Guide to Shaving: The 5 Types of Razor Blades

For a large portion of the population, shaving is something that’s done each and every day. In fact, more than one-third of people in the United States alone report that they shave at least once per day, while more than half shave at least once per week. 

Because of this, the razor industry is surprisingly large since you can find them in just about every household. You’ve likely seen a few different types of razors in your lifetime, too. What are all the razor types, though? Here’s a guide that shows the five types of razor blades that are used every day:

Cartridge Razors

For those that want a permanent handle that they’re comfortable with but want to use new blades, the cartridge razor is the way to go and it’s among the most frequently used types of razors. With these razors, there are several cartridges with blades that come in a package and one handle to house them.

When the blades start going dull in one cartridge, a user simply pops the cartridge out and replaces it with another one. About half of people who use razors each day opt for the cartridge type compared to the other forms due to the cost and convenience.

Disposable Razors

There was a time when almost everyone you knew had a disposable camera and used disposable razors. Though disposable cameras are almost nonexistent these days, there are still plenty of people who use disposable razors. This is one of the cheapest options for shaving and comes through in a pinch when you’re traveling.

Disposable razors typically aren’t the sharpest and come with a plastic handle, making them easy to simply throw away after they’ve been used a few times. Also known as shavettes, disposable razors became popular in the mid 20th century, but are being used less frequently.

Straight Razors

Perhaps the most nerve-wracking type of razor to use is the straight razor, which is only fitting since another name for it is the “cut-throat razor.” These blades that can be folded back into their handles were the standard for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt. It wasn’t until the 17th century that they became commonly manufactured, though.

Straight razors are the most effective way of shaving, even if it is a bit more anxiety-inducing compared to other razors. Outside of shaving, straight razors have been used in pottery and leather crafting, but aren’t nearly as popular as they were hundreds of years ago.

Electric Razors

An electric razor will be handy for those who don’t need to be shaven but want to get the job done quickly. There are a few different types of electric razors, too, with some designed with rotary blades while others are foil-type. There are also different parts of the body on which electric razors focus.

This can include the top of your head for people who want to go with a buzzcut, all the way to nose hair trimmers and beard shapers. The original electric razor might be older than you think, too, with the patent first being granted in 1898. It wasn’t until 1915, though, that the electric razor became fully operational and exploded in popularity throughout the mid-20th century. Now, about more than one-third of men use an electric razor each day.

Safety Razors

Not all of us have a steady hand and are able to use a straight razor, and for that, we thank the inventors of the safety razor. Equipped with a guard between the edge of the blade and a user’s skin, a safety razor prevents amateur shavers from cutting themselves with the blade. 

While they were introduced in the 18th century, it wasn’t until King Camp Gillette’s version in the early 20th century that they became popular. This is especially true in the 1970s, with safety razors becoming the standard when used with disposable and cartridge razors.

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