Pros and Cons of Single vs. Multiple Blade Razors

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Shaving razors have invaded the market like a plague, and the manufacturers are not relenting. But there is a problem. Choosing from different types of shaving razors is becoming difficult by the day. From disposable, safety, electric, straight to cartridge razors, men now have to choose from among competition choices-all of which promise excellent and clean cuts. Even more gripping a question is, which between single and multiple blade razors, does a better job?

These questions could go on and on, but in the end, you must make a choice. In this post, we help you find the right and befitting answers. From looking at the pros and cons of single blade razors to exploring multiple blade variants, studies have sought to shed more light on this subject. Are you ready to get started? Well, buckle up so we can explore more together.

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Single Blade Razors: What do they have to offer?

Where there is grooming a man’s beards, there is a shaving razor that suits one’s lifestyle.  Razors with fewer blades have ruled the market for many years until recently when companies like Gillette added more. They argue that more blades mean a higher shaving precision and smooth effortless cuts. But let’s take a walk down the memory lane back to the good old days when single-bladed razors reigned supreme.

In the early 1990s, single-blade razors were the go-to instruments for our fathers and grandparents. They always donned smooth cuts and sharp looks. In the interest of entry-level readers looking for the best advice, note that another name for single blade razors is safety razors. With a guard going before the blade, gliding of the blade ensures a close shave, leaving you looking sharp and neat.

There is also a general agreement that single-blade razors do not cause skin irritation. Moreover, men who have a penchant for these razors say they hardly experience razor burns. Some say they love using safety razors because they do not cause ingrown hairs. While shaving too much may cause ingrown hairs, the type of razor blade one uses and skin type are predisposing factors. But let’s reserve that discussion for another post.

Are Single blade razors better?

Now, here is the big question. Are single blade razors better? The truth is that depending on your shaving needs, single blade razors quite often fit the bill. Your love for single blaze razors could be premised on the following:

  • There are few, if any, razor burns and bumps when you use safety razors.
  • For a long time, men who use these razors, say they don’t cause skin irritation.
  • Single blade razors glide over smoothly hence no ingrown hairs, thanks to a blade guard that clears the path of shaving.

More reasons why single blade razors are the ultimate choice for thousands of men include:

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They are affordable

Most men now shave in barbershops, at least three times a week. However, it is not a cost-effective approach to maintaining a clean-shaven beard or facial hair. Safety razors are undoubtedly a cheaper alternative. Talk about a shaving blade that is not complex and readily available in the market, single blade options come to mind. They are simple-indicative of affordability that will not leave a dent in your pockets.

Highly portable

We are not saying that some razors weigh more than your pocket-sized smartphone. The catch is that single blade razors are very compact and offers you extra portability and convenience anywhere you go. They are lightweight. You can tuck one into your back pocket or wallet and no one will ever notice that you are a razor addict.

Ease of use

You may have become a grandmaster of all razor types but that does not mean there is any other shaving blade that is simpler and easier to use than safety razors. If it will be your first time trimming beards and facial hair, get hold of a single blade razor. You don’t need rocket science to raze down the bubble.

Smooth and clean cuts

A clean shave is as good as realized with a single blade razor. It is the ultimate choice for men looking to realize close shave cuts. The blade is replaceable, thus do not risk using a blunt one lest it could trigger ingrown hair.

Variety of designs

Single blade razors come in different designs. It means, while they perform the same close shave cuts, there is a difference in how they work. They include 1-piece, 2-piece, and 3-piece designs.

It is easy to change blades in one-piece designs. They are sometimes referred to ask butterfly shaving razors because they look like wings of a butterfly when opened to replace blunt blades. One-piece single blade razors do not have a screw. You just twist, taking care that it does not break. Two-piece single blade razors have a screw joining the handle and the head. Lack of moving parts, however, makes them hard to clean.

Now, when it comes to three-piece design, they have a handle, a top, and a bottom. It is easy to dismantle three-piece single blade razors, hence easier to clean than two-piece designs.

