Straight razors, also commonly known as open-razors, have been in use for thousands of years. However, it wasn’t until the 17th century that steel-edged models known as cut-throat razors were developed. These models quickly became popular due to the fact that they could provide an extremely close shave with minimal effort. And it’s for this very reason that they remained popular for hundreds of years when they were replaced by the safety razor.
These type of razors would eventually fall out of fashion, but they wouldn’t stay that way for long. Thanks to a resurgence in the art of shaving, many men and women have discovered just how easy these blades are to use and just how close they can shave. This prompted us to do a little bit of research on our own and find out which models were the best ones currently available. The following ten models are the ones that struck our fancy.
Best Straight Razors – Top List
10Sawtooth Shave Co. Mahogany Handle Razor
Equipped with a high-quality Japanese steel blade that’s already sharpened for convenience, this straight razor is suitable for just about any man. It has a handle that’s made from real mahogany wood that’s easy to hold onto and gives the razor a very classy look. This product’s 7/8 size hollow ground blade can be sharpened hundreds of times, and that means that it is capable of giving the user years worth of shaves. And it comes with a travel case that keeps it safe on important business trips. It’s a blade designed to recall the glory days of shaving and to provide the user with the best shave of his life.
9Parker SRB Straight Edge Razor
This professional quality razor is designed to combine the best aspects of a straight edge razor with the convenience of a disposable blade. Instead of having to keep a blade sharp, the owner of this blade simply has to replace the blade with another half blade, and it even comes with 5 Shark stainless half blades to give the user a head start. It has a stainless steel blade arm that’s extremely durable, and the blade has a rounded edge to reduce accidents. With a durable impact-resistant handle that’s easy to hold onto, this razor is good for professional use in barbershops, or in just about any man’s shaving kit.
8Parker SR1 Stainless Steel Razor
This Parker Safety Razor is designed to eliminate the need for sharpening stones or leather strops. That’s because it uses a stainless-steel arm that’s equipped with a half blade. When that blade becomes dull, the user can then swap it out with another half blade or with a single edge blade. This means that it never has to be sharpened and that different blades can be used. It even comes with 5 Shark half blades. This product also has a clip to close mechanism that ensures that the blade is always in place and is always aligned correctly. All of which makes this product suitable for both home and barbershop use.
7Zertone Wood Handled Razor
With a classic looking style that’s reminiscent of the straight blades of days gone by, this straight razor is a compliment to just about any man’s shaving kit. It has an all natural wood handle made from mahogany, and each razor is hand inspected for quality. These blades are also sharpened by the company, so the user only has to give it a few strokes on a leather strop before they can begin shaving with it. This products hollow design allows it to be used as a dry razor, and also allows it to be handled quite easily. This makes this razor one that’s worthy of any shaving aficionado’s attention.
6Black Widow Professional Straight Edge Razor
Designed for professional use, this straight razor has a number of positive features going for it. It weighs a mere 2.6-ounces and has a comfortable grip that feels good in the hand. This product also has a rust-resistant stainless steel blade that is set to deliver crisp lines. This razor also has an armature swing-lock design that allows the barber to easily insert blades into it. Thumb ridges and a notch are two other features which give the barber the control he needs while delivering ultra-close shaves. And since its blade has a 1.5mm exposure, it can be used for precise and detail oriented shaving.
5Equinox Pro Straight Edge With 100-Blades
Unlike more traditional razors, this straight edge has blades which can be replaced with a new blade when it’s been used up. This product comes with a box of 100 single-edge Derby blades, and each of the blades can be used for anywhere from 2 to 3 shaves. This means that this straight-edge and razor set can deliver anywhere from 200 to 300 shaves. This razor fits nicely in the hand and is very comfortable to use. Regardless of whether the user is a professional or an amateur shaver, this straight edge is sure to get the job done and get it done correctly.
4Parker SRX Heavy-Duty Razor
This heavy-duty razor is suitable for both home shaving or for shaving in a professional environment. It has a heavy-duty design that holds up to daily use and only weighs around 2.3-ounces, so it’s comfortable to hold. This product has a lock blade holder that ensures that blades are inserted securely, and each of the blades has a rounded end to minimize cuts. This straight-edge will accept both single edge blades or half edge blades. It also uses a stainless-steel handle and blade holder that’s more durable than the aluminum handles that some models use. And these features help ensure that most cartridge razor users have an easy transition to a straight-edge blade.
3Classic Samurai CS-102 Razor
Manufactured using genuine surgical grade stainless steel, this product is a quality product that’s ideal for both professional or personal use. It has a smooth handle that’s a little bit heavier than comparable straight-edges but is easy to hold onto and to use for extended shaving periods. It also has a steel blade holder that holds the blade at the right angle and securely in place. Blades can be easily inserted and removed from this product, so the user never has to worry about sharpening. And since this product comes with about 100 Derby single edge blades, there are enough razors to handle over 200+ shaves.
2Dovo Straight Razor With Ebony Handle
Razor sharp right out of the package, this product is good for both professional barbers and for amateur shavers. It has a high-quality Ebony wood handle that’s an upgrade over the plastic handles that many razors use nowadays, and is easy to hold and use as well. Designed to provide years of shaves, this straight-edge can be sharpened and used over and over again. It is also well-balanced and has a very natural feel to it. The care and the thought that went into this product is fairly obvious, and that’s probably why it’s one of the best straight edge razors currently available.
