Everyone likes a neat and clean appearance. The good news is that it doesn’t take much effort to get that classic look. All you need is a good razor. There are different types of razors flooding the market. We’ll help you pick the right one.
Use in the stone age, the first known version of a razor was a shaving stone which was essentially a flaked obsidian.
The Egyptians used a rotary razor.
Shaving was adopted by Alexander’s troops. The Romans replaced the circular razor with a straight one.
Straight razor was most commonly used till the 20th century. This razor had a stainless steel blade that is sharpened on one side.
Next came the shavette, had a disposable blade. It is easy to use but less durable.
In 1880 came the first marketed safety razor. Safer to use than straight razor but required practice.
1903 saw King Gillette sell the first double edge safety razor which had edges and protective bars on both sides of the blade.
First disposable safety razor came in 1960. The entire razor is discarded after use over a period of time.
Then came the cartridge razor with disposable blades. whose head remained bent at a slight angle for a closer shave.
The foil electric razor run on batteries or can be recharged. For this, no shaving gel or foam is needed. Since the blades move back and forth, they don’t work well on facial curves.
Based on the same principle as the electric razor, the rotary electric razor has blades that rotate on the head. They are easy to use and work well on facial contours with minimum effect.
If you are interested in learning more, check out the infographic below.
When you have decided to start wet shaving, you must first choose your new favorite power tools: your safety razor and safety razor blades.
A great way to try some blades on for size before making a commitment is to purchase a safety razor sample pack. This allows you to test safety razor blades to see which ones react to your hair and beard coarseness best, last longest and provide the closest, most comfortable shave.
Choosing Your Perfect Safety Razor Blades
As you start testing blades, note how your skin feels as the blade glides across it. The glide should be smooth without dragging or pulling on hairs. The sharpest blade is not necessarily going to provide the best shave for you. You have to consider safety razor blades from all angles, according to which suits your skin sensitivity, hair coarseness and application of the blade to your skin.
Ask yourself the following questions to help determine which of the safety razor blades is your perfect fit:
Do you have to make multiple passes across one area for the hair to be sufficiently cut? If so, the blade you are using is likely too mild for you. You may need greater blade exposure or a larger blade gap.
Is your hair being tugged or pulled and you have to force the blade across your skin? When this problem arises, you need a sharper blade.
Is the blade scratching your skin while cutting all stubble in the first pass? If you are experiencing dragging on the skin and quick cutting of hair, your blade edge may be too exposed. Try a blade with a slighter blade gap.
Is your aftershave burning more than it should, or do you feel scratching or burning when making final passes? When the first pass does not bother your skin, but subsequent ones do, this likely means that your blade is too aggressive for you. Opt for a less sharp blade.
Most men are able to use one double edged safety razor blade for five to seven shaves. Because these blades are typically exchanged in about a week or so, you do not have to worry about special storage considerations. Most blades do not rust these days due to being made of stainless steel or with special rust-resistant coatings, unlike your grandfather’s blades. But if you leave a razor blade in the razor for a long period of time, it could rust due to daily exposure to moisture of showers and other environmental changes.
As a best practice, particularly if you have children in your home or to protect garbage handlers, you should invest in a blade bank or other blade disposal container. This will ensure other people do not accidentally seriously injure themselves when handling garbage or playing around your shaving area.
When looking at the history of the legendary sharp Feather razor blades brand, one of the first things you will note is a significant gap between the startup date of the organization making these high quality razor blades and the next point in its history. This is because the Feather razor blades brand is shrouded in mystery, legend and folklore only eras of conflict, war and crisis can foster.
History of Feather Razor Blades
Feather Safety Razor Company of Osaka, Japan has been producing the sharpest razor blades for generations, since 1932. These blades are used in shaving razors and even surgical instruments. You know that what is good for a surgeon must be good for your morning shaving routine! With its manufacturing headquartered in the “City of Cutlery” of Japan, Seki City, the legend of sharpness and quality grows even more.
Throughout the world, Feather’s blades are considered the sharpest. Most men familiar with the brand recognize them by their trademark yellow and black packaging. As manufacturing has evolved, this packaging has remained very much the same throughout these years.
But its history is what really makes legend of Feather blades so, well, legendary. According to Yasuoki Takeeuchi in his book History and Culture of Shaving in Japan, Feather blades are steeped in World War drama.
Supposedly, after the first World War ended in 1918, Gillette T-Shape safety razors were the big market monopolizer in Japan. Then two former German POWs who decided to remain in Japan after the war started making their own version of safety razors. These became very popular and started the Feather brand as Japan Safety Razor Company. The name was later changed to Feather.
When the China incident occurred in 1937, Japan headed into World War II after the war in the Pacific. As of 1940, the government of Japan banned razor import and production of open razors. Safety razors were still allowed, however. So Feather was able to take over the market without a struggle and basically held a monopoly at 80 percent of market domination.
