We have applied our extensive wet shaving expertise along with countless hours of research and testing to compile this list of the best safety razors of 2018.

With so many safety razors out there, it is practically impossible to find the best, but don’t worry, we have done all the work for you. 😉

I know everyone has a different combination of experience level, budget, size & weight preferences, razor aggressiveness needs, etc.

For this reason, I provided you with a list of the best safety razors that will meet everyone’s specific needs so you will be sure to find the best double-edged razor for You!

I have also provided a guide on what you should consider in order to determine which is the best DE razor for you.

I highly encourage you to look that over first before reading through the safety razor reviews.

6 Things to Consider When Buying a Safety Razor

#1 Price

Consider PriceProbably the first thing you should think about when buying a safety razor is how much money you’re willing to spend, as they can range anywhere from $10 to over $200.

There are some excellent products in pretty much any price range, so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality razor.

This is especially important for first-time users who don’t want to fork over a ton of cash before they know if shaving with a safety razor is right for them.

Still, for safety razor pros, you may want to invest in one of the higher end models as you’ll be more likely to notice the difference between a cheap and an expensive razor.

We’ve have labeled each safety razor with the appropriate price level so you can better sift through the list to find the best razors that fit your budget.

  • $ = Economy
  • $$ = Mid-Range
  • $$$ = Premium

#2 Aggressiveness

When discussing safety razors, aggressiveness can be taken to mean the “efficiency” of the razor but also can be viewed as how easy (or difficult) it is to cut yourself with the razor.

Multiple factors affect a razor’s aggressiveness including the angle of the blade, the blade gap and how much of the blade is exposed.

For more information, watch our video below or see our post on safety razor aggressiveness.

 

Adjustable Blade vs Fixed

Nearly all the razors you’ll find have a fixed blade, meaning the amount of the razor blade that is exposed is set.

However, companies such as Merkur and Rockwell are now producing a few safety razors in which you can adjust the angle of the blade (a determinant of aggressiveness) by turning a dial or interchanging the base plates.

You will be sure to see them amongst our reviews below.

Beginner’s Recommendation: Beginners are recommended to go with a mild to a medium aggressive razor.

Don’t Panic!

We have appropriately categorized all of the safety razors on the list below with the level of aggressiveness and experience level required so you will be able to select the right one for your needs.

#3 Head Type (Closed vs Open vs Slant)

The next thing to think about is whether you want a closed bar, slant bar, or open comb safety razor.

 

Closed Comb

The more traditional of the designs.

A closed comb will be characterized by having a continuous straight bar along the edge of the head.

It may have a few divots or waves in the bar, but it is, in essence, one straight edge.

Benefits

  • Offers more protection between the face and the blade, so less chance of nicks and cuts if your technique isn’t perfect
  • A more traditional, old-school look
  • offers a more stable and controlled shave, as the bar offers stability and guidance

Open Comb

That same bar on an open comb razor contains teeth that give the bar a distinct ‘comb’ look.

Benefits;

  • These are generally regarded as the more aggressive design as it offers less protection between the blade and the beard and face
  • Removes less lather from the face as you shave
  • Hairs are better lifted from the face and guided on to the blade behind

Slant

As the name suggests, that bar on the front is slanted.

This allows for a very efficient shave without necessarily being more aggressive, making it a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin (for a full explanation why, see #3 on the list – Merkur 37c).

Beginner’s Recommendation: For beginners, we’d recommend a closed safety bar razor, but more experienced men may enjoy the freedom of the open comb.

#4 Length of the Handle

This is one of those areas where it’s a matter of personal preference, as it depends on which type of handle fits more comfortably in your hand.

If you have bigger hands or feel like you need a bit more control, we’d recommend a longer handle, also known as a barber’s pole safety razor.

Still, some people find the longer handle to be more awkward to use.

We have categorized each of the safety razors as either short, medium or long.

#5 Weight

The mid to high-end range of safety razors generally come in two weights, classic and heavy duty.

The weight of the razor also varies from brand to brand and model to model.

Some men feel that the heavier razors give them more control, but this is again a matter of what feels most comfortable.

We have categorized each of the safety razor’s weights as either light, medium, or heavy.

#6 Number of Pieces (Butterfly vs 2 Piece vs 3 Piece)

Butterfly Razors

While this isn’t a primary factor in a razor’s quality, some men prefer a particular type of razor, such as a twist to open.

Also known as a butterfly safety razor, it consists of one solid piece, where a knob is twisted that opens up the top plates and exposes the cutting head.

This makes blade replacement extremely easy but due to the additional moving parts, longevity can become a problem.

2-Piece Razors

For 2-piece safety razors, the top of the cutting head usually unscrews from the base and handle to allow you to change the blade.

This makes blade replacement more difficult than the butterfly design but slightly easier than the 3-piece design.

3-Piece Razors

There are also 3-piece razors where the top of the head, the base of the head, and handle all come apart.

These razors often last longer than the other two types, as they are easier to clean and have no moving parts, but may be slightly more cumbersome to switch out the DE blades.

You can check out the video below or our article on Types of Safety Razors for more information on the different types of safety razors.

Top 12 Best Safety Razors of 2018 Reviewed

#1 Merkur 34C Classic Safety Razor

Mekur 34C

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • Recognition: Best Overall Safety Razor
  • a.k.a.: The Kingpin
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 2
  • Length: Short (3.3 in)
  • Weight: Medium (2.4 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Mild
  • Skill Level Required: Beginner
  • Price: $$

This is the best all-around safety razor that really provides the most value dollar for dollar.

