When you shave the odds are you’re going to have wet hands. And sometimes razors slip out of wet hands. What if you would like to decrease the likelihood of an accident? Here are some safety razors of different types that will be less likely to slip through your fingers.
The Keys To A Better Grip
Hopefully razor manufacturers know that their products will be used in wet conditions so a sure grip should be a given. But there are an awful lot of razors out there with smooth handles! Not the best for gripping. And many “classic” razors are only about three inches long, which can be a challenge for those with big, meaty hands. So to make slippage less likely I think handles should be longer than average, well textured (or “knurled”) or have some kind of slip-resistant coating on them, and they should be longer and have a larger diameter than the standard size. With that in mind I’ve researched and tried a number of razors over the years. I’ll concentrate on razors currently in production from established sources. I’ve divided the razors by head type so you can skip to the section that interests you most.
Twist To Open Razors
All the Parker Twist To Open (TTO) razors share the same head design with a “middle of the road” blade gap. The Parker 92R* features a slip-resistant coating on a four inch handle. I actually like this razor quite a bit.
The Parker 99R* features a knurled handle and is also a very popular razor.
Open Comb Razors
Above The Tie
The Parker 24C* and 26C* razors share the same Parker open comb head that has a reputation as one of the more “gentle” open comb designs (not a bad thing in my book). Both razors are actually fairly popular with open comb aficionados in their own right and their slip resistant handle designs are a bonus. Like the Parker razors mentioned earlier, the 24C features a textured metal handle and the 26C features a slip resistant coating.
2 Or 3 Piece Safety Bar Razors
Above The Tie
The excellent Above The Tie “Colossus” handle can be purchased with a number of different heads. For three piece safety bar designs they have the “mild” M1, the “regular” R1, and the “heavy” (aggressive) H1*.
The Merkur 20C* is a three piece razor with an extra long handle (for a Merkur razor anyway) and a slip-resistant coating. Personally I prefer Merkur’s two piece head design but the three piece is certainly adequate and many people like it a lot (the Amazon reviews are overwhelmingly positive though should not be taken as “gospel”).
The Merkur 38C* razor, sometimes nicknamed the “barberpole razor,” is a long handled version of the legendary Merkur 34C razor, sharing the same two piece head design. Although I have read that the blade gap between the 34C and the 38C differ slightly, the 38C seems to shave about the same–very well.
The Parker 65R* is a three piece razor that features an unusual (unique?) “sandstone textured handle” with an interesting paint scheme. I think the Parker three piece razors are on the “high” (aggressive) side of average for blade gap…definitely more aggressive than their TTO’s and just a bit more than the Merkur razors above. But this razor certainly works well in wet, soapy fingers. The handle has kind of a “gritty” feel to it but it’s not unpleasant at all.
The inexpensive Utopia Care razor* may be a good choice if you want to see if a larger handle is for you but still undecided. The razor actually performs pretty well for the price, though there is quite a bit of blade exposure. Or if you have a razor with a standard head you could just use the handle!
Slant Bar Razors
Above The Tie
As mentioned earlier, Above The Tie offers their “Colossus” handle with a number of different heads, including slant versions: the S1* (Safety Bar) and the S2* (Open). The open comb S2 slant is unique as far as I know and an excellent performer, milder compared to other open comb razors but still efficient like other slant razors. More on this razor coming soon.
If you have a favorite three piece razor with the (relatively) standard screw threads you may be able to use just the head connected to a larger handle “a la carte.” The Above The Tie “Colossus” handle and the iKon OSS handle are two excellent products to look at.
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Do you have a suggestion for the “butterfingered shaver?” Leave a comment below!