Our Top 5 Customer-Reviewed Safety Razors

We had such a great reception to our blog post, Our Top 3 Customer-Reviewed Straight Razors, that we had to shed some light on safety razors as well. With oftentimes a far greater selection than straight razors, sometimes the sheer quantity of options can be daunting, whether you’re a first-time shaver or a veteran.

Below are our 5 best-reviewed safety razors, accumulated from years of customer purchases and testing.

Merkur 34C HD Classic Safety Razor – Polished Chrome Finish

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Features

  • Midweight construction for just enough pressure
  • Stubby handle for better grip
  • Two-piece, closed comb construction

Customer reviews

“This is my first safety razor. I tried the Merkur blade that came with it and was so 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.”

-Faust D.

“This razor is my first, and still only DE. After a full year of use, I’ve been satisfied enough not to bother putting out for an additional razor. It’s easy to load, has a great feel in the hand, and is easy to hold securely. The handle is not real long, but is fine in my large hands. I especially like the thickness of the handle and the weight of this instrument.”

-Eric

“I have been absolutely amazed, astonished, and impressed by the fantastic shave I experienced with my new Merkur HD Chrome Plated 34C Razor and the Merkur blade. I’m a 75-year-old gent with the soft, sagging skin that comes with age and had used a Gillette double blade razor for more years than I can remember. Not only did the Merkur glide smoothly over my skin but it gave me the closest shave imaginable, without any nicks or cuts. It’s in a league all by itself – incomparably better than my old Gillette. In addition to its effectiveness, it is a work of precision, mechanical art, and has a nice heft and grip. I recommend it without any reservations.”

-Grover W.

SHOP: Merkur 34C HD Classic Safety Razor – Polished Chrome Finish

Muhle R89 Closed Comb Double Edge Safety Razor

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Features

  • Lightweight body for easy maneuverability
  • Engraved handle for grip
  • Three-piece, closed comb construction

Customer reviews

“Got the Muhle R89 for Christmas from my wife, on my request. I’ve got several other brands of razors, but “wanted” the Cadillac!!! Royal shipped it w/5 Kai blades and I haven’t looked back since. I usually did a 3-pass shave, but with the Muhle and Kai, I’m down to 2 passes. WTG and ATG. Done. Closer than all the other razor and blades combined.”

-Mike H.

“Let me preface by saying that I am a 1 razor guy (1 DE + 1 Str8). I’ve tried some of the high-end razors and they don’t shave better than this Muhle. Sure you’re paying for luxury with those, but the shave itself is not actually any better. I’m not a wasteful person and I feel that this razor is the best bang for your buck out there. I recommend it both to the novice and veteran alike.”

-J Dogg

SHOP: Muhle R89 Closed Comb Double Edge Safety Razor

Edwin Jagger DE89L Double Edge Safety Razor with Lined Handle

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Features

  • Chrome-plated for enhanced rust resistance
  • Fluted handle for a secure grip
  • Three-piece, closed comb construction

Customer reviews

“This is a pretty amazing razor at a very economical price. Fantastic option for new DE shavers who want a superior razor but don’t want to spend a lot upfront. Very impressive build quality and materials. Weight is just right. And the longer handle is a great choice for those transitioning from cartridge and disposables. It will feel very familiar. At this price, you can’t go wrong. Actually, you’ll be pretty amazed at how much razor you get for just $32.”

-Kenstee

“This was not my first safety razor. It is moderate to mildly aggressive. It is immaculately plated and beautiful. It delivers BBS when paired with the right blade. It is in my rotation and I purchased one for my son as well. Must be pretty good if I bought two of them.”

-Larry

“Out of the box the chrome finish of the Edwin Jagger DE89L was amazing. The finish was polished to a crisp sparkle. There is a good heft to the overall razor and the balance is consistent throughout. Some people may prefer a lighter handle so that the shave head is heavier, but these are just personal preferences.

Some have mentioned that there is not enough grip with the lined handle but I have not had any issues even when my hands were wet. Using Derby Extra razor blades and Col. Conk Shave soap, I could get a super smooth, irritation free shave with 2 passes (with the grain, against the grain).

Summary: A great razor with an outstanding build quality with an almost flawless chrome finish. Shaves a little bit less aggressive than the Merkur 34c. Unbeatable price when compared to the Muhle 89R which uses the same razor head.”

