Best Safety Razor Blades – Complete Buyer’s Guide
The safety razor is a shaving tool that has a protective device between the edge of the blade and the skin. It was developed in the 1800’s as a safe alternative to the straight razor. It consists of a handle attached at right angles to a head in which a removable blade is placed. It has been widely replaced by the cartridge razor, which is much easier to assemble and maintain, but the older safety razor is making a comeback among men who enjoy and take pride in the shaving process as it was for the working men of the early twentieth century. If you are planning to go old school and buy a safety razor, then read on to find out which blades work best.
Different safety razors are gauged by their blades shaving power and its level of protecting your skin from the blade. More aggressive razors require extra care to avoid lacerations or cuts through the skin, but can still have a greater perspective of cutting that facial hair, provide that perfect shave, and can give you no to less discomfort while shaving. This would also depend on factors such as the shaver’s skin type, preparation before shaving, and most importantly, the skill. Mild safety razors are available for those who are inexperienced in the techniques required for this style of shaving.
After reviewing all the top safety razor blades available, we’ve selected our top 6 picks in the comparison table below. We’re confident you’ll find the perfect model for your needs.
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Made in Japan, these stainless steel blades are a sharp and highly aggressive product. They are perfect for men with coarse or dense facial hair. However, if you are a novice or if you have sensitive skin, then these blades are not recommended for you. It is likely that the name “Feather” is a reference to the amount of pressure required for an ultra-close shave.
One reviewer says that “these blades are sharper than Dr. House’s scalpel and wit.” So while it might be too much for novices or those with sensitive skin, these blades are perfect for veterans of the double-edged razor. With enough experience, you can get the closest shave with these blades. They are also long lasting; one blade can provide you with five to seven shaves before becoming dull. Some reviewers do report good experiences with Feather blades even though it was their first time using a double-edged razor, but these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Use your own judgment if you decide to go for these blades.
One issue that some reviewers faced was low-quality blades. With a company as old and as popular as Feather, you have to keep in mind that knock-offs are inevitable. So do your research and try your best to find an authentic seller.
Astral Platinum Double Edge
These stainless steel blades are platinum coated for superior smoothness and longevity. Made in Russia, they are compatible with any standard double-edged razor, including Parker, Merkur, and Gillette, and are a favorite in barbershops. They are sharp, but not very aggressive, and they are highly recommended for men who have sensitive skin.
Even cheaper than Feather, these long lasting blades will save you a stack of money. Good for a week’s worth of shave, two years worth of blades will cost you only around $10! A good, sharp blade that is not too aggressive for beginners, Astra also works in all standard double-edged razors. They are extremely mild on the skin; they don’t cause razor burn or irritation, so even novices can try out this product with a little care.
Detractors of Astra had the same issue as those with the Feather blades. They seem to be talking about fake Astra blades, which are a common problem in any part of the world, so again, do your homework and make sure you buy from a genuine seller.
Manufactured in Germany, Merkur razor blades have a platinum coating, which gives it a smooth, silky effect, and ensures that it stays sharp through several shaves. These double-edged blades are compatible with all standard safety razors, offering precision and consistency.
Although not as popular as Feather and Astra, these blades are sharp and precise, offering a much closer shave than multi-blade cartridges. They also cut out ingrown hairs with ease. They are also extremely durable, with one reviewer claiming to have gotten over 50 shaves out of a single blade. The case that these blades are packed in also has a nifty slot at the back to store used blades instead of throwing them in the trash.
The only problem with this blade is that it might be too aggressive for people with sensitive skin and coarse facial hair. If you have these problems, then you might want to avoid these blades, for the severity of the cuts and the razor burn.
Derby Extra Blades
These stainless steel blades are perforated, hardened and ground using state of the art equipment, and the cutting edges are coated with a polymer of chromium-ceramic, tungsten and platinum for comfort and durability. They are also put through a rigorous quality control process at every stage of manufacturing. Not quite as sharp as Feather, these blades provide a close shave to men who have sensitive skin. The Derby blade allows you to make multiple passes for the closest possible shave without any nicks, cuts or razor burns. It is also durable and cheap – if you use one blade a week, then a hundred will last you close to two years, allowing you to double up your shaving routine into a sound, long-term financial investment.
Reviewers with coarse, curly, multi-directional facial hair and sensitive skin especially like this product for its balance between mildness and sharpness. One innovative user manages to get the most out of his blade by flipping it over after a week, doubling the shave-life of a 100-pack to almost four years.
Critics of this product complain that these blades are not merely less aggressive; they are simply dull, causing the blade to pull at facial hair instead of cutting it. This seems to be a problem with technique. If you are new to wet shaving with a double-edged blade, you might want to watch a tutorial video on YouTube before you get started.
Wilkinson Sword Classic Blades
Wilkinson Sword Classic blades are triple coated for added durability, reduced irritation and corrosion resistance. It maintains the sharpness of its edge longer than stainless steel for an exceptionally smooth, close and easy double-edged shave.
Users with thick facial hair report getting five to seven shaves out of each of these blades. A barber with over fifteen years of experience says that they are “by far the smoothest and cleanest blades I have ever used.” Barbers are probably the only people who never stopped using safety razors since they are economical and they also give their customers what they want – a super-close shave. So it would be wise to take their opinions on double-edged razor blades seriously. Most reviewers enjoy the balance of smoothness and sharpness that the Wilkinson Swords provide.
Detractors with coarse hair complain that these blades pull too much and cause irritation and razor burns. This could be due to poor technique or a mismatch between blade, razor and hair type.
Super Iridium Blades
Super Iridium Double Edge Razor Blades are recommended for men who have a medium coarse beard and sensitive skin. They are almost as sharp as Feathers but not as aggressive. They provide a clean, close shave with little or no irritation, and absolutely no nicks and cuts. All in all, these blades are both extremely sharp and exceptionally smooth. The edges are numbered 1/2 and 3/4, making it easy to flip the blade over without any confusion.
While these blades are sharp, smooth and durable, some reviewers found them to be below par in terms of performance. However, this might be due to lack of technique or simply personal preference.