Looking for that old school clean, smooth shave? The best straight razors provide exceptionally smooth results with not a hair in sight. However, barbers aren’t the only ones who can shave with a straight razor. We provide a great straight razor shaving guide to show you how.
What is a Straight Razor?
The best straight razors are easy to use and made from high-quality stainless steel with a precision edge for the closest shave possible. The top razors are also made with a leather or wood handle offering an easier grip and precise maneuverability of the straight blade.
Straight blade shaving is also known as wet shaving. Learning to wet shave with a straight razor is the first step to knowing how to pick a top quality product.
What Barbers Say
Barbers often say it’s better to shave with a straight razor for a cleaner, smoother face. We review the best straight razors below and provide a buyer’s guide so you buy the perfect product for the closest shave.
Longer, sharper, double blades work the best with a full hollow grind. They have less vibration and easy handling that make it effortless to shave around any contour, especially when shaving your neckline.
As John Rivera, master barber at NYC’s Art of Shaving’s Barber Spa, will tell you, straight razors offer the closest shave known to man.
Straight Razor Buying Guide
When it comes to straight razors, some people think it’s all about the blade, and while you do want a sharp straight razor, you also want a razor with a balanced, heavy handle.
This reduces the risk of losing grip or accidentally nicking yourself because the handle is too flimsy to hold correctly.
As you shop for a straight razor, it’s best to look at the size and specifications of the blade, as well as the materials used to craft the product.
We provide some helpful tips below for picking out the best straight razors.
Straight Razor Blade
A straight razor blade is really special. There are typically two types of blade materials to choose from: stainless steel or carbon.
However, experienced barbers recommend going with stainless steel over carbon. While black carbon blades look cool and get super sharp, they don’t stay as sharp as a stainless steel blade.
Stainless steel is quicker to clean and resists rust stains, unlike carbon steel blades.
Price of Straight Razor Blades
You may notice that some straight razors are under $50, while others seem extremely high-quality and have price tags over $250. What’s the difference?
Some companies make their straight razors by hand and are considered expert craftsmen. In addition, full-length straight edge razors cost more than a safety razor or shavette style, since these use mass-production techniques for disposable blades.
In addition, straight edge razors take extra special care to create, mostly because they need the exact balance and weight to counter the blade and make it easier to maneuver as you shave.
If you’re worried about price, you may want to start out with a shavette or beginner’s straight razor.
Straight Razor Blade Width
Typical straight razor blades come in ⅝” or ⅞” lengths. The ⅚” is more popular and is a shorter blade, which makes it possible to get into nooks and crannies on your face, such as that small area right beneath your nose.
There used to be longer blades, including 8/8” sizes, but these are no longer common and wouldn’t be recommended for a beginner.
Class Straight Razor vs. Shavette
One of the most confusing things is to see “straight edge shavette” while shopping online for these blades. The traditional straight edge blade is a long, stainless steel blade with a hinge and handle.
A shavette is a hybrid of a straight razor and a Gillette razor, as it uses spring mounted replacement blades.
The result is that shavettes typically don’t get as close as traditional straight razors, but they may be safer to use and don’t require as much upkeep.
Straight Razor Scales or “Handle”
The blade holder is also the handle or where you grip the straight razor. The handle of your straight razor is actually two separate strips of wood, leather, or metal that held together by pins and washers. Some heavier razors have more pins to provide more weight and stability.
Most experienced barbers recommend wooden handles because it’s heavy, classier, and comfortable to grip.
Sandalwood is a higher tier option for wood handles.
However, metal and leather are also good choices for balanced weight. It’s just that metal handles may rust if they get wet, and leather handles can degrade over time if used too often.
Single Blade vs. Straight Razor Kits
Perhaps you just want a starter blade to see if you like straight razor shaving, but some blades are upwards of $200 just on their own. There are some real advantages to straight razor kits, particularly when they include everything you need to get the best shave.
A typical straight razor kit includes:
- Straight razor blade
- Leather strop
- Shaving cream
- Cleaning cloth
- Travel case or box
- Shaving brush
These razor kits are great for beginners because you have everything you need to get the perfect “barber-like” straight razor shave at home.
A leather strop keeps your blade sharp, along with a wet stone. You can typically just use a leather strop to sharpen the blade, but if you want a truly razor-sharp blade, you may want to “hone the blade” on a wet stone.
Most straight razors come already sharpened and ready for use when purchased brand new.
