Anyone who has shaved long enough understands that it takes some technique, experience, and patience to do the job right.
And the right tools.
Just as an accomplished artist would never use cheap brushes or paints, you shouldn’t use poor quality razors to shave your face and neck. Instead, let us tell you about the best razors on the market, including our top-ranked razor, the Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor
We’ll also give you buying and shaving tips and talk about the types of razors available. If you like a clean-shaven face – and we encourage you to try growing facial hair if you already haven’t – you need the right tools to do the job.
With our 7 best razors for men 2017 listed here, we’ll point you in the right direction.
- Before you buy: 5 things to consider before buying a men’s razor
- The 7 best razors for men 2017
- So, you want to use a razor? (Illustrated guide)
- So, you want to use a straight razor? (Illustrated guide)
- Choosing the best razors: The method to our madness
Before You Buy: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Men’s Razor
Before we jump into our reviews of the best razors, here are some things you should keep in mind before choosing a razor.
There are hundreds of razors to choose from, and television commercials bombard us with advertisements for razors. But knowledge, as always, is your best friend as you set out to choose a razor that fits you, your schedule, and lifestyle.
1. Type of razor
One of the common types of razors used by men is the double-edged safety razor. The blade, as the name suggests, is locked in a safe angle to expose only its very edge and designed to prevent nicks and cuts. Safety razors are easy to use, which makes them great for beginners, but are favored by experienced shavers, as well.
Perhaps the only disadvantage of safety razor is the “safety” part, i.e., the fact that the blade is locked at a restricted angle. This removes some of the user’s blade control, which can make it more difficult to shave around the angular parts of your face.
Another type of razor commonly used by men is the cartridge razor. You’re buying the razor and razor cartridges separately. Like anything, the quality of cartridge razors may vary greatly, but the best ones will give you a close shave without a ton of nicks and cuts. The disadvantage is that razor cartridges can cost a small fortune, especially if you buy them directly from a store.
The granddaddy – or great granddaddy – of all razors is the straight razor. A straight razor is a vintage tool with a centuries-old history but remains one of the most effective shaving tools today. Not many men use them, however, and handling a straight razor without wounding your face requires experience and finesse.
But, hey, shaving with a straight razor makes you a true bad-ass.
A true “disposable” razor is one in which the blade and handle are all one piece and is thrown away when the blades grow dull. You buy a bagful of them, and they don’t cost much. It’s an inexpensive, convenient way to shave – and great for travel – but you get what you pay for.
2. What is your routine?
If you’re like the majority of us and shave in the morning, you should carefully consider your routine before purchasing a razor. Are you usually in a hurry? A cartridge razor gets the job done quickly, while a safety or straight razor requires a little more time and concentration.
3. How sensitive is your skin?
If your skin is easily irritated, a safety razor is often a better bet than a multi-blade cartridge razor because multiple blades can remove too much skin. However, modern cartridge razors with built-in lubricating strips are more soothing.
4. Check the handle
The handle of a razor might be an afterthought to some, but keep in mind that the best razors have thick, textured handles to provide a secure grip. After all, the last thing you want is for your razor to slip and slide in and out of your hand while you’re running a blade over your skin.
The cost of razors varies widely with many $100-plus luxury razors out there. But while many of the best razors aren’t cheap, they’re also built to last and are a long-term investment.
The 7 Best Razors for Men 2017
So, here they are, the 7 best razors for men:
Make no mistake; the Merkur Futur is a man’s tool made to handle a man’s job.
And handle it well, at that.
Manufactured in Germany – the phrase “German craftsmanship” instantly comes to mind – the Futur is unlike any other razor in many ways. For one, it’s extremely versatile and able to take on any shaving job from mild to it’s-time-to-trim-the-forest.
It even looks different than other double-edge razors with a smooth, “satin” finish that’s worthy of the best razor in existence.
Furthermore, while adjustable razors seeming haven’t been around that long, Merkur started producing them in the 1980s. They’re hardly new to the game.
The Futur is all about adjustability thanks to six separate settings. If you’re looking for the least-aggressive shave possible with the Futur, you’ll set it to #1. But if you’re looking for an extremely aggressive shave (don’t apply a lot of pressure!) then #6 is for you.
