Straight Razor Shaving – What You Need To Know

So you want to know more about shaving with a straight razor? Excellent, welcome to my world.

In order to best summarize why I recommend straight (or “cut-throat”) razors to everybody, I’m going to tell you a story.

For years I used a modern Mach3 razor. I bought into the idea that they gave you a close shave and were well worth the price and hassle of constantly needing to buy new cartridges.

I was never interested in electric razors. I used them once or twice to experiment, but just found they took forever to shave through long stubble, and left my skin feeling raw. Not cool.

Straight Razors Rule

One day, I thought I would do some research into straight razors, out of curiosity really, and boy was I surprised! My preconceptions about straight razors were completely wrong!

Here are some of the things that I believed about straight razors:

  • They require  lot of skill and practice, and even then you could expect to cut yourself often
  • They are dangerous and a false move could cause severe injury
  • Nobody uses them anymore and they are extremely hard to get hold of and even harder to maintain
  • They need constant sharpening.
  • Shaving with a straight razor takes a long time compared with a more modern razor.

For the most part, these things are just not true.

Yes, you need to be careful using a straight razor, but that increased concentration means you are going to get a much better shave, and most people regard this as a positive thing.

It is very meditative to use a straight razor and will soon become a routine that you enjoy in the mornings.

The thing that surprised me the most, was how popular they still are and how easy they are to get hold of. Whether you are looking for a brand new 2013 straight razor, or a more vintage version, you can easily find what you are looking for on Amazon and eBay.

So, how did it work out for me? Incredibly well. I am a convert for life.

What makes straight razor shaving so superior?

I’m going to give you the long answer and the short answer.


First, the short answer.

  1. A much closer shave
  2. A grossly reduced shaving bill
  3. Being that much more of a man.


Now for the long answer, I’m going to expand on these three points.

1.) A superior shave. Despite what manufacturers say, there is no “closest shave ever” in a modern or electric razor. even though each new blade produced is said to be superior (yet always seems to under perform and go blunt too quickly) it just is not the case in my experience. Three, four, even five blade cartridge razors still require a good couple of strokes and still cause irritation in some cases. I even managed to cut myself at times using a Mach3 and i am convinced that this is because i had to make more strokes than should be necessary. (Either that or I am just terrible at shaving).

2.) A grossly reduced shaving bill. When I used the Mach3, I was always astounded by how much I was paying just for 4 little razor blades every month or so, (I would try and drag it out to every two months, which would make my shave even worse quality) and resented it. With a straight razor, all you have to do is buy the razor and any other necessary tools (hone, strop, etc) and that is it, you can kiss shaving expenses goodbye. OK, so you will need to buy the occasional shaving gel, but that is not something you will notice.

3.) Being that much more of a man. You may laugh at number three, but the confidence boost received from shaving with “a real razor” is akin to wearing a tailored shirt or new suit. Don’t under-represent yourself.

How To Straight Razor Shave

There is quite a knack to shaving with a straight razor, and you would certainly want to practice on a balloon first. If you can shave a balloon without bursting it, then you are ready to move that blade to your skin.

blackballoonI recommend black balloons, it will be a lot easier to see the cream (and they look so manly).

Buy From Amazon

15 balloons for $2.35


The most important thing you need to know when shaving with a straight razor is: Be patient. If you want a quick-shave, then use one of the modern types with the safety bars over the blade.

Straight Razors are for luxury shaves. Take your time.

A great advantage of straight razors is that the shape and angling of the blade allows for a lot more freedom of movement than other razors, you can really attack your face from any angle (pun intended!) and this allows for a much easier job in my opinion, especially when it comes to the upper and lower lip area.

Here is a handy 2 part video for you to check out:

I am also working on a dedicated guide on the different types of shaving (with grain and without gain etc), so bear with me, it should be up soon.

Getting Started With Straight Razors

So if you are new to straight razors but like what you see, you probably want to know how to get started!


The best thing to do, is read a few of the following pages:

Where To Buy A Straight Razor

How To Straight Razor Shave

Straight Razor Maintenance 



Got any questions? Feel free to contact me.