Straight Razor Maintenance
One thing to remember about straight razors is they have metal and brass components typically, which can rust and degrade when exposed to water. That’s why it’s so important to keep your straight razor away from water and only use recommended shaving products.
Here are a few quick maintenance tips:
- Don’t get the handle wet
- Don’t let razor sit in wet or moist areas
- Strop your blade before shaving to get a sharper shave
- Rinse razor with soapy water but dry off immediately
- Use a microfiber cloth to dry off
- Dip blade in isopropyl alcohol to sterilize and clean
Here are our top picks for straight razors based on quality, results, durability, and ease of use.
1. Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor – by Utopia Care
From Utopia Care, the Pro Barber Straight Razor is a favorite of many barbers and beardsmen who like to get the closest shave.
430-Grade Japanese Stainless Steel, it’s incredibly sharp, and the handle is made in a slick black matte finish.
- The black matte finish over the stainless steel body helps deter rust for long-lasting performance
- 100 premium derby blades will help last through many shaves; each blade is individually wax paper wrapped
- Features flip-able blade cover and comfortable metal grip allowing for easy maneuvering and a close shave
- Classically styled straight edge barber razor made of brass with chrome finish will provide a reliable smooth and silken shave every time; start with gentle strokes and slowly work your way around keeping a steady motion and pressure
- To ensure safe usage at all times, you need to make sure that the blade is securely locked within the safety walls and the cap is in place; if the walls become lose with time and usage, just push the walls with a small amount of pressure when placing the blade and lock the cap to ensure that it stays in place
For the price, this straight razor is exactly what you think of when you picture a modern style razor blade. It has the perfect cutting edge and balance to get a close, comfortable shave.
Where to Buy
2. Dovo Special Straight Razor
If you frequent any men’s style or grooming forums, Dovo is a brand name that will quickly pop up.
The Dovo “Special” straight razor is a ⅝” German Solingen blade with faux tortoiseshell scales for a the best in luxury.
- Crafted from the highest quality materials
- Built for performance and durability
- Made in Germany
with Tortoiseshell Handle
Comfortable and easy to use, the Dovo is a classic go-to straight razor for many men. It’s got that mixture of quality blade and affordability that makes it a good choice for those who are just starting out.
Where to Buy
3. Feather Artist Club DX Folding Razor
We love wooden scales, and the Feather Artist Club DX Folding Wood Handle razor is among the best.
Made in Japan, this straight razor is a favorite of barbers because of its sharpness and balance. You can completely control this blade with a slip-resistant grip.
- Country of origin is Japan
The handle measures 5.11 inches, which is perfect for holding and shaving with any size grip.
It’s worth it to note that Feather Artist uses replaceable blades, While they are easy to replace, you may not get the same shave as with a honed, permanent blade.
Where to Buy
4. Parker SRX Heavy Duty Straight Razor
Completely made from stainless steel, the Parker SRX Heavy Duty straight razor has a stainless steel blade and scales.
- A Heavy Duty Razor Designed for Professionals - Heavyweight Steel Blade Arm, and Scales - Weighs 2.3 Ounces
- Rounded exposure at the end of the blade compartment to minimize cuts
- Clip/Lock blade holder along with inserts to ensure secure blade insertion.
- Accepts barbershop single edge blades or 1/2 double edge blade - Comes with 5 Shark Super Stainless Half Blades
- A genuine Parker Safety Razor product! For over 40 years, Parker razors have been imitated, but never duplicated
However, this is a shavette rather than a full straight razor. You won’t need to sharpen or hone this blade, but you’ll need to replace the blade every couple of weeks.
For that reason, it’s one of the most affordable razors on this list.
Where to Buy
5. Straight Razor with Blades for Men by The Cambridge Cutthroat
Men by The Cambridge Cutthroat Straight Razor is a swing lock razor. It comes with 5 Dorco ST300 Platinum double edge blades, travel pouch and cotton kit bag.
It’s one of the most affordable straight razor sets and is made of premium quality stainless-steel and Missanda wood.
- BLADES INCLUDED: 5 Dorco ST300 Platinum double edge blades are included so you can start shaving immediately. 1 double edge blades makes 2 single edge blades for a total of 10 blades.
- QUICK & CONVENIENT BLADE REPLACEMENT: The Cambridge Cutthroat straight razor is made from premium quality stainless-steel and Missanda wood that's guaranteed to last. The materials can be used in water without fear of oxidization or warping.
