The Best Safety Razor – An Honest Leaf Razor Review

Thinking about making the leap to a safety razor and wondering which razor would be the best choice. Read on for my honest Leaf razor review about what I love, mistakes made, and a few reasons it may not be for you.

Updated 11/16/2022

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We’ve slowly been making sustainable swaps, especially in our bathroom. Interestingly enough, these sustainable products are often celebrated as new innovations, but in reality it’s usually just a return to old-fashioned ways prior to the boom of plastics.

However, there are new twists or updates to the old ways that are so much better! Take the safety razor for example. The safety razor has been around since the 18th century, and many of the current market products haven’t changed the design much since then.

Most of us have become so used to shaving with the flexible head on the disposable razors that making the switch to a rigid safety razor is honestly kind of scary. No one likes to feel like they are back in middle school or high school with cuts all over their skin from learning how to shave for the first time!

So, in steps Leaf Shave Company with their pivoting-head razor that I feel is a game-changer and totally worth it if you plan on making the sustainable leap to a safety razor. Read on to see my Leaf razor review!

Leaf Razor Shave Review

Why is it important to ditch the plastic razor?

Back in the 1990’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated nearly 2 billion razors and refill blades got tossed into the landfill. They no longer track the impact of the disposable razor, but Leaf Shave Company states an estimate of nearly 3 billion now on their site.

The items we just throw “away” adds up and it’s never actually “away”. So I encourage switching from consistently using a plastic razor to a more sustainable option for the planet. It’ll help save you money over time too!

Leaf Razor Review

Firstly, this is in no way a sponsored post or paid review. I simply tried the Leaf pivoting-head razor after some research and recommendation from a friend. But honestly, both my husband and I love it and want others to know! 

So I just want to do the same and give you a Leaf razor review with my thoughts and recommendations. I’ll tell you what I love, mistakes I made and even why it might not be for you, so that you know it all beforehand and have your questions answered!

What I Love About The Leaf Razor

Pivoting Head Is A Game-Changer

I’m sure some of you have seen the advertisement about the ONLY pivoting-head safety razor, and thought it was probably just some marketing gimmick. My hubby was definitely a little wary of it due to the price (he bought a standard safety razor first!).

But it’s seriously not a marketing ploy as the Leaf freaking glides and goes smoothly over your skin. It’s a super comparable (if not better) shave and as easy as a disposable cartridge razor.

My biggest fear with a safety razor was the need to extremely slow down to not cut myself constantly and bleed all over. Safety razors can be dangerous and injure you. I cringed a bit when I watched my hubby try a traditional safety razor first and cut himself. Safety razors are NOT easy to use.

Moreover, I don’t know if other women are like this, but I just race through shaving normally. I’m a busy person and a mom, so shaving isn’t a relaxing thing. It’s just like the rest of my shower routine and there is nothing special or relaxing about it.

However, having the pivoting head on the Leaf allowed me to shave like I always do. No short strokes needed (long legs here and that would take forever!) like other safety razors recommend. No holding at a specific angle (30,35, or whatever) so you don’t cut yourself. Just don’t apply extra pressure and shave pretty much like normal!

So with that said, the pivoting head on the Leaf razor, seriously is a game-changer for people like me! I get all the sustainability aspects, but without the potential suffering and going super slowly to avoid painful cuts!

Leaf razor sitting on countertop on it's packaging

Choose Your Closeness Level

The other really cool thing about the Leaf razor is the option to load 1 to 3 blades at a time. I mean, we all are so used to the disposable razors being advertised for the “3 blades” or even “5 blades” for extremely close shaves. Most safety razors just have the single or double sided blades. 

Having the option to load as few or many blades as I want makes the Leaf even better. Remember how I said, I was a little scared of using the safety razor? Well being able to only load one or two blades the first time helped make me more comfortable trying it out. You remove the bottom blade for a slightly less close shave, and the blades are spaced further apart for less irritation.

The learning curve is way lower on the Leaf than other traditional safety razors. This is what makes it great for beginners.

Non-proprietary Blades Work

Ever bought a product where you can only use their specific product refill? Yup, definitely have, and I usually don’t like that. Sometimes there’s a cheaper option that works just as well, and my budget would prefer that choice. The Leaf razor can be used with any standard blade and you can even snap the double-sided blades and use them in the razor.

I truly appreciate the ability to choose as a consumer. Leaf Shave claims their blades are designed for better cutting and precision than other blades. So far, we’ve only used the Leaf brand blades, but intend to try snapping some of the double-edged blades we have to try it out.

What Mistakes I Made

Don’t put the blades on the wrong way. 

Truthfully, I’m not sure if this is a real thing, but just sharing my experience.

When I traveled to my parents’ house, I took out the blades and then had to put them back in when it was time to shower. Well, the Leaf razor was still new to me. I put the blades in with the “this is not plastic” side down. 

Cuts all over my body! I was so confused as it hadn’t cut me the several times I’d used it before. The only thing different was putting the blades back in. I told my hubby before he went to shower, he decided to flip the blades, and had no issues or cuts. My sensitive cut up skin was very jealous of him afterwards!

Leaf Razor Shave Review - Multiple blades allowed in the razor head
This side facing out FYI!

So not sure, but I won’t risk cuts on my sensitive skin again! I’ll always put the “this is not plastic” side up and facing me. I recommend you do the same.

