Best Shaving Razor for Your Survival Kit

Sure, you can improvise with any edged tool to get a clean shave in a survival situation but having the right tool for the job will save you a lot of time. Not to mention a solid shaving razor will make getting cleaned up much easier. You can use any kind of razor, from the many models and brands of disposables to straight razors- so finding the best shaving razor can be tough.

This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best shaving razors for survival and prepping, tested them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a budget option, and an upgrade pick. If you need a razor that you can rely on in tough times, one of our suggestions will make the cut.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Van Der Hagen Traditional Safety Razor

The Best Shaving Razor

Van Der Hagen Traditional

Solid, Easy-to-Use, and a Good Value

A simple butterfly safety razor that is well built and comes with precision German-made blades.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

With German blades and a short, sturdy handle this razor gets it done. It hits way above its weight class- similar safety razors cost the better part of $100 at which point you may be looking to our upgrade pick.

Here is everything you get with this butterfly safety razor:

  • Chrome-plated brass
  • Uses double-edged safety razors (5 included)
  • 3.3″ long (85mm)
  • 2 ounces

With great quality paired with good value, it’s easy to see why the Van Der Hagen Traditional Safety Razor tops the rest.

BIC Single Blade Disposable Razor

Budget Razors

BIC Single Blade

Simple, Dirt Cheap, and Effective

Disposable razors you can jam into any survival kit knowing they’ll perform for at least a few uses.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

We used to jam these in our military go-bags, and they are still up to the task. You won’t find effective razors for cheaper than this unless you are willing to endure shoddy quality and nicks.

Here is how these basic but effective disposables measure up:

  • 12-count
  • Single encased razor
  • 4.7″ long
  • 0.13 ounces (each)

If you are looking for an inexpensive razor to stock your survival kits, the BIC Single Blade Sensitive Skin Razors are the best option.

Dovo Solingen Straight Razor

Upgrade Survival Razor

Dovo Straight Razor

Traditional, Maintainable, and Versatile

This is the top straight razor regardless of survival events, where unmatched quality meets traditional design.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

The barber’s choice takes the cake when you need a shaving solution that you can maintain indefinitely. This Dovo straight razor is the preferred brand of barbers and is on the cheaper side making it ideal for those who want quality without breaking the bank.

Here are the specs:

  • Carbon-steel stropped blade
  • 6″ long (closed)
  • 1.8 ounces
  • Made in Germany

With a classic high-quality design, the Dovo Straight Razor is the best choice for those serious about everyday shaving or a long-term self-sufficient solution.

Everything We Recommend

Van Der Hagen Traditional Safety Razor

Van Der Hagen Traditional

A simple butterfly safety razor that is well built and comes with precision German-made blades.

Where to Buy

$15* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

BIC Single Blade Disposable Razor

BIC Single Blade Disposables

Disposable razors you can jam into any survival kit knowing they’ll perform for at least a few uses.

Where to Buy

$4* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Dovo Solingen Straight Razor

Dovo Straight Razor

This is the top straight razor regardless of survival events, where unmatched quality meets traditional design.

Where to Buy

$115* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Razors We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to a few brands and types of razors that we compared: BIC, Gillette, Schick, Henson, Harry’s, Bevel, Van Der Hagen, Medline, McKesson, and more.

You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.

We considered a wide range of blades for shaving, and there are a lot of options out there. 5-blade marketing ploys quickly lose their luster when they are put next to practical alternatives.

We’re always looking for new and better gear, so if you have a razor that you love, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.

What to Look For

The best survival razors have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Comfort
  3. Durability
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

When you get the right blend of these, you can find the perfect shaving razor to clean up your stubble. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the blades that truly set themselves apart.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

The amount of money you spend on something like shaving shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There is a wide range of prices in our picks, so there is no need to spend beyond your means. Plus, shaving isn’t exactly necessary.

You never want to spend too much money on one resource, even when it comes to hygiene. It’s better to diversify your spending to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.

Closeness of Shave

The closeness of a razor’s shave is a measure of its effectiveness, and it isn’t necessarily all about the blade. For safety razors, the blade housing can affect the closeness and can leave beard hair too long, or allow the blade to dig into your skin.

A close shave without nicks isn’t just important for comfort- it’s important for hygiene, first aid, and even PPE (we’ll get into that later).


Most razors are simple. Not many moving parts to break, but the parts that are there you’ll want to be top-notch quality if you are planning to rely on it for extended periods or as a self-reliant solution.

Material quality usually indicates a razor’s overall quality, but there are other factors as well, like manufacturing precision. When it comes to razors, you want tight tolerances in manufacturing so you have consistent results. Even small variations down to micrometers can have a large effect when it comes to shaving quality and reliability.

Size & Weight

We are mostly considering these razors for survival kits and situations, so size and weight are important for the kit part. Most razors try to strike a balance in handle length and weight so that you can have better control while using it.

As with most gear in your survival kits, every ounce matters so when we have comparable results between two razors, we typically select the one with a smaller profile and lighter weight.


Razors can be versatile, especially when you can replace blades or use them elsewhere. Safety razors really shine, as their disposable double-sided blades are small and extremely versatile. You can disassemble a disposable razor to get the blade out (destroying it in the process), but it can give you something to work with if you really need it.

You could use a straight razor for other tasks, but you may dull it quickly. You may want to think twice before cutting cordage with your survival razor, or plan to keep a good sharpener on hand too.

Why Shaving is Important for Survival

A close, clean shave can be a refreshing and a moral boost. Beyond that, it has practical reasons for survival. These include:

  • First Aid – Shaving around a wound or injury can help with visibility and safety razors can be used to help remove foreign objects.
  • Hygiene – Dirty matted hair can harbor pests, bacteria, and cause other problems. Shaving is an option if you cannot keep up hair hygiene.
  • CBRN PPE – Having a good seal with a gas mask is important, and a beard disrupts that seal. You can address this issue with overpressure, or by simply shaving.

While almost everyone is familiar with using razors for first-aid shaving and shaving to treat lice and other hygiene-related issues, the PPE one often goes overlooked. We did a deep dive into beards and gas masks, and even tested it ourselves. There are a few options, but shaving is the best if you have the supplies and time.

Can You Use a Gas Mask With a Beard [SOLVED]

Who Needs a Shaving Razor?

Most people have shaving supplies, but may only have a limited amount of disposables. If you are preparing for emergencies you can either stock up on disposables or go with more self-sufficient solutions as we outlined above.

It is highly suggested to keep safety razors in your:

Most people keep shaving supplies (although not essential) in a wide variety of survival kits, including but not limited to:

Although we don’t consider them essential, don’t overlook their usefulness in everyday living and specific first-aid and emergency applications.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best shaving razor are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:

Cowley, K., et al. (2012). Insights into shaving and its impact on skin. British Journal of Dermatology. Volume 166. Issue 1. Pages 6 – 12. (Source)

McIntyre, F., et al. (1994). Shaving patients before operation: a dangerous myth? Annals: The Royal College of Surgeons of England. Volume 76. Issue 1. Pages 3 – 4. (Source)

Lynfield, Y., et al. (1970). Shaving and Hair Growth. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 55. Issue 3. Page 170 – 172. (Source)

The Final Word

Survival is about more than tactical clothes, survival tools, and prepping supplies- everyday items come into play too. Consider the survival applications of your daily razor, and you may switch out to something less reliant on overpriced cartridges from the store.

Here are a few other gear reviews and guides our subscribers have found helpful:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our testing found the Van Der Hagen Traditional Safety Razor to be the best option given its value, closeness of shave, quality, size/weight, and versatility.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Shaving Razor

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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