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    Home »GROOMING ADVICE»About Shaving Razors» Types of Shaving Razors
    Here is a quick guide to the four major types of shaving razors. Each type differs greatly in the blade used, the quality of the shaving experience, the skill and time required for a shave, and the cost and time for replacing or sharpening dull blades.

      Straight razors, sometimes referred to as Cut Throat Razors, were the most popular tool for shaving in the 1700 and 1800's. Straight razors provide a terrific shave but require a lot of skill, time and maintenance.

      The blade in a straight razor cleverly folds into the handle. The blade is permanent and made of hardened steel while the handle can be made of variety of materials including wood, metal, horn, bone or plastic. Both the steel and handle are sometimes engraved.

      Of all the types of shaving razors, straight razors have the sharpest edges and provide the closest of shaves. Users can easily receive a serious injury from a straight razor because the blade can cut to any depth into your skin unless you are careful. As a result, itís important to take your time and go slowly when using a straight razor because their edges are so sharp.

      A straight razor will basically last forever but needs frequent stropping and honing to keep its metal edge straight and sharp. Prices for a new, straight razor typically range from $50 to $200 with some as expensive of $1,000. Since you re-sharpen the existing blade, you never have to purchase replacement blades. The periodic blade sharpening does take time and skill.

      During the last few years, as part of the resurgence by men in quality shaving, the straight razor has seen an increase in usage. Before making the financial and time commitment to straight razor shaving, you should get at least one or two straight razor shaves from a barber or menís hair salon so you can see the time and skill required and experience the shave. Two of the major manufacturers of straight razors are Dovo in Germany and Thiers Issard in France.


      Safety razors are favored by many men, shaving aficionados and traditionalists because of their close, smooth shave without causing irritation and ingrown hairs. They are called safety razors because only a very slight edge of a single razor blade is allowed to touch the skin which prevents the blade from cutting deeply into the skin and eliminates the possibility of a major injury (hence the name - Safety Razor).

      Safety razors typically consist of a permanent handle which can be made from a variety of materials and a metal head which holds a replaceable, single razor blade made from steel with two sharp edges. The razor blades used in safety razors are commonly known as a double-edge or DE razor blades.

      Double-edge razor blades only require a very light touch to effectively shave your beard. Since so little pressure is required, most men find they do not suffer from shaving irritation, rash or ingrown hairs.

      Safety razors are easy to use and only require a few minutes a day for a terrific shaving experience. Donít be afraid of safety razors or be intimidated by them. Just practice a few times, and youíll be an expert too. Remember, more men use safety razors in the world than any other type of razor!

      Safety razors can easily last a lifetime. Prices for safety razors usually range from $25 to $150. The price is affected by the handle material which is usually made from either metal, plastic, bone or horn, the company and country of manufacture, the head used to hold the razor blade, and the design.

      Depending on how often a man shaves and the coarseness of his beard, the double-edge razor blade used in a safety razor usually needs to be replaced at least once a week. Double-edge razor blades range in price from $.09 to $.70 and will cost approximately $5 to $36 annually for replacement blades.

      We carry two of the most well known manufacturers of safety razors: Merkur made in Germany and Edwin Jagger made in England. Other well-known brands include Parker (India), Muhle (Germany), Pils (Germany), Feather (Japan), Joris (France), and Weishi (China).


      Cartridge razors consist of a handle usually made from either plastic or metal that holds a replaceable plastic cartridge with either two, three, four, or five stainless steel razor blades. The entire cartridge is replaced as needed - usually after 4 or 5 shaves for best results.

      Ever since their introduction in 1971, cartridge razors have been very popular in the United States. The two major manufacturers, Gillette and Schick, have spent millions of dollars in advertising convincing men that shaving with a multi-blade cartridge means a better shave. As the number of blades per cartridge has increased, so has the price. Despite the millions of dollars of slick advertising, there is no proof of any shaving advantage or improvement by using a multi-blade cartridge over a single safety razor blade.

      During the past several years, many men who have become dissatisfied and frustrated with shaving irritation and ingrown hairs, have switched from cartridge razors to safety razors to find relief and better shaving results. Many other men are switching because of the never-ending increasing costs of the cartridge razors which can range from $260 a year for weekly Fusion (5 blade cartridge) replacements or $130 a year for weekly Mach3 (3 blade cartridge) replacements compared to an annual cost of $5 to $36 for double-edge safety razor blades.

      We offer several Mach3 Razors from Edwin Jagger and several Fusion Razors from Edwin Jagger and Truefitt & Hill.

      A NOTE ON DISPOSABLE CARTRIDGE RAZORS - Though convenient, ditch your disposable razors. The shaving results are poor to mediocre, the razors are environmentally wasteful, and over time, disposable razors are more expensive than cartridge or safety razors.

      Electric razors are convenient and quick. Though there are many satisfied users, many men complain of irritated skin from electric shavers. Electric razors do not shave as close as manual razors. They are handy for trimming beards, sideburns and mustaches. Better electric razors range from $50 to $200.


      We like safety razors the best. They are easy to use and provide smooth, close shaves. Safety razors are also more affordable over the long run with double-edge razor blades being substantially less expensive and better for the environment than multi-blade cartridges. We like straight razors but they just take too much time and maintenance.
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