When you are thinking about switching over to manual shaving from electric shavers you tend to get lost a bit on what safety razor to buy and which are the best double edge razor blades to start out with. I’m going to cut right to the chase and list out the most popular double edge razor blades that skilled manual shavers use today.
Many men, whether they are first-time shavers or experienced ones, have asked that question and there is no definitive answer. What can be said is that there isn’t a best for everyone. There’s only a best for you. It’s definitely going to depend on the facial hair you’re working with.
Are you shaving off a lot of hair every morning or just going for a regular trim? What’s the quality of your facial hair? Will it need a sharper blade? How sensitive is your skin? Also, how much are you willing to pay?
Don’t worry, though. This is shaving, after all, not chemistry. So, there’s no need to strain that brain of yours, over-thinking this whole thing. That’s why we’re going to take a look at what we feel are the nominees, so to speak, for the best double-edged razor blade. And it’s up to you to choose the one that you think will give the best performance in that bathroom of yours every day.
If you are new to wet shaving or even an experienced shaver looking for the best doubled edge razor blades to buy for your personal use you have landed on the right page. We will cover the basics of manual shaving for the beginners, list out comparisons charts for the best de razors out there for you experienced men and give you some tips and tricks on how to get close shaves and stay nick free.
So, let’s look at our top 5 De razors below so you can see right up front what you choose from if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to read everything about it.
So, these are the top five blades to choose from above that will not steer you wrong at all. In all honesty, I would suggest trying all 5 to see what works best for your face and style of double edge razor. The safety razor you are using can does make a difference, as some are more aggressive than others. I’ll touch on that more later.
Buying Decisions For DE Razor Blades
Ok, let’s look at a few of the main factors you want to consider when you are buying double edge blades so you can get into the right mindset when buying your next set.
Your Experience Level
So if you are brand new to wet shaving with a safety razor then you want to go for a blade that is not as aggressive or sharp. I won’t feed you line of bull here. It is not really straightforward on which one to pick here that is not aggressive. You could safely go with Astra blades and be just fine where feather blades would be consider to be sharper.
2. Skilled Wet Shavers
Ok for you guys, you need to consider what safety razor you will be using. If you have an aggressive SR then you might want to go with the Astra blade or Wilkinson blade. For example, when I use my Merkur 180 long handle I go with an aggressive feather blade. When I use my Parker 99r I drop down to an Astra blade.
Also, to note here is that your experience level has a lot to do with what you use. You could be a long time shaver and have awesome technique. In this case you could take my 99r and use the feather blade with no issue where I would because my technique is not as refined.
Type Safety Razor You Use
As I just gave an example of how the safety razor can make a difference in what blade you buy, let’s expand on it more. Different DE razors have blade gaps that expose more or less of the blade to your skin.
This is where people new to the art of manual shaving get steered the wrong way. If you buy an aggressive razor like the Muhle R41 that has an open comb bar or more of a gap to expose the blade, you could get yourself in trouble using it right out of the gate. Your technique is going to be bad and you will most likely nick yourself. They would be better off with a close comb safety razor like the Merkur long handle or Edwing Jagger DE89LBl.
2. Weight of the Razor
Ok, how in the world does the weight of the razor help determine with blade I buy. Well, if you end up with a heavy razor, you generally don’t have to press as hard on your face to get a close shave. Again technique comes into play here. When I switch over to heavier DE razor I go with a blade I know that is not as sharp for my liking personally.
Now when I use one of my lighter safety razor models I’ll go with my sharpest de razor blade because I know I can get away with it. I also know I can press a bit hard too and not get any nicks or cuts on my face.
Cost and Saving Money
1. DE Blades are Cheaper
So, here is one of the big reasons men switch over to double edge razor blades from cheap disposable blades. You can literally buy a 50 pack of blades for $14.00 or less that will last you months! In this same time frame you would have bought expensive replacement cartridges multiple times for 3 times the price or you would do like I did and just buy a new cheap razor each time and throw the other one away I had because the Gillette replacement cartridges were so expensive. It was cheap to buy a new razor that came with 1 extra cartridge.
Top Rated Double Edge Razor Blades For Men
Now, if you have been manual shaving for a while, don’t worry I have some really good picks and information for you to. We have you covered! Here are reviews of the best double edge razor blades currently on the market in 2016:
Feather Hi-Stainless Platinum Double Edge Razor Blades
These are made in Japan by the Feather Company, with tremendous precision. They go to great lengths in making these blades as sharp as possible. They are one of the sharpest blades on the market for a close shave. The same process and technology that is used to make the surgical blades are used to make feather blades. Professional surgeons trust these blades with people’s lives every day in surgery should tell you about the quality of the blade and trust.
