The Best Razors for a Close Shave
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Looking for that dream, swoon-worthy close shave? You’ve come to the right place. When it comes to shaving—or removing hair through other methods—your options seem endless. It’s hard to know which products really deliver a close, comfortable shave.
That’s why we’re here. We slogged through the trenches, tested a variety of blades and razors, and came out the other side with a few nicks and cuts and a lot more knowledge on the best razors for a close shave.
That said, there are still a lot of razors to choose from. Please read through each description to find a product that’s right for your hair and skin type. Before you start, here’s a quick overview of the most popular grooming instruments offering a close shave.
Safety razors are the king of wet shaving and offer a super close shave and straight razors offer the closest shave possible but should be used by professionals and experts. Folks who prefer a simple, fast shave are better off with cartridge razors, but be aware they don’t offer the closest shave possible.
Here are the best razors for a close shave for men and women.
Get up close and personal with the best razor for a close shave. The Single Edge Pro provides the closest, smoothest shave without all the common types of shaving irritation. When people press blades right next to the skin, they often cause issues like razor bumps, burn, or nicks and cuts. But with high-quality razors and blades, like this one from Supply, you can get a close, clean shave without the fuss.
The Single Edge Pro is a spin on a classic safety razor. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert shaver or want to become one because you can get a smooth, customized shave right out of the gate. The safety razor has a “shave dial” with 6 main settings and 30 micro-settings that adjust the blade to your liking. Moving the dial is easy as it’s just a turning knob you move (and the dials can move less than 1mm per adjustment).
But what can the shave dial really do? Personalizing how close—or far away—-the blade is from your face allows you to adjust to your hair and skin type. If you have irritated areas of skin, you’ll likely want to pull the blade further away from the skin, or if you’ve prepped the area and are ready to get an uber-close shave, you can move the dial to be as close to the skin as possible. The world is your oyster.
Another important factor that affects how close of a shave you get is the blades. Supply’s safety razors (both SE and Pro) come with a Black Label Blade Pack, and they’re the type of blades you want kissing your skin as you slice off hair. While you can use any blade in the razor (as it’s not proprietary), we definitely recommend using Black Label Blades. They’re ridiculously sharp and can provide a close shave without irritation to the skin.
Supply’s The Single Edge Pro is the best razor for a close shave and provides the best comfort as you slice off hair next to the skin.
Shaving close to the skin can be problematic for those with curly, coarse, or thick hair. It’s harder to whack or glide through hair and remove it safely and get a front-row seat next to the skin. That’s why safety razors like this one from Bevel exist. It’s designed specifically for those with coarse, thick, or curly hair, and it has all the bells and whistles to prevent razor bumps and other irritation that often comes along with a close shave.
Ready to get that close shave? Bevel’s Safety Razor has all the usual features and incredible blades. Holding the razor at the correct angle is essential as this allows the blade to trim hair as near the skin as possible. It also provides the best shave and makes it easier to slice off hair.
Bevel’s Safety Razor is the best razor for a close shave for people with thick, coarse, or curly hair.
Maybe it seems a bit fishy that another safety razor from Supply is on the list. But we’re happy to report that the razor offers an incredibly close shave that closely mirrors the Pro models.
The Single Edge SE is also a safety razor that utilizes a single edge blade to sever hairs from your body. The SE model is a bit different, though; it’s the perfect razor for beginners to get a close shave, and the NickStop™ Technology reduces nicks and cuts by 75%. Which means you can appreciate your close shave without the pain.
As a razor from Supply, it also comes loaded with a Black Label Blade pack, which are the warriors you want snipping off the hair on top of your skin. Usually, we wouldn’t recommend one-bladed razors like safety razors to beginners, but with The Single Edge SE, anyone can enjoy a close, tight shave without any fuss.
Don’t let this straight razor scare you. If you’re ready to switch from a safety razor to a straight razor, we have a (somewhat) beginner-friendly blade. Dovo is a German company that’s famous for its straight razors. They make traditional blades that travel around the globe and make it into barber shops of all shapes and sizes.
