When it comes to placing a straight razor against your face and neck you want to be sure you are working with a quality product. Running around the house holding your blood-squirting neck is not a good idea. For this very reason, you should take some time and research several straight razors before going out and purchasing one.
Let’s go through some of the reasons why price and quality make a difference when choosing the best straight razor.
- A cheaper priced razor will work well at first but very quickly become dull.
- The type of metal used int he razor could wear quicker reducing the lifespan
- very thin or poor razors will nick and chip easier resulting in a poor quality shave
- wear on the handle making the razor look more worn out and unattractive
Buying a cheap razor may be fine if you plan on replacing it every few months. In the end, this could cost as much as a higher quality razor.
This is a great starter razor with interchangeable blades. The weight and feel of this razor is similar to a fixed blade razor but has the benefit of the interchangeable blades.Buy at Amazon.com
Buy at Amazon.com
Parker makes quality products, and this model is no slouch. It comes with a stainless steel handle and 100 replaceable stainless steel blades. For barbershop quality without the need to strop and sharpen you can’t find a better deal.
Dovo makes high-priced and great quality products. This razor is an exception to the rest. This German made straight razor has a light-weight aluminum handle and changeable blades. This is a great starter razor without having to bust the bank.Buy at Amazon.com
This is the second DOVO product to make our list. Other than its Satin finish there is not too much difference from the #3 razor. Being a DOVO made in Germany carries some major weight.Buy at Amazon.com
The three riveted design in the Black Dragon makes for a very sturdy and solid feel. The razor has a stunning black design and also comes with a leather case.Buy at Amazon.com
This was the first straight razor that was officially issued to German soldiers during World War I and is also the official military issued straight razor in World War II as well. To say the least that this razor was designed for the battle field, you can be sure that it can give you the best results when you use it to give you that clean look that you always wanted in a straight razor. More importantly, the Kriegar Razor is made of pure surgical grade stainless steel and added caution should be used while using this razor. Maintaining this razor is virtually next to nothing as it’s stainless steel blade will never develop any signs of corrosion or discoloration for that matter.Buy at Amazon.com
This straight razor has been around for quite sometime now and is a straight razor blade that is made entirely in China using a standard 5/8 width stainless steel blade that is shave ready out of the box but could use further honing and stropping to improve it’s sharpness. The Gold Dollar razor is a classic old school styled razor blade that exudes an exquisite characteristic of a bygone era that lauds aesthetics with functionality. You will even find it interesting to know that some rare Gold Dollar limited edition models used real gold which is incorporated into the razor blades themselves. It is very rare to see a razor that has a gold filled blade these days, which is one of Gold Dollar’s well-known razor brands and one should take pride in owning one!Buy at Amazon.com
All 7 of these straight razors will provide a great quality shave for a reasonable price. The art of straight razor shaving is quite delicate so make sure to start out slow. All of the razors mentioned above are great for beginner’s.
How to Sharpen a Straight Razor
There is one simple way to know when you need straight razor sharpening. Straight razor shaving will hurt when your razor is not sharp enough. It will feel like you are pulling the hairs instead of shaving them.
Here are some items that you will need for straight razor sharpening:
- Straight razor
- Leather Strop
- Fine honing stone
If you think that you cannot sharpen your razor, it is important to know that there are professional honing services available. You can also take it to your barber, and depending on the person they might do it for free.
Step 1 Getting started
To start off, you will want your extremely fine honing stone nearby. You will then lay the side of the blade in as flat of a manner as you possibly can. The back and edge of your straight razor will be touching the honing stone as you are pushing the blade across diagonally, and you will want the edge to be pushing forward.
Step 2 After first sharpening attempt
After your first attempt to sharpen your straight razor shaving tool you will want to leave it flat. Do not pick up the blade. Turn along the back part of the razor, and position the other side of the razor so that it is sitting flat against the honing stone on the other side of the blade.
It is important to be careful, and do not make any quick or forceful strokes. Most importantly, watch your fingers because with straight razor sharpening it is even easier to cut yourself, than when you are shaving your face. If you are in a rush, don’t bother trying to sharpen your razor. You are just putting yourself at risk of being badly cut.
Most shaving accidents occur when the person is sharpening their razor, and it slips and ends up cutting them. This is also why you do not want to be using to much force while sharpening your razor because the harder you are pushing that razor, the deeper the cut will be if your razor slips.
Step 3 Make sure that both sides have been sharpened
You want to make sure that you have sharpened both sides equally because the blade of the razor is fairly thin. If you have unevenly sharpened that razor you will be putting yourself at risk because it will change the way that your razor operates. For example, you might find that it curves while shaving.
With straight razor shaving you want to keep the process as predictable as possible or you can get hurt.
