How To Find The Best Cartridge Razor For Men
It’s gentle on the shave, lasts for quite a bit and delivers close results that have made me a happier man overall, which is why it made it to our list of best cartridge razor for men:
- Gillette Fusion 5
- 5-Blade Razor
FlexBall Handle and Precision Trimmer
Thinner, Finer Blades That Won't Pull
- Easy to use:
- Price: $$$
- Schick Hydro 5
- 5-Blade Razor
Lubricating Gel Reservoirs
Gel Reservoirs Keep Skin Soft for Weeks
- Easy to use:
- Price: $$
- Dorco Pace 6
- 6-Blade Trimmer
Mineral Oil Lubrication Strip
★★★★ Venetian Flow Blades that Resist Dulling
- Easy to use:
- Price: $$
If you can’t be bothered to spend an extra fifteen minutes in the shower with a safety razor and you don’t want to spend the time learning to use an electric one, then a cartridge razor will save your life. I always keep my cartridge razors in the shower for those days where I need to hop in and out of the shower in a jiffy. In this post, we’ll talk a little bit about what the advantages are to using cartridge razors, how to get the most out of your razor, and of course what the best cartridge razor for men on the market are.
Safety Razor vs. Cartridge Razor
Any avid shaver has an opinion on the greatest shaving debate of this century: safety razor vs. cartridge razor. The great debacle comes down to this.
Are you willing to spend a bit more for convenience and safety, or are you a traditional, non-disposable blade that can give you a closer shave if you are willing to put in the extra time.
It’s no secret that Gillette and Schick make a fortune selling the best cartridge razor for men because the refills will cost well over a $1 per cartridge though they cost mere pennies to manufacture.
Over the long run, you will pay more, but since the blades are set into the razor’s frame at an angle, they don’t make direct contact with your skin the way safety razors do.
Safety razors have very sharp blades, and if you haven’t perfected the art of shaving with them, you’ll likely be left with a few cuts around your jaw bone. If you’re travelling or on the run, a cartridge razor will cut off that extra stubble in no time flat.
Cartridge razors with five or six blades might cause your skin more irritation, but you simply cannot beat the convenience. With a disposable razor head, all you have to do is shave and toss.
If you regularly get ingrown hairs or razor bumps, then the culprit is probably the cartridge razors. They don’t shave the hairs well and often cut well below the top layer of skin. Cutting below is not the issue as a safety razor does the same thing, but the way the hair is cut unevenly leaves it open to growing under the skin.
This is why I recommend a safety razor for ingrown hairs. It cuts the hair very close to the root, but makes a nice even cut so when it grows back it is able to easily grow through the skin without getting stuck and curling back.
I highly recommend these for black men, especially since they are prone to razor bumps since they have tight, curly facial hair.
Keep the plastic handle, and pick up a new box of best cartridge razor for men every few months or so.
To prolong the life of your cartridge and to also experience a better shave, the more prep you do on your face, the better.
What I mean by that is to make sure you use a lot of hot water to get the skin and stubble really soft and to use a good shaving cream.
The best thing to do, even when using a cartridge is to apply a shaving cream or soap with a badger hair brush. You’ll get the stubble properly soaked and the hairs will be sticking up instead of against the skin. You’ll be amazed at how much your shave is improved by doing this.
Pros and Cons of Disposable Razors
Of course, there is no shaving system that is totally a utopian dream. There are going to be pluses and minuses to everything. You just have to find the one you can live with.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages to using a cartridge razor.
Safe to use – You can really get rough with these razors and, aside from a nick here or there, not do any damage. Since they have multiple blades set at a precise distance apart from each other and at just the right angle, they are very forgiving.
Easy to find – You don’t ever have to go further than your corner store or gas station to find a cartridge razor. If you’re in a jam then even a cheapo can be had to get your shave game in play. I always buy mine on Amazon to always have some on hand, but the point is that you’ll never be at a loss as to where to get one.
Low cost of entry – Ok we all know how expensive the replacement cartridges are. But, to get started, they make it really cheap to buy a handle with a free cartridge or two. Yes, this is sort of a trap they lay out for us bargain hunting guys, but the fact remains that you don’t have to spend much initially.
Easy to use – There is no learning curve at all when it comes to a cartridge razor. Just lather up and go nuts.
Expensive over the long term – This is not a news flash. Everybody already knows how we get taken hostage by the cheap handle and then get sucked into paying more for razors than car payments. But, we wouldn’t keep buying them if they weren’t effective.
Can cause razor burn – The problem with multiple blade systems is that they can be rough on sensitive skin. Some guys also get razor bumps since they don’t cut the hair properly so they can end up curling under when growing out and that’s an ingrown hair that is uncomfortable.
