If you’re wondering if it’s better to shave your beard with an safety razor or a cartridge razor, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest debates in the shaving world. So, cartridge razor or classic razor, who wins?
The purpose of today’s guide is to describe their key features in an objective way so that you can get a clear view of how these razors really differ from each other.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are safety razors?
- 2 What are Cartridge Razor?
- 2.1 What are the benefits of shaving with a Cartridge Razor?
- 2.2 How to use a cartridge razor?
- 2.3 What to consider when buying a cartridge razors
- 2.4 Differences between Razors – Safety Razor vs Cartridge Battle
- 2.5 Safety Razor Vs Cartridge Razor – Breaking Down the Costs?
- 2.6 Shaving lotion vs Shaving gel vs Shaving soap- Which Shaving Blend to Use?
- 2.7 Safety Razor or Cartridge Razor – Which offers a better quality shave?
- 2.8 Safety Razor and Cartridge Razors: Solving the problems of burns and cuts
- 2.9 Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razors: Which is More Eco-Friendly ?
- 2.10 Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razors: The Final Judgment
What are safety razors?
If you’ve seen any Gillette ads, you’ll know that cartridge razors are still quite popular and possibly more advanced than ever. It could also be deduced from the ads themselves that more leaves equals better performance. However, they also increase the likelihood that you will irritate your skin or develop ingrown hairs.
The thing with multi-blade systems is that the first blade, which does most of the cutting, dulls with use and starts pulling hairs up instead of cutting them. Between the second or third (or fourth or fifth) blade, which pushes down on the skin, causing irritation, cuts, or ingrown hairs. On top of all that, multi-blade cartridges are not consistently reliable for creating tight facial lines.
Featuring a single, double-edged blade, classic razors or safety razors reduce your close shave to its most efficient form. And while the razor itself may cost you more on a first investment, replacing the blade is quite affordable, saving you money over time.
The main features of the safety razor
The safety razor, also called mechanical or safety razor, has various characteristics that make it an effective accessory. The first is a different design compared to modern cartridge razors. Indeed, the DE can have different styles, its shaving head is always made of steel while the handle can be wood, steel or horn. There are different types of safety razors:
- The butterfly: the head opens like a butterfly. This mechanism makes it easy to extract the blade.
- The 2 or 3 pieces: that you screw and unscrew. This makes it easy to clean them and change the blade.
- The adjustable safety razor: which allows an even more precise shave.
Unlike cartridge razors, the safety razor is designed to last over time. It is not uncommon to see some men pass them on from father to son. The DE also has a timeless, sober and ergonomic design.
The only problem with this type of razor is the blade. These are surgical steel. They are therefore much sharper than the blades of cartridge razors. However, there are a multitude of blade manufacturers. This diversity allows you to personalize your shave by finding the blade adapted to your skin type and your hairiness. You’ll probably have to try a few before you find the one that works best.
What are the benefits of shaving with a safety razor?
The first thing you need to know is that a safety razor can deliver as good or better a shave than any multi-blade razor. With experience, the use of a DE can allow a more precise and above all irritation-free shave.
Nevertheless, this type of shaving requires more time, because there is a whole ritual: choosing your blade, preparing your skin for shaving, choosing a good shaving soap / shaving cream. A successful shave will give you the satisfaction of having soft, smooth skin.
However, it will take some time and practice to get used to traditional shaving.
A safety razor will cause fewer burns and irritation than a cartridge razor. Indeed, the multi-blades clog and become dull over time. And the height is that they are real bacteria nests.
The advantage of the safety razor is that it only has one blade. Which means less passage of the blade on the skin and therefore less irritation. When you realize that the blade cuts less, you just have to change it.
The biggest investment is made when buying the razor (count 30/40 euros on average). A metal safety razor will last you a lifetime. You will only need to change the blades . These are sold in packs of 5 or more. They are of very good quality at a much more affordable price than the 5 blades. Indeed, a pack of 10 blades costs between 2 and 3 euros. One blade will last you three or four shaves. See the savings you’ll make by switching to a safety razor.
In addition, and unlike cartridge razors, the blade is the waste product of DE. To avoid accidents, you can always place used blades in a blade collector and ask a pharmacy to find out if there is a collection service near you.
In the end, traditional shaving is more economical and also more ecological.
The other characteristic of the safety razor is its protective comb (the metal part that covers the blade). This can be either “open” (wide teeth) or “closed” (narrow teeth).
