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The Best Manual Razors for a Clean Shave

The Best Manual Razors for a Clean Shave

We know beards are all the rage these days, but every once in a while there’s a good enough reason to show off that baby face you’ve been hiding. Whether you’re shaving for a job, a special occasion or just for personal preference, you have options. Choosing between cartridge, safety or straight razor varieties depends on how much time, money and effort you want to spend on a regular basis, but they’re all great in specific circumstances. These are our favorites.

Dorco Pace 7 Razor

Dollar Shave Club made huge waves in the shaving industry when they introduced their monthly subscription model with a series of hilarious viral videos that made you rethink everything you thought you knew about buying razors and blades. They’re actually great razors with even better blades, and that’s why you should skip recurring monthly payments and deliveries in favor of buying them from the source–Dorco. The Dorco Pace 7 Razor looks and shaves like other cartridge razors, but it does it better (7 blades! Angulated blade flow-through platform for easy rinsing! Pivoting head for sensitive terrain!) and at a fraction of the cost. It’s not exactly much to look at, but if you’re concerned more with function over form this is the best cheap razor out there. $8

Harry’s Truman Razor

Harry’s Truman Razor represents the same great value proposition of other cartridge alternatives in the Alexander Hamilton department, but it does it with a little more sophistication and attention to detail. Five blade, German-engineered cartridge system produced at the Feintechnik factory that the brand bought to keep an eye on quality control. Sleek, clean lines and durable construction make it easy to use while still looking good on display. Most importantly, it’s a great shave. Actually, the most important part of any Harry’s razor is really that the entire package looks and performs as good as it does while still being the best affordable razor. $9

Gillette Fusion5 Proshield Razor

At some point in your life, every man has shaved with a Gillette Fusion razor. In the decade since it’s release (bet you feel old now) there have been dozens of different versions with upgrades and changes ranging from handfuls of blades and vibrating technology to rotating heads and different color options. Honestly, the color doesn’t matter, and we never noticed a positive benefit in the vibrating technology. But we do like the Fusion5 Proshield Razor because of the FlexBall technology that moves with your face and the five blade system on the front paired with the trimmer blade on the back. Cartridge costs do add up over time, but you’re never going to have to worry about finding some if you’re traveling. $11

Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor

While not quite as dangerous as shaving with a barber knife, taking the plunge into the world of double edge safety razors can be a bit scary if you’re used to cartridges. But it’s a decision you’ll never regret. You’ll drop some coin up front on a gorgeous handle like this Edwin Jagger Double Edge Safety Razor, but it will pay for itself in few months of great shaves because replacement blades are pennies on the dollar compared to cartridges. We think this option from Edwin Jagger is one of the best double edge razors because it’s easy to learn with on account of the weight, balance and blade angle. It doesn’t hurt that grandpa probably shaved with one similar, and if it was good enough for your grandfather, it’s good enough for you. $31

Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor

No list of best manual razors or best safety razors would be complete without at least one option from Merkur or their German parent company DOVO Solingen. With more than a hundred years experience, the brand has come to be known as one of the best in the business. The Merkur Futur Adjustable Safety Razor is the perfect example of why. The heavy weight and heavy duty construction is something you’ll find in all Merkur razors, but the Futur is a step up because it has six adjustable blade settings that let you get really aggressive with your shave. The clean lines and sleek satin finish also make it the perfect compliment to a quality shaving brush and bowl on the counter. $58

Böker Straight Razor Elite

If you want the best possible shave regardless of time and energy, you need to go super old school and start cleaning your face with a straight razor. It’s a lot of work and requires an entire kit of gear for shaves and maintenance, but in the long run especially when you’re talking about a tool as fine as the Böker Straight Razor Elite. The 6/8″ blade is made of carbon steel with a fine hollow grind that’s mated to a scaled handle milled from a solid billet of carbon fiber. This razor is really more of a knife with a singular purpose, and it’s more than worthy of the centuries old Böker name. $166

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