Remember, the beauty of an adjustable razor with a multitude of settings is that you don’t have to run out and by a bunch of razors just to get the precise shave that you need. Instead, you get one razor for every job, period.
You get the idea: the Futur is a versatile, high-quality razor that has no peer. But let’s open the hood and take a closer look.
- Some safety razors, even the best ones, aren’t necessarily for beginners. If you’re a newbie, you can try those out, but there’s a learning curve that may result in a few nicks and cuts as you master the instrument. But the Futur is kind to neophytes and shaving pros alike, although we advise that you get a good feel for it before using the more aggressive settings.
- It’s heavier than most safety razors at 4.4 ounces. The weight allows you to get a close, clean shave without applying a lot of pressure. Its weight is well-balanced to give you superior control and maneuverability.
- It measures 4-inches long and has a longer handle that’s ideal for men with larger hands. The longer handle helps give you more control.
- The handle isn’t knurled, like many razors, but has an indentation near the top of it to provide you with a secure grip.
- While other razors use screws to keep their razors in place, the Futur uses a clip that makes it easy to load blades. All you have to do is lift the top plate, load the blade on either the base plate or top plate, and then pop it back into place.
- Multiple blade settings
- Weight is evenly distributed
- Matte-finish holds up well to wear and tear
- Bulkier head can be troublesome for shaving in the nose and lip areas
If you want to up your shaving game (and start shaving like a man), you can’t go wrong with the Merkur Futur. You can’t beat its versatility thanks to six adjustable settings while it’s excellent finish makes it a handsome addition to your grooming kit. It’s the best men’s razor available.
You’ve seen the commercials: “Gillette – The best a man can get.”
Even if you haven’t seen the commercials, however, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Gillette, which has been in the shaving business since, well, it seems like since cavemen quit shaving with a sharp stone.
But you get the idea. Gillette is a major name in the shaving game, and they haven’t been around this long and been a dominant player in the market for no reason. No, they have plenty of good stuff, and their Gillette Mach3 Turbo Men’s Razor is a prime example.
The Mach3 Turbo is the best disposable on the market – and there are plenty of contenders. Gillette consistently improves and upgrades its products, and the Mach3 is a somewhat newer addition to its line of razors that takes things to the next level.
What’s to like? Let us count the ways:
- The Mach3 Turbo gives you a closer shave without the irritation. Isn’t that what the shaving game is all about?
- The Mach3 Turbo has three blades positioned to cut hair closer. For every stroke you take, it takes three.
- It has sharper blades than most other disposables; blades that feel just as sharp after several shaves as they did during the first.
- The Mach3 Turbo includes micro fins which precede the blade and smooth out the skin and straighten your facial hairs before the blade passes over it. That’s kind of like holding the skin taut with your hand before running the razor over a particular spot on your face.
- It has a thin strip on top of the razor – called a Lubrastrip – that releases lubricants while you shave to soften hairs and to provide a smooth, gliding motion. The Lubrastrip fades to white after several uses, which is a good reminder to change the blade.
- It has a metal handle with rubber grips that prevent the razor from slipping in your hand.
- Women love the Mach3 Turbo as well.
- Triple-blade, anti-friction shaving
- Easy-to-grip handle
- Easy to clean
- More expensive than many disposables
It’s hard to go wrong with the Mach3 Turbo. It’s backed by years of innovative shaving technology, and it includes every feature you need to get a close, clean shave every time. Better yet, getting used to this razor takes almost no time at all.
We know you’re serious about your shaving. We applaud you for that, because it’s just another sign that you don’t mess around when it comes to grooming.
Then there are those men whose quest for a close shave takes them beyond the boundaries of others.
Those are the men who use the Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor.
First of all, a straight razor – that incomparable grooming tool that your great-grandfather used – is the most basic way to get the most sophisticated close shave, if that makes sense. Do you want a really close shave?
Then use a safety razor, particularly the Feather SS, which is top-of-the-line in its genre.
