Safety Razor Aggressiveness Chart: Which Level Do You Need?

The safety razor aggressiveness

One of the key factors to value and choose a safety razor is its aggressiveness. If you plan to purchase a safety razor but don’t know which may suit you the most, Let’s check out our safety razor aggressiveness chart to make an informed decision!

A double-edge (DE) safety razor has been many people’s favorite since it is said to prevent skin irritation, razor burns, or shave bumps.

Yet, the term “safety razor aggressiveness” may be pretty confusing, especially if you are a beginner. Though you may rarely hear about this term, safety razor aggressiveness is crucial as it affects the razor’s performance and shaving experience. 

Check out our article to gain detailed explanations on the safety razor aggressiveness chart. You will soon recognize which level of aggressiveness suits you the most to make an informed decision. 

the safety razor performance
Aggressiveness has remarkable impacts on the safety razor performance

What Is A Safety Razor Aggressiveness? 

A safety razor aggressiveness illustrates the performance of your safety razor. For example, how close can it cut your beard? Will it glide over your face smoothly? All these characteristics of a razor are effectively determined by its level of aggressiveness. 

As a result, an aggressive razor may offer you a pretty close shave. Also, it cannot move across your face as smooth as a razor with mild aggressiveness can. On the other hand, a mild safety razor is comfortable and easy to use, but it is not invented to ensure shaving efficiency. 

Safety Razor Aggressiveness Chart

Since a safety razor aggressiveness has profound impacts on your shaving experience. It is recommended that you should know the razor’s aggressiveness well before purchasing. 

Based on many people’s reviews and our personal experiences, we have collected all the information about aggressiveness, comfort, and efficiency of 20 well-known models and brands. Check out our safety razor aggressiveness chart below for further information! 

Brands Models & Guards Aggressiveness  Comfort Efficiency
Edwin Jagger (and rebranded) All models share the same solid bar razor head Mild Very comfortable Efficient
Apollo (modern) Only one solid bar model Mild Comfortable Efficient
Feather Feather Popular solid bar TTO Mild Comfortable Efficient
Above the Tie M1 (solid bar), and M2 (open comb) Mild Very comfortable Very efficient
Goodfella Open comb Mild Uncomfortable Very efficient
iKon OSS Mild Very comfortable Very efficient
iKon Shave Craft #101 hybrid solid bar and open comb Mild Very comfortable Very efficient
Maggard solid bar Mild Very comfortable Efficient
Above the Tie S1 (slant SB with blade twisting) Moderate Very comfortable Very efficient
Above the Tie S2 (slant OC with blade twisting) Moderate Comfortable Very efficient
Above the Tie R1 (solid bar), R2 (open comb) Moderate Very comfortable Very efficient
iKon Open Comb Moderate Very comfortable Very efficient
Pils SS Pils 101 solid bar Moderate Very comfortable Very efficient
Wolfman Razors Solid bar, open comb, or hybrid SB/OC Moderate Very comfortable Very efficient
Los Angeles Shaving Soap Company BBS-1 solid bar Moderate Very comfortable Very efficient
iKon Shave Craft Tech Aggressive Very uncomfortable Efficient
iKon “Standard Bar” (synonymous with “solid bar”) Aggressive Very comfortable Very efficient
Fatip open comb (Joris believed to have a very similar head) Aggressive Uncomfortable Efficient
Above the Tie H1 (solid bar), and H2 (open comb) Aggressive Very comfortable Very efficient
Joris Open comb (Fatip believed to have a very similar head) Aggressive Uncomfortable Very efficient

Yet, it can still be confusing if you have never heard of these safety razor aggressiveness levels. What do all the terms “mild”, “moderate”, and “aggressive” really mean? Keep reading to figure it out! 

Levels of Safety Razor Aggressiveness

Safety razors have been classified into three types: mild, medium, and aggressive. Each of them has distinguished characteristics that you should recognize to make a wise investment.

Mild safety razor

This safety razor’s blade gap is pretty small, while the blade exposure is negative. Consequently, it is the least aggressive among the three, offering you a gentler shave. 

This type of razor is, without a doubt, suitable for beginners. You are rarely able to cut yourself using a mild safety razor. Thus, even if you do not know how to hold the razor properly, its design still allows you to obtain a safe, smooth shave. Besides beginners, this level of aggressiveness is also an ideal option when you are afraid of razor burn, irritation, or cuts appearing on your sensitive skin.

Yet, several people are not so into this razor. Since it only cuts a limited amount of hair per stroke, men who have thicker beard stubble need to go over a spot multiple times to earn a cleaner shave. Besides, as the thick hair may well clog the blade, it becomes troublesome to clean the blade gap many times while shaving. 

Mild safety razor
The difference between a mild and aggressive safety razor

Medium (moderate) aggressive razor 

Many people love medium-aggressive razors because it balances between the aggressiveness and the blade efficiency. This razor has an average blade gap and a neutral blade exposure. Thus, it not only cuts your hair efficiently but also secures your skin from any excessive irritation, cuts, and nicks. 

Some experts recommend beginners utilize this razor as long as they are willing to take risks. Though a mild safety razor is much safer, it cannot present you with the true feeling of aggressiveness. 