How do you use single blade/safety razors

Since the advent of shaving razors, men have been advised on how to realize clean and precise cuts. So, you ask, what’s the fuss with using safety razors? Ain’t they safe to use? Well, as we indicated earlier, you do not need knowledge in rocket science to use these razors, but there are a few things that will make your shaving experience worth the ride. The following are vital shaving tips using single blade razors:

  • Start by applying a pre-shave, which is and always a basic step. But ensure to use the best one.
  • Apply a shaving gel or cream then spread it evenly on the area you want to shave. We presume it is your beards, but some men shave their legs and hands often.
  • Hold and incline the shaving blade at an angle of 30 degrees. It is the perfect inclination, saving your skin from cuts/burns.
  • Gently move the blade on the skin in the direction of the grain. Shaving against it often leads to ingrown hair.
  • Shaving your beard should take you a few minutes, after which, one should use an after-shave to speed up skin recovery.
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Disadvantages of single blades

Single-bladed razors are still popular even as multiple-bladed razors take center-stage. However, they are not without downsides, which partly informed the invention of shaving razors with many blades.

– Blade replacement is more frequent

First off, you will always replace blades after a few glides or weeks or use. The recommended frequency for using these blades is a maximum of 5 to 10 shaves, depending on the sharpness. Remember, some beards are tougher and stout, presenting a more challenging and tedious shaving experience even after applying a pre-shave and creams/gels.

– Redundant and outdated

As technology becomes the center-stage of newfound ways of realizing clean-shaven beards, single-bladed razors are becoming obsolete. But does technology render them redundant and useless? The truth is that single blade razors are becoming redundant. You can only realize clean shaves by gliding them severally over the skin, something that some men view is a lot of work in the morning.

Multiple Blade Razors: How good are they?

Gillette says they have always embraced technology and science to make cutting-edge shaving blades. Like any other company that has worked tirelessly to earn a reputation, Gillette’s attempt to break boundaries and pacesetting capabilities has been an important learning curve.

For hundreds of decades, manufacturers of shaving razors have emphasized precise and safe cuts. Shaving may have not had better experience pre-Gillette, but things are now looking up. From the early 1960s when Bic and Gillette took their innovation a little higher with stainless and disposable razors, the future looked bright. In 1971, a two-blade razor by Gillette changed their game plan, even that of competitors.

Today, multiple-bladed razors have raided men’s grooming wardrobes. If you haven’t used five or six-bladed razors, it is not too late to give it a go. But first, here is the big question. Are multiple blade razors any good? What do they have to offer beyond safety razors?

The truth is that the opinions of these new kits in men’s grooming accessories are many and varied. You might begin to cast aspersions on their effectiveness, going by the aggressive marketing/advertising campaigns during prime time TV programs.  But don’t judge just yet. In the future, there is a likelihood of having a behemoth shaving razor with tens of blades-maybe up to 20 blades?

Thus, in answering the question of multiple blades being better or not, we did some research that delves more into how multiple blaze razors work.

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How multiple blades became popular

A single glide of a shaving blade should give you a close shave. Of course, it has been the case for generations but with recent modifications, there is more. With single-blade now taking a backseat in infomercials, men are shifting to a new generation of shaving razors.  Gillette, our research reveals, has always stayed ahead of the competition. Call them a pacesetter in the manufacturing of shaving razors because they fit the bill, perfectly.

After winning a contract of supplying doubled-edge blades to US troops during World War One, Gillette’s profile got a facelift. However, the expiry of patent saw competitors gain entry into the market, gaining a fair share of the company’s clients.  But Gillette would not relent. They made another innovative maneuver by introducing 2-blade and 3-blade razors. The catch was that cartridges in these razors were replaceable and users could only buy cartridges from Gillette. A smart move, huh!

Over the years, the company has been relentless in giving men who shave their beards something about which to talk. Thus, if single-bladed razors did a better job, information on Gillette’s website has it that more blades make even a bigger difference. The company goes ahead to say in a video introducing a 5-blades shaving razor that it is not all about something that looks good, but rather, their invention is premised on better and precise shaves.

