Choosing to make the switch to a straight razor is often one of the most difficult decisions a man has to make. The reason for this is that there is a wide range of issues to consider before making your decision. Our article is going to focus on shaving with a straight razor pros and cons and will help you come to a decision by carefully reviewing both sides of the issue.
The Four Pros of Shaving With a Straight Razor
1. Achieve a Much Closer Shave
The biggest pro that we are going to cover in our article on shaving with a straight razor pros and cons is the level of closeness that a straight razor offers. Due to the blade’s construction, straight razors are able to produce one of the closest shaves possible.
This is partly due to the way the blade is shaped. In addition, it offers a much larger cutting surface area than what you would typically see on cartridge razors and safety razors. If you’re using the right type of strop, you can further enhance the cutting edge of your straight razor and improve its performance substantially.
2. Style Choices
Another one of the main pros we discovered while conducting research for our article on shaving with a straight razor pros and cons is the wide selection of available style choices that they come in. With traditional cartridge razors, you are often limited to a small selection of plastic or metal handle designs with a multi-bladed cartridge that is replaced frequently.
On the other hand, straight razors come in a wide range of colors and finishes. Some popular handle designs to consider include redwood, cedar, pine, and metallic options like chrome. Ultimately, you’re able to find a much larger assortment of style choices for straight razors that safety or cartridge razors.
3. Long-Term Cost Savings
One of the areas where straight razors really excel is in their long-term cost savings. With traditional cartridge razors, you have to replace the blades on average every one to two weeks. This amount can vary slightly based on the thickness of your beard and your shaving frequency. Depending on the brand you use, replacement cartridges can cost as much as $30 or more for a pack.
With a straight razor, the blade will typically last for several years with simple daily care and occasional honing. This is the case even with daily use and the thickest beard types. Part of the reason for this is that straight razors are able to be sharpened at home. The blade itself is much thicker than traditional cartridge types.
4. Say Goodbye to Clogged Blades
One issue that virtually every man has run into when using a traditional cartridge razor with a multiple blade design is hair getting stuck between the blades. Although not a deal breaker, it adds time to your shaving routine. You are stuck constantly tapping the blade under running water in an attempt to dislodge the stuck hair pieces.
With straight razors, you can completely avoid this process. Straight razors utilize a single blade only and rinse off easily under running water. When you’re done, you can easily wipe the blade off with a clean towel to finish removing hair and shaving cream.
The Three Cons Of Using A Straight Razor
1. Careful With Small Children
No article on shaving with a straight razor pros and cons would be complete without one of the biggest cons associated with this razor type. As we mentioned in the pros section, straight razors are exceptionally sharp and provide one of the closest shaves imaginable.
Unfortunately, this sharp blade design is extremely dangerous for families with small children. While cartridge razors also pose a risk for small kids, the depth that they can cut is substantially less than that of a straight razor. With a straight razor, it would be extremely easy to nick a major artery. With this in mind, always secure your straight razor in a location that your children cannot access.
2. Initial Start Up Cost
Another major con of straight razors is that they require a much larger initial investment than both cartridge and safety razor types. With a straight razor, you will need to invest in a high-quality strop and an appropriate honing stone. In addition, many manufacturers will recommend a blade oil to keep your straight razor in the best working condition possible.
Fortunately, these purchases tend to last for quite some time. Even with daily use, a straight razor and the tools to maintain it will not require replacement for a long time. The only reason this would be a cause for concern is for consumers who are on a tight spending limit initially.
3. Mastering the Learning Curve
Perhaps one of the biggest complaints associated with straight razor use is the learning curve that new users go through. When using a straight razor, it’s easy to associate proper shaving technique with a delicate art form.
To properly use your straight razor, you will have to get used to holding it at the appropriate angle and using just the right amount of pressure. In addition, a big part of using a straight razor has to deal with properly preparing your facial hair with an appropriate shaving cream or lather.
There's also the whole issue of care and maintenance. Straight razors require occasional sharpening and honing. Both of which require a lot of patience to ensure you correctly maintain the blade's edge.
Drawing to a Close
At this point in our article on shaving with a straight razor pros and cons, you should have a sound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses associated with using a straight razor.
Overall, we feel that the benefits outweigh the negatives. Just allow yourself ample time to get used to your new straight razor and you will likely be satisfied with the results.
If you have any thoughts you would like to share about the pros and cons of straight razors, feel free to share them in the comments below.