Choosing your razor is a very important decision that, unfortunately, a lot of men do ill-informed. Most people nowadays rely on disposable commercial razors for their shaving needs which is quite a pity. Even if we ignore the fact that the disposable razor industry is way too overgrown, inefficient, and detrimental to the environment, using such razors is simply a poor individual choice too.
What’s the alternative? Well, both straight razors and safety razors offer a much better, more effective, and more efficient shaving experience than disposable commercial razors. The benefits of straight razors and the pros of shaving with a safety razor are numerous and well-documented, yet a lot of people don’t know about them. So, what are these two types of razors and what does the straight razor vs safety razor comparison look like?
What are straight and safety razors?
We’ve all seen a straight razor on TV but few men actually use them today. Straight razors are the standard and old-fashioned foldable razor blades made of stainless steel. They are tricky to use and are not for everyone but they can deliver an excellent shaving experience.
Safety razors, on the other hand, are the regular razor handles that can be loaded with double-edged razor blades. They are much safer to use thanks to the safety bar on them, and they can still last for a lot longer than the average commercial disposable razor.
Still, to give you a fuller picture of what each of these razor types has to offer, here are their pros and cons:
Benefits of shaving with a straight razor
Believe it or not, despite not being too popular these days, straight razors actually have a lot of pros.
- Straight razors can last a lifetime. Not counting the disposable straight razors that are made to be replaced after their blades get dull, regular straight razors can be sharpened and are meant to last for decades and more.
- Straight razors can be maintained in perfect condition at all times. Where with most other razors, the condition of the blade can vary depending on how new it is, a straight razor’s blade can be maintained in a great condition at all times.
- Straight razors can give you a lot of nostalgia. Given that they last for so long, straight razors often become a non-disposable companion to a lot of men. It’s not uncommon for fathers to pass their razors to their sons and for a single blade to remain in the family for generations.
- Straight razors can cover a larger area all at once as their blades are longer. The typical straight razor blade is 3 inches long which allows the user to cover much larger areas than with a safety razor.
- When you master using the blade of a straight razor it can do both a faster and a better job than the common safety razors today. Given their quality, size, and sharpness, straight razors are capable of much faster and more effective shavings than all other razor types.
- Using a straight razor makes you feel awesome, it’s as simple as that. Straight razor shaving is just one of those experiences that make you feel (and look) like the king of the world.
Negatives of shaving with a straight razor
Of course, there are reasons why straight razors are not widely used today and they are not insignificant.
- Straight razors require a lot of practice and skill. Knowing how to shave with a straight razor is a crucial skill that takes quite a bit of time to master. Usually, the skill is passed from father to son together with the razor, but once that chain is broken people find it unnecessarily hard to bother learning that skill.
- Straight razors can cause accidental cuts even if you’re generally experienced at using them. Even if you know how to use a straight razor, cuts with it can happen after the smallest distraction – a child storming in the bathroom, something dropping on the floor, and so on.
- Damaging the razor means that you’ll have to buy a whole new one instead of just replacing the blade. If the razor is made of high-quality steel, then breaking or damaging it is not that likely. Still, once the blade is damaged beyond sharpening, the entire razor will have to be replaced.
Benefits of shaving with a safety razor
Safety razors used to be the most common type of razors before disposable commercial razors rose to popularity. They offer a lot of benefits and, in most situations, tend to be the best possible option.
- First and foremost – they are safe. Where a straight razor can be risky to use even for experienced people, it’s very difficult to cut yourself with a safety razor unless you really want to.
- While it won’t last a lifetime, safety razors are still much cheaper than disposable commercial razors. Unlike straight razors, safety razors need to have their blades replaced from time to time as they can’t be sharpened. Still, even with that inconvenience, they last longer and are much more efficient and budget-friendly than the commercial disposable razors.
- Safety razors are double-edged, giving them an even longer life. The small size and length of safety razors are offset by a significant degree by the fact that they are double-edged.
- Safety razors can also use different blades. A huge pro of safety razors is the fact they can use different types of blades. If you’ve recently developed a skin irritation or something of the sort, with a safety blade you’ll be able to switch to a gentler blade.
Negatives of shaving with a safety razor
Of course, safety razors are not without faults too even though it may sometimes feel otherwise.
- New blades need to be bought regularly. If the blades you’re using are of a high enough quality they will last for much longer than their disposable razor counterparts. Still, they do need to be replaced from time to time.
- It just isn’t as cool as a straight razor. A nice safety razor with a cool design can feel quite nice to use. But, however, we try to look at them, they simply don’t feel as cool as straight razors.