Whether you shave your whole face daily, clean your lines once a week, or anything in between, a good razor is essential to your grooming. We shaved our entire beard over and over again over the course of a month and tested 12 men’s razors in the process. In doing so, we paid attention to how convenient and easy it was to shave with everyone, and how close was a shave that everyone provided. After a few nicks and weeks of not recognizing each other in the mirror, two razors (ahem) made the cut.
The Gillette SkinGuard was characterized by an extremely comfortable and easy shave that stood out from all other razors we tested. The careful razor made shaving a breeze and we had no pulling or irritating when using it. Combined with its durability, easy cleaning, and added precision blade, it was for sure the best men’s razor we tried.
If you want the best possible shave and don’t need any additional features, the Bevel Safety Razor is the right blade for you. With a single-edged, double-edged blade, the bevel can be shaved remarkably thoroughly. All of the razors we tested were a step above the cartridge options in terms of proximity, but the Bevel’s comfortable handle pushed it past the other razors for a top spot.
Kai Burkhardt / CNN
Gillette SkinGuard razor
Of all the razors we tested, the Gillette SkinGuard gave us by far the easiest and most comfortable shave, largely due to its special blades. The razor has small bumpers between the two blades of the SkinGuard to minimize skin irritation. While Gillette says this results in a shave that isn’t as close as the five-blade razors, we didn’t see much difference between the SkinGuard and the other cartridge blades we tested. With the exception of the razors, we thought this was one of the closest shaves in the group.
The SkinGuard also offered superior comfort. The protective blades really made it feel like the razor was sliding down our face – something we’ve always heard about in shaving ads but never experienced in real life. The bumpers along with two smear strips gave us a super smooth shave. We never felt any irritation or bumps or ingrown hairs – not even hours after shaving.
This convenience wasn’t just limited to the blades – the SkinGuard is also one of the most ergonomic razors we’ve tested. Thanks to its rubberized handle and gently curved shape, it sat perfectly in our hand and was easy to hold and maneuver around our face.
In addition to its comfort, the SkinGuard also remained unscathed in our drop tests and can shave solid clean lines with its precision blade on the back of the cartridge. Speaking of cartridges, cartridges are easy to swap out, but the SkinGuard replacement blades were priced a little above our pool’s average of $ 2, and it was $ 2.83 per blade when buying a pack of 12. If you’re worried about not filling up with Blades, you can subscribe to Amazon or Gillette so you never run out of breath.
Kai Burkhardt / CNN
The cartridge razors couldn’t shave as thoroughly as all of our safety razors. The single-edged, double-edged stainless steel blades require a little more patience and skill to maneuver, but the result is a wild shave.
We tested three of these razors and the Bevel Safety Razor was easily the best of the group. It didn’t feel quite as close as the two Mercury’s we tried, but it was a lot easier to deal with and move across our faces.
Having never used a razor before this story, our first shave was meticulously slow, making sure the blade was so close to a 30-degree angle on our skin that we wouldn’t cut our carotid artery. We had a few nicks the first time around, but it soon turned out that shaving with these razors – and especially with the bevel – wasn’t all that different from the multi-bladed cartridges we had become accustomed to.
If you keep a 30 degree angle and let the weight of the blade do its thing, shaving with a razor is a breeze. The bevel has a long, straight handle that was very comfortable to hold, which calmed our nerves as we ran it down our face. The other two razors we tried had handles that were difficult to hold. As a result, we had to constantly readjust our grip to get a comfortable shave.
If your blade is dirty or worn, you can easily clean it with the bevel or replace it with a simple screw mechanism. We preferred this to the Mercury Future Tense blade case, which just pops out, since in our drop test the Future Tense blade would pop out of the handle and land somewhere on the floor.
Replacement blades for the bevel are also the cheapest in our test pool. A pack of 20 costs $ 9.99 and costs an average of $ 0.50 per blade (you can also subscribe to get these automatically through Amazon). As a bonus, safety razors are overall better for the environment than your standard razors because there is no plastic and you can recycle your used stainless steel blades.
To find the best razor for men, we put 12 razors through all sorts of tests. We shaved them with them, cleaned them up, dipped them in water, dropped them and a lot more. We divided our tests into two categories: performance and durability. Here’s a breakdown of all of the tests we’ve run.
