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5 Best Straight Razors for Men: Shave Like a Badass

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best straight razor
In a hurry? Here are our top picks:
BEST TRADITIONAL, FOR BARBERS DOVO Carbon Olive Steel Luxury Straight

 

Unfortunately, straight razors (a.k.a. straight edge razors, or cut-throat razors) aren’t as popular as they used to be back in the day. Nowadays, they’ve been replaced by disposable cartridge razors and electric razors.

However, if you are reading this article, that means you understand the qualities of using a straight razor to achieve the close shave you have so long yearned for.

But there is a problem. Finding the very best straight razor is not an easy task, as there are thousands out there.

For that reason, we did all the hard work for you and put together a review of what we think are the best straight razors on the market right now.

But we didn’t stop there.

We explain how to shave with them using a comprehensive illustrated guide and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

We also provide some tips on what to look for before buying any straight razor.

Let’s get started!

Quick summary

bb2-table__imageFeather’s Black SS Folding Handle Razor
  • Heat-resistant handle
  • Outstanding quality
  • Comfortable grip
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bb2-table__imageDOVO Carbon Olive Steel Luxury Straight
  • Blade’s sharpness is second to none
  • German carbon steel
  • Superior craftsmanship
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bb2-table__imageParker SRX Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Straight Razor
  • Amazing price
  • Comes with replaceable blades
  • Weight that provides more precision
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bb2-table__imageG.B.S Black Luxury Shaving Kit
  • Comes with a variety of shaving essentials
  • Great value
  • Great for gifting
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bb2-table__imageDOVO Carbon Ebony Steel Straight Razor 
  • Sharp carbon steel
  • Luxurious golden design
  • Provides great grip
Check on Amazon

Before you buy: 6 Things to consider when purchasing a straight razor

Choosing the best straight razor is a difficult choice. While straight razors have a simple design on the surface, there’s more to them than meets the eye.

Furthermore, given that shaving with a straight razor is more difficult, a little education goes a long way before buying one.

Before we begin with our review, here are some things to consider when purchasing a straight razor.

1. Blade point type

Straight razor blades have different blade point types. You can learn more about them in the list below:

Square Point

Square points are not very common. Squares get their name from the fact that the blade abruptly comes to a stop with a straight edge. A square point blade ends in an extremely sharp tip that is perpendicular to the cutting edge of the razor.

While they are great for precision shaving and small areas, they are not ideal for newcomers as their sharp edges make them not forgiving.

Spike point

Similar to square points, spikes have a straight sharp tip, but the edge is slightly longer than the spine.

Dutch point (a.k.a round point)

In this case, the blade has a rounded finish, protecting this way from accidental cuts. This makes them very suitable for beginners.

French point

We can describe French points as a combination between round and square points. It has a quarter-circle shape and, like a square point blade, finishes at a sharp point.

Spanish point

The Spanish point has a little rounded tip of the spine that curls into a concave end. This, like the French point, adds accuracy and helps you to see where you’re shaving. Meanwhile, the inward curvature provides solid nick protection.

2. Blade width

The space between the back of the blade and the cutting edge is referred to as the blade width.

While blade width doesn’t play a significant role in how close the blade can shave, it does play a vital role in the ease of use and maneuvering.

Usually, you can find blade widths that are 5/8”, 6/8″, or 7/8″. As a general rule of thumb, a larger blade width provides a more aggressive shave. However, if you are a beginner, you might find it difficult to shave (with a larger blade), in difficult areas such as under the nose, etc.

Additionally, smaller blades usually take less time to sharpen.

3. Traditional or shavette?

This is one of the most significant questions to consider before buying a straight razor.

However, you might be wondering. What is the difference between a traditional or shavette straight razor?

Both have some advantages and disadvantages that are explained below.

A traditional razor is the standard straight razor which, has a single non-removable sharp blade that needs honing (sharpening) every now and then. They are usually more durable.

A shavette razor looks like a straight razor but uses replaceable blades. This makes it very convenient for beginners since they don’t have to sharpen the blade, like a traditional razor. That means you have the ability to use your favorite blade (from a variety of replaceable blades) and require less maintenance.

Nevertheless, a traditional straight razor usually provides a smoother shave as the blade is thicker and doesn’t vibrate as much as replaceable ones.

4. Price

If you are looking to buy a quality razor, then you should be prepared to spend some money. However, that doesn’t mean you should spend a fortune.

You can find some great straight razors from $20 to $200.

Usually, traditional straight razors are often more expensive than shavette straight razors.

So, to make your decision easier, consider this. You can buy a shavette razor first which, is more affordable to test if this type of shaving is for you. If you like it, you can then invest in a more expensive traditional one.

5. Carbon or stainless steel

Straight razors are made of stainless steel or carbon steel. Stainless steel blades are often cheaper and tougher. This means that you will need to hone them less often, and require less maintenance.

