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Best Safety Razor for Beginners: the Ultimate Guide to Smooth Shaving (2024)

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best safety razor for beginnersFor a pleasant switch to safety razors, consider a novice-friendly option such as the Vikings Blade Double Edge or Parker 91R.

Their gentle shave angle and weight distribution minimize cuts while you perfect the method.

The Merkur 34C and Edwin Jagger Classic are traditional picks with gratifying performance for their price.

For ultimate adaptability, the Merkur Futur adjusts blade exposure as your skills develop.

Whatever top safety razor for beginners you select, combine it with high-quality blades and shaving tools to establish a fulfilling routine.

Proper preparation and angle are crucial—and you’ll discover the nuances reveal a smooth, comfortable shave.

Key Takeaways

  • Safety razors provide a close, comfortable shave with proper technique and the right equipment
  • Beginner-friendly options like the Vikings Blade, Merkur 34C, and Edwin Jagger DE89 offer a gentle, forgiving shave
  • Trying different razor blades through sample packs is crucial to finding the best match for your skin and hair
  • Applying no pressure and maintaining the proper 30-degree angle are essential for a smooth, irritation-free shave

What’s a Safety Razor?

Safety razors have been around for over a century, developed as an alternative to the straight razor that provides a close shave with a protective barrier. They consist of a handle and a double-edged razor blade held in place by a guard that allows the blade’s edge to protrude and cut hair while minimizing skin contact.

Brief History

You’re entering the timeless world of traditional wet shaving with a safety razor. These double-edged beauties boast a storied history, evolving from open-comb designs to adjustable models that cater to your technique. Perfecting the correct angle enables a remarkably close, comfortable shave – the hallmark of the best safety razor for beginners.

Parts and Purpose

A safety razor is a shaving tool with a protective safety bar that guides the single, double-edged blade.

The razor head can be closed comb or open comb, with fixed or adjustable blade exposure.

Whether you choose a classic Merkur Progress or a modern single blade safety razor, the key is finding the right balance of comfort and efficiency for your skin.

Easiest Transition to Safety Razors

Easiest Transition to Safety Razors
If you’re new to safety razors but want an effortless adaptation, consider the OneBlade with its pivoting cartridge-resembling head, or the Supply SE with its familiar blade loading via injector. Other beginner-accommodating choices include the gentle Vikings Blade Chieftain, the forgiving Weishi Nostalgic, and the cost-effective Encalife Luxury Razor.


If you’re moving from a cartridge razor, the OneBlade is a superb option. Its rotating head operates like your previous razor, but with a double-edged safety blade for a closer shave. Here are 4 OneBlade advantages:

  1. Familiar cartridge-style rotating
  2. Gentle, beginner-friendly shave
  3. Minimal razor burn hazard
  4. Pairs excellently with shaving creams

The OneBlade smoothly moves you into the safety razor category without compromising closeness or comfort. It’s the ideal steppingstone for beginners seeking a smoother shave.

Supply SE

The Supply SE razor is an excellent choice for novices seeking a smooth switch from cartridge razors.

Its cartridge-free blade exchange system and double-edged blades offer a gentle, comfortable shave.

The Supply SE’s meticulous design and sturdy construction make it an affordable gateway into the realm of safety razors.

Its well-balanced feel and NickStop feature guarantee a safe, trouble-free shave every time.

Vikings Blade Chieftain

Continuing our quest for the best safety razor for beginners, you’ll find the Vikings Blade Chieftain a solid choice. Its chromium coating and butterfly design provide a mild, forgiving shave. The longer handle offers good balance and control – perfect for mastering your technique. At a reasonable price, it’s an affordable way to begin your safety razor journey.

Weishi Nostalgic

The Weishi Nostalgic offers a generous sweet spot, making it a great choice for beginners moving from cartridge razors. Its weight and balance provide excellent control, allowing you to shave with confidence. The Weishi Nostalgic’s mild character and forgiving nature make it an ideal starter safety razor. Try pairing it with Gillette Silver Blue blades for a smooth, comfortable shave.