  Pros

  • Great shaves for all skill levels
  • Outstanding build quality 
  • Solid grip

  Cons

  • May not be ideal for very thick and coarse facial hair

 

Build Quality

Merkur, a subsidiary of DOVO, is one of the most coveted names in the world for safety razor design.

They have an excellent line of safety razors and straight razors that are still produced where the company was founded in 1906, Solingen Germany.

Made from the world renown Solingen Steel and produced in under the highest of German manufacturing standards “Solingen Ordinance” you can rest assured no matter what Merkur razor you purchase, you are getting a product that is well constructed and will last a lifetime.

 

Design

The Merkur 34C is a simple and clean 2-piece, closed bar safety razor that is on the heavier side relative to its length.

There is no doubt that the extra weight makes this razor glide effortlessly over the face, which reduces the amount of pressure you have to apply to get a close shave.

It is handle-heavy which allows you to hold it practically anywhere on the handle while maintaining great control and balance.

The handle has an excellent gritty metal texture that really holds its grip even when doused in shaving cream or soap.

 

Performance

The Merkur 34C has a very mild aggressiveness that makes it’s easy to avoid any issues with nicks or cuts but still is able to provide an efficient close shave.

You really get the best of both worlds from this pristine DE Razor.

This razor is so forgiving and easy to handle we even put it on our list of the best razors for shaving your head.

 

Best for You?

This safety razor really seems to have it all in a nice compact design.

Due to its mild aggressiveness, it makes it perfect for beginners but still provides the high quality shave any experienced wet shaver can appreciate.

Unless you prefer a longer handle or have needs for a more aggressive razor, this razor really fits most people’s needs.

At a very reasonable price that fits almost everyone’s budget, it’s really hard to find anything negative to say about the Merkur 34C.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out the consensus of hundreds of Amazon customer reviews here.

 

Be sure to check out our video review below or the complete 34C review article here.

#2 Feather All Stainless Steel Safety Razor

Feather All Stainless Steel Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • Recognition: Best Performance
  • a.k.a.: The Ferrari of Razors
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 3
  • Length: Long (3.75 in)
  • Weight: Heavy (3.25 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Mild
  • Skill Level Required: Beginner
  • Price: $$$

The Feather All-Stainless Steel razor is truly the premium of safety razors, especially when considering overall shave performance, but it quite literally comes at a cost.

  Pros

  • Top of the line shave quality
  • Premium materials & build
  • A good weight & balance

  Cons

  • Pricey

 

Build Quality

If you truly want the best of the best and you’re okay with paying a premium price for a razor, then this is could definitely be the razor for you.

Carved out of solid stainless steel, this razor will never rust or tarnish and is built to last a lifetime.

In truth, there is nothing especially flashy about this particular razor, but don’t let that fool you.

Like many things from Japan, it was built with functionality first in mind.

 

Design

The Feather All Stainless Steel Safety Razor is a closed head, 3 piece razor.

The closed head provides that bit of insurance to anyone who doesn’t yet have 100% faith in their shaving abilities and wants a little protection from cuts and nicks.

The Feather All Stainless Steel is a little longer and heavier than some other safety razors.

What does that mean for you?

Well if you have small hands or feel more comfortable with a more subtle and nimble razor, you might feel like you have got a lot of razor to try and maneuver here.

But if you are used to something larger, have big hands, or just like the feeling of using a large, strong razor, you will enjoy the robust and solid design.

Handle length and weight are quite a personal thing.

There’s no ‘good’ length and weight, or ‘bad’ length and weight; it just depends on your preference.

However, despite its relatively large handle and weight, it still manages to feel quite compact.

So unless you do have particularly small hands, you shouldn’t struggle.

 

Performance

This razor provides an unrivaled quality shave that is “effective” yet incredibly mild.

The mild aggressiveness is due to the very minimal blade exposure and small blade gap.

So if you’re learning or don’t want a super aggressive razor then this one is right up your alley.

The weight of the stainless steel razor does all the work for you with no additional pressure required.

From a performance perspective, this is truly the “Ferrari” of safety razors, but it comes with the “Ferrari” price tag as well. 😉

 

Best for You?

Rest assured, you are spending your hard-earned dollars wisely with the Feather All Stainless Steel.

The build quality is practically unrivaled.

You won’t be buying another razor for a very, very long time.

So, if you want to spend your money wisely and know you are buying the best, don’t look much further.

But don’t assume because it is top-end quality, this is only for the more experienced wet shavers.

OK, if you are new to safety razors you might want to have a test run on something else before splashing out $200.

But the mild shave and closed bar mean you are in very safe hands.

You’ll be learning with the best.

It is no wonder how this safety razor that costs 6 times the price of standard safety razors still manages to receive countless 5-star reviews here on Amazon.

Don’t just take my word of it, see the Amazon reviews here!

 

Check out our video review of the Feature All Stainless Steel razor below.

#3 Merkur 37C Slant Bar Safety Razor

Merkur 37C Heavy Duty Slant Bar Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • Recognition: Best Slant Bar
  • a.k.a.: The Jigsaw
  • Head Type: Slant
  • Pieces: 2
  • Length: Short (3.3 in)
  • Weight: Medium (2.4 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Moderate
  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate
  • Price: $$

If you’ve got extra thick or coarse facial hair, or you’re looking for a razor that’s a bit more aggressive, we can suggest the Merkur 37C.

There is nothing else quite like it on the market, making it more than deserving of a place on this list.

  Pros

  • Slant design cuts through thick coarse hair
  • Solid construction
  • Very efficient shave

  Cons

  • Handle may feel too short for big hands

 

 Build Quality

When buying a car, you can’t go wrong with German.

