This first factor is an oft-forgotten priority that varies from person to person. A heavier razor, for example, is better for sensitive skin. By gripping the tip of the handle, you can allow the weight of the tool to manage the pressure for you, producing a smooth shave without the risk of excessive force. In contrast, a lighter handle allows for greater control, which is advantageous when trimming a beard or mustache.
The second thing to consider is classic ergonomics, and in the realm of razors, the rules are blessedly simple. While a straight handle serves best if you’re holding it at the tip (as mentioned above), a curved handle wins under any other circumstances. The curvature allows for a much more comfortable grip, as you won’t have to bend your wrist when touching the blade to your face.
By all accounts, this is the most important element. A well-balanced razor is more precise, more comfortable, and far less irritating than an off-kilter alternative. You can test a razor’s stability the same way you’d test a sword (if you’re into that sort of thing): by balancing the shaft on the edge of your index finger. A top-quality instrument, like the Truman Razor from Harry’s, will rest exactly in the middle, with half its length falling on either side of your digit. Combine that balance with curvature, and the right amount of heft, and you’ve got yourself a tool that will serve with distinction.