Top DE Safety Razor Blades

Best Double Edge Razor Blades For DE Safety Razor

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.

standard safety razor

Standard safety razor

Facial Hair

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.

Identifying a DE safety razor blade

Identifying a DE safety razor blade

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 Gentleman's Gazette Shaving Guide

The Best Double Edge Razor Blades

Every razor blade is a little different and, for the most part, that’s on purpose.

Van der Hagen - NOT RECOMMENDED$2010$2.00
Wilkinson Sword$18100$0.18
DOVO Shavette$1810$1.80
125 Blade Sampler$47125$0.37



My first choice in blades is Feather

My first choice in blades is Feather


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.

The famous Derby blades

The famous Derby blades


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.

Gillette DE blades are far different than their cartridge blades

Gillette DE blades are far different than their cartridge blades


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 blades are great for beginners

BIC blades are great for beginners

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 blades still use their vintage style design

Shark blades still use their vintage style design

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.

A sealed package of Wilkinson Sword blades

A sealed package of Wilkinson Sword blades

Wilkinson Sword

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.

 The Gentleman's Gazette Shaving Guide

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.

Gem Blue Star$35$0.60
Personna Red$15100$0.15
Crystal Super +$19120$0.16
Bolzano Superinox$38100$0.38


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?

Our Best Shaving Content

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!

Article Name
The Best Safety Razor Blades
The ultimate guide to the very best blades for your double edge safety razor with reviews.
Gentleman's Gazette
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16 replies
  1. Duc de Bourgogne says:

    Use the Derby ones you show in your post. I have a sensitive skin and I’m happy with it.

  2. John Paul says:

    I’ve had 2 packs of Bic blades come in sample packs. The first seemed fine, not the sharpest but forgiving and still a good shave. For some reason the second pack was totally unusable. It was the most painful shave I’ve had to date. Feather and Gillette have become the go to blades.

  3. Ray Achnioach says:

    Nice article. However I would like to note that there is a wonderful alternative to the ineffective, expensive, highly advertized muliti-blade toy razor systems that most men cluelessly use. The single edge injector system is vastly superior to any and all double edge razors. There are a number of options out there. The single edge injector razors must be obtained as vintage on sites like ebay for the most part. This is an old system, I believe that pre-dates the double edge razor. Gillette however was the company that produced the majority of both the double edge razors and blades. Gillette then as now (today as a division of a vast corporate structure in the past they were a privately held company) dominated the market and used advertizing saturation and ruthless business practices to push the single edge system, the main product of distant number two Schick out of most men’s bathrooms. The single edge system especially in it’s 1970’s manifestation is a much more intuitive system and is capable of far superior shaves with less danger and irritation. The blades are currently still made by Schick and are quite good. However there are fabulous vintage blades for the having on ebay that provide exceptional performance. Some favorites are Schick Krona Stainless, Schick Platinum Plus (with Teflon) and Gillette’s fine competing Plus Platinum (also a Teflon blade) and Gillette’s Stainless. I have a vast collection of double edge razors most vintage and also purchased new. I have a equally vast collection of double edge blades and have used all of those mentioned in the article. No combination of any double razor and blade can even come close to the performance of my Schick M26 Single Edge razor with any of the aforementioned blades. There is even another superior vintage system to the double edge. Gillette’s Techmatic has few fans. However I’m one of the biggest of this great system, which again must be purchased from sellers like you would find on ebay. It takes a bit of practice to get the knack of using it but once you got it down it’s a wonderful shaving system that again easily surpasses the over-rated double edge system. As for shaving creams my favorites are Geo. F. Trumper Rose, Crabtree and Evelyn Moroccan Myrrh, TOOBS Avocado, The Bluebeard’s Revenge, Truefitt and Hill No.10 and St.James of London Cedarwood and Clary Sage. Try some Geo.F. Trumper Skin Food afterwards (I also favor a dab of rosewater as a first step), it’s quite marvelous.

  4. JDL says:

    I would rather run a rusty rasp over my face than subject it to Shark blades again. They are the worst experience I’ve ever had wet shaving. I found that Feather brand blades also cut my fact a bit, as a new wet shaver, but at least those were almost painless slices. For the time being I use the Astra Platinum blades, which give me a decent shave and almost never cut me.