How often should you sharpen your razor? Well, on average you will want to sharpen your razor about twice a year or every six months after usage. As mentioned earlier, another way to tell when you need to sharpen your razor is when moving the razor across your face pulls the hair causing pain. This is a sign that your razor is not sharp enough. Here is a short video to take you through the process.
Proper care of your straight razor
If you want your razor to last longer, you can clean it with mineral oil. This will also destroy any harmful bacteria that has built up on your razor.
Owning a straight razor carries a few responsibilities, but once you know how to maintain it properly, you will never regret it because you will be safer using it.
Straight Razor Shaving Soap
With all the technological advancements in straight razors and related devices over the past few years, it’s almost out of style to see someone shave with a straight, old style, traditional razor. But the simple fact is these types of razors still provide the easiest and most reliable cuts out there. You don’t have to deal with having power or recharge your razor, or having an uneven cut because the blades were worn out. But when shaving with a straight razor you still need to use shaving soap. There’re a lot of brands and models for these types of soap, and they provide a lot of different features. Here is some information you might find useful about straight razor shaving soap.
First, it would be a mistake to compare shaving soap with a normal piece of soap. Sure, you could use a traditional soap bar to shave, but specialized soap products provide a lot more for you. And don’t even think about not using soap at all. It’s just cleaner to use one, and your cut is more even also. What you might not see on your skin is that all the residue from normal daily activities build-up against the skin and fill your pores pretty quickly. If you shave without soap, you go above all these filled up pores, and you end up with a cut that just doesn’t look as good. In all the products that one can bring out to shave, from the razor itself to extra cosmetics, the soap is perhaps the most important for personal hygiene and to get a clean cut. So now that you know why you want to use soap, what’s the difference between a normal soap bar and shaving soap? Again, it depends on which brand you go with since they provide many different features.
The main benefit of using a shaving soap is that they often come with supporting accessories, along with being made for shaving. For example, a typical shaving kit can include the soap itself, along with a brush, a ceramic bowl to put the hot water in it, and some cotton sheets to dry yourself with. This is a lot of extra value for the price you pay, and they are things you don’t get with a normal soap bar. But the product itself is also made for shaving. The materials used in the conception of the soap are made especially for this purpose. Often, you can see on the box that they advertise 40% humectants moisturizers. This is perfect for shaving, and not typically found in a normal bar soap, which is why it’s so useful.
Overall, shaving with a traditional straight razor is something that millions of people do all the time. Whether or not you get a good result depends on the products you use, and using a good shaving soap is crucial to the whole operation. It’s like using the right key to open a lock, where the wrong one might still fit, but it won’t go all the way through.
Straight Razor Shaving Quick Tips
Straight razor shaving can give you the most comfortable and satisfying shave when you have the right accessories at hand. Imagine no razor burn, no ingrown hairs, and no “razor bumps.” That’s where straight razor shaving excels.
Let’s start with your setup. You’ll enjoy shaving best when everything you need is laid out neatly for you. “Colonel Conk,“ “Dovo,“ “Kent” produce hardwood, acrylic and stainless steel razor and brush stands.
Take your straight razor and, if it needs to be stropped, usually every few months, pass it expertly over a woodworking shop whetstone. These will do their job fairly quickly. Generic “barber hones,” often found on eBay, are finer and will necessarily take a bit more time. You may also choose to hone your straight razor on a micro abrasive sheet, such as made by “Hand American”. They need to be replaced from time to time, but at little cost.
Following your honing, you’ll want to strop your straight razor to align the steel grains at the edge of the blade all in the same direction. Hanging strops, having a leather side and a canvas or linen side are readily available. Choose from strops such as Green River Leather Cowhide Razor Strop, Illinois Razor Strop, jemico German Razor Strop, Boker Russian Leather Razor Strop, or the Thiers Issard Luxury Strop. After honing, you’ll want to use the leather side. Between shaves, use the linen/canvas side first.
By the way, care for your leather strop with mechanic’s waterless hand cleaner massaged into the leather and the excess wiped off.
If you travel, you may want to have a paddle strop, and leather mounted on wood. You probably won’t have your whetstone with you when you travel, but you can use an abrasive paste on a second paddle strop. This is also convenient for touching up the straight razor’s edge between regular honings. Thiers Issard makes a fine diamond paste.
You’ll want a fine badger or boar bristle brush, although synthetics are available. The Badger Silvertip is probably the finest. You can choose a MUHLE, Parker or Colonel Conk brush. Dovo Handmade, available from Classic Shaving, a Kent BK4 or Vulfix will make you happy.
