After years of flirting with cartridge razors, men are slowly returning to single blade razors. They now appreciate their simplicity and smooth shaving that comes with safety razors. Sure, single blade razors have their fair share of problems but with careful selection, you can still get the best single blade razor in the market.
In this article, we’re going to review the following single blade razors:
- VIKINGS BLADE – The Chieftain
- Merkur – 23C Long Handle
- Wilkinson Sword – Classic
- Edwin Jagger Razor
- KANZY Double Edge Razor
What does the best single blade razor look like?
Shaving is an art, so you need to learn how to use single blade razors before you can appreciate their good qualities. Most work well when you glide the razor gently along the grain, though some are quite flexible. However, when you master them, you will note that they navigate the contours of your face better than cartridge razors. They also tend to cause less irritation and cuts than multi-blades. And with time, you will have fewer ingrown hairs leaving you with smooth skin whenever you shave. Moreover, most of them are affordable and sturdy while the blades only cost a few cents.
A good single blade razor should give you a close shave that leaves a smooth skin without bumps. It should maneuver around the contours of your face effortlessly without causing cuts and grumps. It should be sturdy and safe to use for a prolonged period without the risk of infection from rust or accumulated clutter.
Long and short handles
Single blade razors have a very simple design often comprising of a flexible handle also called a grip and a head. The two most common types of handles are short and long sizes. Short handles measure around 50mm while long handles are 80mm and above. Short handles are good for mild cuts while long handles allow for aggressive cuts. Short handles allow for delicate shaving and are suited to novice shavers. They are much easier to use while experimenting because of the low risk of slicing your skin.
On the other hand, long grip razors are most suited to experienced shavers. They are great for quick shaves because you can make long strokes while leaving behind a smooth skin. They are very effective on thick patches of coarse hair that is hard to cut. You can use them if your facial hair grows into thick stubble in a few days. However, they can easily slice the skin because you have to put much pressure on the head to ensure a uniform shave.
Overall, Short handles are suited to slow gentle shaving that most novices like. Long handles are suited to aggressive shavers who like to make long strokes down the cheeks. Long handles also work for men with coarse facial hair because they can leverage the extra length to put pressure while gliding through the thick stubble. Meanwhile, people with big hands love long handles because they give a better grip than short handles when wet shaving.
Weight of the razor
Razor heads have varying weights ranging from light to heavy. Heavy heads can make clean shaves with minimal pressure while light heads require a certain level of pressing to make the desired cut. Another important aspect of weight is balance. A good razor should have well-distributed weight rather than a heavy handle and a light head or vice versa. Balance allows you to vary the pressure without making irritating cuts on the skin.
The cutting edge
Heads also differ by the design of the cutting surface. They can have an open comb or a straight bar. The smooth bar counteracts the friction between the skin and the blade. It is most suited to novices and users with sensitive skin. The open comb pushes facial hair close to the blade and makes a close shave. It is prone to causing irritating cuts on the skin. It is suitable for shavers with heavy beards.
Should be adjustable
Adjustable razors allow you to set the blade at the position that gives the best shave. You can increase or decrease the blade gap to produce different types of haircuts. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, you can narrow the blade gap to avoid a close shave that will irritate the skin.
Razor blades have varying levels of sharpness. Some have average sharpness while others are as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. The type of blade you buy depends on several factors including your level of expertise, skin sensitivity and the type of shave you like to have. For instance, if you have sensitive skin, you can go for a coated blade to minimise skin irritation. But if you are an experienced shaver who can clear a beard very fast while making a clean shave, then the extra sharp blades may suit you.
Most single blade razors are double-edged (DE), meaning that they have a cutting edge on each side of the head. Double-edged razors give a smoother shave than single-edged razors.
The 5 Best Single Blade Razors
The Chieftain is a sturdy and elegant razor made of brass with a chrome finish. It has a heavy long handle razor suited for aggressive cuts on coarse hair. Use it to shave stubborn stubble because it cuts well even with minimal pressure. Shavers with sensitive skin will love it because it gives a close shave without causing irritating cuts. It does not cut close enough and leaves behind some stubble after the first cut so you have run it several times.
You can use it for wet shaving because it has a sleek handle that gives you a good grip while shaving. Meanwhile, the heavy head gives a close shave without the need to apply extra pressure. It has a short handle and a heavy head which are ideal for gentle gliding strokes along the grain. It is double-edged which makes it easier to shave at different angles. The simple head design makes it easy to clean. However, It is most suited to experienced shavers who know how to glide the razor gently on the skin.
- Robust blades that last long.
- Comes with a luxury case and mirror
- Suitable for sensitive skin.
- Beginners may struggle to use it.
- It has a very sharp blade that can aggravate the skin.
- The recess fits only one blade so you have to carry spares.
