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Another Man’s OneBlade (Hybrid) Review

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I wanted to love this razor, I really did.


[Ed. Note: Amazon, OneBlade, and West Coast Shaving links are affiliate.]

As a long time reader and infrequent contributor to Sharpologist, I’ve learned how to read reviews and ascertain which products have the best odds of working for me. Examples include Village Barber Aftershave Balm, Mike’s Natural Shave Soap, St. James of London (Black Pepper and Lime) Shave Cream,  and the Feather AS-D2 razor. Furthermore, I consider myself an accomplished shaver with both DE and cartridge razors: DE at home and cartridge (Gillette Fusion) on the road. So, one can understand my potential enthusiasm for a OneBlade razor.

I first read about OneBlade razors over four years ago, on the Sharpologist site no less! While reading about OneBlade razors made for interesting reading, I did not seriously consider one until about a year ago when it showed up in Sharpologist’s Grail Shave column. Up to that point my thinking about the OneBlade ran something like the following:

– Pivoting head: Useful on a cartridge where one needs to firmly press the head into one’s skin. However, my Feather razor also has a pivot point, in fact over a dozen pivot points; a properly held razor applied with the correct technique! My fingers rotate, my wrist pivots and swivels, etc. The single pivot point on the razor only seemed to be of value to avoid bloodletting if one’s mind begins to wander.

– Blade selection: Though Feather blades are well respected, and a brand I use in my DE razor, the OneBlade comes across as a “one-blade pony.”

– Blade cost: Single edge Feather blades, depending on the quantity one purchases, run anywhere from 66 cents/blade (100 cnt) up to $1.00/blade (30 cnt). This, coupled with OneBlade’s recommendation of a new blade for every shave (from included instructions) is not a cheap shave! For comparison, I currently use the comparatively expensive (for DE razors) Personna Med Prep blades which cost 36 cents/blade (100 cnt), and last me three shaves. Using a OneBlade raises my blade cost/shave from 12 cents to 66 cents: an over 5x cost increase! Squeezing two shaves from each blade (33 cents blade cost/shave) still translates to just under a 3x cost increase/shave

Extending this analysis to Gillette Fusion blades is a bit harder. Not only are there many blade variations but the cost/blade is all over the map. Since I’ve never seemed to discern any difference among the various permutations of Fusion blades, I always go for the cheapest Fusion blade option I can find. In round numbers, that is about $2.00/cartridge. I can comfortably go around 8 shaves/cartridge, yielding a blade cost/shave of 25 cents.

– Razor cost: I already had one “own it for a lifetime, hand it down to you son”, heirloom razor that cost more than I could arguably justify: the Feather razor. My rationale for the Feather was that I kept dropping my previous DE razors (mostly Muhle) about once every two years. While well made, their pot metal construction translated into a broken razor head. A stainless steel razor would not break when dropped! See: justification accomplished. The OneBlade Genesis is more than 2x the cost of the Feather!

Side Note: Yes, I know one can purchase a replacement Muhle razor head, but the cost is essentially the same as replacing the whole razor. Hence, I have a nice collection of “retired” Muhle razor handles.

Trying OneBlade

Fast forward a few more Sharpologist articles about how great the OneBlade is and I decided it might be worth a try. If I fell in love, the Feather could always find a new home via eBay. For $20, I would order a OneBlade Core and see what all the hype was about. While not a fan of plastic razors, I talked myself into believing it was a small price to pay to “dip my toe” in the waters of OneBlade. I could always upgrade if my love began to blossom.

While spending Thanksgiving weekend with my wife’s relatives, enjoying some “solo time” I decided that to be a true American, I had to buy something unnecessary – time to initiate the OneBlade experiment. All set to purchase a Core, I found their middle child razor, the Hybrid on sale: $75 versus the normal $110. After a few clicks I was going to find a new OneBlade razor along with 30 additional Feather blades waiting for me upon my return home! While always enthusiastic about saying goodbye to my wife’s relatives after the long weekend, I was extra enthused this time around!

Sadly, the razor was slightly delayed. I guess OneBlade’s holiday weekend sale was even more successful than they anticipated. Nonetheless, after a short delay my new toy soon arrived.

I will not get into the quality of the packaging or the unboxing experience. Somehow that’s become a “thing” on the Internet; yet another online practice I just don’t get. Suffice it to say, the packaging was what one expects for a $100 luxury purchase. I was however, pleasantly surprised to find an unexpected blade bank.