And the same applies to safety razors. It is chrome finished, although the build material is not known.

But judging by its moderate weight despite being a very short razor, I’m pretty sure there is some steel in there.

Precision engineering makes this a razor of quality, with an intuitive design which I’ll discuss shortly.

It’s solid, robust and reliable. Pretty much the slogan for anything built in Germany.

 

Design

The outstanding feature of the Merkur 37c is the slanted bar.

This means the blade is fixed at a sloping angle.

Why a slanted bar?

Think of the guillotines used by Germany’s neighbors, the French, during their now infamous Revolution.

They, erm, ‘worked better’ thanks to the sloped blade that fell from the sky on to their victim.

This is because the pressure isn’t shared across the full edge of the blade, as it would be if it were a flat edge; the pressure is concentrated in to the part of the blade that makes contact first, and then that pressure is transferred along the blade’s edge as the sloped blade follows up behind it.

The exact same principle applies with this razor.

It essentially means with one stroke you are slicing at the hair multiple times.

The Merkur 37c feels quite squat.

It is short and quite heavy for its small dimensions.

If you have a large hand it could feel a little lost, but other people report enjoying the level of control that that brings.

So that really boils down to personal preference.

 

Performance

Thanks to that slanted blade, the 37c requires almost zero pressure to achieve one of the closest shaves out there.

In fact, it is important that you don’t apply to much pressure otherwise your bathroom might look like you have in fact been trying to reenact the French Revolution.

If you know how to handle an aggressive razor, you will really enjoy the quality of shave that this provides.

 

Best For?

Not recommended for beginners, but any experienced shaver who knows the proper technique and is willing to invest the time should enjoy the quality of the shave that the 37C provides.

Sensitive skin?

This is a great razor for you.

That sloped blade means there is considerably less drag you need to take fewer strokes to get an incredibly close shave.

It’s also a great choice for any particularly coarse facial hair.

That slanted blade (again) makes light work of thick beards and whiskers compared to other more standard designs.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

 

Be sure to check out our video review here or the complete 37C review article here.

#4 Rockwell 6C Adjustable Safety Razor

Rockwell 6C Adjustable Safety Razor (Best Adjustable Safety Razor)

Current price of “6C” on Amazon

Current price of “6S” on Amazon

Specs

  • Recognition: Best Adjustable Safety Razor
  • a.k.a.: The Shapeshifter
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 3
  • Length: Long (3.7 in)
  • Weight: Heavy (3.4 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Adjustable
  • Skill Level Required: Beginner
  • Price: $$

This relatively new adjustable safety razor has made a splash in the wet shaving community and can compete with many of the big players such as Merkur, Edwin Jagger, and alike.

  Pros

  • Adjust between 6 levels of aggressiveness
  • Great price for an adjustable razor
  • High-quality production in USA

  Cons

  • Multiple pieces to keep track of

 

 Build Quality

This is a high-quality product, made right here in the USA.

It is crafted from chromed zinc alloy, which is highly durable meaning you’ll get decades of use if you take good care of it.

Using chrome zinc alloy also places this safety razor into a slightly less expensive bracket than those made from stainless steel.

I used the word ‘crafted’ to start the review of build quality.

It was no accident to say that!

Simply saying ‘made from’ wouldn’t have done this justice.

The Rockwell 6C is first molded, then every piece individually refinished.

So when it comes to the quality of the build, you are getting a level of intimate craftsmanship that you might have thought was long gone.

 

Design

The closed-head makes this a good option for beginners, as does its weight which means you won’t need to apply much pressure in order to achieve a good, close shave.

Its design is very clever; It includes 3 adjustable plates, each one has two settings of ‘aggression’.

This gives 6 grades of shaving.

So regardless of your type of facial hair, you are going to get the perfect shave.

Aesthetically it looks great. Classic, resilient and elegant.

 

Performance

As discussed, you have 6 levels of aggression.

So the performance is almost up to you! From our experience though, this is a brilliantly efficient razor.

The Rockwell 6C is incredibly smooth and comfortable even on its most aggressive setting.

Its weight and control make shaving almost effortless, even for the less experienced in wet shaving.

 

Best for You?

The Rockwell S Series safety razors are hands down the best adjustable safety razor for its price.  

If you are relatively new to using a safety razor, or simply want one that you know you can rely on for years and years, the Rockwell 6C is an excellent choice.

The closed-head and the adjustable blade settings mean a beginner is going to feel safe and in control.

It is built to a very high standard – you won’t be buying another razor for a very long time.

Like to alter your shave?

Maybe for a slightly different look, or to give sensitive skin a break?

The adjustable blades make this a brilliant option for you.

They also have a high-end version, the 6S, available as well.

Check out what other customers have to say per the reviews here on Amazon.

#5 Edwin Jagger DE89lbl Safety Razor

Edwin Jagger DE89lbl Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • a.k.a.: Blade Runner
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 3
  • Length: Long (3.8 in)
  • Weight: Medium (2.1 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Moderate
  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate
  • Price: $$

Based in Sheffield, England, Edwin Jagger is one of the most trusted names in shaving tools, creams, and accessories.

Unlike specialist safety razor companies like Merkur, which produce a wide range of razors, the Edwin Jagger line of razors is relatively small, but that doesn’t mean it’s not excellent.

  Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Designed to last
  • Middle of the road aggressiveness for all shavers

  Cons

  • Some find the grip is not optimal

 

Build quality

The company is only a couple decades old.

But rather than meaning they lack the experience, it actually means they have begun making their safety razors using contemporary methods and aren’t restricted by any traditions of bad habits.

