So you have yourself a brand-new safety razor, now what? Well the razor blades actually vary quite a bit from brand to brand and make a big difference in your shave. See our reviews below to see which could be the best safety razor blades for you.
If you don’t have a razor yet check out our recommendation for the best double edge razor.
Razor Blade Sharpness Ranking Table
|Astra Super Platinum||Very Sharp||$$||4.6/5|
|Gillette Silver Blue||Very Sharp||$$||4.4/5|
|Gillette 7 O’clock Super Stainless||Moderate||$$||4.5/5|
|Gillette 7 O’clock SharpEdge||Sharp||$$||4.4/5|
How Are Safety Razor Blades Made?
Razor blades tend to be labeled as either sharp or smooth. You might not know which one you should get until you try out a few different kinds.
Don’t worry about this as they are cheap and there are a few great variety packs out there as well that allow you to try several kinds with one purchase.
Another thing you have to remember is that just because one razor is sharp and tends to work well with some men, it may work differently on your skin or beard.
There are some general assumptions you can make.
For example, if you have thicker facial hair, you will most likely want to get some blades on the sharper end of the spectrum.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a smoother razor blade.
For everyone else in between it will purely be a matter of preference.
When you find the right blade/razor combo the blade should slide effortlessly over your skin while giving you a close shave without any irritation.
The blades themselves are made from a corrosion resistant steel that is paper thin.
However, they are durable and obviously sharp enough to cut your beard and skin if not careful!
The steel is actually very soft when the blanks are cut and then they are hardened by a process of extreme heat followed by cold water and colder air.
Here is a cool video showing the process:
After they are hardened they are sent through grinders and polishers which give them their sharp edge.
It will be up to the individual manufacturer’s angles they use that will determine the sharpness or smoothness of the blade.
Finally, they are coated with chrome and a nonstick spray usually which gives them a harder surface, provides even more corrosion resistance and helps them slide better across your skin.
What to Look for?
You need to know the aggressiveness of your razor when determining how sharp of blades you should get.
For example, if you have a super aggressive razor like the R41, you may want to opt for a smoother blade until you get used to it.
The aggressiveness of the razor is how much blade is exposed out of the head, some show more than others.
If you have a mild razor, then you may want to go for a sharper blade to help you get a closer shave.
You also may find your preferences change with time as you get more experience.
Definitely go for a smoother blade if you are a beginner to reduce the chances of cutting yourself but once you get the technique down don’t be scared to try out some sharper blades.
There is a lot of give and take when deciding on the level of sharpness.
The sharper blades may mean you can perform less passes with your razor to get a close shave. Which ultimately means your blades will last longer and you will save more money.
However, if they are cutting you all of the time or leaving your face burning with redness you may need to scale it back a bit.
The direction in which you shave with your razor will also come into play.
You will always want to make your first pass with the grain of your beard. This will help keep you safe.
Using short and slow strokes is always recommended.
Once you have completed one pass, a second pass with the grain may be sufficient to give you a close shave.
If you desire a really close shave you can do either your second or third pass against the grain.
However, this is not recommended for beginners or those of you with sensitive skin as this increases the chance of irritation and nicks.
How Long Do Razor Blades Last?
You may have heard the term “your mileage may vary” (YMMV) before, this could not be truer when determining how long the safety razor blades last.
Everyone’s beard thickness and skin is different so it really depends on what you can tolerate.
Some men will change the blade after three shaves while other might go seven.
Five or six shaves is a good average but again it is really hard to give a solid answer because there are so many men in the world with different beards!
The answer will come with time as you test out different blades. Since they are cheap, you can play with a few and see how many shaves you can get out of one.
If you start to feel the blade pull on your hair or give you irritation it is probably time to grab a new one.
Astra Platinum Double Edge
These Russian made blades are one of the more popular items with over 3,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.6-star rating.
They are made from high quality steel with attention to detail so you get a close and smooth shave.
Astra Razor Blades was founded in 1985 by the Marmara Ltd. Co. Over a series of acquisitions by Gillette and by Proctor & Gamble, they are now produced in a P & G factory in Russia.
The Astra Superior Platinum’s are considered by many to be among the sharpest blades you can find however, some don’t find them as aggressive as others.
This might give you a more comfortable shave and less cuts or irritations than some of the other aggressive blades.
