The aggressiveness of a safety razor is one of the most important factors when deciding on which to buy. There are a range of levels, but it’s generally accepted that most fit into one of three categories; mild, medium or aggressive.
Aggressiveness is dependent on five key factors:
- Blade gap
- Blade angle in the razor
- Weight of the razor
- Distribution of the weight
- Angle used by the man
The blade gap refers to the size of the gap between the the blade and the safety bar. With a large blade gap more of the blade is exposed to the skin and therefore the more aggressive the blade.
Angle in the razor
The angle at which the blade is in the razor will impact how much pressure the blade applies to the skin and therefore how aggressive the blade is.
Weight of the Razor
This is debatable, but in essence, the greater the weight the more pressure that is applied downwards as you shave. Obviously, this isn’t the case if you just hold you hand more steady but all things equal, heavier razors are more aggressive.
Distribution of the Weight
According to experts, the distribution of the weight can impact how the blade feels. With the weight mainly in the handle there is often more pressure from the blade onto the skin and therefore it’s more aggressive.
Blade Angle of the Man
As the angle the the blade is held at makes a difference, of course, the angle at which the man holds the blade will also have a large impact on how aggressive the blade is.
The Different Levels of Aggression
Mild Safety Razors
Mild razors have the blades in such a way that the pressure of the blade onto the skin is minimal. These types of razor are unlikely to cause any irritation or cuts because they normally have a small blade gap and are light razors. Mild safety razor are great for men who have very delicate skin, acne or weak facial hair. For these men, any more pressure from the blade is unnecessary and proposes extra risk without any added benefit. One example of a mild safety razor is the Feather All Stainless, this is extremely mild and gentle.
Medium Safety Razors
Medium aggressive razors are of an average level. They have a standard blade gap, standard weight and a shallower blade angle. Most safety razors are medium aggressive and offer a nice balance between the quality of a cut and the irritation. Some of the most popular medium aggressive safety razors are the Merkur 34C and the Edwin Jagger DE89L. These are some of the best safety razors because they offer enough aggression to glide through the average mans facial hair, without the extra risk that an ultra-aggressive razor offers. We would generally recommend that you start out with a medium safety razor, this way you can decide whether you want to increase or decrease, making it faster to find the right level for you skin. Also, a medium level will be best for most mens facial hair. Medium razors are normally rated between four and seven.
Aggressive Safety Razors
Aggressive safety razors are those that are rated between 7 and 10. They have an aggressive angle that will apply high levels of pressure from the blade onto the skin, giving the most efficient but also most dangerous shave for a beginner. If you have particularly coarse facial hair then you might need to use an aggressive shaver just to cut through your thick hair.