People with thick facial hair should go for an open comb. On the other hand, people with sensitive skin should opt for a closed comb, which ensures even pressure on the skin during shaving, which will save you a lot of inconvenience.
How to use a safety razor?
- If you are a beginner, it is advisable to opt for a razor with a closed comb which will allow a less aggressive shave.
- Dampen your bristles with lukewarm water and work your shaving cream into a good lather with a badger brush. Make sure your shaving cream has a moisturizing and effective action. This will allow the blade to glide more easily over the skin.
- Always shave in the direction of the hair. If you start your shave against the grain, it can cause cuts, redness and ingrown hairs. If you want a close shave, take your time. Apply light pressure and stretch your skin to open the hair follicles and expose more facial hair.
- You will be able to shave with two passes (one in the direction of the hair, the other against the grain) only when you have become accustomed to shaving with DE. This will allow you an even more precise shave.
- Hold the razor between your fingers, try to have a smooth and natural movement. Position the blade at a 30° angle to ensure an irritation-free shave.
What to consider when buying a classic razor
To guide you in choosing your classic razor, in this section we will present some key features that you should consider when buying your safety razor. Despite the simple coating, classic razors come in a variety of different types. Here are some things to consider when shopping for your next safety razor:
Traditional safety razor bars position the blade at a 90 degree angle (ie straight) to the handle. In contrast, slanted slashes inject a literal twist into the double-edged blade shape, adding rigidity to the handle and increasing the effectiveness of each stroke.
We can think of straight razor blades as generally ergonomic and predictable, and slanted blades as more powerful.
In a 2-piece safety razor, the handle merges with the base of the head. On a 3-piece safety razor, the head can be unscrewed from the handle. For both variants, the blade is inserted between the top plate and the base of the head and then fixed on the handle.
Then we have the one-piece safety razors, also known as ‘butterfly’ razors. For this variant, twist the bottom of the handle to unscrew the flaps on the head, which is where the blade goes before re-tightening the handle. Blade replacement is usually easier on a one-piece safety razor.
Most razors have a protective bar along the edge of the head. This is called a comb and it generally takes one of two forms: closed or open. Closed combs look like subtle grooves, while open combs appear as individual teeth.
The differences between them are minor, although most experts recommend closed combs for everyday use and open combs for a thicker beard.
As a general rule of thumb, people with longer hands should aim for longer handles, while people with smaller hands should stick with shorter handles. The idea is that a comfortable grip allows for more control and therefore decreases the risk of cuts.
Unlike disposable razors, the best safety razors pack a palpable weight, and that’s a good thing. With the increased weight, you get a higher degree of natural pressure, which increases the performance and efficiency of each pass.
Is it worth buying a safety razor like these?
Like all the shavers that we analyze on our website, the classic ones also have their advantages and disadvantages compared to, for example, the electric ones. Here we leave you some of the main pros and cons to help you a little more when choosing between one or the other.
What are Cartridge Razor?
When asked to consider a razor, a cartridge razor probably comes to mind. This is because cartridge razors are so widely used and promoted.
If you’ve never heard of this best cartridge razor (or if you’re not sure if what you’re picturing is really a cartridge razor), we’ll explain a bit.
The capsule razor was originally developed in the early 20th century by King C. Gillette. If this name means anything to you, you are on the right path.
These days, cartridge razors are mostly made by shaving giants such as Gillette, Schick, and Dorco. They consist of a body and also a cartouche-shaped mind which normally comprises between five and two blades.
Usually made from plastic, they have a combination of securing the capsule and allowing the capsule to bend slightly. They are simple, simple to use and up to date everywhere.
What are the benefits of shaving with a Cartridge Razor?
There’s a reason many newbie razors get the best cartridge razor to celebrate their birthday. It is arguably harder to cut yourself with a cartridge than with any other shaving device on the market.
This makes it one of the safest and nick-free alternatives for shaving. Especially if your hands are shaky or you’re new to shaving, a capsule razor is likely to be your safest bet.
Cartridge razors can be purchased anywhere you find men’s shaving products, but they can sometimes be found in the essential segments of gas stations, truck stops, dollar stores, and other regular and general stores.
Again, as the best cartridge razor is indeed popular and plentiful, you have a lot more choices when choosing one. If you’re particularly picky about your shaving products, sometimes that’s a little extra.
With so many brands and variations available, you are able to select precisely the model that is right for you.
It is possible to learn how to use a Cartridge razor instantly. Unlike options such as straight razors, electric razors, and safety razors, no skill is required.
