A supply razor is a joy to behold. The Kickstarter innovation has become a leading example of modern design and technology applied to a traditional classic that it was thought couldn’t be reinvented. But is it the best single blade razor? This Supply razor review will find out.
Shaving & Skin Care Starter Kit
Single Edge 2.0 Stainless Steel
Single Edge 2.0 Alloy
We’ve had the good fortune to try a LOT of razors over the years – from vintage classics to modern startups.
But one thing is for sure from our tests – Supply is no cheap fad in fancy packaging. Even when it’s in a beautiful leather dopp kit.
You’ll find it a true masterpiece of design and style that’ll make an invigorating and inspiring start to your day.
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Supply offer a generous 60-day trial period where you can return any product with no questions asked – with free three-day US shipping and returns on orders over $35. So why not decide for yourself if this is right for you and try it today?
Supply Razor Review
Safety Razor History
The safety razor began life in the late 19th century as a fixed single blade razor. It required specialist tools to sharpen and so was no easier than a safety razor.
King Camp Gillette perfected it by making the blades removable and disposable. Don’t sharpen the razor blade. Just replace it.
That design was a pioneering effort that remains to this day, except Gillette as it grew to a global brand took a different approach and by the latter half of the 20th Century had decided that the way to improve the safety razor was to add more blades.
This was quite comical, yet today we see the latest Gillette Fusion carrying five blades in a single cartridge and advertised as the best a man can get. But is it?
The Supply Razor Vs Disposable Cartridges
Big razor brands have exploited the male ego in assuring us that more means more – and that of course has spilled into women’s razors. But in truth, the old single blade safety razor still reigns king for a number of reasons.
- Smoother shaving – A one blade razor has more contact with the skin and so offers a smoother shave than multiple blades in a cartridge razor.
- Less irritation – With only one blade comes much less chance of irritation. That’s because multi-blade razors use a technique of first lifting the hair with the first blade and then cutting with the blade after. That leaves a high risk of ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
- Cost – Cartridge razor blade refills cost a fortune. Supply estimates that after the cost of the razor the Supply single edge costs just $24 a year in blades rather than $108 a year for disposable cartridges.
- Plastic waste – Modern shaving methods waste huge amounts of plastic, whether that’s disposable razors or cartridge razor blades. Of the 260 million tons of plastic that the world produces each year, around 10% ends up in the ocean.
The Supply Razor Difference
Supply razors took a different approach. They still wanted to improve on the classic safety safety razor design and create something for the modern age that would deliver superior performance for a lifetime with high quality materials.
Supply Razor Review – A Superior Single Edge Razor?
Single Edge Razor
A single edge razor feels more like the kind of cartridge razor most shavers will be used to. In fact using the Supply razor feels very smooth without much feedback.
That’s due to both its weight and the fact that its injector style blades tend to be much thicker than double edge safety razor blades. It’s anything but flimsy.
Another clear difference is that with safety razors that are usually double edge razors their shavers get used to using both sides of the razor.
However there are certainly benefits to a single edge razor. While double edge razors generally extend the life of the razor blade it is easy to forget how much you have used each side.
That means a blade is either under-utilized and disposed of prematurely or overused and delivers a sub-par performance unless you are really aware of the quality of your shaving, which is unlikely early in the morning.
Another big perk of the design is how the blade is totally enclosed so you’re unlikely to catch yourself with the ends of the blade like with many safety razors.
Having the blade on one side also allows you the freedom to press of the back of the head. While this isn’t really necessary it is reassuring that you don’t need to worry about avoiding the razor head with your hand.
Injector Razor Blades
With such an innovation like the Supply razor you would imagine they would have branded their own razor blades – and they have. That would normally be a big negative for an unbiased Supply razor review like this. However, these injector-style blades are universal and have been around for generations just like standard safety razor blades.
Injector razor blades were used a lot by Schick, a big competitor of Gillette throughout safety razor history. Read more about their invention from Supply themselves here.
Injector razor blades are thicker and so tend to feel more like shaving with a solid straight razor rather than a thin safety razor blade.
Handling the blades is minimized with the use of an injector so this takes away one of the fears beginner wet shavers have about handling sharp double edge razor blades.
That’s definitely a good thing given that injector razor blades have quite a setback in their size and shape. They are small and thin so handling them is quite unnerving, especially if you are used to enclosed cartridge razor heads rather than double edge razor blades.
That is probably part of the reason single edge razors have never been much of a popular choice. Injector razor blades are far more commonly used in disposable blade straight razors known as shavettes. Nevertheless that is testament to their quality cutting edge.