- Near the shave: We used the same shaving cream every time and shaved with every razor that matched the grain of our facial hair. We noticed how close the shave was and felt how much, if any, hair was left on our face after the shave.
- Shave comfort: We judged how easy it was to shave and how the blades felt on our face. Immediately after shaving, we determined whether we had nicks or any irritation.
- Lasting comfort: We checked our face again a few hours after shaving to see if there was any irritation, bumps, or redness.
- Ergonomics: We held each razor and assessed how it felt in our hand. We also dipped it in water and held it again to see if it was slippery.
- Precision: We determined if the razor had a particular precision blade and cut lines in our facial hair to assess how precise the blade was.
- Additional functions: We counted all the additional features of the razor, such as: B. smear strips, heating elements and more. We also assessed how these traits affect the shaving experience.
- Easy to clean: We cleaned each blade after shaving and determined how difficult it was to clean and how long it took.
- Drop test: We dropped each razor three times from face level over our sink. We found damage and determined whether the blades chipped off the handle.
- Easy replacement of the blade: We researched the price of replacing knives and saw if you could sign up for an automatic subscription.
Harry’s Winston Razor ($ 20; harrys.com)
Harry’s Winston Razor gave us a close, comfortable shave. It was pretty easy to clean, had a nice precision blade, and felt nice in our hand, but it just couldn’t separate from the rest of the pack.
Harry’s Truman Razor ($ 9; harrys.com)
Similar to the Winston, this razor from Harry is very good, but it didn’t outperform the SkinGuard. When we shaved with the Truman, we shaved thoroughly, but not as thoroughly as the Winston or some other cartridge leaves like Schick.
Dollar Shave Club ($ 26; dollarhaveclub.com)
This razor was decently comfortable and made for a pretty close shave, just not as good as the SkinGuard. We enjoyed the precision blade, but we still wouldn’t recommend it to our winner.
Merkur 34C High Power Razor ($ 40.43; amazon.com)
This razor gave us one of the closest shaves that was actually associated with the bevel. However, the handle is very small and short, so it was not comfortable to hold while shaving.
Schick Hydro 5 Sense ($ 10.43, originally $ 10.99; amazon.com)
This razor performed well too, but it was another one that just went unnoticed overall. It was one of the closer shaves we’ve got from a cartridge razor and it was very comfortable. Its strong grip was also one of the most ergonomic.
Gillette Planet CHILD ($ 20; gillette.com)
Gillette’s new Planet KIND razor was a little uncomfortable when we shaved with it. It didn’t slide across our face like the SkinGuard, nor did it offer a remarkably close shave. This razor and its blades are 100% recyclable through Terracycle, which is very nice, but safety razor blades are also recyclable. So if you are looking for an environmentally friendly razor, we still recommend the Bevel safety razor.
Mercury Future (66.75 USD; walmart.com)
The Mercury Futur shave us the best of all of the razors we tested, but it was too heavy to actually hold lightly and to maneuver around our face. During our drop test, the top of the compartment that the blade is in also popped off, leaving the razor blade somewhere on our floor. We think the bevel is a better option if you are looking for a razor.
Gillette Mach3 ($ 6.78, originally $ 10.99; amazon.com)
The Mach3 is an incredibly lightweight razor, but its super-thin design wasn’t the most ergonomic. It wasn’t a very close shave, but it was fairly easy to clean and convenient to use.
Gillette heated ($ 189.94, originally $ 199.99; amazon.com)
The Gillette Heated razor warms its blades so that you can theoretically shave more thoroughly and comfortably. While this feature was cool, it didn’t result in an exceptionally different shave. That, and the fact that it’s more than three times more expensive than the next most expensive razor, put it out of the running.
Philips Norelco OneBlade ($ 34.95; amazon.com)
The Philips is an electric shaver, and while shaving large amounts of hair is good at shaving your beard, we didn’t find it to be a great daily shaver. It didn’t shave us very thoroughly at all, most likely because we shaved with the grain of our facial hair with every razor, but the OneBlade’s instructions recommend shaving against the grain. This razor really didn’t go much with the grain, and going against the grain gave a closer shave, but that would be the case with any razor.
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