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When you start wet shaving it can be confusing to figure out how long does a safety razor blade last, how many safety razor blades to buy, how to keep a sharp blade or how how often you need to change your safety razor blades. 

In pursuit of the closest shave like most people your probably looking for a better way to shave, every shave. If you’re making the switch from cartridges or electronic trimmers - or are just new to shaving - knowing just how often should you change your double edge razor blade is the key to the ultimate wet shaving experience.

 

what type of facial hair growth do you have

The Two Main Factor Impacting Blade Impacting On How Often You Need To Change Your Safety Razor Blades and How Long They Will Last

What Kind of 5 O'clock Shadow Do You Have? 

Coarseness is a measure of hair thickness and men generally have three different kinds growing out of their faces. 

  • Soft
  • Medium
  • Coarse 

The thicker the follicle, the coarser the hair. The thinner the strand the softer the hair.

It can be difficult to measure on your own but rub your hand over your stubble. If it’s painful - and your significant other avoids kissing you - you’re coarse, if it feels like lower grit sandpaper you’re medium, if it feels a little like head hair then it’s soft

Guys with soft to medium facial hair will get more hacks per blade than their more wooly brethren.

How Many Razor Blades Do You Need To Change Every Month?

Based on hair thickness and how often you shave is a personal preference, you can get an idea of how many safety razor blades you’ll go through.

Coarse Hair
  • More than three shaves per week: 8 blades (about 2 per week)
  • Three or fewer shaves per week: 4 blades (About once per week)
Medium Hair
  • More than three shaves per week: 8 blades (about 2x per week)
  • Three or fewer shaves per week: 4 blades (about once per week)
Soft Hair
  • More than three shaves per week: 4 blades (about once per week)
  • Three or fewer shaves per week: 2 blades (about once every two weeks)

With this knowledge in hand, you can stock yourself up and save money with safety razor blades for a year or more, but there’s much more to learn if you want to keep your blades alive even longer than the average.

How Often Should You Change Your Safety Razor Blade?

Never Experience a Dull Blade Edge Ever Again

Shaving with a sharp double edge safety razor blade every time means you never have to feel the sting of a serrated edge sweep across your face. 

Here are a few more reasons: 

  1. Dull safety razor blades give you a less effective shave
  2. Old blades can cause nicks and cuts
  3. Less sharp razors cause you to shave under too much pressure
  4. Blunted blades can lead to skin irritation and rashes especially on sensitive skin
  5. Shaving sensitive areas such as head shaving

Get the Most Out of Every Safety Razor Blade...& A Better Shave

Get the Most Out of Every Safety Razor Blade...& A Better Shave

Cheap blades never last and even good safety razors don’t last forever. Even a top-of-the-line brand double edge safety razor blade is meant to be thrown away or recycled, they are just metal after all. 

Guys love them because they are super cheap! Who doesn’t like saving money? My favorite is buying them in a bulk pack onlinesuch as the feather hi stainless steel costing between 39 and 60 cents each, let’s be honest: You could probably start with a new blade each and every time and still spend less money compared to a cartridge razor, which costs on average $3 for one blade! 

But you didn’t get this far in life by tossing away a perfectly good razor (or get as good a shave by using a cartridge razor). Exactly what you want is to get the most shaves possible with the same blade while also never experiencing the nasty sting of a dull edge.

Below are the factors you need to pay attention to become a future-predicting shaving sorcerer.

 

The 7 Factors The Determine If You Need A New Blade

How long should safety razor blades last

Use this guide to learn how to estimate the number of shaves you can get out of one safety razor blade before any unpleasurable feelings send you to look for a replacement...and to avoid a bad shave.

1. Hair Type

There are several ways to look at double edge razor blade longevity when it comes to facial hair type:

The coarseness of your facial hair directly relates to blade life. Guys with thinner, softer follicles will get more passes out of a razor blade than those with a thick, coarse forest growing out of their face. Thick facial hair wears down the blade's edges quicker.

The length of hair impacts how long razor blades last. Shaving a 5 o'clock shadow vs. moderate stubble vs. an actual beard puts different wear and tear on razor blades. Longer hair tends to clog up a blade, so it requires more swipes which wears the razor blade down (Use an open comb blade if you need to hack more aggressively). Shorter hairs can be cleaved with less effort, causing less trauma to the blade’s edges.

The density and thickness of facial hair affect the longevity of the blade. The denser the shaving area, the more follicles the blade will cut, which will require you to change the blade more often.

2. Shaving Surface Area

The larger the surface you shave, the more frequently you will change your safety razor blades. But there a few different areas with different types of hair growth every shaver should consider:

  1. Cheeks
  2. Chin
  3. Mustache 
  4. Neck
  5. Sideburns
  6. Scalp
  7. Soul patch (beneath bottom lip)
  8. Body Hair

If you check only a box or two, you’ll change blades at a lower speed than someone shaving all seven areas. 