It was a straight razor shave in Italy that led American financial publisher Porter Stansberry to try to recreate the experience with his own single edge razor the OneBlade Genesis – a higher end alternative to the Supply razor. On the other hand OneBlade (review) then built the cheaper OneBlade Hybrid and OneBlade Core models.
After about 20,000 shaves in my life, this is the best razor yet. I have used lots of good razors over the years but nothing better than this one. It is an outstanding uncomplicated device that does the job and built to last a lifetime. I only regret I did not order the stainless steel version.
Adjustable Razor Aggression
While there are some adjustable safety razors they certainly aren’t common. The Supply single blade razor uses three settings of Sensitive, Comfortable, and Ultra Close.
This is certainly simpler than adjustable safety razors like the Merkur Futur and Vikings Blade Emperor where you select numbers on a dial which are easily forgotten. Intriguingly, in 2020 Parker also revealed they would be bringing out a new injector razor with multiple base plates that closely resembles the Supply razor.
However, numerous fans of this razor do not recommend the injector blades that come from Supply. Instead the classic blades from Schick have proved much more popular.
It seems odd that this preference has arisen, but then wet shavers find the same issue with Vikings Blade.
Brands that obsess over the quality of their razors may well not be able to give the same level of concern for their blades. They are afterall very different manufacturing processes.
The method of adjustment is actually the same used by fellow-Kickstarter graduates Rockwell razors. Rockwell set out to make a user-friendly and eco-friendly safety razor out of alumnium. Both Supply and Rockwell use interchangeable base plates to adjust their razors? What does that mean?
In a safety razor the base plate is the bottom half of the sandwich that includes the top of the head and the blade in the middle. The base plate has a large amount of influence in terms of the comb style and how much blade is exposed.
A Rockwell razor comes with three base plates and each side has a different level of aggression. With Supply razors you get three base plates. You switch them out via a screw on the underside of the razor.
Unfortunately that doesn’t let you change settings quickly while shaving like with most adjustable safety razors, which is kind of annoying, but it does mean you can commit to your favourite setting and leave it at that.
Injection Molded Design
Supply razors are made using Metal Injection Molding which is a high-tech process whereby powdered metal is mixed with a glue-like binder, injection molded and then the binder removed. This is a precise but expensive process used in medical and aerospace manufacturing.
Despite a smooth handle that you wouldn’t have thought would lend itself to wet hands and slippery shaving soap, the Supply razor’s grip is actually very satisfying. And that is despite its significant weight over more than 100 grams which was a worrying point for this Supply razor review.
Supply Razor Cost
With such engineering and superior materials – not to mention a designer brand – you would have thought a Supply razor would be expensive.
The cheaper alloy version of the Supply razor is actually new. Like many startups such as Tesla, they started with a single high-value product – like the Roadster – to bring in the cashflow to then manufacture a more mainstream product.
But how do you compare the Supply razor steel vs alloy? Often razors made from nickel alloy (which is most of them) bring concerns about strength and the quality of the electroplated finish which can corrode and chip.
The Supply razor is very solidly built and doesn’t have a vulnerable central screw prone to breakage like a safety razor, so breakage isn’t a concern.
As for the coating Supply uses a process called Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) that’s used in automative manufacture and is steadily becoming popular for razors – like the Fendrihan Full Stainless Steel Black PVD Coated MK II Safety Razor – and won’t let you down.
Supply Razor Review Conclusion
Overall this Supply razor review rates this innovation very highly. We would question the high price tag of the stainless steel version but the new alloy version means there’s truly something for all budgets.
What’s more it is clear that as a company Supply have very strong principles. Their products are very few and of high quality. Their website is beautiful. The customer service is passionate and helpful. Overall this is a brand committed to producing a product they truly believe in.
The Supply razor has been designed for an easy transition from shaving with a cartridge razor. One difference you may notice is as there is no lubricating strip you do need to make sure you prepare properly with a good lather of shaving cream. Other than that the blade is very forgiving and features a safety bar, so you just hold the razor against your skin at about a 30 degree angle and gently move it in strokes of a couple of inches. Don’t apply extra pressure and let the natural weight of the razor to the work.
A single edge razor uses just one replaceable blade which is only sharp on one side. That is unlike a multi-blade cartridge razor where several blades are held in a plastic case. It is also different to a traditional safety razor where the blade is double-edged. The result is a closer and more comfortable shave that’s much less likely to result in irritation.
We think so! Multi-blade razors use a method of pulling the hair out and cutting it with the next blade so the hair then springs back beneath the skin. While that may seem a smoother shave it is a leading cause of razor bumps as the hair can become ingrown or otherwise irritated. Single blade razors cut at the base of the hair and cause much less irritation by reducing the number of times the same area of skin is shaved.