So you’ve got (or just bought) your safety razor, and you want to fit it with a nice, shiny blade. And you don’t just want any old blade. Whichever one you choose is going to be sliding against your face and chopping off your hair, after all. So you want something high-quality that will last you several shaves. You want the best. So what are the best double edge razor blades? Before we talk about which we recommend, here’s a chart of some of the most popular double edge razor blades.
The Basics of Double Edge Razors…
So, you have decided that shaving with a double edged razor is for you, huh? Awesome and welcome to the club! We are pretty fond of double edge razors ourselves and want to tell you some cool things about them and some helpful tips for choosing and using them. Let’s get right to it!
What is a Double Edge Razor?
It’s pretty common for double edged razors to often be referred to as safety razors. These razors use a single razor blade with two sharp sides – one on each side of the blade, hence the name. Don’t let the description scare you though, because your handsome mug is protected by the guard, which again makes the term “safety razor” seem all the more obvious. Real masters of the obvious over here! These old school tools of the shaving trade used to be the norm, but sadly have been shoved aside in preference for the much touted “easier to use” disposable options.
Why Should I Use a Double Edge Razor?
There are many reasons to kick it old school with a double edge razor, but there are three main reasons we can think of to jump on board. They are pretty affordable and the literal double edge makes the blades last longer than new school multi-blade razors. The razors are slimmer so they fit into the nooks and crannies on your face and neck better than the alternative. Lastly, the closeness of the shave just cannot be beat. Your face with never be as smooth and can totally give a baby’s butt competition for who is smoother.
Tips for Using a Double Edge Razor:
Here are a few quick and easy tips to remember when using your new double edge razor!
No Pressure: You don’t have to beat your skin up with these razors and if you are too rough with them you will likely be tweeting #therewillbeblood sooner rather than later. All you need is a bit of light pressure to get the job done.
Change the Angle: You should really shave with a double edge razor at a 30 degree angle. You will really want to take slow and deliberate swipes tool, just don’t try it in a side to side motion.
Stretch the Skin: You do this a bit with a regular razor with multiple blades, but you need to stretch your skin even more when you are using a double edge razor. Keep the skin held taut so that when you are shaving you can get super close.
Rinse and Repeat: Keep your razor nice and clean by rinsing both sides often. You can simply place it under some warm running water between major passes.
Things to consider when looking for the best double edge razor blades:
One of the reasons it can be tricky to pick the best double edge razor blades is that the size and design is standard across the industry. Makes sense right? They all have to fit into safety razors, so it’s only natural for there to be a standard fit and size. So here are a few facts that apply to almost all double edge razor blades.
Material. Almost all blades are made of stainless steel and have some sort of coating, such as teflon or platinum. There are many types of coating, and some manufacturers make their own, but in general, razor blades are made of coated stainless steel.
Price. One of the best things about double edge razor blades is the price. Most run between $0.15 and $0.60 depending on the type, manufacturer and quantity of blades you buy. Compare that to modern-day, whooptie-doo razor blades (*cough* Mach 3 *cough*), which run between $1 and $4 per blade. It’s really no contest. We mentioned this in our article “What’s the Best Safety Razor”: even though a DE razor can be a pretty steep up-front investment, you’ll save a lot of money on blades.
Packaging. Razor blades almost always come individually wrapped. And most come in packs of 5-15 razors, which are stored in a small, plastic box. Each of these boxes has a compartment on the back for you to store (and ultimately dispose of) used blades, which makes them much safer to throw away.
Sharpness. Double edge razor blades come in a whole range of sharpness – from pretty sharp to scary sharp (this is our copyrighted sharpness scale). A common myth is that sharper is better, but that isn’t always the case. There are many factors that contribute to a close, comfortable shave, and sharpness is only one. For most guys, a razor somewhere in the middle of the sharpness scale is usually ideal.
Performance. There are a lot of factors that contribute to how a blade performs, such as your beard thickness, your beard pattern, your preferred shaving soap or shaving cream, your facial structure and your razor. There’s no sure-fire way to tell which blade will be right for you, but we just wanted to mention this because it’s important to understand you’ll probably experience some level of trial-and-error before you find the perfect shaving combo for you.
Durability. Again, there are a lot of factors that go into how long your blade lasts (do we sound like a broken record yet?), namely your beard thickness and type of lubricant. Most razor blades will last around 4-5 shaves, but again, your mileage may vary.
So those are a few things to keep in mind as you consider which blades to buy. Of course, if you’d like to experiment to see which one is best for you, we recommend buying one of the many industry sample packs, which let you test all kinds of different blades. Now let’s talk about some of the top razor blades.
Astra Superior Premium Platinum Double Edge Safety Razor Blades:
If you frequent any of the popular shaving forums, you’ll notice that the name Astra comes up quite a bit. These blades just seem to hit the sweet spot for a lot of guy: sharp but not too sharp, comfortable and durable. This is a stainless steel blade coated in platinum.
While, like any razor blade, this blade will work differently for different faces, it tends to pair very well with the Edwin Jagger DE89 and Gillette’s SuperSpeed DE Razor.
Feather New Hi-Stainless Platinum Coated Blade:
Remember when we were talking about the scary sharp blades? Well, this is it. This is a very, very sharp DE razor blade. As such, this is best for experienced shavers. The blade is stainless steel coated in platinum and honed to a very fine edge. Because they are so sharp, they are very well-suited for shaving multiple days of growth and do well with thick stubble. For that reason, they pair really well with some of the heavier razors out there – like the Merkur Futur – which are great for gentlemen with big hands and tough beards.
Derby Extra Double Edge Razor Blades:
Derby blades are made of hardened Swedish steel. They are deposited with Derby’s proprietary blend of chromium ceramic, tungsten and platinum though some fancy space-age process we wouldn’t have a prayer of explaining. T
They’re then coated with a polymer for comfort. The polymer makes these blades extremely forgiving, making them perfect for beginners.