Safety Razor Vs Cartridge Razor – Which Should You Buy?

Shaving is a part of life that most men will have to deal with for the majority of our lives. We always want to find the most efficient and cost effective way to shave. There are a lot of pros and cons with the safety razor vs the cartridge razor.

This guide will help you figure out which one will work best for you.

The Shaving

The marketing for multi mach blades, cooling strips and lotion heads may give you the belief that these are more efficient shaving methods. That may not be the case for the majority of men.

Safety Razor - The Shave

The Safety razor is a single blade that when used properly, is going to give you just as close of a shave as any cartridge razor. The angle and sharpness of the blade itself is what will do the job. Where I think the safety razor falls a bit short is the speed.

You can't rush the with a safety razor. It's a very precise instrument and with practice, you will develop speed. However, I've shaved my entire head with both for years and there is no way that I could ever match the speed of a cartridge razor.

I personally find that safety razors are better for people with sensitive skin because a single blade typically provides less irritation.

Pros

  • Provides a great shave

Cons

  • Not as fast as cartridge

Cartridge Razor - The Shave

Cartridge razors come in all different shapes and sizes, but the general idea is that they are easier to use. They are designed in a way that you don't really need a lot of practice to shave. Most of them have so many features that you can basically shave with just water.

I think the speed and easy of use when it comes to the actual shave is probably the biggest positive of shaving with a cartridge razor. I find that the multi-blade cartridge razors are prone to creating irritation as they can shave the hair beneath the skin.

Pros

  • Quick & Easy to use

Cons

  • Can cause irritation

The Cost

A safety razor is going to be cheaper in basically every configuration, but with available options like Dollar Shave Club and Harry's, there are some good cartridge options available if you're on a budget.

Safety Razor - The Cost

The safety razor is much less expensive because you can purchase over 100 safety razors for really cheap. The handle itself is only a small investment and you can easily purchase a quality safety razor for under $30. If you fancy investing more, you can definitely spend a lot of money on a safety razor handle. I shave my head every other day and I still have not run out of blades in my original pack of 100. They last at least 3-5 shaves which means your total yearly shaving budget will be well under $50.

Pros

  • Razor blades are inexpensive and last long

Cons

  • Some of the handles can be really expensive.

Cartridge Razor - The Cost

Even with direct to consumer monthly kits, you're definitely going to spend more money on cartridge razors. A pack of Gillette mach blades run anywhere from $25-35 and if you shave every day, a pack of 12 is probably not going to last you more than 3 months. I find that I'm replacing cartridge razors after a week of shaving and that is pushing it at times.

Pros

  • Lots of discount monthly shaving clubs

Cons

  • It is expensive from major brands that you find in big box stores

Travelling

We all travel and I think it's important to talk about taking different razors with you on a trip.

The Safety Razor - Travelling

You can take the razor handle in your carry on luggage, but you can't take the actual razors with you on an airplane. If you're someone who travels a lot for business, you likely won't be checking luggage and you'll have to use a cartridge razor.

The Cartridge Razor - Travelling

You can take as many cartridge razors in your carry on luggage as you would like. There is no limit to the amount that you can have and this includes international travel.


My Summary

I don't think any options is better than the other. It depends on what best fits your lifestyle.

If you shave frequently and having 10-15 minutes of time to go through a proper shaving routine is something that you can spare. The Safety Razor is definitely the best option for you.

If you like the idea of being able to quickly shave or you travel frequently then using a cartridge razor is something that will probably best fit your lifestyle.

Whichever version you choose, make sure you find a quality safety razor or a good monthly razor cartridge kit that provides the service you like.