Here’s a look at some of the features we love:
- It’s billed as the ultimate replaceable blade shaving razor, and changing its blades is easy: just pinch the razor head and the blade pops out.
- The blades are sharp, sharp, and sharp. Then again, the Japanese are known for manufacturing the highest quality, sharpest blades you’ll find anywhere else in the world.
- The Feather SS stainless steel body is going to last you a long, long time because it’s heat-resistant and won’t be worn down by chemicals and other impurities.
- The silicon resin handle is as good as it gets. The resin has been engineered to be extremely heat-resistant (up to 275-degrees Fahrenheit), but most importantly you get a superior grip that fits comfortably in your hand.
- The blade head is spring-mounted and makes it easy to change the blade.
- It comes in a smooth, matte black finish that looks great.
- The rounded shaving head provides optimal blade exposure and delivers a smooth and soft shaving experience every time you use it.
- While straight razors aren’t for the faint-of-heart, or anyone new to the shaving game, the Feather SS provides the kind of control and grip that get you up to speed in a hurry. Just take your time, let the razor do most of the work, and you’ll be amazed at the closeness of your shave.
- The Feather SS is easy to clean; in fact, all you need to do is place it in boiling water.
- Resin, heat-resistant handle
- Easy to replace blades
- Rounded shaving head for superior control and comfort
- Sharpness of the blades requires caution and patience
The Feather SS, put simply, is a premier straight razor and grooming tool. Everything about it alludes to fine craftsmanship, and it’s user-friendly in every sense.
OK, let’s welcome back our friends from Gillette and introduce another of their great products – the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power Men’s Razor.
Like their Mach3 Turbo, which is at the top of its class among disposable razors, Gillette also leads the way in the cartridge category with their Fusion ProGlide.
The ProGlide comes with plenty of bells and whistles while providing a superb shave. For the money, it’s hard to beat this razor.
Let’s get started with our ProGlide review by talking about its go-technology. And that would be the Flexball technology, a feature that allows the blades to adjust to the contours of your face while providing a clean shave without nicks and cuts.
The Fusion ProGlide also gives users the option of using battery power and comes with a microchip to provides you with a consistent shave every time you put the blades on your face. Some users prefer the battery option, and others don’t, but we’ll leave that entirely up to you.
Just a quick note: the battery provides vibrations – or micro pulses – that are designed to give you a closer shave by reducing friction and increasing glide. The microchip turns the battery off automatically after eight minutes of use – the reason being that your battery won’t die if it’s accidentally turned on in your grooming kit or travel bag.
Reviewers also like that the battery provides consistent energy throughout its life, i.e., you won’t get more powerful vibrations at the beginning of the battery’s life than you will at the end.
But let’s get on to some of the Fusion ProGlide’s other features.
- The ProGlide’s blades come with Gillette’s most advanced coating. When used with FlexBall Technology, they’re even more effective than they are with regular ProGlide razors. They’re thinner, finer blades that reduce tugging and pulling.
- The razor includes a micro comb that guides stubble into the blades.
- People who use the ProGlide Fusion on a regular basis like how it produces little or no irritation in the neck area, especially when compared to other razors.
- It comes with five blades and a blade for edging.
- It also has an enhanced lubrastrip to provide an even smoother glide.
- With it micro pulse capabilities and thin, fine blades, the ProGlide Fusion is excellent for use on sensitive skin.
- FlexBall Technology
- Superior blades
- Great on sensitive skin
- Replacement blades are pricey
If cartridge razors are your game, you won’t go wrong by choosing the Gillette ProGlide Fusion. It’s innovative and takes advantage of the latest technology to produce a superb shaving experience.
Schick doesn’t hold anything back when it comes to it Hydro 5 Power Select disposable razor.
Do you like a razor that has the option of battery power?
How about a razor with a variety of settings?
Or, a razor that comes with a gel reservoir?
All you need to do is toss in some high-quality blades with skin guards and a flip trimmer – like Schick does – and you have a razor that can handle anything.
Schick is another company that’s been in the shaving and razor game a long time (since 1926 to be exact), and they know a few things about manufacturing products that will give men a consistently close shave.
