How do you keep a safety razor blade sharp?

How do you keep a safety razor blade sharp?

Shaving has come a long way during the last decades, from the old school method of using a straight razor to the modern shaving with an electric one. Very few men still use straight razors these days and only a small percentage have switched to electric shaving. The most majority of men use disposable razors.

Any type of razor loses sharpness and precision with time, especially if you are shaving daily. Considering that a disposable razor only cuts well for about 5 uses, some men have realized that they are spending way too much money on Gillette disposable blades (or a similar brand). Shaving with a safety razor is not only much cheaper, but it’s also more effective. Buying individual blades will cost you less than 10% of what you would spend on Gillette Fusion, Mach 3, Quattro or something similar.

So you can save a lot of money right from the start by switching to safety razors. But there are a few extra steps that you can take to make these razors cut precisely for a longer time. So let’s answer the question:

How Do You Keep A Safety Razor Blade Sharp?

Believe it or not, the shaving process is not the main responsible for dulling a razor blade. The first 2 factors are humidity and oxygen. So we can break down the maintenance process into 3 steps: clean, dry and oil. You must clean the razor after each use in order to remove hair and shaving cream, then you must dry it with a cloth or a hair dryer, and then oil it to avoid oxidation and rusting. More about this in the sections below.


What Causes a Razor Blade to Get Dull?

You only use the razor blade for 10-15 minutes at a time. Of course, this process deteriorates the thin edges and causes it to get dull over time, but what’s more important is what happens in the remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day.

  • Water – the main factor that damages a razor blade is water. Most men do not dry their razors after each use and just throw them on the shelf with nothing to cover them. But it’s not just the water left on the razor after each use, but it’s also the humidity in the bathroom that will degrade the razor or make it rust.
  • Air – just by simply being exposed to oxygen, a razor blade will get oxidized in time.
  • Beard Thickness – it’s quite obvious that a razor blade will lose its sharpness quicker if you have a very dense and thick beard. So the more hair you need to shave, the more often you will have to change your razor. In this case, guys with a soft and not so dense beard are luckier.

Maintenance Tips

  • Clean the razor – make sure to clean the razor properly after each use. Use warm water in order to remove all the remaining hair and shaving cream off it. Use your thumb if needed, just be careful to not cut yourself.
  • Dry the razor – gently wipe it with a cloth, or even better, use a hair dryer. If it gets too hot while doing this, you can hold it with a pair of tweezers.
  • Oil the razor – you already know by now the saying that oil and water don’t mix. So if the blade is well oiled, the moisture in the air or the water around it will not affect it. But the oil will also protect the razor from air, which leads to oxidation. Blade oil is cheap and easy to apply, and even a small container can last you for months if not an entire year.
  • Store it properly – it’s best to store it in a cabinet or a drawer that can be closed, to protect it from the moisture created in the bathroom when you take a shower. If you have a small case just for the razor blade, that’s even better.
  • Throw it away – if a razor blade gets dull (whether from water, air or too many uses), there really is nothing else that you can do. So just throw it away and get a new one (they are super cheap anyway). Better to spend a few extra dollars than to cut yourself and get nasty rashes or irritation.

How Often Do I Change My Safety Razor Blade?

There is definitely not a number that fits all men, and it depends on how often you shave and how thick and coarse your beard is. Let’s break this down:

  • If you have coarse stubble

– if you shave 3 – 7 times a week – replace the razor blade 2 times per week

– if you shave less than 3 times per week – replace the razor blade 1 time per week


  • If you have medium stubble (not coarse, but not soft either)

if you shave 5 – 7 times a week – replace the razor blade 2 times per week

– if you shave less than 5 times a week – replace the razor blade 1 time per week


  • If you have soft stubble

if you shave 5 – 7 times a week – replace the razor blade 2 times per week

– if you shave less than 5 times a week – replace the razor blade 1 time per week


Human hair is quite strong and can be compared to copper wires of the same thickness. So razor blades will get dull quite quickly, and there is not much you can do about it. Following the tips mentioned above can add 1 or 2 extra shaves, but then you will still have to replace it. That’s the price you have to pay for having a clean shave every day.

So there you go. Now you now a few tips on how to keep a safety razor blade sharp for a bit longer, and also how often to replace the blade. Tell us your shaving habits and experience in the comments area below.

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