Safety Razor vs Multi Blade – Is There Really a Difference?

From the first day I noticed pubescent whiskers emerging on my face, my weapon of choice was a multi blade razor!

For decades past, present & yet to come, the big debate continues to rage. Safety razor vs multi blade; which one is going to give you a better shaving experience?

As I mentioned, I’ve been shaving for quite a while. I must confess, I did have a crack at using an electric razor once or twice…but let’s not go there!

Safety Razor vs Multi Blade

Having delved into both forms of shaving, I can share some of the good…and bad of both.

Multi blade razors have become extremely popular in our fast-paced world. It’s difficult not to see advertisements of well known, not to mention good looking actors gliding the latest & greatest cartridge razor over their manufactured stubble, leaving behind a face as smooth as Teflon.

Cartridge razors are plentiful. You just need to take a stroll to your favourite supermarket to see a wall of bright, shiny options.

Safety razors are a completely different ball game. Introduced to men over 100 years ago, they are a classically styled masterpiece, which carry on the traditions of yesteryear. They reflect a time when society took things at a much slower pace.

Is it really possible to actually look forward to your morning shave? Below are a few observations between both styles of shaving so you can decide for yourself.

Multi Blade Razor


The Good:

A Quick Process

Most blokes will squirt a bit of shaving gel into their palm, a quick rub over the face, then grab their chosen cartridge razor, a fleeting pass over the face & neck…done!

Easy Disposal

Once the blade is running a little rough on the epidermis, one push of the button, chuck out the old cartridge, chuck in the new.

Easy to Buy

If you can’t be bothered making your way to the mall for the vast array of multi blade offerings, Amazon is just a keystroke away.

The Bad:

Razor Burn

When you drag 3 to six blades over your face at one time, it’s unavoidable that you’ll remove a high volume of skin cells. This of course leads to plenty of redness & irritation.

Ingrown Hairs

As the advertisements tell us, “the first blade lifts the hair”. This is so the following blades can cut the whiskers below the surface. This is a great way to encourage your hair follicles to become imprisoned under your skin. Pimple-like bumps soon follow, leading to further inflammation of your face and neck.

Very Expensive

Currently here in Australia, you will pay between $3 – $5 for a single cartridge. (And that’s buying in bulk)

Poor Quality

No matter how state-of-the-art the latest cartridge razor is, the self-lubricating strip tends to disappear after a couple shaves. Plus the blades have a tendency to begin to “drag” on the face after a short period of time.

Tough to Clean

Like me, you’ve probably experienced hair being trapped between the blades. As the razor ages, this becomes even more prevalent, making it the proverbial pain-in-the-bum to clean.

It’s a Chore

Not many men out their can claim that they look forward to their daily shaving routine.

Double-Edge Safety Razor


The Good:

Great Quality & Design

The quality of an entry level safety razor, is often superior to the more expensive range of cartridge razors. They are generally far more sturdy, and a lot more comfortable to hold.

==> Click here for my review: Safety Razors for Beginners <==

Less Irritation

Yep, you heard it! Less irritation; less razor burn, less shaving bumps, less ingrown hairs. When you’re navigating just one blade over your skin, it stands to reason that your face & neck are subjected to less trauma. Resulting in a more pleasant shaving experience.

There are a few things that really help minimise these common shaving problems. Often it can be as simple as water temperature.

Bloody Cheap

Yes, you might spend around 30 bucks for a decent safety razor to begin with. After that however, the double-edge blades themselves are super cheap. The blades I’m using at the moment cost me around 18 cents per blade…awesome value!

==> Click here for my review: Derby Razor Blades <==

The Process

Shaving with a double-edge razor is relaxing. I’d even go as far to say it’s Zen-like.

The preparation of your face; whipping the cream into just the right consistency and brushing it soothingly onto your face. Followed by the sound of a symphony of whiskers being sliced at just the right angle. A quick rinse, then finally, the massaging in of your favourite aftershave.

Good for the Planet

A single double-edge razor blade takes up a fraction of the space a disposable razor does. There are millions of men out there who shave. Now I’m no greenie, but I am mindful of our environment, & the use of safety razors definitely contribute to a cleaner planet.

Easy to Clean

Safety razors are incredibly easy to clean. Only one blade means no hair imprisoned between blades. A quick swish in the basin or squirt under the tap, will generally remove any whiskers from the razors head.

==> Click here for tips on How to Clean a Safety Razor <==

Be a Real Man

When your mates are waffling on, proclaiming the space age features of their new razor, you just whip out your bad boy! Discussion over!

The Bad:

Learning Curve

Some guys take to shaving with a safety razor very quickly, whilst others take a little longer. It can take time getting used to the weight of your razor, the correct angle, etc.

Slower Process

Most gents need to do 2 or 3 passes with their razor to achieve a baby butt smooth shave. Some blokes will be happy with one pass, although each pass (which is performed in different directions) is designed to capture the hair not fully shaved from the previous pass.

Well there you have it. I’ve touched on the main pros & cons of shaving with a safety razor vs multi blade. I’m sure there are many more if we dig deep enough, but I hope I’ve given you enough information to help you decide what direction you’d like to travel along your shaving journey.

I’d love to hear about what sort of razor do you use & why?

Let me know in the comments below! (hey, that rhymes)

Time to get your shave on! 😉

4 thoughts on “Safety Razor vs Multi Blade – Is There Really a Difference?

  1. Kenny Lee

    I’m using the multiblade razor. As you said, the blades and the self-lubricating strip got worn off quickly resulting in irritated skin and often need shaving foam for a smoother shave. Your site is highly informative as I’m now considering my options.

    1. Andrew Post author

      Hi Kenny

      Yes you’re absolutely right about cartridge razors. You’re far less likely to irritate your skin with one blade as opposed to 3, 4 or 5!

      Safety razors are making a resurgence for a reason. Thousands of men are discovering, or rediscovering (as the case may be) the many benefits classic shaving offers.

      Thanks again for your comments


  2. EoinMc

    I use cartridge razors but I don’t really take any notice of advertising that shows all these supposed advantages of having several blades. It’s a load of old b…… if you ask me.
    I guess for me the cartridge blade is quick and easy but I do like the idea of having a safety razor. They do look pretty neat. I remember my dad had one and after reading this post I’d definitely consider buying one as I have seen some advantages I would have never thought of.
    I’m just wondering if those double edged blades that I remember so well, are as easily available now as they were when I was a kid? I can’t remember the last time I even saw one – but then again I haven’t been looking.

    1. Andrew Post author

      G’Day Eoin

      There is currently a strong resurgence in the use of safety razors. More shops are beginning to stock blades, but buying on-line is by far the most popular method of purchase.



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