There are only a few different types of razors for shaving and this page will attempt to give you a good idea of what each one is and how it can be useful.
No matter how you look at it, we use the razor for one thing, getting rid of unwanted facial hair!
We here at Best Men’s Shaver strive to give you all the information you need to choose the best razor that works for you. This page is a good starting point so you can learn about the different razors.
Believe it or not the razor has been around since before 18,000 B.C.
However, what we are used to seeing today didn’t come around until the 18th century and electric razors have been around since the 1930’s.
Even though the first straight razor was invented in the mid 1740’s, the habit of daily shaving was not a common practice until World War II. Until then it was primarily the wealthy who could afford do have servants shave them or frequent barber shops.
During the war, they were required to shave daily so they could wear gas masks! This job became much easier once they were issued a disposable safety razor.
Before the war, straight razors were the standard in shaving. Barbers were usually the most skilled with this type of blade.
Straight razors AKA “cut-throats” were very common before the 20th century. They consist of a blade that can be made of stainless steel or a high carbon steel.
The blade is sharpened on one edge and is connected to a protective handle called scales. The two are connected with a pin that allows the blade to fold into the scales.
The scales protect the blade from damage as well as protect the user from damage. These handles can be made of pearl, bone, plastic, wood and even ivory in the past.
Disposable Blade Straight Razors (shavettes)
Shavettes are pretty much the same as a straight razor, however like the name implies, the blade is disposable.
Instead of having the actual blade, this piece actually holds a disposable blade that can be replaced when needed.
These razors tend to wear quickly but are meant to be thrown away after a few uses.
As safety razors started popping up the straight razor began to lose popularity.
There are a few different types of safety razors. They started becoming popular in the late 1800’s.
A safety razor consists of a handle attached to a head where the razor can be inserted. The edge of the razor is then protected with a bar that protects the skin.
Single Edge Safety Razor
As the name implies this razor has an edge only on one side and is usually 4 cm is length.
It still uses a straight razor inside.
Double-edged Safety Razor
The double edged safety razor has a slant bar that can be used on both sides. The blade is slightly rounded providing a closer shave.
Cartridge razors are a form of the safety razor. The blade is still protected but they are designed to work a little better.
The head keeps the blade at a certain angle taking the guess work out of shaving.
Once the blade is worn it can be discarded and replaced with a new cartridge. These cartridges can have anywhere between 2 and 5 razor blades in them.
Disposable Safety Razors
These are very similar to the cartridge razor. The main difference being the materials the whole razor are made from are so cheap the whole thing can be discarded after use.
You cannot sharpen or replace the razor blades in these.
Also known as an electric shaver, the electric razor either has a rotating or oscillating blade. The great thing about electric razors is they do not require shaving cream or soap, however some allow a wet shave.
Today these are powered by re-chargeable batteries.
Foil Electric Razors
The foil electric razor has the oscillating type blade. These blades move back and forth to cut your facial hair. However, giving the square design of most of the heads on here they can struggle with the curves of your face.
When using a foil electric shaver you should use it in straight lines vs. using a circular motion. This will help cut your hair better based on the design.
Rotary Electric Razors
The design of a rotary electric razor consist of 3 heads that cut on a rotating fashion. Using these razors in a straight line could result in pulling or pinching of your hair.
The razor consist of 3 heads, each with its own disc that spin super-fast to cut your facial hair.
These are friendlier to the contours of your face as each head is usually able to flex which is helpful on your chin and jaw line.
Unlike the foil type of electric razor you will use the rotary shaver in a circular motion.
They each have their advantages and disadvantages, for a more in-depth explanation of the electric razors check out this article.
OK there you have it. These are the different types out there, each with their own advantages or disadvantages.
Which one is right for you? This depends on many things like your needs, facial hair thickness and the sensitivity level of your skin. Check out our reviews for more information on finding the right razor for you!