Why It Might Not Be For You

Sculpting Is The Goal

While you definitely can get clean lines and sculpt facial hair with the Leaf razor, it’s not its ideal use. The pivoting razor works better in long, sweeping motions. It would work great if you’re saving off all your facial hair, but not as well trimming and edging a beard or mustache.

Instead, you could get Leaf’s traditional Twig or Thorn safety razor, but my hubby got this Facon safety razor. The Facon is cheaper, came with a ton of blades, and works well for sculpting facial hair. An electric razor is sometimes better than the Leaf pivot-head razor for facial sculpting, too.

Again, it’s all doable, but not the ideal use for the Leaf razor. If you’re just sculpting facial hair, I (and by I, I mean my hubby!) recommend using a traditional safety razor for that use.

You Struggle To Hold Things

Firstly, the Leaf razor weighs 2.9 ounces, which is fairly heavy compared to the disposable plastic ones you’re likely used to. Safety razors are designed to be heavy as the weight is supposed to do the work and you’re not to apply extra pressure. 

Additionally, the razor is all metal. I’ve found it can get quite slippery if your hands are super soapy. I definitely have almost dropped it once because I grabbed it with super soapy hands. 

Most of the time, neither the weight or slipperiness bother me. However, I could see it being an issue if you struggle or have a medical condition that makes holding items tightly difficult. Leaf Shave Company does offer a silicone sleeve grip accessory though that could help with the grip situation. However, there have been mixed reviews on it, and I personally haven’t tried it.

Quick Links for Pricing

We all like to buy from different places so here’s a couple options (all the same price typically):

  • Leaf razor and Twig razor on Package Free Shop
    • Great one-stop shop for a lot of zero waste and sustainable swaps, so you can get more than just a safety razor!
  • Leaf razor and Twig razor on Zero Waste Store
    • Similar one-stop shop for a lot of zero waste and sustainable swaps!
  • Leaf razor, Twig razor, Thorn razor or Facon razor on Amazon
    • It’s Amazon, so you’ll get it super fast, but they are not a Certified B company or have plastic-free, carbon neutral shipping.
  • Leaf razor and Twig razor on Grove Collaborative
    • Offers great deals to new customers (cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc), but won’t be plastic-free until 2025. It requires a subscription & needs to be canceled before 60 days or otherwise they charge for another shipment of products. Totally tried it out and canceled afterwards as I could find a lot of their products at Target.

Recycling Safety Razor Blades

Generally, typical razor cartridges (aka disposable plastic razors) are not recyclable. Although, some brands are starting to have mail-in recycling programs, so make sure to check those out if you still have plastic razors. The most sustainable thing is to use up what you have first and then make a sustainable swap.

Throwing away your metal replaceable blades on your safety razor won’t cut it though! They need to be recycled properly as well. Otherwise, it’s just as wasteful as tossing out disposable plastic razors.

Leaf Shave Company has a Take-Back program, where you can send them your blades and ensure they are recycled appropriately. You can purchase a little tin to hold the blades or just reuse a small container at home to hold the blades. You can usually stock up a large supply before needed to send it off to be recycled.

However, you can also recycle them at your local scrap metal recycling or recycling dropoff. A quick Ecosia internet search and you can find a local spot I’m sure! Don’t put the used blades in your curbside or mixed recyclables. You don’t want to go injuring anyone!

Traveling with a Safety Razor

FYI, the TSA will take your safety razor if you put it in your carry-on bag! Well actually, you can take the razor without the blades, but the blades are required to be in the checked luggage. So, if you’re only carrying on then, a bamboo razor alternative is the way to go!

Disposable bamboo razors still have plastic cartridges, but the handle is bamboo and reusable. This means you don’t have to throw away the whole thing and the handle is not made of plastic in the first place.

Credit Amazon/Schick

Leaf Shave Review Takeaways

If you’re going to spend the money on a safety razor for sustainability reasons, then I highly recommend the Leaf.

Is the Leaf razor worth it?!

Short answer, absolutely.

Long answer is see all the reasons above, but also consider the savings over time. 

The average disposable cartridge razor is $1.50 on the low end up to $5.50 each on the high end of disposable razors. If you switch out a disposable razor every two weeks or less, then the payback period for the $84 Leaf razor is less than a year for the high end and maxing out at just around 2 years for the low end.

It’s even shorter if both you and your significant other use the same $84 razor! And you get to keep on using it forever! (Nothing lasts forever, but unless you break it somehow, it seems like it’ll last forever).

Obviously, there’s a few dollars here and there for replacing the Leaf’s blades (typically only $0.24 a blade), but the blades are a fraction of the cost of disposable cartridges. Assuming you shave over at least 30-45 years over your lifespan, I’d say you’ll likely hit that payback period many times over. And you will help reduce that 2 to 3 billion razor/blades stockpiling into our landfills.

More Sustainable Living

Make sure to check out some of our other eco-friendly and sustainable living tips/reviews! The Earth Breeze laundry detergent sheets are by far our favorite easy, eco swap.

We also have lots of DIY projects and plans to help you live more sustainably. From a DIY stacked rain barrel system to our most popular build, the hanging daybed (pssst everyone’s favorite because it’s so relaxing when complete!)

So there it is! I hope this Leaf razor review helps you make the jump to a sustainable safety razor even if not the Leaf razor. Let us know what you think and if you’ve tried the razor in the comments below!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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