When it comes to shaving, it’s no secret that we like the classics. Since we’ve covered wet shaving in detail, we thought it was time to do a quick primer on some of the best safety razor blades on the market today.
For many men, choosing the right blade can be a chore and one that’s difficult for the novice wet shaver. Hopefully, this primer will help give you the road map to selecting the right blade for your facial hair. No two blades are the same, and it is all about finding the right blade for your beard.
Everyone’s facial hair is different. Some are soft and supple whereas others are coarse and tough to manage. Using a DE safety razor and a blade makes it much easier to customize your shave to your particular needs, because there are so many blade choices out there.
Here are a few factors you want to consider when selecting a blade:
- Type of facial hair. The coarser the hair, the more aggressive the blade
- Length of facial hair. Longer hair needs a more aggressive blade than shorter hair.
- Skin type. Rough, sensitive, or acne-prone skin types should use less aggressive blades.
- Skill level. If you’re a beginner, it may be helpful to choose a less aggressive blade while you’re getting comfortable.
Next, factor in your products and tools. Simply throwing a DE blade onto your safety razor and going to town with an aerosol drug store shave cream is asking to get sliced and diced. A good shave is only as good as the products you use. You’ll want to make sure that at the very least you have a high-quality pre-shave oil, a good shaving cream or shave soap and a post-shave product like a soothing cream or gel.
You need to make sure you invest in some good quality products. Check out our other shaving guides for more information on some of the best products.
Next, you want to have your routine down pat.
1. Apply heat either by jumping in a hot shower or applying a hot towel to your face.
2. Once the towel is beginning to cool, apply a pre-shave oil to your beard and neck area.
3. Lather some shaving soap or shaving cream, and apply it in circular motions to your face with a shaving brush.
4. Dip your razor in hot water and begin shaving with short strokes with the grain. After the first full pass, evaluate if you need another pass; if so, re-lather your face and proceed across the grain.
5. Shock your face with cold water to rinse the remaining products off and close the pores.
6. Follow with a post-shave product of your choice.
Double Edge Razor Blade Tips
Tip#1: While most people will reuse their blades three to five times, you may want to change the blade out after every shave if you have coarse hair or sensitive skin. Blades can cost as little as 10 cents, so you don’t have to pay much to avoid irritation.
Tip #2: If you are just starting out or the needs of your skin and beard change with each shave, consider buying a sampler pack. They will give you enough variety to compare blades directly.
Tip #3: If you have small children, it’s a wise investment to use a razor disposal container for your blades rather than throwing them into the garbage where little fingers could get cut. There are many on the market, but I use the Shaving Factory Razor Blade Disposal Case, which holds about six months worth of blades before I have to buy another one. It’s not the most attractive thing, but it does the job.
Tip #4: It’s important to remember that a blade is only as good as the razor it’s on. You want to invest in a good quality razor that works well for your skin and hair type but also your experience.
The Best Double Edge Razor Blades
Every razor blade is a little different and, for the most part, that’s on purpose.
|BRAND||AVERAGE PRICE||BLADE COUNT||PRICE PER BLADE|
|Van der Hagen - NOT RECOMMENDED||$20||10||$2.00|
|125 Blade Sampler||$47||125||$0.37|
These are the go-to blades of men with thick hair. Made in Japan, they are renowned for their sharpness and aggressiveness. Ideal for men with coarse or dense facial hair, they cut easily through just about any kind of hair. However, they are NOT recommended for novice wet shavers as they aren’t forgiving. They also tend to be too aggressive for men with sensitive skin or men who are prone to skin irregularities such as acne or scarring. You can click here to buy a pack of 50 for under $15. Try finding that price on Gillette ProFusion or Mach 3 blades!
Sharp, but not aggressive, Astra blades have a loyal following of men with sensitive skin looking for a high-quality wet shave without cuts. Overall, they’re a good quality blade. Click here to get 100 Astra blades for around $10.
Derby blades are exceptional blades for anyone with sensitive skin. Not nearly as sharp as Feather, they still provide a nice shave for thick hair.
These are not the Gillette blades you use with a cartridge razor like the ProFusion or the Mach 3. These are standard, old school DE safety razor blades and they’re some of the most popular around. Fairly forgiving but still sharp, they were a decent blade compared to many of the others. They’re widely available at drug stores across North America.
BIC – Chrome Platinum
Surprisingly, the company that makes disposable razors for women and cheap ballpoint pens has done something right when it comes to safety razors.! These blades are pretty darn good. BIC blades are very forgiving and yet surprisingly sharp at the same time. They’re great for novice wet shavers with coarser hair that at some point will graduate to using Feathers. Ideally, they should be used in a fairly aggressive razor. Click here to buy 100 blades for $15.
Probably one of my top three favorite razor blades, while the BlueBird blades aren’t as sharp as Feathers, they still do the trick with immaculate precision. For the most part, like Feather they’re an unforgiving blade, but they are also scalpel sharp with the ability to slice even the coarsest hair. If you like Feather but want something slightly less sharp and more forgiving, try BlueBird.
Van Der Hagen
These are some of the worst blades I’ve ever used, and Sven Raphael Schneider had the same experience. Not only did they play a game of slice and dice with my face, but when I examined them closely using my jewelers loupe, I noticed the blade actually had divots along the cutting edge! I would rather shave with an STI-laden shank made in prison from a rusty spoon. I’ll never touch these blades again, and neither should you. At $2 a blade this is a perfect example that top $ doesn’t always get you top quality.
Shark – Super Stainless Steel Blades
Not quite as sharp as the bite but far more forgiving, Shark blades are a great introductory blade for novice wet shavers or those with sensitive skin. They’ve been known to wear quickly and are often inconsistent. Click here to get 100 blades for $8.
Another very popular brand of blades, LORD blades are renowned for their consistency and are a great pick for men with average hair and skin. Made in the Middle East, they’re known for being a very comfortable and forgiving blade to use. Click here to get 100 blades for around $11.
Another excellent product line, the Wilkinson Sword blades are made in Germany use a proprietary coating to give their blades a comfortable and sharp shave. Ideal for average hair and skin types, these are some great blades worthy of your consideration. Click here for 100 blades for just under $20.
Other Well Known Blades
The goal of this guide was to narrow the choices down for you, so you don’t have to so the testing yourself. If you want to test all others as well, here is a list of other well-known brands that you can test or you go with a sampler kit like this one, so you can try all of them.
|BRAND||AVERAGE PRICE||BLADE COUNT||PRICE PER BLADE|
|Gem Blue Star||$3||5||$0.60|
|Crystal Super +||$19||120||$0.16|
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this guide on the top DE safety razor blades on the market. Try a sampler pack if you’re new to wet shaving. What kind of blades do you use?
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Shaving is a ritual that involves products, tools, technique and knowledge to create a smooth, closely shaven face. Each man has different needs, and even though we love a deep dive into one part of shaving, we know that the Big Picture is just as important. To answer the many shaving questions and concerns that we receive from men every day, we put together the most comprehensive Shaving Guide out there. Take look at the video below!