Why Use a Safety Razor? Reasons to Switch to Traditional Wet Shaving

Still scraping that multi-bladed cartridge razor across your face every morning? Got razor burn, razor bumps, or irritated skin? When I made the switch to a safety razor, those issues dissappeared. Now, everyone's face is different, but I was blown away how much nicer my skin felt once I started using a single bladed razor.

If you are on the fence about making the jump to a safety razor, here are the top reasons to toss out the "modern" cartridge razor and go the old-school wet shaving, double edge razor route.

1. It's the closest, smoothest shave you can get without going to a barber
Ever had a barbershop shave? You sit in the chair and lean back and the barber preps your face with hot towels, then he'll use either a straight razor or a double edge safety razor. The barber in my town uses the straigher razor first, then does touch up with a safety razor loaded with super sharp Feather razor blades. You can get close to barbershop quality at home if you use the barber's tools.

2. Safety razors are much more gentle on your face
The "modern" cartridge razors are specifically designed to pull, then cut. This, and other factors, can lead to razor burn, razor bumps, acne, etc. One week after I started using a single bladed safety razor, these issues had dissolved.

The Merkur 34C is an excellent safety razor. This is the one I use daily. Check the detail page at amazon...

3. Safety razors are cheaper over the long haul
Typical cartridges cost $2 - $3 per cartridge! A double edged razor blade costs anywhere from $0.10 to $0.50. Over time you will save money with the traditional wet shaving. Let's say you use four $2 cartridges per month. After one year you've spent $96. If you use safety razors blades (and we'll go with the "expensive" $0.50 blades) you'll only spend $24!

4. They're cool
Don Draper of Mad Men fame uses one. Need we say more?

5. They are safe!
Using a safety razor is just as "safe" as a cartridge type razor *if* you use proper technique and unlearn sloppy cartridge shaving habits. What is proper technique? Here it is in a nutshell: Prep your face. Get your beard area warm, use a quality glycerin based shaving cream or soap, generate a nice lather with water or hot towels, or just shave just after showering, apply with a quality brush, then take your time! Once you get used to a safety razor they are just as safe as any "modern" razor.

6. Traditional wet shaving has a calming effect
Now here's where you'll really think I'm nuts. But I'll go ahead and say it. Wet shaving with a safety razor calms me. Michael Ham in his Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving book aluded to this when he compared traditional wet shaving to the Japanese tea cermony. Tea ceremony is an art form which uses traditional tools and there are step by step rules to every action. Wet shaving has it's own traditional tools and there is also a method. This method paired with a safety razor and quality double edged blades is why wet shavers get a closer, smoother shave with little or no skin irritation and they enjoy the process.

7. They're "green"
The first time you change blades on your safety razor you'll realize wet shaving is the "green" way to shave. Cartridges come in a plastic case, and each cartridge is made of plastic. The double edged blades on the other hand usually come in a tiny cardboard box, each blade wrapped in a tiny bit of paper, and each blade whether stainless or steel is recycleable. So much less to throw in the garbage over the long haul.

8. Girls dig it!?
Ok, so maybe I stretched it a bit here. But I can say that my wife likes the smoothness of my face after a traditional wet shave and the smell of Col. Conk's shaving soap. We're compiling further evidence to back this claim, but if you'd like to weigh in here then send us an email!

...If you have a good reason to switch, please send it!