Don’t last long – Some guys claim to be able to use their cartridge razor for a month or longer before they need to change it. Either they are lying or they are masochists that love the razor burn. I have not been able to get more than 10 days out of a cartridge unless I use my Blade Buddy from Amazon.com to keep it sharp for longer. The blades are way too thin and very inconsistent to be able to be effective long term. And this adds to the expense.
Not environmentally friendly – Our landfills are filled with these cartridges that cannot be recycled. Not to mention the cost to recycle the wasteful packaging. As more people are starting to take this seriously, it is hard to justify being so unfriendly to the environment.
Blades get clogged easily – Since the blades are so close together, they tend to get gunked up really easily. If you have a bit more than a few days of stubble, you’ll be afraid that you’re going to break your sink with how hard you bang that blade against it. You can use an old toothbrush to clean it out, but then you’re dulling the blades.
The 4 Best Cartridge Razor Out There [Handpicked]
#1 Best 5-Blade Cartridge Razor:
Schick Hydro 5
I don’t know if it is just me, but I find the older razor models to be better at shaving without causing irritation. It seems that the design has changed for the latest variants but I like how the older ones shave. Not to mention they are also cheaper!
#2: The Best Gillette Razor:
Gillette Fusion 5 Proglide
The Gillette Fusion Proglide 5 isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
The flexball handle allows the razor to bend with the contours of your face so you can get the sensitive areas around your neck. It also comes with finer, thinner blades that glide over your skin without pulling at your facial hair.
The lubricant strip contains a touch of mineral oil to keep your skin smooth and soft, and the back of the razor head has a precision trimmer for your upper lip.
If you take good care of your razor by washing it frequently and drying it after use, one cartridge should last you up to an entire month. Of course that could still vary depending on how thick and course your hair is and how frequently you shave.
I have a fairly thick beard with sensitive skin, so I shave every other day or so. When I use these razors, a cartridge tends to last me close to a month.
The ironic thing is that your razor will last longer if you have a bit of longer stubble. Since it is softer, the razor cuts through it easier. When your stubble is just growing, it is thicker and rougher and takes a greater toll on your razor blade.
That being said, a package that only costs a bit more than $25 should be able to last you from January at least through June.
Remember, the easiest way to preserve your razors is to dry them regularly. Water causes the blades to rust and dull, so prevent them from oxidizing and add weeks to the lifespan of your razor.
Most people never realize this, but you should be able to get quite a bit of use out of one Gillette razor if you’re careful.
Though this razor pack is expensive, you won’t be able to find a smoother shave anywhere. It glides effortlessly over your jaw, neck, and upper lip, and leaves your skin feeling fresh time and time again.
Gillette Fusion Pro Glide are the most expensive of the cartridge razors, yet are the most popular. People are willing to pay more for them because they are consistent. You know you’re going to get a good shave with Gillette so they can charge what they want. If they weren’t good nobody would pay those prices.
#3 Best Cartridge Razor for Budget Shaving:
Dorco Pace 6 Plus
You can trust that Dorco will always sell you affordable razors. If you want a nice, clean shave without breaking the bank, then Dorco is your way to go.
The handle is light, and the cartridges easily pop off when you press down the tab on the back.
Best yet, the customer service on the Dorco team is impeccable. Even if you post a negative review, they’ll contact you personally and send you a replacement product. They are proud of their company and are willing to stand behind each and every one of their products.
You can be sure that if you buy from Dorco, they’ll work with you personally should anything go wrong.
In fact, the Dollar Shave Club razors are made by none other than Dorco.
The difference between this razor and the Gillette Fusion razors is that the Dorco Pace doesn’t have a flexball handle so that it can’t adjust to the contours of your face. If you can do without some of the fancy accessories though, you’ll save loads of cash.
#4 Best Cartridge Razor for Convenience:
Micro Touch Triple-Blade Razor
Not only does it have a simple plastic handle, but it comes with two fewer blades. With only three blades, this razor will be easier to maneuver, and because there are fewer blades, it will irritate your skin less.
Best of all, this razor comes with twelve replacement cartridge heads, so you won’t have to reload until the following year. The non-stick coating on each of the stainless blades prevents build-up letting you shave even longer before replacing the blades.
Make the Most of Your Best Men’s Cartridge Razor
Even though I love these best cartridge razor for men because they’re portable and convenient, they can irritate your skin if you don’t prep your skin properly.
If you’re not using beard balm or oil, you’re bound to leave the shower with an itchy chin and dry whiskers. You won’t want to skimp on good-quality shaving cream either. Even the best cartridge razors will irritate your skin if you aren’t prepping with any lubricants.
You might even want to exfoliate with a nice face scrub first to take off any dead skin cells.
In fact, the cleaner and healthier your skin, the better your shave will be. While the pre-shave oil will smooth down the skin and reduce friction, aftershave, moisturizers, or even a bit of aloe vera on a regular basis will keep your skin soft and supple.
The better your can keep your skin nourished, the less likely you’ll be to cut yourself.