10 best safety razors

Go traditional with your grooming. IndyBest sharpens up with some superior shaving tools

Shaving doesn’t have to be a quick hack with an electric or cartridge razor. If you want to do your face a favour then transform your grooming regime into a ritual by using a traditional safety razor. These timeless tools not only add elegance to any bathroom but are extremely cost-effective using inexpensive, supremely sharp, replaceable single blades. This good old-fashioned method will not only reward you with the closest cut going but also a manly shave that’d make your grandpappy proud. We sacrificed our designer stubble to find you the best axes for your facial deforestation.

{1} Merkur 33C: £28, amazon

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Here’s one for safety razor newcomers. From a brand known for quality you get a diminutive dynamo perfect for manoeuvrability around the face. Those with larger hands may struggle with its small stature, but its lighter weight is ideal for beginners.

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{2} Edwin Jagger 3D Laser Diamond (DE3D14): £35, Shaving Shack

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Forged in Sheffield, where they know a thing or two about metal work, the handle has been given a three-dimensional knurling effect that not only looks the business it does it too as it sits steadfast in the slipperiest of mitts. Combined with exquisite weighting, the resulting shave is super-precise.

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{3} Goodfella Open Comb: £50, amazon

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For beardier types, this cuts through the rough with ease thanks to an open comb head guiding bristles into chunkable channels. The svelte profile is great for getting into those harder-to-reach areas, and while it’s slightly light in-the-hand this is still quality and goes easy on the skin.

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{4} Muhle R89: £25, amazon

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Precise German grooming engineering sees a beautiful, corrosion-resistant, chrome-clad razor with perfect weight distribution and a forgiving cut for wet shave newbies. We were treated to faultless performance every time, which had us relegating rivals.. 

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{5} Merkur 37C Heavy Duty Slant Bar: £30, amazon

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Taking a twist on traditional design, this fixes the blade at a diagonal to deliver a sharper slice compared to the straight-on cut. Beards should fear and sensitive skin rejoice because “The Sledgehammer” (as it’s known) gave the closest shave of all yet left skin remarkably irritation-free.

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{6} Pall Mall Barbers Westminster Dotted Grip Butterfly: £45, Pall Mall Barbers

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Changing a blade on a safety razor can be a hairy experience. However, this employs an ingenious butterfly design where a simple twist of the grippy handle leads to an unfurling of the razor head, ready to pop a new blade in. No slips, no sweat, no trips to the first aid box.

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{7} Merkur Futur Adjustable: £55, amazon

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Straight out of Buck Roger’s wash bag this contemporary design looks great and even better, you can manually adjust blade length to suit your stubble. Best for more experienced users this is weighty and offers an aggressive shave. We love the 24k gold finish.

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{8} Parker 99R Heavy Duty Barberpole: £23, amazon

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If you’ve got hands like shovels you’re best off buying a razor with a longer handle to get added grip and control. There are plenty of options around but this, measuring in at 11cms, has all the performance at a more attractive price.

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{9} Kent KDSR4: £48, Kent Brushes

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Kent is another British brand with heritage and quality wares dating back to 1777. The imitation ivory handle exudes sophistication, not forgetting an ergonomic alternative to the chrome clan. There’s a good balance in the hand allowing you to leave its heavy head to do all the work. 

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{10} Jack Black Double Edge: £125, amazon

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This striking premium model from the German brand is admittedly pricey, but the build is outstanding (no blade bounce here), the shave is super-smooth and just think of the cash you’ll save compared to buying multi-bladed cartridges.

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Verdict: First timers really cannot go wrong with the Merkur 33C – it’s affordable, forgiving and not intimidating. However, whether a wet shave freshman or seasoned pro, the instrument you won’t can’t stop singing the praises of is the Edwin Jagger 3D Laser Diamond. It’s such a smooth shave from the sharpest-looking of the lot. The Muhle R89 is almost an identical offering and both ooze quality but the extra grip won us over.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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