What is a double-edge safety razor?

What is a double edge razor?

A double edge safety razor is a vintage shaving technology defined by the use of double edge razor blades like this one:

This is a picture of a Double Edge Razor Blade
This is an example of a double edge razor blade.

The razor blade is secured to a safety razor “head” and “handle.” All three together, blade, head, and handle, comprise the “safety razor”. A slim portion of the razor blade is exposed. The shaver then uses that edge to cut away their stubble. The “double edge” means that both sides of the razor blade can be used to shave. This extends the amount of hair that can be shaved before needing to clear the hairs away by running water through the razor. Also, the razor blade can be used twice as long as a single edge razor blade because it’s really two blades in one.

An Example of a Double Edge Safety Razor
This is an example of a double edge safety razor.

A double edge safety razor is usually made completely out of metal and is quite durable. The razor itself can last for many decades. The double edge razor blades are usually only used for 3 to 8 shaves before being replaced and disposed of. Due to how inexpensive they are, some people will only use a razor blade once and then throw it away.

Double edge safety razors were first introduced in 1880 and fell out of popularity when disposable and cartridge razors were introduced in the 1960’s. These new razors were easily marketable and the margins were higher so they were pushed onto the populace. Many people are learning that these new razors are not actually better than the shaving technology they replaced.

The double edge safety razor or is usually part of the traditional wet shaving process.

How is a double edge safety razor different than any other razor?

Today’s modern razors are called cartridge razors. The razor blades are attached to the razor’s handle by clicking into it. Today’s modern razors often have 3, 4, or even 5 razor blades in a row which shaving companies like Gillete, Schick, and Bic claim provide a closer, more comfortable shave. Recently, litigation has been filed against Gillette disputing many of the claims they make in their marketing, including that their battery-powered, vibrating handles create a closer shave.

Today’s cartridge razors use the “razor and blades business model” which involves selling the starter set at a low cost but then selling the replacement razors at a high markup. Many people find this business model to be anti-consumer and instead are turning toward traditional shaving technology to escape it.

Why do people use double edge safety razors?

Many people find that modern cartridge razors are too expensive. Double edge safety razor blades can be bought for as little as 8 cents a blade (USD) while replacement razors for the Gillette Fusion, for instance, usually cost around $30 for 8 replacement razor cartridges which Gillette claims last a month each. For comparison, if you use a double edge razor for the typical 7 shaves, your cost over 8 months would be $2.56!

In addition, many people find that they’re able to get a more comfortable, closer shave with safety razors due to their ability to customize their shaving set up by mixing and matching hundreds of different shaving products. Different razor manufacturers create slightly different razors which allow people to customize the quality of their shave and different razor blade manufacturers create slightly different blades. By combining different razors and blades, people are able to find their “perfect shave.”

Some people switch to traditional wet shaving with a double edge safety razor because they find the they enjoy the act of shaving itself. Many artisanal shaving supply companies have appeared in recent years. Many men find the products available make their shaving ritual more fun and enjoyable. They enjoy experimenting with different products to find the perfect shave.

How much does double edge safety razor shaving cost?

One of the biggest reasons people switch to safety razor wet shaving is because they’re able to save money. You can buy a decent safety razor and blades for as little as $12.

If you’re interested in getting started with traditional safety razor wet shaving, we recommend our “perfect shave” safety razor starter kit. You can create a personalized kit and choose from a variety of high-quality products.

How much do safety razor handles cost?

The safety razor itself can be as cheap as $10 and as expensive as several hundred dollars. Safety razors are a relatively simple technology so there isn’t much advantage to spend more. A high-quality safety razor that will last your lifetime can be had for $30-50 USD.

Popular brands of safety razors and their cost:

Merkur 34C – Typically retails for about $40. You can get it for about $30 here.

Rockwell Razors 6C – Typically retails for about $50. You can get it for $40 here.

How much do safety razor blades cost?

The only other item you’ll need to get started is safety razor blades that you’ll use in your safety razor.

As mentioned, double edge razor blades can easily be found for 8 cents a blade or even less. At the high end are blades like the Bolzano Superinox Double Edge Razor Blades which cost about 35 cents each (USD). If you find a really good deal, you may be able to get 100 razor blades for as little as $6 USD which works out to about 6 cents a blade. So, the typical range will be six cents to about 35 cents and the average will be about 10 cents a blade.

Popular brands of double edge razor blades and their cost:

Some of the most popular double edge razor blade brands are:

Feather New Hi-stainless Platinum coated blades – These blades are made in Japan and they typically cost about 12 cents a blade. Feather blades are highly regarded and very sharp.

Astra Super Platinum Double Edge Razor Blades – These blades are made in Russia and typically cost about 10 cents a blade. Astra is one of the more popular brands.

Wilkinson Sword Classic Double Edge razor blades – These blades are very popular. They are made in the UK. They are inexpensive and can be found for 8 cents a blade.

 

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