These blades are also built to last, while everyone’s beard is different, most should be able to get close to 5 shaves per blade before they begin to dull.
Many of the negative reviews talk about how dull these are out of the box. Maybe they are just new to wet shaving and don’t have their technique down or maybe they bought a mildly aggressive razor.
Others simply mention they are just not right for their skin and cause irritation. Which makes sense as we mentioned some blades will work wonders on some men while others just simply do not agree.
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Check out this video review by Nick Shaves.
Safety Razor Blades for Beginner – Derby Extra Double Edge Razor Blades
The Derby Extra blades might be the best for beginners, however, some consider it the best DE blade. It is another popular blade with over 1,200 reviews and a 4.4-star rating.
These extra hard blades are produced in Turkey with some of the most advanced technology to give them strength for a longer lifespan. They are distributed by the Kanar company which employs an ISO 9001: 2000 quality management system.
Which basically means they have strict quality controls so you get the best razor blade possible.
The Derby is considered one of the smoother blades and not as sharp as others. However, that is what their users love, they get a smooth, less irritating shave.
If you have an average beard or deal with a lot of skin irritation these may be great for you.
Since they are not as sharp you may need to do a second or possibly even a third pass to get a completely BBS shave.
Which may take a little more time in your routine but isn’t that worth not having irritation?
Most of these 100 pack boxes come with 20 packs of 5 blades wrapped in wax paper. The wax paper is stronger than regular paper so the blades won’t cut through when you are handling them.
As you might have guessed, most of the negative reviews are from those who say these blades are not sharp enough for their beard.
If you have a thick or coarse beard these probably are not the blades for you.
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Personna Double Edge Razor Blades for Sensitive Skin
The Personna blade might be the best ones for those suffering from sensitive skin.
Originally, Star Razor, Accutec Blades was founded in 1875 and claims to be the first to launch a safety razor in the US!
With that kind of longevity, you know there is some quality experience behind these blades.
Personna is just one of about 5 different lines of blades they produce right here in the US at their Virginia factory.
You may find these more comfortable than Merkur or Bic blades while still getting a close shave.
The coating they add during the manufacturing process makes these razors 25% sharper while still giving you a comfortable shave.
Some of the sharper blades will leave your face red or feeling irritated.
These blades might just provide the level of sharpness you need to get a close shave. However, they will also provide the level of comfort to prevent razor bumps.
Of course, every man is different so you will have to give them a try to find out for sure.
Many of the bad reviews mention these are not great if you have a thick or coarse beard but we have seen some positive reviews say otherwise.
This just goes to show you how the blade’s effectiveness can vary from person to person.
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Feather Safety Razor Blades
Many consider Feather safety razor blades to be the sharpest razor blades. They are produced in Japan where they also produce their own Feather safety razor’s.
The company description even lets you know these are extremely sharp!
They are also pretty popular with a 4.7-star rating and over 2,500 reviews on amazon.
These are definitely sharp blades and if you are using an aggressive razor you will want to be careful. They are not recommended for beginners.
However, at the end of the day they are just razor blades, you should not fear using them if you are not cutting yourself with other types of blades.
All razor blades work the same with safety razors, they simply have different levels of sharpness or smoothness.
If you are finding that some of the smoother blades are not cutting your beard well or it is taking excessive passes to get a smooth shave, then you may want to consider trying a sharper blade like these Feathers.
However, just because they are super sharp does not mean they are necessarily the best razor blades.
One man with an extra coarse beard gets a great first shave but by the time he finishes the blade is already too dull for a second shave so he is changing the blades after one shave.
This could end up being more expensive but this is probably an extreme case.
As you can guess many of the negative reviews talk about people cutting themselves or doubting these are Feather blades. There are also more reviews of these blades dulling quickly.
The verdict? While these may be sharp, they may not last as long as others.
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Here is another video review by Nick Shaves
Dorco ST300 Platinum Extra Double Edge Razor Blades
Dorco was founded in South Korea back in 1955, their razor blades are now distributed by Dorco USA which is based in San Diego, CA.
They offer micro precision edges that allow a smooth shave on multiple skin types.
The Dorco blades give the most value with the quality you get for the price you pay. They are cheap!
However, they boast a 4.6-star rating with over 300 reviews so they are some happy customers out there.
