I have a ton of notes about the Henson DE safety razor (Product Page). Enough to make this a very long blog post. As much as I’d probably enjoy writing a longer, word vomit adjacent post about this razor, I’m not going to do that to my time or yours. This will be more mini review.
The website for the Henson DE, linked above, has all the fun information and details. It’s also accurate and not pure marketing or advertising speak. It’s definitely worth reviewing. Strange, I know.
The key info I can say about this razor is that…
Yes, it’s well made. Yes, it will not clog unless you’re actually trying. Yes, you won’t carve yourself apart. Yes, it cuts through any hairs well. Yes, the aluminum makes it feel fragile even if it’s not at all fragile.
During my time with this razor I’ve shaved all but my eyebrows without problem and in many cases had an easier time shaving with the Henson. I’ve gotten better results than I’ve had with other razors too. If you shave regularly, this is a great razor worthy of consideration. Like “start here” levels of consideration.
This razor ended up displacing my “general razor” needs completely and managed to displace one of the two Above the Tie razors I’ve used for years and adore. I wasn’t looking for a replacement and I got one anyhow. I was actually looking for a less aggressive razor that would let me shave my head without needing a mirror or soap and without clogging up given I’m lazy about shaving my head.
The razor feels like nothing as you shave and short of shaving hair that’s far too long for a razor, it won’t grab or feel like it’s getting caught in your hair. It also takes a bit to clog – like not rinsing the head – and even then, it’s minimal effort to unclog. As a test of its aggressiveness, I put a Rapira blade in it to increase the aggressiveness and it still felt like nothing. Coming from a highly aggressive razor to the Henson was a bit of a shock and adjustment.
I have talked with a few folk that are male and have thicker beards and own this razor. Each has stated the Henson is a great razor that they will likely keep forever. This is a glow=ing endorsement. Their beards require very aggressive shave setups and any razor that’s not going to be a scary shave (ie. blood bath of nics and cuts) is pretty useless for them. The fact the Henson feels mild and can work when the most aggressive shaves are desired tells a story on it’s own.
There are only 2 negatives I’ve heard from folk and I agree with both. However, I’ve found both to be non-issues over time. The first is the weight and material. Aluminum takes away the heft and also makes the handle threads feel fragile. The threads are fine and the lack of heft just feels strange given very few “light” products are quality. This razor is a quality, durable razor despite any notions we may have based on the weight and material selection. The second is they don’t offer a short handle for the razor (as of this writing). Folk I know that prefer short handles have been able to adjust to the Henson but if you require a short handle (not you don’t wanna adjust, like a very real need that makes life problematic when shopping razors)… I’d recommend looking elsewhere if they don’t offer a short handle at some point.
There is one potentially confusing item on the main Henson site that deserves attention: there is an “aggressive” form of the razor with a slightly different blade gap compared to the standard option. Nobody I know went with the aggressive model. It shouldn’t be needed unless you’re covered in hair across your body. Even then, I would hazard saying it’s not strictly necessary. I know I might benefit from the aggressive form to allow “one pass” shaves but I actually prefer “2 pass” shaves (they are closer for me) so the aggressive is not needed. Please consider this when purchasing if you’ve historically used highly aggressive razors.
I could go on at length but instead I’m going to stop here.
All of the key details about the razor are on the Henson site and the site is accurate.