If you aim to get the closest shave humanely possible, you’ll need a straight razor. Shavette Satin-Finish Straight Razor is a high-quality blade that you’ll place right on top of the skin and slowly move as you shave.
Straight razors are most often used by barbers and shaving experts who’ve been shaving for decades. They’re tricky to learn and have a biger learning curve that takes time and effort. But if you’re willing to learn, they provide the closest shave.
Shavettes (like the Dovo model shown above) are easier blades to use as people learn how to wet shave. They use disposable blades instead of fixed blades and are easier to keep clean. Dovo’s straight razor is the best razor for a close shave for anyone willing to learn how to use it.
Multi-blade razors are well known for their ability to remove every hair and even get under the skin to ensure a close, clean shave. While they do provide a super close shave, they’re also known to be the most irritating.
Folks with normal or “strong” skin types often relish the close shave a multi-blade razor can provide. Gillette Fusion5 is a fan-favorite razor that comes equipped with five blades to slice off hair easily. As a cartridge-style blade, buying and replacing the razor head is easy without cutting up your fingers.
Fusion5 has a lubricating strip to prevent irritation and battery-powered micropulse that are meant to reduce friction as you shave. Because the five blades shave so close to the body, friction reduction becomes essential when using a multi-blade razor, making the Gillette Fusion5 a favorite of many.
Gillette Fusion5 is the best multi-blade razor for a close shave with friction-reduction technologies.
The Ultimate Guide to Razors for a Close Shave
Even if you’re not a barber with a certificate in “super close shaves,” you can still learn the necessary skills to get a tight shave without causing irritation.
How to Get a Close Shave
There’s only one way to get an extremely close shave—with a super sharp blade that gets as close to your skin as possible (without slicing it up or causing mayhem). That’s it. There’s no witchery or secrets that can provide a closer shave.
But there are tips and tricks that you can follow to prep your skin pre-shave and get the closest shave possible. Here are the best ones:
1. Take a Hot Shower: Hop in the shower and make it hot hot. Really crank up the heat when you’re showering pre-shave. Don’t scald yourself or visit one of the nine circles of hell, but do crank up the heat and steam to soften the hair and open up your hair follicles like a flower in bloom.
2. At-Home Towel Treatment: Cozy up with your favorite towel and make a hot towel treatment. It’s easy. Start by filling your sink with steaming hot water; the hotter, the better. Just be careful not to scald yourself. Now fold your towel in half hot dog style (long ways) and roll it up. Dunk half the towel in the water and squeeze it out. Place the towel on the area you’d like to shave. The heat softens up and opens the hair follicles, making cutting off the hair more manageable.
How to Choose a Razor for a Close Shave
Don’t let patchy, nicked skin become your norm. You’ll need a razor that can handle your hair and skin type to get a comfortable, close shave.
Here are the top features to be aware of and understand before adding a new razor to your shaving kit.
Identify your Hair and Skin Type
Before you can get started and whip out your credit card, you must identify the needs of your particular hair and skin type. Really, you must!
Folks with thick, coarse, or curly hair need a super-sharp blade that can slice hair off in one direction. This hair type is prone to curling and curving into the skin, which causes ingrown hairs. You don’t want that! Use a single-edge straight razor or straight razor to remove hair. Razors with cartridges and multiple are not the best options, but if they have features for sensitive skin, they will get the job done.
The other group who can’t purchase razors willy-nilly are those with sensitive skin. Sensitive skin and shaving don’t mix, and you’ll want to find a razor that can slice off hair without causing heaps of irritation. The best options for sensitive skin are products with “bars” that protect the skin from the blade, single edge safety razors, and those with lubricating strips.
Those with other hair and skin types will have an easier time testing and selecting a new razor, as they’re unlikely to experience many of the problems listed above.
Blade Material and Coating
To get the closest shave possible, you’ll need to use a sharp blade that’s sole purpose is slicing off hair. The best razor blades are made from stainless steel or carbon steel because they provide maximum sharpness and corrosion-resistant. A blade can last between three to twelve shaves, depending on the manufacturer and blade type, before it dulls.
