Are single blade razors better?

In recent years, we’ve seen more and more people looking at alternative methods of shaving. using a standard Gillette cartridge razor isn’t as popular as it once was, with many people instead choosing to use a safety razor instead. Why? Well, there are many reasons and benefits as to why one might opt to use a single blade razor as opposed to the multi-blade razors that have become the norm.

Are single blade razors better?

The truth is that single blade razors are going to be better – for some people. It really depends on your circumstance, like your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, then switching over from multi-blade razors to using less might be the better choice. This is especially true in comparison to a six blade razor, as having multiple blades can end up causing irritation.

The less blades that you have running across your skin, the less chance you have of experiencing razor burn. Although they can be much more difficult to use than your standard cartridge razor, they work extremely well for getting a clean and close shave.

However, it’s not just a black and white decision to determine whether you’d benefit from switching to a single blade razor. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of them, as opposed to the other kind of razors that are out there.

The Benefits of Single Blade Razors

More and more people are using old fashioned safety razors, so there must be a reason for it, right? Well, there are a few reasons why people are turning to using safety razors as opposed to multi blade cartridge razors.


The main reason that single blade razors might be the better choice for you is down to sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, then running 3, 5 or even 6 blades over it can cause problems for your skin – irritation, razor bumps, rash, ingrown hairs etc. This isn’t the case for all people, but it’s a reality for some of us.

Switching to a razor of this style might be exactly what you need to avoid irritating your skin – it’s not just talk, dermatologists also commonly recommend trying a single blade razor against your skin instead and seeing of it helps. So, the main reason you might want to switch razor is for sensitivity reasons. But, there’s definitely more to it than just this.

Lee's Razors
Lee's Razors


If you’ve been using a multi blade cartridge razors for any extended period of time, then you’ll be aware that the costs can build up. This is especially true if you like to use sharp, fresh blades when you shave.

Cartridges were made to be simple and easily disposable. However, they weren’t made to be cost efficient – in fact, that’s kind of the business model of the cartridge razor. Sell the handle for next to nothing, and make the money in the reliance of new razor blades over the coming years.

The average cost of a razor blade is around £2 ($2.50). Say you use two per month, then over the course of the whole year, then this is going to stack up pretty quickly.

Then, consider switching to a single blade razor. You can purchase a full 100 pack of razor blades for as little as £7-8 ($10). This will last you at least a year if you’re shaving at the same rate, if not more. So, you’re undoubtedly going to save money if you switch over to this style of razor.

The Shave Itself

Now, I’m not going to say that I’m 100% on board with this one, as I still like to use cartridge razors myself sometimes. However, in general it’s accept in the shaving community that a safety razor can cut closer to the skin than a cartridge razor.

This means that if you want a longer amount of time before your stubble starts to grow back, then a safety razor is the better choice of the two.

Environmental Reasons

I’ve out this last because to some people it won’t be important. But to many people, it will be the reason they decide to switch to a single blade razor, and rightly so.

Gillette has been criticised routinely for a long, long time for the amount of plastic they use in their packaging. Plus, disposable razors are literally designed to be just thrown away, and although there are ways you can recycle cartridges, they’re often thrown away too.

With a safety razor, you can easily set up a blade bank. You can put your blades in the blade bank after you shave, and then once a year you can take it to the recycling centre to be recycled properly. And that’s it. No tons of packaging sent to your house every month, and no disposable razors getting thrown away. So, another point for the single blade razor is it’s environmentally friendly.

The Downsides of Single Blade Razors

It’s unfair for me to only say the good things about razors that only use one blade, and not highlight the areas where they’re not as good as well. So, here are some reasons you might not want to switch to using a single blade.

The Shave is More Difficult

The main reason why people don’t use single blade razors as much is that it takes a longer time to shave with one, and it’s a bit if an inconvenience. Some people just want the quickest shave possible, and if that’s you, then a cartridge razor is the better choice.

With a single blade razor, you have to take a lot more care when shaving, and make sure that you don’t cut yourself. This means keeping the razor at a specific angle (30 degree) when you’re shaving, and it means taking your time and rinsing the razor too. And some people just don’t have the time to do this.

Initial Cost

Another reason why people avoid opting for a safety razor and using a single blade razor is the initial cost. A really good safety razor can cost upwards of £40 ($50), and many people just don’t have the funds to invest that much into getting a good razor.

Though the truth is that whilst they can initially cost you a little bit of money, you’ll make that back over the course of a single year.


All in all, it might be time for many of us to start using a safety razor when we have the ability to do so. Whilst it’s not always practical to carry it around with you when travelling (especially if you like to use shaving cream and a shaving brush), then for home use, it might be worth putting in the extra effort required to use a single blade razor.

Lee Cantor

Provide the best shaving product reviews and shaving advices to the wetshaving community and friends.

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