Which Double Edge Razor is Best For You?

The double edge razor design as we know it today has been around since 1904 and has changed very little since then, with the exception of materials and draftsmanship. There are three main designs:

The main difference between them being in the way the blade is removed - the actual shaving quality remains the same. Each have their own advantages, as shown below.

One-Piece Design

Advantage(s): Quick and easy blade changes

Disadvantage(s): More prone to soap build-up

The one-piece design, also known as the twist-to-open, butterfly and silo razor contains a mechanism which opens the head of the razor like double doors. This is usually achieved by twisting a part of the handle which raises hinged parts on the head. This allows for a quick and easy blade change, making it a popular design choice among wet-shavers.

One-Piece-Razor
One-Piece Razor Example.

It should be noted that due to the small hinges, the one-piece design should be cleaned more thoroughly between shaves, as it is more prone to soap build-up.

Two-Piece Design

Advantage(s): Minimal interaction with blade during blade change

Disadvantage(s): Susceptible to soap getting in small holes

The two-piece design consists of the cutting head and main body. The cutting head has a long screw which is used to secure it to the main body with the use of a knob at the bottom of the main body. With this design held upside down, it can be incredibly easy to perform a blade change, as there is minimal interaction with the blade itself.

Two-Piece-Razor
Two-Piece Razor Example.

As with the one-piece design, cleaning can require more effort due to the fact that the lower head is permanently attached to the main body and because it is susceptible to soap getting into the screw hole.

Three-Piece Design

Advantage(s): Durable, easy to clean

Disadvantage(s): Blade changes take longer compared to the one-piece and two-piece designs

The three-piece design is the most popular, and has been around since the early 1900s. It is very similar to the two-piece design, with the exception being that the base of the cutting head can be removed in addition to the top of the cutting head. Blade placement is achieved by unscrewing all parts and placing the blade in between the top and bottom cutting head, and screwing this back on to the handle.

Three-Piece-Design
Three-Piece Razor Example.

Despite the blade change being slightly more difficult, this is the most popular choice, as lack of moving parts ensures longevity, and modular design allows for easy cleaning.