What is a Straight Edge Razor?
A straight edge razor is a type of razor with a single blade that can fold into its handle. Straight edge razors where the most commonly used shavers. They are however getting back increasing popularity in recent times. The blade is affixed to a handle that is straight, hence the name.
Often called a cut-throat razor in reference to its history of use, there aren’t as many moving parts as there are in other razors. Straight razors don’t require extensive maintenance at all. The blade also remains sharper for a longer period of time as there is no need to constantly change and replace blades.
Table of Contents
- What is a Straight Edge Razor?
- Overview and User Experience
- Pros of Using Straight Edge Razor
- Cons of Using Straight Edge Razor
- How to Properly Use a Straight Edge Razor
- Cost Effectiveness
- Guidelines For Buying A Straight Razor
Overview and User Experience
Straight razors were the original shaving device that has been used by the men for many years before electric shavers became widely used. The use of straight razor was not merely limited to shaving but it was also employed to carry out other tasks. Straight edge razors are the most popular type of shaving razors before the invention of all the other different types of razors.
Unlike the safety razors, the straight edge razors are not protected by a guard or a cover, which makes it prone to cuts and injuries. The straight edge razors are more challenging to use in comparison to the safety razors. People who prefer the straight edge razors are often called the ‘Shave purists’.
Straight edge razors are available in various types with the most commonly used is considered to be the ones with the one blade. With the straight edge razors, you can achieve a closer and smoother shave as it helps to cut the hair follicles at the base. However, the straight edge razors should be used by a proper shaving expert or a barber.
A few mistakes with this blade can make a person cut their skin accidentally. The straight edge razors are commonly made from pure stainless steel. The straight edge razor needs to be sharpened as required as it becomes blunt with use. Many men using straight razors today are using it for complete shaving instead of styling.
Unlike disposable razors, straight edge razors are not only better for the environment, but they are better for the skin. The blades are better for the skin because they do not become dull or damage the skin. The result is a much smoother, more attractive shave.
Pros of Using Straight Edge Razor
- The razor gives a clean shave
- Straight Edge Razor causes less damage to the skin as compared to conventional razors
- Razors help control acne
- It works for sensitive skin types
- Straight edge razors are more durable than other razors
- Easier to clean and maintain
- Less irritation
- Faster and easier to shave once you get the grip of it
- Reduced Ingrown Hairs
- No razor bumps
- Saves money in the long run
- A classy style of shaving
- No recurring costs as well as maintenance costs
Cons of Using Straight Edge Razor
- For beginners it takes more time to shave with one than with disposable razors
- You need some skills to use it right
- Straight edge razor gives you cuts more easily
- Shaving can be an intense process
- Blade gets dull with time
- Not easily available everywhere compared to disposable razors
- Slow shaving time
How to Properly Use a Straight Edge Razor
The straight razor is believed to be one of the most dangerous shaving tool, but when used correctly is the most efficient. When it is in use, it is held in the same way that one holds a safety razor.
First you should wash, dry, and clean your face with a hot towel to open your pores. Then lather up the face with shaving cream. Shave with slow, steady strokes. After shaving, rinse the face with warm water. This will relax the pores. Then apply after shave.
This type of razor is used by shaving with the grain of the beard, pulling the skin taut with the free hand, and stroking the razor in the direction of hair growth. The blade is inclined at about 30 degrees to the handle, with the edge of the blade facing up.
The blade is reached for by tilting the thumb side of the razor slightly towards the face.
Straight edge razor is preferred by almost all people because it costs less and give you a closer shave than other razors. Unlike the cartridge razors, straight edge razor blade can be recycled and used for a longer period.
The cost of the razor itself and the replacement blades will cost you less than the cartridge razor. Straight edge razor can be used for a variety of things. You can use the razor to cut the hair on your face and to cut other things like card bills and plastic products.
Guidelines For Buying A Straight Razor
Buy a Blade Made of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel straight razors are stronger, more durable, and will last longer compared to iron, carbon steel, or brass made straight razors. They also have a precise edge that cuts hair nicely without causing irritation or nicks. Stainless steel does not rust. It is the most preferred material for straight razors today.
Choose a Straight Razor with a Wooden Handle
A wooden handle razor must be the best choice. The reason for this is that wooden handles do not conduct heat as much as the metal handles and therefore the blade stays cool and does not warp as much as it would with a metal handle.
The Straight razors with wooden handle are elegant and classic. They look very classy and stylish. Wood is indeed a very durable material and therefore these razors are also very durable and long lasting. The razors with wooden handle are also lighter than other types of razors.
Pick a Blade With a Dutch Point
The most overlooked and confusing aspect of straight razor shaving is selecting a blade. There are a huge variety of different brands and styles available, and the most confusing and misunderstood aspect is selecting a blade by the point (or lack of).
Different blade brands and styles can look very similar when viewed from the top, but what you see when you look at the edge of the blade is the critical factor in selecting a blade. This is because the point or “Dutch point” is what allows the blade to cut the hair on your face without pulling or tugging.