This is a razor that offers quality, both in its materials and its functionality.

The DE89lbl is chrome plated with a brass interior, meaning it has that sleek and classic look whilst being robust and built to last.

 

Design

The company has chosen to focus on a straightforward design, which is has perfected with the DE89lbl.

Unlike most razors, you can choose a DE89lbl that suits your own personal style, as you have the choice of many different handles, including smooth chrome, lined chrome for extra grip, faux ebony, faux ivory—heck, some retailers even sell a 24 carat gold plated version (for about double the price).

I found the weight to be not far off perfect, and whilst I would prefer just a couple more ounces, for many the weight is in fact ideal.

The 3-piece build means, if you look after it, this is a safety razor which could last a very long time.

 

Performance

Just taking a look at the reviews on Amazon, you can see that this is a razor that works very well.

The good weight and great design give a very close shave, despite having a pretty standard blade gap.

So you are getting a good quality of shave, without the risk of an overly aggressive razor.

Similarly, the balance feels almost spot on.

I found myself holding the handle a little higher than perhaps I would have liked, but that may just be preference. It is a razor which offers great control.

 

Best For?

This feels like a great ‘all rounder’ safety razor.

It protects brilliantly against nicks and cuts despite giving a relatively aggressive shave.

So experienced wet shavers, or those new to the game, will feel at home with the DE89lbl or one of its siblings.

It is also good for anyone that likes the image of using a safety razor as much as the functionality of one – it’s a very good looking bit of kit and will make you feel like you’re actually a 1950s Hollywood star.

Check out the thousands of customer reviews here on Amazon.

 

Be sure to check out our video review or the complete DE89lbl review article here.

#6 Feather Popular Twist-To-Open Safety Razor

Feather Popular Twist To Open Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • Recognition: Best Economy Razor
  • a.k.a.: Plastic Fantastic
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 1 (Butterfly)
  • Length: Long (4.5 in)
  • Weight: Light (1.2 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Moderate
  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate
  • Price: $

Japanese manufacturer Feather is one of the leading names in the safety razor game, at least as far as blades go (read our report on Feather blades to see just how incredible they are).

While the Feather “Popular” doesn’t quite live up to the company’s reputation for excellence, this has more to do with how excellent their other products are than anything.

  Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Easy to replace razor blades with butterfly design
  • Great for beginners

  Cons

  • Insufficient weight
  • Not a premium build quality

 

Build quality

Constructed partially of plastic and metal, and despite the low price, the Feather Popular is still one of the best butterfly safety razors we’ve come across as, unfortunately, most twist to open razors don’t function as well as they should.

Taking the value for money factor out of the equation, the build is not great.

The head may turn a little during shaving.

It is incredibly light meaning it is difficult (almost impossible) to get a close shave and the butterfly release mechanism doesn’t fill you with trust.

 

Design

This razor uses a more old school design with a fatter head that cuts down on the steepness of the blade angle, which makes it incredibly mild and perfect for those with sensitive skin.

It is, as mentioned, incredibly light thanks to the cheap materials from which it is constructed.

This makes it hard work to get a close shave and does require a lot of pressure.

The handle is one of the longest on the market.

Which is great news if you have large hands or just prefer a longer razor.

 

Performance

The performance is as you might expect; there are better on the market.

But for the price, the Feather Popular Twist does offer a decent quality shave.

As we’ve said, just check out the reviews and there are a lot of people who are very happy with the performance it offers.

It is a moderately aggressive razor, so if you know how to handle a safety razor, and you have the control to operate such a light razor, you can obtain a good shave.

 

Best For?

Despite its low price, this isn’t necessarily a safety razor for people new to the wet shave game.

It is quite aggressive and that means, combined with the lightweight design, you need to know how to handle a safety razor.

Having said that, it is going to be suited to an intermediate safety razor user who doesn’t have overly coarse facial hair and who doesn’t need to shave regularly or quickly.

This doesn’t have the quality to do the job in a hurry.

But if you have the knowledge, the patience and a skin type that doesn’t need a huge amount of care, the Feather Popular Twist is a great budget option.

Check out the over 1,000 customer reviews here on Amazon.

 

You can check out our video review below or the complete Feather Popular Twist review here.

 

#7 Merkur 33C Classic Safety Razor

Merkur 33C (aka Merkur Classic Safety Razor)

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • a.k.a.: Old Faithful
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 3
  • Length: Medium (3.5 in)
  • Weight: Light (1.75 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Moderate
  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate
  • Price: $$

When it comes to the all-around great DE razor, the Merkur 33c Classic deserves a mention.

In terms of striking a balance between performance and price, very few other razors even come close.

  Pros

  • Super control grip
  • Long-lasting 3-piece design
  • Effective shave for price

  Cons

  • Some find the weight is too light

 

Build quality

It’s a Merkur.

Point made.

As mentioned in the review of the 37c, you just can’t fault the efficient, reliable and classy build of a Merkur.

The chrome plated steel looks the part, thanks to its stylish, simple and, of course, classic design.

 

Design

One of the many highlights of the 33C is the grip.

You feel in absolute total control, no matter how wet or soapy the handle gets.

You get a great sense of confidence from that.  

It is one of the lighter safety razors on the market, but despite being light it doesn’t feel frail or unreliable.

Instead, its weight just makes it feel nimble and gives you a great sense of freedom.

Additionally, it’s got a great balance point so despite being light it still has brilliant control.

The 3-piece design is a definite plus point.

Fewer moving parts means fewer things that could go wrong, so the 3-piece set-up means the 33c will last a lifetime (almost not exaggerating) if you take good care of it. It is quite a short razor, so if you have large hands or prefer a longer handles version you might want to take a look elsewhere.

