Are you tired of buying disposable razors every time and feel guilty about increasing the carbon print? Does recharging your electric razor feel like a commitment you always fail to keep? Does the cost of electric razors worry you? The straight razors might be exactly what you need them. The age-old and humble straight razors may sound like a thing of the past. But, yes, they are still thriving in the market with new looks and new features.
Straight razors have a handle and a foldable blade. As the name suggests you have to straighten the razor by unfolding the blade before use (source). The straight razor can be used multiple times.
- The black matte finish over the stainless steel body helps deter rust for long-lasting performance
- 100 premium derby blades will help last through many shaves; each blade is individually wax paper wrapped
- Features flip-able blade cover and comfortable metal grip allowing for easy maneuvering and a close shave
- Classically styled straight edge barber razor made of brass with chrome finish will provide a reliable smooth and silken shave every time; start with gentle strokes and slowly work your way around keeping a steady motion and pressure
- To ensure safe usage at all times, you need to make sure that the blade is securely locked within the safety walls and the cap is in place; if the walls become lose with time and usage, just push the walls with a small amount of pressure when placing the blade and lock the cap to ensure that it stays in place
Unlike the disposable razor and electric razor, straight razors are perfect for both personal and professional use. That’s because it gives a clear and clean-cut. Here are some of the top razors in the market.
Why Should You Use a Straight Razor?
Straight razors are for those who prefer shaving with style and precision. Also called as open or the cut-throat razor, straight razor gives you the right grip and the right shave. Moreover, the smooth finish that you probably prefer. The straight razor was once shadowed by disposable and electric razors.
However, it made a comeback to the grooming industry. With more features and better options to choose from, straight razors are for those who are more environmentally cautious. There is a reason why it’s a tool of choice for barber’s worldwide. The straight razor not only gives a clean shave, the razor also helps with easy maneuvering.
If you love to have a personal touch, the straight razors is truly a good tool to use.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Straight Razor
Straight razors are, for obvious reasons, different from disposable and electric razors. So the qualities they possess are different too. Though you probably want a razor to get a clean and clear shave (and then forget about it), choosing the right product is important in the long run. Look at it as an investment.
Here are some of the features you should have in mind when buying a straight razor.
Straight razors blades can be categorized by the nose of the blade (source).
1. Round Point Blade
Great for new users. The round point blade is curved at the tip. Thus, it’s safe for use by beginners.
2. Square Point
The tip of the blade is vertical and resemble a square with two sharp edges. You should go for it if you’re an experienced user. The blade gives a clear-cut shave particularly on small areas of the skin.
3. French Point
A slanted tip is what defines a French point blade. Though it has two sharp edges, one is more prominent than the other. Quite useful for intricate shaving.
4. Spanish Point
The Spanish blade is more like the French one except that one side of the tip has a smooth edge and the other is pointed. It has a small notch in the middle. Let’s be honest, it’s more of an aesthetic feature. But, it comes handy when you have to shave difficult to reach areas.
5. Barber’s Notch
More as a stylistic feature in modern times, the age-old Barber’s notch was initially used to help the user to straighten the blade. This blade type has two curved edges with a notch in between.
The blade width is the distance between the cutting edge and the back of the blade. It is usually expressed in 1/8 th increments.
4/8 is half an inch
The wider the blade width the more hair you can shave at a time. Smaller blades can give more intricate shave for hard to access areas like the nose.
The blade width isn’t very important if the blade is properly honed or sharpened. It’s more an individual choice. The 5/8 th blade width is commonly preferred in straight razors by both beginners and experienced users.
The materials used to make straight razor blades nowadays are usually stainless steel or carbon steel.
Stainless steel blades are resistant to rust and thus last longer. They are however difficult to hone and require proper sharpening. The use of stainless steel blades is increasing due to its affordability and low maintenance.
Carbon steel blades have been a favorite for long thanks to its clean and comfortable shave and easy honing abilities. But, they easily rust and require frequent oiling and maintenance (source).