- PROFESSIONAL RESULTS: The Cambridge Cutthroat straight swing lock razor is designed to last and provides close-cut professional shaving results, making it a smart, long-term investment. The perfectly balanced, ergonomic shape feels comfortable in your hand, while a replaceable ultra-sharp blade glides smoothly and quickly over your beard.
- COMPLETE KIT: This professional shaving set includes everything you need for the ultimate shaving experience. You’ll receive The Cambridge Cutthroat straight razor, 5 Dorco ST-300 blades and an elegant leather pouch ideal for travelling.
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: If you're not happy with your razor, contact us for a free refund or replacement. Your satisfaction is our guarantee.
The Missanda wood also adds to the beauty and balance of this straight razor. You’ll feel extremely comfortable handling it, and the set comes with all the necessities to ensure a smooth, clean razor shave.
Where to Buy
6. Feather SS Japanese Straight Razor
Looking for a high-quality, sharp blade without all the extra cost? The Feather SS Japanese straight razor is the perfect product for your shaving routine.
The design of this specialty straight razor includes a black resin handle for a superior grip, which is also heat resistant.
- Super-engineered resin handle for excellent grip
- Feather has created the most innovative razor in the world
- Heat-resistant gum handle (up to 135 C, 275 F)
The razor is exceptionally sharp, but it’s also a minimalist blade without the traditional “hinge” scales. Still, for the price, the quality of the blade is exceptional.
Where to Buy
7. Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor – by Black Widow (1.5mm) (Chrome)
The Straight Razor Blade by Black Widow is made for Professional Barbers and enthusiasts.
We love Black Widow because they produce a superior straight razor blade, and exceptional products. If you a beginner or looking for a gift, it’s a top shaving product.
- COMFORTABLE GRIP; BALANCED WEIGHT - At 2.6 oz, the Black Widow straight blade razor causes less vibration from the razor blade while shaving. It also provides the perfect balance in your hand for easy maneuvering. The proper, balanced weight distribution prevents strain on the wrist; feels great in the hand
- 100% RUST-RESISTANT STAINLESS STEEL - Black Widow straight safety razor is well-constructed with stainless steel, which is stiffer and better for thick beard or hair. Already set for an exposed blade for crisp cut lines. You don’t only get a good shave but also a good value for money
- PRECISE, SMOOTH CUT - Our single edge barber razor features an armature swing lock design for secure blade insertion; created with thumb notch and ridges for extra control for preventing the razor to slip, which is most crucial when doing close shave
- STYLISH YET ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Set in matte black and shine gold accents, our cutthroat razor gives that feel of classy construction and masculine design; double-coated to prevent chipping and add make this barber blade razor sturdier
- FOR PROFESSIONAL BARBERS AND STYLISTS- With the 1.5mm blade exposure, this straight edge barber razor is ideal for advanced pros who need to perform more precise, detailed work. Compatible with any barber razor blade, navajas de afeitar, straight razor blades or double edge blades (snap in half)
In addition, the blade has an ash wood handle, which has a classic, professional look. It has good balance and is easy to maneuver.
Where to Buy
8. Facón Professional Wooden Straight Edge Barber Razor – Salon Quality Cut Throat Shavette
The Facón Professional Wooden Straight Edge Barber Razor is a salon quality cut throat shavette that comes with 100 blades.
Facón is a shaving brand that also creates superior shaving blades. They have a special black powder coating that adds a slick modern look and feel.
- SIGNATURE RAZOR - Stainless steel razor with black powder coating, perfectly weighted ergonomic design
- PREMIUM QUALITY - Professional grade salon quality, guaranteed to never rust or tarnish with use
- ELITE STYLE - Swing lock blade insert, razor is exposed 25% higher designed for smooth shaving experience
- CONVENIENCE - Lightweight razor, Comfortable strong grip handle, Handmade for best performance
- LIFETIME GUARANTEE - Standard lifetime return guarantee, no questions asked. Try it risk-free today!
In addition, the blade has an ebony wooded handle, which has a modern, professional look. It balances well with the finger notches.
Where to Buy
9. Equinox Professional Steel Straight Edge Razor
The Professional Steel Straight Edge Razor by Equinox is perfect for classic style barbers and hair enthusiasts. It’s also a good choice for beginners and experts as it provides control along with sleek performance for a fresh shave.
- CLASSIC: Old is Gold! You don’t need the “latest and greatest” 3-4-5 blade, super expensive, rolling ball razor out in the market these days, to get a fine quality shave. Our great grandfathers were able to remain handsome and smooth, using this classic Straight Edge Razor which is a timeless masterpiece for men’s shaving.
