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Video: How To Shave With The OneBlade Razor

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[Transcript of video] The OneBlade Genesis razor has some really interesting design elements.  On the one hand, it’s got a pivoting head like a modern cartridge razor.  And on the other hand it uses a single blade much like a classic safety razor.  But shaving with the OneBlade is a little different than shaving either a cartridge razor or a safety razor.  Here is how to more effectively shave with the Oneblade razor.[Note: OneBlade links are affiliate.]

Thoughts About The Pivot

The OneBlade Genesis is one of my favorite razors.  It’s pivot is one of its most interesting design points.  Much like a modern cartridge razor, the OneBlade Genesis razor head can help provide a more forgiving and consistent shave by accommodating areas that are not quite flat, like the jaw line.  Some shaving traditionalists don’t like the idea but I think it’s one of the few features of modern razors that make sense.

But the pivot can cause some confusion to someone new to using the OneBlade razor, both from the cartridge world and from the safety razor world.

Shave Lather

But before you use the OneBade, let’s talk about shave lather.  Since the OneBlade is a luxury razor you may have opted for an upgraded experience with traditional shave products that include a shaving brush and lathering shave cream.

If you’re used to a shaving foam out of a pressurized can or a shave gel from a tube you may be unfamiliar with traditional shave products.  If so you may be in for a treat.  Traditional lather products can not only perform better than foams and gels but can also give you a more luxurious experience with warm lather and great scents.

The key to traditional lather is the shaving brush.  If you’ve never used a shaving brush before here are the basics.

Shaving brushes are usually made with animal hair so before using it for the first time it’s probably a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning to get rid of any residual coatings from the manufacturing process and also to remove any loose or cut hairs from the knot.  So massage in some water and pet shampoo, or you could even use a little shave cream, let it sit ten to fifteen minutes, then rinse thoroughly with warm water, gently wring out the excess water, towel dry, then list it sit out in the open overnight.  It should be ready to use the next day.


Building a lather with cream and brush isn’t difficult but it can take a few tries to do it right.  There are some variables involved, like the type of brush you’re using and the mineral content of the water, but here is one way to go.

If you haven’t already, wash the area you’re going to shave with a gentle facial soap and rinse thoroughly with warm water.  Wet the brush then gently squeeze out most of the excess water.  Then place a dollop of shaving cream on the brush.  By the way, notice how I hold the brush, at the base of the hair knot.  That gives me a little more control over the brush and helps avoid losing too much water by pressing down on the brush too hard.  The hair should splay out just a little bit.  Don’t mash it all the way down.

At this point you can start building lather on your hand, in a bowl, or directly on your face.  Each way has its own advantages and it seems like everyone has their own preference.  I’ll go ahead and build lather directly to my face.  Building lather on the face can help with some additional cleaning and preparation along with gently removing tiny bits of debris from the stubble and surrounding each hair with lathery goodness.

I use gentle circular motions to cover the area I’m going to shave.  You’re looking for a lather that forms soft peaks and has a bit of a shine to it.  If it looks more like school glue dip just the tips of the brush in water for a moment then continue lathering.  This might take a couple minutes to complete so take note of the feeling on your skin, the scent in your nose, and enjoy the process.  Finish lathering by using a painting motion to even out the lather.

Shave Technique

If you’re coming from the cartridge world you’re probably going to rest the razor’s head flat against the skin and shave with the grain of the stubble.  While that technique will certainly work adequately with the OneBlade, I’ve found that some subtle changes can result in a much more efficient, effective shave.

Instead of slavishly following the grain you should be able to shave straight down as long as your stubble isn’t too thick.

This will also help you find the flattest places to shave so you don’t have to rely in the pivot if you don’t want to.  Be sure to use relatively short strokes that slightly overlap, and avoid repeatedly stroking the same area without lather and pushing down too hard on the razor.

The chin area can be a challenge no matter what razor you’re using.  Here I find the best way to tackle it with the OneBlade seems to be taking much shorter strokes and backing off the angle of the razor slightly so that the razor’s head isn’t quite flat against the skin.  I know that sounds totally counter-intuitive but the OneBlade’s pivot still works like this, it’s just more subtle and you don’t really feel it working–even though it really is.

After you’re finished with these initial strokes rinse briefly and give yourself a look.  If you’re new to the OneBlade, particularly if you’ve had the razor’s head flat against the skin, you may find the shave didn’t take off as much stubble as you had wanted.  That’s OK, remember you’re getting used to a different way of shaving.

So relather and shave in the opposite direction.  If you need to add a bit more cream to the brush, go ahead.  Once again, you may find it most beneficial to hold the razor so the head is not quite flat against the skin.  The pivot will still work but in the background  Continue using those relatively short, overlapping strokes, and don’t push down on the razor.

After you’re finished with this direction give yourself a quick rinse and take another look.  You should have a pretty good shave.  If you want to try for that smooth as a baby’s butt feeling on the skin you can relather again and this time shave against the grain.  In my case that’s a sideways direction.

Once you’re finished be sure to rinse really thoroughly with warm water to get rid of any lather residue that still might be on the skin.  Then, while your skin is still moist, apply a little aftershave to moist hands and massage it into the skin.  Using wet hands into wet skin will help spread the aftershave in a thin, even coat.

And you’re finished!  You may have to shave with the OneBlade razor a few times to get a handle on how it really works.  But after you get the hang of it I think it will give you great shaves and will consistently give you a great luxury experience.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

5 thoughts on “Video: How To Shave With The OneBlade Razor”

  1. Wet shaving with razors of all kinds is fine, once you learn a few basic facts. What about some of us who are older and have tremors. Without medication, I can hardly put the blade on my face. I finally bought several different razors that have a pivot head. You seem to think that people who use pivoting head razors are just lazy. I must call you out on that, Bill

    1. As a matter of fact I am working on an article about how to use razors when disabled! For what its worth I really enjoy shaving with the OneBlade razor.

  2. I just got my new razor yesterday, and I used it today. The shave is superfine, but the Feather blade is really aggressive for me. Does anyone know of a less aggressive blade that I can use? Otherwise, it’s a pure pleasure.

    1. Adam, if the 2nd shave with the Feather blade goes better (and I bet it will) you can “cork” a new blade by gently running the blade edge over a cork stopper (or even the lip of a styrofoam cup) once before it’s 1st use.

  3. Just got my OneBlade. Two shaves in and I’m starting to get the hang of it/feel less intimidated. It’s really enjoyable to use, and the shaves are already far superior to what I ever got with a cartridge.

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