A sharp, sturdy razor ensures you experience a smooth, even shave rather than nicks, cuts and razor burn. Here are five of the best choices, based on your nominations.
We've focused here on non-electric safety razors, both cartridge-based and blade models. If you're not comfortable with a safety razor, check out our guide to using one.
If you're looking for an super-smooth shave from one of the best safety razors on the market, you have to turn to Merkur, manufactured by German company DOVO Solingen. Many of you highlighted the 34C and its longer-handled, heavier cousin, the 38C "Barber Pole" model. There's an interesting thread at ShaveDen that explores the differences between the two models. Both are durable and easy to swap blades in.
Gillette Mach 3/Mach 3 Turbo
Gillette's Mach 3 range includes the basic model, the upgraded all-metal Turbo version, and the Sensitive model. All three are cartridge-model razors, meaning you keep the handle and dispose of the snap-on blades once they become too dull. The cartridges for all three models feature three individual blades, designed for a super-close shave. The Mach 3 was one of the first razors to offer this cartridge-style, and virtually transformed the disposable razor industry overnight.
Those of you who nominated the Mach 3 and its successors pointed out that shaving with a disposable cartridge is fast and easy, and you have little chance of cutting or nicking yourself thanks to the safety edges around the blades. You also praised the Mach 3 for having three blades — any more and they become clogged easily. The cost of those cartridges is a potential drawback, as multi-packs are usually priced higher than the razor itself
Edwin Jagger DE89
Edwin Jagger makes some of the finest safety razors for wet shaving in the business. The DE89 is a beautiful razor, offering a smooth, short handle that's easy to control. Loading and unloading is simple , and the handle is well balanced. Replacement blades are affordable and offer a consistent, smooth shave. Edwin Jagger's artisan presentation definitely reminds you there was a time when shaving was an art, not just a thing you had to do every morning.
Merkur 180 Long Handle
While not as heavy as its 34C and 38C siblings, the Merkur 180 sports a long handle that's perfect for people with larger hands or accustomed to a longer shaving device. Like DOVO's other razors, it features a chrome finish and double-blades. It's a little lighter than some of the other choices discussed here, but it's still a great option.
Gillette Fusion Proglide
The Fusion line is Gillete's most recent disposable cartridge razor line. Like its predecessor the Mach 3, there are three models: the manual Fusion razor, the Fusion Power, which features a battery-powered vibrating handle, and the Fusion Proglide, another battery-operated model with a micro comb attached to guide hair towards the blades and reduce tugging and pulling. The Fusion series features five blades rather than three, and some blades offers feature lotion strips and special coatings to give you a smoother shave. Not everyone is a fan of the five-blade approach or the vibrations, but this is a popular and easily-sourced choice.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favourite razor, even if it wasn't included in the list? Tell us why in the comments.