How to Use A Double Edged Safety Razor

adjustable black beauty

Congratulations!

If you are here, it means you are ready to use a double edged safety razor for the first time. Just like me when I first started, you have no clues on how to use it. For me, I drew my first blood using a DE for the first time. But fear not. I will try my best to give you a walkthrough so you have a good first shave. At least, to share the learning curve, I am in now.

Types of Double Edged Safety Razor

No matter that you got a vintage razor or a modern day built razor, the razor usually falls into this category:

  • Butterfly (TTO: Twist to Open)micro touch one safety razor
    • This type is the most common type you can find for the new razor
  • Two pieces
    • This type is consist of two pieces. The handle and the base plate is adjoined. The cap is another part
  • Three pieces
    • This type is consist of three pieces. They are the handle, the base plate, and the cap.
  • Adjustable
    • This type is actually like TTO but you have an adjustable blade gap and exposure. To adjust the aggressiveness.

      adjustable double edges safety razor, black beauty

      Adjustable Safety Razor

Aggressiveness

Double Edged Safety Razor main point usually about its aggressiveness. The meaning of it is still debatable, but people agreed on these points:

  • Blade exposure. The more it is exposed, the more aggressive it is.
  • Less protection.Β It is more likely for you to get irritations, cuts or nicks.
  • Closer shaving. It is cutting very close to the skin.
  • More efficient. You will do fewer passes to get a closer shave.
  • More flexible blade angles.

If you are new to DE safety razor, it is better to a get a mild aggressiveness one like Micro Touch One / Weishi/ Van Der Hagen razor. (They are the same razor with different brand).

Preparation

You really need to prepare your skin and hair for the shave. This is totally different from using a multi blades disposable razor. You can not rush the process or you will get a bad experience (like I did. Sigh..).

First, you need to clean your face. Use a mild face wash to clean dirt and other contaminants from your face. Yes, you need to wash your face even after last night washing. You might sweat and drool while you sleep. πŸ˜€

Second, I really need you to use a hot towel covering your shaving area. The hottest that your skin can take. This will soften your hair and prepare your skin for the battle ahead. Repeat two or three times. Trust me. You will thank me later. (This is the process that I tend to rush or even skipped. Regrettably, a bad move).

Some people will recommend you to use a pre-shave oil. This will add slickness to your face, helping your razor to glide smoothly. There are recipes for homemade pre-shave oil.

Some people also suggested putting mineral oil or a drop of glycerin into the lather. To help the slickness.

Build your lather nicely. If it is still bubbly, whisk some more to get a good foam. But this is also tricky. You do not want it too foamy either. You want a nice creamy lather, not bubbly, not too foamy.

How to use

I will show you how to use with my Micro Touch One. Β This is a TTO DE safety razor. I hope the steps given are clear enough for you.

First, open the blade container by twisting the bottom of the handle. Insert the blade carefully. You need to hold the blade like this to avoid cutting yourself.Dorco blades

Then you need to learn how to grip when you are using a DE. Do not use pressure when shaving with a Double Edged Safety Razor. Hold them according to the pass you are about to do.

  • With The Grain (WTG) passhow to hold a safety razor
  • Cross The Grain (XTG) passhow to hold a safety razor
  • Against The Grain (ATG) pass. (This pass is not advisable for a first timer)how to hold a safety razor

While you are using the DE Safety Razor, please maintain around 30-degree angle from the skin surface. You may find your own convenient angle, though.

Safety Razor

How to maintain

The easiest way to maintain your safety razor is to clean it after every use. Do not let pre-shave oil or shaving cream sit inside it for too long.

Just use hot water and a mild soap. Soak it in for 10-15 minutes. Brush the gunk away. If gunk persisted, repeat the process several times.

People also recommend ultrasonic cleaner. This will use ultrasonic vibration to remove the gunk away. Cautious people will remind you that this method might harm your razor plating.

Your razor will always be used “to cut your skin”. Giving you an open wound. Small, of course. You might know the wound as razor burn. That’s why it is important to regularly sanitize your razor. Alcohol is the easiest way. Boiling your razor is also alright as the razor is made from metal.

You might also want to polish your razor once in a while. But please be careful of your coating. Especially with gold plating. Do not use ammonia base polishing agent.

For moving mechanism (TTO type), usually, you don’t need to put anything. The design was made with no lubricant needed. You may put a drop of mineral oil if you find your mechanism started to stiffen. But before you do that, please soak it with hot water to remove the gunk that prevents the mechanism to work.

