E very man needs a good wet shave razor - whether you sport the bushiest of beards or prefer the clean-shaven look, they simply offer the closest cut going. Beard cut design.
There are two components to them: the handle, and the blade itself, which is normally changeable and disposable. Men who shave every day will find they need to change their blade frequently. Marcus Jaye, of male style and grooming blog The Chic Geek, suggests switching razors every couple of weeks, as bacteria builds up, and blades can become blunt. If you shave less regularly or merely use a razor to shape around a beard, it should last a little longer.
Most wet shave razors come with multiple blades – normally five, but seven in the case of the Dorco Classic. This tends to provide a more precise, smooth shave, but technique is also crucial.
According to Jaye, a good razor is one that's "sharp, doesn't clog, and is easy and safe to use." Most good ones won't break your wallet, but it's worth forking out that little extra, as cheap, disposable razors often don't produce good results.
There has also been a proliferation of subscription services in recent years. Customers can sign up online, usually for a trial at a knock-down price, and will then be sent exchange cartridges at chosen intervals.
J aye recommends the Gillette Fusion ProGlide as an easy-to-use shaver that provides a smooth, precise shave with minimal fuss.
It features Gillette's Flexball technology, which allows the razor head to pivot in all angles to respond to the contours of the face. "This is great for moving around your chin as the ball is designed to move over curved surfaces", says Jaye.
There's also a lubricating strip infused with mineral oils for a smoother shave, and a precision trimmer on the back of the cartridge takes care of trickier areas like sideburns and under the nose.
Comfort-wise, it's a market leader – ergonomic grips provide superior control and handling.
Kind of beard style
The downside to Gillette is the cost. £14.50 for a starter kit with four replacement razor blades is reasonable – but thereafter, cartridges prove expensive. That's a common theme among high street products, and if you're worried about long-term costs, it's worth looking at the section at the bottom of this article about subscription services.
2. Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 groomer
A nd what about the razor? It's very easy to use, smooth (helped by five UltraGlide blades), and a handy gel-reservoir keeps skin moist during the shave.
Probably the best option for wet shavers who like to alternate between smooth and hirsute styles – either at different times or on different parts of the face.
3. Dorco Classic razor
D orco wins in the blade volume stakes – its cartridges have a vein-worrying seven blades, for a super precise and close shave. This classically-styled product also has a lubricating strip of argan oil and calendula extract, to prevent dry skin and irritation.
The most stylish razor in our round-up.
4. GilletteLabs Heated Razor For Men starter kit
T he razorblades are the Boldking's USP, according to Jaye. "The razorblades are spaced far apart to prevent clogging," he says. This means you can shave typically tricky areas around your nose and chin without having to bang the razor against the sink - instead, you can simply rinse with water and the hair will fall out.
While the rubbery handle may feel a bit cheap, lest we forget that this product is cheap. At £8, it's one of the cheapest top-range models on the market - and, with its unique razor blade design - we think it surpasses its potential.
6. Navaja Dovo Prima Klang 5/8''
S ubscription services have stormed the shaving market in recent years, providing good-quality products at reasonable prices straight to your door.
Simply choose the plan the best suits your needs, and they'll tailor deliveries to your preference. You keep the handle, and new cartridges will arrive at regular intervals. If you don't like what you get there's no problem, as you can easily cancel your subscription.
New York shaving brand Harry's are the newest disrupters to enter the market and try to chip away at Gillette's hegemony, having launched in June. We're huge fans of their razors – they feel solid and well weighted, look pleasingly straightforward, and eschew the bells and whistles of their competitors in favour of just super-sharp blades.
Plus they're well priced – for £14 a month you get eight blades sent to your door, which is two more than rival Cornerstone.
Y ou can also add their face scrub, shaving gel or post-shave balm to the package.
They're very comparable to Harry's, and while we prefer the shave of the US company's product, Cornerstone's razor probably wins in terms of look.
G rüum is a British company that's clearly inspired by Scandinavian designs.
The website will ask you to take a quick survey – what look you go for and how often you shave. It'll then suggest a monthly plan tailored to your needs.
Their flagship razor is the Oksa, with is incredibly comfortable to hold (if a bit odd to look at) and compatible with both the Oksu three-blade and Oksu five-blade razor. We'd recommend the five blade, with produces a smoother shave.
Long hair beard style
As with Cornerstone, you can cancel at any point.
4. Bic Shave Club
There are many excellent options in what is a crowded market. Thankfully, you don't need to spend too much to get a high-performing wet shave razor, though you'll need to replace cartridges quite regularly and the cost can tot up here.
From the High Street, the winner is the Gillette Fusion ProGlide. The Flexball technology means it glides across the contours of the face with ease. Marcus Jaye was also impressed with the versatility of the Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 groomer.
In terms of subscriptions, all companies offer a similar service, but our favourite is Harry's for its incredibly smooth results.
Marcus Jaye's new book 'Fashion Wankers: It Takes One To Know One' will be available from 7 October on Amazon.