Just like buying a car, there's no right choice when purchasing a razor. For every man that swears to the superiority of his straight razor, you'll find another man completely committed to his modern cartridge razor. Finding the right razor requires that you know your skin type, shaving routine and budget goals. With these constraints in mind, you can find your perfect match from one of the five types of razors.
Straight Razors: For the Man Committed to the Art of Shaving
Also called a cut-throat razor, shaving enthusiasts insist the straight razor will give you the closest shave of your life. Straight razors also have an undeniably manly appeal and only require sharpening a few times a year. The right razor will last your entire life, which makes them very cost effective. Men who use straight razors claim that they only have to shave every other day, and many men are attracted to the mindfulness required to use this tool.
Straight razors also call out for a wide variety of shaving accessories. While you can skimp and choose a shaving cream and a simple strop, most men also buy a shaving brush, shaving soap and other accouterments.
Downsides: Expect to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror perfecting your shaving skills. Anticipate that you'll get your fair share of nicks when starting out, so you may want to wait until the weekend to start learning to shave.
Even when you're a pro, it will still take longer to shave with a straight razor than any other shaving implement. You'll also need to buy another razor to take with you when you fly, because these razors are considered a safety risk on aeroplanes.
Electric Shavers: For the Man Who Believes Time Is Money
If you feel like you don't have time to shave in the morning, consider investing in a good electric shaver. You won't need to worry about shaving cream, and it's almost impossible to cut yourself with one of these devices. For some men with sensitive skin, an electric razor can also prevent skin irritation.
Choose a cordless, rechargeable variety, and you'll rarely have to search for an outlet. Plus, some electric shavers let you shave while you shower, which saves even more time. Many men also find electric shavers are great for business travel.
Downsides: Don't expect a close shave with an electric shaver. Also, despite their reputation of being foolproof, you'll still need to practice shaving with one. Plus, electric shavers have a higher upfront cost, especially if you invest in one that will last several years. Men with acne also report that an electric shaver can aggravate their condition.
Cartridge Razors: For the Man Who Prizes Versatility
There's plenty of reasons cartridge razors are the most popular style of razors. First, they give you a much closer shave than an electric razor, and it's almost impossible to cut yourself. Second, they travel beautifully, so you'll never be stopped before boarding your flight. Third, once the cartridge is dull, you can easily replace it.
Cartridge razors are found at most stores and at a variety of price points. You can purchase cartridge razors with three or more blades, which manufacturers claim gives you a closer shave.
Downsides: Cartridge razors are the most expensive type of razor to use. Once they become dull, the quality of your shave decreases sharply. DORCO offers a flexible subscription service on superior quality razors and replacement blades with save up 30%.
Safety Razors: For the Man Who Wants a Simple Shave
Since 1904, men have enjoyed the cheap, close shave provided by a safety razor. Easier to use than a straight razor and much cheaper to use than a cartridge razor, this type of razor can deliver a simple, cost-effective shave every time. Blades cost a few pence apiece, and you can reuse the handle as long as you want. Unlike straight razors, you'll never have to sharpen the blade.
Downsides: Safety razor handles can be expensive. Depending on the style you choose, they can be difficult to clean. There's also a learning curve associated with using a safety razor, so you might nick your face a few times. Also, you won't be able to pack this razor on your carry-on, so consider purchasing a different razor for travel.
Beard Trimmers: For the Man Who Doesn't Need a Shave at All
If your workplace considers shaving optional, you may want to skip your daily shave and use a beard trimmer instead. Beard trimmers don't cut the hair close to the skin, so you'll never experience razor burn again. Beard trimmers can also help you control your acne because this device won't spread the bacteria that causes spots around your face.
Downsides: A beard trimmer won't deliver a close enough shave if you like to be clean shaven. Plus, you'll need a bigger initial budget to purchase the device.
Don't be afraid to admit you can't find your perfect match after reading this guide. Many men find that the best solution to their shaving goals is to alternate between two types of razors, especially if they travel. So, if you want to try something new, don't throw your trusty cartridge razor into the bin. Just take your new razor out for a spin on the weekends, and keep some cartridges at hand for emergencies.