Without much practice, even a beginner razor can get a clean, decent shave. Meanwhile, other shaving options can take weeks (and many small wounds) to ideal – it takes time and patience that many guys just don’t have.
How to use a cartridge razor?
Only you control your shave. This control will depend on how you hold the razor handle. If the handle is too thick, it will not be comfortable to use. If it’s too thin or badly shaped, it could slip in your hand, slip on your skin and then you’ll just have to see the damage. The ideal razor handle is the handle that makes you feel confident and literally gives you control over your shave.
Our range of cartridge razor handles feature handles that::
- Allow your fingers to “feel” safe when using the razor handle.
- Does not retain water and does not slip.
- Fit comfortably in your hand and swivel easily.
Maybe you never gave much importance to the handle of your razor, but the last thing we want is for you to have to drag a sharp piece of steel across your jugular using a handle sliding.
What to consider when buying a cartridge razors
There aren’t a ton of components to consider when choosing the best cartridge. If you’re using a particularly tough time to choose an item, the great thing is that many cartridge razors are so in the event that you try one that doesn’t work, then you don’t need to stay committed.
A range of blades, cost and general layout, will be the three differentiating variables when it comes to choice.
The number of blades you choose is entirely up to personal taste, although it is generally accepted that between 5 and 3 is best.
For those with particularly sensitive skin, a top razor for sensitive skin is often a cartridge razor using just two blades instead of 3, 5 or 4.
When it comes to cost, you might find that cartridge razors are often as expensive or affordable as you want them to be. Although cheap choices usually exist, these razors are often single-bladed and incredibly inferior in quality.
Differences between Razors – Safety Razor vs Cartridge Battle
Safety Razor Vs Cartridge Razor – Breaking Down the Costs?
Shaving lotion vs Shaving gel vs Shaving soap- Which Shaving Blend to Use?
There are 3 important shaving mixtures on the modern market: shaving lotion, soap and gel.
Each of these 3 products has the exact same general goals: to lubricate the skin, allowing the blade to glide over it to moisturize it and make shaving easier. However, each element works somewhat differently.
The important advantage of shaving lotion is its speed and ease of use. Often packaged in quick lather canisters, shaving lotions are probably the most frequently used shaving mixture these days.
If you shave with the best cartridge razor or safety razor, it probably means you appreciate efficiency. If this is correct, shaving lotion may be for you.
It’s tear-free, game-free, anxiety-free merchandise. Conversely, some shaving fans have assured cream-free products, claiming that it clogs razors, triggers dry skin, and creates a mess.
Normally made of the exact same ingredients as regular cream, shaving gel differs primarily in its overall feel. A gel is smoother and smoother than its competitor soaps and lotions.
This flexibility makes it a superb lubricant, allowing the razor blade to glide effortlessly over the skin. Plus, it tends to have more moisturizing properties than regular cream, although some men still claim it dries their own skin.
The major problem with gel, like lotion, is that its thick feel clogs the capsule and simplifies the shaving process.
For true shaving purists, there is no other alternative than a puck of premium shaving soap. It’s used less and less these days, but it’s still seen as the high-quality, old-fashioned alternative for that timeless barbershop shave.
Unfortunately, shaving soap has gone out of fashion because of this. It takes a little patience, skill and effort to prepare and use it.
With the launch of gels and lotions, which are instantly ready and completely user-friendly, shaving soap is becoming less and less popular.
Safety Razor or Cartridge Razor – Which offers a better quality shave?
Cartridge razors benefit from a sales argument as intense as it is absurd: the more blades a head has, the better the shave will be. And that is of course not true. Today many dermatologists encourage people to abandon these multi-blade razors. Because they found that the more blades a head has, the more you will be subject to irritation.
Numerous studies have shown that a single blade (sharp enough) can provide a close and healthier shave. You have to be aware that the more blades you use on your face, the more you risk irritation and cuts.
Let’s take the example of a 5-blade: This means that you make 5 passes at the same time, because you must not forget that there are 5 blades. Which means that there will be 5 times more chances to have irritations.
The number of blades is not the only factor. The blades of safety razors are made of stainless steel, some have a carbon coating, platinum… In short, we have medical grade blades. Conversely, multi-blade razors are made with lower quality steel.
A better quality blade will provide a close shave and will limit the number of passes and therefore reduce the risk of irritation. In the end, you shave with DE guarantees a more efficient and healthier shave for your skin.
