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Single Blade Razors With A Pivot?

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After years of single blade razors with a rigid head, and multi-blade razors with pivots, there is an upstart group of razors that have a single blade with a pivot.  Could it be the best of both worlds? This is a major update to the original 2021 article!


Why Trust This Article?


[Note: APShaveCo, Leaf, and OneBlade links are affiliate.]

Shave Consistency

The Future

Why Trust This Article?

This list is based on the personal experience of Sharpologist‘s editor (me!), contributors, and readers who have actually purchased and used the products–plus over ten years of research from review sites and specialty discussion forums. Generally-speaking, shaving facial hair is the primary objective.

Note that I purchased all the razors in this review.


[Note: Sharpologist is a OneBlade affiliate.]

Anyone reading Sharpologist knows I’m a big fan of OneBlade razors, particularly the Genesis model.

OneBlade looked at modern cartridge razor designs, particularly those of Gillette, for inspiration.  Oneblade and their engineering design firm spent a lot of time and effort on the razor’s pivot and the razor head’s “registration surface” (the distance between the top of the razor head’s base to the bottom of the blade edge).

All OneBlade razors hold the blade at about a 30 degree angle. Pivot travel is another 30 degrees or so.

OneBlade appears to be possibly retooling their razor line: the high-end, deluxe presentation, stainless steel Genesis is still their flagship product but several mid-priced models have just been introduced.


The OneBlade Genesis razor is a handcrafted stainless steel masterpiece with the “most aggressive” (though in my opinion this should termed “least mild”) blade exposure. Available in Silver, Gunmetal, 24 Karat Gold, or 18K Rose Gold as well. Engraving is offered so you can pass on this as an heirloom.

Genesis is my favorite non-double-edge single-blade razor. Not just a pivoted razor, any razor. Admittedly it is an expensive razor (and in fact broke the “glass ceiling” of premium razor prices when it first launched in 2015) but the results for me have made the price worth it for me. This razor provides me with effortless, consistent, close shaves.


Introduced in late 2023 the OneBlade Dawn razor is developed specifically for women. This razor uses a head made of alloy and a handle made of aluminum. The handle is beveled, available in three colors, and there is also a spot for a complimentary-colored silicon insert into the handle for a better grip.

The head is made of a chrome-plated brass alloy and is ever-so-slightly milder than the Genesis.


New in 2024 is the OneBlade Element razor. Similar to the Dawn razor, the Element has an alloy head and an anodized aluminum handle. And like the Dawn, the Element is ever-so-slightly milder than the Genesis.


The OneBlade Hybrid razor has a Core (see below) handle with a Genesis head (though slightly modified on the bottom surface to interface with the handle).  As you might suspect the center of gravity is more towards the head on this razor. This razor is milder than the Genesis/Dawn/Element razors.


The lowest-cost OneBlade razor, the OneBlade Core razor features resin materials with a stainless steel core in the handle for weight and balance.

The Core razor looks similar to OneBlade’s original stainless steel razor. However the Core razor is lighter and it’s center of gravity is further down the handle.  Core’s plastic material actually looks and feels pretty hardy. In my experience it can take a fair amount of abuse gracefully: I sometimes use the Core as my travel razor when circumstances allow (e.g. not having to worry about TSA).

Ridge Razor

Ridge, who are more well-known for things like high-end wallets, rings, and travel accessories, teamed up with OneBlade to make their own unique razor. The Ridge OneBlade razor features a PVC-coated stainless steel head with a sand-blasted aluminum handle.


OneBlade razors use the Feather FHS single-edge blade (the blade design was originally for the vintage Valet Auto Strop razor). Unfortunately FHS blades are currently limited to a single manufacturer and have a relatively short blade life.  Some have found that a de-spined GEM blade also work. I find FHS blades work particularly well for those with tough, grizzled, grey stubble due to the slightly thicker, stiffer blade specification.


  • Well designed and built
  • Easy blade loading (compared to some others in this article)


  • Limited blade choice
  • Limited blade life
  • Price (Genesis)

How To Shave With The OneBlade Razor

The angle you hold the OneBlade razor at is a little different than either a cartridge razor or a DE.  It may take a shave or two to get the grip right.

There’s a tendency to want to feel the OneBlade’s pivot work by pressing down on the razor.  Don’t do that with the OneBlade: just use very light pressure on the razor (like a DE) and “ignore” the pivot.  It works but in the background so you don’t really notice it.

