Double Edge Razor Blade Gap Explained

Differences Between Double Edge Razor Blade Gap Explained

What is razor blade gap? How does it affect your shave? What blade gap is best for me? What is the blade gap on selected razors?
These are all questions that we get asked almost every day by those looking to move to double edge safety razor shaving from cartridge razors, or those who are just looking to get more from their current safety razor shaving routine, whether that be a closer shave or less irritation during shaving. It is also something that you should take into account if you are looking to buy a second or third double-edged safety razor.

What is razor blade gap?

Razor blade gap is the measurement of the space from the tip of the razor blade to the edge of the safety bar of the baseplate. For most standard safety razors, such as the Muhle R89 or the Outlaw, this gap is a fixed constant. For an adjustable razor, such as the Rex Ambassador, Merkur Progress or the Parker Variant, this gap can be adjusted from a low (narrow) setting, to a much higher (wider) setting.

How does blade gap affect your shave?

The blade gap space determines how aggressive or close a razor will shave. A razor with a small blade gap will give a milder shave and require more passes to deliver a smooth shave, typically three passes. A larger blade gap allows closer contact between the cutting edge of the razor blade and the beard hairs and skin. This delivers a much closer shave in fewer passes, typically two or in some cases one pass.

What is the best blade gap for me?

If you are new to using a double-edged safety razor, we would suggest starting off with a mild razor that has a small blade gap. These razors are easy to get to grips with, especially on the awkward areas under the nose and the Adams apple, they are also less likely to nick the skin. Razors with a small blade gap include: Muhle R89, Outlaw Mild and Timor.

If you already use a DE razor and are looking for a closer shave, then a razor with a larger blade gap is what you are looking for. Razors with large blade gaps include the: Outlaw, Muhle Rocca and The Braveheart.

There are also adjustable safety razors. As the name suggests you can adjust the size of the blade gap to suit your personal needs. Starting off on a high setting to tackle longer stubble, then dialling down to a lower setting to finish off where there is less stubble to shave. Adjustable razors include: The Parker Variant, Merkur Progress, Merkur Futur, Rockwell Model T and the Rex Ambassador.

I suffer from sensitive skin during shaving what is best for me?

If you suffer from sensitive skin during shaving a razor with a larger blade gap may be better for you, as it shaves closer with fewer passes, so you are not irritating your skin by shaving the same patch several times. Fewer passes leads to less post-shave skin irritation.

If you do suffer from sensitive skin check out our Best Shaving Products For Sensitive Skin page for more detailed help.

Closed Comb Razors Versus Open Comb Razors

Blade gap is most relevant to Closed Comb safety razors, not Open Comb razors.

To discover the difference between a Closed Comb razor and an Open Comb razor visit our page - Open Comb Versus Closed Comb - The Difference Between Double Edged Safety Razors.

Blade gap comparison table

In the table below we compare the blade gaps of a selection of different razors available from the Executive Shaving Company:

Razor Brand and Model

Blade Gap Size

Above the Tie M1 & M2 0.25mm (0.010")
Above the Tie R1 & R2 0.58mm (0.023")
Above the Tie S1 & S2 0.61mm (0.024")
Above the Tie H1 & H2 0.91mm (0.036")
Executive Shaving Braveheart 0.72mm (0.028")
Executive Shaving Outlaw 0.72mm (0.028")
Executive Shaving Mild Outlaw 0.52mm (0.020")
Gillette Fatboy - Setting 1 0.38mm (0.015")
Gillette Flare Tip 0.635mm (0.025")
Gillette Slim - Setting 1 0.38mm (0.015")
Gillette Slim - Setting 2 0.43mm (0.017")
Gillette Slim - Setting 3 0.56mm (0.022")
Gillette Slim - Setting 4 0.64mm (0.025")
Gillette Slim - Setting 5 0.69mm (0.027")
Gillette Slim - Setting 6 0.76mm (0.030")
Gillette Slim - Setting 7 0.86mm (0.034")
Gillette Slim - Setting 8 0.91mm (0.036")
Gillette Slim - Setting 9 0.99mm (0.039")
*Merkur 34C 0.5mm (0.020")
*Merkur 20C 0.55mm (0.022")
Merkur Progress - Setting 1 0.38mm (0.015")
Merkur Progress - Setting 2 0.56mm (0.022")
Merkur Progress - Setting 3 0.71mm (0.028")
Merkur Progress - Setting 4 0.84mm (0.033")
Merkur Progress - Setting 5 0.94mm (0.037")
*Muhle R89 0.45mm (0.018")
*Muhle Rocca 0.75mm (0.029")
Rex Ambassador - Setting 1 0.30mm (0.012")
Rex Ambassador - Setting 3 0.63mm (0.025")
Rex Ambassador - Setting 6 1.29mm (0.051")
Rex Envoy 0.63mm (0.025")
Rockwell Razor R1 0.20mm (0.008")
Rockwell Razor R2 0.35mm (0.014")
Rockwell Razor R3 0.48mm (0.019")
Rockwell Razor R4 0.61mm (0.024")
Rockwell Razor R5 0.69mm (0.027")
Rockwell Razor R6 0.79mm (0.031")
Rockwell Model T Adjustable from R1 setting through to R6 above
*Timor 0.48mm

Acknowledgement – All measurements were sourced directly from the following: Rockwell Razors, Above the Tie, Rex Supply Co., Razor Emporium, Gillette Adjustable Razors and our own manufacturers of the Braveheart and Outlaw razors.
*Where manufacturers were unable to provide the data, approximate measurements were taken using Feeler Guages.
All measurements accurate at 30th September 2020.

If you have any queries at all about razor blade gap, then don't hesitate, get in touch. Call us on +44 (0)141 880 3040, use the LiveChat option, or email

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