We’ve already written about the best way to choose a razor blade for your double edged safety razor here, but it’s a topic worth revisiting, because the razor is such an integral part of your shave. And there’s always more to say! We’ve compiled some of our most frequently received safety razor blade questions, and their answers (although, of course, these are our opinions, and the answers can differ for everyone!)
Q: What’s the best safety razor blade for sensitive skin?
A: This is a great question, and one we hear all the time, but we’ve started here because it’s one of the most difficult to answer. Razors really do vary, even though they all look the same from a distance. And because they’re different, not every brand treats every face the same way. For a lot of guys, if they have sensitive skin and a thick beard, a really sharp blade like the Feathers are the answer, because they’ll give you a closer shave.
However, these ultra-sharp blades can also lead to irritation, and many men with sensitive skin find that they’re just too harsh for them to handle. That’s why they prefer smoother blades, like the Derby or the Shark lines. It’s not the most conclusive answer in the world, but the best option really is to get a razor blade sampler. Try a blade from each category, and stick with it for about three weeks. Take a few notes about how each shave left you feeling, immediately afterwards and a few days later. Then switch brands, and track your shaves for another three weeks. That’s really the best way to know which razor blades work best for your sensitive skin. Incidentally, this is also the best advice for any type of skin!
Q: Do Razors Get Dull Over Time?
A: Yes! Double edged razor blades are no different from cartridge blades (or even from a chef’s knife), and over time the edge will dull. When the shave starts to catch and drag on your face instead of cutting smoothly, it’s time to change the blade. For some men, that means a new shave every time. For others, they can stretch a single blade a week, or even a month. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as it depends on the thickness of your beard and the toughness of your hair. For most men, a good rule of thumb is changing blades every 3-5 shaves. And at about 10 cents a blade, that’s not too bad!
Q: What are Razor Blades Made Of?
A: This is another really popular question, and we think it’s because guys love to know how things are made. Figuring stuff out is a part of us, so we want to know exactly what we’re using. There are a couple of common materials in your razor blade, but they all tend to be an alloyed steel. Carbon steel can hold a better edge, but corrodes faster than stainless steel. A lot of safety razors are then coated in PTFE to increase the smoothness of the shave – which is similar to the Teflon used on pots and pans for the kitchen! Here’s a great video that shows the process:
Q: Can I Take My Safety Razor Blade on an Airplane?
A: Unfortunately, no. Nowadays, safety is the paramount concern of airlines and airports everywhere, and while safety razor blades give great shaves, they’re also sharp, and best stowed in your checked luggage. However, according to the TSA, you can bring your safety razor with you on the plane, as long as the blade has been removed. Cartridge razors are also allowed in your carry-on luggage (although we don’t think we have to tell you to leave your straights at home!)
Q: Can any Razor Blade fit in Any Razor?
A: There’s no question about it: razor technology has changed hugely over time. Double edged safety razor blades ARE interchangeable, and any brand of razor will hold any brand of blade. However, cartridge razors are more specific. Mach3, Fusion, Astra, Trac II, and many other styles of razor cartridge will only fit in the right handle, and won’t be interchangeable with other designs.
Q: You have so many brands to choose from! Which safety razor brand is the best one?
A: If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know by now that this is an impossible question for us to answer! We can tell you that, from our data, Feather is our single most popular brand, and Astra comes in a close second place. Both are sharp, reliable, and give a great shave to most men. However, your best bet is still to check out a razor blade sampler, give yourself some time to try each blade, and reach your own opinions. It’s a bit of work, but we really believe you’ll find it worthwhile in the end.
There are always more questions, and we’re happy to answer them as long as we keep getting them. If there’s anything we didn’t get to, leave us a comment or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember: your mileage may vary!