Are you curious about different razors and which one you should use to shave your face? Read on to learn about the five types of razors.
Different faces need different razors. Do you know which one is right for you?
There are five major types of razors to choose from, and we’re going to take a minute to detail every one of them for you.
By the time you’re finished reading, you should have a clear picture of which one you need to keep your face looking its best.
Types of Razors
Here they are…
Before the 20th century rolled around, straight razors were basically your only option. And there’s a reason they received the nickname of “cutthroats” — this type of razor takes serious care, attention, and practice to use well.
The blades of straight razors fold out from a wooden or plastic body, and are made of stainless or carbon steel. Stainless steel blades are easier to maintain, but don’t take quite as sharp an edge. Carbon steel blades need more frequent sharpening, but can take a screaming sharp edge.
Now, it’s more popular to have straight razors with replaceable, disposable blades. That way, you don’t have to sharpen and strop your blade in between uses.
In short: Straight razors have the steepest learning curve, but can give an incredibly smooth shave. Get one if you want to feel like an old timey gent — and don’t mind cutting yourself a few times while you learn how to use one.
The same type of safety razor design introduced in 1880 is still in use today — a simple handle with an adjustable head, where you can insert disposable razor blades.
The inventor of the modern interpretation, King Camp Gillette — yep, that’s his actual name, and yep, that’s exactly the Gillette you’re thinking of — created the “razor and blades” business model that dominates the razor market today.
So really, the safety razor laid the foundation for each other type of razor to come.
In short: Safety razors offer the same sharpness as straight razors with disposable blades, but they’re much easier to learn how to use. Get one if you’re more worried about the quality of your shave than looking cool while you do it.
The 1960s saw the invention of the cartridge razor — a natural extension of the safety razor of the past few decades.
By mounting their blades in an ergonomically-positioned head, cartridge razors made it easier to shave without craning your wrist into awkward positions. They’re now the most popular type of razor sold worldwide, and can have anywhere from 1 to 7 blades in each cartridge.
In short: Cartridge razors are easy to use, but more expensive to get replacement heads for. You probably already have one, and if you don’t, you can find one literally anywhere.
And now we’ve come to the end of the movement towards cheap and disposable razors.
Made of plastic and sold for a few dollars per pack, disposable razors are meant to be thrown away in whole as soon as the blades aren’t sharp anymore. The environment shudders every time someone buys a new pack of these.
In short: Disposable razors are convenient and cheap, but do you really want to be throwing away 100 of them every year? I will say though, sometimes when you’re traveling they’re just about the only thing available.
Would you believe that the first electric razor was invented all the way back in 1898? It’s true: John F. O’Rourke filed a patent for the original electric razor in the same year that the Spanish–American War started and Enzo Ferrari was born.
Of course, technology has come a long way since that first electric razor. Now, you can find either straight or rotary electric razors, often with flexible heads for easy trimming. They’re compact and convenient, and certainly more eco-friendly than throwing away razors or cartridges.
In short: Electric razors are many a man’s go-to trimmer. They’re rarely great for a skin-close shave, but perfect for looks that want to leave a little stubble.
Which Razor Is Right for You?
So which one of these five razor types is right for you? If you’re a die-hard traditionalist, the straight razor is the only way to go.
Safety razors offer similar performance without the difficulty associated with using straight razors.
Cartridge razors are the most popular type around the world, while disposable razors are convenient but not exactly environmentally friendly.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!