There are a lot of different manufacturers who produce double-edged razor blades, so choosing the best safety razor blades can sometimes be a challenge. Far too many first-time safety razor users fall into the trap of buying the cheapest blades that they can find. They mistakenly assume that all double-edged razor blades are the same.
This is the wrong approach to finding the best safety razor blades for your needs. Some blades, especially the cheaper brands, wear out way too fast and go dull after just two or three shaves. As a result they cause a lot of unnecessary nicks and cuts and skin irritation. Other blades are simply too “aggressive”, which means that they are so sharp that they cause men with sensitive skin to have serious problems.
As with everything else related to traditional wet shaving, my advice to you is to start out with the advice given to you by those with a lot of experience in this field, and then branch out and see what you like best. This article will help you do exactly that.
Just as with the question of “which safety razor is best”, the question of “which blade is best” really depends on what you want and need.
Some men have very coarse and stiff hairs that require a super-sharp edge. Other men have sensitive skin that requires a lighter and gentler touch. Furthermore, our skin changes as we age. The way we shaved as young men will not really apply thirty years later. It is impossible to come up with ONE blade and ONE razor that will suit EVERY man at ALL times throughout his life.
Therefore, when promoting “the best safety razor blades”, I am basing my selection on the following points:
- Breadth of Applicability: The best blades should be usable by just about everyone. That includes those with coarse beards and those with sensitive skin. Such a blade must also be usable by the vast majority of regular shavers.
- Blade Longevity: You want to buy blades that last 4-6 shaves, not blades that go dull after just 3 uses.
- Manufacturing Quality: This is especially critical right now, as more and more people wake up to the fact that stuff manufactured in China is made badly and cheaply. If you buy really cheap razor blades, you’re usually going to get a really cheap-quality shave. That isn’t the objective. I want to direct you to buy really high quality products, not cheap junk that doesn’t last.
So let’s get started on the journey to find the perfect safety razor blade for you. And let’s not mess about here. We will begin with what I consider to be the absolute king of double-edged razor blades:
Merkur MK-911 Double Edge Razor Blades
Merkur’s brand is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship, and excellence. When it comes to the very best safety razor blades, you just don’t get much better than Merkur’s products. These blades are made of exceptionally high-quality platinum-coated stainless steel and fit any standard safety razor.
Now, these are expensive blades. For the cost of a single 10-pack of Merkur blades, you could buy a HUNDRED cheap Astra blades manufactured by Procter & Gamble instead. Many argue that Merkur blades are overpriced, given that there are some excellent alternatives out there. I provide a great alternative for you right below which is vastly cheaper, in fact.
My answer to that criticism is: Merkur blades last a lot longer than many cheaper competitors, are much sharper overall, and are designed for a much wider range of users and razors than the competition.
Also, it turns out that there is such a thing as a blade that is too sharp. This means that they give too aggressive a shave. Feather and Astra blades typically have this problem, which makes them difficult to use for men with sensitive skin.
In my personal experience, each edge lasts between 5 and 7 shaves. That puts this blade right at the top of the pile in terms of longevity and sharpness. When using Merkur blades, I typically use each side for one week.
Buy a 10-pack of Merkur razor blades right here.
If you’re looking for something cheaper but still high quality, then consider buying:
Gillette Platinum Blue Double Edge Razor Blades
Now I want to make this absolutely clear: I am NOT a fan of Gillette and their current marketing practices. And I write that as someone who owns shares in Procter & Gamble. But I am obliged to tell it like it is, and the fact is that Gillette’s Blue line of blades are really good.
I was recently stuck in a foreign country for several months. My available stock of Merkur blades ran out, and I urgently needed to get some new safety razor blades. AliExpress sells Gillette Blue blades made in China, and I bought those. When they finally got to me, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Gillette Blue blades are genuinely very good.
These blades are almost as sharp and durable as the Merkur ones, and for a significantly cheaper price. I still rank the Merkur blades higher simply because the feel of the German blades against the skin is far superior, and the Gillette blades tend to get dull just a little bit quicker than Merkur blades do. But Gillette’s blades are an excellent low-cost, high-quality alternative.
Buy a set of 100 blades (20×5 packs) right here.
If, on the other hand, you don’t want to spend money on Gillette’s products, and you would much rather buy high-quality products manufactured in a Western country by a Western company, then try out:
VIKINGS BLADE Swedish Steel Double Edge Razor Blades
One could make a strong argument that VIKINGS BLADE double-edged blades are simply the best safety razor blades on the market. At the very least, they would give Merkur a serious run for their money. VIKINGS BLADE has been in the business of manufacturing high-quality safety razors for 35 years. As a result, they absolutely know what they are doing. Their experience and manufacturing prowess is shown in their superb-quality mild razor blades that will suit just about every shaver.
Note, when you buy these blades, make sure you get the GREEN pack. VIKINGS BLADE makes two sets of razor blades in-house these days, one in a green pack and one in a red pack. The two are most assuredly NOT the same. The green pack contains blades made in the USA, but packaged in China, of high-quality Swedish platinum-coated stainless steel. The red pack is entirely manufactured in China.
I repeat: get the green pack. Then you get a long-lasting, high-quality blade, made in the USA, that can be used by just about any man with any skin type. The red pack is more aggressive (i.e. sharper) and is designed for coarse beards with stiff hairs.
Buy yourself a set of 50 VIKINGS BLADE Swedish Steel razor blades right here.
Try a Sampler Pack
As I stated above, once you start getting some experience with traditional wet shaving, you should branch out and experiment a bit on your own. To that end, you would be well served by buying and trying a sampler pack of various blade brands. That way, you can give a whole bunch of different blade manufacturers a fair assessment and decide for yourself exactly which blade is best for you. That will allow you to make the best possible decision for your own situation.
So buy yourself a sampler pack of double-edged razor blades, start your journey in traditional wet shaving, and find out for yourself which brand makes the very best safety razor blades!