Old razor might need a special treatment. (WD-40 for rust removal, soak with hot water and detergent for couple of hours). Check forums for this treatment or ask me. I will try to give you ways to treat your razor.

Ready to use one? Find it at Amazon.
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Arief Wibowo

I am a wet shaving enthusiast that is on a journey to find a better shaving experience.
Never received any training on the subject.
That’s why you may read that the journey may be colored with some blood.
Ouch.

16 Comments

  1. Hi Arief,
    I got my first double edged razor for Christmas, I haven’t been confident enough to use it just yet. I certainly wouldn’t have thought to go through all of those preparation steps so I’ll make I’ll follow that closely.

    Do you have any recipes you can point me to for home made shaving oils as well?

    • Hi Nate.

      The confidence will grow as you use it. Just remember, do not use pressure on your skin.

      I will discuss pre shave oil on my next post. Thank you.

  2. Hey Arief, I also am fan of this baby. Actually I’m not using it right now but I used to. I experimented with it. It’s for real men. What else can I say about it. Very cool thing to give to someone as a present.
    You’ve put a lot of content in the post and made it understandable for those who don’t know what is it about.
    Cool.
    Damir

    • Hi Damir.
      I agree that this is for real men. πŸ˜€
      I will venture to straight razor if I already master the safety razor.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Nice post Arief! I have tried butterfly and adjustable, I prefer adjustable.
    Honestly, I fear butterfly since it gave me a deep cut long ago.
    It’s true that double edged razors are risky but when we need a quick clean shave they are the best and I think the instructions you have given here would make the process easier, I would try that hot towel thing next time for sure..thank you!

    • Hi Hari.
      There are several makers for double edged safety razor. I know that you would not remember that butterfly brand but it is a truly YMMV experience.
      One maker can produce a very aggressive razor while other makes a mild one.

      It could just happened that you used an aggressive one.

      I am glad that you have found an adjustable to use. Have fun shaving.

  4. I remember when I tried using a DE razor, because my dad used one all the time and I wanted to be like my dad. I cut myself more than once. Since then I have strictly used disposable razors, though I do not shave that often being I work from home and enjoy a having a beard.

    One thing someone told me many years ago, that I do with the disposable razors which seems to work, is to place the head of the razor in baby oil after cleaning it until you use it again. This will help to keep the blade sharp. Does this work fo DE razors too? I wonder why this seems to work.

    • I cut myself, too, Robert.
      I just did it again yesterday. I used a not-necessary pressure on my skin.

      You should not use any pressure when using a DE. This is totally different from using a disposable multi blades razor, which you tend to use excessive force.

      Mineral oil, in which baby oil is based, will help the razor glide smoothly. Hence, keeping the blade sharp.
      The oil will also help to prevent corrosion while you are keeping the blade for later use. This will also help keeping the blade sharp.

  5. I’ve never used a double edged razor. I know you explain it very well, but I know everybody will cut once or twice. You just need to go through the experience. My question is when you shave your skin is going to be smoother than new razors or not?
    cheers

    • Interesting question, Jagulba.
      You will certainly have a closer shave. The closer you shave, the smoother your skin will be. Of course, using sharp new blades will help a lot.

  6. Hi Arief great post. I’m in the military and I have to keep a clean shave everyday and I feel the double edge will be great to try out to get a closer shave. Some of the razors I get don’t last very long and I think its great that you show how to properly take care of your razor. Thank you for the read and have a great day.

    • Hi, Jaime.
      I am also looking for a closer shave. I found that a DE will give you a better shave than a disposable multi blades razor.
      Try one. You will love it.

  7. Hi Arief, Great post, I’m all about getting the best shave I can and looking to experiment to find it! Personally I love using a shave oil prior to use, its great for the skin and really helps the blade along. I’ve never used a double edged razor before but its on my list now. Thanks!

    • Hi, Eamonn.
      I am glad that I was able to entice you to try a DE. Just be careful when you try it for the first time. Please remember do not use any pressure.

  8. Hello Arief,

    Personally I have never owned one of these, but from your description and pictures I feel as though I would buy one and give it a try one day.

    Thanks for including the preparation steps with this, had you skipped out on those I would have figured I should just go about it as normal. From what you say I would not have been too happy with the performance then.

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