For any guy, shaving is really a rite of passage. When you reach the age where you can shave it is an indication that you are becoming a man. However, when it comes to shaving there are a number of options that you will have available to you. You have everything from the traditional throwaway razor to the ultra-popular cordless trimmers. That being said there really is nothing like the straight razor.
The straight razor provides one of the closets and most rewarding shaves that you will ever achieve. Unfortunately, the tool isn’t used much these days, but it still remains one of the most effective shaving tools on the market. Maybe you are looking to learn to shave with a straight razor for the first time. Maybe you are looking to open a professional shop that offers straight razor shaves. Whatever the situation is, you first must know how to choose a straight razor and that is the type of information that this guide is going to provide you with.
Before You Buy A Straight Razor
To most people, all straight razors look the same. Most people see them with a rather simplistic design, but the truth of the matter is that there is more than meets the eye. And, choosing the right straight razor isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. It is one that should involve weighing many different factors. In addition to this, you also have to consider the fact that shaving with a straight razor is no easy task.
It is not something that comes natural and will take time and practice. Before you learn about some of the best straight razors available on the market, you need to learn about the key components and features. Better understanding these components and features will help you when you are choosing one.
You Must Consider The Razor Price
If you are like most individuals you are going to consider the price before buying anything. This is something that you should especially do if you are new to the subject. You probably wouldn’t run out and drop ten grand on your kid’s first car, would you? There is a good chance that he is going to wreck it or rough it just getting used to owning a car. Well, the same concept should be applied when straight shaving. Sure, if you want quality you are going to have to invest more, but how do you even know that straight shaving is for you? If you have never shaved with a straight razor before, you simply might want to test the waters before making a full investment.
If you are going to be using the razor for professional purposes it will be in your best option to get a quality blade that will probably results and longevity. Of course, this will be overall more expensive, but it will be well worth the investment.
Understanding The Blades Types
Just like cordless trimmers and shavers, you will discover that straight razors also come available with a number of blades.
Round Point – First up is the round point blade. This blade has a somewhat semicircular design and doesn’t contain sharp endpoints. This is more of a forgiving blade than other types. It is this feature alone that make the round point straight razors suitable for beginners and novices.
Square Point – A square point blade will instantly stand out because it has a straight point profile that terminates at the very sharp point that is usually perpendicular to the razor’s cutting edge. This feature makes the razor extremely handy when it comes to shaving smaller areas. However, using such a sharp tool in a small area will take experience.
French Point – The French point will also stand out immediately because its blade looks like a quarter circle that ends on a sharp point like a square point blade. For this reason, these blades are oftentimes referred to as oblique blades.
Know The Width Of The Blades
When you hear someone talk about the width of a straight razor blade it means that they are talking about the distance between the back of the blade and the cutting edge. The width is usually listed in 1/8 increments. For instance, an 8/8 blade would be one-inch wide whereas a 4/8 blade would be half an inch wide. That being said it is important to know that the width of the blade really won’t factor in when it comes to the closeness of the shave.
When it comes to the closeness of the blade the most important factor is the sharpness of the blade. If your home or strop the blade to the proper sharpness, you won’t have a problem achieving that close shave you are aiming for. It should be noted, however, that smaller blades are much easier to strop or hone.
Larger blades are oftentimes referred to as more aggressive because they are capable of covering more area at one type, but due to this fact, it makes them harder to maneuver into small places like under the nose. Shaving these areas with a wider blade will be extremely difficult for the beginner. In addition to this, the smaller blades provide more perception when you are shaving. The larger blades tend to obstruct your view.
Vintage And Modern Straight Razors
When you are buying a straight razor, you will basically have to different options. This is going to be vintage styles and modern styles. Even though this method of shaving has gone out of style there are still modern straight razors available. Vintage razors will be ones that are probably featured in some of your favorite old movies. These razors will oftentimes need restoring and care, but if this is something that you like doing, you want to consider going down this road. These razors can be purchased at attractive prices and can be a priceless possession once they are properly restored to their full beauty. However, a beginner might want to start out in a modern style before going vintage.
As you probably guessed modern straight razors are going to have the advantage when it comes to technology. In most cases, this will mean much better craftsmanship with extremely less wear and tear. The condition of the modern blade will be much better, but a well-maintained vintage razor can provide the overall same quality and dependability.
Know What Temper Means
When most people hear the term temper they automatically think about someone seething with anger. Yes, that is what the term refers to most of the time. However, when it comes to straight razors the term temper means something different altogether. Temper is the straight razor’s blade. Straight razor blades can have a soft, medium, or hard temper. This temper basically determines how long the blade will keep its edge and how easy the blade will be to sharpen. In general terms, the harder the temper, the longer the blade will keep its natural edge.
That being said it should be noted that softer tempers might dull faster, but they are overall easier to sharpen. This is a factor that you will have to weight on heavily. If you are going to be using the blade for professional purposes, you might want to go with the hardest temper, as the blade will stay sharper for longer periods of time. If you are not going to be using the blade in excess it might be acceptable to go with a softer temper. Whatever the situation is, you are going to have to sharpen either blade at some point in time, so this is a practice that you are going to have to get used to.
