This guide was written to try and cover everything you will need to know when jumping in to shaving with a double edge razor.
Switching from a disposable cartridge razor to a double edge razor is a relatively straight forward experience. The techniques used have a few small yet important differences, and because the razor will last many years looking after it is important.
Different Types of Double Edge Razor
Firstly, there are three general types of double edge razors - one-piece (or butterfly), two piece, and three piece design. One-piece razors have a butterfly style mechanical latch which allows access to the removal and installation of a new blade without pulling the entire razor apart. Depending on what style of razor you have changes the method in which you load a razor blade slightly.
How to Load a Razor Blade
Loading a razor blade is extremely easy but there are a couple of key points to look out for.
This video below gives a great introduction into just how easy it is to load a blade into a two-piece double edge razor:
Loading a blade
Remember - if there is any looseness in the razor then make sure you adjust the skew of the blade to ensure it is even along the blade and even on both sides of the razor. Loading a blade into a butterfly razor is just as simple - but it may have a single flat piece of metal to position the blade instead of the three-prong design.
How to Prepare Your Face
You should prepare your face in a similar way whether you are using a disposable razor, a double edge, shavette, cut throat razor or any other variety. This guarantees that your facial hairs are soft, and there is sufficient lubrication to prevent cuts and razor burn.
Too late? Already nicked yourself? Check out How to stop shaving cut from bleeding.
Soften your facial hair
Hold a hot towel on your face or have a shower. This will soften your facial hair and remove any dirt and oils from the day.
Shop Shaving Soap
Apply a lather
A good quality shaving soap will help to lubricate your face and soften your hair. Application with a badger haired brush will also align your hairs and improve your shave.
Double Edge Razor
The techniques used with a double edge razor is very similar to how you are probably already shaving with a disposable cartridge razor. The key lesson to learn is the angle of the razor - target 30 degrees. Don't apply too much pressure - use the sharpness of the razor blade to do the cutting, not just applying more pressure. If you start missing hairs or the closeness of the shave reduces leaving prickly skin behind then change out the razor blade. Don't keep using a blunt blade and just doing more and more passes. The less passes the better in terms of irritation to your skin.
Start shaving with the grain - this means from top to bottom. If you are unhappy with how smooth this shave gives then do a second pass against the grain from bottom to top. The first pass will make this significantly easier and will reduce the likelihood of getting ingrown hairs.
A good quality double edge razor will last for many years and will continue to give you a better shave as long as you maintain it. The main culprit responsible for razor damage is rust and corrosion. Even stainless steel razors and still stain 'less' not stain free. Keep your razor dry - this can a difficult task in the wet and humid environment of a bathroom. We recommend drying your razor after each use and keeping it away from the potential for getting in contact with moisture. The other important factor is storage to avoid your razor getting damaged from cats or kids. Some options include:
Popular Brands of Double Edge Razors
There are plenty of great manufacturers of double edge razors available... however there are also plenty of terrible ones. We strive to only stock quality suppliers so that our customers never have to worry about quality. Our recommended brands of double edge razors include:
If you have any recommendations from personal experience then please leave a comment at the bottom
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Razor blades come in different materials from platinum to stainless to chrome. They also have different sharpness straight out of the packet. Have a look at the table below to see different brand's razor blade sharpness.
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.
We have put together this list of razor blade brands and their sharpness below:
- Astra Superior Platinum – Super Sharp
- BIC Chrome Platinum – Super Sharp
- Feather Hi-Stainless – Super Sharp
- Wilkinson Sword – Very Sharp
- Lord Super Chrome – Very Sharp
- Persona Platinum – Sharp
- Gillette Super Stainless – Sharp
- Merkur Platinum – Moderate
- Derby Extra - Smooth
- Shark Super Stainless – Super Smooth
Always start shaving with the grain – this means from the top of the face towards the chin. This will remove the bulk of the hair and is the least likely to hurt sensitive skin. After one pass with the grain then you can do another pass against the grain to get a smoother finish.
This really comes down to personal preference. Soap pucks are cheaper and last longer but take longer to build into a lather and a thinner lather. Shaving cream is more expensive but builds into a thick, long-lasting lather. I personally prefer shaving creams. One of the fun parts of wet shaving is trying different soaps and finding the best for your razor and skin type.
The magic angle is 30 degrees as this provides sufficient angle for the blade to run across the skin. This can be different for different razor designs and types. We recommend starting at 30 degrees and adjusting slightly based on your experience and results.
Double edge razors are extremely similar in technique to disposable cartridge razors, and hence they only take 3-5 shaves to learn how to use. Trying out different shaving soaps, creams, razor blades, and pre-shave oils can take several months to find the ideal product for your personnel preference.
Alum is an antiseptic that stops nicks and cuts from continuing to bleed. This is particularly handy for beginners to wet shaving who are likely to get small cuts as they practice shaving with a new technique. Alum is also very useful when shaving because the wet face allows the blood to run.
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.
Get started with our best double edge razors
Safety Razor Kit / Gift SetRegular price $96.00Regular priceUnit price perNEW
Merkur 34C Double Edge (DE) Safety RazorRegular price $44.00Regular priceUnit price per
Merkur 'Futur' Double Edge RazorRegular price $90.00Regular priceUnit price perSold out
Roche R1 Safety Razor - Gun MetalRegular price $28.00Regular priceUnit price perSold out
Conclusion - Phew!
That is everything. All in one place. If you are interested in getting started wet shaving then check out the Cut Throat Club's product range.
We would love to get your input on any differences of opinion you have or other lessons you have learned that new beginners would value - Please leave a comment below.
Hi Arthur, it really depends on the razor material. If it is a chrome or stainless steel then it is much less likely to rust. If it is a carbon steel material then you might want to use the stand as a display tool but then store it in a dryer environment for longer term storage.
I note you recommend storing your razor to prevent rust. Are the razor stands just meant to only assist during the shave? I’ve always liked the idea in investing in a countertop shave stand as it looks great in the bathroom… perhaps that’s not wise?