A good, sharp, sturdy razor makes all the difference between nicks, cuts, or razor burn and a nice, smooth, even shave. Thankfully, you don’t have to do with shoddily made, dull, cheap razors if you don’t want to. This week we’re going to look at five of the best razors for shaving, based on your nominations.
Earlier in the week we asked you which razors you thought were the best, whether they were disposables, multi-bladed razors, safety razors, straight razors, whatever. You weighed in with tons of nominations—over fifty individual razors and well over 300 nominations total.
We only have room for the top five though, so we know some of you will be disappointed, but there were definitely some that rose to the top. Here’s what you said:
If you’re looking for an easy, super smooth shave from one of the best safety razors on the market, you have to turn to Merkur, and many of you specifically called out the 34C and its longer-handled, heavier cousin the 38C “Barber Pole” model. Both models are made by DOVO Solingen, a german company that’s the keeper of the Merkur brand and line of products. The 34C will set you back about $ 48 at Amazon, and the 38C about $ 52. This great thread at ShaveDen offers some first-have experiences with the differences of the two razors, if you’re curious.
Those of you who praised both models called out both for being extremely well made and durable, easy to use and swap razors safely in, and in many ways, the last razor you’ll ever buy. Once you start swapping out blades in one of these, the body will last forever, and you’ll get an even, consistent, close, smooth shave with little effort or pressure. If you’re not comfortable with a safety razor, we have guides that will help you get started and comfortable.
Mach 3 is actually a line of products offered by Gilette, and includes the Mach 3 razor—easily available for around $ 8 at Amazon (and probably less at your local grocery store), the Mach 3 Turbo, an upgraded and all-metal version of the original Mach 3, and the Mach 3 “Sensitive,” a model that vibrates gently at different settings. All three are cartridge-model razors, meaning you keep the handle and dispose of the snap-on blades when they get too dull. The cartridges for all three models feature three individual blades, designed for a super-close shave. The Mach 3 was one of the first razors to offer this cartridge-style, and virtually transformed the disposable razor industry overnight.
Those of you who nominated the Mach 3 and its successors pointed out that shaving with a disposable cartridge is fast, easy, and you have little chance of cutting or nicking yourself thanks to the safety edges around the blades. You also praised the Mach 3 specifically for having three blades—any more and they get clogged easily. Of course, the cost of those cartridges is a big drawback, as packs of 8 or 10 can more than outweigh the costs of the handles, so replacing blades regularly can get expensive (and thus often leads to many people using their blades for a good long time). Many of you also pointed out that even if you prefer or have used safety razors, the speed of a multi-blade cartridge is just unmatched. If you need to get to work and you’re short on time, this is the razor to have.
Edwin Jagger makes some of the finest safety razors for wet shaving in the business, and the DE89 double-edged razor is no exception. They even make custom razors for Gilette’s cartridge razors, so if you prefer one of those, visit their website—you may like their blades better. The DE89 however is a beautuful razor, and will set you back about $ 40 at Amazon (a bit less for the black-handled model). It comes with blades, and offers a smooth, short handle that’s easy to control. Loading and unloading is easy, and the handle is well balanced.
Those of you who nominated the DE89 praised it for being weighted well and forgiving, especially for new users who may be afraid of cutting or nicking themselves on a safety razor. Replacement blades are super-cheap (although some of you suggested upgrading to Feather blades instead of the default ones), and many of you noted a consistent, smooth shave. You can’t really ask for more than that, but Edwin Jagger’s artisan presentation (you should see their shipping boxes) definitely reminds you there was a time when shaving was an art, not just a thing you had to do every morning.
The Merkur 180 Long Handle razor is about $ 33 at Amazon, and even though it’s not as heavy as its 34C and 38C cousins, it does sport a nice long handle that’s perfect for people with larger hands, or people who are coming from disposable or cartridge-style razors that themselves have longer handles than the 34C or the 38C. Like DOVO’s other razors, it has a chrome finish and loading/unloading new blades is a snap. Like the other Merkur models, it’s also a double-bladed model. It’s a little lighter than some of the others, but it’s still a great option.
Those of you who praised the Merkur 180 specifically suggested using Feather blades with it, and almost universally mentioned the longer handle as the primary reason to try this razor over some of the others, especially if you have large hands, or don’t like the idea of a shorter razor handle.
The Fusion line is Gilette’s more recent line of disposable cartridge razors. There are three models again, the manual Fusion razor, the Fusion Power, which features a battery-powered vibrating handle, and the Fusion Proglide, abother battery-operated model with a micro comb attached to guide hair towards the blades and reduce tugging and pulling (and razor burn in people with curly hair). All three models are around the $ 10 mark at Amazon, since the blades are really where the money is. The Fusion series features five blades instead of three, and their blades often feature things like lotion strips and special coatings to give you a smoother shave.
Those of you who nominated the Fusion line mentioned the same praises as the Mach 3 line—fast, consistent shaves for busy people, and while the cartridges are expensive no matter how you look at them, many of you also noted that they last much longer than Gilette would have you replace them. Some of you love the vibration from the handle, but overall you complimented the blades on fast and close shaves with little hassle, even though others mentioned that the five-blade models have a tendency to clog up and get dirty easily.
There you have it! Now that you’ve seen the top five, it’s time to put them to an all-out vote to decide the community favorite.
Honorable mentions this week go to Dollar Shave Club, which many of you proudly subscribe to and are extremely pleased with. We love them too, but our next honorable mention goes to Dorco Razors, otherwise known as the company Dollar Shave Club gets its razors from. They’re both great options, but we have to point out that buying direct will save you money, even if it doesn’t come with the hilarious cast of characters we know and love from DSC.
We should also mention Parker Razors, and while no specific model got enough nominations to make the top five (or really even get close), there were enough Parker models in the nominations individually that we can’t overlook them. Many of you point to Parker’s models are being more affordable and just as long-lasting as some of the safety razors mentioned here. If you’re looking for an alternative, check them out too.
Also worth calling out with an honorable mention is Harry’s, who didn’t get enough nominations to break into the top five, but were passionately loved by the people who nominated them. Super high-quality, precision engineered cartridge style razors that draw the line between your favorite high-end safety razors and the convenience of a store-bought cartridge-style.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn’t included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don’t just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.
The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it’s not because we hate it—it’s because it didn’t get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it’s a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!