Why the “Pivot Point” Makes a Difference in Your Shave

pivoting head on a razor

If you’re like most people, you’ve never thought about the pivot point on a razor. Where a razor bends to match the contours of your face isn’t usually a big selling point. And when it’s done correctly, it shouldn’t even be noticeable.

For some razors, however, the pivot point of the cartridge can make a big difference in the shave.

Here’s the deal…

Reusable razors today come with multiple blades. A typical cartridge has five blades, but you can find some with more or fewer. The entire purpose of these blades is to provide a closer, more comfortable shave.

Instead of having one blade cut all the hair, multiple blades do the work and they are designed to shave progressively closer as they slide across the face. The result is a smoother shave with less pulling.

For all of this to work, the head of the razor has to be able to pivot around the curves of the jaw and chin so that even on curves, the razor still makes contact with the face. That’s why each razor has a pivoting head that pushes back to maneuver around these curves.

However, not every razor is built the same. Some move back and forth at the base of the razor. Others pivot around a midpoint.

So why does it matter?

Where a razor pivots in relation to the handle and the cartridge determines where the pressure you apply to your face will be the greatest.

Say you have a razor that pivots around the middle. The pressure from your hand then pushes through the middle of the razor cartridge. This means all the span of blades will have roughly equal pressure applied when moving over your face. You get the benefit of all blades shaving on curves.

Midpoint pivot of razor's head
Midpoint pivoting means pressure is applied through the middle of the razor’s head.

Now look at a razor head that pivots at the bottom of the razor cartridge. In this case, the blade head will bend back a similar amount, but the pressure is pushed up from the handle through the base of the blades.

The result is that the most pressure is applied on the bottom blades, but those higher up on the cartridge head don’t have as much. The result is a razor that has uneven pressure against the face. The bottom blades do most of the work, with the higher blades making lighter contact.

Razor pivoting at base of cartridge head
Base pivoting means pressure is applied through the bottom of the razor’s head.

To be sure, both razors will give you a nice shave, but if you have a choice, opting for a razor that puts the pivot point in the middle will give you more even pressure across the blades, helping to provide a consistent shave around the curves of your face.


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