Consider The Material Of The Blade
If you hit up the market for electric trimmer and shaver, you will find that blades come available in a variety of materials. Well, the same can be said for the straight razor market. Your most common options will be the stainless steel blades and the carbon steel blades. Stainless steel blades are without a doubt your cheaper option, but they will stay sharper for longer periods of time. Carbon steel blades, on the other hand, offer more overall quality. Despite this fact, most professionals and men that use straight razors prefer the stainless steel to the carbon blade.
Understanding The Grind
When you hear the term grind, you should think about the concave indention of the blade. A blade that offers a full hollow grin will be much lighter and sharper. However, a blade with less hollow is not as sharp and usually the best way for beginners to go. With a duller blade, you won’t have to worry about nicking yourself as often.
Beginners Might Want To Consider A Shavette
If you have done any research in the straight razor field or you plan on doing more research after reading this guide it is likely that you will come across something known as the shavette. This device is almost like a bicycle with training wheels. It was a razor that was specifically designed for individuals that are transitioning into shaving with a straight razor. It looks exactly like a straight razor and has the same feel, but the one major difference is that it takes on a double-edge blade. It is basically a safer and more affordable option that can help you develop the skills that you need to be proficient with a real straight razor.
Best Straight Razor For Barbers 2019 Reviewed
Now, that you have learned all about straight razors and the components behind them it is time to take a look at some of the best models available. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive unbiased look at some of the best straight razors currently available on the market. The guide will not only point of the best features of the razors, but it will point of features where the razor is lacking.
1. DOVO Inox Review
The Germany company DOVO produces a lot of high-quality razors and choosing one from their long list wasn’t easy, but in the end, it really was the DOVO Inox Straight Razor that took home the winning prize. Not only does it include all the essential features, but it is probably one of the best straight razors for beginners as well as professionals. Just take a look at everything the razor and manufacturer have to offer.
Backed With Tradition
First, you need to that the company has been producing blades ever since 1906. They have a reputation for excellence and their long history in the business should tell you why. Any company that is able to remain in a market that is eroding for these many years must know exactly what they are doing and how to treat their customers. Another good thing about the company is that they ship all their razors ready to use. This means that there is simply no prep work at all. You can get right to shaving.
The blade on the DOVO Inox Straight Razor is a half hollow. This means that it is extremely light and sharp with a rounded point. This is oftentimes a feature that is good for beginners, but it can serve the professionals just as well. The high-quality carbon steel doesn’t hurt the overall performance of the blade either. This razor will remain sharp for extended periods of use. The blade is also 5/8-inch wide, which is another plus for the beginner.
The Ergonomic Handle
When handling a straight razor it is imperative to be in complete control of the device and the DOVO Inox Razor allows you to just that. The handle is not only beautiful in appearance, but it is constructed of olive wood and offers a strong grip. You can rest assured that this razor will never slip in your hand.
- Firm and ergonomic grip
- Beautifully designed handle
- Backed by a company that has been in business for years
- Great for beginners and pros
- Finely-crafted and durable blade
- Sometimes it might require repeat stokes
You can clearly see that the DOVO Inox was intended for the beginner, but it doesn’t mean that professionals can benefit from the razor as well.
2. Parker SRW Stainless Steel Straight Edge Razor Review
The Parker SRW Stainless Steel Straight Edge Razor was specifically designed with the professional in mind, but that doesn’t mean that the DIY shaver can’t benefit for everything this bad boy has to offer up. The Parker Safety Razor Company has been in the straight razor market for 40 years and this alone speaks wonder about the company and their products, but that is just the beginning.
Genuine Stainless Steel
The blade of this razor is constructed with authentic stainless steel, which makes it incredibly durable. This is important to consider because there are a lot of straight razors that are equipped with aluminum blades, which just do not provide the same quality. It also features weight and balance that are evenly distributed. This makes handling the razor easier and more comfortable than ever.
Includes 100 Sharp Blades
Probably the most impressive thing about the razor is that it comes with 100 sharp blades. This is literally almost a months worth of shaves. In addition to this, the razor is reasonably priced so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank. However, it should also be noted that the razor takes both half double edge blades and single edge blades.
Easy To Change Blades
With the design of the body, you won’t have a problem quickly swapping out blades. The blades snap securely and quickly into a blade holder. This is a feature that any professional cannot overlook, as it will make changing the blades quicker and easier than ever.
- Blades are easy to change
- Comes with 100 free blades
- Fairly priced
- Stainless steel blade provides durability
- Uses both single and half double blades
- Even weight and balance
- The handle is constructed of plastic
It is easy to see why the Parker Safety Razor Company has thrived for so long in the straight razor industry. With the Parker SRW Stainless Steel Straight Edge Razor, you literally get everything you need.
