Only a small part oof the shaving community are aware of the significant differences between a single and multi-blade razor.
We’re exaggerating, of course, but the gist of this is true. Out there on the online forums, discussions can get heated when discussing about the merits or demerits of these kind of razors.
While the opinion is generally divided into two camps, there’s also a particular segment of the shaving population that doesn’t really care which blade they use as long as it does its job. For these men, all razors are the same; the number of blades don’t make much of a difference in their shaving routine.
Here at Naked Armor, we happen to think that the number of blades matter.
It’s the difference between making your shaving routine a tedious chore, or a personal luxury that you always enjoy.
If you’re a newbie looking at buying your first razor, you can easily be distracted by all the competing arguments for both types of razors. To make things simpler, allow us to give you the low-down on which one gives the best shave. Because at the end of the day, that’s what we are all after, right? A clean and comfortable close shave.
Here's what you can find in this article:
Knowing the difference between a single and a multi-blade razor will help you decide how to proceed on your shaving journey.
Merry Band of Blades
Multi-blade razors are a recent invention. In 1971, when they produced the first two-blade razor on a consumer market already primed for convenience, it revolutionized the shaving industry.
Demand for it skyrocketed due to its presented advantages. Having multiple blades on a razor helps cut more hair in one single pass, and men love benefitting from this advantage as it doesn’t require much effort to shave with a multi-blade razor. Users liked it because it was convenient. Razor companies marketed it along the lines: the more blades a razor has, the closer shave one can get.
That is why shaving and razor companies went into a race of building and producing the razor with the highest number of blades possible. Seemingly that every year, these companies make an additional blade like it’s a new technological advance. To get that supposedly best shave and experience, we feel like we need to purchase a new handle and a new set of upgraded razors.
The basic two-blade design evolved to three blades, to five, to seven or more. Today, top razor companies invest significant amounts of money into further research and innovation, all in the name of coming up with the best multi-blade razor. It’s the shaving equivalent of an arms race.
It’s a serious business, y’all!
Even though companies keep advancing their multi-blade razors, some men still wonder how many blades a razor should have to give you the best shave possible. If they are evolving and adding the number of blades, does it mean that razors with lesser edges are less valuable? Well, most dermatologists suggest that two blades are more dependable as they seem to prevent nicks. The razor head occupies less area on sharp curves, and it’s much easier to control.
Lone Blade Standing
In contrast, the single blade razor has been around since the dawn of civilization.
The earliest accounts of shaving were recorded around 3000 BC when they used copper razors in ancient Egypt and India. Of course, it didn’t look like modern-day single blade razors. It looked like this; an unwieldy tool that looked more like a farming implement than a grooming tool.
Nevertheless, it did the job well, and for centuries after, it became the basic design template for razors.
Fast forward to the 16th century, and the single blade razor design began to evolve with the introduction of the Sheffield straight razor. A narrow blade, folding straight razor, was made from Sheffield silver steel, widely known for its superior quality. It made for better results and easier shaving, but only barbers were allowed to use it.
A single-blade razor exudes elegance and class.
It wasn’t until the 18th century that razors became more than just practical and specialized tools for shaving. French inventor Jean-Jacque Perret dared to dream of shaving equality, so he invented the first modern safety razor. Now improved with a wooden guard, the razor became safe to use by anyone.
The safety razor design would be later improved again by the Kampfe brothers in 1880, but it took another salesman, King C. Gillette, to innovate it into its modern-day design. He cornered the shaving market along the way and built Gillette Company into the profitable corporation that it is today.
The More the Merrier
Things changed when they released multi-blade razors to the market. The popularity of a single blade razor took a significant hit in the face of the multi-blade marketing pitch that a more number of blades results in a closer shave.
In a 3-blade razor, the most basic of today’s multi-blade design, the first blade captures the hair follicle, pulling it up. The second blade cuts it, and the third blade is the backup to ensure that nothing is missed.
Men have become accustomed to the idea that more blades are better when achieving a close shave, an opinion influenced by popular advertising campaigns with celebrities and sports stars. Those advertisements show that the multi-blade approach reduces the force to get a clean and close shave. Ideally, this should reduce the amount of irritation that is inflicted on the skin by the blades.
However, among single-blade enthusiasts, this is not always the case. Having multiple blades on a razor helps cut more hair in one single pass, but it doesn’t necessarily give a close shave.
The problem that arises with multi-blade razors is that they results to more friction on the skin.
Lesser blades equal less friction and irritation. Zero pressure allows the edge in your razor to do all of the cutting on your whiskers. More blades can irritate the skin, which is an unideal experience, especially for sensitive skin or prone to razor bumps.
Some dermatologists even suggest that one should not use more than two blades to avoid nicks—which no man in the world who shaves want. When the razor heads encounter more areas on a sharp curve, it becomes more challenging to control. Once the blade catches the surface, you are more likely than not to nick yourself.
Single blade razors are more efficient because it cuts facial hair closely without creating more blade friction than needed.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
A Single Does One Better
Ingrown hairs and nicks are the most common problems in connection with multi-blade razors. Fuse this with expensive blades and the damaging impact on the environment, and you start to question if there's a better way and option. Fortunately, there are single blade razors, and they never went out of the market.
Single blade razors are more efficient because it cuts facial hair closely without creating more blade friction than needed, which means fewer chances of getting a skin rash after getting a shave.
Single blade razors, by design, are also more sustainable. These razors are easy to recycle because they make them from stainless steel and wood. On the other hand, they produce disposable multi-blade cartridges from plastic, and you don’t want to be adding more plastic pollution to the environment.
Shaving enthusiasts also swear by its maneuverability. It’s easy to use straight razors in all kinds of angles. Multi-blade razors, despite their modern design pivoting heads, are often difficult to handle at certain angles. You won’t have that kind of problem with a single blade.
A single-blade razor, like a straight razor, can last for a lifetime if taken care of properly.
So which type of blade should you pick?
If you’ve been using a multi-blade and are experiencing skin irritation and razor bumps, then, by all means, you should consider shifting to a single blade.
With the proper technique, single blade razors deliver a more comfortable shave with less irritation. A single blade razor moves across the skin at a gentle angle, allowing to cut the beard without tugging.
Straight and safety razors are guaranteed to provide better results and deliver a closer shave while reducing razor bumps and rashes.
So if you’re a newbie to wet shaving, don’t let yourself go to all the trouble of finding out that multi-blade isn’t doing you any favor.
Pick a single blade razor; whether you choose a safety razor or a straight razor, we guarantee that you’ll get a closer shave with the slightest discomfort. Easy isn’t worth a shit if you’re not comfortable with the results.
Luxury Shaving, Anyone?
Here at Naked Armor, we take pride in producing the best single blade razors that are the ultimate in luxury shaving.
That’s because we manufacture our blades from world-class Japanese stainless steel and high-grade sandalwood.
Our straight razor blades are hybrid blades, capturing the best aspects of the 1/2 hollow and the complete hollow blade design, giving you the best of both worlds when it comes to results.
Meanwhile, our safety razors are stylish and durable artisanal creations that put the elegance back in your shaving experience.
Best of all, they’re eco-friendly too! When you shave with a Naked Armor single blade razor, you’re giving yourself the luxury you deserve with no extra cost to the environment.
Naked Armor's Safety Razor Kit is best for beginners looking to invest in a high-quality shaving gear.