In the brand’s history there is a gap from 1932 to the late 1950’s. This is because ownership changed from the German POWs to that of Japanese citizens. This is where the brand’s myths and mystery are really born.
Reliability Beyond the History of Feather Razor Blades
Today, Feather razor blades are known for being the highest quality and sharpest stainless steel blades on the market. Maybe this is due to the brand’s extremely high standards in quality control for consistency in manufacturing. Maybe the sharpness can be attributed to the manufacturer’s detailed assurance of the highest quality materials in its products.
Aside from the debate of truth or myth in stories of Feather’s brand history, the fact remains that these blades are as sharp as any Japanese shogun warrior would expect. You will love their sharpness and quality for your wet shave, too.
Guide to Choosing the Best Double Edge Razor Blades
One of the first steps in the wet shaving routine is to choose your safety razor if you are going to wet shave with a safety razor. After choosing your safety razor, the next step in setting up your shaving set is to choose a razor blade. Safety razor blades come from a variety of manufacturers from all over the world. Using any of the different blades, you are guaranteed a clean shave. However, there are slight differences in the design and production of these blades that make it a necessity that any wet shaver will have to choose a particular brand to stick to.
Currently there are safety razor blades from manufacturers like Merkur, Feather, Astra, Gillette, Derby and much more. All these brands have different characteristics and it’s not very easy to see the difference visually. These different blade characteristics include sharpness, durability, price and aggressiveness. When you decide to choose the best double edge razor blades for your personal shaving routine, you must consider each of these points.
Sharpness Sharpness is important in determining the best double edge razor blades for yourself. While most razors are basically sharp, some tend to be sharper than others and will therefore either be suitable or unsuitable for some people. For example, the extremely sharp blades are normally not quite suitable for beginners and others with sensitive skin.
Durability Some razor blades may last for just 2 to 3 shaving sessions while others can last for much longer. Durability is therefore also an important factor in choosing the best double edge razor blades to make up your shaving set. The more durable a blade is, the lower its cost per shave is.
Aggressiveness Safety razor aggressiveness has to do mainly with the design of the razor’s head, but also with the blade. The factors that affect the aggressiveness include the amount of blade that is exposed, the cutting angle of the blade as a result of the razor’s design and the size of the blade gap. When deciding on the best double edge razor blades for future use, you will have to factor in your razor’s design because using a very sharp blade with an aggressive safety razor is bound to produce plenty of razor cuts.
Price Some safety razor blades cost as much as five times more than other lower priced models. The more expensive blades are generally of higher quality than the lower priced blades and either last much longer or are much sharper. Price is therefore also an important factor in choosing the best double edge razor for your shaving set because though you may want to stick to the higher quality models, you also have to be sure that you can afford it.
Other Factors to Consider
Coarse Hair The coarseness of your hair is very important when considering the best double edge razor blades to become part of your shaving set. This is because of the fact that razor blade sharpness is actually relative. For example, a razor blade may be very sharp for someone with soft hair while the same blade would feel dull for another person with more coarse hair.
Skin Sensitivity Skin sensitivity is also important when deciding on the best double edge razor blades to stick to because people with sensitive skin will have to avoid very sharp and aggressive blades and razors. For example, the Feather Safety Blades are not the best choice for those who have very sensitive skin since these are one of the most aggressive blades on the market.
Merkur is a well known German maker of wet shaving products. Blades from Merkur, including their straight razor blades are always of very high quality. Another plus is that Merkur blades are also easily available. For beginners and wet shavers with softer hair, in search of the best double edge razor blades, Merkur safety razor blades could be the answer.
Feather is a Japanese safety razor blade brand. It is also quite popular among wet shavers, in fact almost legendary. Feather blades can be extremely sharp and are therefore not very ideal for beginners. For long time wet shavers on the other hand, who know what they are doing, feather is worth the try.
Astra blades are quite sharp but can be overly aggressive. This creates a Love-Hate relationship between them and many wet-shavers. Made from a Russian design, these blades are usually a big hit for daily use.
The Gillette 7 o’clock super stainless blade is a good safety razor blade for beginners. Although the blade is highly unlikely to survive more than three shaving sessions, this offer is still attractive because of its good price.
Derby Extra blades are among the least aggressive blades in the market. Combined with its good price, Derby has grown to popularity among many wet-shavers with sensitive skin
Choosing the best double edge razor blades is important for every shaver but nobody can know beforehand what will work and what may not. To find the ideal safety razor blade that is perfect for you, you must have to try out a few. There is simply no other way to it. You will have to take your time and go through razor blade after razor blade until you find that one blade that fits both your razor and your skin. Hopefully, this guide has shown you where to start and the aspects to watch out for.