However, some of these shaving areas cause more damage to razor blades than others. For example, the hair on your chin and mustache tends to be coarser than your sideburns or head (body hair such as the legs for the cyclists and swimmers out there) causing more damage to the blade per stroke. The hair on your neck can grow in more directions than on your cheek, needing more sharpness-reducing passes of your double edge blade. 

Bottom line: It’s about how the square inches you want to shave and the hair type in the specific surface area.

3. Shave Routine & Frequency of Shave

Every day shavers will have to change their razor blades with greater speed than guys who only need to shave every few days. This only makes sense and is the best way. Shaving more frequently leads to a dull blade.

4. Safety Razor Blade Quality

The quality of the blade also is an important part of making the sharp edge of a safety razor last longer. Here’s what you should look for in razors:

  1. Material: Stainless steel safety razors stay sharper longer than other materials, like carbon steel metal, which can start rusting in moist environments like your bathroom. Luckily, blades from the best brands are made from stainless steel.
  2. Coating: A coating, like platinum, chromium, ceramic, and tungsten (or all combined) is a factor that makes blades last longer. They decrease friction and offer a smoother shave.  
  3. Grinding: Grinding refers to the out-of-the-package sharpness and thickness of the blade. Find a blade that gives your shave the best performance. Some men prefer a duller blade to start, others need one that is extra sharp.
  4. Brands: Use high-quality razor blades from reputable brands to give you more shaves per blade and make the act of shaving feel a lot smoother. Low-quality blades need to be swapped out more often.

There’s a saying with safety razors: Your mileage may vary. Every blade performs differently depending on the safety razor you are using as well as your skin and hair type. The best thing is to try a variety before settling on one.

5. Shaving Technique and Beard Prep

Your shaving routine also has an impact on safety razor blade longevity. 

Exfoliation can make a significant impact on a good shave by removing any dead skin cells pre shave, if you shave daily your covered however if you shave less frequently here is my recommendation for a better shave. Use a pre-shave oil or cream, and make a lather with shaving soap to add moisture to the skin and soften the facial hair. This makes your beard less labor-intensive for the blade to slice through. 

The rate of strokes per shave also matters. Some guys are lucky. They can gently swipe down on the first pass and get a close shave. But other men will need to use the three-pass technique to get the same result (direction of the grain, horizontal to the grain, and then against the grain). 

Even though fewer strokes make razor blades last, always go for the technique that lands you a shave smooth enough to kiss.

6. How To Store Safety Razor Blades

How safety razors blades are stored impacts their lifespan and sharpness. Poor storage habits make blades corrode more quickly. 

So, rinse and dry them thoroughly with a towel. The combination of water and salt eats away at stainless steel, then clean them with alcohol and dab the razor blade with oil. Skip the shower and keep it in a dry environment, away from water and humidity such as a bathroom drawer or cabinet. 

7. Strop Use

Stropping isn't just for straight razors you can use them to keep safety razors sharptoo. Stropping is a method of polishing that makes safety razor blades last longer as well as a straight razor. If you If you use a strop, you’ll have to change your blade fewer times than if you don’t.

To help you remember how many times you’ve used a blade, keep a piece of dice nearby and rotate it from 1 to 2, etc each time you shave.

How long should safety razor blades last  and when to change safety razor blades

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about a safety razor

Is There Any One Sign that it’s Time to Replace the Blade?

The major telltale sign? Pain. 

Shaving with an expired blade may feel dull and causes nicks, cuts, and irritation. However, poor shaving techniques also cause the same problems.

My rule of thumb is to make sure you’re shaving with the razor properly. Use a low amount of pressure and angle the blade away from your mug. If the blade still behaves like a hacksaw when applying pressure or if you feel a tug slightly, then reach for a replacement.  

What  Should Beginners Expect? 

If you’ve recently ditched cartridge multi-blade razors it can take some time to get used to shaving sharper blades and ditch those cartridge razors for good. At first, you’ll probably need replacement blades at a higher rate than you did with your cartridge razor, but once you find the perfect slant and pressure to shave with, it will likely go down.

How Often Do You Change Your Razor Head? 

This is the part of the razor handle that holds the double edge blades. They come with different guards that change the intensity of the shave, and they only get changed when desired.

What Do You Do with a Used Blade?

You’re right to think you shouldn’t just toss a sharp object in the trash. Not only would it be more than happy to slice through your bag, but they can be recycled. Most recycling centers have drop boxes and some municipalities offer collections programs. A safe storage container like ablade bank offers a safe place to store them in the meantime. Or just slide the de blade carefully in the bottom of your razor blade pack.

When to change razor blades

Knowing When to Change Razor Blades Results in a Smooth Shave Every Time

Effortlessly mowing a field of stubble off your face is an incredible sensation.

Of course, it takes a blade sharp enough to handle your particular follicular forest. When the blade dulls enough for you to profess anything less than love for shaving, the razor should be changed.

But, good man -- you do not need to go down the route of pain! There is an alternative! Be the shaving pro you were meant to be -- focus on the seven factors above. This way, you can anticipate when your blade is ready to be discarded before any unfortunate stroke slices the joy out of your shave.

 For more info visit our Shaving FAQ and Tips page here.