Safety razors are the quintessential manscaping tools. It’s a straightforward and adjustable tool that suits mild to aggressive shaves. And whether you’re bearded or stubbled, you’ll surely need a safety razor from time to time. For this post, I reviewed the best adjustable safety razors, so you can pick one that suits your grooming needs and budget.
While safety razors have a learning curve compared to cartridge razors, practice will let you enjoy their features. My barber told me that once you get the technique down, you won’t look back to cartridge types. In the long run, safety razors are also cheaper and eco-friendly.
If you want to try your hand on safety razors, these are the top 5 picks I recommend.
|SAFETY RAZOR||BRAND||EXPERT RATING||CHECK PRICE|
| Our Top Pick! |
Merkur Futur 702
|ROCKWELL Razors 6S |
Adjustable Steel Razor
|Baxter of California |
|Parker Adjustable |
|Edwin Jagger Double-|
Edged Safety Razor
5 Best Adjustable Safety Razors
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Merkur Futur 702 Gold-Plated Adjustable Razor
Product Name: Merkur Futur 702 Gold-Plated Adjustable Razor
Product Description: If you’re willing to splurge, I highly recommend the Merkur Futur Gold-Plated Razor. This premium safety razor has double edges and an adjustable gap, so you can choose the aggressiveness you need. It’s easy to adjust, thanks to the dial fitted on top of the handle. Moreover, this stunning safety razor is 5.25” long, which is suitable for most hand sizes. It weighs 125 grams for just the right feel. This is a 2-piece razor with a closed comb design, perfect for beginners and those with sensitive skin. Overall, the Merkur Futur 702 is medium to very aggressive. I consider this the middle-ground among straight-cut safety razors.
Offer price: $$$
Length and Weight
Value for Money
straight-cut safety razors. The only downside I see here is that the handle isn’t knurled. As a result, it can be a bit slippery, especially when you’re using soap or shaving cream. Aside from that, it takes a lot of practice to get used to the Merkur Futur 702. My wife once joked that using this razor is like extreme sports to me. But with the right technique, this purchase is truly worth it.
Durable design Easily adjustable razor gap Closed comb design for added safety Medium to very aggressive Aesthetic gold-plated appearance
The handle isn’t textured, so that it can be a bit slippery. It takes a while to master.
ROCKWELL Razors 6S Adjustable Steel Razor
If you don’t have the budget for Merkur Futur, the ROCKERLL Razors Adjustable Steel Razor is my second-best bet. The body of this tool is made of stainless steel that will last for years. It’s also shot-blasted for a matte color, not to mention that the knurled handle makes it easy to grip even when wet.
This safety razor is 3.74” long and weighs 118 grams. It’s slightly shorter than Merkur Futur 702, which might be the best pick for those with small hands.
Aside from that, the blade can be adjusted from R1 to R6 to achieve the aggressiveness you need. You can also use standard replacement blades aside from the 5 pieces included in the package.
Another thing I like about this razor is it comes in a stylish metal gift box wrapped in leather. A lifetime warranty also covers it for any manufacturing defects. This value is hard to beat for this price range.
However, I noticed that this isn’t as aggressive as Merkur Futur. If you want an extremely close shave, ROCKWELL 6S may need another pass or two.
Baxter of California Safety Razor
The Baxter of California Men’s Razor has a chrome-plated body complete with a textured handle. It’s a double-edged and single-bladed tool that reduces the risk of razor burns and cuts.
Aside from that, this razor comes in a sleek gift box. It’s also bundled with an instructional card and replacement blades so that you can use it straight from the package.
Moreover, the Baxter of California Safety Razor was even awarded an Esquire’s Grooming Award in 2018. It’s proof of how well-made this classic piece is.
One thing I like the most about this razor is it doesn’t clog. It’s also easy to clean and will remain smooth even if you don’t use it for days. For this price range, I don’t mind splurging on this classy product straight from one of the most reputable men’s grooming brands.
The only complaint buyers have over this razor is the short handle. If you have big hands, it could be an issue. Some also say that the razor is too heavy that it digs into their skin.
