THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A STRAIGHT RAZOR OR CUT THROAT RAZOR
Buying a straight razor is not like any other purchase.
To help you find the right razor for you, before we get to our actual reviews, in this first section we’ll highlight the features and design points that make each design unique.
Remember them, and they will help you to find the right razor to suit your needs, as each feature will be more or less important depending on what you’re looking for and what you need in the right razor for you and your face.
1. Blade Width
Blade width is going to come as either 5/8” or 7/8” and sometimes 8/8”.
Spoiler alert there is only one 7/8” blade on the list below, and no 8/8” width blade at all.
That kind of surprised us actually, as back in the day there was a much broader range of razor widths on the market, this width will also affect the blade holder size that you buy.
The trend these days seem to be that the 5/8” is the standard, and that does make sense.
A 5/8” blade is a little shorter in terms of width.
That means it is easier to manoeuvre around your face, and it is a blade that can get into the smaller parts of your face more easily.
The little patch under your nose, for example, is easier to get to with a blade with a shorter 5/8” width.
2. Traditional or Shavette
One of the big decisions to make is whether you want a traditional blade or a shavette straight razor for a smooth shave.
Both of them are bringing different advantages, and both can provide a good shave.
You will find examples of both razors on our list below, so you can easily compare the two types.
To put it into simple terms though:
A traditional blade is exactly what you think it is.
A razor blade on a hinge with a handle and a solid, very sharp blade.
A shavette is more like a hybrid.
It has the shape of a straight razor, but uses replaceable blades, just like safety razors.
It may not give quite the same standard of shave but it does require far less maintenance.
This is a very simple one!
Do you want a traditional straight blade?
Then get ready to drop about 150 bucks minimum.
That sound like a lot of money?
A shavette razor is more like 50 or 60 bucks maximum.
That is why some people suggest that if you are new to straight razor shaving, try starting out with a shavette.
Once you know this style of shaving is for you, invest the bucks to upgrade to a traditional cut-throat straight razor.
4. Hone or Replace Blade
Another simple consideration.
Are you happy to hone your blade on a leather strap before every shave?
If you are, then a straight razor is fine.
If not, then a shavette razor with replaceable professional straight blades that don’t need honing or sharpening may be the better tool for you.
5. Carbon or Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is tougher and will need less sharpening over the lifespan of the blade.
Carbon steel on the other hand can be ground to an incredibly sharp point.
That makes it able to deliver an incredibly close shave.
But it is unable to hold that blade edge for long, meaning it requires better honing and more occasional sharpening than a stainless steel model.
Stainless steel is also cheaper, so you will find that almost all replaceable blades are made of stainless steel.
Because of that, if you really want a premium carbon steel blade on your razor, then you will almost certainly need to be looking for a traditional style of razor.