It shouldn’t take much to work out where cut throat razors get their nickname from. How often they were actually used by “cutthroats” for that purpose will remain unknown though.
One thing is for sure, the thought of putting a large, naked blade to the throat is enough to keep most people away. I guess the nickname and its imagery doesn’t help much either.
The ironic thing is that cut throat razors are not actually that dangerous. With a little bit of practice you needn’t even worry about nicking yourself, let alone slitting your throat open. Besides, I managed to cut myself a few times just using a safety razor. It all comes down to whether or not you are concentrating.
The real difference between cut throat razors and the safer, modern razors, is quality. Despite the manufacturers of modern electric and wet razors repeatedly claiming to have created the closest shave yet, they are wrong. The closest shave you’ll ever experience comes from a well sharpened straight edge razor. No exceptions. The difference is even noticeable visually.
Before I go into more details about how to use a cut throat razor, here are some of the advantages of making the switch:
- Smoother shave.
- Need to shave less often.
- One-off purchase (no disposable blades).
- Environmentally friendly.
- Huge savings over time.
- Look better and feel like more of a man.
- Shaving becomes a pleasure.
Using Cut Throat Razors.
It’s not as difficult as you might imagine. You’ll likely cut yourself while learning so make sure you pay attention and concentrate. Practice on a balloon if you want to reduce chances of cutting yourself. Have a nick treatment stick on standby too.
Most people start with the three-pass shave. It’s a tried and tested technique that isn’t difficult to master. Practice, practice, practice.
The great thing about a cut throat is the way the handle and blade are shaped. You can get much closer to the difficult spots under your nose and can style your beard a lot more easily. Those who are really dexterous will enjoy straight razors a lot.
Buying Cut Throat Razors
Despite their fall in popularity over the last 100 years, there are enough people still using them. This ensures that new ones are still being manufactured and readily available. Additionally, there is a very healthy market for vintage and second-hand razors.
All of this means buying a razor online is very much doable and with a minimum of hassle.
Give Them A Try.
I’ve never spoken to anyone who tried one and felt it was inferior to his modern razor. Most people avoid them due to misconceptions about safety, convenience or ease of use. In all honesty, this is completely wrong. The advantages of using a straight razor are many, and the disadvantages just require practicing to get over.
I’m convinced that if you give one a try and get yourself a nice beginner’s blade, you will not regret it at all.