How To Use A Single-Edged Safety Razor?

A Single-Edged Safety Razor

The single-edged razor is one of the best tools for shaving because it uses a single blade to get the job done.

While this may seem a bit strange, the shape of the single-edged razor allows for an incredibly close shave. It can even be used to shave extra sensitive areas, like the neck.

If you’ve never tried using a single-blade razor, it’s time to take the leap. 

These razors are a lot better than the plastic, multi-blade razors so many people lean towards, as they offer a close shave with less irritation than multi-blade alternatives.

Plus, you’ll save money since replacement blades are much cheaper than other types, with a pack of blades costing about $0.25.

Although these need changing more often, they still end up being more economically and environmentally viable.

It’s easy to think that modern shaving is all about high-tech gizmos. This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, as using a single-edged razor is becoming more and more popular.

But, how do you use it?

In this article, we’ll help you get started by explaining how to use a single-edged safety razor.

Single-Edged Safety Razor
Single-Edged Safety Razor

Pre-Shave Routine

Let’s be honest, the worst part about shaving is the irritation and those little red bumps that show up straight after.

Why does this happen?

For most people, it’s their pre-shave routine. 

You need a consistent, hygienic routine before you begin shaving, and even though they can be quite basic, most of us don’t do it properly – or even have a routine at all!

Keeping everything safe and hygienic is the top priority in your routine, and the most important part of this is changing the blade in your razor.

Change your blade

This is a simple process but needs to be completed just before beginning your shave.

This takes a bit of research and practice, so you need to get it right.

My first tip is to at least use the plastic packaging of the fresh blade to protect your hand from the blade and prevent getting a cut.

Spoiler alert – this hurts like hell!

  • Open the metal clip at the end of the razor and discard the used blade. 
  • Either bend a double-edged blade together to snap it in half, then place one of the blades in the razor. Or, you can just buy a set of single-edged blades specifically for this type of knife, the choice is yours.
  • Close the clips carefully, making sure the blade is aligned straight, and not at an angle. This will make sure your blade is safe to use.
Changing a blade is simple, but be careful
Changing a blade is simple, but be careful

Clean your face and apply shaving cream

The next stage of your routine will be to make sure your skin and facial hair follicles are soft and easier to trim. I find this is easiest to do by having a shower with warm water. 

However, if this is not possible, then you can help the pores relax by applying a towel soaked in lukewarm water on your face.

  • Apply a towel soaked in lukewarm water on your face for as little as 30 seconds. But if you feel like relaxing a bit longer, then leave it on for 5-10 minutes. This helps clear the oil from your pores.
  • Apply shaving oil to your face (and your blade)! A pre-shave lotion can help soften your beard.

And then follow this up with shaving cream. 

  • Place a dollop of shaving cream in a mug and add a small bit of warm water.
  • Mix this with an application brush until you have a thick lather of shaving foam.
  • Using your brush, apply the cream to your beard in a circular motion, leaving no part un-lathered!

Opening pores and lubricating with shaving cream will help you get closer and smoother cuts.

apply shaving cream
Apply shaving cream before shaving with a single-edged razor

Shaving Technique With A Single-Edge Razor

This is it…

The part you have been anxiously waiting for…

How to shave with your single-edge razor

It may look very similar to shaving with a double-edged razor, and will certainly leave you with a shave that is just as good, but there are some slight technicalities that are a little bit different.

If you are going to be shaving with a single-blade razor, you are probably going to want to make 2 passes (or a third if you are particularly experienced, or have thick, long facial hair).

For any passing you make, I cannot put enough emphasis on how little pressure you must apply. Try to glide the blade down your face, cutting the hairs, rather than trying to remove the beard.

The first 2 passes are very important. These are going to be shaving with the grain of your facial hair, or in a less technical way, with the direction your hair grows.

Although you can make a pass against the grain, I recommend leaving this until last, and only do so if you have been shaving with a single-edge razor for some time.

If you have particularly sensitive skin, avoid making multiple passes, especially against the grain, if you want to avoid ingrown hairs and irritation.

I recommend observing and memorizing the direction your facial hair grows, as this can be different for everyone.

After getting your grain locked down and memorized, you can move onto finding the angle at which you want to be shaving.

This is one thing that is slightly different from double-edged shaving, as the angle is slightly smaller. However, the method for finding the right angle is the same.

You will find the best method to find the angle that perfectly trims your hair is by pushing the top of the head of the razor softly against your cheek.

  • Slowly tilt the razor towards your skin until you can visualize the hairs being trimmed by the razor. This angle should be quite small, between 10 and 20 degrees for a single-blade razor.
  • Start your first passing at your sideburns and slowly start trimming the hairs with the least amount of pressure possible. Remember, you are trimming the hairs, not trying to remove the beard as quickly as possible!
  • Use your free hand to pull the skin tight around the hair you are shaving for a softer and easier shave.
  • Next, you want to move onto the tricky areas, your neck, and your mustache. These are areas that are easy to cut, so I recommend sticking to following the grain and avoiding putting a lot of pressure on it.
Shave With A Single-Edged Safety Razor
How To Shave With A Single-Edged Safety Razor

If you are looking to make a second and third pass, and are particularly skilled at shaving with this type of razor, then you can shave either parallel or against the grain.

This tends to give you a closer shave, while also trimming through thick, bushy beards!

Post-Shave Routine

An extremely simple routine that is easily missed, this can be the make or break of whether we finish with a smooth, silky shave, or complete our shave feeling rough and spotty.

An easy, hygienic way to close up our pores to prevent any bacteria from entering is by simply washing our face with cold water. Tap water will do. 

Pair this with your favorite aftershave and moisturizer, and any form of irritation or redness will be out of the equation.

This is arguably the most important part of the process, as skin NEEDS moisture, and if we don’t apply post-shave products, we can be left with dry skin. 

Do you know what dry skin leads to? 


No one needs that. Take care of your skin in your post-shave routine.

Take care of your skin after shaving
Take care of your skin after shaving


Shaving is an art, and shaving with a single-edged safety razor is a skill that needs to be mastered. 

If you would take anything from this article, I recommend writing down these 3 tips:

  • Change your single-edged blade before every shave, and follow your pre-shave routine consistently.
  • Follow the grain of your facial hair on your first passing, every time, and apply as little pressure as possible.
  • Your post-shave routine MUST consist of moisturizer, your face needs to be wet to not be irritated.


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