The year is 2020, and a lot of things have fallen out of style due to trends, entertainment, fashion, fad – you name it.
Among these is the straight razor. With options out there like cartridge razors, for instance, the straight razor’s popularity is slowly fading away.
A straight razor is also known as a ‘cut-throat razor.’ Of course, it won’t cut your throat, but you should take good caution not to. Using the razor is a little difficult, one of the biggest reasons for its fallout.
Amidst all these, this razor still remains to be one of the most effective, accurate, and affordable shaving devices for men. It is a razor for pros who’ve mastered the subtle art of shaving.
If you’re among these few “elite”, here is everything you need to know about the best straight razors for men.
Top 5 Best Straight Razor Brands Comparison (2020)
5 Best Straight Razors Reviews and Our Top Picks (2020)
1. Utopia Care Professional Straight Edge Razor
Straight razors like the Utopia Care Professional Straight Razor give us hope that there are still decent products out there. Amidst a time when companies are all about making sales without considering quality, Utopia is all about customer satisfaction.
Their straight razor enjoys thousands of positive reviews from purchasers, proof of how efficient and successful the company is.
But what is it that makes this tool stand out from thousands of its competitors?
Many straight razors use stainless steel in their construction. This one uses chrome -brass to help reduce corrosion. It is soft on the hand and doesn’t slip, giving you a swift and clean shave.
Secondly, it has a flip-able blade cover, making it easy to use and maintain. You no longer have to strop your blade for different shaves. You simply insert a new blade and dispose of the old, dull ones. Sharpening the blades also becomes easy.
I love it because it allows you to pack different blades and gauge which one you love best. Aside from that, this razor is ideal for men with sensitive skin. It has a single edge on it, and cutting hair below your skin would be almost impossible.
The price of this razor is also reasonable and won’t cause a huge dent in your pocket.
Who is this razor for?
Beginner shavers, men with sensitive skin, those who are reluctant to spend more than the required amount on a safety razor, and those who are looking for an effective, highly versatile straight razor. Lucky you if you fall under all four categories!
2. Black Widow Barber Straight Razor
You know that you have landed a good straight razor when it is recommended by barbers. Countless American barbershops never lack the Black Widow Barber Straight Razor in their ‘toolbox.’ And that’s how you know this product is a good one.
Referring to this straight razor as “good” is an understatement. It is excellent, and only a few shortcomings bar it from leading our list.
The reason why most barbers love this razor is that it uses replaceable blades. It can easily switch between blades for use on different customers. With this, I’ll classify the razor as more of a shavette razor than a straight one.
Shavettes are ideal for those who don’t want to go through all the honing and stropping of straight razors.
The weight of the Black Widow razor is 2.6 ounces (the 2nd lightest in my list). It’s not only good in the hand but also easy to control.
There is minimal vibration when shaving, which makes it highly precise. Also, its ergonomic design, thumb notch on the shoulder, and ridged shank assist in boosting its control.
You shouldn’t have a problem using this razor even with wet hands. Moreover, its weight is well-balanced, and you’ll find it easy to make crisp cuts.
A piece of advice, don’t get too fancy with this product unless you are well-experienced with straight razors.
3. Classic Samurai CS -102 Professional Straight Edge Razor
The Classic Samurai Straight Razor is among the cheapest products on my list. But does it offer anything else apart from its affordable price tag?
If you’re looking for a not-so-fancy straight razor that gets the job done well and clean, here is your product. Moreover, it is affordable, and won’t interfere with your budget. Its price is so cheap that I had to counter-check with the storekeeper.
The weight of the razor is decent (2.4) and will feel good in the hand. It is tough, strong, and well-balanced. Moreover, its all-metal construction makes it corrosion-resistant. Disinfecting it is also simple.
You aren’t restricted to a specific blade with this razor, and so can pop in one from just about any manufacturer.
If you’re a man who’s reluctant to spend a lot on a straight razor, but simultaneously wants an effective one to get the job done perfectly, no razor could be better. The Classic Samurai CS-102 Professional Straight Edge Razor is your choice.
4. Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Razor
Next in line is the Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Razor. I have to say; I’m not used to Japanese products rocking the market (if not tech stuff). But this razor is one impressive product, bringing with it interesting features.
For starters, Feather Black Razor is designed for any man looking for a middle ground between a quality barber razor and a disposable one. There might be a lot of cons to this razor, but having a sharp blade isn’t one of them. Precision was a top consideration for the manufacturers.
Secondly, this razor comes with pre-sharpened stainless steel blades out of the box, ready for use. Moreover, the blades are easily replaceable and way safer to use than most shavette-model razors.
To replace the blade, you simply need to pinch the blade out of its mounted housing and remove it. Snap your new blade into its position effortlessly, and you’re done.
The blade’s handle is made of silicone. It is excellently non-slip to minimize accidents while shaving, not forgetting that it also feels nice in hand.
The only downside with this razor, as with other straight razors, is that you’re forced to buying replacement blades every once in a while. But with its price, you’ll hardly feel the pinch in your pocket.
If you want a straight razor that is easy to use and dispose of, Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Razor could be your choice.
5. A.P. Donovan Straight Razor Set
Closing our list is a complete shaving kit, bringing everything you need for shaving right out of its box. The pretty and nice presentation of this kit by A.P. Donovan is only an incentive of how good its straight razor is.
This razor set is designed for newbies of the shaving world, who require all the needed tools in one convenient package. The kit features a shaving cream, shaving brush, and a leather belt for hooking it on the wall; basically, all the essentials of shaving.
Straight razors don’t work alone and need other items for a clean shave. A.P. Donovan doesn’t assume that you have all the products already, but bring them to you in one package. This is very thoughtful and commendable from the company!
Going to the razor itself, A.P. Donovan offers a superb Japanese Alloy (mostly carbon steel), and well-constructed straight razor. Its blade is also the biggest that I’ve come across, with a 7/8-inch width.
Its design is traditional but of good construction. The wood brings a good balance on the hand.
A huge downside to this product is that it is expensive. But this is what to expect from a kit that brings everything to your shaving sink. You’ll spend more than double of what you would’ve with the Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Razor.
Also, the straight razor isn’t ready to use straight out of the box. You’ll first have to sharpen it. This is pretty shameful from the company, considering the product is meant for beginners.
All in all, the kit is a good one and will save you the hassle of going back and forth, assembling all your shaving tools.
How to Choose the Best Straight Razors?
Women don’t have a problem with scouring over hundreds of products to get the right one. This is especially when its groceries and stuff. I wish it were the same for men. All we want is to get things done with and move on to something else.
Choosing something as personal as a straight razor shouldn’t be hasty. Take your time to pick the right razor.
Here are 9 essential factors to watch out for.
1. Type of Blade
Straight razors have different types of blades. These are categorized according to the shape of their points. There are three different types:
This blade is semicircular with no sharp ends. It is the least aggressive of the blade types and a huge recommendation for beginners.
This blade has a straight profile that ends in a very sharp point at the cutting edge. The shape makes it ideal for shaving small and hard-to-reach parts. Extra caution is, however, advised when using the blade.
French Point/ Oblique Point
This blade has a quarter-circle- shape with a sharp end.
Two common names pop up when talking about materials used to design straight razors: stainless steel and carbon steel.
My list, however, contains one with chrome, which is equally good (and way better than others with carbon and steel).
Stainless steel is tougher and cheaper. It requires less sharpening and also lasts longer.
Carbon steel, on the other hand, can be ground very sharply. It thus delivers an incredibly close shave. However, it can’t hold blade edges for long and will require occasional sharpening.
Carbon steel works perfectly with traditional straight razors.
3. Vintage VS. Modern Razors
One big decision is whether to go for the traditional or modern straight razor. Which one provides a smoother shave, and which should you go for?
Both options come with their pros and cons. And both provide good shave. In fact, my list contains both options.
