The Leaf razor promises to transform the way you shave. Fusing traditional and modern technology, the Leaf razor provides a comfortable and efficient shaving experience. In this Leaf Razor review I’ll be looking at the Leaf Razor in detail so that you can decide if it’s right for you and your needs.
What Is The Leaf Razor?
The Leaf razor is the world’s first multi-blade pivoting head plastic-free razor. It also features a magnetized, pivoting head that can accept one, two, or three double edge safety razor blades that have been snapped in half. This makes for a very versatile razor that can accommodate a number of different shaving circumstances.
History Of The Leaf Razor
The Leaf razor began with their initial KickStarter crowdfunding campaign back in 2016. Deliveries began in 2017. They also used Kickstarter to fund their second razor, the Twig, in 2020 (more on the Twig later).
Leaf Razor Review – My Experience
[Note: I purchased a Leaf razor. These comments are my own opinion and have not been reviewed or approved by Leaf.]
I have had a Leaf razor since 2018, soon after its initial launch. Despite the delicate-look of some of its smaller parts, the build quality is excellent and durability has been outstanding.
Blade loading and changing does take a few tries to get right, but that is partly due to the small size of the blades. The magnetic blade-loading assist feature does help quite a bit for me!
I have tried loading and shaving with one, two, and three blades into the Leaf razor. For me, two blades–one in the top position and one in the middle position–is the “sweet spot” for me. “Your mileage may vary” of course.
Is The Leaf Razor Hard To Use?
A relatively common “con” seen in Leaf reviews is that the comparatively large head makes shaving in tight areas a challenge. For me and my big nose it is an issue but not an insurmountable one. With a little care–and moving my big schnoz around a little–I can get the job done.
On the other hand shaving larger areas such as the sides of the face and neck is stupid-easy for me. Lather collects below the head in the area between the head’s “arms” and stays out of the way until rinsing. Clogging has never been an issue with my use of the Leaf.
Design And Materials Of The Leaf Razor
The Leaf razor has several design innovations that position it in a unique place between classic safety razors and modern cartridge razors. It is also made of materials that are not only long-lasting but environmentally friendly and recyclable.
Blade Capacity, Angle, And Exposure
As previously mentioned the Leaf razor can accept one, two, or three double edge safety razor blades that have been snapped in half. The number of blades, and where they are positioned, determine how the razor performs.
Each blade position has a slightly different amount of blade exposure, with the bottom position having the most exposure and the top position having the least exposure.
The blades are slightly further apart than on typical multi-blade razors, which reduces the risk of ingrown hairs and other problems of the “lift and cut” effect (hysteresis).
It is also worth noting that, unlike some multi-blade cartridge systems, each blade slot in the Leaf has its own skin guard. This further protects the shaver from unintentional nicks and irritation.
Magnetic-Assist Blade Loading
To load the blades, turn the screw on the pivoting head counterclockwise to open the blade holder. You can load up to three blades and then fasten the blade holder by turning the screw clockwise.
A magnet housed in the head of the razor provides a load-assist which helps load and position blades safely.
The Leaf razor’s pivoting head maintains the correct blade angle and conforms to the curves of your face and skin, providing an easier way to get a consistently close shave.
The pivot works via two torsion springs that wrap around the two pivot points where the razor head meets the two arms of the handle. At rest, they’re loaded and then maintain a constant spring force through the rotation angle as it pivots – this is dialed in to maintain constant contact with skin as it moves over bumps and curves, while not applying “too much” force. Once the pivot engages, bending the head further doesn’t increase the force which the pivot applies to the head of the razor to the skin.
Quoting a Leaf Shaving representative:
“The Leaf has such a wide angle as we’ve found our body shaving customers using the extra ‘bendiness’ to access various acrobatic parts of their body.”
- Length: 6 inches (“tip to toe”)
- Weight: 2.8oz
There are 17 parts in a Leaf razor; most of the razor is rust-resistant zinc alloy but additional materials include stainless steel (blade), magnets, and brass. Leaf takes great pride in using materials in a product that can be fully recyclable.
