What’s the difference between a 4-blade vs 6-blade razor? Do the additional two blades give the latter an edge in the competition? Let’s find out!
Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed razor and shaving brands competing fiercely to see who can fit the greatest number of blades in a razor.
The competition went from 1, 2, 3 to 6 blades, and at the end of the spectrum, there is Dorco Pace 7 – the world’s first 7-blade razor launched by Dorco.
Do more blades mean better shave? It is quite a big puzzle to solve, as you can see competing arguments across online forums. That’s the reason we’ve compiled this head-to-head 4-blade vs 6-blade razor comparison to give you a better insight into multi-blade razors.
Overview Of Multi-Blade Razors
While razor manufacturers have many differences in how they design their products, most of them have one thing in common: the belief in the superiority of multi-blade systems.
Not long after Schick introduced its first 4-blade razor – the Quatro, Gillette escalated the war with the new line of 5-blade razors with a lubricating strip on both the front and back sides.
The competition, of course, did not stop there since 6-blade and 7-blade razors soon made their debuts into the shaving world.
So, are more blades synonymous with a better shave? Gimmick aside, the answer is No.
One of the widely accepted advantages of multi-blade razors is that they cut more hairs and shave faster since there are more blades at work. Another perk is that they are easier to shave with, unlike their single-blade opponents, which require a steeper learning curve to use.
4-Blade Vs 6-Blade Razor: 6 Key Differences
The closeness of the shave
The idea behind multi-blade, according to Gillette, is the “hysteresis effect.” To simply put, all the blades work harmoniously to lift the hair from the skin to cut them further down.
The first blade pulls the hair upwards so the subsequent blades can slice through it with more ease. The result is that you’ll get a closer-to-the-surface cut. This mechanism is the same for the 4-blade and 6-blade razors.
However, as more and more blades are added, this catch-and-cut action is repeated further, resulting in a closer shave. It means you’ll get a close shave with 4 blades and a closer shave when 2 more blades are added.
In addition to the number of blades, another factor that affects the shave quality is the space between them. Those razors with thinner gaps can deliver a more comfortable shave.
While shaving with multiple blades, the soft skin will bulge the blades under pressure applied to the razor. When the number of blades increases, the blades need to be spaced closer, which helps even the skin and remedies the situation.
Closer-spaced blades contribute to a more comfortable shave overall and reduce the chance of cutting yourself.
6-blade razors are likely less nimble than those with fewer blades, meaning they don’t shave around the corners as well. For this reason, many razor makers go the extra mile to compensate for this drawback, such as by adding a dedicated trimmer for tricky areas.
Having more blades on the razor allows you to cut more hair with one pass. Thus, 6-blade razors are a quicker way to shave your facial hair than their 4-blade counterparts.
For those short on time and not willing to spend a few extra minutes that it might take with a 4-blade razor, a 6-blade one is a way to go for getting the job done fast.
However, there’s nothing better than taking your time to achieve the best possible shave when it comes to shaving.
Nicks, cuts, and in-grown hairs
Most people have some unpleasant experiences at some point in their shaving journey. Painful razor burn, troublesome in-grown hairs, nicks, and cuts might be unwelcome visitors at any time due to the wrong techniques or poor razor choice.
According to an article published by New York Times, some dermatologists consider 5-blade designs overkill since more blades create more friction and increase the risk of nicks and razor burn post-shaving.
Also, the spaces between blades can trap gunky buildup of oil, dirt, and dead skin between your skin and the blades, causing redness and razor burn. Since 6-blade systems have thinner spacing, they block more of these elements and only worsen the situation.
Blades also scrape the skin along the way and contribute to irritation. The more blades, the higher likelihood of scraping, and thus more skin irritation you’ll experience.
Ease of cleaning
Although the blades help you get a quicker shave, the close spacing makes them clog more quickly, which requires you to rinse the razor under warm water more often.