Thus, if you want to test which level of aggressiveness may bring about the best shaving experience, go for this medium one. You will eventually know if you want to raise or lower the aggressiveness.  

Aggressive safety razor 

The last type of razor in our article today is an aggressive safety razor. Unlike the two mentioned above, this razor is designed with a positive blade exposure and a larger blade gap. These characteristics empower it to clear the beard off within a short amount of time since a tremendous amount of hair can enter the gap. 

Hence, this is considered the best razor for people with thick beards. This is because, with this aggressive safety razor, they can easily cut their stubble and attain a close shave only after a few strokes. 

However, as these razor blades establish closer contact with the skin, you may sometimes encounter razor burn, bumps, irritation, or accidentally cut your skin during the shaving. Hence, if you have light beards or sensitive skin, this is not the best option. 

What’s more, if you grow a neckbeard, it is recommended not to cut the neck hair with an aggressive safety razor. The neck is also a sensitive area, which requires extra care. Thus, you may want to purchase both a mild and aggressive safety razor. The former works well for the beard on your neck, while the latter helps remove almost all the stubble. 

What Determines Aggressiveness? 

Several factors influence a safety razor’s aggressiveness. However, three out of them prove to have significant impacts on how your razor performs, namely blade exposure, blade gap, and blade angle.

Blade exposure 

Blade exposure, as can be seen by its name, is a parameter that describes how far the cutting edge sticks out from the shave plane. (The pink area in the below picture)

A safety razor with positive blade exposure is said to present you with a more aggressive shave. Meanwhile, the negative one tends to provide a milder shave.

So, how do we determine blade exposure called negative or positive? 

Blade exposure parameter which is negative or positive was determined by the position of the blade cutting edge towards the shave plan.

The cutting edge can cut your facial hair without much restriction, a safety razor with positive blade exposure is said to present you with a more aggressive shave. Meanwhile, the negative one tends to provide a milder shave. 

Safety razor’s shave plane is the surface that lies both on the razor’s top cap and the safety bar. If viewed from the razor in the below picture, the plane is the line called “Shave Plane”.

Blade exposure 
Blade exposure illustrates how the edge positions in relation to the shave plane

Therefore, blade exposure is considered negative when the blade cutting edge rests underneath the plane, meaning that it stays between the cap and the safety bar. 

On the contrary, if the cutting edge expands above the shave plane, this parameter turns positive. 

In conclusion, the cutting edge can cut your facial hair without much restriction, a safety razor with positive blade exposure is said to present you with a more aggressive shave. Meanwhile, the negative one tends to provide a milder shave.

Blade gap

Unlike the first complicated element, the blade gap is pretty simple to understand. It is indeed the distance between the safety bar and the blade’s cutting edge. This parameter may be a fixed constant for most safety razor models, while in some other cases, it is adjustable. 

Blade gap
Blade exposure illustrates how the edge positions in relation to the shave plane

Blade gap is indeed crucial since it reflects how close a razor can shave. A DE safety razor that has a small blade gap tends to offer a milder shave. Also, when the gap is narrow, one stroke only cuts a little facial hair. 

Therefore, you have to perform several more strokes to acquire a smooth, close shave. 

On the contrary, if you utilize a wider blade gap, the amount of hair that your razor can shave is more considerable. Consequently, it requires fewer passes and delivers a closer shave. 

Blade angle

The last factor that influences your razor’s performance is the blade angle. This parameter describes at which angle the blade moves over your face when shaving. Hence, it is not a fixed characteristic from the manufacturer but varies depending on how you hold the razor. 

Blade angle
You should pay attention to how you hold the razor

When the blade angle is too large, the razor’s aggressiveness is remarkably increased, potentially causing irritation, cuts, and nicks.

Thus, experts suggest keeping the blade angle between 25° and 35° so as not to threaten the skin. Moreover, since it is difficult to see the exact blade angle while shaving, you should do some trials to find the best blade angle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have to shave more often with a safety razor? 

Frequently Asked Questions
A safety razor can secure you a clean, shaven look

Your shaving frequency does not rely on your razor type but your beard style and personal preferences. For example, working from home, it is reasonable to shave less than usual as you do not have to show your face regularly. Meanwhile, in case you worry about your complex beard style, spending some time every day checking the hair is pretty inevitable.

If you only need a clean, shaven look, the safety razor can fulfill its mission well. As long as you practice shaving correctly, you do not have to shave any more often.

Significantly, many people have switched from cartridge razors to safety ones after realizing how enjoyable shaving with a safety razor is. 

How long does a safety razor blade last?

Experts have roughly estimated that the majority of safety razor blades need replacing after five shaves. However, it is essential to emphasize that this number may vary depending on the brand, the model, and your shaving habit. 

Therefore, it would be much helpful if you closely observed the blade performance. When it appears to deliver faulty cuts, it is time to change to a new one.  

Final Thoughts

As can be seen, the safety razor aggressiveness chart is pretty simple to understand. Nevertheless, as manufacturers rarely print their blade gap or blade exposure on their products, you should ask for help from the owner to identify the razor’s aggressiveness well before purchasing. 

As long as you choose a suitable safety razor and practice all the necessary shaving techniques, getting a clean, close, smooth shave is no longer a challenge.

Lee

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

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