Like many “old school” safety razors, the initial expense of shaving with the Leaf razor is the up-front cost of the razor itself. Recurring costs of blade replacement over the life of the razor are what gives this razor excellent cost effectiveness.
Consider that the broad average cost of a double edge razor blade is probably less than US $0.20 (when purchased in bulk). If that blade is replaced once per week (on average) the monthly total is less than US $1.
The average cost of a typical razor cartridge is roughly US $2.50 (with a wide range noted: anywhere from about US $1.50 to US $4 depending on razor system). Razor cartridges generally last a bit longer than double edge blades so let’s say they are changed twice per month for a total of US $5.
If I assume that a typical cartridge razor handle costs US $10 and the Leaf costs US $85, the monthly total ownership costs looks a little like this:
As you can see from the chart above, the Leaf becomes less expensive to own in less than two years. Of course these are averages–there are a number of variables involved–but you get the idea.
The Leaf Razor offers a range of environmental benefits. Its plastic-free and recyclable design reduces the amount of waste created from shaving, while its Climate Neutral™ certification ensures that all emissions are offset.
In addition, Leaf uses sustainable practices such as 100% plastic-free shipping and blade recycling programs to further reduce its environmental impact. Upcycling other metal packaging helps reduce environmental impact and allows users to shave with eco-friendly products that are both environmentally friendly and healthy for them.
Usability: The Leaf Shave Experience
I think the Leaf is an interesting razor. The shave experience would be familiar to both the shaver who has used a cartridge razor with a pivoting head and to the shaver who has used old school safety razor with a stationary head.
A major usability aspect of the Leaf razor is the ability to use any brand of double edge (“DE”) razor blade. As shavers who routinely use DE razors know, DE blades may look alike but may perform quite differently. And everyone has their favorites: what works well for one person may not perform up to the expectations for another person.
So unlike being forced into a “walled garden” of cartridge design, Leaf users have a large selection of ‘standardized’ blades to choose from.
Another usability aspect is the pivoting head. Like some cartridge razors, the Leaf’s pivoting head design gives the razor the ability to “hug” the surface of the skin as it curves. It also helps compensate for putting too much pressure on the razor (to a point).
Other Leaf Razor Reviews
Reviews about the Leaf razor found on the internet are generally quite positive. The razor has created quite the buzz in the “eco-friendly” niche’ with several popular bloggers commenting on its all-metal construction and recycle-ability.
Most Commonly Mentioned Pros
- Load one, two, or three blades for a customized shave:
- Pivoting head that follows curves of the skin and maintains the correct blade angle for you.
- Includes a 10-blade starter pack that allows you to start shaving right away!
- Made with metal construction and high-quality construction, durable and long-lasting
- 30-day guarantee
- Easy to use, particularly for shaving large areas of the body (legs, arms, torso, etc.).
Most Commonly Mentioned Cons
- The razor is relatively large, where its size and weight might be unwieldy for some.
- The razor’s metal handle is slippery for some (Leaf offers a silicon sleeve to cover a portion of the handle to make the grip more secure).
- Blade loading can be fussy for some who are more used to changing cartridge razors.
- The razor’s relatively large head can make shaving small areas (like under the nose) and detail work more of a challenge (for those cases Leaf recommends the Twig razor. More on the Twig below).
Here are some of the popular Leaf razor reviews from across the internet:
Amazon (Affiliate Link)
Average rating of 4.1 out of 5 with a 76% positive sentiment from about 340 ratings.
“[T]he Leaf has me excited to shave in a way I haven’t in a long time. Though I can see some people being put off by having four different blade-placement layouts to deal with, plus the overwhelming variety of blade brands to figure out, I’ve found that those elements come together to produce a ‘perfect for me’ shave.”
“That pivoting head that I thought might just be another gimmick was actually a game-changer.
After months of use, I can see that the Leaf isn’t totally magic – but it is just so much better. I’ve occasionally nicked my knees a bit with it, but it’s just like when I’m moving too fast with a cartridge razor: They’re pretty minor cuts that usually disappear by the time I’m out of the shower. (Nothing like my painful safety razor wounds.)