There are other variations in this range though which you can find in our full review.

 

Performance

The 33c is a moderately aggressive safety razor.

Partly due to its lightweight, you feel the need to apply more pressure and as a result, you get a more aggressive shave.

Despite that, the razor gently glides over the skin, as the weight does the work so you don’t have to drag and pull like with some lighter plastic models.  

 

Best for?

This DE razor is a great all-round razor for shavers of all skill levels, with a delicate balance that makes it fit perfectly in hand.

Still, if you’re looking for something a bit heavier, with a thicker handle, you may want to check out the Merkur 34C Heavy Classic, which is the same model but heavier.

Alternatively, if you want a razor with a longer handle, we can recommend the Merkur 180 Barber’s Pole, which you can find more information about in our post on the best Merkur safety razors.

In general, pretty much all Merkur safety razors are a cut above the competition, but the Classic is a great place to start.

Just maybe opt for something less aggressive if you are new to wet shaving.

See the consensus of thousands of Amazon reviews here.

 

You can also check out our video review below or the complete Merkur 33c article here.

#8 Muhle R89 Safety Razor

Muhle R89 Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • a.k.a.: Easy Sweep
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 3
  • Length: Long (3.7 in)
  • Weight: Medium (2.2 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Moderate
  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate
  • Price: $$

Muhle is another well-respected name in razors, and their R89 is another favorite amongst shavers in the know.

  Pros

  • Nicely designed handle
  • Wear & tear resistant
  • Nice shiny finish

  Cons

  • A little light

 

Build quality

Well, it’s German!

So you’re getting that seal of quality just from knowing that.

However, its build is more in line with the British make Edwin Jagger rather than its German counterpart Merkur.

It does have a great finish, making it something you would want to keep on display in your bathroom rather than hidden away in a cabinet.

 

Design

The sleek, durable design is built to last, while the textured handle looks good and prevents it from slipping.

The handle is one of the thicker handles you would find on a safety razor.

But don’t assume that means it’s overly heavy, as it’s not.

It’s still an averagely heavy razor.

A 3-piece design means it’s a razor which is less prone to damage and general wear and tear, that due to the fact there are fewer moving parts.

 

Performance

The R89 is very similar in performance to the Edwin Jagger  de89lbl.

It is, however, a bit more aggressive, thanks to its bigger blade gap.  

It’s hard to explain exactly why, but the R89 does glide particularly easily.

And that large blade gap gives a very close shave when in the hands of someone with a bit of experience.

 

Best For?

There is no real outstanding feature of the R89 other than a slightly long handle and the fact that it looks, well, shiny!

So for that reason, I guess it’s good for anyone with a large hand that can handle the pole.

And for anyone that likes the ‘bling element’.

As you should be able to tell by this point, there is much to choose between most quality safety razors.

And with that level of choice available, I’d be more likely to recommend something slightly cheaper like the Edwin Jagger or a Merkur.

See what hundreds of customers on Amazon say here.

 

Be sure to check out our video review below or the complete R89 review article here.

#9 Parker 99R Safety Razor

Parker 99R Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • a.k.a.: Mule Skinner
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 1 (Butterfly)
  • Length: Long (4 in)
  • Weight: Heavy (3.4 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: High
  • Skill Level Required: Expert
  • Price: $$

When it comes butterfly safety razors, Parker has virtually cornered the market with the newly designed head it unveiled in 2010.

While Parker produces many good safety razors, for my money, the 99R is the best of the bunch.

  Pros

  • Blade replacement friendly design
  • Great value for the price
  • Long versatile handle

  Cons

  • Butterfly design may reduce lifespan of razor

 

Build quality

The majority of major razor manufacturer’s like Merkur and Edwin Jagger mostly produce two and three-piece designs, as they offer a more classic feel and are generally slightly more accessible to clean and maintain.

However, the Parker 99R is a butterfly safety razor and you just can’t beat the ease of a blade change in with one of these.

Although butterfly safety razors are notorious for not lasting as long as two or three piece razors, the Parker 99R still seems quite durable and should last for at least a few years—making it well worth the price.

The solid chrome plated brass feels solid and reliable.

 

Design

The 99R is a heavy razor, there is no doubt about that.

Weighing in at 3.4 ounces of solid chrome plated brass, it is a weight that gives you confidence Featuring a 4-inch long textured handle, it offers plenty of control and ensures your hands won’t slip.

But for some, that handle may feel too long, especially when you consider its above average weight.

It’s got an old-school barber look, which I personally love.

 

Performance

The 99R is an aggressive razor, there are no two ways about it.

I personally find it way too aggressive, but its weight does help as you feel no need to apply pressure.

So the combination of the big blade gap and heavyweight, means you are guaranteed an incredibly close shave…if you know what you are doing.

If you don’t have the experience and the skill, the blade gap and aggression are best avoided.

And you’ll definitely want to take a read of our guide to the best aftershaves!

 

Best for?

You can’t be new to the safety razor game and expect to be ok with the 99R.

This is a razor for the more experienced and confident.

If you like a lighter razor, you would also be advised to look elsewhere and the Parker 96R is an excellent choice.

Check out what over 1,000 customer reviews say on Amazon.

 

Be sure to check out our video review below or the complete 99R review article here.

#10 Merkur Futur Safety Razor

Merkur Futur Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • a.k.a.: The Matrix
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 2
  • Length: Long (4 in)
  • Weight: Heavy (4.4 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Adjustable
  • Skill Level Required: Intermediate
  • Price: $$$

The Merkur Futur is the only adjustable safety razor on the list, but that’s not the reason it made it.