To prepare for my own personal OneBlade experience I re/read-watched more OneBlade reviews and how-tos. Focusing particularly on the how-tos. OneBlade hosts some as well. It was clear that a slightly different technique is called for; particularly with one’s “degree of attack.” Finally, like any good scientists, I kept all the other variables constant: brush, shave soap/cream, etc.

So, how was it? Not overwhelming. Not bad; but not overwhelming.

First off, I did not cut myself; not even a weeper!  That may be a first for me using a new razor, or for using a new Feather blade, regardless of razor. Second, the shave did not feel particularly close. Two passes with the OneBlade felt the same as after a first pass with my DE. Finally, instead of cleanly slicing off my stubble, the OneBlade seemed to pull at my face. You know the sensation; that slight (or not so slight) tugging feeling when you’re using a cartridge after the fourth or fifth shave.

Ok, not a bad first experience, but definitely time to regroup. Rewatch/reread the OneBlade and Sharpologist videos/articles and use a new blade, which unlike the first go-around, I corked. Slightly better result, but only in regards to shave closeness: no blood, but the same uncomfortable tugging.

A blow by blow would only serve to bore anyone still reading. Regardless of practice/experimentation (10+ shaves), and potential blade issues (tried blades from other packs to eliminate QC issues; maybe my initial blade pack was a dud), I only experienced marginal improvement with shave closeness and no improvement with the tugging.

Maybe I’m spoiled, but with good prep, quality tools, and good technique, the only feedback I wish to experience while shaving is of the audible kind. I don’t want to “feel” the stubble being separated from my face. I want the cutting to be so smooth and efficient that I’m left wondering if I actually loaded a blade and I’m not simply scraping lather off my face with an unloaded razor. Clearly, not my experience with the OneBlade.

In Conclusion:

Pros: As with most current cartridge shavers, cutting oneself is more or less off the table. An engineering feat that should not be minimized.

Cons: Cost, limited blade options, stubble tug, and time – it takes 3+ passes to achieve what I get in 2+ with my DE razor.

Maybe I gave up on the OneBlade too soon and with perseverance my technique would advance and the tugging would go away. The OneBlade is still a no-go for me.

My DE shaves are significantly cheaper and require fewer passes for my desired closeness. Furthermore, it’s also not a good replacement for my travel option: can’t fly (carry on) with their blades.

I would happily increase my cost/shave for a superior experience. Sadly for me, OneBlade is not. I must admit to being a bit piqued over blade cost. While no costs were hidden, OneBlade themselves, on their website use the phrase “No Wasteful, Expensive Cartridges.” However, based on my “mileage” the requisite Feather single edge blades cost about 33% more per shave than a Fusion shave. How ironic: One of the drivers behind both shave clubs and the current DE renaissance, which OneBlade is clearly capitalizing on is the high cost of (the cheaper) Fusion cartridges. I should observe that OneBlade offers their own subscription service which clocks in at 35 cents blade cost/shave. (2 shaves/blade with 30 blades for $21)

Postscript: The good folks at OneBlade were eager to assist me in my journey towards customer satisfaction through online videos and chat tips. When I finally threw in the towel, I shipped the razor back and two weeks after they received it, was issued a full refund.

All prices are based on Amazon prices before any shipping costs or local taxes.

Michael Goldweber

Michael Goldweber

15 thoughts on “Another Man’s OneBlade (Hybrid) Review”

  1. Darren Charlesworth

    The ‘One Blade’ razor seems to have more bad reviews then good, just read some posts on FB on how unhappy people are with this razor.
    I haven’t got one, yet, and when I do, I want to buy it “dirt cheap”. The $19 ‘Core’ razor from Amazon would be the best option. Just wished the offer would be available here in the U.K……….
    Bad reviews or not, I wouldn’t pay any more then £20 for one of these razors…….

    1. I didn’t like the shaves from the Core, but love the shave from the top of the line. Shave close (not the closest though) and is incredibly comfortable and mild albeit expensive. But I’ve never regretted the dollars spent. I’ve not used the Hybrid as it wasn’t available when I was trying them. Its not my every day razor, but I use it a couple of times a week either for the speed/comfort of the shave or to give the face a rest if I got carried away with a more aggressive DE (currently Blackbird, Timeless 95 and Ambassador Rex). I wouldn’t leave home without it.

  2. My experience and opinions on the OneBlade line were identical to Michael’s until very recently. In particular, the blade just wasn’t sharp enough for coarse stubble and it tugged pretty hard. But in doing research and modifying my shave prep and recovery routines for an upcoming Sharpologist article on managing tough beards, my experience with the Hybrid did a 180 and now I’m using it regularly with good results. The Hybrid was just one of the razors I used; details are in the article, which should run around May 15.

