Safety Razor vs. Cartridge Razor
Safety and cartridge razors are both wet shaving options that can get the job done, but there are some major differences between these two tools.
In this article, we'll compare two of the most popular shaving tools – the safety razor vs. the cartridge razor to see which one comes out on top.
We’ve compared these two types of razors based on these factors:
Our Overall Choice: Safety Razor
Safety razors are the most cost-effective, eco-friendly, and quality shaving tool. They offer a closer shave for all facial hair types without skin irritation and ingrown hairs. They are made using high-quality materials, and the replacement blades are inexpensive and easy to change out. While this tool does come with a learning curve for new users, once you get the hang of it, many say they will never go back to their disposable razor.
Cartridge razors have been a popular shaving tool for many years and are a good option for beginners or those looking for less of a time commitment when it comes to shaving. They are made using mostly plastic and have multiple metal blades. The razor itself is inexpensive, but it is costly to replace the cartridge razor blades. They also do not offer as precise of a shave as a safety razor.
Get ready to level up and make the switch from a cartridge razor to a safety razor. You won’t be sorry!
The Most Effective Razor: An Overview
A facial hair razor can come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, but it really all comes down to how effective they are at removing your facial hair, how easy they are to use, and how much they will cost you over time.
A safety razor can be either single edged (SE) or double edged (DE) and is used to remove unwanted hair from your face. Double-edge safety razor blades have two sharp edges that cut the facial hair as opposed to single-edge blades, which only have one sharp side. Both types allow you to achieve a closer shave while also preventing skin irritation and razor burn, making them ideal for sensitive skin. The razor itself can be costly upfront, but over time you will money with inexpensive blade replacements.
Cartridge razors come in many shapes, sizes, and price ranges. They are a popular choice among beginners and those who want a quick and easy shaving routine. They are typically made using a plastic handle and disposable razor heads that have anywhere from 3 to 5 blades. These can often be irritating, cause razor bumps, and don't offer a very close shave due to using lower-quality materials. While the initial investment is lower, they tend to be more expensive over time due to the disposable cartridge razor heads.
Using a safety razor does come with a learning curve, but once you learn how to use it properly, it's very simple and gives you a really smooth shave. They also offer better control and direction, allowing you to shave at different angles and get a closer shave overall. It takes practice to master, which can deter some people.
Many people choose to use a cartridge razors because they require little skill and technique to use, giving you less risk of cuts and nicks while shaving.
Winner: Cartridge Razor
Using double-edged safety razors gives you a precise shave because the single blades are designed to fit tightly against your skin. The tightness of the shave is determined by the angle of the sharp blade, and the amount of pressure applied to the razor.
While cartridge razors may seem like an easier option, they aren't nearly as precise as safety razors. You need to pay attention to where you place each stroke with the pivoting head. Otherwise, you risk cutting yourself. Also, because of the space between the multiple blades, they don't give you the same level of precision as a safety razor.
Winner: Safety Razor
Since safety razors are designed to last longer than cartridge razors, but they must be properly taken care of. You shouldn’t store your safety razor in the shower, and you should dry it completely after each use.
Depending on how often you shave and the type of facial hair you have, you only need to replace the blade once or twice per week or after every five to seven uses. The blades are easily replaced and easy to clean.
A cartridge razor can be stored in the shower and doesn’t need to be dried after each use. You still need to replace the blades every few weeks, or every 5-10 shaves, depending on how often you shave.
Winner: Cartridge Razor
When it comes to sustainability, the safety razor takes the cake by a landslide. The razor itself is reusable and can last you a lifetime. The only thing you have to dispose of is the old blades, which can be easily recycled in a blade bank.
The cartridge razor handle is made mostly of plastic and is not biodegradable or easily recycled. The replaceable razor blade cartridge heads are also made of plastic and metal and have to be replaced frequently, and are not eco-friendly.
Winner: Safety Razor
Upfront, the initial cost of a safety razor can be more expensive, but they last for years, and overtime will be the more economical choice. They can range anywhere from $20 to $300, the latter being the most top-of-the-line brands. This upfront investment will save you money as time goes on, though. Blade replacements are much less expensive than cartridge replacements, with the average blade cost being around $13 per year.
Cartridge razors require less of an initial investment when purchasing the tool. However, replacement razor cartridges can be costly, and the average yearly cost can be up to $150 per year.
Winner: Safety Razor
Which Razor is Best for You: Safety Razor or Cartridge Razors?
These two options both have their benefits and downsides, but the razor we highly recommend is a safety razor. The safety razor's double edge blades offer the closest shave possible without irritating the skin. You're able to get all angles on the face and neck, and it is great for all facial hair types.
- Overall Winner: Safety Razor
- Ease-of-Use Winner: Cartridge Razor
- Precision Winner: Safety Razor
- Maintenance Winner: Cartridge Razor
- Eco-Friendliness Winner: Safety Razor
- Cost Winner: Safety Razor
Our choice is the safety razor because it's a more eco-friendly option that offers the closest, smoothest shave. Plus, over time, it will save you money and will consistently give you a smooth and comfortable shave.Don't let the learning curve scare you away from trying out this tool. Check out some of the highest-quality safety razors here. For a smooth and close shave, use a shaving cream or shaving soap and a high quality shaving brush each time you shave.