In addition, with more blades, it is no doubt that cleaning with 6-blade razors takes more time and effort because the buildup of debris trapped inside each gap is more difficult to remove.
The lifespan of a blade depends on several factors, including the density of hair, hair type, and the frequency of shaving. Yet, when we level the playing field, 6-blade razors are more likely to outlast their 4-blade counterparts.
The underlying reason is the difference in pressure distribution for each type.
With a 6-blade razor, the stress imposed by each stroke is evenly distributed to 6 blades, whereas with a 4-blade system, the same workload is allocated only across 4 blades. It means these 4 blades have to work harder and get dull sooner.
That said, whether you’re shaving with either of these razors, it is recommended to swap your blade every fifth shave to ensure you can get a quality shave every time.
4-Blade Vs 6-Blade Razor: Which Is Better?
Though 6-blade razors deliver a closer, faster shave and their blades do not get dull as fast as those in 4-blade systems, all of these differences are pretty minor.
Indeed, many people do not notice the difference in terms of shave closeness, especially with lower-end products with the blades not being strategically spaced. In addition, while the blades of 6-blade razors might last slightly longer than those of 4-blade razors, their higher cost of replacement is something you need to consider.
Most importantly, people with sensitive skin should factor in the risk of razor burn, nicks, cuts, and in-grown hairs while picking between the two. Dragging more metal objects across your skin means the higher risk involved.
However, deciding the winner for this battle is highly subjective. As long as a razor provides you a comfortable and irritation-free shaving experience, there’s no need to switch to a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get a good shave?
- Always keep the skin moisturized when shaving. The best time to shave is during or after the shower, when the hair softens. If time doesn’t permit, you could splash warm water on your face before shaving.
- Using a face scrub is advisable to eliminate oil, dirt, and dead skin for a more comfortable shave.
- Shave cream or foam is crucial to a smooth shave. Apply the shave cream or foam and lather it up thoroughly to soften the hair and facilitate a smooth glide of the blades. Make sure your shaving products are of quality to protect your skin. In addition, we do not recommend alcohol-based cream since it can dry out your skin. Instead, you’d be better off using those moisturizing ingredients like glycerin.
- Shave with gentle strokes, and rinse it carefully after each stroke. You should avoid shaving the same spot again and again to avoid irritation. Next, use a trimmer for detail work for tricky areas like the under-the-nose areas.
- After finishing, apply an aftershave when the skin is still damp so it can lock in moisture. If there’s a lot of redness or irritation all over the face, using an aftershave containing aloe can help soothe the skin.
- Finally, replace the blades when they seem to do more pulling than actually slicing the hairs.
How often should I change my blades?
Most modern blades are designed to last between 5-10 shaves, although the actual longevity significantly depends on the frequency of use and the hair’s density and thickness.
Of course, your blades will become a little duller after each shave, and these numbers are just for your reference.
It’s crucial to pay close attention to the shaving experience to know the right time for a replacement. The most noticeable telltale is the blade will pull the hair more than usual, leading to more redness and irritation after shaving. If the shave is not close as usual, it’s time to swap out the blades.
How many blades is best?
The optimal number of blades is still an ongoing debate, and there is no ultimate answer to it. For example, a 4-blade razor or 6-blade razor can perform well with some people but can get negative reviews from others.
Yet, you can narrow down your choice if you have sensitive skin because some dermatologists recommend shaving with no more than 2 blades to avoid unwanted irritation.
Like many things in life, the choice of how many blades you should have come down to your preferences.
Either a 4-blade or 6-blade razor can be a good partner for the better part of your shaving life. Yet, keep in mind that the more blades the razor packs, the higher the risk of irritation.
If you’re still indecisive between 4 blades vs 6 blade razor, we hope the information above is enough to help you decide for yourself!
- Overview Of Multi-Blade Razors
- 4-Blade Vs 6-Blade Razor: 6 Key Differences
- 4-Blade Vs 6-Blade Razor: Which Is Better?
- Frequently Asked Questions