Unlike OneBlade’s suggestion, short shaving strokes work better for me than long sweeping strokes.

I think the OneBlade razors are relatively mild compared to many DE razors.

Proof Razor

Proof razor on stand

Proof razors recently launched an updated version of their original “High Proof” razor that uses half double edge blades and a front-facing head pivot.

The look of the new Proof razor is reminiscent of the original razor, though slightly heavier and longer . The new razor’s material is aluminum, as was the original razor.

I think the most significant design changes with the new razor are in the head:

  • The top cap is now ridged, similar to self lubricating open comb razors, though the ridges are much less dramatic. This design is supposed to reduce friction of the razor on the skin.
  • The pivot action is now based on a spring, vs. the opposable magnets of the original razor. Personally I am a little concerned about the long-term durability of the exposed spring, but of course only time and use will tell.

There is a magnetic assist in the pivot base to facilitate blade loading (the original version had this feature too) and securing the razor’s top cap. According to the Proof website the magnets are stronger in this area.

Speaking of blades, the Proof razor can accept double edge (DE) razor blades either snapped in half or pre-cut. Some razors that use half DE blades can only use one or the other. The ability to use any brand of DE blade gives it exceptional versatility.

I think the Proof razor gives the OneBlade razor a run for its money for my favorite razor due to the ability to use a wide variety of double edge blades. The Proof razor also gives me a close, consistent shave!

Click/tap here for Sharpologist’s full review of the new Proof razor.


  • Able to use any brand of double edge blade.


  • Somewhat lightweight aluminum materials

How To Shave With The Proof Razor

I think the new Proof razor is slightly less aggressive than the original razor: if the original is a “5” on a 1-10 scale I would say the new razor is about a “4.5.” I think there is a bit less blade-feel and general feedback as well. However, being able to different brands of blades can change the characteristics of this razor dramatically: if you find the razor too mild simply substitute a higher performance blade!

The pivot strength of the new razor is noticeably less than the original razor to me. The new Proof razor feels more like a modern cartridge razor in this respect–I can be a little sloppy with my shave technique without worrying too much about drawing blood.

However the looser pivot strength makes “riding the head” or “riding the guard” a little more difficult for the shave enthusiast. The razor’s head design makes getting into the tight area under my nose a bit of a challenge.

Penny Shaver

penny shaver with cartridges in package

[Note: APShaveCo is a Sharpologist affiliate.]

Old-school wet shavers often rail at the big razor companies’ multi-blade cartridges and proprietary designs. Andrew at APShaveCo may have come up with a hybrid that spans both worlds, the Penny Shaver.

The Penny Shaver head/cartridge reminds me a little of the Supply SE, with a guide comb and a fairly large (but not unwieldy) head.  As the Penny Shaver cartridge is compatible with Gillette Fusion handles, I found blade/cartridge exchange quick and easy.  One interesting aspect of the comparatively large cartridge size is that lather flow through is very generous–possibly the best I’ve seen.

Beyond the single blade and the cartridge comb the Penny Shaver does not offer any of the other bells and whistles of the typical razor cartridge: no pretensioner, no lubrication strip, no trimmer blade, etc.

Click/tap here for Sharpologist’s full review of the Penny Shaver.


  • Compatible with Gillette Fusion handles
  • Low blade cost (in quantity)
  • Travel-friendly


  • Lightweight
  • Plastic materials
  • Somewhat aggressive cartridge blade edge

How To Shave With The Penny Shaver

I found the first shave with a new cartridge more aggressive than I expected.  Shaves two and three were transitional and the shaves beyond that were quite nice for me.  On a ten point scale I would consider the shave’s aggressiveness as a 7 for shave one; dropping to a solid middle-of-the-road 5 for shaves 4-10; and falling off gracefully beyond that.

The size of the cartridge was not a problem for me when shaving detail areas like under my nose.

Shave comfort is acceptable for me when using “canned goo” but quite comfortable for me when I use traditional lather or a good “brushless” product).

Leaf (With One Blade Loaded)

leaf razor

[Full disclosure: I was involved with testing a prototype of this razor in 2016. Sharpologist is a Leaf affiliate.]

The Leaf razor is probably the closest thing to a typical multi-blade cartridge razor in this article–but, as the Leaf website says,
“The Leaf Razor is unlike anything else. We let you load 1, 2 or 3 blades individually. This allows you to customize the razor to fit your skin and hair.”

