More and more wet shavers are gravitating towards safety razors as their choice of razor. They have begun to realize that the different types of safety razors are more beneficial due to the control it provides. Plus, their vintage metal aesthetic gives shaving a different feel and experience compared to a modern-day razor.
A safety razor is a shaving razor that protects you from coming in direct contact with the blade while you are shaving. There are different types of safety razors to choose from.
Safety razors have a protective headpiece, unlike a straight razor with a handle and a long blade that hinges off the end. They also have different shaped handles and look and feel entirely different from your regular razors or straight razors that barbers use to give you a lineup.
Also Read: How To Hold A Straight Razor
What Are The Different Types Of Razors?
The different types of safety razors are the one-piece, two-piece and three-piece designs. Each design has a different way of loading the shaving blade onto the razor.
1. One-piece Design
A razor is labeled a one-piece design because it doesn’t come apart when loading a blade. The head of the razor and the handle of the razor are infused.
The only way to load a blade is to twist the bottom of the handle. Sometimes you have to turn the whole handle, and it causes two mechanical latches to swing upwards, revealing a compartment to place your blade onto. To close it, twist the handle in the opposite direction.
Due to the way the razor opens, they are referred to as twist to open, silo razors or, more commonly, butterfly safety razors.
They are easy to use because it is one piece. However, the downside to these razors is that the mechanical latches are held by tiny hinges that often tend to break if not handled carefully. It can also be tedious to clean up the soap and gunk collected in the blade compartment.
2. Two-piece Design
A two-piece design is another different type of safety razor. Working off the previous naming logic, a two-piece safety razor comes apart in two pieces. The head of the safety razor has to be unscrewed to insert a new blade or replace the old one.
When dismantled, the handle has the base of the razor-head still attached to it while the top of the head detaches.
The detached part has a long bar attached to its center, which slides into the hollow handle when putting the razor back together. To unscrew the head, you have to twist the knob at the bottom of the razor handle.
Inserting or replacing blades is more difficult on these safety razors compared to the one-piece design. Cleaning and maintenance are difficult due to soap and gunk falling into the hollow handle, which can be challenging to get to. It is easier to clean than a one-piece due to its ability to come apart.
When handling a two-piece, be careful not to twist and tighten the knob at the bottom of the handle too far. It can cause wear and tear in the threads.
3. Three-piece Design
A three-piece is a different type of safety razor from the rest because, as you may have guessed, it comes apart in three pieces. Although it has a lot of parts, three-piece safety razors tend to be very popular amongst experienced wet shavers.
For this design, the head of the razor comes off the handle completely. The three pieces are the handle, the base head, and the top of the cutting head.
Their popularity is due to the user being able to dismantle the razor completely. This allows you to easily clean and maintain it, ensuring it has a longer lifecycle compared to the other two designs.
The two main issues with this design are, firstly, you have to handle a bare blade a lot more when working with a three-piece.
Secondly, since the whole razor head comes apart, you have to struggle with blade alignment before assembling the entire thing back together. However, if you are careful and practice this a few times, you can easily avoid any unnecessary injuries.
Different Types of Safety Razor Heads
The head, where the blade is placed, of a safety razor, determines how much control you get on the aggressiveness of a shave. The different types of safety razor heads are as follows:
Closed Comb: Also known as straight bar design, this head has a safety bar that protects your skin from the blade. A majority of safety razors are designed with this head type, and it is an excellent place for beginners to start from.
Open Comb: This design is for someone with a bit more experience as the blade is a bit more exposed. The safety bar has comb-like teeth, which leaves space in between for the razor. It is ideal for someone with thicker hair growth.
Adjustable Razors: As the name suggests, this design gives the shaver greater control over the aggressiveness of the blade by determining how much of the blade will be exposed. This is usually done by twisting the handle.
Slant Razors: The safety bar in this design is slanted, causing the blade to slice hair at an angle instead of chopping them like the other head designs. This is considered the most aggressive design as a slanted blade is optimally positioned to cut thick beard hair.
Due to this, beginners should be wary of using this design until they have some years under their belt with the other razor head designs.
Are All Safety Razor Handles The Same?
Not all safety razor handles are the same. Things you need to be aware of are the texture of the grips, length, and thickness of a handle. Finding your perfect fit will take a few attempts.
Still, the fantastic thing about safety razors is that, depending on which design you choose, you can unscrew the handles and use different ones interchangeably till you find the best fit.
A knurled handle refers to a textured handle that assists significantly with grip. The more a razor handle is knurled, the easier it is to grip.
The second feature of a handle that helps with grip is if the bottom of the handle has a knob designed into it.
A design where the whole handle has texture until you reach the bottom-third of the handle, where it has no texture and is slightly thinner than the rest of the handle, ending with the bottom completed with rich texture.
This allows the user to place a finger in that gap to provide extra grip and control while shaving.
The size of your shaving hand will determine the length and width of the handle. The bigger your palm, the longer and thicker the razor handle must be.