Elevate Your Shave: The Case for Switching to a Double Edge Razor (2024)

Elevate Your Shave: The Case for Switching to a Double Edge Razor (1)

In the bustling aisles of the supermarket or chemist, one can’t help but notice the colourful array of multi-blade razors; vibrating plastic implements with sports stars promising the smoothest, most efficient shave. However there is a renewed interest in a classic shaving tool: the double edge (DE) razor. You’ve no doubt seen a photo of one, or seen one in your Dad’s or Grandfather’s grooming kit. While it looks like a relic of the past, this humble single blade option offers a superior shaving experience in many ways that multi-blade cartridge razors can't match.

Here's why you should consider one:

More Precision and Control

The beauty of the double edge razor lies in its simplicity. Featuring a single, sharp, high quality blade, it allows for precise control over your shave. Unlike multi-blade razors that can be bulky and cumbersome and often lead to over-shaving, a nimble double edge razor allows you to get into hard to reach places and lets you focus on each stroke, reducing the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs. You can also choose what blade you put in the razor, and with many different options on the market, you can find a very sharp blade from Japan, or a very smooth German one according to your preferences. Additionally, adjustable double edge razors allow you to change the blade exposure and dial in a custom shave. There are also razors on the market that have been machined from stainless steel and are precise to a fraction of a millimetre. All this precision and customisation is particularly beneficial for those with sensitive skin or those prone to ingrown hairs.

Superior Shave Quality

While multi-blade razors claim to offer a closer shave, they can cause more harm than good. Each pass of a multi-blade razor drags several blades across your skin, which can result in irritation, ingrown hairs, and razor burn. In contrast, the single, ultra-sharp blade of a DE razor cuts cleanly and efficiently, often in just one or two passes. This reduces irritation while still giving a close, smooth shave.

Cost-Effective

The initial investment in a DE razor might seem steep compared to the relatively low cost of a plastic cartridge razor. However, the financial benefits become clear. Multi-blade cartridges need frequent replacing and can be quite expensive at $5 or more per cartridge. Double edge blades, on the other hand, are significantly cheaper (from 15 cents per blade), making it a more economical choice in the long run.

Elevate Your Shave: The Case for Switching to a Double Edge Razor (2)

Environmentally Friendly

In an era where sustainability is more important than ever, the double edge razor stands out as an eco-friendly alternative. Multi-blade cartridges are typically made of plastic and are not easily recyclable, contributing to landfill. Conversely, DE razors are built to last a lifetime, and the blades contain no composite plastics and are often recyclable.

The Ritual and Experience

Shaving with a DE razor transforms a mundane daily task into a cherished ritual. The process requires a bit more time and attention, encouraging mindfulness and precision. Preparing your skin with a warm, scented, luxurious shaving cream, carefully handling the razor, and taking deliberate strokes can make your morning routine feel like a moment of indulgence. It's an opportunity to slow down and appreciate the art of shaving.

A Touch of Class

There’s something undeniably sophisticated about using a DE razor. Its timeless design and sturdy construction exude quality and elegance. It's a grooming tool that has stood the test of time, favoured by those who appreciate the finer things in life. Owning and using a DE razor is a statement of style and a nod to the classic barbershop experience.

Elevate Your Shave: The Case for Switching to a Double Edge Razor (3)

Essential Tools for the Perfect DE Shave

Switching to a DE razor is more than just changing your razor; it's about embracing a new shaving ritual with the right tools. Here's a rundown of what you'll need:

The Double Edge Razor

The centerpiece of your new shaving routine, the DE razor comes in various designs and materials. Look for a well-balanced razor with a comfortable grip. Brands like Merkur are renowned for their value and durability. Japanese maker, Feather and American maker REX are about precision. Newcomers OneBlade, Leaf and Supply offer a contemporary twist on the classic design.

Razor Blades

Not all blades are created equal. Experiment with different brands to find the one that suits your skin and beard type. Popular options include Feather, Astra, and Derby. Always ensure the blade is sharp; a dull blade can lead to nicks and irritation. When you’re done with the blade, dispose of it safely in a blade bank.

Shaving Brush

A high-quality shaving brush is essential for creating a rich, creamy lather. Brushes come in different materials, with Synthetic shaving brushes offering the best combination of ethics, softness, ability to hold water and quick drying times.

Shaving Cream or Soap

Invest in a good quality shaving cream or soap to protect your skin and enhance the shaving experience. Look for products with natural ingredients that provide excellent lubrication and a pleasant scent. Brands like Proraso, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Castle Forbes and Trumper have some excellent choices.

Read more about our mosthighly recommended shaving creams.

Aftershave Balm

An aftershave is crucial for soothing the skin and preventing irritation post-shave. Opt for an alcohol-free aftershave balm with hydrating and calming ingredients like aloe vera. It will leave your skin feeling refreshed and moisturised.

Pre-Shave Oil (optional)

A pre-shave oil softens the beard and prepares the skin for shaving. Applying a few drops before lathering can reduce friction and irritation and is a good idea for those with a tough beard.

Making the Switch

If you’re ready to elevate your shaving game, making the switch to a double edge razor is a straightforward process. Start by choosing a DE razor that feels comfortable in your hand and suits your aesthetic preferences. Pair it with high-quality blades, a good shaving cream or soap, and a brush to create a rich lather. Take your time to learn the technique – with a bit of practice, you'll soon master the art of a perfect shave.

Embrace the change and experience the numerous benefits of a double edge razor. Your skin, wallet, and the environment will thank you.

Elevate Your Shave: The Case for Switching to a Double Edge Razor (2024)
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