  5. Tony F. says:

    I will preface this by saying that I do have sensitive skin and not a particularly heavy beard.

    I’ve used Feather, Derby, Merkur, Wilkinson, Lord, and Gillette.

    I’d say that Derby is probably the most well-rounded blade, What I mean by that is it gives you a fine shave every time without you ever having to worry about cutting yourself. It’s sharp enough but not overly so. It’s always a very consistent blade. What I mean by that is every blade seems to perform like the last one did, which I value highly.

    I’ve used Feather and can vouch for the fact that while it is the closest shave you do have to be a little more careful with your strokes or else you really do run the risk of nicks and cuts. Again, this is coming from someone with sensitive skin.

    Merkur is another fine blade, in my estimation. It was the first blade I used when I started using my DE safety razor. It’s not quite as sharp as Feather but I found it a little more precise than the Derby. But because of my sensitive skin I opt for the Derby blades. Less irritation and less need for products which stop the bleeding.

    I’d throw Wilkinson, Lord, and Gillette in the same category. They do the job. Forgiving blades much like Derby but not as consistent. You sometimes get a blade that isn’t as good as the last. I like knowing what I get which is why I always defer to Derby, but these blades are all decent.

    I haven’t run into any blades which were unusable for me. I think the prop work, which is mentioned in the article, is a HUGE part of the shave you’ll get. I can’t stress enough about prepping your skin beforehand, treating it right during the shave, and being kind to it afterwards. If you put in the work your skin will react well and look great. If you take shortcuts, you’ll get short cuts and your skin will look like it needs some TLC.

    Anyway, great article. Very informative and helpful.

  6. David Schwartz says:

    One great blade is the Personna Blue, made in the USA. I got a pack of 100 for $11 from Amazon – very happy with it. I have a pretty heavy beard, and I also like Feather, but these are cheaper and just as good, IMHO.

  7. Chris C says:

    Feathers are my go to blade too, in a Gillette superspeed. Perfect combo for me after trying most of the blades you list, Derbys werre the worst experience I ever had. My favourites prior to the feathers were gillette swedes but they’re no longer produced. I use Proraso green as my staple soap, Taylors irritates my skin as a soap but works fine for aftershave gel.
    No option but to try them and see what suits through experimentation.

  8. MaximumSimian says:

    First, if you are going to call this a guide to the best blades on the market, how about actually testing more than a handful of the most well known blades. Would also be helpful, as the point was to help newcomers to DE shaving, to point out that certain brands, such as Gillette, have a number of different blades, all of which perform differently. Also, pointing out that you just HAD to pick an aggressive razor and blade because you usually shave with a straight makes you sound both uneducated to shaving and pompous. I also usually shave with a straight, and use a DE when in a pinch for time. I won’t touch Feathers, and don’t use an aggressive razor. Different blades perform differently in different razors, for different people. Sharp and aggressive does not equate to a better shave. I can get BBS with 2 passes and a touch up with a Voskhod in a Gold Tech. Neither of which would be considered aggressive. I won’t even go into how pretentious your prep and post guidance sound. Wait, yes I will. Misting with rose water? Really? Prep and post doesn’t have to be that elaborate. Scrub, hot water, brush, any decent cream/soap, rinse, AS. Anything else is to taste. I prefer a splash of witch hazel before AS. I am actually looking forward to your DE guide, should be hysterical.

  9. Jared says:

    I look forward to what he has to say about van der Hagen safety razors as that’s the one I use with either a derby or feather blade.

  10. Edgar Lefret says:

    Great article as usual.

    If I can share my experience, I also agree that Feather are my all-time favorite, with the yellow Gillette a close second (nearly as sharp but a tad more forgiving). Feather are not my go-to blade though, I use them on my beloved Sunday shave: when I have time to enjoy my shave and get a “BBS” on a beard that is longer than during the week.

    My daily shave is with Astra blades: great value for money, very forgiving on a quick shave and sharp enough for a short beard (with my facial hair that is pretty coarse).

    I know that blade are very subjective matter, but if I may, I would not recommend the following blades (except if you have a very easy beard to shave and/or a very sensitive skin): Derby, Shark, Lord, Treet, Trig and Merkur.

