Worried about losing parts or cutting yourself when trying to replace your safety razor blade? Check out my reviews of the best butterfly safety razors, which solve the issue with a quick and easy twist-to-open mechanism.
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Vikings Blade – The Chieftain (Our Top Pick)
Viking Blade is the main brand responsible for the butterfly safety razor resurgence. The Chieftain is their heavy-hitter, with a durable, weighty design. Butterfly razors are sometimes more fragile than other safety razor types, but this is a robust construction that is unlikely to fail.
Since this razor is so heavy, it’s really nice to hold and use. It does an excellent job of putting force behind every stroke, and you don’t have to worry about applying pressure to get a great shave.
Despite the heaviness, the level of blade exposure isn’t too aggressive, so it provides a great, medium shave. It’ll work well for most beard and skin types, except perhaps the ultra-sensitive.
The twist-to-open mechanism is well-constructed, with a sturdy dial at the bottom that only opens when you need it to. That said, it can be a little squeaky.
The Chieftain comes with a set of 5 mild double edge blades, which is great for beginners. Once you gain some experience with them, you’ll probably want to upgrade to something a little more intense.
- Durable construction that won’t fall apart easily.
- A neutral aggression level is perfect for most shavers.
- Heavy design means you don’t have to apply any pressure while shaving, even with coarse hair.
- Comes with 5 mild blades, which is convenient for beginners.
- Twist-to-open mechanism can be a little squeaky.
Wilkinson Sword Double Edge Razor
Wilkinson is one of the most accessible safety razor brands in Europe, and it certainly deserves some more attention here in the States. It’s the best butterfly safety razor for those on a budget, especially, since it’s well built yet affordable.
Like The Chieftain, this is also a razor that’ll suit most beard types and experience levels. It’s a medium-mild design with a closed comb head. This means you’ll have a pretty hard time cutting yourself with it, and you can expect a smooth, gentle shave that’s still fairly close.
The razor is made of zinc alloy (the same material as most other razors on this list), which is nice and sturdy, but perhaps not a “buy it for life” material. It’s weighty enough to provide a bit of force behind every stroke, which is important for beginners who are learning a new shaving technique, but it’s not as intense as the Chieftain.
It comes with 5 Wilkinson Sword blades, which are a staple for a lot of wet shavers. They start out mild, but they get quite sharp by the second shave. It can be a little jarring if you’re not ready for it, but as long as you know in advance you should be able to watch your shaving technique.
- Excellent budget butterfly razor.
- Medium-mild aggression provides a nice balance between shave closeness and gentleness.
- Weighty enough to teach good shaving habits, but not downright heavy.
- Comes with 5 quality blades that start out medium-mild but get very sharp by the second shave.
- Zinc alloy is not a buy-it-for-life material.
Parker 99R Double Edge Safety Razor
This is the most aggressive option on our list. That means that it’s very sharp and close-cutting, thanks to more blade exposure. It provides a very close shave, and it has an easier time handling longer growth or coarse hair.
It can also be pretty irritating if you have sensitive skin, while if you have fine hair, it’d just be overkill. Aggressive razors aren’t for most people, but they do have their place on the market.
Aside from the aggression level, it’s a simple, classic-looking razor with durable construction. It’s on the heavier side, so it feels great in the hand and it adds a nice hint of pressure to every stroke. It also has a longer blade, which is comfortable if you have large hands or if you’re shaving other body parts beyond just your face.
It comes with 5 milder blades, which do help to reduce some of your risks of irritation or cutting yourself.
- It’s an aggressive razor so it provides a closer shave than most safety razors.
- Has an easier time handling longer or coarser beard growth.
- Sturdy construction and heft put a bit of power behind every stroke.
- A longer handle is great for those with larger hands or for shaving more than just the face.
- Can be very irritating.
- Not appropriate for beginners.
Shaving Revolution Double Edge Safety Razor
Shaving Revolution is the name for the razor line from Viking Revolution, mostly known for their beard care products. It’s an attractive, gunmetal gray razor at a great price point.
It’s a touch heavier than the Chieftain with a slightly higher level of blade exposure, making it a better option for those who already have some shaving experience and a coarser beard texture. Beware if you’re new or you have sensitive skin.
This razor is made of stainless steel, which is very rare at this price point. Stainless steel is much more long-lasting and durable than the zinc alloy most budget brands use. If you’ve been using a mild zinc alloy razor for a while and you know what you’re doing, this could be a nice upgrade.
That said, there are some issues with the butterfly mechanism, which can lead to a bit of rattling as you shave. While the blade seems to be nestled in the head pretty securely (I wouldn’t recommend it if it didn’t), it can be a little distracting.
- Made of stainless steel, so it’s more durable than other razors on this list.
- Aggressive blade exposure deals with coarse beards easily.
- A very attractive design in gunmetal gray.
- The head can rattle a bit as you shave, which can be distracting.
- Not appropriate for newcomers or those with sensitive skin.
Feather Popular Double Edge Safety Razor
From Feather, this is a very mild, lightweight razor. It could be a great travel companion, or just a nice razor to have on hand when your face is feeling particularly sensitive.
While the handle is made of plastic, the head of this razor is actually stainless steel. If you take good care of it, you’ll be surprised by how long this razor could probably stay in your arsenal.
To those who come into wet shaving for the aesthetic, this razor won’t impress. The plastic handle just doesn’t look as nice, and it lacks that “heft” that’s so important for ensuring nice, even strokes.
That said, if you’re looking for a functional tool and you know how to control the pressure of your strokes, it’s a fantastic option. If you’re a beginner, just remember that if you transition to a heavier razor after giving this one a try, you’ll have to be very careful with your pressure.
- This ultra-mild razor is excellent for sensitive skin.
- The light, plastic construction makes for a nice travel razor.
- Surprisingly well-built and durable for a plastic razor.
- Doesn’t provide a very close shave.
- You’ll have to apply a bit of pressure when you use it since it’s so light.
- Not particularly elegant compared to all-metal razors.
Are Butterfly Safety Razors Good?
In the world of safety razors, there are a lot more bad butterflies than good ones. That said, if you stick to one of the best butterfly safety razors, they’re pretty solid!
Butterfly safety razors can shave just as well as two and three-piece razors. Their main benefit is that changing blades with them is a little faster and easier. There aren’t many wet shavers out there struggling with their two-piece, but if you have dexterity issues, they might be a nice solution.
Just like other safety razors, they can keep your skin healthy and save you money on expensive cartridges or blades.