Valentine’s Day is coming around the corner, and most ladies are thinking about what to get their guys as a gift. Unlike the fairer sex, male-themed Valentine’s Day gifts can be tricky; guys aren’t likely to respond quite as well to flowers, for instance.
But a great Valentine’s Day gift idea is one that he might forget to consider. Remember, lots of men are infamous for forgetting to take care of themselves. Any woman struggling to find the perfect gift for her man should consider a new razor.
It checks all the boxes: it’s masculine, it’s thoughtful, and it’s something he can use. But which razor type should you get?
The Basic Razor: Cartridge
Some men may prefer the razor they grew up with or just shave before work during a cramped morning routine. Whatever the reason, it’s impossible to go wrong with a cartridge razor. Cartridge razors are among the most common you can find in groceries or pharmacies. They feature heads with 1, 3, or 5 blades, and the blades are set on detachable cartridges that can be replaced in seconds.
Naturally, cartridge razors are easy to use and usually have skin guards to protect their wielders from cutting themselves. These are great choices for men that usually shave in a hurry or who don’t normally pay too much attention to more delicate tasks.
Of course, cartridge razors also provide the least close shave out of all three types. Don’t use a cartridge razor and expect baby smooth skin like the commercials advertise.
Who Is It Best For?
We’d recommend cartridge razors for men that don't want to spend too much time on their shaving routine, either because their schedule doesn't afford them the time, or they aren't too interested in shaving in the first place. Alternatively, a cartridge razor can be a great choice as a travel tool.
Because cartridge razors only require shaving cream and a fresh blade cartridge, you can easily take them on a plane or to a hotel and give yourself a decent shave without much effort. Pick these up for a businessman that spends lots of time away from home and he won’t have to worry about heading to his next meeting with scruff!
The Razor for the Daring: Straight
If cartridge razors are the affordable but mundane option, straight razors are the tool of choice for the discerning male that once the smoothest shave possible. These are the old-fashioned razors that men of yesteryear became practiced at even as teenagers. While these days straight razors are a little less common, they’re no less effective.
Straight razors are open blades in a fixed position that require cleaning after each use, as well as sharpening every so often. While they might be pricier than cartridge razors on the initial purchase, they never need to be replaced if they’re well-maintained.
Paying a few extra bucks is even more worth it when a man experiences the closeness and calm from a great straight razor shave. Straight razors are the best tool for shearing facial hair completely away, leaving skin that’s smoother than the stainless steel of the blade itself. This can be nice for the man in question or for a lady friend that plans to give his face some attention on Valentine’s Day.
There’s no doubt that straight razors are the cream of the crop when it comes to razor variants. They do require a little more prep work before each shave, though. It’s often a good idea to pick up a straight razor kit that includes a soap cup or mug and a shaving brush, both of which are necessary to achieve the lather required for a close shave.
Who Is It Best For?
Straight razors are the best pick for men who settle for nothing less than the best of the best. Straight razors can deliver the best results in terms of shaving closeness and speak to a man’s authenticity and personal confidence; only men who care deeply about their appearance will bother to spend time using a straight razor.
But these tools are usually only appropriate for home bathroom use. While some men won’t mind taking their kit with them on a trip, many more will settle for a subpar shave on rare occasions when they’re away from home.
The Razor In Between: Safety
There’s a balanced choice between the simplicity of the cartridge razor and the elegance of the straight razor. Safety razors utilize a single, double-edged blade that’s bracketed by a protective guard to prevent the user from accidentally cutting themselves. Safety razors look similar to cartridge razors and their blades are also replaceable.
They deliver a closer and cleaner shave than cartridge razors, but they lack the maneuverability and ultimate precision of a straight razor. Therefore, they are often used as a steppingstone as men develop their shaving skills and progress from cartridge razors to straight razors.
Safety razors are also helpful because they can provide the user with an extremely close shave without having to spend as much time on prep or blade sharpening compared to straight razors.
Who Is It Best For?
Safety razors are a phenomenal pick for men that have sensitive skin which is easily susceptible to razor bumps or skin irritation, regardless of which type of blade used. They’re also great picks if a guy wants to practice getting a cleaner shave but isn’t quite ready to make the jump to straight razors.
Because they’re so easy to use and don’t require as much prep as straight razors, safety razors are a great bridge choice for men who travel frequently for work but who don’t want to compromise on their shaving quality.
Between all three options, safety razors are a top choice for women who want to get their guy something nice for Valentine’s Day but aren’t sure about which razor type he’d prefer.
Whichever razor type you settle on, your man is likely to feel touched that you went to the trouble to care for his grooming routine. A great razor is a big part of a man’s daily rituals, so get him something classy and he’ll remember your thoughtfulness for a long time to come. Good luck!