Straight razor handles have an important role in keeping the blade in balance and intact after use. A good- quality razor has the center of balance on the pivot pin which attaches the blade to the handle.
The scale is made of different materials. The common ones used today are plastic and resin. Wooden scales are also used in high-end versions.
The scale types you get to see are wood, plastic, resin, ivory metal. Each scale has its own aesthetic purpose and differs in its maintenance level too.
1. Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor
This straight razor uses a detachable, sharp blade. It’s made out of stainless steel and can be replaced easily. The blade is round, so the razor is suitable for beginners. It’ll help you to get a smooth, safe shave.
The handle is made of silicone resin. Thus, it contributes to a firm grip and control. It’s heat resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 135 degree Celsius (not that you would keep your blade in that temperature). Also, the sturdy handle makes sure that you get a good hold on the razor avoiding abrasions, cuts or nicks. You can easily clean it using water too.
I know cleaning and disinfecting the blades either by boiling or by using ethanol may seem like a daunting task. But, by doing so and by replacing clean blades you can reduce the chances of infections.
This straight razor is designed in a way to provide a clean shave without too much pressure.
Removal, cleaning and remounting of blades should always be done with caution since you are handling blades that are sharp.
The Feather SS Japanese straight razor can truly work its magic in the long run. Though it does require a significant investment, a good start always leads to good results.
2. Classic Necessity’s Edge Razor
Classic Necessity has come up with this efficient stainless steel straight edge razor. It uses disposable blades for both dry and wet shave.
The disposable blades are sharp and easy to use. If you want to avoid all the work of honing and stropping of the blades, this razor is just for you. Why? Mostly because disposable blades don’t really need to be sharpened. You just throw them away.
The straight razor kit comes in two sizes. You can get it with 10 or 50 double edge blades. Since each blade can be used twice, you’ll have a chance to shave for up to 20 or 100 times. If you’re a beginner to using straight razors, the smaller pack might be a better option.
Removing and mounting the blades can be tricky at first. But, once you get used to it, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Another great feature of the razor is its black handle. It looks and feels top-class even though it’s cheap.
Easy to use by both experienced and amateurs. That’s mostly because the top of the blade isn’t sharp, so you won’t cut yourself. However, the disposable blades are extra sharp and do provide with a nice shave. Overall, the shaving kit comes with a starter’s guide that gives instruction in an easy to understand manner for a user of every level.
The razor also offers a money-back guarantee for those who want to get their product replaced or refunded. Even though the product is very cheap, that’s a nice gesture and could very well work in your favor if you’re a beginner. You might just buy the product and realize that a straight razor isn’t for you. That’s where having the option to return it might be useful.
Great option for someone who’s just starting out. A pretty safe razor that’ll help you to avoid the cuts that you otherwise wouldn’t when using a straight razor for the first time.
3. Dovo Hollow Carbon Steel Straight Razor
A friend of mine bragged about his Dovo 6/8” full hollow carbon steel straight razor. So, I had to talk about it.
The German company Dovo Solingen is well known for its quality handcrafted products. The Dovo carbon steel straight razor is ready-to-shave. That means that you don’t have to do the extra sharpening. It comes with a blade of width 6/8”. Thus, it helps to get that extra sharp shave.
The exceptionally sturdy carbon steel blades are non-detachable and require some maintenance. However, it’s nothing major.
The handle is black in color and made of celluloid material (a type of primary plastic) (source). Overall, it feels great, improves the grip, is and lowers the cost of the razor. Though celluloid has a reputation of being highly combustible, it’s safe for bathroom use.
German quality doesn’t lie. Also, the blade doesn’t need a lot of stropping to stay sharp. Overall, a good option if you’re looking for an efficient shave.
4. Parker SR1 Straight Edge Barber Razor
The SR1 is more like a shavette (not too sophisticated for experts and not too flimsy to use and throw).
