Five Best Razors

Five Best Razors
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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.

Photo by Javier Kohen, hustvedt, evan-amos, Badger and Blade member Copperhead, Justin, and Alexis O’Connor .

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.

Merkur 34C/38C

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.


  • How can you feature the ProGlide next to those beautiful works of art that are the DE razors?!

    When I did use cartridges, I found the Mach 3 Turbo to be the best. I tried the Fusion, but it felt like shaving with a ladies leg razor due to the size of the head.

    Personally, my razor of choice is the Mühle R41 open comb before they tweaked the head. The one you have pictured in the top image, the Merkur Progress, is also a great razor. One thing that Gillette do really well with is the blade itself. Although I use DE, I prefer Gillette razor blades.

    • Spot on @moaboy. Gillette Mach3 is still the most comfortable shave, but replacment cartridges are so expensive! It’s a classic case of, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ and Giltte should listen tot he consumer on this one.
      If you like the Mulhe R41 also try the Fatip Grande open comb razor. I was very pleasantly surprised and have replaced my Merkur Long Handle Razor to this.

  • I’ve never tried a blade shaver (current Mach 3 user). Think I might have a go after seeing those fine examples.

  • Shaving with the disposable blades feels like shaving with a dodgy piece of plastic, they should never haverated in the top 5 at all, and where are the straight razors? they should be up there.

    What your article didnt mention is the dozens of different DE blade brands, and these really make a difference. Shaving with feather blades is far superier to shaving with derby or astra blades, plus blades work out to be around 30c – 50c each, rather then $4-$6 for disposable.

    I use a Merkur 34C and it is fantastic, it does have a short handle tho, and im looking to upgrade to a longer handle.

    • I would just like to point out that blade selection with safety razors is a huge matter of personal choice. When I started I tried a lot of different blades and found astra’s the best for my face, feathers gave me irritation and personna’s were not close enough. The derby’s were horrible though (for me anyway).

  • Can you please do a comparison/review of the Kogan blades vs their brand name counterparts?

    • Tried these, and they are terrible, nothing like the originals. They act as though they are dull from the first pull across your face, and they leave a lot of stubble behind. Wasted my money trying these out.

  • Who writes this? Cartridge razors had been around four donkeys years before the mach 3. Stated using blades from dollar shave club a few weeks ago and they’re probably the best I’ve used. Lasting twice as long as the fusion blades I was and only $7 for 4 3-blade cartridges. And the handle, which is well weighted and very comfortable, comes free.

  • I used a mach 3 for years and didn’t realize how terrible it was until I forgot to bring it on holiday once and bought a Schick Quattro. Much smoother shave.

    • I can’t remember the last time I had even a nick using DE razors. Maybe 5 years ago? And I only use Feather blades, which are sharper than some kind of ninja laser.

      On the other hand, dragging a Mach 3 over my face will leave me looking like Freddy Krueger. I don’t know how people do that to themselves.

      • Yeah those things are murderous.. My daily is actually a $20 electric with the flat straight foil (rather than the multihead ones).

        Works amazingly, but died the other day after nearly 3 years of faithful service.. RIP dear friend, my torn up face this morning morns your loss.

  • The first time I used a 34C I decided then and there never to go back to cartridge razors, shaving feels like less of a chore and more of a ritual now.

    The shave shed has some cheap starter kits for anyone interested in AU.

  • I have been shaving with a safety razor for a few months. Ill never use anything else again. I started with a cheap yuma it really didnt hold the blade square. I now use a very old Gillette Aristocrat that my Grand Father gave me. It is awesome, I used proraso shaving cream first put found it was over drying my skin. After doing a little youtube researching I now use plain old olive oil with a few essential oils. Ingrown hairs gone and skin irritation gone too.

  • For about a year I have been using an Edwin Jagger DE87 of which only the handle differs from the DE89. I used to loathe shaving due reasons such as sensitive skin, the amount of time required, and the process of electric trimmer then electric shaver then disposable razor. All of which typically resulted in average results at the best of times. Since moving to wet shaving, the entire shaving experience has changed – now I actually look forward to it.

    Some tips:
    1) Don’t use a ceramic or glass soap bowl/mug – it makes a lot of noise when lathering.
    2) Don’t buy shaving cream, buy a soap puck it will last longer and …
    3) … requires you to use a brush ( just a very nice experience)
    4) You don’t NEED to be baby smooth

    Never heard about using olive oil before, I will look into that.

    • 4) You don’t NEED to be baby smooth

      Hate to tell you this Alex but if it’s not baby bum smooth then you’re not doing it right.
      I use a Merkur 38C and Mitchells Wool Fat soap.

  • Hey guys!
    Does anyone know what that razor sitting on the box in the fourth picture is, exactly?
    EJ in England say it’s not one of theirs. Looks like like an EJ head but I suspect the handle may be a custom job? Very misleading picture, as it’s sitting on top of an EJ box.
    Any info would be much appreciated….

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