If you’re new to the world of safety razors, it can seem impossible to figure out which blade to use or how to choose razor blades. We carry about 20 different types, and there are dozens more out there. So how could you possibly figure out which one to grab? Lucky for you, we’re here to help!
There are two approaches here. The TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) version and the lengthy version for folks who want to dive head-first into the world of shaving.
These are some basic suggestions for folks who want to try a few brands without reading too much. Every shaver should start by trying our Starter Pack; it contains a few brands everyone should try at least once. If you’d like a more curated selection, pick your skin & hair type, and be on your way!
Kent of Inglewood Mild and Feather are two brands that every shaver should try at least once.
The Long Version
Truth be told, it’s tough to give completely objective information about double-edge blades. There are too many factors for each one to have a complete answer - what your hair is like, what your skin is like, how often you shave, how much pressure you use, whether you shave against the grain, make multiple passes, what brand your razor is, whether it’s adjustable/ slant/ open comb, if you have been cursed by that witch you cheated in poker… You get the point. There are endless variables, so the bottom line is: you have to experiment.
That said, there are some basic guidelines you can use. I typically notice folks are concerned about three major things: cost, durability, and comfort; and two minor things: aggression and performance. Below I have defined these categories and summarized each category for every blade we carry.
We sell blades two ways: per pack and per sleeve. A ‘pack’ of blades usually has 5 or 10 blades in it, and a sleeve of blades has 20 packs (100-200 blades). You can compare blades by pricing them out per blade, but you get a discount by buying a whole sleeve at once. Each blade below will have three costs: per blade, per pack, per sleeve. Even though we don’t sell blades individually, it gives a clear cost comparison.
Durability (Number of Shaves)
I usually use the word hardness when discussing this trait, but durability is perhaps more accurate. This is a rough metric of how many shaves the average user gets out of a blade - a softer or less durable blade will provide fewer shaves, and a harder blade will provide more. However, you may find that softer blades are better on sensitive skin, so it isn’t strictly a case of picking the longest-lasting blade. Each blade below will give you a hardness number - that is, the average number of shaves you can expect to get.
Comfort refers to how your skin will feel as you are shaving and after you shave. Is it soft and smooth? Is it red and blotchy? Itchy and hot? This is the most subjective measure as everyone’s skin responds differently, but it’s a prime consideration for most people for obvious reasons. Because it’s so subjective, I’ve left it out of each blade's analysis, but hopefully, the other criteria can give you a good guess of how comfortable a blade will be for you. When doing your own experimenting, remember how comfortable your shaves were with each brand.
Merkur are some of the most aggressive blades out there, popular among those with tough skin and coarse hair.
Sometimes customers ask about which blade is the ‘sharpest’. I find this a hard place to start because they’re all sharp! The phrase ‘razor sharp’ ain’t no joke. So we talk about aggression instead. How does that sharpness feel on your skin? Is it going to give a closer shave with one pass? Aggression is also about sensitivity. All the blades are sharp - but which feels gentle and which feels sturdy? I grade aggression from 1 (mild) to 5 (aggressive).
This is about how a blade responds after multiple shaves. Are you still getting the same quality of shave? Does every blade in the pack feel the same? I will measure this from 1(inconsistent) to 5 (very consistent).
A firm believer that if you're not pulling ridiculous faces, you're shaving improperly, Leigh considers himself a straight razor evangelist. Come listen to him proselytize any time. You can pick him out by finding the one who smells like Winston Churchill - who also wore Floris Special No 127. When not at the shop, he's probably reading something geeky, or cooking, both with a scotch in hand (neat, please).