It is a piece of artistic design and a marvel of precision engineering.

But the real reason it made the list is, of course, the way it shaves.

  Pros

  • Adjustable levels of aggressiveness
  • No extra pieces to keep track of
  • Cool matte finish

  Cons

  • Grip can get slippery

 

Build quality

As has been pointed out a couple of times in this article, Merkur knows what they are doing.

They make incredibly good safety razors, so the build quality is not in doubt.

Even with the additional moving parts of this adjustable 2 piece razor, you can make this razor last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

 

Design

If we were looking for a flaw it would be this; there is an area on the handle, just near the balance point, that has no grip. In fact, it is a smooth, recessed area of the handle that not only has no grip, it seems to be the smoothest area of the entire razor.

So depending on where you hold the razor when you shave, and how you hold the razor when you shave, you could find that black-hole of grip to be a bit of an issue.

However…. The adjustable blade gives pro shavers the freedom to customize their shave, starting off with the blade adjusted close and then slowly opening it up to tackle the tighter spots.

The unique rounded design makes this thing perfectly balanced and fits excellently in hand, which is great since this razor can be incredibly unforgiving if you’re not careful or don’t know what you’re doing.

It also comes in a gold-plated version, which looks slick (or trashy and garish, depending on your view of course!)

 

Performance

Well, the performance is entirely up to you.

You pick the blade gap, so you pick the aggression.

Just don’t get too excited, because there are a few settings which should be reserved for the experienced only.

But it is that versatility that makes this razor such a fine product.

Different areas of your beard might need a different setting, or you might want to just have a ‘tidy up’ rather than the closest shave of your life.

 

 

Best For?

Because of its weight and its ability to cut very close, this probably shouldn’t be your very first safety razor.

Also, if you like a classic look razor, this might not do it for you.

But if you know you like wet shaving with a safety razor, and you know you want to buy quality that lasts, you can’t go far wrong at all with the Merkur Futur.

See what other users have to say per the Amazon reviews here.

 

You can check out our video review below or our complete Futur review article for more details.

#11 Merkur 1904 Classic Safety Razor

Merkur 1904 Classic

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • Recognition: Best Open Comb
  • a.k.a.: Father Time
  • Head Type: Open
  • Pieces: 3
  • Length: Short (3.2 in)
  • Weight: Medium (2.3 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Moderate
  • Skill Level Required: Expert
  • Price: $$

Designed to the exact specifications and virtually a replica of Gillette’s original 1904 safety razor design, the Merkur 1904 Classic is a great looking, fun to use a razor with a fresh retro appeal.

  Pros

  • Classic aesthetic look
  • Great compact & sturdy design
  • Good price

  Cons

  • Some find the handle too short

 

Build quality

Well, I’ll say it again; it’s a Merkur so you know it is a quality product.

It may be built on early 20th century designs, but the build quality and materials are bang up to date.

It feels solid, sturdy and you would trust it to be by your side for decades to come!

That great build quality doesn’t come at a huge price though.

The price of the 1904 Classic is one of its biggest assets.

 

Design

The thing I like most about this one is that it shows that we don’t always need all these fancy new designs and so-called improvements, as sometimes, nothing beats the original.

In that regard, it is almost the exact opposite of Merkur’s Futur safety razor (#10 on the list) It is a short, 3 piece safety razor which feels great in the hand and offers a great shave.

Despite being a moderately aggressive razor, you will still need a large level of control and skill.

Because of its retro design, if you do rush or get it wrong, that aggression rating very quickly ramps up!

 

Performance

As mentioned, it is moderately aggressive so it’s not one for rookies.

It offers a good weight that aids shaving nicely, and the short handle gives a level of control you’ll really appreciate.

The design hasn’t changed over the centuries because the high-level of performance hasn’t needed it to.

That should tell you all you need to know!

 

Best For?

This is definitely a safety razor for anyone that loves the nostalgia and old-school feel that wet shaving brings.

It’s also a choice for someone with a good level of experience with a safety razor as the ‘back to basics’ design could leave a novice with a lot of nicks.

It’s also a great option for anyone not wanting t spend a large amount on their safety razor – this retails at a great price, especially considering its quality.

Check out other customer’s opinions here on Amazon.

 

See the video review below or complete 1904 Classic review article for more details.

#12 Weishi 9306 Safety Razor

Weishi 9306 Safety Razor

Current price here on Amazon

Specs

  • a.k.a.: The Squeaker
  • Head Type: Closed
  • Pieces: 1 (Butterfly)
  • Length: Short (3.5 in)
  • Weight: Medium (2.25 oz)
  • Razor Aggression: Mild
  • Skill Level Required: Beginner
  • Price: $

The Weishi 9306 line of safety razors includes a variety of models, including classic and long-handle, heavy-duty versions that are available in dark silver or chrome plating.

  Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use design
  • Good grip

  Cons

  • Flimsy Butterfly mechanism
  • Not built to last

 

Build quality

While the Feather Popular’s butterfly opening seems more durable than the Weishi, the fact that these razors are entirely constructed from metal places them a level above most others in this price range.

If your experience of safety razors is with more expensive makes and model, you’ll notice the reduction in quality with this one.

However, it isn’t terrible and for the money you pay, you could expect a lot worse.

There’s very little blade movement and it still feels fairly robust in your hand.

 

Design

All the Weishi 9306 models are twist-to-open or butterfly style and are constructed of a heavy copper alloy that makes them look and feel like many more expensive models.

It has to be said, it’s not the best looking safety razor.

It sits somewhere between ‘classic’ look and ‘modern’ without managing to archive either.

