Buy a safety razor — yes, the kind Grandpa used. While the razor costs about five times more than the typical multiblade cartridge kind, its blades will run about $30 a year, vs. $50 and up for cartridge refills. Plus, a safety razor lasts a lifetime and looks a heck of a lot better on your bathroom shelf than a plastic one. Will you get a good shave? Absolutely — and you’ll be less likely to develop ingrown hairs, says grooming expert Nick Burns, co-author of The Bearded Gentleman.
What to look for
A razor that weighs 2½ ounces or more, such as the classic Merkur (pictured) or the Edwin Jagger 89L ($35). Heavier models are less likely to nick because you won’t be tempted to press into your skin to get a close shave. Go for a handle that’s at least three inches long — it’ll be easier to grip.
Not all safety blades are the same. Feather blades, for example, are sharper than Derbys. So try a few options to find the best fit, says Mark Herro, who writes the shaving blog Sharpologist.