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Top 10 Straight Razors - Your Morning Shaving Routine

Updated on February 11, 2015
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Enda offers some great advice on buying gifts for men. Here he offers a range of great gift ideas for the man who has everything.

Dovo Straight Razor

How To Pick The Best Straight Razor For A Great Shaving Experience?

You will have heard of straight razors, often called cut throat razors, but which one is actually the best? That is the question I intend to answer in this article. There are hundreds of different types of straight razor on the market, that compete not only with each other, but against those brands who promote safety razors.

The one thing they all have in common is that all of them know that wet shaving is a much better alternative than using an electric shaver. Therefore picking the right shaving soap or cream is also important and I have included some related articles to those at the end of this one.

For now though let's concentrate on straight razors and why you would pick one of those instead of going with a double edged safety. The cut throat razor has been around for a very long time. Man first shaved with shells, then upgraded to metal as the ages developed. You will probably have seen the old Western movies and the Gangster movies, where barbers plied their trade, with the man all lathered up in the barber's chair.

So we know straight shaving goes back a very long way and that makes it a very traditional way to shave. As it happens if done properly, you will get the best shave that you have ever had. So the question is, which of all the straight razors out there, is the best?

Images: My own and Amazon

Which Type of Razor?

Time for A Shave
Time for A Shave

Who Makes & Manufactures Straight Razors?

Best Straight Razor Brands

When I decided to try out a straight razor for the first time I had no idea where to start. I decided to go down to my local barber who has been in the shaving profession for about 30 years, and I knew him pretty well. He used a straight razor from a company called "Shave Ready." He was pretty convinced they were the best and that gave me a really good starting point.

I looked around a little more and found the following brands also made good quality straight razors:

  • Parker
  • Shave Ready
  • Kriegar
  • Fromm
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Dovo
  • Zeva
  • Diane
  • Personna

There are more but these would be the recognised brands, and in truth there is little point looking any further afield than these.

Average Price of A Good Straight Razor

You can pay as little as $15 for a straight razor and all the way up to a few hundred dollars. The average price though is around $20-30 for anything that is of good quality. Now like any other product that you might be considering, the general rule applies, that the more you are prepared to spend, then you will more than likely get a much higher quality product.

Straight Razor Reviews - Best Value Straight Razors - Positions 1-5

I will go into more detail about the benefits of using a straight razor but it is nice to see what is available and I have listed below the top 5 picks, based on the quality of the blade, the actual look of the razor and also one of my key determining factors, "value for money."

No 1 Choice - Parker SR1 - Straight Razor

Parker SR1 Stainless Steel Straight Edge Barber Razor and 5 Shark Super Stainless blades
Parker SR1 Stainless Steel Straight Edge Barber Razor and 5 Shark Super Stainless blades

A huge best seller and good barber shop quality and made from stainless steel.

This comes with 5 extra blades.

This one comes out on top because it is of a very good quality and also is at a very good price.

It also gets strong solid reviews from people who have bought and used this product.

 

No 2 Choice - Shave Ready - A Great Straight Option

~Shave Ready~ Carbon Steel Straight Razor 6/8" with Box GD 208
~Shave Ready~ Carbon Steel Straight Razor 6/8" with Box GD 208

This is the razor that I own and use myself. Now clearly I think it is the best but it is double the price of the Parker above.

If you can afford this one, then of course that would be my recommendation but it is more expensive than any of the others on this list.

 

The Main Component Parts of A Straight Razor

Here you can look at the different component parts that go to making up a good quality straight razor.
Here you can look at the different component parts that go to making up a good quality straight razor.

No 3 Choice - The Dovo

Dovo Silver Shavette Satin Finish Straight Razor with Holder-Matt Look(Holder Color May Vary)
Dovo Silver Shavette Satin Finish Straight Razor with Holder-Matt Look(Holder Color May Vary)

This is a straight razor that many people advise beginners to use.

Like the rest it is good quality, is made from steel but the handle is aluminium and the grip part is plastic.

 

Did You Know...

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street...Sweeney Todd..was actually a fictional character.

