Obviously, learning how to use a cut-throat razor is the first step you should take into the world of “real” shaving. Today I’m going to be giving some simple tips and clear instructions that you can follow.

You should know that shaving with a cut-throat razor is not something that you will master overnight. By checking out the methods on this page, you can minimize the cuts and increase the speed with which you become familiar with shaving.

How To Use A Cut Throat Razor – Step One

First, you are going to need to prep your face. Use a hot towel if you have one, if not, just take a shower immediately before shaving. As long as you get to soak your face for ten minutes in hot water first, the job is done. This is going to help the hairs stand up straight, be easier to cut and make the whole process smoother.

Step Two

You should prepare your shaving soap. If you are new to all this, you might want to just try using regular shaving foam or cream like you would have with a modern safety razor. Not only is this type of cream more difficult to get a good, even spread with, but it is also bad for the environment. The best way to lather up your face is to use shaving soap and a brush. I recommend using badger hair.

You’ll notice that using a brush is a lot more economical and the whole process is smoother. I personally love the meditative part of making the lather and applying it to my face too.

Step Three

Your first time, you don’t want to attempt shaving your entire face with the razor. It’s best to work in sections. Start with the side of your face first, and just choose one side. After you’ve done that, use a normal razor to shave the rest of your face. This is for two reasons:

1.) It lets you gradually adjust to using the razor and getting a feel for things

2.) You get a direct comparison between razors, which will really highlight how superior the cutthroat is.

As you get more comfortable and adept at using a straight-edge razor, you can move on to the other side of your face, then the neck, then finally the upper lip. The whole process should take around two to four weeks.

The Three Pass Shave

The best way to shave is the three-pass shave. This involves first shaving with the grain, then shaving across the grain, and finally shaving against the grain. Apart from the upper lip, you can use the three-pass shave for all parts of your face.  For the lip, just go with, and across the grain.

Again, you can do this gradually. The first time you put the cutthroat to your face, just shave with the grain. You’ll find that you have to grip the blade a lot differently than with your previous razor, so take your time to get used to it. Day one shave with the grain, day two shave with and across (sideways) and day three or four, shave with, across, then against.

This is just an example. Don’t go against the grain until you are comfortable doing so, because this is where you are most likely to cut yourself.

I’ve written another more detailed post about the three pass shave.


  1. Why are badger hair brushes recommended? I would think that badgers have very bristly hair. Maybe it’s used for the stiffness, but it certainly doesn’t sound very comfortable. It seems like horse hair might be an option too, but I haven’t done the research. I think my mothers makeup brushes were horse hair…

    • It depends which part of the badger you are using. If you use the basic hair from around the stomach/back, yeah, it’s pretty rough. The finest “silver tip” badger hair comes from around the neck and is pretty expensive. The brushes are usually hand-made and extremely soft. Even horses hair can’t compete there.

  2. I assume shaving cream is bad for the environment because of the can? Or is it the foam that’s going down the drain? I think gradually immersing yourself into the new shaving process is a great idea. Easy does it, especially when you’re working with a sharp, delicate instrument. One of these days, my electricity is going to go out, and I’m going to be ready for the challenge! 🙂

    • Yeh mostly the can. You don’t get through a can as often as you do a pack of razor cartridges, but it is still not as good as using soap.


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