But if you aren’t looking to take it down a cat-walk, that’s not going to be a problem for you.

 

Performance

The shave is mild, so a great option for beginners.

But if you do have coarse hair or sensitive skin, you might want to avoid the Weishi 9306 – you will need to make multiple passes for a truly clean shave and that is just going to prove hard work and a nightmare for your skin.

But for standard beard types and for those that don’t need to shave often, the low aggression shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Best for?

This is definitely a razor for anyone new to the safety razor scene.

If you’re not looking to spend a lot and just want to get a feel for this type of shaving, this is a great option.

Or it is a decent option for an inexpensive travel razor or just a razor to touch up areas of facial hair that you want to keep neater.

If you’re experienced with a safety razor and want to invest in a sturdy bathroom companion, this is not the one for you.

Check out the many Amazon customer reviews here.

 

Check out our video review below or complete and thorough Weishi 9306 review article here.

Other Resources You Don’t Want To Miss

Important: Don’t forget that among other things, premium DE blades, a quality shaving cream or soap, and a top-tier aftershave are essential to getting the closest, most comfortable shave.

Be sure to check out these articles and vetted lists of the best products along with detailed guides on selecting the best one for your specific needs.

 

5 Reasons Why Wet Shaving is Better (Backed by Science)

Why Wet shaving is better backed by science infographic

As all men (and women) know, shaving is a serious business. After all, you’re taking a razor sharp piece of metal to your skin, opening up the possibility of cuts, nicks, scrapes and weeping wounds if you’re not careful.

However, when I say shaving is a serious business, I’m talking about something else altogether.

Ever since King Camp Gillette invented the world’s first double blade safety razor at the start of the 20th century, razor manufacturers have been fighting against one another to dominate what has grown to be well over a $15 billion a year business—all while seemingly paying no mind to the wishes of their customers, let alone the science behind getting a close shave.

Shaving Test

Sure, Schick, Gillette and the others all have multi-million dollar laboratories where they design and test their latest and greatest products.

They also employ teams of scientists who are paid to tell you that yes, definitely, without a doubt, a 3, 4 or 5 blade razor gives a closer shave and minimizes irritation when compared to a single blade razor.

Their claim is normally that the increased number of blades cuts down on the pressure you need to apply to shave the hair closely and as a result, reduces the amount of irritation.

The razor companies and their experts have been so successful in marketing their products and dictating trends in the shaving industry that very few non-biased, scientific studies have ever been done on shaving.

Generally, there are three landmark shaving studies that are cited, all of which point to the fact that wet shaving is the way to go and will surely decrease the amount of irritation more than using a cartridge razor.

The first groundbreaking shaving study was performed in 1937, but humans have been shaving for a heck of a lot longer than that.

This article and accompanying infographic breaks down the results and revelations of these independent scientific studies on shaving and how these findings support traditional wet shaving with a single blade razor (i.e. safety razor or straight razor).

 

“Factors Involved in Satisfactory Shaving”- 1937

 

Factors Involved in Satisfactory Shaving - 1937

Written by Lester Hollander and Elbridge J. Casselman and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Factors Involved in Satisfactory Shaving” was the first groundbreaking study on shaving to be performed.

I mean these guys looked at everything, from what hair is made of to how long it takes to soak up water, the rate and angle that facial hair grows at and how much skin is removed when shaving amongst many other things.

All told, the paper basically discusses exactly how to get a good shave, including the angle you should hold the razor, how much prep time is needed and how to reduce irritation, ingrown hairs, razor bumps and other common issues.

However, the paper is quite technical and scientific (and no longer available for free), so I’ll spare you the pain and simply sum up some of the most important results as they pertain to wet shaving.

Keep in mind that while the study was performed using a safety razor (disposable and cartridge razors hadn’t been invented yet), most of the findings pertain to shaving in general—no matter what type of razor you use.

1. Hairs soften up and stretch when they soak up water. It generally takes around 3 minutes for facial hair to become fully soaked when submerged in warm water.

Cutting Characteristics of Beard Hair - 2007

2. Facial hairs generally grow very quickly immediately after shaving, but the rate gradually reduces with time.

3. Hairs virtually never grow straight out from the face. Most hairs grow at an angle between 30 and 60 degrees.

This is why shaving brushes are important, as they pull the hairs up away from the face and make them stand at a straighter angle.

4. When shaving, we remove almost the same amount of skin as hair, which is why we experience so much irritation.

5. Washing the face to gently scrub away dirt and dead skin can reduce the amount of irritation.

It reduces both the amount of skin scraped away by the razor and decreases the chances of the razor catching and dragging across the skin.

This is why one should use a quality shaving brush as well which helps exfoliate the skin before shaving.

wash your face before you shave

6. The fewer strokes you take the less skin you scrape away and the less irritation you experience.

7. To further reduce irritation and the chance of ingrown hairs, use stiffer lather and only shave every other day.

In general, the two scientists performed quite an exhaustive study that told us many truths about shaving.

Unfortunately, they only looked at the tensile or stretching strength of hair.

If you’ve ever heard that facial hair is stronger than copper wire, that myth comes from this study.

Copper wire may break before hair when stretched, but in terms of shear or cutting strength, copper is far stronger than hair.

Try slicing through a copper wire with your razor if you don’t believe me.

“Observations on the Cutting of Beard Hair”- 1976

Observations on the Cutting of Beard Hair - 1976

Donald Reim and Martin Reiger were the first to seriously study the cutting strength of beard hair and they published their results in the aptly named “Observations on the Cutting of Beard Hair” in 1976.