- QUALITY: Our razors are made from fine quality Stainless Steel, guaranteed to never rust or tarnish with use. Built with an easy-to-open blade guard, you can exchange each blade safely and effortlessly.
- ERGONOMIC: Designed with comfort and stability in mind, the Equinox Professional Straight Edge Razor performs well and provides the right holding angle to avoid discomfort. When opened, your ring finger rests on the back handle loop, index and middle fingers on top, and your thumb near the blade compartment. NOTE: Be sure to gently squeeze the protection cap before closing it to ensure a tight and secure grip so your blade will not fall out.
- 200+ SHAVES: We have packaged our razor with the best selling blades in the market. Included is a box of 100 Single Edge Blades by Derby which are individually wrapped for safety and hygienic purposes. Each blade can be used for 2-3 shaves, making this Value Pack a great bargain!
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We know you will come to love and enjoy shaving with this classic shaving system just as much as we do. So we offer you to try the Equinox Straight Edge Razor with 100 Blades, for 30-Days risk free. If you are not completely satisfied and loving the close shave this brings, then simply return for your money back.
Easy to use and maintain, this may be the perfect blade to start with if you want a super simple straight razor with a high-quality finish. It comes with 100 blades x 2/3 shaves per blade, that’s 200+ shaves. Good buy.
Where to Buy
10. Classic Samurai CS-102 Straight Razor
For the most value but possibly not a true straight razor experience, the Classic Samurai CS-102 stainless steel straight edge razor is a replaceable blade option that coss less than $15.
- [GENUINE & RUST FREE] Surgical Grade Stainless Steel. Smooth Handle that helps prevent the razor from rusting and offer a comfortable grip. Minimizes Cuts.
- [GREAT QUALITY] for Barbershop and Personal Usage, A great option for beginners.
- [100% SAFE] Flippable blade lock like other shavettes that allows for quick and easy blade changes. Exchangeable Blade Technology allows to remove old blades to replace with fresh ones.
- [COMPATIBLE WITH] Astra, Shark, Lord, Derby all straight and double edge razor blades. The Kit includes : 100 Lord Single Edge Razor Blades. Each blade is individually wax paper wrapped. The Shavette comes in a plastic pouch for Protection.
- [MONEY BACK GUARANTEE] We're 100% committed to providing you with a top-notch customer experience. If there's anything that didn't go right with your order or if you feel our straight edge razor is not for you, please contact us and we will help you immediately with anything you need.
While it has the same shape as a straight razor, the blades are smaller, and the handle is made from metal typically. The blades are surgical grade stainless steel, so they’re still quite sharp. Most Classic Samurai blades come with replacement razor blades.
Where to Buy
What’s the best straight razor for a beginner?
Some barbers suggest that it may be too much of a commitment to go with a true straight razor at first.
If you don’t want to spend over $100 on a high-quality straight razor, it’s best to go with a high-quality shavette style razor, such as the Art of Shaving Shavette Straight Razor.
How dangerous is shaving with straight razor?
It’s no more dangerous than shaving with your typical razor and handling razor blades. While it’s possible to nick yourself, it’s not any worse than a cut from shaving in the morning with a dull razor or no shaving cream.
However, we suggest getting comfortable holding the razor and guiding it along your skin slowly at first to get the hang of it. You don’t want to nervously shake or accidentally move too much, which could lead to more nicks and mistakes.
What’s the best straight razor shaving kit?
The best straight razor shaving kits will include multiple pieces, as well as a strong straight razor blade.
You don’t want to purchase any kits that have a mediocre blade, however. Look for kits with ⅝” inch stainless steel blades and wooden scales.
The Naked Armor shaving kits have everything you need to get started with straight edge shaving, and they don’t cost as much as other kits. Their blades also have well-balanced wooden scales.
Ready to Start Straight Shaving?
It’s exciting to shave with a straight razor. You get an exceptionally smooth finish, and it just feels like you’re in an old school, 19th century barber shop.
While straight razors can be expensive, you can typically get more value out of a straight razor kit that includes the blade, strop, shaving cream, cleaning cloth, and much more.
As you shop for straight razor blades, also keep in mind what’s best for your face. Smaller shavettes may work better if you want to take your time as a beginner, as these blades can get into hard-to-reach places, such as under your nose and around your chin.
We hope you love shaving with a straight razor!