Technology has changed our lives radically in the last century–mostly for the better. However, in terms of shaving, that’s not the case! Today we’ll share why a more traditional double-edged safety razor is still the superior method.
Today’s dominant shaving method, the cartridge razor, is not at the top because it’s the best method, but simply because it makes the most money for the manufacturers.With aggressive marketing brands like Gillette or the Dollar Shave Club have taught men that the cartridge razor with more blades is the way to go. In reality, the best shavers for men are decades old and sometimes pre-date sliced bread. So what am I talking about? The straight razor, the single-blade razor, and of course, the double-edged safety razor.
Why Should You Switch To A DE Razor?
1. It Costs Less
Over the course of a year or even 10 years, you spend probably ten times as much in a cartridge system than you would on a double-edged system. The big difference with cartridge systems and a DE razor is that you get the handle for the cartridge razors for free, but you’ll pay anywhere from $1-$4 for each cartridge; and if you’re like me that just last once or twice, especially if you have thick hair and otherwise, it’s painful to shave.
On the other hand, with a double-edged razor, you have to invest $50 or maybe even $100 upfront to get all the tools you need, but then you’ll only pay pennies for each blade thereafter.
2. You Get A Much Closer Shave
If you want a buttery smooth, baby butt-like shave, you need a sharper blade. On top of that, a sharp blade really helps to avoid any kinds of razor bumps and skin conditions that you get with blades that are too dull. How can you tell if a blade is too dull? Well, if it pulls at any point in time when you shave, that means the blade isn’t sharp enough.
Every man has different hair. Some are coarse and thick, others are soft. With a DE razor, you can pick exactly the right blade for your hair and your skin type. On top of that, you can change the handles and heads and that angle makes it more or less aggressive and you can find the right combination that works just for your face. On the other hand, with a cartridge system like Dollar Shave Club, Gillette Mach3 or Fusion is just one size fits all but it truly doesn’t fit anyone.
3. You Get Less Irritation
Yes, you have to invest in high-fat shave creams but with a cartridge razor, they don’t really work because they clog up the multitude of blades. But, with the DE razor, you have full control of your blades and they’re so inexpensive that you can afford to discard them after each use even though I don’t think you even have to do that.
4. You Produce Less Waste
Now, let’s assume you throw your blade away after each shave, you still produce a whole lot less waste than you would with a cartridge system. So, switching to a DE system means no clogged up landfills and a handle that you can use for a lifetime.
What Are The Cons of a DE Razor?
As I mentioned, you have a larger upfront investment and on top of that you have to learn the right technique, otherwise, you’re more likely to get a nick or a cut. Of course, it also takes longer than using an electric shave but the result is also a lot better and fortunately, you can easily learn a technique; it’s really not a big secret. That being said, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you’re not gonna get your perfect shave the first time you use a DE razor.
Frankly, in my mind, the only time I could see you use a cartridge system is when you travel by plane because the cartridge razors are TSA-approved, single-blades, or not. Personally, I just use an electric shaver when I travel because I can also use that when I shave with a DE razor.
Single-Edged vs Double-Edged Razors
Nowadays, a lot of new single-blade shaving systems have popped up and people who formerly used a cartridge razor seemed to be converted. So, let’s take a look at the single-edged razors, One Blade and Supply, and how they stack up against DE.
First up, I have to say both are good products and compared to a cartridge system, they are way better, which is why if most people switch from a cartridge system to a OneBlade or Supply system, they’re blown away because their shave is better and they spend less money.
OneBlade SE Razor
OneBlade uses a feather FHS-10 blade which is thicker than a DE blade and costs about 75 cents apiece. It used to be really expensive to get a handle and you have to pay anywhere from $300-$400. Now, you’re gonna get a starter handle for just $20.
The shave is great with a swivel head of the OneBlade. You get an experience that is very close to a cartridge system. It’s very easy but it’s much smoother and better at a cost that is lower than a cartridge system but above that of the DE system, especially in the long run. Why? Well, a DE blade costs anywhere from 5-10 cents, maybe a little more for a sharper blade, but nowhere near to 75 cents.
On a rating system from zero to 10 with 10 being the best, I’d rate a DE shaving system as a 9 simply because it’s not quite a 10 because it takes a little more time and it takes a little technique. The OneBlade system I would rate 8 because it’s still very good, it’s just slightly more expensive than a DE system.
Supply SE Razor
This has a kind of an injection plate, which is from Schick. It also costs about 75 cents a blade and there are three different angles so you can adjust how aggressive you want your shave to be but ultimately, it’s also more expensive even though the handle just costs about $75 or I think $150 when you get the better ones. So, because of that I’d rate the Supply system at an 8, too.
What About Bevel?
Actually, Bevel is a double-edged razor and the only reason it works so well and doesn’t create skin irritation is that they use sharp blades, that’s it. Fortunately, you can achieve it with any kind of DE razor. You don’t need the Bevel branded products that are more expensive than other options in the market.
What Do You Need To Shave with A DE Razor?
- A razor handle that comes with a head
- The right blades
- A high-fat shaving cream
- An aftershave or an aftershave balm, because they help to soothe your skin
- A styptic pencil, in case you cut yourself because it stops the bleeding
Remember this list and you’ll be on your way to avoiding most of the more common shaving mistakes that many men face.
If you’re not sure about what product to choose, we created an over 250-page-strong guide book about shaving that covers all different items and we tested hundreds of things just to figure out what’s best for the money and best for a certain kind of shave type, skin, and hair type.