Blade vs Electric Razor


Deciding what type of razor to shave your face with shouldn’t be a difficult choice. Whilst there are tons of brands out there to choose from, there aren’t too many methods out there that you can choose to shave. The two main ones are to use an electric razor, or to use a razor with a blade (a manual, cartridge razor).

Whether you’re just starting out with shaving your face, or you’ve been shaving one way for years and are interested in trying something new, this will be useful. So, let’s look at the main differences between using an electric razor, and using a cartridge razor with blades.

Blade vs Electric Razor

Generally, the main benefit of using a safety or cartridge razor is that they cut very close to the skin. This means if you’re looking for the perfect clean shave, then a normal razor will be your best bet. However if you prefer having stubble all year round, then an electric shaver could be the better choice.

Plus, with the right electric shaver you won’t need to worry about razor burn, which is a common occurrence for many people when they use manual razors. For some, this is worth sacrificing a close shave for, as dealing with a red rash and irritating skin can be extremely frustrating.

Cartridge Razors (with Blades!)

The main type of razor that people use nowadays are cartridge razors. This includes all the big brands like Gillette and Wilkinsons, and all of the subscription shaving companies too, like the Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s. These types of cartridge razors are created with maximum speed and efficiency in mind – they’re intended to give you a quick shave, with minimal chance of cutting yourself.

They come on many different varieties, and they can have anywhere from just a single blade to the most being 7 blades currently, I think. Most people tend to prefer a 3 blade razor for shaving sensitive areas, like their scalp, or a 5 or six 6 razor for shaving their face. They also tend to have a moisturizing strip as part of the razor blade head too, which can help to minimize irritation.


  • Cartridge razors will undoubtedly cut closer to the skin than an electric razor. if you want an even closer shave, then you might want to consider a safety razor.
  • Another good thing about using a cartridge razors is that you can take it into the shower with you. Some electric razors aren’t waterproof, although many models out there nowadays are.
  • For bald guys, a manual razor is the only way that you’re going to get rid of that horseshoe shadow at the back of your head.
  • Although the cost over time with cartridge razors is expensive, then initial fee that you pay tends to be quite cheap. You can even get free trials with certain shave clubs.


  • The cost of cartridges is quite expensive, and they average out at around £2 ($2.50) per head – you might need 3 or 4 cartridges a month. If we compare this to a rechargeable electric razor, where you change the head much less, then you’re going to be paying a lot more in the long term.
  • Not everyone has problems with razor blades. However, some people just find them to irritate their skin too much. Whilst I do think that there is a good razor out there for everyone, some people will definitely benefit from going electric.
  • If you leave your hair to grow out too long, then a cartridge razor will only pull at your hairs instead of shaving them. This can be a key cause of ingrown hairs.

Recommended Cartridge Razor – The Gillette Mach 3. If you’re looking for a cartridge razor to use, then I’d advise that you start with the Mach 3. It’s one of the most popular razors in the world for a reason.

Side note: One way that you can cut the costs of using a cartridge razor is by using a safety razor instead. Generally, a new blade costs only 10 or 20 pence, and in comparison to a cartridge razor, you’d save a heck of a lot of money. Safety razors are definitely harder to use, and have a bit of a learning curve for you to get used to them. However once you are used to using a safety razor, then it can be the most cost efficient way for you to maintain and clean shaven face.

Electric Razors

Whilst cartridge and safety razors have their benefits, nowadays many people are looking to use an electric shaver instead. This is a great alternative to using blades, and it can be the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin.

Where safety razors and straight razors are designed to get as close to the skin as possible, this isn’t generally going to be the case with an electric shaver. I’m yet to stumble across a shaver that can truly get that completely smooth feel you get with a razor shave, and I’ve tried many different electric shavers over the years.

As probably the cheapest shaving method (aside from just letting it grow out and using a pair of scissors or something), you have the option between a foil shaver and a more standard rotary option too. Most people find that one suits them far more than the other, so it’s worth testing it out. There are some more stand out reasons why an electric shaver may be perfect for you.


  • The main benefit of using an electric razor in my opinion is the cost. You only pay to recharge the electric razor itself, and maybe to replace the head what – yearly? With a cartridge razor, you’re likely going to have to restock monthly or bi-monthly.
  • Another good benefit of using an electric razor is that the majority of them come with guide combs or some kind of grading attachment. This means that if you want to sport a beard, goatee or some kind of facial hair, you can. You can with a razor too, but you can’t tame your beard.
  • Electric razors are undoubtedly better for the environment than cartridges. Minimizing the amount of plastic you use is important to you, then switching to electric might be a good idea.


  • No matter which electric razor that you try, you’ll never find one that cuts as close to the skin as a wet shave with a regular razor. Although nowadays it’s not uncommon for a lot of guys to sport a bit of stubble, if you want a completely clean shave, then an electric razor isn’t for you.
  • Depending on which model of electric razor you buy, it’ll either take batteries or be rechargeable. If you like to shave at the gym, then you’ll never be caught short with a cartridge razor. However, you could be caught with a dead electric razor if you forget to charge it, or it runs out of batteries.
  • Although in the long term opting for an electric razor is much cheap, they definitely have a bigger upfront cost. Some of them can cost in excess of £100.

Recommended Electric Razor – Philips Oneblade. The Philips Oneblade is perfect for those that want to rock stubble or even a short beard. It’s relatively cheap and their heads last ages, too.


All in all, it’s difficult to say which of these options would be better for you without trying them out. For most people, starting with a cheap razors is probably best, as it will give you a chance to get used to shaving, and see how you get on. If you do find yourself getting irritation, redness or razor bumps, then it might be time to switch to an electric razor instead.

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