  3. I tried the Core and was not happy with the closeness of the shave and went to the Genesis. Have not tried the Hybrid. While not my favorite shave, the top of the line One Blade gives me a good, close, but not bbs shave. Its also gentler than my DE’s. I use it when traveling, or in a hurry or if I’ve done some “damage” to my face with a more aggressive razor. It will give me a good shave while still allowing healing. Blade price and boredom would keep me from using it daily, but it plays an important role in my shaving routine. Its a luxury even at cheap rates

  4. I bought a Core and shaved with it and after the shave itv was as if I hadn’t even shaved. I called them and was told to press harder which was not what was in the instructions.

    Still a terrible shave. Got better shaves from disposables at hotels. I’ll stick with my DE razors.

    It was difficult to get my money back upon return.

  5. I had a better experience with the Oneblade Hybrid than I did the Core but still ended up flipping it because I still got smoother shaves with my Rockwell 6s. Lately, I have been giving the Broman razor a shot for a SE option in my rotation….Still not sure about the overall quality of their customer support (have heard mixed reviews) and how long the razor will last (the plastic flip cover to the razor head…I dunno man it may not last years and years if you know what I mean) BUT danged if I haven’t enjoyed the mild but decent shaves with it. The pivot works well and I have zero irritation…I give the Broman a cautious thumbs up so far for me

  6. I thought this would be one of those too favorable reviews. To my pleasant surprise it was not. I have tremendous respect for your honesty and integrity. I look forward to your future reviews. I never understood the concept of a single blade razor. Isn’t that just half of a DE? Add the limitation of what must be seen as a proprietary blade and it’s lose-lose. After your review I would set my price at $10. That is how much they would have to pay me to try their product.

    1. Michael Goldweber

      Thank you very much for your kind words. I believe we also should acknowledge Mark’s (The Sharpologist) honesty and integrity for publishing this review. After all, OneBlade, I believe, is a site sponsor.

  7. Why don’t you match your Fusion Flexball handle with a Skinguard cartridge. I wonder how that would work for you?

    1. Actually, I have done that! It’s a decent experience for a cart – no complaints from me and I use it occasionally when I want a really fast one pass shave or when I am traveling.

  8. So I’ve had the Core for about 9 months. Blown away by how good that shave was. Was part of my rotation with other DE’s. Then during the stay-at-home, it became important to me to not have “skip days” with my shaving, and the OneBlade is the only razor I own where I can use it every day and not have a skip day to let my skin heal. So I used the core every day. Then I went to their site just to see about the costs of bumping up, and their main metal one was on a sale good enough for me to purchase. More slippery to hold, which I’m not 100% happy with, but everything else is quite good. I MIGHT consider putting away all my other DE razors because of the quality of shave and lack of any long term skin soreness.

    As to costs, I get 3-5 shaves out of the razor, not one, but I always get more shaves out of DE blades than most for some reason I’ve never understood. However, ebay and Amazon have better prices on the FHS-10 blades. And, I’m not sure you’d call this “variety” but on ebay there is also a carbon steel version of that blade called an “FAS-10” blade. Have not tried yet. A vendor who sells it says he can’t ship right now because of the pandemic, but I’m looking forward to trying. I too lament the variety in blades, which was one of the perks of DE shaving for me. But the quality of shave to me is making up for the lack of variety.

  9. Same here. My daily shave is a Weber DLC that I’m very happy with, but I picked up a OneBlade Hybrid on sale last year, paid to have it shipped to Mexico, and try as I might, I just can’t make myself feel nearly as happy with the shaving experience of the OneBlade as I’d like to, considering its cost. Like you, I rewatched videos, and contacted the (very attentive) support staff. It’s just not as close a shave, nor as comfortable. I’ve had this, and played with it too long to even think about asking for a refund, and as expensive as the blades are, I imagine I’ll just give it away, next time I’m back in the US. It was a very disappointing experience….

    1. Brian Fiori (AKA The Dean)

      I’m thinking most guys want the result of their shave to be “a good shave” and maybe a “good safe shave”, with “safe” meaning not cuts/irritation/etc. Some want to add “inexpensive’ to the list.

      But I’ve never heard of anyone wanting the result of their shave to be “DE shave”.

      With that said, I haven’t had much luck with my OneBlade Core. I’ve only used it half a dozen times, but I don’t think it’s for me. Maybe if I shaved everyday I’d feel differently, but I shave every 3-4 days. I need something a bit more efficient. But I can get great shaves with a Fusion, as well as a DE. I’m thinking a traditional SE would probably give me a fine shave, as well.

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