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Adjustable Safety Razor Guide, Benefits & Blades

by James Adams November 22, 2020 6 min read

Adjustable Safety Razor Guide, Benefits & Blades | Japan Scissors

All safety razors may look alike, but each one of them is completely unique. The most common safety razors include:

  • Light and simple safety razors
  • Heavy and bulky safety razors
  • Safety razors with a single-edge blade
  • Safety razors with a double-edge blade
  • Safety razors with removable head 

Today we are focusing on adjustable safety razors that let's just adjust the settings to suit your skin, coarse hair, and style of shaving.

What makes an Adjustable Safety Razor unique?

The adjustable settings on a safety razor

In your search for a quality safety razor, you will most likely come across the term “adjustable razor”, but what really makes it stand out from the other razors?

The handle of the Barbers Adjustable Razor is numbered with adjustment settings from 1 to 6.

The cutting head can be raised or lowered by turning the handle to either create a larger or smaller blade gap.

When you set the adjustable razor at 1, you have set it to a shorter blade gap, this way the double-edged blade is less exposed. This setting is mostly preferred by individuals with either sensitive skin or lighter hair so that when shaving, it will be less aggressive.

If the razor’s setting is at number 6, this means that the head of the razor is raised to create a larger gap, thereby exposing more of the blade. This setting is best preferred by men with thicker or coarse hair, only because it more aggressive when shaving.

What is the purpose of an Adjustable Safe Razor, like what does it adjust?

A closeup look of safety razors

There is a certain number of parameters that are considered when designing the head of a razor.

Still, the most important two are the blade gap. The blade gap is the distance between the blade and the base plate of the razor, that is between points A and C as shown in the image above.

The blade exposure is the blade that sticks out and touches the skin from the top cap of the razor, between points A and B as shown in the image above.

An adjustable safety razor can vary the blade gap to an extent.

Things you show know before selecting and purchasing an Adjustable Safety Razor

One very important attribute is when aggressive the razor is. In this context, what we refer to as aggressive is how close a shave the razor will provide.

An aggressive safety razor will give you a very close shave, while a mild safety razor will provide you with a sparse shave.

For professional wet shavers, the more aggressive a safety razor is, the better, because it allows them to get a very close shave. But for the amateur wet shavers, an aggressive safety razor can be a challenge to use, because you will end up cutting yourself if you have no idea of what you are doing.

A milder safety razor is handled better by an amateur wet shaver. It is easier to learn how to wet shave with a mild safety, the chances of getting cut are very slim.

But the thing is majority of the safety razors you will find have a single setting of aggressiveness that cannot be altered. It is more like a default setting on the safety razor that cannot be tampered with at all.

This is the beautiful thing about adjustable razors, they are designed such that you can adjust the aggressiveness of your blade.

The lower setting of an adjustable safety razor is great for an amateur wet shaver.

When you have become really good at wet shaving, you can then adjust the safety razor to a more aggressive setting to get a closer shave, although there is still a chance you will get cut when using this setting.

Benefits of an Adjustable Safety Razor

Safety razor head

Below are some of the benefits of owning and using an adjustable safety razor;

Everybody Doesn’t Shave Daily

this is probably the most significant advantage of an adjustable safety razor. It allows you to adjust the settings that best favour your whiskers.

A mild shave is good for shorter whiskers, and an aggressive shave is suitable for longer whiskers.

Now some guys shave on a daily basis, and their whiskers grow in at almost the same rate daily, so a mild non-adjustable safety razor is most likely best suited for them.

But if you don’t have a shaving routine, like you shave daily for a couple days, and then shave whenever you feel like, it will make more sense if you use a razor that can handle your whiskers when they are at different lengths.

You Can Change Aggression on Different Passes

It is wonderful how when shaving you can use an aggressive setting for a with-the-grain pass, and then change the setting when doing an across-the-grain pass, and still change the setting again for an against-the-grain pass.

You have several options to work with, and that is great.

Whiskers Differ on Different Facial Parts

Those of us who are unlucky have areas on the cheeks, jaw and chin that whiskers grow out straight (and aggressive razor will do the job).

Then you come to the neck area and see whiskers that are swirled (using an aggressive razor feels like torture). So if you have different whisker patterns, an adjustable safety razor is the best for you.

You Can Practice with Different Settings

Beginners are great fans of the Double Edge Razor. It provides a mild shave that is perfect for amateur wet shavers and very easy for beginners to get the hang of.

Now that you have are better at using the razor for beginners, that is all you have to deal with, it becomes less of a challenge, and there is no room for learning new things.

But when you shave with an adjustable safety razor, you will have the option of learning how to use the aggressive settings, improve in skills and confidence as well.

They are Fun to Use

There is a popular saying, “variety is the spice of life” and for some reason, men who wet shave love like really enjoy switching things up.

It sort of feels like the more you are dedicated to wet shaving, the more you grow an interest for different razors. And in a way having an adjustable is kind of like having multiple razors in one.

In other words, you can use one safety razor to produce different results. Now tell me if that isn’t fun!!!

Not all men may need to use an adjustable safety razor like men with thin facial hair.

If you can get a close shave using a mild razor after three passes, then you probably do not need an adjustable safety razor. Except you just want to get one for the fun of it.

How often do Safety Razor Blades get blunt?

Different types of safety razor blades

Any frequent user of safety razor blades will sometimes wonder how long they last or how long can I use them before they go bad. 

It isn’t easy to figure out when you should change your safety razor blades. They are obviously more comfortable to use and a lot more effective than the disposable or cartridge razors. Still, when it comes to replacement periods, safety razors can be a handful.

Below is a quick guide to help you figure out the best times to replace your safety razor blades;

The number one sign that shows you when it is time to replace your blades is when it gets dull. If the blade pulls your hair, feels rough on your skin or give your skin more irritation than the normal post-shave, then it is time to replace it.

How often you change your blades depends on how often you shave. Take a look at the table below;

How often do you shave?

Stubble Thickness

How often you should replace blades!

Daily

Soft – Not Course

Twice a week

Every 2 or 3 days

Soft – Not Course

Once a week

Once a week

Soft – Not Course

Once a month

Daily

Medium

Twice a week

Every 2 or 3 days

Medium

Once a week

Once a week

Medium

Once a month

Daily

Hard - Course

Twice to three a week

Every 2 or 3 days

Hard - Course

Twice a week

Once a week

Hard - Course

Once every two weeks

 

So basically, a safety razor that is used daily needs to have its blades changed after a week or after six shaves, assuming that the three pass technique is being used.

Razor blades get blunt after using them for a long period, meaning over time the blade won’t shave as well as it should. And when the blade isn’t sharp enough, there is a probability that you will get cuts and nicks due to rough shaving as you apply pressure when using the razor.

A dull blade can also cause you to have ingrown hair problems.

How do I make my razor blades last longer?

Your type of hair and how often you shave have a huge impact on how long your blade will last. But with proper care, your blades can stay sharp, fresh and last longer.

Always ensure that your skin is adequately hydrated. It is easy to cut wet hair than dry hair.

Do not allow shaving gel and cut hairs to dry up in between your razor blades. Always clean and allow your razor to dry properly after shaving.

James Adams
James Adams

Jun is an experienced writer for hairdressing and barbers. She has a great passion for premium hair scissors, and his favourite brands to cover are Kamisori, Jaguar Scissors and Joewell. She teaches and informs people about scissors, hairdressing and barbering in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.


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