The dutch point is an extremely vital part of the straight razor. If the point is not dutch, it will dull over time, not sharpen well, or not give a great shave. Dutch points are sharpened on both ends. One end is for shaving, the other end is sharpened to be blunt.
This blunt end is to pass over the skin without cutting anything. This allows you to get closer to your skin with out cutting yourself. The dutch points also help keep the razor sharp for longer than if it were to be blunted on one end. The blunted end is sharpened so that you won’t cut yourself when shaving.
Get The Correct Grind
Straight Edge Razor is a very delicate and personal tool and hence requires a lot of care and attention. While choosing Straight Edge Razor, you should make sure you look for the correct grind. Grind refers to the shape of the straight razor.
A Straight Edge Razor should either be hollow ground, wedge ground or flat ground. While purchasing a Straight Edge Razor make sure to look for these three terms as each one has a different process. In a wedge ground razor, the metal is shaped by a series of bends and rolls.
Whereas a flat ground razor is shaped by a series of flat surfaces and an hollow ground razor is shaped by a series of hollow surfaces. Wedge ground razors are a bit more expensive compared to the other two types, but they require a lot lesser time to be honed ready for use.
Get The Blade That Comes With a Pouch
Straight edge razors have no protective guard. In order to keep your blade in good condition, it is important to buy a razor with a pouch that comes along with it. It is easier to store the blade and keep the cutting edge protected from nicks and cuts. A pouch can also help protect the blade from getting dirty or oily, which can lead to rust developing on the cutting edge of the blade.
Compare Prices and Brands
Straight razors are available in various brands. Each brand comes with its unique features and different prices. It is always beneficial for you to compare prices of different razors and then take a final decision. Before you choose the razor you should know about the razor specifications and features.
There are double edge and single edge straight razors available in the market and you should choose the one that is suitable for your needs and budget. There are some discussion boards or forums for shaving, where you can ask for advice. After that, you will know which brand is worth your money.
Get a Good Strop
Straight razors are made of one piece of metal, usually steel. They are sharpened with a strop, the most important part for keeping the straight razor sharp. It’s a loop of leather with a piece of abrasive cloth attached. The razor is run along the strop to hone the edge after every few shaves.
It’s very important for beginners to get a strop that’s made of leather with a piece of linen or canvas attached. Some strop manufacturers sell leather strops with a piece of leather on one side and canvas on the other. This is a bad idea. A canvas strop will wear out the blade too quickly.
Consider a Shave Kit Instead of Just a Straight Razor.
Shaving kits are more preferable to just Straight razors as they offer straight razors along with blades, brushes, strops and moisturizers. Most shaving kits come with the tools that you would need to get started right away – like a brush for making lather, blades for every day use (or replacements), and moisturizing lotion. Ultimately these new kits make it easier for beginners or people who want something different than their go-to razor to get started with straight razors without having to buy every single needed tool separately.
Are straight edge razors illegal?
No, they are not. Since the 18th century, straight razors have been used by men all over the world. It was more of a cultural tradition than an actual necessity. Since the 20th century, more and more men are thinking about the environmental effects created by the traditional razors that are used today.
Most people think that straight razors are illegal due to their sharpness. Straight edge razors are not illegal, and they can be purchased without any problem. These products are available at every local drugstore and supermarket.
Why do most barbers use straight razors?
Straight razors do not require any electricity and they last for a lifetime. Straight razors are far more effective at preventing irritation and razor bumps on the face, since they give a closer shave with fewer strokes. The blade on a straight razor is more flexible than the blade on a safety razor. This makes it easier to navigate the curves of the face, especially around the chin and neck
Can you straight razor shave yourself?
Yes, you can straight razor shave yourself. But you should be careful because there is risk of cutting your skin. It’s mainly used in barber shops.Today, straight razor shaving is limited to men who don’t want to use the electric or disposable razors. Also, straight razor shaving is limited to shaving facial hair.
Can you use Straight edge razor on other hairs?
For the most part, the only hairs you can safely shave with the straight razor are hairs on the chin, upper lip, neck, and just above the Adam’s apple on a man. If you’re looking to shave something else, then you’ll have to use a different type of razor or just stop shaving altogether. Why?
You can’t shave your head with a straight razor, so if you have long hair, you won’t be able to do anything with it. Another thing to note is that you have to have extremely good dexterity with your hands to shave your body with the straight razor. If your hands are shaking or moving around uncontrollably, you risk cutting yourself. You also risk cutting yourself if you don’t make sure the blade is sharp and clean.
Do you need shaving cream for a straight razor?
It depends. For a straight razor, you need a good shaving cream. Old-timey barbers used to use lather made from a mix of soap and hot water. The first shaving creams were basically a hardened version of soap.
These days a good shaving cream should hydrate the skin and prevent the razor from going too deep. It should also provide a thick layer of lather to protect your skin from the blade. So yes, you should use a shaving cream for a straight razor.
The straight edge razor has been around for many years and it’s still making its way into modern homes. The straight edge razor is continuing to gain popularity as more information about it is made available for the public.
It’s easier than ever to learn about straight edge razors and that’s why we’ve written this article to give you everything that you need to know so far! We hope you enjoy reading it and we look forward to providing you with even more information in the future!