So there you have a product that’s rust free. And it truly lasts for quite a while. The SR1 razor comes with a unique lock mechanism that allows the blade to remain safely in the socket. Since this straight razor uses changeable blades, there is no need of sharpening or stropping, just easily change the blades. It’s great for barbers who have clients all day long. The tip of the blade is round point. Thus, it minimizes cuts and is safe for novice users too.
The razor comes with 5 stainless steel blades from Shark. So, you can have an undisrupted shave for quite some time. However, you should change the blades every 2-3 shaves.
Good for barbershops and personal use. It’s a budget-friendly razor that’s quite easy to use even in a beginner’s hands.
5. Dovo Carbon Steel 5/8″ Straight Razor
The smaller version of the Dovo 6/8” blade width wise, the Dovo 5/8” is a beginner friendly razor. Being a German product, the razor has all the features of a good product in quality and aesthetics.
Now, this product is similar to the earlier Dovo 6/8” straight razor. It is full hollow, made of carbon steel and has a black handle. Now the differences between these two are the blade width and the handle material. Though the handle material is more of looks, the blade width is what’s actually vital in the shaving. A lot of people have suggested that that the width doesn’t make much difference but for those who love to shave and shave to love, swears on the tiny difference the blade width provides that helps in flexibility and smooth and precise shaving. Though it has a round point, the razor is a full hollow grind meaning it has a sharp edge and more chances of getting cuts and bruises. More suited for the experienced shavers out there.
The black handle is acrylic but smooth and easy to open and fold. A 5/8” width blade is one of the common and most easily maneuvered blade size that Dovo provides you.
Full hollow and 5/8” blade width, are 2 features you would love to experience on the Dovo, 5/8 carbon steel straight razor.
6. Classic Straight Edge Barber Razor
One of the strong contenders in the shavette range and my personal favorite the Facón Professional classic is a champ in its own rights. This budget-friendly razor has features that can stand at par with professional razors. The razor blade is stainless steel with a black powder coating giving it a sleek and premium look. The blade has a swing lock mechanism that keeps the blade secure in the socket and is 25% more exposed to give a smooth shave. A good razor for those who want to shift to using the straight razor but are not too keen on investing in an expensive one before they get a hang of it.
The lightweight razor with plastic handles is good for beginners who don’t want to use too much pressure while shaving. Handle easily fits the blade arm. The razor is rust free and requires low maintenance.
The razor comes with a pack of 100 half blades. The company claims to give a standard lifetime return guarantee. I think that shows that the product is of the utmost quality.
A budget-friendly straight razor that assures smooth shave like a professional. You should be trying it if you have decided to shift to straight razors.
How to Use a Straight Razor?
So you finally decided to use one. The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that straight razors are different from other razors (safety razors, disposable razors). Though a bit complicated, with patience and practice you can learn how to use it right. Below are some tips that should help you get started.
1. SHARPEN BLADES
Before you start shaving, sharpen your blades. That’s to avoid cuts and hurting yourself. Blades can be sharpened either by stropping on the leather strop or razor stone. And if it’s a replaceable blade, fit in a new sharp one.
2. PREP YOUR FACE
Wash your face with warm water and lather it up either with a shaving brush or fingers. Just make sure it reaches each whisker.
3. HAVE A GOOD GRIP
Having a good grip is essential to a precise shave. Though you might have your own preferences, having three fingers on top of the blade with one underneath is usually the way to go.
4. FOCUS ON SHAVING STROKES
Always go for slow, smooth strokes in the direction of the hair growth.
5. SHAVE FROM THE TOP DOWNWARDS
Start by shaving the sides of the face and use the free hand to taunt the skin. Start from the top and move downwards. After the sides, shave the jawline followed by the upper lip and chin.
Straight razors are in the market to stay. Though considered traditional, these razors are definitely a competitor in the market. I hope you enjoyed my reviews on the 6 best straight razors and learned something new! Are any of these razors already one of your favorites? Let me know in the comment section! Especially if you have any extra suggestions of your own.