Also, we must take into consideration that we shave in two passes on average with a DE. Against four or five passes with a 5 blade.
The quality of the shave will of course depend on your technique. This will improve with each shave. With practice you will be able to fine tune the angle of the blade to the face. Which is impossible with a cartridge razor.
Safety Razor and Cartridge Razors: Solving the problems of burns and cuts
Men may find the safety razor advantageous over the cartridge razor when it comes to solving common shaving problems like razor burn, cuts, and bumps. This is what you should know:
- Razor burn: It can be caused by various factors, such as technique, shaving preparation, hair growth pattern, dullness of the razor blade, etc. By relying on a single cutting blade, a safety razor can help reduce irritation due to less skin contact.
- Razor bumps: Some men with thick, curly beards are more prone to after-shave bumps. Cartridge razors do a good job of cutting hair down to skin level. However, when the hair starts to grow back, the chances of it growing inwards and becoming a ingrown hair increase. Safety razors don’t cut as deeply as cartridge razors and can reduce the prevalence of these ingrown hairs.
Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razors: Which is More Eco-Friendly ?
If you are passionate about doing what you can to protect the environment, you may be wondering what impact all the disposable razors you use have on the planet. You may also be wondering if safety razors could be a greener solution to shaving.
Safety razors are better for the environment than disposable ones. Disposable razors are often made from mixed, non-recyclable materials and are meant to be used and thrown away regularly, creating waste. Safety razor handles are reusable as long as they are cared for properly, and razor blades are often made from recyclable metals.
Safety Razor vs Cartridge Razors: The Final Judgment
Are you willing to spend a little more for comfort and safety, or are you really a conventional non-disposable blade that can give you a closer shave if you’re inclined to spend more time.
It’s no secret that Gillette and Schick make a lot of money selling the best cartridge razor for men because refills will cost well over a dollar per cartridge, but they only cost pennies to make.
In the very long run, you may pay more, but because the blades sit on the frame of the razors at an angle, they don’t come into immediate contact with your skin like safety razors do.
Safety razors have really sharp blades, and if you haven’t mastered the art of shaving together, you’ll likely end up with a few cuts around your jawbone. If you travel on the run, a capsule razor will cut that excess stubble in no time.
Cartridge razors with six or five blades may aggravate your skin, but you just can’t beat the convenience. Having disposable razor spirit, all you have to do is shave and then throw it away.
If you frequently find ingrown hairs or razor bumps, the culprit is likely cartridge razors. They shave hair well and often cut well below the top layer of skin. Getting thinner below isn’t the issue for a safety razor does the exact same thing, but how the hair is cut leaves it open for growth under your skin.
This is why I urge a safety razor to catch ingrown hairs. It cuts your hair very close to the origin, but leaves a nice even cut when it grows back, it is able to easily grow through the skin without getting stuck and curling again.
I highly recommend these to black people, especially as they are prone to razor bumps from having tight, curly facial hair.
Save the plastic handle and get a brand new box of the best cartridge razor for men every couple of months or so.
To prolong the life of your cartridge and to experience a much better shave, the more you prep your face, the better.
What I mean by that is be sure to use plenty of hot water to find the skin and stubble very soft and also use a fantastic shaving cream.
The best thing to do, even if you are using a cartridge, would be to use shaving lotion or soap using a badger brush. You will receive the stubble properly soaked and the bristles will likely be stuck together rather than against the skin. You will be surprised how much your shave is improved.
And the winner is!
As you have seen today, although these two shaving systems share similarities, they are uniquely different. When it comes to shaving comfort, cost and the environment, the best safety razor is a must. Not to be compared with a cartridge razor.
The latter has become hugely popular due to the huge marketing budgets that have been spent on it over the last 30 years. So, to a certain extent, one is conditioned to use a plastic razor out of sheer convenience. Out of sheer convenience.
But you can’t compare it to the shaving feel and super smooth effect you get with a safety razor. In short, a cartridge razor is no match for the ruler of shaving. The safety razor. It is also the best razor for women. The ladies are big fans. Read our article: Why the safety razor is the best safety razor for women. In short: with such a massive instrument you can shave old-school , but always up to date. Grandpa wasn’t that crazy!
We hope that this guide will allow you to better understand these systems and determine which one is best suited to your shaving routine.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know. For the moment? Shave that!
Good luck and best regards,
My name is William Lais, I am the chief editor of Rasoirelectric.com. My aim with this site is to help you to get the best shaving products & also help you to know the proper use of shaving and Beauty products…