If you love purchasing older items and restoring them to their original state, the vintage razor will sound more appealing.
This razor comes at an affordable price, although you’ll have to provide it with tender care to get it back into shape.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to familiarize yourself with the shavette before jumping to the vintage razor.
The modern Razor has the advantage of better craftsmanship, new technology, and customer experience. Its condition is better than the traditional razor. A well-maintained vintage razor is, however, of similar quality as the modern one.
Most modern razors come with replaceable blades and require far less maintenance.
4. Replace Blade or Hone
There are two options with straight razors: honing the blade on a leather strap or replacing it?
A straight razor requires you to hone its blade occasionally. And this is one of the reasons for its diminishing popularity.
Most straight razors come with sharpened blades out of the box, ready to use. Others don’t, and you’ll have to sharpen the blade yourself before using it.
But if you hate the concept of sharpening your blade once in a while, shavettes are an excellent alternative. That is if you don’t mind spending a few bucks on a new blade.
5. Blade Width
When you’re picking straight razors, go for blade widths varying from 5/8 inches to 8/8 inches.
Blade widths are indicated in fractions of 1/8. So, a 4/8 blade is half an inch wide, while 8/8 is one inch wide.
Most of the products nowadays come with the standard 5/8 inch blades – which is actually surprising, considering back in the days there was a broader range of widths to choose from.
The standard 5/8 inch blade is short. And this is a good thing because you can easily maneuver it around your face. The blade will also be able to fit easily in smaller parts of your face like the little patch under your nose.
There are a number of things to note when it comes to the blade width:
- Smaller blades allow you to see easily when shaving.
- Large blades are highly aggressive and not suited for beginners. Moreover, they make it difficult to shave hard-to-reach spots like under your nose.
- The blade width doesn’t affect the closeness of the shave as long as the blade is properly sharpened.
How much should you spend on a straight razor?
I won’t give a definite answer to this question, as prices differ with brands and models. But it is common sense that you shouldn’t spend what you would on a phone to buy a razor.
Higher quality straight razors tend to be more expensive. This is because more time, craftsmanship, and resources have been invested in it. The brand also plays a role in this.
If you don’t want to spend a lot on a straight razor, I’d suggest that you go for a shavette.
Shavettes are cheaper and easier to use. More so, they are great for beginners.
Once you have familiarized yourself with shaving razors, you can now upgrade and invest more on high-quality straight razors.
When I say temper, I don’t mean waking up with crappy moods in the morning.
Instead, tempering a straight razor involves the manufacturer giving it a special heat treatment.
Razor tempers are classified into soft, medium, and hard, depending on how much temperature is used to melt the steel.
Harder-tempered blades will keep their edges for longer periods and are easier to sharpen. The opposite is also true.
The grind of a razor is the concave indentation on its blade. Grinds have different hollowness. Full hollow grinds make the blade sharper and lighter.
On the other hand, less hollow grinds aren’t that sharp and are suited for beginners.
You’ll also come across ‘shavette’ types of razors. These razors are like “transitional razors”, for getting you into the world of shaving. They will familiarize you with all the concepts you need to know.
A shavette looks similar to a straight razor but comes with the double-edged blade found in a safety razor.
Shavettes are cheaper and easier to use. Also, they assist you to get comfortable with the shaving motions and techniques of a straight razor.
What more could I possibly add to my best straight razors for men article?
I have provided you with all the important info that you need to know. The above-mentioned products are the best, and I hardly doubt that you’ll land better products.
Choosing the best overall product was easy. The Utopia Care Professional Straight Edge Razor leads the list with a milestone. It is easy to use, non-slip, and feels nice in hand. It allows you to install different blades simultaneously without the need to change every now and then.
The Black Widow Barber Straight Razor is also commendable and seconds the Utopia razor. Thousands of positive reviews from verified purchasers are proof of its success.
The Classic Samurai Razor claims the award for the most-budget-friendly razor award unopposed. This is, however, not to dispute the other two products as ineffective. Their performance is equally good.
Which is your best product from my list?