This study is much more technical than the first, so again, just the most important observations.

1. Like the earlier study, this one noted that it generally takes beard hair 2-3 minutes to fully hydrate in room temperature water.

2. When fully hydrated, the amount of force needed to cut the hair is greatly reduced.

3. When a hair is sliced with a sharp razor, no bending or pulling occurs.

The last two are definitely the most important things to take away from this study.

The first directly relates to wet shaving, as it shows that taking a shower or wrapping a warm, wet towel around your face for a few minutes will lessen the amount of force necessary to shave off your facial hairs.

This means you’ll have to apply less pressure on the razor and thus experience less irritation.

The second factor directly relates to multiple blade razors.

One of the razor companies’ biggest claims about multiple blade razors is that single blade razors cause the hairs to lay flat, whereas with multiple blades, the first blade both slices off the hair and also pulls it further out to allow the second blade to cut it closer, followed by the third and so on.

However, this study showed that no pulling occurs when the hair is cut, which totally destroys the claim that cartridge razors are built on.

Check out our article on safety razor vs cartridge for a thorough comparison.

 

“Cutting Characteristics of Beard Hair”- 2007

Cutting Characteristics of Beard Hair

An even more thorough study on the cutting strength of beard hair was conducted by a team of scientists in 2007.

They didn’t find much new, except to back up some of the previous findings with more concrete numbers.

In this study, the authors stated that moisture reduced the cutting strength of hair by at least 30%, showing how important wet shaving is.

 

The Final Score: Wet Shaving Wins!

Wet Shaving Wins

So let’s see what we’ve learned here.

1. Exfoliation helps to minimize razor burn and irritation.

2. Water helps soften facial hairs, making them easier to cut.

3. Multiple blades can’t grab and pull the hair, that is, unless the blades aren’t entirely sharp.

4. A single sharp blade, such as a safety or straight razor, on the other hand, can slice the hair off close to the face in one swoop.

5. The more times a razor blade touches your face, the more irritation you’ll experience.

Therefore, more blades equal more irritation, not less.

After looking at the science behind shaving, it really should be obvious that wet shaving is the only way to shave.

Science says no other way makes sense—no matter what the billion dollar razor manufacturers say to the contrary.

Check out our other infographic on the many other benefits of traditional wet shaving.

Downsides to Safety Razors?

Downsides to Using a Safety RazorCompared to the positives, the negatives are minor.

I am a fan of them, but I’m not going to pretend they achieve absolute perfection.

They simply nearly achieve it. 😉

Over the years we have spoken to a lot of men about their shaving habits and preferences, and discovered that the two main ‘negatives’ to safety razors are;

 

Time

Because of the shorter more careful strokes, you may feel that shaving with a safety razor takes longer than you are used to.

If you have been using a cartridge razor, you are

a) a fool, and

b) going to be used to shaving in double quick time.

But you are also used to shaving with a massively inferior product!

It’s something I’ve discussed at length in the past, see what I mean this article comparing safety razors and cartridge razors.

So with the upgrade in your shaving routine comes an additional bit of time needed to perform it.

But to my mind, the pros here MASSIVELY outweighs this con.

 

Air Travel

Because of their design, you aren’t going to be able to fly with a safety razor in your hand luggage.

Which makes perfect sense, I’m not questioning the rules.

But it does mean you can’t be taking it with you for a quick overnight stay if you’ve got to fly there.

Thankfully there are some pretty awesome beard trimmers, so you can keep yourself looking presentable!

My Two Cents on Safety Razors

My Two CentsSimply put, the benefits of using a safety razor are so numerous that it makes me start to wonder why so many men are still subjecting their faces to the pain and irritation that comes along with using disposable or cartridge razors.

Sure they may be quick and easy, but the quality of the shave they provide doesn’t even come close to matching a safety razor.

No matter how many blades they put in a cartridge, they still can’t compete with a sharp double edge safety razor.

For a thorough comparison of the two check out this safety razor vs cartridge article.

Much of the reason that safety razors are so great has to do with the double edge razor blades themselves, as not only are they relatively inexpensive (even the best ones typically cost less than 50 cents apiece), but they are also generally made of much higher quality steel than the blades found in disposable razors.

The higher quality steel allows the razors to be ground to a much sharper edge and also hold their sharpness for longer.

Of course, this doesn’t hold true for all double edge razor blades as some brands are apparently much better than others, which is why we’d recommend investing in the best double edge safety razor blades you can get.

While the quality of the razor blades you use will be a significant determining factor in the closeness and quality of your shave, choosing a decent safety razor is also essential.

Still, determining which is the best DE razor is somewhat of a matter of personal preference, as it comes down to how comfortable it feels in your hand and how much you’re willing to spend.

As you can see, the selection of quality safety razors is so vast that it can be tough to decide on one. With so many options, you could go on forever comparing all of the various brands and models, but it’s not worth that much effort.

All of the products on our list can do a decent job, and I would say all of the medium to higher end razors we’ve listed are outstanding for one reason or another.

However, the only way you’re going to know whether a particular razor is right for you is to try it out.

So don’t spend too much time stressing over which one to buy, pick one and give it a shot.

After all, you can always buy another new or even a vintage razor down the road if you’re not completely satisfied.

Plus, no matter what you end up buying, it will be way better than using a disposable.

Ben Rose Founder and Senior Editor of PrimandPrep.com

Ben Rose is the founder and senior editor at Prim&Prep, the definitive guide to male grooming. He is a wet shaving expert and body grooming aficionado. His work has been featured on many other prominent publications including Good Men Project, Addicted to Success, Steven Aitchison, and Sharpologist.