Parker Adjustable Safety Razor
The Parker Adjustable Safety Razor has a two-piece design. It also has a dial at the bottom of the handle to adjust its aggressiveness. This razor fits standard blade replacements, just like the 5-piece set you’ll get from the package.
Aside from that, this safety razor has a 4-inch handle and weighs 3.88 ounces. It’s just the right size for small to medium-sized hands. I also like the knurled handle with a brass frame, which gives the razor a chic look.
This double-edged safety razor is available in rose gold, black, and silver colors. All these come in a branded box together with starter blades.
My only gripe over this razor is that the blades that come in the package aren’t sharp. But for a small price, I can get better replacement blades, so it’s not really a big deal.
You should also know that this isn’t the most aggressive razor in the market. It only goes to R5 when adjusting the blade exposure, whereas other models are configured for R6. Nevertheless, this will be a good thing for beginners who wants to avoid cuts and nicks.
Edwin Jagger Double-Edged Safety Razor
My last pick for this roundup is the Edwin Jagger Double-Edged Safety Razor. It’s a chrome-plated razor, but for a fraction of the price of other options I listed here.
This razor is designed with a classic DE head that suits wet shaving. It also has a closed comb head to reduce the risk of cuts and burns.
To adjust the aggressiveness of the razor, this has a knob at the bottom of the handle. Overall, the handle is 3.346”, which is a bit short for my liking. But for those with small hands, this should be a good choice.
Aside from that, this razor is available in different colors. You’ll also receive this in a branded gift box together with five Derby Extra starter blades.
For this price, I can say that the Edwin Jagger is already a steal. It’s not as sophisticated as Merkur Futur, but it gets the shaving done smoothly.
The only niggle I have over this razor is its slippery handle. You have to grip it well, especially if you’re wet shaving.
How to choose the best adjustable safety razors
There are literally hundreds of safety razors in the market. If you’re new to this tool, here are a few aspects you need to consider:
A safety razor’s aggressiveness refers to the gap between the head and the comb. This will dictate how visible the blade will be. A wider gap means the blade will be more exposed, thus an aggressive shave.
For beginners, I recommend a safety razor with adjustable aggressiveness. Through this, you can work your way up once you have the right technique. Jumping straight to aggressive razors may lead to cuts and nicks.
Instead of buying new razors to upgrade your tool, you can opt for the best adjustable safety razors.
✔️Length and weight
Another thing you should consider is the length and width of the safety razor you’re going to get.
Safety razor handles come in different lengths, which you should match on the size of your hands. A razor with a long handle offers more grip to prevent accidental cuts. However, avoid getting a very long one as it can be difficult to maneuver for those with small hands.
As for the weight, I always look for the right feel that’s not too plastic-like or too heavy. The right weight will add pressure to the skin, so your hand won’t have to work that hard. Weighted razors also glide easier through the stubble, which results in a smoother shave.
✔️Open vs. closed comb
A safety razor’s comb refers to the grooves along the blade guard’s edge. As its name suggests, the comb works like the teeth of an actual comb, which guides the hair through the blade.
Of the two, a closed comb is the most common since it’s suitable for wet shaving. Also, the bar which encloses the comb presses and stretches the skin before the blade cuts the hair. This prevents pulling and cutting. If you’re new to safety razors, you’ll never go wrong with a closed comb type.
On the other hand, open comb razors have teeth-like grooves right under the blade. There’s no bar to protect the skin, so this is used for aggressive shaving. This is more suitable for those who have mastered the technique of using safety razors.
✔️Straight vs. slant bar
Safety razors are designed with either a slanted or a straight bar. Safety razors with a straight bar has its head fixed in a horizontal position. It provides a predictable shave, and it’s also easy to come by.
On the other hand, slanted bars have a lopsided look. This configuration gives the blade a mild slicing action. That will result in a closer and more aggressive shave on each pass.
Like an open comb safety razor, those fitted with slant bars are ideal for experienced users. And if your skin is prone to irritation, I suggest that you stick with straight bars instead.
