Between specs like closed comb, open comb, adjustable, slant bar, and 2-piece vs. 3-piece vs. butterfly, deciding on your first double edge razor can make your head spin. We’re here to simplify the process by giving you a solid starting place.
One of our most frequently asked questions is what razor is best for beginners, and in order to give a qualified response, we have to consider two things: beard hair type and blade selection (since the blade is what ultimately does the cutting). We covered how to find the right DE razor blade for you in another post, so today we’ll discuss great beginner DE razors, broken down into razors for fine/medium hair and medium/thick hair.
It’s important to select a razor in tune with the density of your hair, since a razor that’s too aggressive may be overkill (and even quite damaging) for men with fine hair, but a perfect match for those with thick hair. Conversely, if you are a man with a sizable, coarse beard, a beginner DE razor with low to medium aggressiveness will produce an unclean shave.
Read on for our DE razor picks!
Parker 22R Butterfly Brass Safety Razor
The Parker 22R’s closed-comb butterfly head makes blade changing a cinch, so there’s less chance of nicking your finger. The extra long, ridged handle adds balance and control for beginners.
Made of heavy brass, the 22R’s hefty weight means it sits tangent to your skin, swooping in easily for a clean pass.
Muhle R89 Closed Comb Double Edge Safety Razor
The Muhle R89 Closed Comb Double Edge Safety Razor is a forgiving first razor, with a closed comb construction that exposes less of the blade, so it provides a less aggressive shave. Because of its lighter weight, it will give you more feedback as you make passes over your skin, as well as enhance maneuverability.
The 3-piece construction means simple blade changing and cleaning.
Parker 60R Nickel-Plated Butterfly Safety Razor
With an extra-long handle for better control in larger hands, the Parker 60R gets in for an irritation-free close cut. Closed comb construction means it’s forgiving if you’re still nailing down your technique, and the textured grip gives you excellent control.
It shaves with a medium aggressiveness that can easily tidy up fine to medium hair.
Edwin Jagger DE89 or DE8911 Double Edge Safety Razor
The Edwin Jagger DE89 is designed to make shaving a breeze, even if you’ve got a bad case of shaky hands. 3-piece, closed comb construction means reduced possibility of a bloodbath, and the fluted handle is especially desirable because it’ll give you a solid grip, even in wet and soapy conditions. Weight is distributed evenly across the handle, enhancing balance and control.
The resulting shave is somewhere between mild and aggressive.
Beyond just being beginner-friendly, the DE89 is chrome-plated to resist rust and will last you a long time. Though we recommend this razor to those just getting started in the world of wet shaving, its precision and durability have made it a favorite of veteran wet shavers.
Merkur 34C Classic Safety Razor
The Merkur 34C is one of our top-selling razors, and for good reason. The balance on this razor is near perfect, with a shorter handle than the other models to counterbalance the head. Plus, the knurled handle makes it easy to grip.
Amongst our customers, longtime wet shavers have told us how they’ve returned to this razor after many years and remembered how effective it was, while a gentleman trying wet shaving for the first time mentioned he was “impressed at how mild yet effective the razor was. I was very nervous the first time. No nicks but the closest, smoothest shave ever in over 30 years of shaving.”
At an affordable $39.99, it’s a fantastic entryway into wet shaving.
Merkur Long Handle Progress Adjustable Safety Razor
If you’re a man with particularly coarse hair, deciding on your first DE razor can present a conundrum – you need a razor (and blade) strong enough to cut through your thick beard, but not so aggressive that you end up with razor burn and irritation.
This is why we recommend the Merkur Long Handle Progress Adjustable Safety Razor, which features an adjustable knob with five aggressiveness settings so you can either dial it up or down to the exact blade angle you need hit your hair shaft just right.
As you start, begin with the least aggressive setting, then increase aggressiveness gradually as you hone your wet shaving technique.