The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (2023)

Posted on by mantic59 with

The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (1)

There is a lot of renewed interest in the double edge safety razor. But did you know that there are a number of varieties of double edge razors? Understanding what they are and their capabilities can be useful. Here is what you should know, illustrated and explained.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m starting with common questions about double edge razors I see on search engines. Like the Shaving Brush FAQ article here, this article will be a “living document” with regular updates and expansions as other questions come in!

How many pieces does a double edge razor have?

The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (2)
DE razors are typically constructed in one of three ways. Three piece are the “classic” (and easiest to manufacture) type, consisting of a handle, a base plate, and a top cap. Two piece have the base plate permanently mounted to the handle. A one piece “twist to open” (TTO) razor is the type most common just before the ascent of modern cartridge razors: the Gillette SuperSpeed is the “classic” TTO.

What is the difference between an “open comb” and a “safety bar” double edge razor head?

The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (3)
Double edge razors have heads that can be divided into two general groups: Open Comb and Safety Bar. Open Comb’s have obvious “teeth” that help guide heavy stubble and shaving cream into channels. Safety Bars have a solid (or scalloped) bar that provides some additional protection to the skin from the blade’s edge.

How does an adjustable double edge razor work?

An adjustable safety razor can change distance the blade gap between the razor blade’s edge and the razor head’s base plate. The blade gap changes the exposure of the razor blade to the skin to create a milder or a more aggressive shave.
The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (4)

How does a slant bar double edge razor work?

A slant-bar razor (“slant” for short) is a double-edged (DE) safety razor whose blade is mounted to strike the stubble at a slant, since a slanted blade cuts more easily than a straight-on chop—thus the slanted blade of the guillotine and a kitchen mandoline slicer.
The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (5)

Is a double edge razor better?

Many people find that using a double edge razor can be equal to, or better than, a multi-blade cartridge razor, after they have learned how to use it properly (shave technique is slightly different compared to a cartridge razor).

(Video) How To Use An Adjustable Safety Razor

Which double edge razor is the best?

It depends what you are looking for in a razor. Read What Is The Best Double Edge Razor for extensive discussion and suggestions.

What is the best double edge razor for the beginner?

Beginners have a slightly different set of requirements for a razor. Read What Is The Best Safety Razor For Beginners for recommendations.

What is the best double edge razor for sensitive skin?

Those with sensitive skin must take additional variables into account in addition to the razor. Read Shaving 101 – Finding the Right Razor/Blade Combination for discussion and recommendations.

How do you shave with a double edge razor?

While the basics are the same (good preparation, using a good cream or soap lubricant, shaving in passes, etc.), shaving with a double edge razor is a little different than shaving with a modern cartridge razor. While the angle of the blade edge against the skin is set by the manufacturer in a cartridge razor, the shaver must set the angle “manually” by subtle adjustments to the way the razor is held against the skin, with very little pressure on the razor.
The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (6)

How do you maintain a double edge razor?

As long as you keep it from getting really dirty in the first place, you won’t have to put much effort into cleaning your razor. Read How to Clean and Care for Your Favorite Double Edged Safety Razor for details and instructions.

Will a double edge razor save me money?

A good double edge razor will cost more than the typical plastic cartridge razor “up front.” The real savings comes from replacement blades. Most modern razor cartridges cost US $3-4 per cartridge, while double edge razor blades cost a fraction of that. Purchased in bulk many double edge razor blades cost less than $0.25 per blade so the significant saving comes over the life of the shaver.

(Video) What Double Edge Razor Is Right For You?

Can I take a double edge razor on an airplane?

In the United States a double edge razor can be packed in carry-on luggage as long as there are no blades with it. Blades must be packed in checked luggage or purchased at the destination. Other regulations vary by country.
The Double Edge Safety Razor Illustrated Guide And FAQ - Sharpologist (7)


Double edge razor are fascinating, useful tools for the shaver but all the variables can sometimes be confusing. Feel free to add your question in the comments below and I will do my best to keep this FAQ up to date!

About mantic59

Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Chuck Hays says

    (Video) Adjustable Safety Razors

    Aha. Thank you! I’ve been wondering about those. Looks a little “slantier” than I’d expect a “semi-slant” to be.

  2. Rich Maggi says

    Nicely done. Helping shavers get good info to get
    started, hopefully that makes it a good experience for them.
    Since a bad one could turn them off to the whole idea. Your effort in this area has been excellent.

  3. Dartan says

    Great update article. While reading the article, I thought about dads, uncles and grand -dads teaching young men how to “DE SHAVE”. Maybe you can start an article on the best ways to introduce a son, nephew, a grandson or a young friend how to get in touch with the DE trend! I bet the article could stimulate and teach important ideas about shaving. When I was a young man, some centuries ago, I sure wish I had some direction.

