Getting the best shave comes down to the tools you use for the job — and the right razor can mean the difference between looking tidy and trimmed or slapdash and sloppy. Using a cartridge razor is the method most men learn first (and tend to stick to), especially as replacement blades are available pretty much anywhere. An electric razor is quick and efficient. Safety Razors have been around for more than a century, but their recent resurgence is thanks to the closer shave they offer — plus, they’re more eco-friendly and economical. And then there are straight razors, which are typically the domain of professionals, but may also appeal to passionate shavers in want of more control. Since so many brands make different models of the same type of razor, choosing one can be even more overwhelming.
To help folks find the best razors on the market, we asked 17 men’s-grooming experts — more than half of them barbers — about their favorites and combed through our archives to find other worthy options recommended to us before. The resulting selection of razors (below) features a style for pretty much everyone, including cartridge, electric, and safety razors, along with hybrid styles, and razors to use on sensitive skin.
Standard safety razors are pretty straightforward: The head of the razor closes around the flexible metal blade, which is then locked into a predetermined angle. This construction works well for most people, but some may benefit from being able to customize the angle at which the blade meets the skin. For someone with sensitive skin, a lower angle will allow for a gentler shave with less irritation. Someone with coarse facial hair, on the other hand, might prefer a more aggressive angle. It all comes down to personal preference. That’s why Xavier Rodriguez of Fellow Barber and Peter Solomon of Tweed Barbers of Boston both recommend the adjustable Merkur Progress to anyone who thinks their safety-razor shave might benefit from some customization. It has five different blade-angle settings, and you simply twist the dial at the bottom to toggle between them. If you decide this is the razor for you, you’ll want to get some blades for it as well.