanitary and can cause skin irritation and acne. Be careful when choosing a razor that puts your skin at risk of breakouts and irritation.
We can only recommend choosing a razor like this if you travel a lot and do not have a history fighting bad acne.
Make sure you don’t cheap out on a crappier model of electric razor. Lower quality products mean a higher likelihood of irritation and redness. The best electric razors come with a docking station equipped with an automatic self-cleaning system.
Electric razors excel at irritating the skin so make sure you get the highest quality you can afford. Remember, you’ll be using this very often.
Cartridge Razor (disposable)
A cartridge razor is great for beginners. If you’re growing your first beard at age 15 and you’re just learning to shave you will be right at home with a disposable razor. You’ll get a closer shave than with an electric razor and you shouldn’t cut really worry about cutting yourself. Disposable razors are also pretty convenient for travel and they require no charging or outlets to work.
Cartridge razors are only good for a few shaves before the blades get dull. Once the blades are dull, skin irritation will increase due to the razor no longer having a clean cut. Also, company’s marketing departments may try to fool you into thinking multiple blades equals a better shave. This could not be farther from the truth. Take a look at a disposable razor under a microscope. It is filled with oil, skin, and hair deposits from shaving. Using a razor with this buildup will increase your chances of irritation because you are depositing that nasty material into your open pores. Additionally, the cost of disposable razors can add up, since you really should be using a new razor every time, if you want to avoid irritation and infection.
If you are going to shave with disposable razors, we suggest you replace your blade often. You may end up paying over $200 a year to replace those blades. At this point, we suggest you upgrade to a safety razor since it is not much different in use but you will feel the difference.
At the very least, upgrade your electric razor to a cartridge razor when you shave at home.
Double Edge Razor / Safety Razor
You will get a close and clean shave with a double edge razor. We think a DE razor is a great investment for your arsenal of shaving supplies. The replacement blades are insanely cheaper than disposable razors and it is insanely more sanitary. There is no opportunity for hair, oil, and skin to get caught between the unnecessary multiple blades. Simply shave, wipe off with a towel, repeat. DE razors are great for those who suffer from acne and other skin irritations.
The downside of using of DE razors is that shaving will take longer. Not by much, we don’t think, but you will need a bit more of a time investment to properly lather and shave. DE razors are also inherently less safe. You can cut yourself more easily with this style because the shave you get is much closer. Travelers beware, this style of razor is not travel friendly for airlines.
This shave is clean and good for reducing acne and irritation caused by shaving with the other methods. It is a great option for those not wanting to invest in the process of sharpening a straight razor. The cost is relatively low since replacement blades are very cheap.
Straight Razor / Shavette
Probably the number one reason to use a straight razor or shavette is that you will look bad ass. Women will squirm thinking about you put that steel to your skin and slide off that stubble. The number two reason to use a straight razor is that it gives you the closest shave possible. These razors tend to be made out of higher quality materials and can last your lifetime. Hell, you can get a shavette for $20 and be set for life, only replacing blades when needed.
Ok, what’s the difference between a straight razor and shavette?
A straight razor is one complete razor with no removable blade. The blade is built into the steel and is typically two parts connected at one end so the blade can swing out. The best part about a straight razor is that you never have to replace the blades. The worst part is that you have to use a strop and hone to keep it sharp. This can be cost prohibitive and is probably that main reason men are choosing a razor other than a straight razor.
Check out the best straight razors we recommend for the perfect shave
A shavette is shaped pretty much the same as a straight razor, with two parts being attached at one end so the blade can swing out. The difference with a shavette is that the razor blade is replaceable, similar to the double edge razor. Shavettes require no honing or stropping, so the maintenance is significantly less involved than a true straight razor. However, the shaving method is practically the same as with a straight razor.
Drawbacks to the straight razor are not limited to the required maintenance of honing and stropping and the price. There is also a learning curve involved with straight razor shaving, and if not done properly you will find yourself with a bloody face. Shaving this way also requires more time. If it wasn’t obvious, straight razors are not carry-on friendly. Don’t let TSA keep your straight razor!
We highly recommend straight razor shaving. It gives you the closest shave and is the most rewarding of all shave methods. Try a Shavette if you’re not sure straight razor shaving is right for you, it requires less maintenance and is cheaper. Choosing a razor that is high quality will upgrade your shave experience.
Check out the best shavettes we recommend for the perfect shave
Guide to Choosing a Razor
|Electric Razor||Only if you travel frequently. Best for businessmen but make sure you clean it to avoid acne|
|Cartridge Razor (Disposable)||Choosing a razor with replaceable cartridges will mean you replace your blade more. If you go this route you may end up paying over $200 a year in replacement blades. Bite the bullet and upgrade to a Safety Razor. You won’t save that much time but will feel the difference.|
|Double Edge Razor / Safety Razor||This shave is clean and good for reducing acne and irritation caused by shaving with the other methods. Great option for those not wanting to invest in the process of sharpening a straight razor.|
|Straight Razor / Shavette||What are you waiting for? If you’re not sure straight razor shaving is right for you, try a Shavette as it requires less maintenance. Upgrade to a high quality straight razor when you feel ready for it. Choosing a razor like a straight razor is fun and it will last your lifetime.|
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9 replies on “Choosing a Razor“
I am inspired by your work and got some great ideas. Thanks and keep sharing 🙂
Thanks for the comparison chart! That helps with deciding what I want to try out.
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