The Hydro 5 is one of Schick’s more recent innovations and, as mentioned, it has plenty of unique gadgets. Most importantly, it answers the bell where it matters most, i.e., when you’re standing in front of a mirror, razor in hand.
The “5” in the Hydro’s name comes from its five blades that make for a super close shave and are great for those with extra-sensitive skin or who are prone to shaving bumps. You’ll get a faster shave, as well, because you don’t need to make as many short strokes but can get by with longer strokes instead.
Skin guards placed at the top of each blade are designed to reduce friction
The gel reservoir takes lubrication a step further than traditional lube strips and Schick claims that it cuts down on friction by 40%. The reservoir also is designed to hydrate your face up to one hour after shaving.
There’s also a redesigned guard bar on the Schick Hydro 5 that stretches the skin to provide an even smoother shave.
The flip trimmer is also a great addition as it offers a unique design that allows you to reach those hard-to-trim places. All it takes is a flip of your thumb to switch to trimmer mode.
Finally, the Hydro 5 comes with an ergonomically-designed handle that’s easy to grip (and also disposable).
- Great for sensitive skin
- Flip trimmer for hard-to-reach areas
- Maximum lubrication
- The blades get dull faster than some other blades.
You won’t regret your decision if you choose the Schick Hydro 5. It has a lot of unique features that contribute to a quality shave, and you’ll really love this razor if you’re a man with sensitive skin.
Ah, Merkur. So many choices, so little time.
A company that warrants praise in multiple product reviews must be doing something right. Indeed, Merkur has our top-rated razor (the Merkur Futur) but its 34C HD Classic Double Edge Safety Razor is pretty damn good, too.
For one, if you’re a newcomer to safety razor use, the 34C HD has you covered because of its ease of use. Secondly, it’s great for sensitive skin because it’s not overly aggressive – another reason why it’s good for safety razor newbies.
Another reason to consider adding the Merkur 34C HD (the HD stands for Heavy Duty) to your grooming arsenal is that it’s affordable. You’ll get a good quality razor without taking a direct hit to your budget. No, it’s not cheap, but you’ll find a lot worse razors within its price range.
Here’s a closer look at some of the 34C HD’s features:
- It’s a two-piece razor (not adjustable) that comes with one blade
- It has a classy chrome-plated finish that meets the high standards of Merkur craftsmanship
- The Merkur 34C HD is lighter than a lot of razors and easy to handle
- It has a consistent blade alignment which is, again, a plus for you gents with sensitive skin
- The two-piece design makes it easy to clean and easier to adjust the blade.
- Versatility is a strength because it’s great for beginning shavers and veterans alike.
- While considered “mild” on the aggressiveness scale, you can pair it with a sharp blade to easily handle thicker facial hair growth
- The handle has a knurling pattern that provides a great grip
- Great for sensitive skin
- Superb Merkur craftsmanship
- Two-piece design is easy to assemble and clean
- You may prefer a more aggressive razor if you have very coarse facial hair
A great razor for beginners and experts alike, the Merkur 34C HD comes at a good price for the level of craftsmanship. And you’ll get a clean shave without worrying about the agony of nicks and cuts.
You may not know a lot about Dorco, a South Korean company that’s cranking out some very nice shaving products.
Then again, you probably know about them indirectly.
Dorco is the blade supplier for the Dollar Shave Club, which has made a huge splash in the shaving world the past few years. Let’s face it – who hasn’t heard of the Dollar Shave Club?
But Dorco has its own line of razors, too, including the unique Pace 6 Plus – the world’s first six-blade shaving tool.
Six blades? Yep, it’s true, and the theory is the more blades the fewer passes you need to make with the razor over your face. The Pace 6 Plus offers you a close shave in less time, which isn’t too shabby at all.
Moreover, the Dorco’s Pace 6 Plus is very affordable, plus you can get 10 refills and a handle for only $20. Compare that with the typical price of three or five cartridges at the local supermarket.
But there’s a lot more to like:
- It has a tilting head that increases your precision over every contour of your face while decreasing nicks, cuts, and other irritations.