  • All metal razor
  • Accepts 1, 2 or 3 blades
  • Pivoting head for comfort and ease of shave
  • Magnetic assist to help with loading blades

Like the Proof razor, the Leaf razor uses DE blades snapped in half.  This provides a big advantage for finding the brand(s) of DE blade that work best for you.

The disadvantage of the design is a very large head.  That can make shaving in tight areas and detail work a challenge.  Leaf included a separate, small plastic razor (that also takes a single half-DE blade) for detail work with my razor.  Blade insertion can also be a bit fussy.

The blade exposure is slightly different for the bottom, middle, and top blade holders (Leaf recommends putting a blade in the bottom slot if you are just using a single blade).  The pivot has the widest range of any razor in this article–about 90 degrees!  Although I don’t have an objective way of measuring it I think the Leaf’s pivot is also the “loosest” of the razors here, requiring the least amount of pressure to engage.

For me, shaving with the Leaf is pretty much the same to shaving with a pivoted cartridge razor: I can take long, casual strokes with the razor.


  • Most flexible usage (1, 2, or 3 blades)
  • Uses double edge blades snapped in half (wide choice of blades)
  • Widest pivot range


  • Very large head can make shaving in tight areas difficult
  • Blade changing can be fussy

Focus Dynamic R48

focus dynamic r48 razor

The Focus Dynamic R48 is an Italian-made razor available from Fendrihan in North America and the Focus website in Europe.

The 100mm handle is anodized aluminum (available in a variety of colors) with stainless steel parts in the head.  It weighs a feathery 33 grams.

The R48 uses regular DE blades snapped in half (like some “barber straight” or “shavette” razors) but cannot use pre-cut blades.  Razor head’s spring-loaded pivot is designed to hold the blade at 25 degrees to the skin.  Pivot travel is roughly 30 degrees.


  • Uses DE blades snapped in half (wide variety of blade options)
  • Small, thin head (useful for getting into tight areas)


  • Blade exchange can be fussy
  • Head tends to clog with thick later

How To Shave With The Focus Dynamic R48 Razor

In use, shaving with the R48 is a bit counter-intuitive and “quirky” for me.  I have trouble with loading the blade in this razor: the top cap slides off and the blade rests on a couple little pins in the head.  Then the top (is supposed to) slide back in place.  In practice I find it hard to keep the top cap “snapped” in place and also to keep the blade exposure symmetrical.

This razor is best held with the top cap flat against the skin with a bit more pressure than what would typically be used with a DE razor.  For me it seems to help if, in my mind’s eye, I imagine I’m pushing the razor across my skin instead of the usual drawing or pulling motion of shaving with a DE razor.

Shaving this way the R48 is quite mild with a middle-of-the-road blade.  It can shave more aggressively with a high-performance blade (e.g. Feather).

Shave Consistency With A Razor Pivot

If there is one thing that transitioning to shaving with a double edge (DE) razor almost 20 years ago did for me, it is to show me that I don’t need a multi-blade cartridge that vibrates like a marital aid to get a great shave.  A single blade gives me great results, and a lot more cheaply thankyouverymuch.

But one thing I do think that “modern” razor engineering got right is the concept of using a pivot in the razor head. I think a razor with a pivoted head provides a more consistent shave with less effort compared to a razor with a non-moving head.

And it appears I am not alone with that view.  Several razors with a single blade on a pivoted head are now available.  I have used all these razors for some time and they all have a slightly different approach.  Perhaps more importantly they might need a slight adjustment to shave technique compared to a DE razor.

Are Pivots The Future Of Single Blade Razors?

“Quirks” aside, I think all these razors shaved me pretty well.  I prefer mild razors so I got good results from all of them (though OneBlade Genesis is still the stand-out in my book.  It’s taken over the various adjustable DE models that have been my preference for years, as my “pry it from my dead, cold hands” razor).  Shavers who prefer aggressive razors may not find any of these razors to their liking.

Are pivots the future of single blade razors?  Admittedly there are a lot shave enthusiasts who prefer the designs and “vibe” of old school safety razors.  But I do think these razors make a great option for those who shave with cartridges but are not happy with multiple blade edges scraping across their skin.  A single blade can provide just as good of a shave, and the pivot can make the shave results more consistent with less effort.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

17 thoughts on “Single Blade Razors With A Pivot?”

  1. Great article! Pivots are great for head shaving. I use the Leaf pivot and trim around beard with the Twig or new Parker SoloEdge. All give super shaves and allow you to select your specific economical DE blade without being held to one brand. Plus, I’ve never nicked myself on the backside of a single edge razor. (Yes I’m clumsy.)

