best razor: what makes a good razor

everybody remembers what it’s like learning to shave. maybe you sat on the bathroom floor watching your sister shave her legs with a cheap five-blade razor, or your mom showed you an instructional how-to video on shaving your armpits. maybe you had to tough it out while your dad awkwardly tried to compare shaving his facial hair with a cordless electric shaver to shaving bikini line using a disposable razor kit.

whatever the case may be, learning to shave is a memorable experience for many. full of trials and errors (and a learning curve to rival calculus,) there’s a lot to know when it comes to hair removal. whatever your childhood lessons looked like, they often left out the most important part.

learning to shave is about more than just how to hold a razor. to get a safe and smooth shave, you also need to know what products to use. this means choosing the best razor.

there are lots of razor options out there. from disposable razors purchased from amazon or Walmart to specialty-made razors with ergonomic bodies and pivoting heads, you have a lot of options … but not every option is a good one.

how do i get the best shave? 

for the best shave, you need the best razor. the plastic drugstore razor starter kit your mom gave you in seventh grade just isn’t cutting it anymore. it’s time to take your shaving game to the next level, and it all starts by upgrading your razor. 

what should i look for in the best razor? 

finding the best razor for you is not always a simple process, but it’s worth it. every failed experiment with a trimmer, electric razor, or hyped-up four-blade razor has each led you one step closer to achieving the clean shave of your dreams. (but you can still streamline the process.)

while there’s something to be said for exploring your options, there are a few key ingredients every good razor must have. when looking for your next best razor, focus on these five components.

awesome angles 

the best razor might not be able to do the splits or land an impressive handspring, but it should be able to get to all of your nooks and crannies. to reach all those hard-to-reach places, a razor needs to be able to pivot. 

the best razors are designed to glide along your curves with ease. especially when shaving under your arms, your razor must be able to adapt to the angle of your skin. hanni’s weighted razor has a cap curve specially designed to fit your underarms, as all the best razors should.

sharp yet safe blades 

a razor should do more than fit your curves. it needs to be safe for your skin.

when it comes to razors, two blades, or even three blades or more, are not better than one, but single-blade razors need to be sharper than those multi-blade ones.

unlike multi-blade razors that have several chances of catching a hair (and giving you a razor bump in the process), razors with a single blade have only one chance to cut a hair. to ensure a smooth shave doesn’t leave stray hairs behind, your single-blade razor must be sharp. 

sharp blades are the key to a great shave. dull blades are less effective than sharp ones, so they require you to apply more pressure for the same end result. this extra pressure is not good for your skin: not only can it lead to more nicks and cuts, but it can dull your razor blade. using a sharp razor allows you to get the most out of your shave — and out of your blade — while minimizing razor bumps and burns.

but even the sharpest blades will eventually dull. 

3. refillable blades 

your hair is 50 times softer than a stainless steel blade, but it can begin to erode your razor over time. with each shave, your hair pushes against the blade’s natural weak spots, makingmicroscopic chips in the once sharp blade. 

these chips are left on your skin and can cause some major problems for your skin. to avoid microscopic cuts and maintain a sharp blade, it’s important to regularly replace your razor blade. 

that’s why the best razors are made withrefillable blades. whether that means popping in a new single blade or swapping out a whole blade cartridge, replacement blades can transform the effectiveness of your razor. 

but refillable blades are better for more than just your skin. not only are replacement blades cheaper than buying a brand new razor, but they’re also better for the planet. 

when you throw away a dull razor, you’re adding to your community’s landfill. dermatologists recommend you swap out your razor blade after everyfive to seven shaves (if not sooner), which means you could be throwing away over one hundred razors every year! 

consider that your friends, family, and next-door neighbors are doing the same thing, and that’s a lot of unnecessary trash going into landfills and the ocean. 

refillable razors are a whole different story. rather than throwing away the entire razor, you can swap blades in and out as often as you need. instead of filling landfills with bulky razors, you canrecycle your old razor blades. and with durable handles that you can use again and again, you can save the planet and your skin with just one purchase. 

4. plastic-free razor handles 

a razor is more than just the angle of its head or the quality of its blades. the best razor will be high-quality from top to bottom, including its handle. 

when choosing the best razor for you (and for the planet), pay attention to the materials used. just like human bodies, the body of a razor can come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. but, unlike our bodies, some razor bodies are better than others. 

the best razor has a body – otherwise known as a handle – made of metal. compared to cheap plastic handles, plastic-free razors made from high-quality stainless steel are more durable and easier to use. the natural weight of a well-designed plastic-free handle allows for natural pressure, which means you don’t have to press on your skin while shaving. 

plastic-free razor handles are especially great for people with sensitive skin. because of the metal’s natural weight, the razor requires a much lighter grip. not only are you less likely to cut your skin, but the heavy handle manages the pressure of your shave for you. 

for a closer shave free from razor burn, invest in a plastic-free razor. your skin and the environment will thank you for it. 