- It comes with a lubricating strip that includes aloe, vitamin E, and lavender oil.
- It’s easy to clean and rinse thanks to its open flow cartridge that reduces corrosion while increasing the life of the blade.
- The Dorco Pace 6 Plus comes with a 100% guarantee. If there’s something wrong with your razor, the folks at Dorco will make it right.
- The Pace 6 Plus package comes with a quality handle that has a rubber grip.
- It has an ergonomic design that makes it easy to maneuver and glide across your face.
- It also comes with a trimmer that makes it easy to fine-turn mustaches and sideburns.
- One-of-a-kind six-blade design
- Ergonomic design
- Has a solid feel to it
- You need to make multiple passes to shave coarser hair
The world’s first six-blade razor is much more than a novelty item. There’s a lot to like about the Dorco Pace 6 Plus, including that it’s made by a company that quietly – or not so quietly – has made huge inroads into the shaving game.
So, You Want to Use a Razor?
This is the part where we give you tips on how to shave and, no, it’s not as simple as it sounds (or looks).
We’ve talked about several razors – both here and in past articles – that take a bit more touch than others and require at least some shaving experience. For now, however, we just want to cover the basics of using a razor and help you get a flawless shave – no cuts, no nicks, no errors.
1. Wet your facial hair
Wetting your whiskers is a must if you’re seeking an irritation-free shave. Your best bet is to shave after your shower, when your facial hairs are soft and moistened, or after you apply warm water to your face in another way, such as with a wet towel.
Shaving a dry face is just asking for trouble.
2. Use shave cream, preferably a quality shave cream
Your shave cream provides the lubrication that you must have to get a clean shave. Quality shave creams form a rich, creamy lather and have less foaming action than less expensive brands. Foam is more for show, because what’s directly on your skin and whiskers is what matters most.
Shave cream also locks in moisture to keep your facial hair soft and ready for the cut.
3. The shaving brush: To use or not to use
Many shaving experts recommend that you use a shaving brush to apply shaving cream on your face. It’s an old-time tool (perhaps your grandfather used one) that’s highly effective because:
- It helps raise your hair follicles, making them easier to cut.
- It enables you to create a rich, creamy lather that’s hard to achieve with your hands.
- It also removes dead skin cells to lessen the likelihood of razor bumps and other blemishes.
Use a circular motion with a slightly upward stroke when applying shave cream with a brush.
4. Use a quality razor and blade
No need to spend a lot of time explaining this since we’ve covered the best razors on the market and what they add to your shaving experience. Just make sure that your blade is always sharp and change blades as soon as they become dull.
5. Gentlemen, start your razors
When it comes to putting your blade to your face, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Shave in the direction of your beard growth and not “against the grain.” Shaving in the opposite direction as your hair growth increases your chances of self-inflicted nicks and cuts, as well as your chances of developing ingrown hairs.
- Start with the sides of your face and then work your way to the mustache area, before finishing at your chin. Your chin hairs should always go last because they’re tougher than other hair follicles and benefit by a little extra time spent under a blanket of shave cream.
- Be gentle. High-quality razors are more “aggressive” than cheaper ones, meaning that you don’t have to apply as much pressure to get a close shave. “Let the blade do the work” is always sound advice.
6. Rinse it
Rinsing your face with warm water after you shave is always a good idea, but you also may want to apply a facial wash for further cleansing. Finally, apply cool water to soothe your face and pat dry (don’t rub) your face.
So, You Want to Use a Straight Razor?
Since shaving with a straight razor is a whole lot different compared to shaving with other types of razors, click here for the illustrated guide on how to shave with a straight razor.
Choosing the Best Razors: The Method to Our Madness
Coming up with of our final selections for the best razors for men took a combination of research, personal experience, and heeding the words of others who’ve also used these razors. There are countless other razors on the market we could’ve tried, but we don’t have the resources to get to them all.
We like our top 7, however. And we think you will, too.
That wraps up our review of the best razor for men for this year. As always, we’d love to hear from you, whether it’s your opinion on the razors we’ve chosen here, your experience with using them, or other razors that you think warrant attention.
Until next time, my friends.