The one thing that stands out about these blades is the hardness.
Several reviewers mention getting several weeks of shaves with this blade before it dulls and a couple even going a month.
These results are probably not typical but if you have tough skin these might really save you some money.
They also sell a 1,000 pack which would last you a long, long time if you decide you like this brand.
Some of the negative reviews say the product appears cheap but they don’t really go into specifics.
To repeat, it is about testing a few different kinds of blades to see which work best with your beard, skin and razor combination.
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Merkur Razor Blades
The Merkur platinum blades are a little more expensive than most of these so far. They come in a 30 pack (3 packs of ten) for a similar price as some of the 100 packs.
Is the German engineering worth it? Over 500 customers give this a 4.7-star rating.
This blade is another one that is well made and solid. You should be able to get several shaves before dulling.
They are not quite as sharp as the Feather blades but will still give you a smooth shave.
One nice thing about the packaging of the Merkur blades is they include an empty space on the back for you to put your used blades.
That way you don’t have to worry about cutting yourself when taking out the trash!
There have been some notes of inconsistency in the reviews.
The other note that stands out is there may be better or equivalent blades for less money.
However, overall the reviews are overwhelmingly positive for this blade.
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Gillette Silver Blue Double Edge Razor Blades
These Russian made razor blades come with a 4.4-star rating and over 250 reviews on Amazon.
They come in a 25 pack but are comparable in cost to most other blades.
These blades are considered very sharp but are also known for the quality and smooth shave they provide.
Compared to the Feather, this won’t be as sharp but will bring more smoothness which might offer a better shave.
Many reviewers have compared these to all the previous listed blades and prefer the Silver Blues.
Of course, there are those negative reviews where this blade just does not work out with their skin. Which you will see on all of these blades.
This still could be a great blade for daily shavers, if you like to go longer in between shaves you may want to reach for the sharper Feather’s.
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Wilkinson Sword Classic Double Edge Razor Blades
Wilkinson Sword has been making safety razor blades since the 1960’s, they became famous early on because their blades lasted a whole week compared to cheaper products.
It’s parent company, Edgewell Personal Care also owns Schick so you may seem similar products packaged under the two different names.
These blades are still pretty sharp, enough that they shouldn’t pull on your beard much.
However, they should be a little smoother than the sharper Feather or Silver Blues.
They come highly rated at 4.6 stars and over 650 reviews on Amazon.
These blades are durable as well as sharp so you should be able to get about a week’s worth of shave depending of course on your beard type.
One might argue that this is a great blade for the average beard with moderate density. It is kind of right in the middle of the extremes not too mild and not too sharp.
A few people may have only received 5 blades in the negative review section but this should definitely be a 100 pack.
Others mention consistency issues. Maybe there was a bad production run but there were so few bad reviews and most reviews were very positive.
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Gillette 7 O’clock Double Edge
Another variety from Gillette are these 7 O’clock Super Stainless blades.
These blades are considered middle of the pack for sharpness as well as smoothness. So they are a great blades for the average guy.
Apparently, there is an imposter to be aware of. Some customer’s reporting getting a similar box of 7 O’clock blades that are from India and of not the same quality.
So just make sure you are getting the ones from Russia.
Customer reviews confirm these blades have a nice balance of sharpness and smoothness to be right in the middle of the pack.
Which will be good if you don’t suffer from the extremes of a thick beard or sensitive skin.
There are some older reviews mentioning they received the Indian blades. So you may want to confirm with the seller you are getting the better, Russian blades.
Other than that, the negative reviews seem to be from guys that these blades simply don’t work with their skin or beard types.
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7 O’clock SharpEdge
A third Gillette variety that makes our list are the SharpEdge.
The Gillete blades are not quite as sharp as the Astra or Feather but are still considered on the sharper end of the spectrum.
They come with a 4.4-star rating and about 100 reviews.
While considered sharp many also find them smooth so that it provides a comfortable shave.
These are a little more expensive than the average blade. But you are probably paying a little bit for the Gillette name and the quality that comes with it.
There are not many negative reviews for this blade. A few customers feel that they were not as sharp as advertised.
A few others mentioned they dull quickly.
Again, everyone’s beard and preferences are different so you really may not know until you give them a try.
For example, one guy only shaves every 2-4 days and one of these blades last him a month! Of course, that is just one of many opinions.