Merkur – 23C is a heavy razor with a long handle that has a fantastic grip. The long handle allows shavers to vary pressure depending on the part of the body they are shaving. The razor gives a close shave without aggravating the skin. It does a smooth shave without the need to apply extra pressure. Its lengthy handle allows you to make long strokes along the grain. The long handle allows for a tight grip when wet shaving. It is a mild razor that is suitable for cutting medium stubble. However, it is most suited to experienced shavers because it can irritate sensitive skin.
- Suitable for shaving all body parts for men and women.
- It has a chic chrome finish that adds elegance to your bathroom.
- A removable head that makes it easy to clean.
- Suitable for making a quick clean shave of a light beard.
- The chrome plating reduces the risk of corrosion.
- The blade is not adjustable making it hard to have a close shave
- Causes face burns.
- Struggles to cut through coarse hair in a single stroke.
- Irritates sensitive skin especially on the neck.
Wilkinson Sword Classic Double Edge is a sleek double-edge razor that has a butterfly locking mechanism. It is probably the lightest razor in the safety razor category. The PTE coating on the blades reduces friction facilitating a smooth shave. It’s quite heavy, meaning that you can shave without applying much pressure. Maybe I am being harsh but it lacks balance due to the heavy handle and a light head.
Wilkinson Sword Classic Double Edge is a nimble razor for nipping light facial hair. It gives a smooth shave without irritating the skin. The long handle is excellent for making long strokes while the secure grip reduces the risk of slicing the skin.
This safety razor falls in the mild category in that it requires gentle gliding to avoid cuts. You must follow the grain while shaving otherwise it will cause grumps. It requires great skill when shaving sensitive areas such as the neck. Overall, it is a budget safety razor that offers good value for money.
- Easy to clean the head.
- Works with most standard safety razor blades.
- Comes with 5 blades.
- Sharp but not aggressive.
- Great packaging for travel.
- Blades lose sharpness after a few shaves.
- Not aggressive enough for coarse hair.
- Has a brittle plastic razor head.
- It has a minimal blade gap and a straight bar.
The Edwin Jagger Razor is a medium-weight balanced safety razor that allows for a neat and close shave. It has a sleek chrome finish with Edwin Jagger embossed on the collar. The tight grip facilitates wet shaving while the machine-textured short handle allows for dexterity while shaving at difficult angles.
It is suitable for head shaving because it is not aggressive and does not cut the skin.
Edwin Jagger Razor is a quality blade that remains strong and sharp after years of use. Its medium weight allows for smooth shaving without applying much pressure. It is most suited to users with light facial hair. It has a short handle with a knurled pattern that has a good grip allows users to make quick short strokes.
I would recommend it for novices trying DE shaving for the first time.
- Sharp blade clears most stubble in one stroke.
- A lightweight blade that allows for intricate cuts.
- A well-balanced razor that is great for close shaving.
- Package includes five blades.
- The razor head is compatible with most standard DE safety razor blades.
- Short handle does not favour aggressive shaving.
- The head is not well balanced.
- Most suited to wet shaving.
- Very narrow gap for the blade.
- Users must apply pressure while shaving.
KANZY Double Edge Razor is a chic chrome-plated stainless steel razor. It is lightweight and has a long handle that allows for a tight grip. The grooved design allows for multiple finger grips. It has a sharp blade that is ideal for cutting thick and coarse facial hair. The sharp blade coupled with a firm head design allows for a smooth shave with no cuts or razor bumps or burns. The razor effectively eliminates ingrown hair after a few shaves. It is ideal for shaving thick beards and sideburns.
KANZY Double Edge Razor is a sturdy and durable safety razor with a quality head design that minimizes clogging. It effectively cuts all body hair and suits users of all genders and age groups. KANZY is a lightweight razor with a long handle that allows for a strong grip. It is well-balanced, so you can use it to make intricate cuts on the face or head. I would recommend for beginners because it does not aggravate the skin.
- Sleek case with a mirror that allows for shaving while travelling.
- Uses replaceable standard double edge blades.
- Easy to replace the blade.
- Gives a close and smooth shave.
- Has a sleek long handle that is suited for long strokes.
- Fits most double-edged blades on the market.
- Very heavy and can cause nasty cuts if you apply too much pressure.
Each of the five blades has its advantages and applications for different niches. The VIKINGS BLADE – The Chieftain suits men with heavy coarse hair because its long handle and sharp blade favours aggressive cutting. Meanwhile, the Merkur – 23C Long Handle and Wilkinson Sword Classic suit experienced shavers with light beards. The Edwin Jagger Razor works best for shavers who love fancy cuts on the head while the KANZY Double Edge Razor works for a variety of shaving styles.
After considering all the factors, the Merkur – 23C Long Handle emerges as the best single blade razor. Not only does it have a sleek design, but it is also very functional with a long grooved handle that holds well during wet shaves.
Meanwhile, the grooved handle allows for fancy intricate cuts because you can hold it near the head while making designer cuts. What’s more, its long handle and sharp blade work for aggressive shavers because you can make long strokes on coarse hair. Finally, the chic design is perfect for a cheeky present to give your doting partner.