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The Newbie Guide to Razor Blades For Shaving

November 17, 2019 6 min read

The Newbie Guide to Razor Blades For Shaving

Naked Armor

In shaving, the quality of the blade matters.

Published by Naked Armor

If you’re a newbie looking to start shaving, it’s easy to be dazzled by the variety of choices available in the razor blade market. But the truth is, not all razor blades are made equally.

Some razors are good to look at because the scales are beautiful, but if it’s paired with the wrong kind of blade, the results can be unsatisfying.

You can try out different kinds of razor blades until you’ve found one that’s right for you. From cheap disposables to upscale straight razors, different blades provide varying results.

Here at Naked Armor, we’re going to give you a heads-up on how these razor blades are different from each other.

Razor Blade Types

Razor blades have been around since the dawn of civilization. The earliest recorded metal razor blade was a blade made from bronze which was used by Egyptians who were really crazy about shaving.

When Romans came into the scene, they upgraded the old Egyptian razor design into a form that was close to the modern straight razor. They also changed the metal - copper and iron replaced bronze blades.

It wasn’t until the 19th century that razor blades began to be manufactured in stainless steel. The metal was found ideal for shaving because it resisted rusting and lasted longer. Around this time, the razor industry took off, with Gillette marketing an improved razor design and a new blade to pair it with.

Since then, innovation has fueled modern razor blade development. Today, there are now five types of razor blades: disposable razors, cartridge razors, electric razors, safety razors, and straight razors.

Disposable Razors

Disposable razors are temporary-use blades that generally come in bulk packs of anywhere from three to 25+ razors. They’re relatively inexpensive because they’re made of plastic with the handles fixed to the razor heads.

They’re only meant to be used a couple times and then tossed away, but sometimes, if your hair is tough enough or you don’t shave that frequently, the blades can last longer.

Because they’re cheap to produce, disposable razors have the reputation for being one-and-done blades.

They’re also not eco-friendly. The plastic that these razors are made of has a high carbon footprint which aggravates global warming. It also contributes to the widespread problem of plastic pollution when these are dumped in the landfill.

Cartridge Razors

These razors are an upgrade on the basic disposable razor model. They feature handles that are of higher quality than their fully disposable cousins, with snap-on heads that are tossed away after a few uses.

These razors offer better savings than a disposable razor because it comes in a kit that includes a handle and a couple of replacement blades. The handle is meant for long-term use which is usually why it’s made of high-grade plastic or quality metal.

Cartridge razor blades generally have multi-blades. It’s a point of ridicule among critics of the corporate shaving industry. According to them, it’s hilarious that razor companies try to outsmart each other every year by adding more blades to their cartridge razor products and call it smart innovation. In reality, the number of blades don’t really matter in giving you a good shave. It’ll only increase the chances of irritation.

Electric Razors

Electric razors are automated shaving machines. They utilize a blade system wherein many tiny blades oscillate at super high speeds to easily cut facial hair even when it’s not wet.

Even then, using an electric razor has its own downside. They were infamous for pulling hairs, not getting close enough, and generally delivering bad shaves.

They are also not practical for travelling. Because they run on electricity, you need to bring extra batteries or make sure that there’s an electrical outlet where you’re going, otherwise, there won’t be any shaving to be done.

High quality straight razors may be a bit expensive but consider it a one-time investment. Today’s modern razors are luxurious enough that they acquire a higher value over the years as heirloom pieces.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

Safety Razors

First released in 1880 by Gillette who also designed its blade, it was considered a major innovation in the history of razor development because it looked different from the traditional straight razor.

Safety razors were called as such because it has a protective guard that rests between the blade and the skin to reduce potential injury. This made it popular among beginners who were nervous about using a straight razor. It’s also the preferred tool among women for their shaving needs. Not only was it safe, but it was also easy to use.

It’s also durable. Generally made of metal, safety razors can be used for a long time. One only needs to change the blades.

They’re also inexpensive and easy to clean.

Straight Razors

In terms of longevity though, nothing beats straight razors. Nothing gives a close shave better than a straight razor. This is why barbers still use them to this very day. Not only are they the best tool to shave with, they are also best for shaping up beards and lining up fades and edges.

There’s also the reputation attached to using a straight razor. It’s the most manly of all grooming experiences. There’s a particular air of exclusivity when one shaves using a straight razor. Only gentlemen use a straight razor. The rest make do with knock-offs.

Which is the Best Razor Blade for You

Depending on your needs, each razor blade type can work for you.

If you want something cheap and good for a one-time shave, go with a disposable. It won’t be as close a shave as you’d want but it’ll do. It’s also convenient for travel since you can pack it in your overnight bag.

If you’re looking to shave occasionally, but still looking for convenience, a cartridge razor could work for you. Cartridge razors work best for guys with thick skin because they will not easily be irritated from the blade friction caused by the numerous blades in the cartridge head. There’s a relative reduction in costs, too, because all you need to buy regularly are replacement cartridges.

If you’re an all around modern guy who loves his gadgets, an electric razor might actually be just the tool for you. You can carry it all around and when you shave, you won’t need to have shaving lather since you can dry shave with it. It’s also easier and more convenient than a manual razor.

If you’re serious enough to make wet shaving a constant in your grooming life but you’re just not into really sharp objects, get a safety razor. It’s safe compromise between a straight razor and a cartridge razor. It has a single blade which means less blade friction and a protective guard to lessen accidental nicks and cuts. It’s the practical choice for the average man.

However, if you want the total shaving experience, nothing beats using a straight razor. Nothing says like you’re “The Man” when you’re shaving with a straight razor. True, it requires a learning curve, but you’ll feel accomplished and manly when you’ve mastered it. Best of all, you’ll be able to get the closest shave ever since only the straight razor is capable of giving you that.

High quality straight razors may be a bit expensive but consider it a one-time investment. Today’s modern razors are luxurious enough that they acquire a higher value over the years as heirloom pieces.

Here at Naked Armor, our straight razor blades are luxurious but practical pieces. They’re made from world-class Japanese steel and expensive hardwood.

They are also uniquely designed because it’s between a full hollow and half hollow grind which makes it excellent for all types of shaving needs. Whether you’ve got thick or thin facial hair, a Naked Armor straight razor blade will give you an easy and comfortable close shave. It’ll be like having a master barber in the comfort of your own home.

For more of our blades and shaving products, check out our site.

Read Next

The Newbie Guide to Straight Razor Shaving


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