  4. Chuck Hays says

    Hi Mark,

    What slants are those? I don’t recognize the scalloped bar. I like slants a lot — have a few. My fave is the ATT S2, an all-stainless open comb slant with impeccable manners.

    Oh, and RAD…heh…there’s a fine line between trying a number of razors to see what you prefer when you’re starting out; and going down the rabbit hole to collect one of everything in however many areas you’re interested.

    • sharpologist says

      Chuck, those are Parker “Semi Slant” razors (same head, different handles).

  5. Shane says

    (Video) Advanced Shaving Techniques

    I started using about 9yrs ago to save money, maybe I have. But I now have about ten different razors and $50 worth the shave soap at a time. But it does last for months. After a while a guy gets curious and wants to try a new razor or soap and it just keeps growing. “Just one more”. It really has changed shaving for me now I actually look forward to it.

  6. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean) says

    Really nice overview for the beginner, Mark.

    If I was going to pick one nit, it might be your omission of mentioning the potential cost of RAD and becoming a hobbyist to those who are susceptible. Yes, using a DE instead of a cartridge should save you money, it actually may save you money Then again….. Ha!

    I was cured of RAD after a very short bout. I know others who dove in head first. They are still on the hunt!

    • sharpologist says

      Interesting thought. I should probably add something about RAD. 🙂

      • Jeff Gilbert says


        • sharpologist says

          RAD: “Razor Acquisition Disorder,” a humorous description of how some people start collecting different double edge razors.

  7. Larry says

    (Video) What is the Best Double Edge Razor Blade?



How do you guide a double edge safety razor? ›

Hold your razor at a 30- to 45-degree angle when starting and at a 90-degree angle with straight strokes. Depending on the head of your double-edged razor, you should hold your handle at an angle of about 30 to 45 degrees. You'll hear what the right angle is once you do the pass.

How do you sharpen a double edge razor blade? ›

Position your safety razor at the bottom of the honing pad, tilt razor up to around 35o so blade touches leather. Push razor up to top of the honing pad, lift and return to bottom (do NOT drag blade back over leather). Repeat up to 5 times. Flip the razor 180o and repeat so both edges have been sharpened.

What is the difference between safety razor and double edge? ›

Single Edge safety razor blades use a stiffer, thicker blade than their Double-Edge counterpart. This requires a different sort of head, a different technique, and a different feel. The SE is held at a different angle than the DE. With the double-edge safety razor, you are using the top cap to guide the shave.

What do the numbers on double edge razor blades mean? ›

Those numbers are there primarily for the manufacturer and really have no bearing on the shave itself. There have been some legends saying that if you keep track of the numbers you can flip the blade thus getting more shave from the blade.

Can you use both sides of a double edge safety razor? ›

Double edged and cheap as chips

That's because you can use both sides of the blade. Double sided – double benefits. Not only can you use both sides, which extends the life of the blade, it also makes for a time saver, as you can switch the side you're using without so much as a rinse.

Can you flip double edge razor blades? ›

One of the benefits of double edge safety razors is that there are two sides to the razor. That means less frequent rinsing under the tap while shaving, as you can simply flip the razor over and continue with a fresh blade.

How many times can you use a double edge razor blade? ›

In general they all last between 3-7 shaves. You can expect those with thicker beards to get less shaves out of each as those blades are working harder.

How often should you replace double edge safety razor? ›

On average, a man shaving daily should expect his razor blade to last around a week. This means that a razor blade will need changing after about 6 shaves if you shave using the three-pass technique (with the grain, across and against). Most people change their blade somewhere between 1 and 7 shaves.

How many shaves from a double edge safety razor? ›

Most safety razor blades can last for 5-7 close, comfortable, tug-free shaves, due to their sharpness and the fact you can use both sides of a safety razor. Ensure that you change the blade at least weekly to guarantee a close, gentle shaving experience.

What angle is best for double edge razor? ›

Hold the razor at a 30-degree angle.

To get comfortable, start by holding the razor against your skin at a 90-degree angle and slowly tilt it down until the blade makes contact with your facial hair.

What is the benefit of double edge razor? ›

One sharp, clean blade

This makes double edge shaving more sanitary, and more effective. The blade is at its sharpest. Cartridge razors dull over time, becoming less effective as you continue to use them. YOU DON'T NEED 5 BLADES TO GET A GOOD SHAVE.

