Here at Blackland, we have an obvious bias towards the safety razor. There's no denying that, however it's for good reason. Safety razors are the best way to ensure a clean, efficient, smooth shave with little to no irritation after each use. Now, there are many companies who may try to sell you on the idea that more blades = more better, however that is nowhere near the case. Allow me to help settle your internal dispute of a safety razor vs disposable, once and for all.
There are five areas in which a safety razor proves itself to be the superior shaving tool over a disposable, or cartridge razor, as they are commonly referred to as. The five areas are as follows: skin health, money, environment, self care/routine, and cool factor.
1. Taking Care of Your Skin
The safety razor usually uses a single, thin blade that glides effortlessly through the hair. As it does so, it cuts the hair right at the surface level of the skin, which allows the hair to grow back cleanly and limits the risk of skin bumps later.
When you use a multi-blade razor, the first couple of blades pull the hair upwards slightly, the following blades then cut the hair, however at a length that is below the surface of the skin. This creates a smooth feel at first, however there is a higher risk of irritation and razor bumps, as the hair has to re-breach the skin's surface.
Tip: Be sure to use a good soap, brush, and check out our articles on beard mapping and the best method to achieve the most smooth shave of your life.
Furthermore, the use of only one blade, as opposed to lord knows how many in the cartridge razor, reduces the amount of overall blade contact with the skin, in turn reducing redness and irritation from the shave.
Cartridge razors are becoming increasingly less expensive to replace, and all of the big box store and DTC brands peddling them are competing to get that price lower and lower, however you'll probably end up spending anywhere from $5 to $20/month all things considered.
Here's the deal: When you purchase a safety razor, you pay more up front. There's no denying that. However, a year's supply of blades for the razor only costs anywhere from $6-$20.
While you are paying more up front with the purchase of a safety razor, you actually spend less in the long run, as a good-quality safety razor will last a lifetime, making the cost-per-use significantly less than that of the cartridge razor.
3. Environmental Concerns
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, around 2,000,000,000 cartridge razors are thrown away each year (reported 2018). Two billion hunks of harmful plastics in our landfills, oceans, rivers, etc. that are entirely preventable.
As stated above, when you purchase a high-quality safety razor, you are purchasing a tool that can last multiple lifetimes, given you take good care of it. All you need to do is routinely upkeep the razors health and change out the blade every few uses to ensure a clean shave, every time.
The blades are also recyclable, so if you collect them in a blade-safe container, you can drop them off anywhere that accepts metal recyclables.
4. Routine and Self-Care
Despite their name, safety razors are naturally a little more dangerous than your run of the mill disposable razor. Due to the risk of handling the blade itself, you have to pay close attention to what you're doing at all times.
A great shave requires great care. Here's a benefit, though: shaving becomes a form of meditation.
The process of prepping your skin, loading up your brush and building a great lather and deliberate, smooth strokes with your razor gives you a chance to narrow in, take the time for yourself, and focus on the task at hand.
As Deion Sanders once said: "if you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good."
So, take the extra time to look good and feel good with a great wet shave. It's a small step to create a great leap forward in your day.
5. Cool Factor
To me, a safety razor evokes a feeling similar to that of a fastback Mustang, a glass of good barrel-aged whiskey, and Miles Davis spinning on a record player.
Safety razors are both classic in use and design, and modern in that companies (ahem, us) are continuing to push the boundaries of tool design and CNC machining.
Check out our unbeatable safety razors here.