At the end of the day, the Leaf was an unexpectedly excellent result in a category (sustainable shaving) that I was beginning to think was all zero-waste hype.”
“The Leaf Razor is well built and comes in chrome, black or rose gold finishes. Loading half DE blades is fairly intuitive, but care must be taken when working with the blades. Each of the three blade holsters contains a magnet which aids in blade alignment and posts ensure straightness. The locking mechanism is like a screw and holds everything very securely with no room for blade movement or chatter. The overall head is large, bigger than modern 6/7 blade cartridge razor heads. This poses some challenges when trying to maneuver tight areas. The pivot spring is tighter than modern cartridge razors, although not cumbersome.
The shave feels more like a modern cartridge than a DE razor because of the design. It provides a mild shave which requires the use of traditional wet shaving passes. For my taste, I would have prefered about 50% more aggressiveness in order to limit the amount of required passes. The handle on the Leaf Razor is abnormally long (measuring 6” from the head). This makes the overall use unique but awkward in my opinion. I have used the razor several times for both face and head shaves and find myself readjusting my grip too often for comfort.”
“Leaf Shave ticks all the boxes when it comes to head shaving, and I truly enjoyed the experience as it was the first of its kind for me!”
How Does The Leaf Razor Compare To Other Razors?
The Leaf razor is an innovative razor designed to offer a superior shave compared to both traditional safety razors and mass-market cartridge razors. Its design allows it to be used on larger areas like legs with greater precision, and its weight is heavier than that of many disposable plastic razors. It also offers versatility with blade position in the razor head, meaning more blades and/or lower-cost blades can be used for closer, more aggressive shaving.
Are There Any Common Mistakes When Using A Leaf Razor?
1. Not Replacing Blades Often Enough
People often make common mistakes when using a Leaf Razor, such as not cleaning the blade after each use and not changing the blades frequently enough. It is recommended to change replacement blades for a Leaf Razor every 5-8 uses in order to maintain its efficiency and effectiveness.
2. Not Using The Right Amount Of Pressure When Shaving
When using a Leaf Razor, it is important to pay attention to the amount of pressure being applied while shaving in order to avoid skin irritations. Not applying enough pressure can cause nicks and cuts, while applying too much pressure can cause razor burn and other skin irritations. It is best for beginners to use two or three blades for a close shave, as recommended by Leaf.
3. Not Storing The Razor Properly
If a Leaf Razor is not stored properly, it could lead to cuts. This is because the blades need to be properly loaded and matched up on both sides for the razor to work correctly. Failing to do so can result in injuries if used. To make sure that your Leaf Razor is used safely and effectively, it is important that you remember to put the blades into their notches when loading them.
The Twig Razor
Leaf’s Twig razor was developed to address a commonly seen feedback from users, the large shaving head of the Leaf.
Like the Leaf, the Twig razor uses a half-DE blade, but only one and there is no pivot. However the exceptionally small head of the Twig makes it much easier to shave in tight areas where using the Leaf razor might be challenging.
There are two versions of the Twig, the standard razor and the “Thorn” version that provides a more aggressive shave.
Is The Leaf Or Twig Razor Better?
They both work quite well–they’re just optimized for different shave jobs.
For more information click/tap here to read my full review of the Twig razor.
The Leaf Shave Co. has created a revolutionary razor with its innovative design. Combining the plastic-free ethos of a safety razor with the legitimate shave that comes from a multi-blade system, this razor offers comfort and convenience. With its flexible, spring-loaded head, the Leaf takes up to three half-blades for a close shave that follows the contours of your body. It requires a bit more attention than the standard razor for maintenance, but it is well worth it! The Leaf is also great for shaving larger areas such as the head and face, and its pivoting system enables you to get clean lines and sculpt facial hair as desired.
The Leaf razor is available from the Leaf website, Amazon, and vendors such as Boston General Store, and Zero Waste Store.