We live in an age where buying a razor is more complicated than it should be. I’m sure we can all recall a simpler time when all you needed to look out for was the sharpness of the blade’s edge to tell whether or not a razor was good enough for the job.
Nowadays, you have to consider a wide array of cutting-edge features that take the whole experience of shaving to the next level. This is all good and well and it’s nice to benefit from the advances of science and technology, but having to look through a litany of features with words you don’t understand can be quite frustrating.
With that being said, modern-day straight razors come with a variety of benefits and they’re definitely worth considering. They’re very efficient devices that only require soap and water to get the job done, and they’re eco-friendly as well which means purchasing them will keep your carbon footprint low.
In the following guide, we have all the information you’ll need to make an informed purchase. We understand that you probably won’t know where to start with all the options available on the market nowadays, so we decided to provide you with a buying guide and 10 reviews of the best straight razors for beginners.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Straight Edge Razor
Keep in mind the following things when looking for a straight edge razor:
Quality of Blade
Blade quality is of utmost importance if you want to enjoy a smooth, clean shave. Whether you prefer a disposable blade or one of those sturdy 6/8 inch straight razors, you’ll do well to make sure that it’s fashioned from solid steel. Fixed blades with good quality steel are easy to keep sharp, while a poor quality replacement blade will get rusty and dull in no time.
Pay attention to the shape of the fixed blade razor that you purchase because it plays a huge role in the safety and effectiveness of the razor. Your options include rounded and square shaped blades, and the latter comes highly recommended for its ability to simplify the shaving process. But then again, it all comes down to a matter of preference.
Certain countries truly know their stuff when it comes to manufacturing razor blades. A few good examples include Japan, Germany, and the US.
Of course, the modern day “classic man” cares about the visual appeal of the blade as well, and not just its effectiveness at shaving. Manufacturers know this which is why they use trigger words like “timeless” “classic” and “masculine” to describe their blades. Also, check to make sure the razor you choose fits in with your bathroom decor because you will be looking at it every day after all.
Straight razors are pretty much well-priced regardless of the brand that’s selling them. Even high-end models won’t leave a hole in your pocket but some are pricier than others. Considering the fact that high-quality razors typically come with a few extra features and a snazzier design, perhaps it’s worth it to spend a little more to acquire a unique razor that delivers top quality results.
For all the tech advancements that have been introduced to the process of razor manufacturing, these contraptions are exceedingly simplistic and easy to use. With that said, you do need to have a certain technique in order to make the most out of your razor.
For those who’ve mastered the art of shaving with a straight razor, it’s child’s play, but for a beginner, it might take some time getting used to. With practice, you’ll be able to master the basics of straight shaving and the following five-step process is a good place to start.
1 – Preparation
The first step is to prepare your hair. This involves sharpening the blade to make sure that it’s not dull, after which you must soften your hair. Sharpening your blade is easy and all you need is a razor stone or strap.
Even replaceable blades must be sharpened if they are to perform properly. Alternatively, you may soften your beard hair while showering and kill two birds with one stone.
2 – Lathering the Shaving Area
Next, it’s time to lather your beard by applying a shave soap or applicable gel. A shaving brush can come in handy here otherwise things might get a bit complicated if this is your first time going through the process. The brush will help to get the shaving gel in between your beard hairs so that you can achieve a close shave with a smooth finish.
3 – Grip
You want your razor to have a sturdy grip so your hand doesn’t slip while you’re shaving. For the best results, experts recommend holding the razor handle with the first three fingers of your hand resting on the back of the blade while the pinky finger is placed on the narrow section of the blade, which is right after the pivot. Meanwhile, make sure your thumb is placed firmly on the side of the blade close to the center.
4 – Shaving Stroke
The key to a perfect shave lies in slow and steady strokes while making sure that you’re going against the grain of your beard. This technique will help you to master the method in a short amount of time and it’s a great way to shave safely.
5 – Sequence
For the best results, start by shaving your cheeks, all while using your free hand to tighten the skin so that you won’t cut yourself with the blade. Follow this technique from the top down and once you’re done with your cheeks; shave beneath your jaw while making sure that your skin is tight enough to achieve a smooth shave. Lastly, shave the upper lip and below your chin.
Straight Razors vs. Other Razor Types
Not all straight razors are the same and they all come in different types. We know that straight razors can be quite complicated for the beginner, which is why we’ve decided to do a proper breakdown of the other types of razors available on the market and why they’re different from straight razors.
