Types of Razor: A beginners buyers guide
As someone who has suffered from sensitive skin during and post shave, this subject is dear to my heart and the main reason I developed Pure Shave to start with. If you are new to shaving it can be a bit daunting with so many products out there in the market place. The truth is, choosing the right razor for your skin type can be a bit trial and error. I hope this guide helps you make an informed choice.
Things to consider:
- Skin sensitivity: If you have sensitive skin, you may want to consider a razor that is gentle on the skin, such as a safety razor or a 5 blade razor.
- Hair type: Different razors are better suited for different hair types. For example, thicker hair may require a razor with multiple blades, while finer hair may be better suited for a single-blade razor.
- Personal preferences: Some prefer the traditional feel of a straight razor or safety razor, while others prefer the convenience cartridge razors. Electric razors offer yet another option, with a range of features and functions.
- Shaving habits: Do you shave every day, or just a few times a week? Consider a razor that is suited for your frequency of shaving, as some razors may cause irritation if used too frequently.
- Budget: Razors come in a range of prices, from affordable disposable options to high-end electric razors. Consider your budget when choosing a razor.
- Convenience: How much time do you have to dedicate to shaving? If you are often in a rush, a quick and easy option like a cartridge razor or electric razor may be more convenient than a safety razor or straight razor.
- Environmental impact: Consider the environmental impact of the razor you choose. Disposable razors create more waste than safety razors or straight razors, for example.
- Maintenance: Some razors require more maintenance than others. Straight razors, for example, require regular honing and stropping to maintain their sharpness, while electric razors require regular cleaning and replacement of the blades or foil.
Basically, there are two main types of razors: manual and electric. Manual razors are the traditional type that use a blade to cut the hair. Electric razors, on the other hand, use a motor to move the blades, making them a faster and more convenient option.
Manual razors come in different styles, including straight razors, safety razors, and cartridge razors. Straight razors are the oldest type of razor and require skill and practice to use effectively. Safety razors are a popular option that uses a double-edged blade for a closer shave. Cartridge razors are the most common type of razor and are designed for easy blade replacement.
Straight Edge Razor or SE Razor:
A straight edge razor is a traditional shaving tool that has been used for generations. Using a straight edge razor provides a very close shave when used properly and it’s environmentally friendly, as it’s not a disposable product. However, it takes some skill to use correctly, and the blade requires regular maintenance.
Pros – Close Shave, Eco Friendly, Traditional feel, Expensive initial cost
Cons – Time consuming, Difficult technique to master, High Maintenance.
Best-seller – Dovo “Bismarck” Straight Razor. Around £161
Double Edge Razor, DE or Safety Razor:
A double edge razor is a classic safety razor that uses a double-edged blade. The Pros of using a double edge razor are that it provides a close shave, is affordable, and the blades are widely available. However, it also requires some skill to use properly, and it may take some time to find the right blade that works for your skin.
Pros – Close Shave, Eco Friendly, Traditional Feel
Cons – Difficult technique to master, Time consuming finding the right blade and set up, High risk of cuts and nicks until the technique is mastered
Best-seller – Merkur Classic 2-piece Double Edge Safety Razor. Around £52
Pure Shave DE razor set £32.47 currently on sale
Authors note: I have tried on many occasions to master the art of using a DE razor but I confess, I don’t have the patience and end up with more skin irritation than ever.
A disposable razor is a basic razor with two blades that is designed for easy use and disposal. These are great to help you in a moment of need but I would not suggest using these all the time. They are bad for the environment and do not give a great shave.
Pros – Cheap
Cons – Bad for the environment, Not a long term shaving solution, blades blunt very quickly.
3 blade cartridge razor:
A 3 blade cartridge razor is a popular option that has become a staple in the shaving industry. The Pros of using a 3 blade cartridge razor are that it’s easy to use and provides a smooth, comfortable shave. However, replacement blades can be expensive.
Pros – Close shave, Easy to use, widely available refill blades
Cons – Can irritate skin, Not as Eco Friendly*
Best-seller – Gillette Mach3 Razor. Around £7.99 for a blade and handle then refill blades £16.99 for 12
5 blade razor:
A 5 blade razor is a high-end option that uses multiple blades to provide a close, comfortable shave. The Pros of using a 5 blade razor are that it provides an incredibly close shave, is easy to use, and usually comes with a variety of features such as lubricating strips and pivoting heads. However, they can be quite expensive, and the replacement cartridges can also be pricey.
Pros – Close Shave, Easy to use, Reduces Skin irritation, refill blades widely available
Cons – Refill blades can be Expensive, Not as Eco Friendly*
Best-seller – Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sense Energize Razor. Around £15.49 refill blades £10.50 for 4
Pure Shave V-Blade Razor coming soon!
*These types of blades are now starting to be able to be recycled. Check out Terracycle
How Many Blades?
A quick note on the amount of blades – This is quite a complex subject to explain so I will leave it to another blog piece How many blades do you need? This goes a long way to explain the reasons behind the different variations.
Authors Note: During the five years I was developing Pure Shave products, I quickly realised was that the thing that made the biggest difference to an outcome of a shave was what you put between your blade and your skin. If you use a high quality shaving cream like Pure Shave, the comfort and quality of the shave increases exponentially and can even affect the longevity of the blades.
Electric razors have become a popular option for men who want a fast, convenient way to shave without the fuss of lathering up and using a blade.
Electric razors come in two types: foil and rotary. Foil razors use a thin, perforated metal screen that covers the blades, while rotary razors have three or four rotating heads that move independently to adjust to the contours of the face.
Foil electric razors have a thin, straight head with oscillating blades that move back and forth beneath a thin metal foil. The foil captures the hair and guides it towards the blades, cutting the hair at the surface of the skin. However, they may not be as effective for longer, thicker hair.
Pros – Close Shave, Easy to use, 12-18 months between blade replacement.
Cons – Can dry skin, Needs power, batteries or recharging, can be fiddly to clean and maintain.
Best-seller – Braun Series 6. Around £131
These razors have three or four rotating heads that move in a circular motion and lift the hair away from the skin before cutting it. The pros of rotary electric razors are that they are good for longer hair, are easy to use, and provide a comfortable shave. However, they may not be as effective for shorter hair.
Pros – Good for longer hair, easy to use, long period before blade replacement.
Cons – Difficult to clean, needs power or recharging, can be drying for the skin
Best-seller – Philips Norelco Shaver 9000. Around £200.
Authors Note: I did try using a rotary razor for a while but found that charging and battery life was an issue for me. However, the worst part for me was the dry skin and irritation. If you suffer badly from shaving rash, personally I would avoid this type of razor.
Ultimately, the type of electric razor that’s best for you depends on your personal preferences, hair type, and skin sensitivity. Whether you opt for a foil or rotary electric razor, or a wet/dry model, it’s important to choose a quality product from a reputable brand that will provide a comfortable, close shave.
choosing the right razor and blade is essential for a good shaving experience. It really does come down to personal preference. Consider your skin type, hair thickness, and personal situation when selecting a razor and blade. I hope this article has provided you with valuable information to help you make an informed decision.
Read our review in GQ Magazine.
Reading from outside the UK and want to try Pure Shave? – Use the contact form to arrange purchase.