If you have read our Shaving Shack Blog, Q & A’s, or any number of blogs, forums, or bulletin boards on wet-shaving, you have undoubtedly come across the term “blade gap”. This topic, while not discussed often, has a huge impact on your shave. The blade gap will determine comfort, angle, and the effectiveness of the razor.
As we begin let us first determine what the blade gap is. The blade gap is referred to the distance between the safety bar and the edge of the blade. This is illustrated by letter A in the illustration below. On regular two and three piece razors the blade gap is set. However, for an adjustable razor such as the Merkur Progress or Futur, or the vintage Gillette razors the blade gap shifts acute and obtuse depending on which setting you dial in.
On most adjustable razors the lower the number the smaller the blade gap and the higher the number the more acute gap. This changes in the area labeled in the above bubble as the exposure. Most often you will hear this referred to as mild or aggressive blade gaps. As the blade gap changes your shaving angle should not change, continue to still hold your razor around that 30 degree angle.
A changing blade gap can be helpful for a couple of reasons. If you have trouble with sharp angles on your face, around the jawline of Adam’s Apple for instance, adjusting to a smaller and milder gap can help prevent nicks while still whisking those whiskers away. If you happen to prefer going a few days between shaves a wider gap will help mow down the stubble in no time giving you a smooth face posthaste! Also, if you happen to have outdone yourself and are experiencing tenderness or razor burn a mild blade gap can still give you an effective shave without doing damage again to those affected areas.
No matter your preferences on razor, blade gap and angle remain the paramount factors in what kind of shave you will receive. A bad or uneven gap will result in razor burn or a bad shave; keeping that blade angle steady and let the gap do the work for you will keep you smooth and smiling.
1 thought on “Double edge safety razor blade gap explained”
Thanks for the info. The safety razor seems carefully designed to cut closely as possible and avoid cuts with the right use. Good post.