✔️Number of pieces
Safety razors are also categorized based on the number of their pieces. It’s basically the number of parts of the razor, which doesn’t have an apparent effect on its use. The only difference is that 1-, 2-, and 3-piece razors have different ways of holding the blade in place. Here’s what these razors look like:
- 1-piece razors. Also called ‘butterfly razors’, this type has a flap that opens by twisting the handle’s bottom. The flaps resemble butterfly wings when open, wherein the blade will be inserted. And since it’s called 1-piece, there are no detachable parts.
- 2-piece razors. This safety razor has a blade head that can be detached or unscrewed from the handle. This allows you to replace the blade or clean the cutting head easily.
- 3-piece razors. A three-piece razor design includes a removable cutting head, cutting head base, and handle. The cutting head and head base flank the blade in the center.
✔️Price and warranty
Lastly, always consider getting a safety razor that will last for years. This means investing in a premium unit instead of cheap and easily damaged ones. Over time, quality razors will let you save more money because you only need to buy the replacement blades.
If you’re planning to splurge on an expensive safety razor, make sure that it’s backed by a decent warranty. This is to protect your purchase should there be any defects on the product.
Important reminders when using safety razors
On my first time using a safety razor, I learned two things: 1.) Always have a styptic pencil handy, and 2.) Practice as slow as possible. Aside from that, here are my crucial reminders for guys out there who are making the big switch to safety razors:
- Always use short strokes. Unlike electronic shavers, you should only use safety razors in strokes not longer than 3 cm. This will avoid cuts and nicks as well as razor burns.
- Be gentle. One common mistake first-time users make is pressing the cutting head too much into the skin. Doing this will irritate the skin and increase the risk of cuts. Instead, just place the razor head on your skin and let its weight do most of the shaving.
- Hold it at the right angle. When shaving with a safety razor, you should hold the tool at a 30-degree angle. This will cut the hair best while keeping the blade away from your skin.
- Pair it with shaving cream. Shaving dry will lead to painful cuts. Instead, you should use shaving cream or at least soap that lathers well. This will allow the blade to glide smoothly through your skin.
- Watch out for clogging. Once you feel that the razor is clogging with hair, flip it to use the other edge. This will give you a fresh blade without having to tap and rinse it too often.
- Don’t hesitate to do a second pass. If you want a close shave, you can do a second pass instead of using a very aggressive blade setting. For the best results, you should glide the blade across the direction in which the hair grows. Just make sure that you apply a fresh batch of shaving cream.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the difference between a disposable razor and an adjustable razor?
A: Adjustable or safety razors have disposable blades. It has a blade holder that connects to the handle, which is often made of metal. On the other hand, disposable razors often have fixed heads and should be replaced after a few shaves. Most of the time, disposable razors are made of plastic and have a light construction.
Q: Why do safety razors have two blades?
A: Modern safety razors are designed to have two blades for a better shaving experience. The combination of the two blades will let you shave twice as much hair as a single-bladed type. Gillette was the first brand to introduce this design, which caught on with other manufacturers.
Q: Does a safety razor give a closer shave?
A: Safety razors are adjustable, and the blade can be flushed closer to the skin. This will give you a closer shave compared to disposable types. However, this configuration also makes you prone to nicks and cuts if you’re not careful.
Q: Can you shave with both sides of a safety razor?
A: Yes, you can shave with both sides of your safety razor. You can flip your razor to the other side, so you can continue shaving without having to clean the blade all the time. And since there are two edges, each edge won’t dull fast.
Q: Why are safety razors numbered?
A: The number on your safety razors indicates the depth and angle of the blade. In turn, the number also represents how close the shave will be. Usually, higher razor numbers have the most aggressive and closer shave.
Safety razors from Merkur Futur and ROCKWELL Razors are guaranteed to deliver the best shaving experience in style. But if you prefer a more budget-friendly tool, you can consider those from Baxter of California, Parker, and Edwin Jagger, which I reviewed here. Whatever you choose, the best adjustable safety razors are those that deliver a smooth shave without cuts, nicks, or burns.
What do you think of these manscaping picks? Share your thoughts below!
Here at Daily Grooming Tips, we provide grooming solutions that work. We believe that the modern man also deserves pampering and proper self-care. From hair care, beard care, manscaping, and more, we aim to turn you into a dapper gentleman.