I was asked recently what safety razor I thought was the best one… and I found the question very hard to answer because, well… it’s hard to pick just one; I have many favourites among the ones I own myself.
I enjoy my vintage Ever-Ready1914, but mostly because it’s a heirloom piece from a family friend who meant a lot to me when I was growing up.
I always look forward to shaving with my vintage GEM Micromatic Clug Pruf, since it’s such an easy SE razor to master.
Likewise I always looks forward to using my Schick “Lady Eversharp” Injector which I bought as New-Old-Stock, it’s my only injector and the blades last three times longer than ordinary DE blades.
I like my vintage Gillette “Khaki” Old Type from 1918, which started it’s life as a service kit issued to a US soldier in the Great War, and that I now use when I’m on exercises and operations.
My three different Cadet razors (TP-01, TTO-11 and TTO-13) are all fun to use, since they taught me that inexpensive razors can be just as good shavers as expensive ones.
My Mergress Adjustable Bling means a lot to me, since it is both a good shaver and a gift from a friend.
I like the shaves I get from my Merkur 45C Bakelite, since it’s so light I have to concentrate on my technique when I’m using it.
Likewise I like using my vintage Phillips Philite, for the same reason.
And those are just a few of the ones I have in my rotation, and I like the ones in my rotation that I havn’t mentioned – that is why they are still in the rotation. On top of that there are many, many safety razors both vintage and modern I have not tried, both cheap and expensive. There are some really nice high end razors out there I would love to try, and there are some low cost options I would enjoy giving a go. And while some shavers will hunt for the One Razor that is perfect for them, I enjoy the variety and challenges that comes from mastering razors with a wide range of characteristics.
To me there is no “best safety razor”. To me there is a set of features that I enjoy;
- smallish head for ease of manoeuvring around the face.
- balance point or centre of gravity just below the head, for the same reason.
- a decent blade gap (that is, the distance between the edge and the base plate) for an efficient shave.
- but not too large, since that creates an aggressive razor
- open comb or a large opening behind the safety bar so it won’t clog with lather.
- easy of cleaning.
So while not a straight forward and easy answer to the question I was asked, I got to sit down and think about why I like the razors I do.