Should You Flip the Blade on Your Razor (And Use Both Sides?)

Flipping the blade on your safety razor is a common trick that supposedly helps extend the life of your razor blade while providing a closer, cleaner shave. But is there any truth in this shaving hack?

Flipping the blade on a safety razor may have a marginal impact on the efficiency of your shaving experience, but it is probably not worth it. Because of the difficulty of flipping the razor – and the potential for cutting yourself or damaging the blade – you are probably better off simply changing out your razor every 3-5 shaves.

For a more in-depth look at what the benefits are of flipping the razor blade, keep reading. You’ll also get some additional tips to help extend the life of your safety razor blades.

Is it good to flip over your double-edge razor blades in a safety razor?

Generally speaking, flipping your double-edge razor blade may be more hassle than it’s worth.

There are a few factors to consider when thinking about whether it’s worth it to flip the blade over: cost, safety, and blade health.

Because razor blades are cheap, why go through the hassle of flipping the blade over to get one, maybe two more shaves? Gillette 7 O’Clock razors cost about $0.17 blade. At that price, do you want to take the time to extend the life of the razor? If so, you may want to keep reading to see other problems with removing the blade from your razor.

The more time you spend handling a razor blade in your hands, the more likely you are to cut yourself. If you take the time to fuss with flipping the razor blade in your safety razor, the more you open yourself up to possibly cutting yourself. 

Finally, consider what happens to the razor blade if you drop it while handling it. The razor’s edge is incredibly sharp, but it is also incredibly delicate. If you drop or hit the razor’s edge against a hard surface while you’re trying to flip it, you may damage the blade and have to use a brand new blade. Consider saving yourself the time and just swap blades every 3-5 shaves. 

Which way up does a razor blade go?

When you place a razor blade in a safety razor, you might be wondering if there is a correct way that the razor blade goes in.

There is no right or wrong way to put the razor in. Either way, you’ll get a razor that can shave properly.

Some shavers believe that the numbers printed on the razor blade indicate which side to use first. However, the numbers printed on the razor blade are for the manufacturer, most likely for quality control purposes. The numbers have no bearing on which side of the razor blade goes in first. This was confirmed in a UK-based shaving magazine The Shaving Shack

If you ever have doubts about which side of the razor blade should face up, just know that it won’t make a difference.

Can you use both sides of a safety razor?

Both sides of a safety razor blade have the same cutting edge, and there is no advantage to placing one side down over the other.

Safety razor blades are designed to have one single cutting edge, regardless of which side is placed down first.

Whether you pick the side of your razor blade that has the “1” and “2” printed on it, or the side that has “3” and “4,” you’ll get the same shave on both sides of the razor. 

Does flipping a razor blade make them last longer?

One of the biggest reasons why people suggest flipping razor blades in safety razors is because it will make the razor blade last longer. While there may be some benefit to flipping razor blades, it won’t be worth it in the long run.

Advocates for flipping razor blades on safety razors say that over time, a razor blade can develop a small burr if it is used for multiple shaves. If you flip the razor, you may be able to eliminate the burr and return a sharp edge to your razor blade.

While this may extend the life of your razor, it will save you time and energy to just swap out your old razor blade for a new one. 

Should you strop your razor blades between each shave?

While flipping your razor blade may prolong the life of the blade, stropping your razor blades can be a more effective way of increasing its mileage.

By running your safety razor blades against a strop, you can alter the razor’s edge. This means, with certain limitations, that you can increase the life of a razor blade.

One of the reasons that a razor blade can get dull is because a burr develops on the razor’s edge. A burr is when the metal curls and eliminates the cutting edge. Similar to how flipping a razor can bring a sharp edge back to an old safety razor blade, stopping the blade is a much more efficient way of getting rid of a burr. 

While this may seem like a great idea at first, consider how much extra time and effort you are expending to increase the life of a $0.17 razor blade. If you have the time and you enjoy sharpening knives, then perhaps stropping your razor blade in between uses can be a fun activity.

However, if you’re short on time, consider tossing the razor blade once you realize that it is dull and not providing a proper shave.