1Feather SS Japanese-Style Razor
Designed with a number of useful features, this product can be easily seen as one of the best replaceable blade straight edge blades currently available. This Japanese-style razor has a body that’s manufactured from stainless-steel, and that makes it extremely durable. And it’s also heat-resistant up to 275-degrees Fahrenheit. This razor has a rounded shaving head that makes it safer to use and helps to prevent accidental nicks. Users can replace the blade with a new blade when they desire, and the whole product can be placed into an autoclave to disinfect it when necessary. This makes it suitable not only for home use but also for professional barbershops as well.
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Why Use a Straight Razor?
For most people, straight razors are a pretty impressive looking tool that can also be kind of intimidating. And I would be remiss if I didn’t say that it isn’t suitable for everyone. Some people are never going to want to use one of these razors. That’s because they do require a steady hand and do have somewhat of a learning curve. However, if that doesn’t scare you off, then you might want to buy one of these shaving tools. That because these razors have a number of advantages that make them superior to just about any other shaving method currently out there. Let’s check out these pros.
Shaves Beards Easily – One of the biggest advantages of using a straight razor is that it can really cut through thick beards. Individuals who try to shave their overgrown beards with disposable razors will quickly find out that they’re going to have to use several of them to get the job done correctly. Which anyone who knows how much disposable razors cost nowadays will understand that’s a small fortune. Not to mention the fact that disposable blades clog easily and often. With a straight blade, the job is done with just a few strokes and there’s absolutely nothing to clog.
Saves Money & the Environment – How many disposable razors does the average person use? The answer to that question is a lot more than you think. According to the EPA, two billion razors a year are tossed into landfills each year. That’s not only a lot of money thrown away each year, but that’s a whole lot of waste. Straight blades, on the other hand, don’t ever have to be replaced. Sure, they may cost more in the beginning, but since they never need to be replaced, they end up costing less money over the course of a person’s lifetime. And they save a lot of packaging and cartridges from being tossed into a landfill, too.
Prevents Ingrown Hairs and Razor Burn – Another advantage to using a straight blade for shaving is that it is easier on sensitive skin. Most disposable razors use three, four or five blades to shave the hair from your face. All of these blades running across your skin can cause skin irritation. A straight blade, however, only has one super-sharp blade that cuts the hair in one pass. This provides a perfect cut and prevents them from cutting hairs below the surface of the skin, which can cause ingrown hairs to develop.
Keeping a Straight Razor in Good Condition
As I stated earlier, straight blades are capable of lasting a lifetime. However, that’s not entirely true. They’re capable of lasting that long if they are properly cared for and shown the respect they deserve. If they aren’t shown this respect, then they can dull, rust and become utterly useless. Another tool to be just tossed into a landfill. That’s why taking care of them is a must. With that in mind, we’ve assembled some of the things you should keep in mind to properly care for your blade.
Store it Properly – It’s important to keep your razor dry and stored in a dark well-ventilated room. When I say dark, I mean that it should be placed in a drawer, a sock drawer for instance, and out of direct sunlight. Although way too many people store their straight blades in the bathroom, it’s not advisable to do. That’s because the steamy, moist environment can cause the blade to dull or rust. And they should be stored away from water because that will only encourage rusting.
Consider Using a Case – A great way to keep one of these razors in tip-top condition is by keeping them in a case. Some of the best straight razors sold these days come with their own case, but if they don’t, then you might want to consider getting one for your razor. They can really make a difference when it comes to helping your blade last a lifetime.
Taking Care of the Blade – It’s important that you NEVER use metal polishes on your straight razor’s blade. They can potentially damage the blade or leave an unsightly residue on it. However, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be cleaned. In fact, you should clean it on a regular basis. You can clean it by dipping a Q-top into ethyl alcohol and rubbing it across the blade, making sure to remove all hair. Then when the alcohol has evaporated, you can apply a light coating of mineral oil to the blade. Let the mineral oil sit on the blade for 5 to 10-minutes and then wipe it off using a clean, dry cloth.
Taking Care of the Handle – It’s important to also take care of the handle. Make sure that you avoid placing anything on the handle which may hurt its surface. This can include oils, wax or lacquers that can keep chemicals close to the handle and cause it to deteriorate. You should also avoid using soap or cleaning products to clean the handle of your blade. It does need to be cleaned, but you can use plain distilled water for accomplishing that task. Just make sure that once you’ve rinsed it off that you also dry it off to keep it in top condition.
Keep Your Blade Sharp – Another thing that’s vitally important is to make sure that your straight blade is kept razor sharp. Either have a professional sharpen the blade for you, or learn how to sharpen it yourself. The sharper your blade, the more efficiently it shaves and the safer it is to use. A dull blade causes a variety of shaving problems that can be avoided by simply keeping your blade nice and sharp.
As it can be clearly seen, using and taking care of a straight razor isn’t as difficult as it first seems to be and using one carries a number of benefits. Using one of these blades can result in a closer shave, help get rid of razor burns and ingrown facial hair, and prevent extra garbage from being tossed into a landfill. These blades can also make a man feel more masculine. After all, what’s more masculine than shaving with a straight blade?