What is the best double edge razor blade? ›

Top 10 Razor Blades
  • Feather Double Edge Razor Blades. 274 reviews. ...
  • Astra Superior Platinum Double Edge Razor Blades. 238 reviews. ...
  • from $5.49. ...
  • Merkur Double Edge Razor Blades. ...
  • Personna Platinum Chrome Double Edge Razor Blades. ...
  • Gillette Nacet Stainless Double Edge Razor Blades. ...
  • Derby Extra Double Edge Razor Blades. ...
  • from $1.99.

What is the sharpening angle of a razor blade? ›

If properly sharpened, the 20 degree angle will work well for most knives.
Knife Sharpening Angle Chart.
Type of Knife or ToolRecommended Angle
Straight Razors Razor Blades X-Acto Knives7 to 12 Degrees
4 more rows

Can you shave legs with double edge safety razor? ›

Shaving your legs using a double edge safety razor is a far superior, more eco-friendly way to shave. Plus you can save a lot of money using double edge razors as opposed to using the pricey cartridge razors.

Are double edge razors better than cartridge? ›

Although a cartridge razor has an easier learning curve, a double-edge safety razor is better than a cartridge razor because it is made of better materials, delivers a better and closer shave, costs less, and is better for the environment.

Which razor blades stay sharp the longest? ›

Material: Stainless steel safety razors stay sharper longer than other materials, like carbon steel metal, which can start rusting in moist environments like your bathroom. Luckily, blades from the best brands are made from stainless steel.

What is the sharpest razor blade for cutting? ›

Feather Blades: Hailing from Seki, Japan, these blades are almost the sharpest you can buy on the market. Unusually, they do not appear to have any coating on them, so they start out extremely sharp and become milder as you go along. If you have tough whiskers and resilient skin, this is a blade for you.

How do I know if my safety razor is dull? ›

The best indicator it's time for a new blade is dullness. If your razor blade pulls at your hair, feels rough on your skin or you notice more skin irritation than normal post-shave, it's time to replace it. How frequently you need to change your blades really depends on how frequently you're shaving.

Should I shave everyday with a safety razor? ›

The short answer to "can you shave every day with a safety razor" is yes. It all boils down to the quality of the razor. If a razor can give you a quality shave it can give you a quality shave every single day. It doesn't matter what your shaving schedule is.

Where do you store double edge razor blades? ›

Once the blade is dry, consider tucking it away in a storage case outside the bathroom. “Storing your razor in the bathroom can expose the razor to damp air, steam, and moisture coming from the shower,” says Cardoso.

Are 3 blades better than 2 razor? ›

Bottom line: Having more blades on a cartridge head actually does result in a better shave, but the difference is noticeable only up to a point. Beyond five blades, you likely won't be able to notice any difference in your shave.

How many times should you use a double edge razor blade? ›

How often should you change your razor blade? When you notice the razor blade starting to tug on hairs while shaving then it is time to change out the razor blade. For a double edge razor, this is around the 5-10 shaves, although of course is dependent on the brand of razor blade.

How do you find the right angle with a safety razor? ›

Hold the razor at a 30 degree angle. If you're feeling a bit unsure, angle the blade away from the hair and skin, then gently rock until you start to take hair, and presto: you have your angle.

Can you shave against the grain with a double edge safety razor? ›

Shaving against the grain gets you a super close cut, but it can also irritate your skin. One solution that I've found works very well is to shave perpendicular, or “along”, the grain. This gives you a shave that's almost as close but much more comfortable.

Can you shave with a safety razor everyday? ›

The short answer to "can you shave every day with a safety razor" is yes. It all boils down to the quality of the razor. If a razor can give you a quality shave it can give you a quality shave every single day. It doesn't matter what your shaving schedule is.

How do you not get cut with a safety razor? ›

Start by holding the razor at a 30° angle against the skin to reveal the blade. Use short strokes with a lighter pressure as you move the blades in the same direction of hair growth. If you need to pass over an area again, remember to reapply shaving gel.

Which direction do you put a safety razor blade in? ›

It's simple and straightforward. Twist the bottom of the handle in an anti-clockwise direction and you'll see the doors of the head open, much like a butterfly unfurling its wings (hence the name). Take your blade and place it neatly in the middle, following the alignment tabs that every razor blade has.

Do you leave the blade in a safety razor? ›

If you thoroughly dry your safety razor with a towel after each shave, you can store it with the blade installed until your next shave.

How tight should a safety razor be? ›

You should tighten your safety razor until the threads stop, without leaving it loose and without overtightening, which could damage the screw and possibly break it.


1. How To Extend Razor Blade Life
2. How Many Shaves In A DE Blade?
3. How To Shave With A Single-Blade Razor
4. Wet Shaving Talk Podcast - What's Comng In 2019
5. Safety Razor Blades can be Dangerous!
6. How To Change A Safety Razor Blade


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