Men are spoiled for choice with regards to what to do with their facial hair. At least, those that are able to grow facial hair in the first place (sorry to anyone unable to sprout anything convincing). Some men choose to let their beard grow out and simply giving it a bit of routine maintenance, others will invest solely in a beard trimmer to keep their beard at a regular length and others will get rid of any facial hairs as soon as they appear using a safety razor or a disposable razor.
The ubiquitous safety razor hasn’t always been commonplace in the bathrooms of men worldwide, as straight razors were, for a long time, the shaving tool of choice. It wasn’t until King Camp Gillette came along in the late 1870s with an evolution of the readily available safety razor design, using a stamped blade made from carbon steel.
While the initial purchase of a blade and handle incurred a loss for Gillette, it was the higher margin on replacement blades that ultimately led to Gillette being consigned to history books forever, and to it becoming one of the most recognised names in shaving today.
There are various versions of razor available today, with safety and cartridge being the two most popular – for guys who want a seriously close shave, straight razors are available – and within these categories, you can find options from the incredibly affordable to the slightly more questionable expensive. However, more expensive razors will likely be made from high-end materials such as ivory, ebony and porcelain (usually of the fake variety). It’s certainly true that a slick shaving set looks superb perched next to the bathroom sink, as opposed to a basic plastic cartridge razor being thrown into the cupboard.
To make the best use of a razor, you will need to invest in good shaving cream or gel to provide ample lubrication and to prevent cutting your delicate face. You don’t want to walk around with unsightly scabs all day now do you? While you can simply buy a basic shaving cream that you rub onto your face, more expensive versions will be made from ingredients that are kinder to the skin, and can be applied using a shaving brush to help prepare the hairs for shaving.
We’ve scoured the web for the very best razors for men available to buy right now, catering to all budgets. Rest assured, they will all rid your face of unwanted hairs, revealing the rugged jawline beneath.
Best Razors For Men FAQ
What is the difference between a single edge and a double edge blade?
Double edge razors are far more common than single edge razors. Double edge blades literally allow you to use both sides of the blade during shaving and will be angled by the head of the razor to assist with achieving the best possible shave and to avoid cutting yourself.
Single edge blades usually require a specific head to be compatible, so you will want to shop around to find the blades that work best for you. Singe edge blades require you to find the best angle to achieve the closest shave yourself, so you may incur more cuts. But they last longer and can provide the ultimate shave...if you get it right.
Is a safety razor better than a cartridge razor?
The answer to this will ultimately come down to preference, but in theory, a safety razor will provide a more comfortable shave than a cartridge-based razor. This is because a safety razor will cut the facial hair at the surface of the skin and requires fewer strokes over the same area. This means you're less likely to suffer from razor bumps and skin irritation.
Cartridge-based razors cut the hair near the skin first, while trailing blades cut them so that they're below the surface of the skin. While this leaves a smoother-feeling finish, you're more prone to suffering from ingrown hairs. Cartridges also don't tend to be recyclable, whereas replacement blades for safety razors are.
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Combining a double-edge safety razor, badger hair shaving brush and Jon's own Alum block (which acts in a similar way to aftershave), you have all the tools you need to safely and effectively remove facial hair.
Truefitt & Hill
While the company has a range of cartridge razors that work with blades from the likes of Gillette, for the ultimate experience you'll want the Sheffield Double Edged Razor. Hand crafted in Sheffield , UK from local steel and polished to an incredibly high sheen. The handle has been designed to offer optimum levels of grip (you won't want any slips now, would you?) and with a matching stand also available you can easily upgrade your at-home shaving experience.
But while it may be famous for its cartridge razors, Gillette still makes its original double-edged safety razor, based on the design first conceived by Gillette many years ago. Sporting a closed-comb razor head design and a genuine metal handle, you can effectively bring the 19th century into your bathroom.
The result is a razor with an ergonomically-designed pivoting head, with just one blade attached, giving a smoother shave compared to the multi-blade cartridges you'll find elsewhere. Refill blades are made from recycled materials so you needn't worry about sending a heap of plastic to landfill either.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club asks aspiring members to take a quick quiz to help determine which products are best suited to their needs, and membership levels and products can be changed at any time.
The Art Of Shaving
The Art of Shaving's own chrome heavyweight safety razor has a smaller handle that is "properly weighted" to aid with easy glides across your face, making removing your facial hair a cinch.
With five razors on the books, made from various materials and offering differing levels of precision, there is something for everyone when looking for a new razor that won't tug or pull at the skin. Blades are fashioned from Swedish steel to prevent against rust while retaining their sharpness, and each is good for up to 8 shaves.
Part of Schick's Wilkinson Sword label, this double-edge razor is one of the more affordable safety razors out there. Serving up triple-coated stainless steel blades that are incredibly easy to swap out, you will be able to achieve a barber shop level of precision in the comfort of your own bathroom.
This low-profile safety razor uses a closed-comb head to help prevent any nasty cuts and the handle, machined from a solid brass billet, has been made relatively long to provide greater surface area to hold, making it more stable in the process. It accepts Böker's own double edge blades that are some of the best in the business.
Harry's also donates a small percentage of sales to male mental health and suicide prevention charities, and allows its employees to take five days of paid leave each year to volunteer at a charity of their choice.
This 34C Heavy Duty double-edged safety razor is a good middle-ground option for newbies and veterans alike, benefitting from a shorter-than-usual, yet thick, handle to aid with manoeuvrability.
This helped spawn the Everyday safety razor. Precision CNC machine from stainless steel and made in the USA, Charcoal Goods' razor is just as much a piece of art as it is an effective, everyday tool. You'll have to keep checking back for stock though, it's so popular it sells out fast.
The Vector razor uses single-edge blades, specifically the Artist Club blades from Feather. Referencing other razors to use the same blades as being bulky and hard to use, owing to the size of the blade itself, Blackland's Vector has been specifically engineered to offer the best possible shaving experience. With owners claiming it handles like a Porsche, it's the epitome of luxury shaving.
Timeless has a few razors in its inventory, made from a range of materials including titanium, stainless steel and bronze (you can customise your own too), all of which use a double-edged blade to deliver an impeccable shave time after time.
Employing a single-blade approach to cut hairs in one swoop, Supply's Single Edge 2.0 razor also offers three customisable shave settings to adjust how close it gets to your skin. The initial cost of the razor may be higher than some others, but its blades last more than one shave, so you'll make your money back in no time.
The NK69DE uses double-edged blades to effectively trim your facial hair with precision and without irritation. Blades are simple to change, and being compatible with Gillette's Double Edge blades, are readily available.