You have spent your whole life looking for this. More and more blades in a cartridge is not the answer. You already worked that out, that is why you are here.
The best shave you can get is from one blade securely held with a vice-like grip so it cannot move. This stops it from flexing and then surging forwards cutting you. You need a a stable cutting platform. You also don’t want one blade lifting a whisker up so second blade can cut the whisker below the surface line, because this causes ingrown hairs and infections and inflammation below the skin surface. Also, you don’t want the second blade taking up space that could be used as a neat open path to channel the cut stubble and foam away from the cutting area so it doesn’t interact and interfere there. You want the blade to cut with freedom.
And you want a blade that is cheap enough that you don’t have to shave it to the bitter end when it is so blunt that it plucks your whiskers out instead of cutting them. You want a blade that is so cheap you can afford to discard it the moment it is not razor sharp anymore. That way you always get the sharpest edge and for that matter the cleanest one. Less times used means less bacteria on it, means less chance of irritation on your skin post shave. You want just one very sharp blade with open access to your whiskers and with a wide open area for exhausted material to be ejected.
A Traditional Razor is what you have been looking for your whole life. It answers all your problems. If you have been looking for economy then it is the cheapest way to shave. Or perhaps you were just looking for the most satisfying shave a person can get, and this is the way. You no longer dread an upcoming shave. In fact, you look forward to it now. It is a chance to pamper yourself in a ritual passed down from generation to generation. And in fact, now you can use a razor so well made that it too can be passed on from generation to generation. One that is built to last. One that is a Precision Instrument and a piece of art. One that you might in a surprising twist of fate, choose to spend some money on. But it’s up to you. Some folk even end up with a collection of razors each with a different character, a different art and beauty and a different story to tell.
There are so many types of razor available, that you will be able to find one that is perfect for your situation of hair and skin, the perfect combination of smoothness and efficiency for your situation, whether you shave daily or choose to grow a bit of stubble before mowing it down.
There are 3 main types of Traditional Razors.
Double Edged Razor
Most people start with a Double Edged (DE) Razor. Note that this has sharp sides on Opposite ends of the blade and is not the same as a double bladed cartridge which has 2 edges next to each other which is bad news. Indeed the DE is very much one side at a time, one single edge of a blade at a time, and you only change ends when the one side fills up with stubble. This is the most common type of Traditional Razor and there really is something for everyone.
Artisan DE Razor
Commercial DE Adjustable
Double Edged Adjustable
This is a sub-type of DE.
By making the blade gap and blade exposure adjustable on the fly by twisting a knob on the handle, several razors are able to give you your choice of mild to wild as the need arises. Some other razors could be considered adjustable to a certain extent but the adjustment has to be done by swapping the base plate, so it needs a quick pit stop and is not an on the fly change. Some are supposed to be adjusted by loosening the attachment of the handle on the top cap a quarter of a turn, and some are not supposed to be adjusted this way but it is done anyway.
Artisan DE Adjustable
Commercial SE Razor
Single Edged Razor
There is also a Single Edged Razor (SE) type which uses a different type of interchangeable blade that only has one sharp edge on one side, and has the advantage of being thicker and stiffer yet narrower since it only needs to function on one side. This gives it a different feel which some enjoy, more precice but perhaps less forgiving. It is less popular amongst beginners but gains popularity as experience is gained. In fact if you really want to know, there are 3 main types of SE razors: the Schick injectible, the Artist Club (AC) and the GEM. Finally there is also a type that takes half a DE blade that has been deliberately snapped in half by hand. There are a vast number of each of these different types of blade available for these razors and more so than DE razors, the SE razors adopt the character of the SE blade to a much greater degree and can change character alarmingly. They are in most cases more appropriate for more experienced shavers.
Commercial Straight Razor
Finally there is the Straight Razor. This is a Raw edge – just a giant naked blade with no protection whatsoever and is reserved for folk that have devoted much time, focus and practice to getting the technique right. It is possibly the Ultimate way to shave for those able, and the most satisfying, but it also has the most consequence. See HERE if you are a Jedi and think it is for you.