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The best thing to do if you are new would probably be to try one of the many variety packs available. So you can test each blade and see how many shaves you get and how much irritation they might cause.
Other Items You Might Need For Your Wet Shaving Experience
If you are new to wet shaving, besides your razor and blades there may be a few other items you want to pick up as well.
All of these items are definitely not necessary but they will make life easier when switching to a safety razor from an electric razor or cartridge razor.
Plus, you may find you don’t need to use all of these items but you will never know until you try.
Some guys get away with the typical aerosol shaving creams just fine.
Your mileage may vary.
This saying sums it all up.
Every man’s beard and skin is different from the next. So as you can see, for every review that says one blade is perfect, you will find another one saying the opposite.
As we mentioned, your best bet in the beginning might just be to simply try a variety pack. This allows you to experience the most blades for the least amount of money.
From there you should be able to pick out a favorite.
Hello, I am great to leave a word in here, I hadn’t seen how to rating for the type of 10 Best Safety Razor Blades when I visited the blog. I thought the sharpness cannot including rating completely.
Yes the sharpness will feel differently to each person but these are very common opinions on the levels of sharpness.
Thanks for the comment!
Man these are some excellent reviews of some really great razor blades. I’m not a beginner, but I still love using the Derby razors. I’ve tried the Personna’s but it was too sharp for me. While we’re on the topic of reviews, I must say I’ve tried the Wilkinson’s as well and I was very dissappointed. They could not even shave my face/beard at all. I seem to get this issue with all of their products. I will be trying the Gillete next. Thanks for the tips!
Thanks for the feedback Jonathan, it is always interesting to hear other’s opinions on these different types of blades. Derby blades do have their own following.
Let me know how you like the Gillettes after you use them!
Derek Marshall says
Great and highly informative article. I have sensitive skin and very strong beard that quickly grows (unfortunately!) currently I use Gillette proglide is there a possibility of a closer and cleaner shave with safety razor?
Or is there an alternative better razor for closer better shave?
Thank you kindly in advance
It sounds like you have the best of both worlds bear type 😉
Yes you could definitely possibly get a better shave with using a safety razor with one of these blades vs. your Proglide.
You should also experience less irritation as these do not tug and pull on your hair or cut them below the skin surface.
If you are looking into it, here are a few recommendations for beginners.
I’ve been using cartridge razors all my life. I had completely forgotten that safety razors existed! As you can imagine, I’m quite tired of paying through the nose for replacement cartridges. So I’m very happy to have stumbled across this review of inexpensive safety razors!
Since I’m a beginner and also have very sensitive skin with a soft beard, I might give your beginner recommendations a try, just to see if I can get through a shave without totally hacking up my face.
The only brands I’ve heard of in this review are Gilette and Wilkinson. It will be interesting to see how many of these brands are in the shaving aisle at my local supermarket!
Thanks for expanding my horizons!
You’re welcome! I understand your frustration, they can get quite expensive.
Let me know which one you decide to go with and how it works for you.
Very interesting review and it drop me back in sweet memories. I almost forgot that such a razor blades still exist. Electric shavers and other shaving accessories are shadowed old good razor blades. I used to use it years ago and actually, Astra and P&G were my favorites.
I am surprised that Astra is Russian made as rarely trust it’s quality. There is always someone exception.
Thanks for the comment Andre, it’s always nice to hear everyone’s opinion.
What razor are you using currently?
Honestly, I am a bit lazy and using Braun electric shaver, but Gillette is somewhere deep into the shelf.
Hal's Review of Body Weighing Scale Ebsite says
Wow, nice reviews. I feel like going nuts and trying several different razors just to compare notes with you. It’s been many years since I used a straight razor with the brush and shaving soap, but your blog makes me want to experiment again.
Currently, I use cartridge razors. I have a Mach 3 triple blade for my face and head – yes, I shave my head, too. and and Atra Twin blade.
For the first pass, I go against with the grain, and then go over the same territory once more against the grain. I do this using the Mach 3.
Then, I touch up around my beard and moustache with the Atra. It allows me to get in close up at the base of my nose.
Do you have recommendations for shaving cream and/or skin bracers and conditioners?
Thanks for the comments Hal. Yes I actually wrote about several shaving creams here as well as a guest post about some natural shaving soaps as well.