How many blades do you need for a good shave? Three? Five? The answer is one, insist devotees of old-fashioned safety razors like this Merkur MK-23001. Many fans believe they enjoy the smoothest and least blemished skin this side of the barber shop (or wax salon; the design is unisex). At $35 or so, the MK-23001 costs around four times a standard razor, but will save you in the long run if you buy the blades online. And it could be a very long run: Toronto retailer Men Essentials told us they had seen safety razors from the 1920s still in use. The chrome-plated zinc and brass body of the Merkur will never rust, but will it break? We subjected it to a series of high drops onto a tiled bathroom floor and it survived with barely perceptible denting.
Tip: Extend the razor’s life by always rinsing the shaving foam off and lubricating the threads occasionally with sewing machine oil.