Shaving is a chore. Even though the end result we are trying to achieve is worth it, actually getting there requires time and effort, and often a little discomfort. The one element that can make shaving easier is having the best safety razor blade possible.
A large selection of different safety razor blades, from different manufacturers was tested out over a period of months. We tested not only the most popular but some that were quite obscure as well as some of the very expensive blades. While some of the tested blades were discarded after a few shaves as not being good enough, the remainder were all tested under the same conditions and the results noted. The final positions do reflect a bit of a personal choice, but the reason for those choices is given. Some blades, even though they passed the quality threshold were rejected because they were not good value for money. If a blade that cost only a tenth of the price was of an equal shaving standard as the expensive blade, the expensive one was rejected in favor of the better value blade.
( 4.5 out of 5.0 )
Feather Hi-Stainless Platinum Double Edge Razor Blades 50 Ct
( 4.7 out of 5)
Personna Double Edge Razor Blades, 100 Count
( 4.4 out of 5.0 )
After years of frustrations with expensive 'Hi-Tech', multi-bladed razors, I decided to go back to basics and use a safety razor with single disposable blades. This provided me with an opportunity to test out several blades with no preconceived ideas. Rather than just relying on a faulty memory, I recorded the results so that each blade was tested under the same conditions, using the same safety razor. This enabled me to arrive at an objective grading of all the blades I tested.
Why choose a safety razor blade instead of a modern multi-blade razor? For me, there are several reasons. The first is that multi-blade razors get clogged if you are shaving more than one days growth, and they can be very awkward to clear. The second is, I find that the shave with a fresh single blade in a safety razor shaves just as close as a multi-bladed razor. Then there is the cost. A multi-bladed razor can cost a couple of dollars each. Quite a large difference when compared to a few cents for safety razor blades.
?If you have sideburns or any facial hair, it is almost impossible to achieve a clean, clear line when using a multibladed razor. The precison that you can achieve with a single blade safety razor is far higher, and the result much cleaner.
Check out the helpful video below for some more information around selecting the best safety razor for you.
To the naked eye, all safety razor blades look pretty much the same. All are made of stainless steel and have a similar shape to make them compatible with most safety razors. It isn't until you try a blade out over a period of time that you can really make a judgement, but after many moths spent evaluating blades, here are elements that I look for in a safety razor blade.
This is not a definitive list, and the most important factor, above all others is the quality of the shave.
When I started shaving, shaving foam was just being introduced. Being a young man I believed, of course, that new was always better. So for the next 30 years I used shaving foam. A few years ago I was talked into giving a shaving brush a try. It seemed a lot of messing about when all I needed to do was squirt a bit of foam from a can. Well, it was a revelation. Firstly, if you have a heavy beard as I do, you will be surprised at how effective a brush and shaving soap is at softening the bristle. Secondly, the process of applying the soap is slower and almost meditative. A good way to start the day!
When handling razor blades, always hold at the ends, never next to the cutting edge. Changing the blade in a safety razor, is quick and easy. For a one-piece twist open razor, just twist the handle, remove the old blade and replace with the new. Twist the handle closed. Three-piece razors are a little more involved. The handle screws out od the head and the head then comes apart with a top and a bottom layer with the blade sandwiched in between. Remove the old blade replace it with a new blade. Sandwich the new blade between the two layers and screw the handle back in.
Safety razor blades are not expensive, so you are not going to be out of pocket too much if the blades you buy are not very good. In my odyssey to find the best safety razor blade, I learnt some useful pointers in selecting blades.
It is unlikely that you will buy blades that will do you any harm unless they are perhaps rusty, but you do want one that is sharp enough to give you a close shave and stays sharp enough so you don't have to change your blade every day or two.
There are so many variables when it comes to shaving, people have different beards and different methods of shaving, The best test is if one person tests a selection of blades and carries out the same tests on each blade. For these tests, a series of daily shaving tests were carried out as well as tests shaving a few days growth of beard. Both shaving foam and brush applied lather were used. Incidently, although not part of the test, brushed on lather did give the most comfortable shave when removing a few days growth.
The Feather came out the top in my reviews not only for its ability to keep a good shaving edge for longer. It has a little slit for disposing of used blades that, with the packing on many other blades not having this, safe disposal can be a problem.
Of course, the first shave with a new blade is usually the best. Whereas I usually change a blade every few days, I did find that the Feather blade was lasting for nearly a week before I noticed it was losing its edge. For me with my beard, the Feather does exactly what it should do. Unless some new material is discovered that will extend the life of the blade longer, it is as good as a blade can get.
The Feather blade is probably the best safety razor blade available today. At the moment is is for the competitors to catch up with Feather.
It was a close call between the Astra and the Feather for first place. The Astra just lost out, mainly as it does not last quite as long and there is no blade disposal method in the pack.
The Astra is a very good blade that, due to the platinum coating, keeps its edge through several shaves. At only a few cents per
The Feather has a slit in the back of the box to dispose of used blades. The Astra could do with a similar disposal method.
The Personna razor blades are manufactured in the USA, which is one reason that they were considered in the first place. However, they made it through to the top picks on merit. They are a good quality, sharp blade that give a smooth shave over several uses.
I place the Personna blades on a par with the highly rated Astra blades. The Personna just loses out to the Astra on its slightly higher price, not on a lesser performance.
My only thought on the Personna blades is that I would like to see a blade disposal built into the packaging.
Occasionally Personna blades are shipped with plain white paper wrapping each of the blades. Some customers have been concerned that they may be counterfeit. They are not, but it would avoid some confusion if that was made clear - or better still, they were wrapped in the standard blue printed paper.
Of course, my search for the best safety razor blade and my reviews on the chosen blades is all as a result of my personal experience of using them all over a period of time. The top 3 are a reflection of how well and trouble free they shaved me with my rather coarse beard. The individual beard will affect how long the blades will last, so some people will be able to use a blade longer than me. One blade that lasts for 30% longer for me than a different blade should last 30% longer for you as well.
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