  • Generous sweet spot for easy maneuvering
  • Balanced weight for controlled shaving
  • Mild character suitable for beginners
  • Pairs well with Gillette Silver Blue blades
  • Nostalgic design evokes classic wet shaving

Encalife Luxury Razor

The Encalife Luxury Razor is a great budget-friendly option for beginners looking to try wet shaving. While not on par with a Merkur 34C, it offers satisfactory shaves and good value. Pair it with Proraso shave cream and an Omega brush for a complete kit. Don’t overlook this single-edge razor’s beginner-friendly design.

Low-Cost Entry Safety Razors

Low-Cost Entry Safety Razors
If you’re on a budget and looking to start wet shaving, the Merkur 23c and Parker 96R are excellent low-cost options that provide a comfortable shave for beginners. With their longer handles and balanced weights, these affordable safety razors allow you to develop your technique without breaking the bank.

Merkur 23c

You’re looking for a low-cost entry into safety razor shaving? Consider the Merkur 23c. It offers:

  1. Affordable pricing
  2. Mild shave for sensitive skin
  3. Textured grip for control

This two-piece design keeps things simple while the chrome finish adds a touch of class. The balanced weight and longer handle make the Merkur 23c a great way to dip your toes into the realm of safety razors without breaking the bank.

Parker 96R

The Parker 96R is a great low-cost entry point into safety razors. Its longer-than-typical handle provides excellent reach and control, making it a solid choice for beginners. While not as aggressive as some other options, the 96R still delivers a close, comfortable shave. Consider it if you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable safety razor to start your shaving experience.

Feature Parker 96R Parker Variant Rockwell 6S
Blade Exposure Moderate Adjustable Adjustable
Handle Length Longer Standard Standard
Price $$ $$$ $$$

Conventional Wisdom Safety Razors

Conventional Wisdom Safety Razors
You’ll find the Henson AL13, Merkur 34c/38c, and Edwin Jagger DE89 frequently recommended for beginners. These conventional wisdom razors strike a balance between quality construction, affordability, and a relatively mild yet efficient shave experience suitable for learning proper technique.

Henson AL13

After considering low-cost options, you should look into the Henson AL13. Designed with beginners in mind, it offers superior smoothness and quality to ease your adjustment. Its mild nature is perfect for sensitive skin, allowing you time to refine your technique without nicks or razor burn. The AL13 proves you needn’t sacrifice performance for beginner-friendly shaving.

Merkur 34c / 38c

The Merkur 34c and 38c are the quintessential safety razors, beloved by wet shaving enthusiasts for their quality German craftsmanship and budget-friendly price point.

The 34c’s shorter handle offers excellent control.

The 38c’s longer grip provides reach.

Both deliver a smooth, comfortable shave – no more canned goo!

Pair them with an Astra Green blade and a Whipped Dog brush for a classic wet shaving experience.

Edwin Jagger DE89

The Edwin Jagger DE89 is a well-constructed safety razor that’s a great value for beginners.

Its mid-range aggressiveness and closed-comb design make it a recommended choice, delivering a smooth shave without the irritation of disposable razors.

Ditch the plastic waste and upgrade to the DE89 – it’s an environmentally friendly option that’ll have you mastering the art of wet shaving in no time.

Most Flexible Safety Razors

For maximum flexibility, consider the Merkur Adjustable Futur Brushed Chrome Razor. Its adjustable blade gap allows you to customize aggressiveness, making it ideal for both beginners seeking a gentle shave and experienced shavers who prefer a closer cut.

1. Merkur Adjustable Futur Brushed Chrome Razor

Merkur Razor Adjustable Futur BrushedView On Amazon
The Merkur Futur Brushed Chrome Razor is the ultimate in adjustable flexibility.

This sleek, modern German-engineered razor lets you dial in the perfect blade exposure, from barely there to aggressively close.

It’s not for the faint of heart – the Futur’s hefty weight and slippery chrome finish demand a deft touch.

But master its nuances, and you’ll enjoy a supremely customized shave, time after time.

Just be cautious if you’re new to safety razors – the Futur’s adjustability can be a double-edged sword for beginners.

Start slow, and work your way up to its full potential.

Best For: Experienced wet shavers seeking a highly customizable and aggressive shaving experience.

