A disclosure. Why? Because I want to be 100% clear.
- I am NOT a paid shill
- I was NOT given products for review
- I sought the products listed here on my own
While digging through the world of Safety Razors I noticed that there were a few Single Edge offerings available. Per usual, I couldn't resist and detoured in my research a little to find out more about Single Edge Safety Razors and the blades they use.
Turns out you can buy a straight razor that has a replacable blade. No more strops (leather honing strap) and hand honing razor blades. You pop in a single edged blade that's ultra sharp and that's it. Straight razors are intimidating by default and having a replacable blade makes them a lot more scary to me.
Safety Razor Reenvisioning
These replacable blades have been adapted for Safety Razors. 'Single Edge' just means it uses a straight razor style blade instead of the usual Double Edge offerings.
Phrased a little different: you can buy a 'Safety Razor' that uses the same blades that a 'Straight Razor' would normally use.
That's impressive and scary all at the same time. You can get what is regarded as the 'best' shave possible but using a handle and head that are far more forgiving for nics, custs and blood loss.
After thinking about this style of razor for a day or two, I broke down and added one to my 'at home' collection. I keep a razor in the shower for lazy days and whenever I decide I'd rather be closer to smooth, hairless ape than hairy human.
I purchased an Above the Tie (link) aluminum Bamboo handle, aluminum single edge top cap and Stainless SE2 base plate. The setup is the picture at the beginning of this post.
When I received the razor I had a mini panic attack. This is aggressive looking and scary looking. It felt great in the hand though. It's balance puts the the weight at the head while also being an average overall weight (2.3oz / 65.2g, very close to a Merkur #25c). The Baboo inspired handle is easy to hold and the knobs along the length are very helpful for adjusting grip and angle.
The balance and weight being focused at the head of the razor I really, really like. It is a balance that I've found preferable for shaving more difficult areas of the body. The spots where you don't have an even, flat surface. It also helps if you're used to applying pressure to a cartridge style razor. The additional weight at the head feels like there is plenty of pressure at the head. The additional pressure also helps it feel more 'natural' coming from a cartridge razor. It even minimizes problems related to 'too much pressure' for those still working on their technique.
It took me awhile to work up the courage to shave with this setup. I will say this though: I'm glad I did.
I was a little disappointed I couldn't find sample packs of blades but I figured there are only a few options so I may as well go all in. I've come this far...
Feather AC Professional
The blades I used for this post are the Feather AC Professional (link). These are on par with a straight razor from what I can tell. They offer some forgiveness but you shouldn't forget these are on the more aggressive end compared to typical DE Safety Razor blades. They are also sharp. Do not mess about with these blades.
KAI Captain Titan
The KAI Captain Titan (link) blades look like a solid competitor that will likely be very similar to the Feather blades I started with. I have a pack on order and will be giving them a try just to see.
Feather AC ProGuard
The Feather AC ProGuard (link) blades are another I found that look very interesting. According to a few different descriptions I saw online they have a guard on the blade that helps with nics and cuts. I bought a pack of these as well. I have a hunch these will likely be a winner for me. Having an additional bit of safety at the expense of smooth is a comforting thought while I work out my technique.
The razor and blade combo work great. They will cut through a forest or stubble. I shaved both forest and stubble for this post. The results were smooth like silk. With some practice this combo will be great for body sculpting adventures. You could easily shave every last hair on your body with this setup and walk away completely smooth.
If you're considering a Safety Razor I'd also recommend looking at the single edge offerings. They can do some great things for body sculpts.
The single edge Safety Razors are a really nice option to have available. If you enjoy a good shave with a DE Safety Razor, you likely want to consider an SE razor too. Especially if you have dense and/or thick hair.
I do recommend you treat a SE razor + blade with utmost respect and care. Technique makes a big difference and the blades will cut you up if you're not careful. Especially given they use straight razor blades.