5. the right prep 

while a good razor is concerned about your skin during shaving, the best razors think about what happens after, too. 

your mom probably taught you to use shaving cream, shave gel, or an aloe moisturizer when shaving, but did she explain why? 

though shaving is not an inherently invasive process, you are still removing a natural part of your body. like anything else, it’s important to give body hair removal the respect it deserves. your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it’s time to start treating it as such. you wouldn’t casually cut away pieces of your lungs or liver, so don’t do the same to your skin. when you shave your body hair, it’s important to protect your skin.

your skin is covered in natural oils that keep it smooth and supple. some skincare products (like shaving creams) can naturally erode these oils, leaving your skin vulnerable. dry skin is more prone to cracks and cuts, which can lead to a bunch of different skin issues. to prevent skin infections and irritation, it’s important to replenish your skin’s natural moisture when shaving.

shaving dry is never a good idea. most razors are meant to be paired with a moisturizer of some kind, and if you forego them, you open yourself up to a world of hurt. to prevent skin problems like redness, razor bumps, and breakouts, you need to cushion your shave with enough moisture. 

to give your skin a double dose ofhealthy hydration, look for razors that come with a moisturizing partner. while not a part of the razor itself like a lubricating strip, these perfect pairs go a long way in protecting your skin from irritation. 

preventing problems with the best razor 

clues that a razor is right for you will come from more than just the physical hair removal tool itself. the best razor will also have the best impact on your skin. on your search for the best razor, read reviews and keep an eye out for sightings of these easily-preventable problems. 

avoiding ingrown hair 

any good hair removal method, whether you prefer shaving, trimming, or waxing, should aim to avoid ingrown hairs. not only are they inconvenient, but ingrown hairs – especiallyingrown pubic hairs – can become painful if left unchecked. 

when hair is cut at the wrong angle, under the skin, or with a dull blade, it can have trouble growing back. ingrown hairs, as the name may imply, are simply hairs that cannot escape the skin’s surface and begin to grow back into the skin. to keep hairs healthy and growing outwards, it’s important to trim them with care.

the best razor will avoid ingrown hairs by providing a close shave that does not penetrate the skin. to prevent irritation or infections before they occur, choose a razor with a single blade. 

a smooth start to your skincare 

like shaving, skincare is a full-body experience. big beauty brands promote skincare designed for your face but ignore everything from the neck down. whether it's your chest, arms, legs, or anywhere else, the rest of your skin needs to be cleansed and moisturized, too. (and that’s true regardless of whether you choose to shave or not.) 

your whole body is covered in skin, and it deserves the same level of care as your face.

before you can really give your skin the treatment it deserves, you have to start on a fresh canvas. skin nicked and cut up by poor-quality razors is more likely to be irritated, making your skincare less effective (or, even worse, an additional irritant). to give your skin the best care, it’s important to use the best razor. 

comparing different types of razors 

once you understand the basic components of a good razor, it’s time to start testing out different tools. everyone has different preferences when it comes to removing their body hair, so you can’t always rely on reviews to tell you what will be the right razor for you. 

to find your favorite razor, you have to compare and contrast different types. 

straight razors

a straight razor, also known as an open razor or a cut-through razor, is the most rudimentary type of razor. invented in 1680, these razors are no more than extended pocket knives. with a collapsable handle and no skin guard, straight razors look like a prop out of your dad’s favorite western film. 

that said, there are some people who prefer straight razors over more contemporary designs. each swipe of the blade feels like a journey back in time, even if the blades aren’t the safest. still, unless you plan to carve away your five-o’clock stubble, these razors are best left to the collectors. 

safety razors 

invented to rival the straight razor, safety razors are inexpensive and take a modern approach to the single-bladed razor. designed for precision, these razors provide one of the closest shaves out there, especially when you compare them to other drugstore brands. 

because they are made with only one blade, it can take time to learn how to properly use the razor. while hanni is technically a proprietary evolution of a safety razor, it’s important to note that it is not your grandma’s safety razor. its weighted design, curved head, and extra-long handle take everything we love about safety razors to a whole new level.

our how to hanni guides can help you figure out the best way to use this older sister to the safety razor without a steep learning curve. 

once you master its sharp blade, safety razors give you the best control over your shave. 

cartridge razors

cartridge razors are the most popular razor type, but that doesn’t make it the best. designed in the 1970s to simplify the shaving process, these razors capitalize on multiple blades to attempt the closest shave yet. cartridge razors tried to reinvent the wheel, but it didn’t necessarily work out according to plan. 

because of their plastic handle and easily-dulled blades, cartridge razors are a drain on the environment. overtwo billion plastic razor cartridges end up in landfills every year. people will justify their purchase by claiming cartridge razors are cheaper than stainless steel straight razors, but the facts say otherwise. 

refillable five-blade cartridges cost roughly 4 dollars each, while replacement blades for straight razors average only 84 cents a blade. that makes cartridge razors more than 470% more expensive than single-blade refills. so, not only are cartridge razors worse for your skin and the environment, but they’re worse for your wallet. 

introducing the best razor 

just like you, hanni was created by women who were tired of plastic razors that only delivered painful razor burn and a sub-par shave. so, we decided to make a new kind of razor. 

the hanniweighted razor is the best razor out there. winner of allure’s best of beauty award in 2021, this stainless steel razor is truly one of a kind. made with a 100% metal body and specialty Swedish blades, our razor is designed to glide along your skin like water, removing hair and dead skin as it goes. 

we designed our sensitive skin razor to give you the closest shave you’ve ever had. the weighted razor features an extra long handle (over 5 inches!) to help you easily reach wherever you want to shave. and with the added bonus of a curved head specially angled to fit under your arms, shaving has never been easier. 

the weighted razor is also powder-coated, meaning it won’t rust when wet. and with finger grooves that support your grip even when your hands are wet, this razor’s metal body won’t slip out of your hands, making it perfect forin-shower storage and use.

shaving is for everyone

here at hanni, we don’t believe there is a difference between a men’s razor and a women’s razor. the best razors for women (or anyone else) don’t come with a pink tax. we judge our razors by the weight of their bodies and the sharpness of their blades, not by a social construct designed to categorize people. 

no matter who you are or why you shave, hanni is here to help you experience the confidence of a close shave. 


The Scientific Reason Why Razors Don't Stay Sharp for Long | Smithsonian Magazine

How Often Should You Change Your Razor Blades? | The Manual

Landfill Waste: How To Prevent Disposable Razor Plastic Pollution | USA Today

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