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Safety Razors vs. Cartridge Razors: A Beginners Guide to Shaving Solutions

Safety Razors vs. Cartridge Razors: A Beginners Guide to Shaving Solutions

Guest Writer Series |

When it comes to shaving, there are various tools at our disposal, with safety razors and cartridge razors being two of the most popular options. As a consumer, understanding the differences between these two types of razors can help you make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your needs. Today, I will provide an in-depth comparison of safety razors and cartridge razors, exploring their design, ease of use, cost-effectiveness, and environmental impact.

Safety Razors: Design and Performance

Safety razors, also known as double-edge (DE) razors, consist of a metal handle attached to a head that holds a thin, double-edged blade. The design of the safety razor head allows for a controlled shave, providing a single cutting edge in contact with the skin at any given time. This design minimizes the risk of nicks and cuts, while still delivering a close, comfortable shave.

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Ease of Use

Using a safety razor requires some practice and technique, as it involves holding the razor at a particular angle and applying just the right amount of pressure. However, once mastered, it can provide a more satisfying and customized shaving experience. One of the primary benefits of using a safety razor is its ability to provide a closer shave with fewer passes, reducing the likelihood of irritation and ingrown hairs.


Safety razors are often considered a more cost-effective option in the long run. The initial investment in a quality safety razor can be higher than that of a cartridge razor, but the cost of replacement blades is significantly lower. Since double-edged blades are made from thin, inexpensive steel, users can enjoy substantial savings over time.

Environmental Impact

Safety razors are also seen as an eco-friendly choice, as they generate less waste. The only part that needs to be replaced is the double-edged blade, which can be easily recycled. This contrasts with the disposable nature of cartridge razors, which generate more plastic waste.

Cartridge Razors: Design and Performance

Cartridge razors consist of a plastic handle and a detachable head with multiple blades stacked together. The cartridge is designed to pivot, adjusting to the contours of the face and maintaining contact with the skin. This design allows for a quicker, easier shave with a lower learning curve than safety razors.

Ease of Use

Cartridge razors are known for their user-friendly design, which makes them suitable for beginners or those who prefer a quick and convenient shave. The multiple blades and pivoting head allow for a close shave with minimal effort and technique. 

However, the convenience of cartridge razors comes with a hefty price tag. They are expensive to replace and contribute to unnecessary waste. Each cartridge contains multiple blades and plastic, which adds up to a lot of waste over time. Additionally, the multiple blades can cause irritation and ingrown hairs, especially if the blades become dull or clogged with hair and shaving cream.


While cartridge razors may be more affordable upfront, the cost of replacement cartridges can add up quickly. The cartridges, which typically contain three to five blades, can be quite expensive and need to be replaced more frequently than double-edged blades.

Environmental Impact

Cartridge razors generate more waste, as the plastic cartridges are not easily recyclable and often end up in landfills. This can be a significant disadvantage for those who are environmentally conscious.

In my opinion, safety razors are more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and provide a better shaving experience. While cartridge razors may seem convenient, their disadvantages outweigh their benefits. Switching to a safety razor not only benefits you but also helps to reduce the environmental impact of your grooming routine. So, if you haven't already, it's time to ditch your cartridge razor and make the switch to a safety razor.


Jake B.

San Jose, California


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