  11. Joel says:

    J.A. Great article, and I agree with your evaluation of the various competitive DE blades. I too am a huge fan of Feather. However, having been a DE shaver for many years, my own view is that the quality of a DE shave is a function of not only the quality of the blade, but the type/style of razor being used. Certainly, I have not made an exhaustive study of this, but I have tried enough combinations to know that the marriage of the blade and the razor can make a huge difference. Here are a few examples from my personal experience; a Feather blade in a Merkur “slant” DE razor absolutely tore my face up; the same Feather blade in a Lord DE razor (by the way, a tremendous DE razor for the price, in my view) works beautifully for me. A Feather blade in the Above the Tie Colossus Open Comb (which I am using now) is a bit aggressive, and the Astra blade is a better choice for me with this razor. Needless to say, the possible combinations are endless; however the gap and blade angle of the DE razor makes a huge difference in the shave; thus, to achieve a great shave, the choice of blade is not necessarily a function of picking the sharpest, longest-lasting blade and dropping it into the razor, but rather finding the combo of razor and blade that works best for the user.

  12. Larry Kushner says:

    I have been using a double edge razor for about a year now with my two go to razors a Edward Jagger de89 and a Gillette adjustable slim that I picked up on eBay. My beard is medium to course and I shave everyday and prefer a smooth shave. After trying the sample packs I settled on the Dorco 201, the Astra, and the Wilkonsons until I came on my favorite. My absolute favorite is the Crystal Blue which is the Israeli Personna SS platinum coated blade. I think it is a perfect balance of sharpness, forgiveness, price, quality, and durability. It is cheap enough that I can change it every day if I want a really close shave or I can go 3-5 days and still get an acceptable shave. 120 blades on Amazon for 18.88 with shipping is a bargain. At 16 cents a blade I think they are the best blade for the money.

  13. KIM says:

    First,let me clarify that Astra, Polsilver, Minora, Sputnik, Blue Gillette Platinum, Red Gillette Super Stainless, Gillette 7 O’clock yellow, Gillette 7 O’clock green, Nacet, Rotbart and several other brands are all made in Russian factory called Petersburg Products International 65% owned by Gillette.
    I strongly doubt that these are all different blades. Probably there are 3 or 4 blades branded under 15 brands. Who knows? However I would strongly recommend Polsilver and the yellow Gillette which are a bit better than Astra to me.
    Second clarification – Lord blades are made in Egypt. The manufacturer offers wide range of DE, disposable and cartridge blades. Overall quality is good the company is ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. DE brands include Shark, Lord Platinum, Super Chrome and Super Stainless, Crown, Big Ben, Asco, Rainbow and some other. Again there are many brands but probably not so many blades. I don’t think it is worthy to try any different from their best brand Lord Platinum.
    Third, Derby are made in Turkey. In my personal opinion they are far bellow the quality of Gillette and similar brands made in Russia. But this is highly subjective.
    You may also search in ebay a Russian brand Rapira. I recently bought a pack of 120 blades for less than 20$ that includes six different brands. I test one of them and the results are surprisingly good.
    another interesting one is the Indian brand Treet.
    Feather was total disappointment for me. It didn’t give me a good shave despite I used it in three different razors including Feather popular. So don’t be to excited before trying it.
    In summary, if I should give a short list of proven blades worthy to be tried that would include Astra, Polsilver, Gillette 7 O’clock yellow and Wilkinson Sword.

    I would like also to comment on described shaving procedure. It sounds too time consuming and unnecessary expensive to me. My shaving includes good splash with hot water on the face, making rich foam, two paces and affluent rinse with cold water. I rarely use Nivea aftershave balm, usually when I have some cuts. The whole procedure takes no more than 20 minutes. I am doing so for 20+ years and the results are that my 3 years old boy says my cheeks are soft as his mother’s. I cant’t imagine a shave that could be better.
    I’m not saying there is something wrong with all pre and post shaving stuff. I’m just giving another point of view.

    Thank you for your time reading my post

  14. Christopher G. says:

    Do you know where I can get a bulk pack of BlueBird Hi-Stainless double-edge blades? They are my absolute favorite, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere, and the link in your chart is for single-edge blades. I heard they were not making double-edge blades anymore. Please, say it ain’t so…

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