The joy of using a safety razor is that the best double edge razor blades are cheaper, more effective and more environmentally-friendly than plastic cartridge razors.
Sample 16 Different Razor Blade Brands
100 Safety Razor Blades From 16 Brands. Find Your Favourite.
Our best safety razor blades:
- Merkur safety razor blades – Premium German blades
- Derby safety razor blades – Cheap and comfortable
- Feather safety razor blades – Premium Japanese blades
- Wilkinson Sword safety razor blades – Drugstore classic
- Astra safety razor blades – Cheap sharp Russian blades
Merkur Safety Razor Blades Review
Merkur make some of the best safety razor blades to go with their top safety razors. The Solingen area of Germany is renowned for superior expertise in the manufacture of all sorts of blades.
Merkur safety razor blades are platinum coated for an extra sharp edge, although they are slightly more expensive than a lot of the other best safety razor blades. Unfortunately they do not appear to be available in bulk packs.
Feather Razor Blades Review
Besides Solingen, another part of the world renowned for its steelworking and blade-making abilities is Japan – the home of Feather.
Feather razor blades are incredibly sharp and like Merkur use a very thin layer of platinum, which probably explains their detrimental price. However they are also available in a bulk pack of 200 for under $50.
In the wet shaving community these are seen as an expert choice that will give a very close shave and so aren’t very forgiving for beginners. Their aggressive bite means they are also not recommended for sensitive skin.
While these safety razor blades match the universal shape and can be used with most safety razors Feather also make some of the best safety razors such as the AS-D2. They also have a variety of shavettes that match their premium reputation.
Derby Safety Razor Blades Review
Derby are a modern classic, partly thanks to their bulk packs on Amazon with 100 double edge blades for under $10.
But don’t let the low price put you off. Many wet shavers enjoy the comfort of Derby blades – capable of a great shave but far less likely to cause nicks and cuts.
They are made from Swedish steel coated in a chromium-ceramic platinum tungsten polymer.
Derby truly represent what safety razors are all about: utility, quality and sustainability.
Wilkinson Sword Razor Blades Review
It’s easy to forget about classic consumer brands like Wilkinson Sword. Many wet shaving fans think they have to switch to dedicated brands like Merkur and Feather when actually many drug store brands were supplying safety razor blades before the days of cartridge razors.
Wilkinson Sword blades were introduced in the 1950s and were very popular. These razor blades today use a triple coating process of chromium, ceramic and PTFE (Teflon).
One thing to watch with these more commercial razor brands is batches. These giants may switch manufacturers regularly and so you may end up with different variations of the same product.
Supposedly these Wilkinson Sword blades from Germany are a premium option and offer a great shave. On the other hand there are reports of similar versions under the Wilkinson Sword brand coming from India which are cheaper and not so good.
These have a double edge razor blades bulk option with 100 blades for under $20.
Astra Razor Blades Review
Astra are another budget double edge razor blade manufactured in Russia but are actually owned by Proctor & Gamble.
A lot of wet shavers have complained of a decreasing quality at Astra so we don’t rate them highly. However it still takes a lot to make a truly bad blade. In reality, Astra remain cheap and effective, but don’t expect them to compete with Merkur or Feather.
However, we do highly rate the fact Astra razor blades come in a cardboard box and so are one of the few genuinely eco-friendly razor blade options. Even bulk packs of razor brands like Derby still use plastic containers for each set of 10 and we don’t think these are easily recycled. See more about recycling safety razor blades below.
But like Derby, you can buy Astra double edge razor blades bulk with 100 for under $10.
Why Double Edge Razor Blades Are Best
The best double edge razor blades are the very essence of sustainability – made minimally but to great quality.
They’re nothing more than a thin sheet of stainless steel – often coated with a microscopic layer of platinum for optimum sharpness. This means they are usually recyclable.
So unlike cartridge razor blades that cost more money, take up lots of shipping space, clog easily and then go to landfill, a double edge blade comes packed in a set of five or ten in a small and dense box at a low price. The shaving experience is superior and the waste is minimal.
