Product Reviews

Bevel Safety Razor Review: A Razor Just Right For Sensitive Skin

The definitive “starter” safety razor that even pros go for.

by Bryan Levandowski
Emma Chao/Courtesy JCPenney; Fatherly; Getty Images
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There’s a touch of Alanis Morrissette-esque irony behind why I decided to make the move from a cartridge razor to a safety razor. As a guy who rocks a beard most of the time, I still like to shave my cheeks and neckline once a week or so to get rid of the odd stubble as well as create a clean beard edge. Problem is, the lack of frequency means my skin never has a chance to fully adjust to regular shaves, leaving me prone to irritation and the occasional bump.

Then a barber friend recommended a safety razor, which cut hairs right at the skin’s surface rather than just below, meaning less potential for tugging, scraping, and irritation. Cut to a healthy dose of research later, and I sprang for the Bevel Safety Razor, convinced by a combination of raving reviews and my own penchant for their all-star skincare products.

The first thing I noticed about Bevel’s Safety Razor is how it felt: heavy, but not clunky; sturdy, but easy to maneuver. I received it on a Friday, the day I’d usually shave, so the timing was perfect, but considering I was still a safety razor Level 0 newbie, I did some homework before making the cut. I started with a few YouTube videos, then read several articles on getting the angle of the blade right. With a safety razor, angle is everything. Since it uses only one blade, if the angle is too steep, it could make too much contact with skin and lead to nicks, cuts, and irritation. If the angle is too low, it could scrape your skin rather than cut away whiskers, also ending in irritation. The consensus on angle is 30 degrees, but rather than make a protractor part of your shaving routine, it’s better to just practice until you get it.

Finally, I was ready to go for it. Taking advice from both my barber friend and Bevel’s website, I warmed my face up with a hot, steamy towel and applied a generous layer of pre-shave oil, followed by shaving gel. I waited two minutes for my scruff to soften, then went in with the Bevel Safety Razor at the best 30-degree angle I could muster.

Not gonna lie: it was awkward as heck at first. Here’s a guy whose foray beyond a Gillette Mach 3 went only as far as the Fusion 5, which didn’t feel much different. The main difference between using a cartridge razor and a safety razor is that the latter feels more like you’re shaving. You can feel the blade gliding along your skin and chopping away at every whisker in its way. Once you get the hang of it, it’s super satisfying. I especially loved how I could see exactly where the blade would cut along my beard line, making simple work of getting a razor-sharp edge. After finishing my cheeks without incident, I decided to give my neckline some much-needed cleaning up. This time I ended up with a few minor nicks, mostly because I didn’t quite get how to hold the razor as I rounded off my Adam’s apple. Nothing a few more practice shaves can’t take care of.

Afterwards, my skin was smooth and well-behaved. There were a few areas where I could’ve gotten a bit closer, or let up pressure on the blade, but overall I was impressed with how great a shave the Bevel Safety Razor gets, and how easy it was to learn. Whether a safety razor has always been on your bucket list or you just need a better way to shave, Bevel’s Safety Razor is a great place to start and end.

Tips for Using a Safety Razor

  • Double Up on Products: While safety razors are great for getting a close, comfortable shave, they can also cause friction, so it’s important to create a slick layer of lubrication and protection for your skin. Apply a thin layer of pre-shave oil on warm, damp skin and follow with shaving cream or gel. The combination provides a slippery cushion that allows the blade to glide across the skin while protecting against nicks and scrapes.
  • Prepare Skin: Before you shave, go the full nine yards and throw on a warm, steamy washcloth for a minute or so to help soften whiskers and make skin more pliable.
  • Change Blades Regularly: The general rule for how often to change safety razor blades is every five or six shaves. This can vary based on how often and how big of an area you typically shave, but once you feel the blade getting dull (and you’ll know it—it begins to tug ever so slightly), change it out for a new one. You never want to shave with a dull blade, which could lead to cuts, nicks, and severe irritation.
  • Practice After-Care: Half the battle of a great shave is after-care, and the general rule here is to treat your skin as though you’ve just dragged a razor-sharp blade across it. That means opting for products designed to soothe and calm skin. Bevel makes a great Post-Shave Balm that includes tea tree oil, witch hazel, and shea butter to keep just-shaven skin chill and moisturized, but you can use anything you’re comfortable with—just ensure it doesn’t contain alcohol, which could dry out and irritate skin.