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Thread: What it the best beginner safety razor?

  1. #1

    What it the best beginner safety razor?

    I am new to this kind of shaving and I wanted to know what is the best beginner safety razor. I have acne prone skin and usually have to shave twice a week. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    S. Westchester County, NY
    There are plenty. The Merkur HD is a classic. I would suggest getting a fixed one - not an adjustable - and learn to use it. The adjustables were distracting for me and I ended up fiddling with it too much instead of just learning through practice. Then it's on to straights!

    Just my $.02.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Sherwood, OR
    Quote Originally Posted by Sgct View Post
    I am new to this kind of shaving and I wanted to know what is the best beginner safety razor.
    I'm not sure there is one. I started with and still use a Merkur Futur. The one that most suggest avoiding is the Merkur Vison which has two axis of adjustment, a bit complex to start with.

    I have acne prone skin and usually have to shave twice a week. Thanks!
    What you'll be more concerned about is shaving products. I also have oily skin and somewhat acne-prone. But I can select products which are good for me.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Iroquois Ontario Canada
    Everyone will tell you something different is the best one for a beginner, I look at it a bit different. there are basically two roads you can go down, New Modern razor, or antique old razor, and on those two roads there are endless choices of houses to stop at, from really expensive to dirt cheap, supper mild to scary aggressive.

    All I can really share is my personal trip in to DE shaving. I was getting really bad ingrown hairs on my neck and have a huge scare on my chin that would get nicked every time I shaved with a multi bladed razor. I didn't want to buy a used antique razor at that time so I listened to what a lot of people said and read a lot of reviews to see what had the better chance of working for me and fit my budget. I ended up getting a Edwin Jagger DE89L, not an expensive razor, but looked to do what I needed it to do for me. Then there was the blade choice thing, many people will tell you that you have to use blade X and to ignore any irritation you may be getting from it. Stating that it isn't the blade and razor causing the problem its your technique and to stick with it. I on the other hand am dead against that and feel its better to learn with a mild razor and blade and get good with that before using a super sharp blade and aggressive razor. To this day I can not get an enjoyable shave out of a Feather blade unless I stick it in my mildest razor. I have the same problem with Derby blades except even in my mildest razor they wage war on my skin

    I have since moved on to old Gillette razors and like them better than DE razors made today. I got over the used razor thing when it was pointed out to me that we reuse our silverware every day, and that the razor only holds the "new" blade. That old razor can be cleaned and sterilized quite easy so its not a problem

    If you want a cheap quality razor to start off with find an old Gillette Tech, they are simple and very forgiving, don't pay more than $10 for one, they are a dime a dozen. For a more modern razor, any of the Edwin Jagger DE89 line can be picked up for $30-$50 and the same goes for the Merkur HD line. Those are probably the two most recommended beginner razors out there, and they hold that position for a reason. Get a blade sampler pack from one of the many online retailers, but don`t use a different blade each shave. Use each brand long enough to get a feel for it, but obviously if a particular blade is causing discomfort and pain while shaving, STOP!! you are doing something wrong. Do a bit of reading on technique and prep because even a blade that doesn't work for you, your face should not hurt while shaving.

    Right now my go to setup is a Gillette New Standard, with either a Persona Red or Blue blade, used with Proraso Green shave soap, followed by some Captains Choice bayrum aftershave, but I have over 20 old razors and I switch it up from time to time depending on my mood. That is what works for me, but it is in no way saying it would work for you.
    If you are playing life on easy, you are never going to win when it counts
    Knife making is hazardous to my bank account

  5. #5
    The New Standard is a very good razor. I use mine not so often. Not because of the shave, they are just so nice to look at it makes me hold back. My 57 Gillette Super Speed gets used every week and I really enjoy the shave. I strop the Feather blades and they give a soft smooth shave. DM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Blacksburg, VA
    I use vintage safety razors when I travel (straights at home), I just make sure that they aren't plastic and boil them for a bit to sterilize them. works great (also takes the gunk off from what I have found).

    I second the gillette tech razor.

    I too am acne prone, had bad acne in my early teens and still have it, though, not as bad. wet shaving helped it a lot (I mix making a lather with a mug and face lather), clears my acne up really well. as for soap, I would reccomend mama bears soap, I have found it very ncie to use and fairly good for getting a good lather. I do agree with getting a sampler pack for blades, very much worth it, and like was said before, if one is causing pain while you shave, stop using it. I don't agree that it is your fault if you are getting pain (assuming you are able to shave without pain normally aka been using a DE a while). I went through a sampler pack and got good comfortable shaves from most brands, some better than others, but all acceptable, except feather blade, no matter what I did they caused discomfort and pain as I shaved.

    The MOST important thing to remember is TAKE YOUR TIME, if you try to rush, it will not feel good (and possibly not end well). I learned that the hard way, try to avoid that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I have a couple safety razors in my shaving kit, and I think the best shave I get is from a mid 50's Gillette Super Speed. They are affordable and I find them to give nice close shaves while also being super comfortable. The Merkur HD is another good one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I love my old Gillettes, in particular the 40's style SuperSpeeds, but prefer modern Merkurs. For a fixed non-adjustable razor the HD (34C) is a great razor, and despite the moniker isn't Heavy Duty in any way but for the weight, which makes it a pleasure to use. I have a heavy beard with sensitive skin and find this delivers a mild yet close shave. This razor is easy to use, and changing the blade simply requires turning the knob at the base. Another excellent razor is the 23C
    with the longer handle, again a mild shaver and easy to use. For adjustables, the Progress is a superb shaver (either long or short handle) because it can be set at different angles, depending on how aggressive or mild you want it, and with practice is the best razor I've ever shaved with.

    I think the key is to practice your shaving craft; prep is the key and a good soap or cream, along with a good brush, can really make this process enjoyable. Hope this helps and good luck!
    Benchmade fan - too many to list.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Stockton, CA - We are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
    Lots of good advice. I'll only add, when you find vintage DE razors in the wild, look for things like the blade gap and make sure it is even from left to right and similar for each side. I see quite a few at flea markets and pass on them due to this unless they are cheap enough.

    Old gillettes are great, Tech, Super Speed, Slim adjustable, Super Adjustable. I don't own any new razors anymore, I had a Merkur 23C I gifted to someone else here and only use vintage DE's. Not for any particular reason, just didn't care for the 23C very much and spend very little on old ones.

    Head over to Target and pick up a Van der Hagen deluxe shaving kit for ~$10. It will have a useable brush, a lather bowl and some soap. Its good enough to get you started. I also think the RazoRock line of creams are great for beginners due to the fact that they will almost lather by themselves. Good product, great shave for me. Also, inexpensive at less than $6 a tub that will last you 6 months of everyday shaving.

    Spend you efforts learing how to prep your face/beard and how to make great lather. This will help more than switching blades and razors or technique. Don't be afraid to practice lathering, its hardly wastefull it uses so little product compared to what you get.


    An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

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