You may want to choose either a shaving soap or cream rather than a modern gel. Gels just don’t lubricate as well. Williams Mug Shaving Soap is not expensive. You may prefer a glycerine-based soap like Colonel Conk’s Bay Rum, or a traditional shaving soap by Trumper’s, Truefitt & Hill, Taylors or Crabtree & Evelyn. See how you like a shaving cream by Muhle, Trumper’s, Taylor’s, Truefitt & Hill, Coates, and Salter or Crabtree & Evelyn
Many who love straight razor shaving finish off their shaves with cologne, after shave or eau de toilette. Try Trumper’s Sandalwood, Eucris and Spanish Leather, or Taylor’s Sandalwood and Pecksniff’s Oriental Woody. Another favorite is Colonel Conk Bay Rum Aftershave Cologne. If you’re just starting out straight razor shaving, you might consider a shaving set.
Well, as you can see, straight razor shaving is both good for your face and a daily treat.
Straight Razor Shaving is a Great Conversation Starter
Straight razor shaving is the epidemy of manliness. How many men do you know that still prefer a straight razor shave? Very few if any I’m guessing.
Every time I tell a friend, co-worker or family member I switched to straight razor shaving they are immediately interested. They ask me how I got into it and why I decided to switch. These questions are usually followed up with some mention of cutting ones throat (hee hee). I then begin to explain that straight razor shaving has been around for a long time and is still the best way to get a close, comfortable shave. The cost savings are the next point that many people are interested in. Getting rid of your Gillette or Schick razors can save you big time money. Buying replacement razor blades are massively expensive. One five pack of Gillette Fusion razors are equivalent to buying a decent straight razor that will last you for many years.
What I find people are the most excited about is the actual straight razor shave itself. This really gets people excited when you tell them how you go about the shave and all the different soaps that can be used to ensure a close shave while still protecting your face. Men also get a kick out of getting intricate brushes and cologne to enhance their shaving experience.
I have converted many so far and all have stuck with it. Some have become quite obsessed with the straight razor shave and all the accessories that can be acquired. These people don’t see the cost savings as the ones that stick with the basics. But if it makes them happy than who am I too judge.
The Women Love it
Women love men that prefer straight razor shaving. I have not seen nor heard of any women that did not automatically think it was a good idea for a man to switch to a straight razor. Deep down they love this. What women would not want their man to use a sharp blade on their face to make the look clean and smooth? Many times, the conversations about straight razor shaving lead to someone’s wife or girlfriend suggesting it to their significant other.
Switch to a straight razor shave and you might be surprised what you get out of it….
Straight Razor Shaving How-To
As facial hair grows on every man after a certain age, many may be tempted to shave them. Or maybe you have a beard and want to shave it off. There are many tools available to do the job, and certainly, some cost a lot of money and have all kind of gadgets, but the principle is the same everywhere. The simplest and least expensive is a simple razor, so here’s how to perform a Straight Razor Shave, in easy to follow steps, and so you can get it done perfectly every time.
Straight Razor Shaving Preparation
First, you need to prepare your beard or facial hair. Usually, it’s best to take a shower or humidify your beard with a hot towel. This will produce the best results and avoid unnecessary cuts. Hot water is preferable also. Then, once your beard is ready, get a bowl of hot water together and a brush. You ideally want to let your brush soak in as hot water as possible, so letting the faucet run is best. Then it’s time to apply the cream or soap on your face with the brush, making sure to keep it wet. Apply the lather to your beard using brushing motions, going back and forth, and use a towel to remove any extra lather. This is important to make the process go on smoothly. You want to remove any moisture or skin follicles. When you finish this process, your face should be covered with a thick layer of lather.
Performing the Straight Razor Shave
After this, you should sit down and wait a few minutes, applying lather again if the soap has dried up. Usually, 5 minutes or less is fine. Once that’s done, it’s time for shaving. Make sure you stretch your skin as you shave, and pull the area where you’re about to apply the blade. The razor should be held at a 20-degree angle from your skin, and you should make smooth passes from bottom to top. To get a good result, you may need up to three passes. Otherwise, the skin won’t be smooth. You can also apply lather again between passes if necessary. Your skin should remain wet the whole time. Make sure to go slowly and smoothly, especially for the last pass. Otherwise, accidents may occur, and you can cut yourself. After this process is done, wash your face and rinse it off with cold water, to close the pores and keep the dirt out. Like all Straight Razor Shaving Soap, you should finish off with some great Straight Razor After Shave.
The Straight Razor Shaving Advantage
Overall, straight razor shaving is fairly easy and can be done inside of a couple of minutes once you’re used to it. This can be done with a very inexpensive blade and doesn’t need any fancy equipment, although the risk of having cuts is higher if you don’t go slowly and smoothly, especially for that last pass. If that’s the way you want to shave, then by all means follow the steps outlined here.