Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Van Der Hagen Safety Razor

Target carries a double edge safety razor with a branding of Van Der Hagen. Up to this point, the only methods that I have found for purchasing a safety razor are through one of the on-line speciality stores or Amazon. This is the first safety razor that I have encountered that any person can easily purchase. The razor costs $19.99 at Target so I decided to purchase one for a test drive and review.

As some background the razors that I own are:
1957 Flare Tip Super Speed
1960 Fatboy
Edwin Jagger DE89
Feather AS-D2

The Van Der Hagen is a twist-to-open (TTO) razor allowing for easy blade replacement. I was not sure what to expect from a $19 razor but the TTO works flawlessly. It is easy to use; however, when it is closed the end cap at the bottom of the TTO mechanism rattles. This doesn't affect the shave but I'd prefer to not hear a rattle with every shave stroke.

Left to Right: Van Der Hagen,
Flare Tip Super Speed
Left to Right: Van Der Hagen,
Flare Tip Super Speed
The look, as evident in the pictures, is similar to the Gillette Flare Tip Super Speed. The head of both razors when open and closed have a striking resemblance. I don't know if this is to pay homage to the great Gillette razors of yesteryear or for a different reason but either way the appearance is similar. The Van Der Hagen's handle measures at 3 inches which is slightly longer than the Super Speed's 2 and 7/8's inch handle. Both are shorter than the Edwin Jagger's 3 1/4 inch handle. The handle is in the ballpark for what I usually use so I didn't notice a difference. Also, the overall weight and balance of the razor feels fine in the hand. The head weighs less than both the Edwin Jagger and the Feather but it is on par, if not slightly lighter than the Flare Tip. The weight didn't affect my shave but it did feel a tad light in the hand.

I performed a WTG, XTG, and ATG shave using a Feather blade and I didn't not notice any irritation; however, the shave is not all that aggressive. I did not have as close of a shave as I get from the Edwin Jagger. Comparing the shave to my commercially available razors, the Van Der Hagen is less aggressive than the Edwin Jagger, and more aggressive than the Feather (which is known as a mild razor).

I'm glad to have tried this razor and it can compete with other DE razors.

  • Available to anyone through Target brick and mortar stores
  • Low price ($19.99)
  • Good starter razor - mild to Medium aggressiveness shave
  • Rattle from the handle when shaving
  • Weight is on the light side

Overall, I feel that this razor falls into the category of a starting razor and would benefit someone new into the world of DE wet shaving. Instead of purchasing a $35-$60 razor off Amazon someone new to shaving could begin with tis razor. Once he (or she) gets used to DE shaving they can upgrade continue with this razor or upgrade to a more aggressive razor. Personally, I plan to hold on to this razor. For me this would make a great travel razor. I get a good shave, it doesn't weight a lot, and if I were to forget it at a hotel it I'd be out $19 and could always pickup another.

I do want to thank Target for offering a low cost DE razor in their stores as DE shaving is more cost effective than disposables and is easier on the environment.

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