-Eric

SHOP: Edwin Jagger DE89L Double Edge Safety Razor with Lined Handle

Feather AS-D2 Stainless Steel Safety Razor

 

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Features

  • Heavy weight for smooth passes and a close shave
  • Diamond-pattern knurling for enhanced grip
  • Three-piece, closed comb construction

Customer reviews

“Once you put the first blade in you will notice the quality of workmanship. The blade is tight and the weight is very well balanced. I use with Feather blades and get a close comfortable shave. My HD will be collecting dust.”

-Joshua K.

“I knew I had to have one of these as soon as I saw it! Just such a lot of money for a safety razor…

Anyhow, I took the plunge and I’m glad I did. The manufacturing quality is splendid, and the weight, feel and balance are all first class.

This new Feather is a mild but effective shaver. Even used with the legendary “Ninja” sharp Feather blades, it is difficult to make a mistake. A very smooth performer.

Compared to most of the fixed-head razors in the Merkur range, the Feather might be considered a little less aggressive, but it does the job surprisingly well – one almost doesn’t feel it cutting, but the whiskers are disappearing all right!

I’m delighted with my purchase, and look forward to having a grandson to whom I might pass it on. It will certainly last more than one lifetime.”

-Tom H.

SHOP: Feather AS-D2 Stainless Steel Safety Razor

Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor – Satin Finish

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Features

  • Adjustable blade aggressiveness with 6 settings
  • Well-balanced build with chunky handle
  • Two-piece construction

Customer reviews

“At first I didn’t like this because I felt the head was to bulky. I have used this for a couple of weeks and love it. Shaves really close with feather blade no irritation. I can get closer to my nose with Futur than with my Merkur 34C. The balance and feel is the best. Only EJ DE89 comes close in quality of shave. I also don’t need as much prep with Futur. Great razor!”

-Jack K.

SHOP: Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor – Satin Finish

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Our Top 3 Customer-Reviewed Straight Razors

While it’s true that there is no single straight razor that will work for everyone, we can learn and benefit from the experience of our peers. Straight razors, after all, can be quite the investment.

Having been in business for nearly a decade, we have conversed with many a wet shaver, getting feedback and learning about their favorite grooming products.

If you are eyeing a new straight razor, we highly recommend reading the following reviews of our top 3 customer favorite straight razors. Even if you don’t end up with one of them in your shave den, there are veritable nuggets of wisdom to be gleaned from each review.

We wish you the best of luck in finding the perfect straight razor, and remember you can always contact us here for additional guidance.

Dovo Best Quality 5/8” Half Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor – Black Celluloid

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Features

  • Stiffer, more forgiving half hollow Swedish blade
  • Top and bottom tang jimps for enhanced grip
  • Durable celluloid scales

Customer reviews

“Before I bought this razor I bought some stainless steel wedge for 10 bucks online just to see if it would work. Obviously it didn’t. So I saved up and bought this one, my first real razor. It’s sharp, easy to hone and strop. It is a comfortable weight and shape, and always does exactly what I want it to. I had never been into straight shaving before but with this razor, a $35 strop, a $12 brush-bowl-soup kit, a Norton 4000/8000 waterstone, and 2 $5 bottles of Nivea for Men Aftershave Balm, I’ve had 2 years of the best shaves of my life. I still consider myself a beginner in the world of honing and wet shaving, but this razor IS the right choice. Also, be careful with it, don’t cut yourself, watch lots of YouTube videos, and don’t put it away wet.”

-Paul

“Nice Straight Razor. Smooth Dovo quality clearly felt in this razor, great first razor to jump into straight razor shaving. There are better Dovo razors but this is a great starter for the price and quality. It will last forever and be a great travel razor when you upgrade.”

-Michael L.

SHOP: Dovo Best Quality 5/8” Half Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor – Black Celluloid

Thiers Issard Wheat Field 5/8” Singing Hollow Straight Razor – Ebony

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Features

  • Singing hollow 5/8” carbon steel blade
  • Mirror-finished blade
  • Ebony wood scales

Customer reviews

“I absolutely love this razor. Having previously been using an $80 Dovo, there is no comparison. This blade is extremely sharp and holds its edge very well. The temper is perfect and this blade really does sing. I could not be happier with this purchase.”

-Mark B.