  • Adjustable blade angle for personalized shaving
  • Made in Germany with high-quality materials
  • Provides a close and comfortable shave
  • Small and heavy, making it difficult for beginners to use
  • Requires gentle shaving with the weight of the razor
  • Slippery when hands are soapy, increasing the risk of dropping

7 Best Safety Razors for Beginners

For novices looking for an ideal safety razor, contemplate the Vikings Blade Double Edge Safety Razor, Merkur Mk34c Double Edge Safety Razor, Edwin Jagger Classic Double Edge Safety Razor, or Parker 91R. These razors provide a mild yet efficient shave, with user-friendly designs well-suited for those new to wet shaving.

1. Vikings Blade Double Edge Safety Razor

VIKINGS BLADE Double Edge SafetyView On Amazon
The Vikings Blade Double Edge Safety Razor is a fantastic choice for beginners delving into the realm of traditional wet shaving.

Crafted from premium metals, this razor delivers a smooth, comfortable shave without burdening your wallet.

Its mild, closed-comb design is ideal for those with sensitive skin, guiding the blade effortlessly across your face while minimizing irritation.

Plus, the included luxury case keeps your razor safe and stylish between uses.

With its budget-friendly price tag and solid construction, the Vikings Blade is an excellent gateway into the artistry of safety razor shaving.

Give it a try and experience the difference a quality razor can make in your grooming regimen.

Best For: Beginners looking to embark on the traditional wet shaving journey.

  • Affordable, reusable, and recyclable
  • Gentle on sensitive skin, reducing irritation and ingrown hairs
  • Made from high-quality, durable metals
  • May take some practice to master
  • Not suitable for all skin types
  • Blade replacement can be more frequent than with cartridge razors

2. Merkur Mk34c Double Edge Safety Razor

Merkur Mk34c Double Edge RazorView On Amazon
The Merkur Mk34c is a classic double-edge safety razor that’s a fantastic choice for beginners.

This German-made razor boasts an extra thick handle that provides a reliable grip, ensuring you stay in control during your shave.

With its well-designed head, the Mk34c delivers a close and comfortable shave, using any standard double-edge blade.

The twist-to-open design makes blade changes a breeze.

While the short handle may not suit all users, the Mk34c’s solid construction and forgiving nature make it an excellent starting point for those new to the world of safety razors.

Give it a try and experience the joy of a smooth, waste-reducing shave.

Best For: Beginners looking for a forgiving and reliable safety razor.

  • Extra thick handle provides a reliable grip
  • Twist-to-open design for easy blade changes
  • Delivers a close and comfortable shave
  • Short handle may not suit all users
  • Requires a learning curve for optimal shaving technique
  • May not be as aggressive as some users prefer

3. Edwin Jagger Classic Double Edge Safety Razor

Edwin Jagger DES89KNBLAMZ Short HandleView On Amazon
The Edwin Jagger Classic Double Edge Safety Razor is a top pick for beginners looking to dabble in the realm of traditional wet shaving.

This razor’s closed comb design and balanced weight make it a forgiving option, allowing you to get a close and comfortable shave without the risk of nicks and cuts that can come with more aggressive razors.

Crafted from high-quality brass with a sleek chrome finish, the Edwin Jagger exudes sophistication and durability.

Its textured handle provides a secure grip, even with wet hands.

While it may cost a bit more upfront than some entry-level options, the Edwin Jagger’s exceptional build quality and performance make it a worthy investment that will serve you well for years to come.

Best For: Beginners looking to experience traditional wet shaving

  • Closed comb design for a forgiving shave
  • Balanced weight for a comfortable grip
  • High-quality brass construction for durability
  • Requires double edge blades (not included)
  • Learning curve for proper shaving technique
  • Handle length may not be suitable for all users

Parker 91R

Parker 91R Double Edge SafetyView On Amazon
The Parker 91R is another excellent choice for beginners seeking to switch to safety razors. Its extended handle offers superior control and balance, simplifying its handling. Although slightly more assertive than the Merkur or Edwin Jagger models, the 91R still yields a comfortable shave with proper methodology. Contemplate this if you desire a marginally heavier safety razor.

Razor Blades for Beginners

Razor Blades for Beginners
As a beginner, you’ll want to explore different razor blades to find the best fit for your hair and skin. Sample packs offer an affordable way to try various brands, while bulk purchases of your favorite blades can save money long-term.