Find The Best Double Edge Razor Blades
What’s more is that with such a simple product, there’s not much that can go wrong. So from the finest Merkur DE blades to the cheapest blades, you’re very likely to get good quality.
And unlike many things in today’s world the size and fit is standardized so no matter what age or brand of safety razor you have, you’re unlikely to find blades that don’t fit it.
That said, many safety razor users have a preference. So it’s probably best to shop around and buy double edge blades from a range of providers until you find the one you like.
This is much the same as finding the best shaving soap – it’s more about finding what works for you. And unlike safety razors or shaving brushes these are commodities you use up so you can buy varieties to experiment with.
You should also try out different combinations of double edge razor blades and shaving soap as each may behave differently in different settings.
When you find your favourite blade you can bulk-buy a box of 100 safety razor blades which will last years. This is both economical and better for the planet.
If you don’t then you can stick to the cheapest safe in the knowledge that you have found the right deal for you.
You will often find blades come with a little factory lubricant or wax. This is quite normal but we would always recommending giving your razor a good rinse after installing a new blade – same as you would wash a new plate before eating off it.
Where to Find Safety Razor Blades
The only issue is availability. And that’s not surprising given that double-edge blades are seen as more of a niche product. Shops are likely to sell fewer and make less money on each box because they are cheap.
That means many shops simply don’t stock them. In some cases we’ve seen shops sell “starter” sets of a safety razor with a pack of blades but no way to buy just the safety razor blades.
Thankfully the best double edge razor blades are easily found online. In fact you can buy in bulk if you have the space to store them. If you don’t then thankfully many smaller boxes are Amazon Prime eligible so you can quickly order more when you run out.
When to Change Double Edge Razor Blades
When to change safety razor blades is a difficult question depending on a variety of factors:
- How often you shave
- The density of your stubble
- Whether you shave your full face or have facial hair
- If you shave elsewhere – your head or otherwise
- How close a shave you like
- How flush you’re feeling – you can use a blade for many shaves in theory, but nothing is as clean and comfortable as the first shave of a new blade.
Generally a blade used once a day will last 2 – 3 days. Remember that includes using both sides of a double-edged razor blade.
Don’t try and keep track of which side of DE blades you use as you’re unlikely to remember and it’s often easier to use both sides in one shave when shaving with and against the grain.
Bulk-Buy Double Edge Razor Blades
Thanks to Amazon you can bulk buy boxes of 50 or even 100 safety razor blades which could potentially be a whole year’s supply.
Packs of 10 Double Edge Blades
Many people simply can’t store that many double edge razor blades. Bulk-buying also means committing, whereas if you’re trying out your first safety razor you don’t want to commit quite so much. We also suggest sampling different brands of DE razor blades to find the one you like most.
How To Dispose of Safety Razor Blades
Once you have finished using a double edge razor blade you can normally slot it into the back of the plastic container it came in. You slide each new one out the front and insert old ones via the back until you run out and the container only holds used blades.
This is an ingenious design that works very well – but it isn’t very sustainable. Ideally we want to be zero-waste.
Are Safety Razor Blades Recyclable?
Generally safety razor blades are recyclable. The extra coatings are microscopic while the bulk of the material is just stainless steel. Generally it’s best to check with your local authority.
However, local authorities are unlikely to accept metal blades that come in a plastic container. One solution is to use a blade bank like this one from Rockwell Razors that can collect hundreds of blades and then you can dispose of the whole tin safely.
I’m on a mission to help millions of people around the world ditch expensive and wasteful plastic cartridge razors and switch to traditional safety razors that are far better for the planet.
I discovered the joy of traditional shaving when I was just 14, less than a year after I even started shaving at all. I loved the time-honoured ceremony, precision and quality of soap, brush, razor and aftershave.
My double-edge safety razor from Merkur is still the same one I use every day, although I’ve enjoyed experimenting with a range of models over the years.
Paradoxically I have also been through a long list of interesting facial hair styles, but have never stuck with a full beard. Instead I am normally sporting very intricate mixes of sideburns, moustache and goatee that makes a good shaving system essential.