SHOP: Thiers Issard Wheat Field 5/8” Singing Hollow Straight Razor – Ebony

Dovo Special 5/8” Full Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor – Faux Tortoiseshell

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Features

  • 24k gold etching on a high-carbon Swedish steel blade
  • Full hollow grind
  • Non-slip jimps on the tang

Customer reviews

“I purchased my Dovo ‘Special’ Imitation Tortoiseshell, Full Hollow Carbon Steel, 5/8″ straight razor in 1979 because I was moving to a remote tropical island and did not want to bring anything “disposable” with me.

Together with a badger bristle brush, a strop, and a fine Arkansas stone, this is all I have ever used to shave with in the intervening twenty-three years. The Dovo shaves as well today as it did the first time I ever used it.

Unlike disposables and “safety” razors, I have never once nicked myself with the Dovo and I laugh out loud when I hear celebrities on TV say that their electric razor “shaves as close as a blade!”

I am now fifty-six years old and this Dovo has lasted me half a lifetime and shows no sign of giving out on me, although most of the gold has worn off of the blade and there are a few dark spots on it.

I keep it in a case when I’m not using it, strop it once or twice a week and hone it about once every three or four months. I wish that I could say that I have held up as well over the years as my Dovo razor has!”

-Bob Taylor

“I got this razor shortly after I began with straight shaving. Even though Dovo razors are advertised as shave-ready “out of the box,” I have not found that to be completely accurate. I always make sure a new straight razor I order is hand-honed. With that assumption, this razor is quite good. After some frustrations with my first straight, I ordered this one, hand-honed, and realized what straight shaving was supposed to be like. The faux tortoiseshell scales look distinctive and add to the pleasure of using this razor. Of all my razors, though, this one has proven most prone to rust and is the only new razor I have ever had to use 1200 grit sandpaper on to remove rust. I don’t know why but it’s worth noting: lightly oiling a blade with Ballistol prior to storage is a good idea.”

-Lawson Stone

SHOP: Dovo Special 5/8” Full Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor – Faux Tortoiseshell

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The RoyalShave Guide to Finding the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin Type

Skin care. Handsome young shirtless man applying cream at his face and looking at himself with smile while standing in front of the mirror

At its core, the actual act of wet shaving boils down to two pieces: your razor and your skin, making contact for that sublime, smooth countenance. So we put a lot of thought into finding the perfect razor, blade, and shaving cream or soap.

But let’s focus on the skin part for a moment. You’re probably already aware that you should be moisturizing (on top of your aftershave), but how often should you be doing it? And are you using the correct moisturizer for your skin type?

While these questions may not rank high on your priority list (they’re certainly not quite as exciting as looking for a beautiful new razor handle or silvertip brush), they make a far greater difference in your daily shave than you think.

We’ve used this analogy before, but it’s worth mentioning again: think of shaving as painting the walls in your house – you can certainly apply the paint directly, but there may be bumps or cracks from painting over an uneven surface. Take the time to apply a primer before that first coat of paint, however, and you not only have a smooth surface to paint on, but also one that’s better protected.

Moisturizer is your primer, reinforcing your skin during the trauma of shaving.

Read on for tips on how to determine your skin type and find a moisturizer that will get your skin looking and feeling its best.

General Tips

  • First and foremost, schedule a visit to the dermatologist – He or she can determine your skin type and give you professional tips on caring for your skin, as well as suggest products.
  • Always read the label – The higher up an ingredient is on the ingredients list, the greater the concentration of that ingredient in the product.
  • Commit to a moisturizing schedule – Even if you have oily skin, you need to moisturize like clockwork: 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. Since most of us also apply a sunscreen during the daytime, a lighter moisturizer will do. To make sure you remember this step, just put it on right after you shave (this will restore natural oils and calm irritation caused by shaving). At night, you can go for something heavier that will penetrate deeply as your body naturally heals itself.
  • If you’re active and take a shower after your workout, reapply moisturizer.

Sensitive

Cetaphil

How do I know if I have sensitive skin?

Your skin is easily irritated, especially by products with many ingredients, fragrance, or exfoliating acids (Alpha Hydroxy Acids or Beta Hydroxy Acids).

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

The fewer the ingredients, the better. Aim for products that are marked hypoallergenic, paraben-free, oil-free, and fragrance-free (preferably all of the above).