It was he who gave the straight razor the name of a cut throat as that was how he finished off his victims

Cheap Alternative Cut Throat

Joy Enterprises 9000032 Fury Straight Pakkawood Razor
Joy Enterprises 9000032 Fury Straight Pakkawood Razor

The cheapest of the razors though still good quality and perfect for men on a low budget

 

What Is The Best Straight Razor for Beginners?

If you have never used a straight razor before, then you will want to start out with one that is good quality and has some type of protection built into it.

A great choice for beginners is the Parker SR1 stainless steel razor. First of all it is a sensible price when you are starting out, and yet it is expensive enough so you know you are getting a good quality razor. You should be able to pick one up for under $20.

They have a special rounded exposure, at the very tip of the blade, which removes the very pointed corner, and as such will greatly reduce the chances of accidental cutting and scraping. These are also a very popular choice that you will find in many barber shops up and down the country.

Finally the blade is a snap lock type which means the blade is able to be secured tightly. It also comes with 5 super high quality blades.

Like any straight razor though, it will take a bit of practise before you can master the use of one of these. Don't get too frustrated at the start, because believe me, when you learn the techniques properly, then you truly will be able to have the best shave ever.

No 1 Best Selling Straight Razor

The Benefits of Using A Straight Razor

The benefits for me are actually quite simple. For many years I used an electric shaver like many other men. There are some very good ones available, but you never got the feel that your face was totally smooth. I was in the barbers one day and decided to go for a proper wet shave. Someone turned on the light!!!

Now that was what I called a shave!!!

It is hard to describe the difference and I can assure you that it even looks different as well.

That was me converted to wet shaving and I bought a safety razor with a double edged blade. Now the reason I did that was I was afraid to use a straight razor, in case I cut myself. I would also advise you to be just as wary. There is no doubt these give you a fantastic shave, but they are SHARP.

Other Benefits

Start up costs are a little expensive, but once you buy a straight razor, then all you need is a good strop and you are set for life. You will never have to buy a razor or a razor blade ever again. That alone means that you are doing your bit for the environment.

Have a look at the video below so as you know exactly how these should be used, before making any buying decision.

The Royal Shave - A True Shaving Experience

Watch a Master Barber doing a full and proper "Royal Shave." The technique is vital and you will learn many tips and tricks here.

A steamed towel opens up the skin and the pores to begin with. Now I know you wouldn't have time to do this at home, but if you have, it makes a huge difference.

He then uses pre-shave oil which lubricates the skin and protects against the blade. Most people don't do this and they really should. He then applies a high quality shaving cream and begins the shave. Please note that they actually warm the lather.

Then he starts with the sideburns and uses a 20 degree flat angle. You should never have to apply a great deal of pressure with a sharp blade. Always use short strokes when shaving.

Best Straight Razor Brand - Positions 6 - 10

I promised you at the start that I would give you a list of ten. I would however urge you to make your choices from the first five as I know that they are all very good. However for the sake of providing a full top 10 list here are positions 6-10.

6 Kriegar Sharp Stainless Steel
7 Diamond Edge Professional
8 100% Wood Handle Straight Razor
9 Azrael Grim Reaper
10 Krieger Pearl Handle

Items That Complement A Straight Razor

Here are a couple of items that you may need to go with your straight razor choice. A good quality leather strop is needed to sharpen and hone the blade. A good pre-shave oil is also a really good idea.

Barber's Strop for Sharpening Straight Razors

Professional Leather BARBER STROP Straight Razor Sharpener 2" X 20"
Professional Leather BARBER STROP Straight Razor Sharpener 2" X 20"

This is the one I use which does a great job and doesn't cost the earth.

 

Useful Shaving Resources

These are some good resources I found from around the web for shaving related topics

I Would Love To Hear Your Thoughts & Comments - Please Feel Free To Leave Them Below and Thank You

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    • profile image

      David A Naess 

      2 years ago

      I came here looking for information about straight razors.

      Apparantly, you don't know the difference between a STRAIGHT RAZOR and a SHAVETTE...

      I'm disappointed!

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