  2. hello Mark,
    grest article as usual…
    i’ve got a oneblade Genesis and it workshop perfectly for me.
    Only the difficoltà to find the blades is my only cons…
    My very best regards.

  3. Hi, Great article. I think you should leave the Leaf out of this review. I think it’s more intended to be used for body shaving. You could put the Leaf Thorn/Twig in what are both excellent razors. Recently you wrote about the Parker SoloEdge. I just bought one to try it out. Also an excellent razor but a little bit more difficult under the nose ereas then the Leaf Thorn. And the weight is more at the head.

    1. The title suggests single-edge razors with a pivot. I do agree with you that the Leaf should be left off the list because it can accept between one and three 1/2-DE blades. I do own the original Proof (High Proof) and version 2 that is feature in the article. I like that razor and use it often. Perhaps the evolution of the new Parker SoloEdge will have a pivot?

  4. Does anyone make a simple, single edge razor that takes the old-fashioned single edge blades (like painters use to scrape paint)? Not interested in splitting double edge blades in half as I would probably lose a finger. Thanks

    1. Those “paint scraper” blades are not for shaving. But there are single edge GEM blades and there are several artisan razors that use them, including PAA, Above The Tie, Blackland, etc. And of course there is OneBlade that uses single edge Feather FHS blades.

    2. The reply is a bit late but you could look at modifying a DE head into a SE head by taking off one side of the DE head and cleaning it up with a fine file and very fine wet and dry to make it look like it was made that way. Did that to a Chinese stainless version of the EJ89 in the late 90s and have been using it as a travel razor ever since. Takes DE blades snapped in half or the ready made half blades.

  5. Hi, I`m an 83 yr. old male, I`ve been wet shaving around 60 yrs. I have shaved with almost every thing out there except a straight and a sharp rock. I have developed `essential tremors`. There are people out there that `like` pivot razors and then there are people like me, who shake so badly, that we NEED a pivot. Not only a pivot, but one that holds the face of the razor (proper angle) flat on your face throughout the shave. So far I can think of only 2 that do that for me. The Gillette Atra and the Gillette Guard.
    The Personna Floating Head Injector is spring activated so that it `gives` when needed.
    I have read many of your posts, and so far you haven`t addressed the problems of the people who shake excessively. Thanks.

      1. Call me old fashioned but isn’t old fashioned the point? Traditional single blade shaving is about heritage and art. A pivoting head just removed both of those. Finding the angle and pressure point is the art. To each their own but if pivoting is your priority, just stay with modern cartridge razors and stop pretending that this is traditional shaving.

  6. Great artical Mark and like you I prefer a mild razor. I have the second generation Core and after about 20 shaves I am finally getting a good shave. However I get a much closer shave with my Mongoose and General but a smoother shave with the Core. Until I learned how to properly load the blade I had to return two razors because I cut through the stoppers. So as you can probably tell I am not happy with loading the blade. I get four shaves from a blade but the first shave is a bit ruff . I do not mind getting only four shave per blade but it would be nice if the first shave was smoother. I would love to try the Genesis but I cannot justify spending $300 on a razor.

    1. Checkout the just launch HYBRID with a SS head and add in the synth brush and use the code REALMENSHAVE and you get the brush for free. If you dont want the brush, then signup on the website for the emails and get a 10% coupon code. Best USD$199 you can spend at the moment!

  7. Thanks for the article. I had the Oneblade V1 and V2 and I just sold the V2 and it wasn’t because of the razor. I really like it but the Feather blades are a 3 shave blade for me. 1st shave I find the blade a bit harsh, 2nd shave is the but by the 3rd it’s already duller and it’ not a great shave. I’ve modified a Gem PTFE blade which is much better but it’s a pain to get it just right and I ended up ruining more of them than it was worth. Wish they’d rethink a better blade for it. I’d have one back in my den.

  8. Thank you Mark, for the great article, I do have the V1 Genesis and love it (in fact I have two). All is good with a pivot, but the same problem as with all the other DE razors remains. How efficient are they and will they suit my type of hair?

  9. Great article, Mark. I’ve used the OneBlade Genesis since they offered the discount through your site. It’s a fabulous razor for me. I still like my Schick Dial injector, but nothing beats the Genesis.

    1. Wish I could find a Shick Dial Injector,Andy. Dropped mine in the sink yr’s ago & snapped the head off. Best shave I ever had.

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