How to Choose a Safety Razor

Women shaving her legs in the bathroom

Jump to I'm a: Face Shaver, Body Shaver, Head Shaver

Why try safety razors?

There are a lot of reasons you might be considering shaving with a safety razor. Perhaps you're seeking a cleaner, less-irritating shave; or you're trying to not waste as much plastic when you shave; or you're growing tired of dropping $20+ on a pack of cartridges every few months.

These are all perfect reasons to make a switch to a metal razor.

What kind of safety razors exist?

Traditional DE Safety Razors

a traditional double-edge safety razor

Most safety razors are the classic double-edge variety. These were invented in 1905 by King C. Gillette (yes, that Gillette) to shave guys' faces. The innovation was to improve upon straight-razors (aka cut-throat razors) by adding a safety bar beneath the blade.

Gillette also made the blade very inexpensive, and disposable after a few uses. Don't let the name fool you, traditional safety razors are safer than cut-throat razors but compared with today's plastic razors they require technique, focus and a learning curve.

Modern Single-Edge Safety Razors

The Twig razor standing next to a pack of single-edge blades

Halfway through the last century, razor designers started to tinker with different ways to present a blade for shaving and we saw single-edge razors make an appearance. Commonly, these were "injector-style" razors which use relatively proprietary blades that are housed in a plastic-injector module. These modules eject the old blade out the other side of the razor (letting it clang to the ground rather dramatically haha) and inject a fresh blade.

Recent advances in SE razors include the Leaf Shave Twig Razor (and it's more aggressive cousin, The Thorn razor). The Twig razor is a more advanced safety razor design:

  • Compatible with any standard safety razor blade (no proprietary blade or shapes needed)
  • Head is half-the-size of a traditional safety razor, meaning you can fit in tight spaces easier like under the nose or around your ears
  • Magnetic-load Assist helps load and locate the blade for safe handling
  • A back-weighted handle allows for more control at the shaving end of the razor
  • Cartridge-Angle Head mimics the way a cartridge razor presents the blade to your skin as you shave

Hybrid Pivoting-Head Safety Razors

The Leaf razor, two views, one with the head bending

Eco friendly shaving is something many people today are looking to transition to. This means they need to find a metal razor for women or men that is easy to use, because not everyone wants to become a shaving-expert enthusiast. 

Enter, The Leaf Razor. Leaf Shave's Leaf Razor is the world's first multi-blade, pivoting head safety razor. GQ named it the most innovative shaving razor of 2021. The Leaf shaves much closer to how a modern cartridge razor system shaves, than how a traditional safety razor shaves.

  • Pivoting head system swivels like a plastic cartridge razor
  • Multiple-blades mean fewer passes compared with a single blade
  • The blades are spaced farther apart (and are individually articulated) compared with cartridges, so no irritation or cutting hair below the skin level
  • Efficiently cover a lot of ground
  • - Magnetic-load Assist helps load and locate the blade for safe handling


Ultimately, The Leaf Razor excels when you're shaving your body (legs, underarm, arms, torso etc.) or curved and hard-to-see areas like your head. Indeed, the Leaf razor is one of the best head-shaving safety razors in the world.

Best safety razor for face shaving?

Face shavers have a small amount of ground to cover. Your primary goal is an efficient, smooth shave with minimal risk of nicks or cuts during shaving. We recommend looking at The Twig Razor, or it's more aggressive cousin The Thorn razor (if you have tougher hair or want increased efficiency, The Thorn has more blade gap).

The single-edge format will easily and safely fit anywhere, under your nose, around your ears, under your chin, around your mouth. The Cartridge-Angle Head means you won't struggle to find the right shaving plane like you may with a traditional double-edge safety razor.

Shop Twig Razors


a man shaving under his nose with The Twig razor


Best safety razor for body shaving?

If you're shaving your body (under-arms, legs, torso, arms etc.) you need to cover a lot of ground efficiently. This is where the innovation in The Leaf Razor comes to play. The pivoting-head multi-blade design means it shaves just like the razors you're used to, if not more efficiently. You may even experience closer, longer-lasting shaves with The Leaf Razor. This is hands-down the easiest transition to a metal sustainable eco-friendly razor on Earth.

Shop Leaf razors


women shaving under her arms, smiling, with a leaf razor


Best safety razor for head shaving?

Head-shavers know how easy it is to waste a lot of money on cartridge shavers, and how challenging using a traditional safety razor can be up there. That's why The Leaf Razor is the top of so many head-shavers lists. The pivoting head means that you can reach tough spots, areas you can't see, with ease and safety. The multiple blade setup allows for customization on how aggressive, or mild, the shave is which is ideal when you're dialing in your head-shave.

Shop Leaf Razors


male shaving his head, smiling, with a leaf razor

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