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Safety Razor Shaving Is A Double-Edged Razor

THE BASICS OF SHAVING WITH A DOUBLE-EDGE RAZOR

Double-edged or “safety razors” have been around since the early 1900s, but in the last few decades, their usage has been limited to a small contingent of shaving purists. These razors utilize a single blade with two sharp sides and protect the skin with a guard, hence the name “safety razor” (clever huh?). While once the norm, Safety Razors were largely replaced by “easier-to-use” multi-blade razors.

After the recent resurgence of Safety Razors, we decided to lay out the dirty details regarding Safety Razors for all those interested. Below, find the skinny on double-edge razors along with tips for how to use 'em. After reading up on double edged shaving, check out our Build-A-Shave Set, which includes anything a wet shaver could need (brush, stand, etc.) for a perfect shave.

What Is A Double-Edge or Safety Razor?

Double-edge razors, often known and referred to as safety razors, utilize a single razor blade with two sharp sides – one on each end of the razor handle. The skin is protected from all but the edge of the razor with a guard, hence the name “safety razor” (clever… huh?). These tools, while once the mass standard, have been largely replaced as of late by the “easier-to-use” multi-bladed razor blades.

Why Use A Double-Edge or Safety Razor?

There are many reasons men elect to shave in this old-school style, including:

  • • Affordability: Replacement blades are more affordable than multi-blade razors and you can use both sides, so they last longer too. Less blades = less money.
  • • Better Access: Most DE Blades have a slimmer design which enables improved access to hair in tough-to-reach areas like under the nose and neck crevices.
  • • Closeness: Many feel these blades provide a closer and smoother shave than multi-blade counterparts.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to such a razor. Chief amongst these concerns is the increased likelihood for cutting oneself, as well as the additional time it takes many non-experts to shave as they adjust to the dual-edged learning curve.

What's The Best Safety Razor or Double-Edge For Me?

There are thousands of amazing safety razors so the "right" double-edge razor for you is out there. Here's a quick chart with the best of the best to make selecting one a tad easier.


HEAVY WEIGHTS:

Perfect for every guy, veterans and newbies alike. The classic design and heft make it easy to balance any of these in hand. The 34C is our top seller and has a short handle heavyweight while the 91R boasts a long handle.

STARTERS:

Great for the cautious newbie and guys who want to ease their way into DE shaving. They are aggressive enough to provide a great shave without being too sharp for a rookie that is learning the ropes.

ADJUSTABLE/DETAILING:

Adjustable razors, like the 700/701, are for the more experienced wet shaver who wants to dial in his preferred level of closeness. Detailing razors, like the 908, are perfect for touching up beards/mustaches, sideburns and even eyebrows.

OTHER GUYS:

There are a smorgasbord of other razors out there to fit your different preferences and needs. Some features to note include open and closed comb as well as butterfly open (twist-to-open) vs. two/three piece razors and more. We also have a great selection of Straight Razors and Shavettes worth checking out.


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Instructions For Usage

The beginning and ending of a double edge shave should be conducted just as described in our Guide To “Getting The Greatest Shave Ever” article. However, change arrives when double edge hits skin – and here are some techniques and guidelines to make certain it’s an enjoyable experience.

• No Pressure: These razors are not designed to be bullied into the skin as doing so can lead to bleeding or irritation. Instead, gently glide the razor across the face with little to no pressure and the blade will adeptly remove stubborn stubble.

• Change The Angle: Double edge razors should move across the face at about a 30 degree angle of blade to skin. This ensures a very close shave and minimal irritation. That said, obviously no slicing or side-to-side motion.

• Go With the Flow: Each pass should be a short stroke in the direction of hair growth. Since hair grows in different directions on every man, make sure to take note of your specific hair direction prior to shaving.

• Stretch The Skin: Double edge razors always do their best work on skin that is held taut. So, when taking passes, use your free hand to stretch these areas.

• Rinse Often: Another benefit of this ilk of razor is that having two sides enables the user to flip the blade over before rinsing. That said, running the blade under water between major passes is recommended.

Safety Razor Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Will I cut myself? 
A:  
There is a bit more of a degree of difficulty, but if you follow our instructions and keep your equipment in good working order, you aren't any more likely to cut yourself with a double-edged than you would be with a cartridge razor one single blade razor. 

Q: Will (these blades) fit on (this razor)? 
A: 
Safety razors and blades aren't like cartridge razors that have unique attachment mechanisms--they're more or less universal. In fact, part of the fun is finding your favorite combination of a razor and blades. 

Q: What kind of pre-shave and cream or soap do I need to use? 
A:  A lot of guys like to overhaul their entire shaving regimen when they get a safety razor and pick up the classic brush, soap and bowl setup, but really, you can shave with whatever shaving cream you're using now (unless it's canned foam--you should throw that crap out anyway).