Safety razors have been around for quite a few decades now and they’re quite popular amongst Baby Boomers especially. Safety razors are available in a variety of designs, from 2-piece, 3-piece, and the classic butterfly. These designs might take some getting used to, especially if your dad didn’t use them.
Double-edged razors are designed similarly to shavettes in that they have removable blades which you should replace at least once a week. It’s interesting to note that safety razors are more affordable than straight razors in the short-term but costlier in the long run because of all the replacement blades that you’ll need to purchase.
Cartridge shavers are very popular amongst shavers of all ages. You can find them pretty much anywhere from convenient stores to supermarkets. But just because they’re renowned doesn’t mean they’re the best quality option.
Keep in mind that cartridge razors are quite cheap and perishable. They’re easy to use and even the most inexperienced shaver can achieve a smooth, clean shave with them. Some models even come with tilted heads that make it easier to stay at the correct angle when shaving and this makes the whole experience that much more comfortable.
On the downside, cartridge razors almost always come with low-quality blades. That’s why they’re so cheap, but unfortunately, this means you won’t be able to get as close a shave as you would with a straight razor, for example.
When it comes to cartridge razors, most people prefer to purchase the disposable types which you can easily toss out when the blade gets dull. They’re also highly portable and convenient for use while traveling.
But, if you’re looking for something that you can use on an everyday basis, rather opt for a high-quality cartridge razor instead.
Electric shavers are the most convenient option of all the choices listed above. That’s because all you need to do with an electric shaver is switch it on by clicking on the provided button and you’re ready to go. Most models are ideal for wet shaving and they’re available in two designs’ foil and rotary.
While some users only have good things to say about electric shavers, others struggle to get a close shave with this type of device. But, electric shavers will definitely give you a quicker and cleaner shave than most cheap razors out there.
Point Types of Razors
Almost every razor has a different point type. This feature plays a huge role in the razor’s overall aesthetic appeal and will affect its performance and effectiveness as well. For instance, razors with sharper point types will enable you to shave hard to reach places like behind the ears and under your nose.
Instead of a sharp point, round point razors are characterized by a curved edge. This type is considered the best razor for beginners because it’s less likely to nick you in those tight spaces we mentioned above like behind the ears. For the best results, start learning how to use a razor by working with a round point first and move on to other more advanced types later on.
The square point is designed to have a flat edge and it’s a bit more aggressive than the other options. It’s fairly easy to use and get used to, and they’re essential for anyone that wants to get those precise edges on their mustache and sideburns.
The French point is a combination between the square point and the round point, and it’s characterized by a quarter circle shape. By all intents and purposes, this point type is built to have a sharp angle and doesn’t come in a straight line.
The best part about the French point is that it provides you with the best of both worlds; it’s precise enough to get into little nooks and crannies, and safe enough to not nick or cut your skin.
The tip of a Barber’s notch blade has a small dipped arch at the top and as the name implies, it’s designed specifically for barbers. Regular folks like me and you don’t generally fare well when using this razor because it requires specific skills and expertise that most barbers have mastered.
The Spanish point has a characteristic flare at the top and is built similarly to the barber’s notch.
The Irish point is not as popular as the other point types in this list. It’s designed like the round point with the only difference being that the Irish point has a squared tip.
There are pros and cons to using each point type and the one you choose will depend on your preferences and intended use. If you’re a beginner, then you’ll do well to start with something simple and safe like a round point. This type makes it easier to move around your jaw, nose and other sensitive areas without any problem.
How to Hone Your Straight Razor
Once you own a straight razor, you need to keep it sharp and with a straight edge so that it’s able to serve you well in the long run. You can always use a leather strop for this but this will only realign the edge and it won’t actually sharpen the blade. For the best results, look for a good qualify honing stone that you can use to keep your blade sharp for longer.
There are various types of honing stones and they differ according to grit. The grit of a honing stone is vast and can be anything from a very coarse #500 grit to a fine #12,000 grit. To sharpen a dull and blunt blade, you’d have to use a low grit honing stone at first.
Straight razors usually require a #4000 and #8000 grit honing stone to stay sharp enough for a proper daily shave. But as we said, you’ll need an extremely coarse stone if you’re dealing with an already blunt razor.
