More than you ever need to know about razors

The Wirecutter:

To make my picks, I spoke with experts who have been through every razor fad and tried every setup, including beard-trimmers. I then personally tested widely available non-disposable razors on the market. I asked several women test out “women’s” razors and cartridge men’s razors on their legs, bikini lines, and underarms, then got their takes.

I wish I had the skill (read “courage”) to try and use a straight razor.

  • Steven Fisher

    I’ve never tried to use a straight razor myself, but I did go to a real barber earlier this year to get it done. Quite enjoyed it.

    • A bunch of u use to go get straight razor shaves on our “Boy’s Day” each year at Macworld Expos. Amazingly close shaves and a wonderfully fun process.

      • Peter Cohen


        • LOL YES! Our very own Macworld Expo gut check – “Will you let a large black man hold a razor to your throat? Even better – WILL YOU PAY HIM TO DO IT!?” 🙂

  • EzraWard

    Been thinking about getting a safety razor for a while now. Now I know which one I want to get. Thanks for the link!

  • Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.

  • jkiley

    I have been using that Merkur safely razor and Feather blades for a couple years now, and I’m very happy. There was less of a learning curve than I expected going in (coming from cartridge razors). The only real difficulty I had was learning what works on my face. For example, it’s hard to avoid cutting myself when shaving around the bottom of my chin vertically. Instead, I go side-to-side on that one patch. Also, shaving against the grain doesn’t end well for my moustache and chin areas.

    The key is to be patient and let the blade cut (and replace it when it doesn’t). With a cartridge razor, you can use it nearly forever without cuts if you press hard and don’t mind it pulling a lot. That’s going to end badly if you try even a little of that with a real razor. Overall though, I am much happier with a safety razor (and shaving soap applied by a good brush). I do it a little differently, but the PutThisOn episode that covers shaving is a solid tutorial.

  • I’ve been using an Edwin Jagger safety razor, Feather blades, a Parker brush and Rapha shaving cream for a while now. As long as I take my time, I always get a better, less irritated shave than I ever got with one of my 4 or 5 blade models. I’m not going back…

  • Ted Ellis


    I started with a double edged safety razor many years ago. This past February I made the leap to a straight razor and haven’t looked back. The closest shave. Not as hard as you might think either. is a great place to start. Good tips on buying your first one plus links to reputable folks who sell them.

    • Cool! Thanks for the URL. I’ll check it out.

  • I’ve been using a Merkur Futura and Astra blades for a good long while and I cut myself far less often than I ever did with a Mach 3, maybe once a month. This razor make shaving fun rather than a chore. I can’t recommend it enough. Not to mention that a razor blade now only costs $0.10 rather than $2-$3.

    • DT

      Awesome. Thinking about making the switch to a traditional safety razor … kind of asked for one for Christmas. I only shave about every 3-4 days, an it’s never a rush, so I can spend some time doing it right. The price difference is really huge, especially with the high cost of multi-blade cartridges (I think an 8 pack is like $25…) Put the Merkur on my wish list on Amazon 😀 Great info, thanks.

  • obiwandreas

    During my freshman year of college, I went to a barber who was a WWII vet. He always finished with a straight razor. On one occasion, he accidentally nicked my ear. I had no idea until he told me. The blade was that sharp.

    My current stylist always uses a straight razor to finish up on the back of my neck. Wonderful feeling.

    Have neither the time nor the patience to attempt a straight razor in the morning. My Gillette fusion power works quite nicely, and noticeably better than any I had used before

  • bobrk

    Lex Friedman just wrote an article about this on the new iOS magazine “The Magazine.” My big revelation from this article is that the closest shaves are a 3 pass process—with the grain, cross grain, and then against the grain, with lather application in between each pass.