The most typical shaving gear of choice for most gentlemen would be a cartridge razor, which is easy to use but not entirely satisfying. Barbers recommend using a safety razor instead. So here, we curated everything you need to find the best safety razors for beginners.
Men’s grooming is rising as more gentlemen opt to give attention to themselves. Plus, it can be an excellent hobby to learn. For shaving, everything starts with a good razor. That is why it is necessary to find the best one for you.
In this article:
- Cartridge vs. Safety Razor
- Parts and Kinds of Safety Razors
- Single edge
- Two piece
- Three piece double edge
- Butterfly or Twist-to-open
- What Makes A Good Safety Razor?
Cartridge vs. Safety Razor
If you are not familiar with the many kinds of razors, then looking at photos of cartridges and safety razors would confuse you a lot. They may look similar, but these shaving gears are unique from each other.
The first difference is evident in the number of blades these razors hold. A cartridge razor has two to three blades. Meanwhile, a safety razor uses only one double-edge razor blade.
Secondly, a cartridge razor’s head is removable. Replacing the blades would require the removal of the entire head, hence why some prefer to throw the whole plastic mess in the bin. Safety razors, on the other hand, have an undetachable head, which lets you easily replace the blades once dull.
Lastly, cartridge razors are mostly made of plastic. Meanwhile, the parts of a safety razor can be made using the finest of woods and metals.
Parts and Kinds of Safety Razors
The first thing to do before you can find the best safety razor for beginners is to understand what kind of tool a safety razor is. Unlike a typical razor, this shaving gear entails complicated mechanisms with parts that can significantly affect your shaving experience.
The most basic parts of a safety razor are the top, base, and handle.
The top or cap covers and holds the blade in place. Meanwhile, you put the blade inside the base, and the handle is what you use to hold or grip onto the razor as you shave.
However, it gets more complicated as these parts vary depending on the type of safety razor you choose to use. Below are the different kinds of safety razors:
The original, the inspiration, and the pioneer of the idea behind safety razors is the single-edge safety razor. This kind of safety razor comes in different mechanisms and pieces, yet the original patent, Star Safety Razor, that the Kampfe brothers released in 1880, feature a hoe-type razor using a snippet of a straight razor blade. These blades are not replaceable but honed and stropped instead.
Today’s single-edge safety razors can either have a two to three-piece mechanism. The shave feels stiffer, perfect for wet shaving experts who long for aggressive shaves. The only downside is that its blades are not easy to find.
One of the most common designs of safety razors in modern times is the two-piece safety razor. This kind of safety razor only has two parts, which have a detachable top and wherein the base is attached to the handle.
Two-piece safety razors have a twisting knob at the bottom of the handle. It lets you disconnect the top or cap for replacing worn-out blades.
Three-piece double edge
The most common safety razor design would be the three-piece double edge safety razor. This safety razor has all three detachable parts.
To use a three-piece safety razor, you would need to unscrew the handle from the base and then remove the cap of the base before placing the blade inside. Below is an excellent video from CDShaving Murphy to guide you:
Butterfly or Twist-to-open
The one-piece version of safety razors mostly has a butterfly or twist-to-open (TTO) mechanism. Unlike the previous kinds of a safety razor, the handle, base, and top of a TTO are in one solid piece.
The handle has a bottom knob that spreads the cap open, allowing you to access the base. It is simple and straightforward to use.
Now, onto the different combs of a safety razor, determining how aggressive your shaving experience will be.
Tightly-packed ridges, that is how the edge of a closed-comb safety razor looks like. The spaces between the teeth are minimal, and there is also a safety bar over the blade teeth, providing a mild shave. Safety razors with this kind of edge are more ideal for daily shaving and small amounts of hair like five o’clock shadows.
On the other hand, an open comb does not have a safety bar over the edges’ teeth, which have more spaces in between. This structure exposes more of your blade’s edge, therefore, providing a more aggressive shave suitable for dealing with beards and for expert shavers.
Some manufacturers give you the best of both worlds with an adjustable feature. There are adjustable safety razors with a knob at the bottom of the handle to increase and decrease the space between the safety bar and the razor. This mechanism defines how aggressive your shave will be, making it convenient to use whether you are a beginner or an expert.
The takeaway is that the more “open” your safety razor’s head is, the more aggressive your shave will be.
What Makes a Good Safety Razor?
There are three things you need to consider when choosing the best safety razor for beginners—the head, handle, and blade type.
Choosing a safety razor head
The head significantly determines the wet shaving experience you will have and your chances of nicking yourself. Unlike cartridge razors, the blade inside a safety razor is not fixed at a certain angle; hence the more “open” your razors are, the more chances of nicking yourself.
The best head of a safety razor for beginners would be a closed-comb safety razor. According to expert barbers, in an interview with The Strategist, closed-comb safety razors “offer[s] a more protected shave” because, with open-comb safety razors, the blade is more exposed.
The perfect safety razor handle
One of the most defining factors of a safety razor would be the length of its handle, which has an average size of 3 to 4 inches in length. This is also suitable for many beginners as it accounts for better grip and control.
Best safety razor blade
Not all safety razors are compatible with all blade types—remember the single edge safety razor? That is why it is advisable for beginners to start with a safety razor that can accommodate the best and most easily-accessible kind of safety razor blades.
Case in point, the best kind of safety razor for a beginner, would be a closed-comb safety razor or an adjustable double edge safety razor.
One of the best and most trusted safety razors in the market today is the Parker Variant Adjustable Safety Razor. This adjustable safety razor has a satin chrome plating, all brass frame, and a knurled handle for the best grip possible. The knob at the handle’s end allows you to choose from mild to aggressive, catering to all your shaving needs as you start from a beginner and slowly transition to an expert.
For a complete wet shaving experience, Naked Armor’s Spartacus Safety Razor Kit includes a three-piece closed-comb safety razor, a badger-friendly brush, and organic shaving soap.
The Spartacus’ three-piece structure familiarizes every beginner with the actual mechanism of a classic safety razor. And unlike the typical safety razors, it bears a beautiful sandalwood handle with the perfect heft for an effortless shave.
Both of these razors are compatible with different DE blades. You can get the best safety razors for beginners from Naked Armor by shopping below: