Best Safety Razor for Men in the UK 2017

How to get the perfect smooth shave everyday with a Double Edged Safety Razor and a high quality shaving cream...

Men in the UK have been shaving with safety razors for years. They have of course been replaced in popularity with the electric razor which is simply quicker, less hassle and more convenient.

Yet, there is something about a wet shave that says, "This feels REAL good." In this article we review the best safety razors that are available in the UK marketplace.

I guess in many ways, it is man's way of allowing himself a little time out to just look good and feel good.The big problem is there are so many razors out there that it can get really confusing, and quite honestly, many of them are cheap junk.

There simply is nothing that can compete with a traditional shave, and finding the best safety razor can make all the difference between a close, smooth, shave and a face covered in hacks and cuts.

Therefore we here at the Shaving Emporium have put together a list of the best safety razors that are currently on the market and available to buy in the United Kingdom.

This is a long and detailed article, and we know some readers will be in a hurry, and not have time to read the full article. So if you just want a quick decision, then we would recommend the Jagen David ® B40, currently available at Amazon UK.

This is from a London company, comes in a beautiful gift box and also comes with a razor stand. This makes a great gift.

Best Safety Razor Comparison Table - Top 20 Safety Razors

The ratings shown in the table are based on the average ratings given by online buyers. On there they rate their products, and we have then assembled those in percentage terms, all scored out of 100%. To make life easier, we have only included razors with a buyer satisfaction rating of 90% or more.

Prices change all the time, so we have used Recommended Retail Prices (RRP). Usually though, there are discounts available online, as you will see in our reviews under the table.

You can sort this table, to get the best preference for you, be that razor ratings or razor prices. We have sorted the list by those that sell really well, and also have the highest buyer ratings. Hopefully that makes life a little bit easier.

Safety Razor NameImageAverage RRPOnline Buyer RatingBrief Description
Jagen David ® E01 - Double Edge Razor Safety RazorJagen David ® E01 - Double Edge Razor Safety Razor£18.9992%Closed comb head
Comes with travel case
9 cm long
Jagen David ® B40 - Butterfly Double Edge Razor Safetyunique shaving christmas gift idea£39.9996%11.5 cm long
Fits all standard DE razor blades
Edwin Jagger DE89L Lined Detail Chrome Plated Doubleedwin jagger DE89Lbl lined detail safety razor£24.0090%Chrome handle with lined pattern
Made in Sheffield
Two part head
Muhle R89 Closed Comb Safety RazorMuhle R89 Closed Comb Safety Razor£31.5093%9 cm long
Great Beginner Choice
Parker 99R Heavy Duty BarberpoleParker 99R Heavy Duty Barberpole with Butterfly Opening and Chrome Plated Finish£26.9990%All metal construction
Twist to open
11 cm long
Merkur 23C Long Handle Safety RazorMerkur 23C DE Safety Razor£26.9594%4" long knurled handle
Weighs 5.9 grams
Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Safety Razormerkur 34c review£31.0396%75 mm long
Popular Choice
Jagen David ® E02 - Black Double Edge Razor£7.9992%11 cm long
Hard plastic handle
Fits all standard DE blades
Jagen David ® L5 - Elegant Extra Long Double Edge RazorJagen David L5 - Elegant Extra Long Double Edge Razor£29.9992%1.5 cm long
30 day money back guarantee
Gift Boxed
Merkur 33C Classic Safety RazorMerkur 33C Classic Safety Razor£22.8792%Knurled Handle
65 mm long
Nice balance

Jagen David ® E01 - Double Edge Razor Safety Razor Review

92%
Buyer Satisfaction

This one sells the most online. That is down to the popular brand name, and the lower than usual price for a high quality DE safety razor.

  • 9 cm long
  • Closed comb DE head
  • Comes with a nice travel case
  • This is a nice razor, that shaves really close on a first pass
  • It has been well made from good quality materials
  • No need to worry about nicks when using this one

PROS

  • Very well priced for good quality
  • Fits any standard DE safety razor blade
  • An excellent razor for a close to budget price
  • A very high 92% buyer satisfaction rating

CONS

  • The handle can be a little slippy when wet
  • The travel case is nice, but has a soft lining, not ideal for a wet razor

Jagen David ® B40 - Butterfly Double Edge Razor Safety Review

96%
Buyer Satisfaction

This Is the one that we would recommend to most buyers, as it is just one of the best out there, and gets consistently high buyer online ratings, time after time.

  • This is a butterfly double edged safety razor
  • Comes with stand which is a very nice added bonus, and something you don't get with most other razors
  • Comes with a high quality travel case
  • The razor has a long handle (11 cm) and that makes this one a good choice for men with larger hands
  • There is a nice weight in this razor, and that means you let the weight of the razor do the shaving, rather than having to press down on it.

PROS

  • A very good starter or beginner DE razor
  • Solid value for your money, as it is top notch quality, but still at a sensible price
  • The case is really handy and ideal for weekends away
  • Buyers really liked the balance of this when having a shave

CONS

  • A small number of buyers said the handle was still too small for them

Edwin Jagger D89L - Best Safety Razor for Beginners

90%
Buyer Satisfaction

The Edwin Jagger D89 is one of the best selling quality safety razors available today.

It gets outstanding reviews and is well priced and you should be able to get this one for under £24.

As many of my colleagues here will testify, this one will probably give you the best shave you have ever experienced in your lifetime.

This one is perfect for beginners. When you use it at first, you may even experience a tingling or light burning in the face. Do not be alarmed as that is simply because you have never had such a close shave.

Once your skin adjusts to this, then you will fully understand the beauty of a close shave done properly. You will often here this type of shaving referred to as "DE Shaving".

That simply stands for double edge.This razor has a beautiful balance and is well priced. The team here really liked this one and many of them use it daily. Like any safety razor it will take just a little practise, but once you get the hang of it, you will never turn back. They are made in Sheffield in England and Jagger were established in 1988.

If you would like to read more about what type of razors to buy when starting out, then check my detailed page about safety razors for beginners.

Muhle R89 Closed Comb Safety Razor Review

93%
Buyer Satisfaction

It is clear from reading so many online reviews, that many buyers really like this German bases Muhle brand. There is no doubt, that they do make high end quality shaving products. This is a very popular one, and a really nice looking classical style DE razor.

  • This is a very classical looking shaver, that has a beautiful mirror finish to it, very stand out from the crowd style, we think
  • Buyers state that this one offers the most protection when shaving, so ideal for anyone with sensitive or spotty skin, that can easily get damaged
  • It has a 7 cm handle length, with the total length being 9 cm and weighs around 65 grams

PROS

  • A nice heavy weight and really well engineered
  • Holds the razor blades nice and tight
  • Gives a close comfortable and we would say mild shave
  • Buyers said it was like having a shave at the barbers, and just a great feeling.

CONS

  • The blade changing system on this one is slightly more complicated, and tricky at first

Parker 99R Heavy Duty Barberpole with Butterfly Opening Review

90%
Buyer Satisfaction

The Parker brand make a number of safety razors, but this is their best selling one. Those who buy it, like it a lot, and as the name would suggest, this is a heavy razor.

  • It has a twist to open mechanism and that does make changing the blades very fast and very easy to do.
  • It is an all metal construction that has been chrome plated to give it a nice shine.
  • It uses a barber pole pattern on the handle for an improved grip, and also where it gets its name from

PROS

  • It measures 11 cm and weighs 100 grams so makes for an easy shave, and a nice balance in the hand
  • The chrome plating makes this one highly resistant to rust from damper bathroom conditions
  • Gives a mild but not an aggressive shave
  • For us here at the Emporium, we would recommend this a starter razor, and not one for experienced DE shavers

CONS

  • A few buyers complained about the butterfly opening starting to stick after a few months
  • Some buyers said it did not shave as close as they like

Merkur 23C Long Handle Safety Razor Review

94%
Buyer Satisfaction

This 23C model from Merkur has been around for a long time. Over that period it has always received very good reviews, as you can see from a 94% buyer satisfaction rating.

  • It has a long 4" handle and this one is a very light razor weighing only 5.9 grams
  • It has a knurled handle, and the way it has been designed, ensures you have a solid grip on the handle
  • I personally own this one, and it does give a very good shave, and offers great movement, and passes gently over the bristles and skin for a smooth shave.

PROS

  • Buyers say they love the length of this one, and that it fits really nicely into the hand, allowing you great control over the shaving motion - buyers said they felt safe using this one, as low risk from nicks or cuts
  • The chrome plating makes this one highly resistant to rust from damper bathroom conditions
  • A good choice for people with larger hands

CONS

  • Hard to find any real complaints with this one, other than a couple of buyers just not liking the razor, they didn't really offer a specific reason

Merkur 34C Heavy Duty Safety Razor Review

96%
Buyer Satisfaction

When you see a 96% buyer satisfaction rating, we really don't need to tell you how good this one is. The reason it doesn't sell more is that it does have the higher end price point.

  • It is classic German quality with a perfect looking knurled handle, and the handle is 75 mm (3" long) and it weighs 100 grams (just under 4 ounces)
  • This is also a great choice for beginners to safety razor shaving

PROS

  • The 2 piece handle makes blade changing pretty quick
  • A little bit expensive to buy, but you quickly save your money, as the blades for these are so cheap compared to the cartridge style razors
  • The handle is short so a good choice for guys with smaller to medium sized hands

CONS

  • Some buyers, though not many, said the shave was not close enough

Jagen David ® E02 - Black Double Edge Razor Safety Razor Review

92%
Buyer Satisfaction

This is by quite a distance the cheapest DE razor on the list. Primarily that comes down to the fact that this one has a hard plastic handle, unlike all of the others which are metal and knurled for a good grip. It is however one to consider if you are dithering and wonder if you will like wet shaving with this type of razor.

  • This would never be my go to DE razor, but for anyone thinking about giving wet shaving a whirl, then this is worth the experiment price
  • It has an 11 cm long hard plastic handle, which is ridges so it should grip OK, though we have not used this one.
  • Easy to change blades

PROS

  • Great for anyone thinking about giving wet shaving a try and don't want to spend £20+ on a safety razor
  • Those who bought it said that it gave a good shave and it was closer than a cartridge style shave
  • This is a good budget option

CONS

  • Not a lot of complaints, but those we did read were about the plastic handle, which they didn't like

Jagen David ® L5 - Elegant Extra Long Double Edge Razor Review

92%
Buyer Satisfaction

Another one here from Jagen David and again this one does well when it comes to buyer ratings. This one is extra long so aimed at those guys with larger hands or long fingers.

  • The shape and style on this one is really different, and almost has a "pen" style look which makes it different
  • It has an 11.5 cm handle and that is ideal for larger hands and fingers as I have mentioned
  • Easy to change blades

PROS

  • It has a screw top opening so takes a little bit longer to change the blades, but not a long process
  • Those who bought it said that it had a nice weight and a really nice balance
  • This is a another good budget option at the lower end of the price point

CONS

  • Not a lot of complaints, but again some people just didn't like it, and failed to give a reason why.

Merkur 33C Classic Safety Razor Review

92%
Buyer Satisfaction

We finish here with a Merkur, and this 33C model is another razor that has been out for a very long time, and sells consistently well.

  • This one does give a very close shave
  • It is at the lower to mid point price range, and Merkur do make very high quality razors
  • Probably one of the best balanced shavers out there

PROS

  • It is a high quality and well engineered razor with a delightful balance
  • Almost every buyer said that there was a very low risk from nicks and cuts
  • It is a short handle and that may not suit some, but most buyers thought it worked really well for them

CONS

  • A few buyers said the handle was too thin

Brief History of Safety Razors

I remember watching my Grandad using a safety razor and was quite fascinated by it all at a very early age. It was probably the lather that actually caught my interest, but then he used to swivel the handle, change blades and then actually shave. I couldn't wait for the day when the first stubble would appear on my chin, and I could get to shave.

In days gone past men used to shave with shells, then copper razors and some used bone. Wet shaving came long before dry shaving which only really emerged with the electric razor. To have a wet shave you can use a straight blade razor (cut-throat), and different types of safety razor. These include double edged, single edged, cartridge, injector and the most common which is disposable razors.

Safety razors were first invented back in the early nineteenth Century (around 1880) by two brothers Otto and Fredrik Kampfe in New York. This was the first single edge safety razor, and then a man with a rather strange name, called King Camp Gilette dominated the world of razors when he invented the double edge razor. This is simply a razor blade with two edges exposed, that is attached to a frame, and has a handle. Nowadays the world of shaving certainly is familiar with the name Gillette.

The video below takes you through exactly what a safety razor is, and how it can make shaving an enjoyable experience, rather than a chore. Many disposable razors that we would all be familiar with are technically also safety razors, simply because of their protective design.

However it is I think, the memories of our Dads or Grandads, that makes us realise the quality that is brought, by the antique looking design of what we would term, "a REAL safety razor."

What Is So Good About Using A Safety Razor?

The really simple answer to that it is that it is much cheaper. Investing in a good quality safety razor costs about £15-20 and all you need after that are some razor blades, and shaving cream. More important we think, is that you get a proper close shave, and one that is so much better than any electric shaver can deliver.

Barbers, who are well trained will use a straight blade, and that remains the ultimate close shave. However an open blade needs careful handling, and with a safety razor, you get the safety, but you also get a very close cut. 

If for no other reason, we think here at the Shaving Emporium that having a safety razor in your bathroom, just happens to look great. Just picture your bathroom with your top of the range safety razor, hanging on an eloquent razor stand. Even better if it perched neatly beside your shaving brush and bowl


Best Safety Razor Buying Guide

For many men, it is simply the actual look and style of the safety razor that catches the eye. A Parker  brand razor will look different to a Merkur brand, which is different to an Edwin Jagger and so on. As long as the other features meet your needs, then for us it really then comes down to how much you want to spend, and what the razor actually looks like. Let's have a look at the features you should be aware of.

The Weight and Balance In your Hand

Two things happen here that not many people realise but they are important. These are the overall weight of the razor and the length of the handle. When properly using a safety razor, it is the natural weight of the blade that will do the actual shaving. You should never need to scrape this type of razor across your face as the natural balance and weight should do that for you. It should feel like a gliding motion.

The length of the razor handle is what then gives the balance in all of this movement. A useful way to remember this is that the heavier a razor is, then the handle should be long enough to add balance for the perfect shave. Personally we would recommend that you avoid what are often referred to as "stubby razors."

The Component Parts

Usually these are the handle, the bar and the plate. Many razors can be broken down to these parts and are similar in design to the ones my Grandfather would have used. Some break down into two parts and some simply open up by twisting the handle at the bottom, to allow you to change the blade. In truth the design has little or no impact on the performance, but some people just like to be able to take the razor apart. (We have a few of those who work on this site)

The Safety Razor Bar

There are two types which are flat and slanted. The slanted is what the professionals will use, and perfect for men who have thicker facial hair. The flat bar will give a smoother shave and are also perfect when starting out to use a safety razor.

The Comb

This is the actually safety element and again like the bar there are two types. There is an open comb and a closed comb. Closed combs tend to be quite aggressive and open combs are a lot smoother and better for sensitive skin. Personally we would recommend closed combs unless your facial hair has very heavy growth.

How to Use Your Safety Razor

I have attached a video below that shows exactly how a safety razor should be used. Even if you have used one before, this video is worth a watch, because many guys do not use these the right way.

So there you go folks. That is a pretty comprehensive look, at the best safety razors currently available on the UK marketplace. If you are new to this type of shaving, then good luck, and we believe you will be very impressed, and save yourself a ton of money.

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