These blades will fit in any double edge safety razors as well. What makes theses DE blades one of the top performers is that they are Hi-Stainless Platinum coated down to a fraction of a millimeter for a close shave. A little practice may be needed if you are not used to this method of shaving. Can be used on a couple of days growth and doesn’t blunt easily.
Key things to know:
So, if you are coming from the cheap disposable plastic razors or even from another De brand other than feather, you will find a nice surprise in using these blades in having a super close shave. As these bad boys are sharp, I would throw out a warning for your experienced shavers. I found these to be really aggressive with my parker 99r.
It is a heavy weighted safety razor with a think handle. So, I was putting the same pressure I was using with my merkur long handle razor. That ended up in a few more nicks that I wanted. Yes, beginners, even the experienced guys get nicks. 🙂 Anyways, I had to lighten up my stroke and change my technique a bit on the jaw line so the blade angle was not so aggressive to avoid it.
I still use both razors, but when I’m in a hurry I go for the merkur long handle because it’s so light weight and I zip along like I would with a cheap disposable one. With all that said I high recommend the feather blades to anyone. Beginners, you are fine, just go with a light weight safety razor like I mentioned and you’ll have no worries. If you want further information you can read my individual review on feather blades here.
Astra Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades
Made in Russia by Gillette these blades fit all double edge/safety razors. The blades give a very smooth shave and are often used by professional barbers. Produced from the highest quality steel and are platinum coated for a smooth result. All blades are individually wrapped in wax paper. Read our full Astra razor blade review here.
When comparing these to other blades, these come highly recommended. I would put the sharpness one notch under the feather blade. I could use these in any of my safety razors without having to change up my technique at all. I rarely get nicked with these. If I do, it’s because I wasn’t paying attention. 🙂 I found that these will last 7 plus shaves for my facial hair. I really get a lot of use out of them.
Feather Nacet Bluebird Bic Astra Shark Lord Derby Blade Sampler
This is a sampler pack of blades containing 23 different brands to fit different double edge safety razors. A great pack for those new to wet shaving to find the blade that suits you best as everybody has different thickness of hair and skin sensitivity. These are the sharpest blades on the market. All blades are made to exceptional standards, individually wrapped and have a good longevity.
Wilkinson Sword Classic – Made in Germany
Wilkinson Sword originated in the late 1950’s in the United States. They started out with a classic stainless steel blade which turned into a huge success. Over the years they have improved the blades with new technology.
The blades are triple coated using chromium, to resist corrosion, they added ceramic for more durability and PTFE for reduced skin irritation. This new combination makes the new blades last longer than the original stainless steel blades. They are made to fit any double edged safety razor and can be snapped in half and used in a cut throat razor. These blades are excellent value for money and great on your skin for a smooth shave.
Merkur-Razor Double Edge Razor Blades
Another set of blades that you could consider are the Merkur-Razor Double-Edged Razor Blades. This is a German-produced product, which should tell you a lot already about its efficiency. The Merkur-Razor gives you a consistent shave each and every time you use it, lasting for roughly two weeks of use. If you want a sharper blade, you should invest in these. Total beginners will come out with quite a few nicks and cuts but if you’re relatively experienced, at least, you’ll do fine with this one. Its stainless steel make and comfortable feel are the tipping point, as well as its low price.
Derby Extra Blades
Then, we have the Derby Extra Blades. These double-edged blades hail from Sweden, where they are made with stainless steel and with the intent of fitting all safety razors. But, do you want to know the secret of how they’re made? They are hardened and ground through the use of advanced equipment for cutting edges, which are deposited with chromium ceramic, tungsten, and platinum. That should give the Derby Extra a few extra points, shouldn’t it? (See, what we did there?) In the end, the making of it strengthens its edge as well as gives it a longer shelf life. Did we mention that these blades are reasonably priced, too?
There you have it: all five of the nominees for the best double-edged razor blade. Now, how do you go about choosing? Sometimes, it’s all down to trial and error. After all, you can’t really say which movie is the best until you watch them all. So, you might not be able to say which blade is the best until you try them all or, at the very least, dabble until you find the one that was just made for you. If you’d like, you could also try them all by purchasing a sample pack from Amazon that contains 40 different double-edged blades, individually sealed and packed.
Whatever your decision may be, good luck and happy shaving.