There comes a time in every man’s life when he begins to have to shave his face nice and clean. Although, if you really wanted you could let yourself grow out a majestic beard, but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Now, the main problem that those men might run into when they begin to shave is that they do not know what kind of razor to get! While they may have no problem posing for that Instagram picture or getting their Intertops casino bonus, choosing the right razor can be downright confusing.
So, here is a comprehensive guide to the five main categories of razors and the pros and cons of each. Some will be better than others. Others will be worse than some. But, the right choice will always be down to the individual and their face.
Categories of Razors
1. Straight Razor
Maybe the oldest kind of razor in existence, the straight razor is a classic pick for men around the globe. Its roots are ancient and it’s got a lot of things going for it. This does not mean however that it is right for everyone.
What are some of the pros of using a straight razor?
- Well, for one thing, there is only one blade. That’s it! No need to buy replacement blades or cartridges! You buy the razor and that’s what you get!
- The second advantage is that it will last. If you get a good straight razor, it is most likely that it will outlive you. It can become an heirloom passed down to your children and your children’s children.
- The final bonus to using a straight razor is that it will never clog. To describe it as simply as possible, it is just a knife! Hairs that are cut will quickly fall away and not block the blade from further cutting.
So far, this is sounding like a great deal! Only an upfront cost and no need to keep buying things further down the line? I also don’t have to worry about it clogging and needing to rinse it off? Sign me up and send me five! And I get a neat thing to pass down to my kids? What a bonus!! Well, slow down there. Although the straight razor has some great advantages, it is not without its disadvantages. These can be some big deal breakers depending on the person.
- The first disadvantage is that you will need to learn how to use it. A straight razor is quite dangerous as it is a razor-sharp knife you are pressing against your face and throat. If you do not know how to use it, you are bound to cut yourself pretty badly.
- The second thing you need to learn is how to take care of the straight razor. You will need to keep it from rusting, you will need to sharpen it, and you will need to strop it. These things are to keep it razor sharp and able to cut smoothly. These things will take time. You will not be able to jump into the bathroom and pump out a 5-minute shave when you buy it. That could take years to be able to do without cutting yourself.
- Another disadvantage that may not matter to you is that it is a knife. This means you will not be able to take it onto a plane outside of checked baggage.
2. Safety Razor
Safety razors are the second oldest style of shaving. With their roots as far back as the 1700s and their popularization during World War I, they are certainly not a new player on the block.
So, what are some of the advantages of the safety razor? There are indeed many when compared to other kinds of razors, and they will no doubt win a lot of clean shaving fans over.
- The first main advantage is that they have a disposable blade. This means you will not have to worry about sharpening and caring for your blades. You will only need to take care of the handle.
- The second advantage of a safety razor is that they are very easy on the skin and simple to use. Because of the single blade design, they are less likely to irritate your skin as a cartridge razor might, and they clog less quickly because of only the single blade.
- The final big advantage of safety razors is their price. There is simply no competition over time. A quality handle for a safety razor will run you under 20 dollars, and a pack of one hundred blades will run about the same.
If we say there are about 48 to 50 shaving weeks in a year, and you use one blade a week, then those hundred blades could last you for two years. That is an outstanding value that is hard to beat.
3. Cartridge Razors
Cartridge razors have been around for around half a century by now. It is clear to see why many people choose to use them, and I myself have used cartridge razors before. So, why would someone want to use a cartridge razor? Well, the simple answer is availability and simplicity. If you walk into any pharmacy or store, you will most likely find an entire shelf full of Gillette razor products. Most of these are cartridge razors.
- Why are cartridge razors simple? Well, because you have everything you need in a small package. You can just pop a cartridge head onto your handle, and you are ready to shave after you apply some shaving cream.
- Another small advantage to frequent flyers is that they can be brought onto planes. They don’t have loose razor blades that can be easily removed and turned into a weapon, so they can be brought all thirty thousand feet up.
Now, cartridge razors have some clear disadvantages.
- The first disadvantage is the price. My oh my are cartridge razors expensive. With the cartridge packs costing basically as much as the entire razor, they will run you up a pretty penny for a year’s worth.
- A second disadvantage is the unholy amount of blades they have. Now, this is entirely a personal preference, but I find that the three, four, or even five or six blades can cause some bad irritation on my skin. When I used to shave with a Gillette cartridge razor, I would get terrible razor bumps on my neck, and it would turn bright red. I happen to have sensitive skin though, so this may not be a problem for other people.
Some of you might be thinking that I just don’t know how to shave, but I assure you I do. I currently use a safety razor, and I do not have anywhere near the amount of irritation that I had with my old Gillette.
I’m almost hesitant to call this a category, but they are technically a way to shave, so I will say what I can about them. They are a far cry from a quality shave, but they do have some specific advantages.
So, why would anyone want a disposable razor?
- Well, the first reason would be traveling. If you are going on a trip and you are worried about losing things, then a disposable razor is a great way to not worry about having a large amount of money down the toilet if you happen to lose some toiletries.
- The second reason someone might buy disposable razors is for a guest. If there is someone coming over for a stay for an extended period, then having some disposable razors in case the guest needs them might be a nice thing to do.
- The final reason to buy disposable razors is if you just almost never shave. Perhaps you grow facial hair really slowly, or something like that. But, you may not want to sink a whole bunch of money into shaving supplies you won’t really use.
It seems almost silly to list, but disposable razors have some major disadvantages. The first is quality of build and the quality of the shave.
- Disposable razors are going to be made cheaply. The blades might not be quite right, or the handles will be garbage. This will lead to a rather unpleasant shaving experience, to say the least.
- Now, there are some more expensive disposable razors you could buy, but at those prices, you would be better off just getting something like a cartridge razor or a safety razor. You would be saving no money.
- The final big disadvantage is waste. Disposable razors simply are a lot of waste. With them being designed to be completely thrown out, that is a lot of plastic in the garbage. It would simply be better to get something else if you are environmentally conscious.
The final category of razor is a little bit of an uncertain one. These are, of course, electric razors. Now, electric razors have some good pros to them, but they also have some big cons to them. So, it will definitely be up to personal preference if you buy one.
If convenience and ease of use is the name of your game, then electric razors take the prize. It is a simple matter of putting it to your face and moving it around a bit and just like that you will have a shaved face.
Now, that ‘shave’ comes with a bit of a caveat. You will most likely never be able to get a clean shave with an electric razor like you can with any of the other kinds of razors on this list. You will most likely be left with some stubble, and that would be a personal preference of if you mind that or not.
Now, since the razors don’t really cleanly shave you, it will also most likely not irritate your skin. There would be no blades scraping away at your face that would make you rash or break out with razor bumps.
Now, this also depends on how much money you spend on an electric razor. If you buy a cheap one, the guards may not be very good, and it could actually pull your skin into the blades and cut it a bit causing irritation.
But, at the same time, that doesn’t mean you want to go buying a several hundred dollar electric shaver. Sure, it will be high quality and give you a decent enough shave, but at the same time, if it dies on you, you’ll be left with a useless hunk of plastic and metal with nothing to show for it but a couple hundred bucks down the drain.