Judging the Quality of a Straight Razor
How can you tell if you have a high-quality straight razor on your hands? There’s no golden rule here because, first of all, blades come in different tempters from soft, medium to hard. Suffice to say this will play a role in maintaining the blade’s edge and will determine how easy it is to sharpen in the long run.
Another important factor to keep in mind in this regard is the grind which refers to the hollow indentations present on the blade. Blades that have a deep hollow are usually sharper and lighter but must be used with caution because they cut easily.
At the end of the day, it’s each to his own, and your preferences will ultimately decide what type of razor you end up choosing. If you’re new to all this, then you’ll do well to play it safe and stick with well-known manufacturers when choosing your first straight razor. Most of the world’s best razor manufacturers are from Germany and France.
Best Straight Razor Reviews
As you can see, a lot goes into making a straight razor and there are quite a few considerations to keep in mind when making your choice. For the best results, we recommend you start with a round edge razor with a small hollow and stick to well-known manufacturers that have a proven track record.
To help you find such a blade, here’s our list of the best straight razors for beginners in the Marketplace
1 – Parker SRX Heavy Duty Straight Edge Barber Razor
The Parker SRX is a barber-quality heavy duty razor that is surprisingly easy to use. The razor features a sturdy steel blade arm with stainless steel handles and you can rest assured that this manufacturer didn’t cut any corners with the design of this razor.
It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver with one hand, while its round edges will guarantee a smooth close shave even for beginners. You’ll be glad to know that this razor features a blade holder for added security and it works really well with single edge blades and half double edge blades alike. In our opinion, this is the best safety razor for beginners.
It feels amazing on the skin
Convenient and safe for beginners to use
Built from high-quality materials
Comes with ultra-sharp blades
You might find that it’s a bit challenging to change the blades
The FEATHER Artist Club SS is one of the most popular shaving razors on this list and for a good reason. It looks very attractive and feels amazing on the skin, especially for wet shaving.
It comes with removable blades that are easy to replace and the stainless steel blade has a round tip for added safety and convenience. With this blade, you’re guaranteed a smooth, close shave. The best part is that it is non-irritating to the skin because it’s made of a high-quality stainless steel.
The straight razor is made from Japanese steel while the handle is fashioned from Scotch wood. This allows you to achieve a close shave at various angles.
Ideal for sensitive skin
Comes in a beautiful, vintage design
Sturdy handle makes for a balanced grip
Provides a smooth, close shave
This A.P. Donovan straight razor hits all the right notes with a popular brand name so you know it’s made from good quality steel. The sharps blade works fast and makes light work of the whole process. It’s known to deliver a close shave without posing any risk of cutting your skin.
This is partly because of the sturdy grip on the non-slip mahogany handle, which is durable as it is ergonomic. Thanks to the material that’s used in making the blade, it’s suitable for all skin types and it’s long lasting as well.
Comes with a strop to keep your blade in good condition!
The mahogany handle provides a good grip
Super sharp blade
Comes with shaving soap and a brush for added convenience
Great value for money
This blade is very demanding and requires frequent sharpening
This straight razor from Parker deserves a spot as the best safety razor for beginners. It offers an impeccable smooth shave with a durable blade that won’t rust or dull even with regular use. The handle looks like genuine aluminum but is actually made from stainless steel. Its lightweight and sturdy balance will give you a perfect shave.
At the uppermost tip of the blade is a bent enclosure which is designed to decrease the probability of nicking yourself while shaving. The blade holder makes it easy to insert and remove blades. Plus, they’re guaranteed to stay in place thanks to the built-in security lock which allows you to position the razor at different angles without causing any accidental cuts.
Comes with a convenient lock to keep your blades secure
Blades are easy to install and remove with this razor
Perfect for frequent trimming
Comes with sharp blades
If you consider yourself a bit of a klutz, this is the razor for you. It’s specially designed with a resin-made folding handle that provides an excellent grip to get a nice close shave. It comes with replaceable blades that are easy to remove and swap.
What makes this handle so unique is the fact that it can withstand high temperatures of up to 135 degrees celsius. The fact that it’s a foldable blade means that it’s easy to handle and we’re glad to say that it’s well-priced. However, you’ll have to constantly buy new blades when the ones it comes with get damaged.