Blades also come with different types of coating, which can aid in slicing off the hair and provide a smoother, closer shave. Standard coatings include platinum, chromium, ceramic, tungsten, or PTFE (a type of Teflon). Platinum and PTFE are the best coating for a blade, allowing them to easily glide over the skin without causing tugging or pulling.
Number of Blades
Does the number of blades really matter when getting a close shave? Yes, they do! While many think more blades mean more hair removal, we’re sad to say that’s untrue. If you want a super close shave, the fewer blades, the better.
Experts recommend using a single or double bladed razor to get the closest shave possible. There’s less interference from other blades, and the blades can get as close to the skin as possible without causing irritation.
Getting a close shave shouldn’t cost you your life savings. While there may be expensive products that offer “the closest shave ever,” you shouldn’t spend more than you comfortably can just to get a closer shave.
There are some incredible, affordable products that can also help you get a get close shave. Single edge safety razors like one from Supply are one of the best, wallet-friendly options. The blades are easy to replace and cost less than ten dollars. The basic safety razor model is less than sixty dollars, and the Pro model is less than ninety.
Top Tips and Tricks for a Close Shave
Follow our tips and tricks to get a closer, better shave.
Don’t Use Dull Blades
You can’t get a close shave with a dull blade, so we recommend switching out the blade frequently. Folks with thicker, coarser hair will need to replace the blade more often than those with soft, fine hair.
Dulling blades don’t glide through hair as easily as before, and they’ll often tug or pull the hair as you shave. They also can’t provide as close of a shave because they’ll cut the hair in jagged patterns that aren’t even and smooth.
Shave With the Grain
We can’t stress this one enough, shave with the grain, not against it. Shaving with the grain means you’re shaving in the direction the hair is going. When you shave with the grain and hair, you allow the blade to get close to the skin and reduce the chance of irritation.
Going against the grain is a disaster waiting to happen. While it may still offer a close shave, it will be an irritating close shave that results in razor bumps and burn.
Fine-Tune Your Shaving Routine
You’ll have to experiment before you get the closest shave of your life. Sadly, you won’t wake up one morning and have “The Perfect Close Shaving Routine” down pat. Experiment with different methods, tools, at-home treatments, and shave products until you find the best routine for you.
A few things to try are using exfoliating and heating pre-shave to open up the hair follicles, switching to a single blade razor, and using a shaving cream to get as close to the skin as possible without stressing out your skin.
Frequently Asked Questions Can I use an electric shaver to get a close shave?
No, you can’t get a super-close shave with an electric shaver. While the tools are great for removing hair, they can’t get as close to the skin as safety or straight razors. When using an electric shaver, you’ll be left with short hairs, which are perfect for people who like to leave a little stubble behind.
What razor gives you the smoothest shave?
Razors that offer the smoothest shave have low (to no) friction that allows the razor to glide effortlessly over the hair. A razor can reduce friction in different ways, including lubricating strips and fewer blades.
Razors like The Single Edge SE offer close, smooth shaves because the single edge blade reduces friction and problems like nicks and cuts by 75%. The unique design and sharp blades make it the best choice for a smooth shave.
What is the best type of razor for the closest shave?
The best type of razor (for the closest shave) is a straight razor. It has an unobstructed chance to slice hair off because it can touch the skin. That said, straight razors are typically used by shaving experts like barbers or men who’ve been shaving for decades.
If you want to get the closest shave possible, there are two options: use a razor like The Single Edge Pro or learn how to use a straight razor. If you go with the latter, we recommend watching oodles and heaps of Youtube videos or going straight to the source and learning from someone you know. Straight razors can be dangerous because they’re literally sharp blades with no protective gear.
How many blades is best for a close shave?
It really depends on the razor. Some razors don’t allow you to get as close to the skin because they have a protective bar. Typically you want to use a single or double bladed razor and no more than that. The more blades there are in a razor (like cartridge-style razors with five blades), the more likely it is to cause irritation like razor bumps, burns, or even nicks and cuts.
What’s the best razor for a close shave?
Supply’s The Single Edge Pro is the best razor for a close shave. You get a customizable, close, comfortable shaving experience with the blade. The razor has adjustable settings that place the blade closer or further away from the skin, depending on your preference and comfort.