Hysteresis: How Multiple Blades work

Hysteresis is a process by which multiple blades work. It became popular in the early 1960s, a time when Gillette was actively developing shaving razors with multiple blades.  It goes that every blade in a multiple-bladed razor repeats a process of shaving for a closer and precise shave below the skin. The angle of inclination of each blade varies slightly but hard to notice. However, the effect is noticeable in the comfort with which they shave.

Progressive geometry, which is the arrangement of blades, defines perfect distancing and timing between each razor glide. So, let’s get to answer the big question, are multiple-bladed razors better? Well, from our end of the bargain, they are and it is because of the following reasons:

– Comfortable shaves

A comfortable shave means no risk of cutting yourself. The risk of skin bulging between blades reduces with more blade addition. Progressive geometry between blades ensures even load spread and distribution. In most multiple-bladed razors, if not all, the distance between blades is narrow, providing you with a smooth-gliding feel. In the understanding that facial skin is soft, the technology behind the manufacturing of multiple-bladed razors, therefore, reduces the risk of cuts, skin irritation, and nicks.

– Cuts hair below the surface

Single blades can give you the perfect shave, even if you want to cut hair below the skin’s surface. However, you will have to vary the angle of shaving so that the glide is efficient and effective. With more blades, everything is ready and set for you. The first blade is often slightly blunt, hooking and pulling up hair at the follicle so that the second one finds it ready for the cut.

When you go for more blades, say three, four, five or six, the arrangement of geometry ensures highly precise and perfect shaves below the skin. In three-bladed razors, roles of the first and second remain the same while the third one does a clean-up job, ensuring no hair strand remains visible on the skin’s surface.  With the addition of more blades, the process becomes repetitive, perfecting tasks that primary blades perform.

– Effortless

Multiple-blade shaving razors bring about an effortless shaving experience. There is little to no effort involved on your blade. No tilting the razor to find the perfect 30-degree shaving angle reminiscent with single blades. Rather, everything is perfectly timed so that with every glide, the spacing between blades and geometrical progression does the dirty work of cutting and clearing hair from the skin’s surface.

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Are there risks associated with using razors with multiple blades?

In many interviews, dermatologists have emphasized the use of single, two or three-bladed razors. They posit that multiple-bladed razors have more disadvantages than single blades. Do we digress? Well, their views are undoubtedly a stark contrast of Gillette’s policy on the future of shaving: More blades means precise and clean cuts. If you watch a video that explains how Gillette’s Fusion 5 works, you will want to dump your single-bladed razor.

Findings that dermatologists use to defend their position indicate that with more blades, it becomes difficult controlling and flexing your razor, hence the risk of running through bumps. As you continuously glide the blades over your skin, the possibility of skin irritation burns and nicks increases, especially when there is no more hair to cut. Without a styptic pencil to guide the glide, the experience could get worse, causing the dreaded ingrown hair.

Do more blades mean better shave?

More blades mean better shave. Such is a fact that is hard to dispute. You cannot glide single blades over your facial skin many times over without risking cuts. It is this gap of not realizing a single-glide of perfect shaving that informed Gillette’s interest in Hysteresis.

Moreover, you spend far less time shaving with multiple-bladed razors than single blades. With say, a 3-bladed razor, you will have covered what a single blade razor will do in three different glides. You should also note that when using shaving razors with multiple blades, the frequency of replacing blades/cartridges reduces significantly. Number one blade in the progressive arrangement, which is also slightly blunt, cushions the second and third…blades from a bumpy glide.

Final Thoughts

Every time an argument pitting proponents of single blade razors against lovers of multiple razors come up, emotions will overflow. It is not always easy settling the scores because each presents a fair share of merits and demerits. What does it mean and which steps should you take going forward? Well, it takes the understanding of everything that goes into realizing a clean and perfect shave to get started.

Whether you go for single or multiple-bladed razors, shaving creams will further make the process look simple and easy. Wet razors glide on the skin effortless, reducing the risk of nicks and cuts. In the end, an after-shave will help speed up the recovery of the skin. It is the ultimate solution to keeping bacteria away from getting into skin pores. Whichever razor you choose to use, preparation and patience are the keys to realizing nice clean cuts. With the above information on the pros and cons of shaving razors, we trust you can now make the right decisions.