3. Feather SS Japanese Razor Review
The Japanese are well-known for their abilities when it comes to creating quality blades. The samurais proved this very fact years ago. And, it is safe to say that those same qualities, dedication, and precision are evident in the Feather SS Japanese Razor. First, you have to look at the sharpness of the blade. To most people, the sharpness of the blade isn’t that important when it comes to straight razors. Well, with the Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor, you can rest assured that you are getting an extremely sharp blade. In fact, this might be one of the sharpest blades available on the market. Along with this, the Japanese company (Jatai) that creates this blade is backed with a vaunted reputation.
While you are getting an extremely sharp blade, you should also know that the blades are disposable. This pretty much means that you are getting the best of both worlds. You won’t have to worry about honing or stropping the blade because you can just simply quickly change it out with a new one. Changing the blade is a simple matter as all you have to do is pinch the razor head and let the blade drop out.
Extremely Durable Body
The Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor comes with a body that is constructed of genuine stainless steel. This ensures you that you are getting quality and durability in one. This body is built to last a lifetime and with the right care, it will. The rein handle is another feature that should be noted. It provides superior grip so that you will always be in control when you are trying to access those hard to reach places. The handle might be shorter than most straight razors, but there are some individuals out there they prefer this.
- Blades are disposable and easy to change
- One-button mechanism drops the blades out of place
- Extremely durable stainless steel body that resists chemicals
- Backed by a well-reputed company
- Extremely sharp
- Comfortable grip handle
- More expensive than other models
- Might be too sharp for beginners
At the end of the day, you might have to pay more for the Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor, but you can easily see what it made the list. The Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor is simply superior to most straight razors on the market.
4. Classic Samurai CS-102 Straight Edge Razor Review
Using a straight razor can be a little dangerous. This is definitely the case if you haven’t used one in the past. It takes a little bit of skill and practice to get it right. If you’re in the market for a great razor that will serve you well for many years to come, you will definitely want to invest in the Classic Samurai CS-102. This is really one of the most cost effective solutions on the market. Below, you’re going to learn about this razor and its immense benefits.
It is true that color isn’t that important when it comes to straight edge razors. Nevertheless, it is still nice to have a few separate options to choose from. This is where the Classic Samurai knocks it out of the park. This one is available in 6 cool colors. This ensures that you’ll easily be able to find a razor that suits your unique preferences.
Again, using a straight edge razor can be a little dangerous. If you’re not careful, you’re going to end up cutting yourself again and again. This is why you’ll want to buy the Classic Samurai. This unit is equipped with a smooth handle. This ensures that you’ll be able to cut your hair while minimizing the risk of cuts. This makes the razor a good choice for men who have never used a straight edge razor in the past.
Another thing to note is that this razor comes with a plastic pouch. That will make a real difference. It ensures that you’re going to be protected when the unit is not in use. This will protect you and it will protect the blade too.
- Replacing the blade is very easy
- Won’t break the bank
- Smooth handle reduces cuts
- Stainless steel is built to last
- Plastic pouch is a plus
- Comes in 6 cool colors
- Should last a lifetime
- Comes with 100 razors
- Still a little dangerous
The Classic Samurai CS-102 is definitely a good razor. It has few flaws, but it is still just as dangerous as some of the alternatives. As long as you’re willing to put in the practice, you’ll love this razor. Otherwise, you’ll probably never be able to use it frequently.
5. Feather Artist Club DX Folding Wood Handle Razor Review
Do you want to equip yourself with a great straight razor that will offer tons of nostalgia? If the answer is yes, you should look no further than this one from Feather. There is a lot to like about this razor. The wooden handle is cool and it is definitely going to last a lifetime. Plus, it is designed to ensure that it’ll glide across the skin smoothly. That can reduce the risk of cuts. If you’re experienced with straight razors, you’re going to love this one.
Built To Last
Another great thing about The Feather Artist Club Razor is the fact that it is built to last. This one is resilient to chemicals and rust. The stainless-steel material is going to last a lifetime. This ensures that your money is going to be well spent in the long run.
This razor features a metal that has been treated. The finishing metal has been specifically selected to ensure that the razor is going to glide across the skin smoothly. This reduces the risk of cuts. You still need to use plenty of caution when using this razor. However, it might be a little safer than many of the alternatives. It is designed to ensure that it is going to glide across the head smoothly for the best results and minimal risks.
- Looks amazing
- Stainless-steel material will last a lifetime
- Pretty easy to use
- Shouldn’t rust
- Glides smoothly across the skin
- Slightly safer than many of the alternatives
- Injector blades are expensive
- Razor is very costly
The Feather Artist Club DX Folding Wood Handle Razor is great. The only problem is that this razor is too expensive. A lot of people are going to be turned off by the expensive price tag. If you’re looking for something reasonably priced, you’ll want to go elsewhere. However, if you want the best of the best and you’re after a luxurious razor, you’ll definitely want to consider buying this one. As long as you use it frequently, it’ll be well worth the price in the end.