Blade Variety

Razor blades come in a variety of sharpness, durability, and cost. While some blades are incredibly sharp for a close shave, others are more forgiving for beginners. Consider blade availability and compatibility with your safety razor. Experiment to find the perfect balance of performance and comfort as you hone your wet shaving technique.

Sample Packs

Trying out different razor blades is crucial when starting with a safety razor. Blade sample packs allow you to experiment with a variety of options to find your perfect match. Test for:

  1. Blade quality
  2. Blade sharpness
  3. Blade durability
  4. Blade compatibility

This blade exploration guarantees a comfortable, close shave from the get-go. Embrace the journey – your ideal blade is out there waiting!

Bulk Purchases

Once you find your favorite razor blades, buying in bulk can save you a ton of money in the long run. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly than constantly buying small packs. Check out this table to see how bulk purchases stack up with respect to value versus cost:

Quantity Cost Per Blade Total Cost
10 $0.50 $5
50 $0.30 $15
100 $0.20 $20

The more you buy, the more you’ll save per blade. Bulk purchases are a smart way to get long-term value and reduce waste.

Wet Shaving Technique Tips

Wet Shaving Technique Tips
Proper technique is essential for an enjoyable and comfortable shave with a safety razor. Apply zero pressure and find the best angle – let the razor’s weight do the work as you make short, gentle strokes.

No Pressure

Forget everything you know about pressing hard with a cartridge razor.

Safety razors require a light touch.

Let the weight of the razor do the work – no need to bear down.

This takes some getting used to, but with practice, you’ll master the art of effortless lather creation and smooth, irritation-free shaves.

The learning curve is real, but well worth it.

Proper Angle

Now that you’ve mastered the art of applying no pressure, it’s time to focus on the proper angle. Hold the razor at about a 30-degree angle to your skin – any steeper and you risk nicking yourself, any shallower and the blade won’t effectively cut the hair. Experiment with your grip and blade angle to find the sweet spot for your skin and technique.

  • Adjust the angle for different areas of your face
  • Use short, controlled strokes to maintain the ideal angle
  • Tilt the razor handle to change the blade exposure
  • Pay attention to the feel of the razor on your skin
  • Consistent angle is key for a close, comfortable shave

Brush and Lather

Don’t forget the brush and lather – they’re essential for a smooth, comfortable shave. Load up your brush with a quality shaving soap, working it into a rich, creamy lather. The size and brand of your brush matter too – a larger, high-quality brush will help you build that perfect lather. Take your time and enjoy the ritual!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I clean and maintain my safety razor?

Thoroughly rinse your razor after each shave. Periodically, take it apart and use a soft brush to remove soap scum buildup. Dry thoroughly. Proper cleaning and maintenance will keep your safety razor working well while extending its life.

What are the benefits of using a safety razor?

Once you decipher the mysteries of your safety razor, you’ll experience a more thorough shave, softer skin, and the fulfillment of conquering a time-honored method. Each painstaking movement refines your abilities and accuracy.

How do I choose the right blade for my skin type?

Try different blades until you find one that comfortably cuts your hair without irritating your skin. The right blade will give you a smooth, nick-free shave – the hallmark of a successful beginner.

Can I use a safety razor for body hair removal?

Yes, you can definitely use a safety razor for body hair removal. With proper technique and care, it provides an incredibly close and comfortable shave. Start gradually, use quality shaving products, and enjoy the satisfaction of a smooth, hair-free body.

How long do safety razor blades typically last?

In medieval times, a razor blade could last mere days. Yet today’s safety blades endure 4-6 shaves for most gents before needing replacement – though mileage varies based on technique, beard coarseness, and blade quality. Replace when tugging or discomfort arises for sublime shaves.


Ultimately, the best safety razor for beginners is the one that suits your needs and provides a comfortable, enjoyable shave.

Don’t be deterred by the retro vibe; these timeless tools offer an unparalleled shaving experience.

With a bit of practice and the right razor, blades, and technique, you’ll be slicing through stubble like a modern-day Don Draper.

Embrace the journey and find your perfect match from our top picks.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.