Manual shaving or wet shaving as it is known, is for those guys out there that don’t want to deal with electric shavers. These guys prefer to use a are razor and shaving cream combination to get a closer shave. There are three main ways to shave your face the manual way which are with cheap disposable razors, one blade razor or double edge safety razors and straight razor shaving.
You can buy single blade or multiple blade disposable razors just about anywhere locally. The problem is that if you really don’t keep track of what you are buying they really do add up quick costing you more than you think. I find it so funny that you can buy a normal mach 3 razor for 10.99 with at least one replacement blade. If you want to buy replacement cartridges it will cost you almost twice as much just for them!
What Are The Different Types?
So the advantage of using safety razor is that you have a one time investment on the razor it self and then you just worry about buying the replacement razor blades. You have a choice between a single blade and double edge razor also known as DE for short which is really the more popular choice so we’ll focus on those. I’m sure you are thinking what is the best safety razor on the market?
You will see either a single bladed exposed or an open tooth comb style to help cut and protect your face from nicks and cuts.
Who Manufactures DE Razors?
In my personal opinion there are three major brand names out there that just dominate the market which are Merkur, Feather, Parker company and Edwin Jagger, Muhle and Weishi. There are others but these are the companies that you will see selling the most popular models.
What Are the Advantages of Safety Razor Shaving?
- Once you make the initial purchase of the razor you will start saving money because the replacement blades you will eventually need are cheaper than the popular replacement cartridges for the popular disposable razors. You can buy double edge razor blades for around $10-$15 dollars for a 50 count package.
- This all varies by brand of who is making the DE blades. Various manufactures have different processes to make the blades which increase the cost. Anyways, you can see how they are much cheap than the other kind.
- Most guys say that a regular double edge razor blade last 5-10 shaves which largely depends on your facial hair thickness and how well you use it.
- The other advantage of using a DE safety Razor is the resulting smooth and close shave you can achieve with them. Once you get the technique down you can join the rest of the wet shaving enthusiast that brag about the close shaves.
- Lastly, men who prefer this type of razor love the wet shaving aspect of it and prefer it over electric shavers. I have to admit it has the cool factor because I feel like I’m one of those tough guys in a movie who is using that old fashion razor using a shaving brush to put the shaving cream on. I guess I also feel like I have more “power tools” so to speak because of the extra accessories you have around.
How Do You Use A Safety Razor
- Pre-wash routine to wash away the dead cells and any oil and dirt. This will ensure a closer shave. It’s Always best to shave after a shower in the morning so your face is naturally warmed up already. Your whiskers will a lot softer and will help with a clean cut.
- You will want to using some type of shaving soap, shaving cream or shaving gel to apply to your wet face. You definitely do not want to shave a dry face. You are asking for trouble increasing your odds of getting cut. So, a common method is to use shaving kit that comes with a shaving brush, shaving cup or bowl to store the cream or soap. One of the Best Shaving brushes out there is the badger hair brush for example.
- Start out with a small amount of cream about the size of the dime.
You will figure out later how much will work over time. You basically take the badger brush and dip that into the shaving cup to mix it up like you are mixing a cake batter to get the lather going. Then you apply that to your face in a circular motion so you have a really good lather going. Enjoy this time because it’s a bit of pampering going on so have fun with it.
- It’s best practice to let the cream moisturize your face for a 1-2 minutes. This also let’s the cream soften the whiskers. Overall you will end up with a smoother shave. Let’s face it though, you are usually in a rush so more than likely you will just jump right into it!
- Now you will want to take your best safety razor and start shaving from the top down with the grain of your hair. The razor blades are sharp so you should not need a lot of pressure. I would try holding the razor at 30 degree angle to start with and adjust it as you go. By shaving with the grain you will have less skin irritation and cuts. Some Men with Sensitive Skin get bumps and rashes when shaving against the grain.
Everyone is different so do what is best for you. You will notice you might have to take a couple passes on each area shaving with the grain but it is worth the effort avoiding cuts.
- As you are shaving you will want to rinse your razor with warm water to get rid of the hair between the razor blades. Running it under warm water is just as good.
- Now as you finish up rinse off the remaining shaving cream and you are all set. Some men prefer to using an after shave gel. This is all a personal preference so do what is best for you and what you have time for.
PRO TIP: When you switch for a disposable razor like the Mach 3 for example you will have a learning curve. You will need to teach your wrist to rotate as you shave the curve of your face. It will take some practice but it will be worth it. The disposables let you get away with shaving fast and mostly follow your face for you. It’s not overly difficult before you will do it on auto-pilot but just give it a week.
Quick Buying Guide Facts To Consider
Before we get start, let me give you some tips to help you decide which razor is the best for you.
Let’s break down to make parts there are first so you know what to look for. You have the handle, base plate that holds the blade which breaks down one piece where you turn and twist it to get open and two or three pieces which you twist and turn to get open to put the blades in.
Razor Head – is where the word safety comes into play. You have a single bar that sits under the razor blade to push the razor off the skin. The other is an comb style that is either open or closed. Both styles here are used for the experienced shaver who really wants to get a close shave. It is also for more think type of beards as well.
Handle – You have the handle that comes in various styles, weight and thickness.
Adjustable or Not – You will want to consider if you want to be able to adjust the
You will need to decide which type of head you want, do you want an adjustable or non-adjustable.
Weight – If you have larger hands the size and weight of the razor come play along with the handle length. The weight also helps the razor cut where you don’t have to press down as hard as you would with a plastic disposable razor.
Color – The last one is the color of the razor which is just plain personal preference. So, keep this in mind as you read through these.
Your Beard Length – So, if you are going to go a long time without shaving you will want to consider an open comb style safety razor. Some say they can’t tell the difference between open and comb but the overall consensus is open comb is easier on course hair and longer beard shaves.
Quick Tip:What is the Difference between open and comb style razors? The biggest difference is that there is no bar going across in a closed comb style and there are combs that dig in closer which is great for long beard growth.
Ok, hopefully you have enough background now and history about the various safety razors on the market that you can go and choose the best safety razor for you.
For a beginner go after the Merkur 34c or the regular Merkur Long Handle to get into the wet shaving club. As for you experienced guys looking for something new to play with click here to see the best values on amazon or click on the images and links above in the articles to find that new beauty.