Otherwise, this razor’s blade is nicely rounded for a safe yet close shave, and it allows you to shave at different angles. It also enables you to cover a broad surface area, and cleanup is relatively easy and simple. Because of that, we feel that it’s one of the best straight razors for beginners.
Provides a superb finish
Comes with several sharp blades
Offers a sturdy grip
Easy to clean up
Very effective and easy to maneuver
The DOVO brand is one of the best straight razor brands and this Inox model lives up to its reputation. It’s made from high-quality and rust-resistant materials with a classic feel that’s reminiscent of vintage blades.
DOVO goes through 80 steps in order to make a single blade and it comes with a long edge so that it won’t leave behind a single hair on your beard. It’s perfect for use on hard hairs and comes with an olive wood handle that handles beautifully.
You’ll be glad to know that it also comes with a sharp blade that cuts methodically. But what really impresses us is the high-quality steel blade which comes at an affordable price point. This is what premium craftsmanship looks and feels like.
Easy to use and maneuver
Made with excellent craftsmanship
Grip-friendly olive wood handle
Not many people know about the Timor brand and yet they continue to deliver an excellent product and this straight razor is a perfect example of that. It’s made with a good quality steel blade and a dark plum handle that offers a steady grip.
The four-inch carbon steel blades that come with the razor promise to deliver a close shave and many will appreciate the classic look. More than that, it’s available at an accessible price with pretty velvet cardboard packaging.
Has a solid feel
Offers a sturdy grip
Beginner-friendly and easy to use
Has an attractive classic look
This is one of the best straight razors for a non-irritating shave with fewer cuts. It comes highly recommended for users with sensitive skin. It’s perfect for beginners because it has an ergonomic design that makes it easy to maintain balance and a sturdy grip while shaving.
Not only is it available at a reasonable price but it comes with 100 sharp replaceable blades that you can use for long periods of time so that you won’t have to purchase new ones.
This is a really good deal for anyone that wants a good quality razor without having to constantly purchase new disposable blades. Plus, it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee which means if you’re not happy with its performance, you can return it and get your money back.
Comes with a 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee
Offers a sturdy and comfortable grip
Comes with 100 sharp blades so that you don’t have to keep purchasing them
Perfect for beginners and experts alike
This is quite sharp and requires attention to detail
This SmoovGroom straight razor is made for the quintessential gentleman and will fit in nicely in an elegant minimalist bathroom. It offers a comfortable shave with an ergonomic rust-free handle that reduces the chances of nicking yourself. It also comes with replaceable blades which means you won’t have to worry about honing blades.
This is the best straight edge razor we’ve come across because of its ergonomic design, and you can adjust it to fit every angle. You’re guaranteed to get a close and smooth shave with this razor.
Beautifully designed to fit in with modern bathroom decor
It’s relatively easy to remove the blades on this razor
Comes with a grip-friendly wooden handle
Offers a close and smooth shave
10 – Barber Accent Professional Straight Edge Razor
This aptly named straight edge razor from Barber Accent Professional was made specifically for barbers. It’s made from professional grade steel with a sturdy and classic feel to it. The ergonomic and non-slip handle is made of high-quality gum that can handle 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to straight razor reviews, this is one of the best men’s straight razor. It’s able to go into hard-to-reach places like the inside of the nose and behind the ears. It’s relatively easy to handle, granted that you have the expertise to do so, and you’ll be able to achieve a close shave in a short amount of time.
The handle is made of heat-resistant and non-slip gum
Easy to handle and use
Nice and compact
Professional grade performance
The handle is easy to replace, as all you have to do is pinch the head
It’s quite pricey considering its straightforward design
It might be difficult to use for someone with large hands
When we set out to write this guide, we considered that the person reading it would want to know a great deal about straight razors in order to make an informed purchasing decision. We found that it’s relatively easy to find a good quality straight razor nowadays if you know where and how to look.
We’ve given you all the factors you’ll need to keep in mind to find the best straight razor for shaving. In our list, we featured various options at different prices and categories. Out of all of them, we would gladly pick the Feather SS Folding Handle Razor as our top choice.
Although a bit pricey, this razor is well worth the money as it comes with a foldable design and a grip-friendly resin handle that allows for a close yet safe shave. It can withstand heat for up to 135 degrees Celsius and it’ll provide you with a quick shave thanks to its ability to cover a broad surface area at different angles. The best part is that it’s easy to clean up afterward, and that’s why it deserves our recommendation.
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