Sure, there are plenty of razors for men: fancy electric buzzers that landscape your face, trimmers that tame and sculpt your beard, disposables that, well, get a job done. But for those who prefer a clean old-school shave, there’s the humble safety razor. The best safety razors will get you the closest and smoothest shave of your life while reducing skin irritation and razor burns and bumps.
In these days of escalating razor blade counts and subscription shaving companies, the allure of the old-fashioned safety razor has never looked better. Cheaper, simpler, and with the feeling of an American classic, you can get still get a remarkably close cut with technology that’s been around for decades. The safety razor’s strength lies in its in its simplicity: The reusable handle and head feature few moving parts, while the disposable blades slide in and out easily while costing pennies each, ensuring that you always have the best shave.
See more: Best Beard Trimmers
Now, a bit on beard basics. How you style your facial hair is a personal choice, says Genevieve Bochanty the director of brand experience at the Art of Shaving. “There’s a freedom that didn’t exist of every different kind of style. Every style is accepted. It’s all over the place.”
But if you’ve tried cartridge systems, you’ll be amazed with how despite small variations, all use the same blades and therefore give comparable, quality shaves. Still, there are differences, and our list can act as a guide for which safety razor is right for you.
The name pretty much says it all. This safety razor has an adjustable dual head with multiple aggression micro-settings, great for both normal and sensitive skin. Plus, if you want a good-looking display item, this is the razor for you.
Dipping your toes into safety-razor territory? This is the blade for you. It features the most beginner-friendly features, including a well-balanced handle and a nice balance thanks to its light weight. The biggest design detail we love is its pivoting head, which brings in modern design of multi-blade razors with the affordability of the safety razor. The end result is a closer shave sooner if you’re new to this heritage style.
This brass-handled safety razor is a work of art. It gives you a close shave by cutting cleanly at skin level, with no tugging, yanking, or pulling. And it is compatible with all standard double-edge razor blades. Just note that some users say it's a bit too heavy.
The Amazon customer-favorite safety razor by Weishi is a great place to start for beginners and for those who also plan on shaving hard-to-reach places like the back of the neck. This long-handled safety razor is also great for shower grooming and in other high-moisture locations.
Germany is world-renown for its mechanical engineering, so it’s no surprise that MERKUR is a favorite among safety razor aficionados. This long-handled safety razor has a textured shaft for wet-or-dry security while shaving. But it’s also seriously nimble, weighing in at a mere two ounces. We especially like the three-piece design, which quickly disassembles for thorough cleanings between uses. While light sounds best, many longtime safety razor users prefer the heft of a heavy base, as it can allow for a smoother glide, something that, when taking the suggested multiple passes, is easier on the skin. For that reason, once you get the hang of it, you may wish you went with some weight.
Short-shafted razors like the Chieftain are great because of their precision. Think of it like this: Do you have more control with a five-inch pen or a five-foot pen? Beyond its 3.75-inch length, we also really liked its weighted feel, which tips the scales at around six ounces. The included leatherette case and pack of Swedish steel blades were also nice. As mentioned, short-bodied safety razors are more precise, but they make hard-to-reach places harder to reach. If your face isn’t the only thing you shave, you should be looking elsewhere.
On par with the German maker on this list, safety razor fans have loved the English-made Edwin Jagger for decades. Beyond its quality, however, we were most impressed with the range of options available — short handle, long handle, many colors —making it the most customizable brand on this list. Its medium-aggressive head is easy for beginners and close enough for veterans. Some users did complain that that handle gets slippery when wet. So if you shave in the shower, you might want something with a better grip.
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