Of particular importance is staying away from anything with fragrance, whether it’s synthetic or natural. Fragrance is one of the most common causes of sensitizing and allergic reactions. So while that moisturizer might smell delightful, it’s best to avoid it if you have sensitive skin.

Tip: Unscented does not mean free from fragrance. Usually this term denotes a fragrance which has been masked by even more chemicals.

SHOP: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, Fragrance Free

Oily

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How do I know if I have oily skin?

Soon after you’ve washed your face, things are getting a little slick already, especially in the T-zone.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

Even though you might think you don’t need a moisturizer because you produce enough oil as it is, you still need to keep your skin hydrated or you risk losing vital moisture that keeps your skin resilient.

To avoid added sheen, opt for an oil-free moisturizer that lightly hydrates.

We recommend Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer because it contains protective antioxidants while keeping your face shine-free.

SHOP: Ernest Supplies Protective Matte Moisturizer

Dry

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How do I know if I have dry skin?

Right after washing your face, your skin feels tight. You may have patches of redness or itchy, flaky skin.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

An oil-based moisturizer (such as a cream or an ointment) will soothe skin while preventing water loss. In general, the drier your skin, the heavier and the creamier the moisturizer.

Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream is emollient, meaning it will prevent water loss by forming a protective film over your skin. It also contains UV filters for added protection when you head outdoors.

If you need something even thicker or have a skin condition like eczema, try an ointment like Aquaphor, which is petroleum-based and is very effective for dry or older skin.

Tip: You can also dab some ointment on razor burn or a rash for instant relief and accelerated healing.

SHOP: Taylor of Old Bond Street Dry Skin Cream and Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment

Combination

Neutrogena Moisturizer

How do I know if I have combination skin?

Some patches of your skin are dry, while others (usually the T-zone) are oily. Your skin can also fluctuate between oily and dry depending on the day.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

You have two options:

  1. Apply a heavier cream (the creams suggested for dry skin above will do) on the cheeks, and a lightweight lotion on your T-zone.
  2. Use a product specifically formulated for combination skin, like Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin. This moisturizer actually hydrates dry areas while mattifying oily areas.

SHOP: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Combination Skin

Normal

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How do I know if I have dry skin?

You are blessed with even skin tone, no severe sensitivities, and barely visible pores.

What kind of moisturizer should I use?

A general moisturizer will keep your skin in its already excellent shape. If you’re applying lotion right after you shave, try Geo. F. Trumper Moisturising Lotion, which is fragrance-free and leaves a smooth, shine-free finish.

SHOP: Geo. F. Trumper Moisturising Lotion

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The Grooming Artist News Roundup: July 2016

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Since most of us are packing our bags for a much-deserved getaway this 4th of July weekend, we’ve assembled everything you need to know to celebrate Independence Day in style. Before you officially head out, get your feet ready for the beach with tips from Dr. Lee Cohen, a podiatrist who cares for the feet of guys who put their feet through an enormous amount of daily abuse – football players.

Once you’re sunbathing by the ocean, pull out one of our how-to articles for some light but educational reading: Gentleman’s Gazette has a video on how to spot the difference between a $500 suit and a $5000 suit, and GQ teaches you how to find your perfect summer fragrance.

And since you’re probably going to end up somewhere near a grill on the 4th, we couldn’t finish this roundup without some recipes, authored by the folks at Food & Wine.

All of us at RoyalShave wish you a safe and happy 4th of July!

Let’s look presentable at the beach, shall we? Here’s how to heal your feet in time for beach weather, with tips from Dr. Lee Cohen, podiatrist for the Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers. (GQ)

We talk to Neil Jagger, founder of Edwin Jagger, about what inspires him, the nature of Sheffield craftsmanship, and more in our exclusive interview. (Grooming Artist)

Looking for a new cologne for summer? 6 expert tips to help you find your signature scent. (GQ)

In honor of the 4th: 26 stylish, made-in-America accessories you need to know now. (Esquire)

Brush up on your suit knowledge this long weekend with this guide to recognizing the difference between a $500 Suit and a $5,000 suit. (Gentleman’s Gazette)

Food & Wine always does an excellent job of curating a good selection of holiday recipes. Their 4th of July roundup includes burger recipes from Bobby Flay, patriotic cocktails, and refreshing desserts using in-season blackberries. (Food & Wine)

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