On the other hand, carbon steel blades provide sharper points and thus can deliver incredibly close shaves. However, they need to be sharpened more often, require more maintenance, and are often more expensive.

Nevertheless, most men use razors made of stainless steel.

6. Blade grind

The grind represents the concave indentation on the blades. A full hollow grind makes the blade lighter and sharper, while a less hollow grind is not as sharp and usually better suited for beginners.

 

The 5 best straight razors

1. Best overall: Feather’s Black SS Folding Handle Razor

Feather’s Black SS Folding Handle Razor

What stands out about this straight razor:

  • Stainless steel blades
  • Heat-resistant handle
  • Sleek design

The best straight razor for

Men, looking for the best overall shavette straight razor which, provides performance to traditional straight razors.

Overview

Feather’s Black SS Folding Handle Razor is a shavette straight razor that not only does it provide a close shave but also looks aesthetically amazing.

This is undeniably the best shavette razor out there, and not without a reason.

Let’s explain why.

Its body is made from high-quality Japanese stainless steel, so you know it is built to last. The stainless steel body gives it the right amount of weight in order to maintain precision and balance while shaving.

Additionally, the resin handle adds more grip and control as it resists heat while also being slip-resistant.

But what takes this razor take it to the next level are its blades. While it is not compatible with all razor blades out there, it uses specifically designed single-edged blades that imitate the blade on a traditional straight razor.

You can choose from a variety of replacement blades available by the manufacturer. Some are thicker, while others are thinner, providing a more aggressive cut.

Ultimately, this is simply a razor of superior quality: it looks, feels, and performs great. And whether you’ve never used a straight razor before or you’ve been using one your whole adult life, this will make your shaving better and more masculine.

Type: French point blade.

The good

  • Variety of blades available
  • High-quality materials
  • Great grip – sits comfortably in the hand
  • Very similar to traditional razors due to its blade design

Cons

  • Price is not for everyone

Bottom Line

The best overall straight razor that surely will not disappoint.

2. Best traditional, for barbers: DOVO Carbon Olive Steel Luxury Straight

Dovo Carbon Olive Steel Luxury Straight

What stands out about this straight razor: 

  • Premium German steel
  • 5/8″ half hollow blade
  • Superior craftsmanship

The best straight razor for

Men or barbers who are looking for the best traditional straight razor that provides a very smooth shave.

Overview

If you have experience with straight razors and you are looking for a traditional one, then look no further. DOVO Straight Razor is what you are looking for.

Why?

DOVO is a very well-known brand in the razor industry that is well-known for its quality premium razors. DOVO Straight Razor is constructed with the highest quality German carbon steel which, is evidence of that.

The blade is half-hollow, light and sharp, and is already honed and ready to shave right out of the box.

The size of the blade is 5/8″ and has a Spanish point for easier shaving. What does that mean?

As previously said, the Spanish point adds accuracy and helps you see where you’re shaving. It also provides solid protection from accidental cuts.

As for its usability, DOVO Straight Razor feels comfortable on the hand, and its carbon steel blade provides the right amount of weight for a controlled shave.

The wooden Dovo Straight Razor handle is made of olive wood, and not only looks great but provides a strong grip that won’t slip in your hand.

The fact that it is not very heavy makes it easier to maneuver with.

While the blade has a Spanish point which makes it easier to shave, the regular maintenance that the blade needs, makes it not very suitable for newcomers.

Lastly, it is very expensive. If you are looking for a budget option, consider Parker SRX Heavy Duty Professional 100% Stainless Steel Straight Razor. While it is a shavette straight razor, your wallet will thank you for it.

Type: Spanish point blade.

The good

  • Blade’s sharpness is second to none
  • Superior craftsmanship and design
  • Very comfortable on the hand

The bad

  • Price is not for everyone
  • Requires more care than a shavette straight razor

Bottom Line

This razor is a great long-term investment and an excellent straight razor. It’s a case of “you get what you pay for,” because it’s a superior shaving tool that will last a lifetime.

3. Best for beginners, affordable: Parker SRX Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Straight Razor

Parker SRX Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Straight Razor

What stands out about this straight razor:

  • Stainless steel modern design
  • Shavette straight razor
  • Comes with 5 blades included

The best straight razor for

Men who are looking to test straight shaving, or are on a budget.

Overview

Parker SRX Heavy Duty Professional 100% Stainless Steel Straight Razor is a fantastic razor that balances usability, and performance. What makes it so special?

Its price.

Let’s face it: not everyone wants to spend a significant amount of money on a straight razor. You’re unlikely to be willing to spend for a high-quality razor, especially if you’re new to the game.

Looking at the razor, its all stainless steel design certainly catches the eye. The extra weight that the stainless steel offers, provides more precision while shaving. It is easy to hold and feels comfortable in the hand.

Also, the fact that it also features a rounded point at the end of the blade compartment also adds to the quality of experience as it minimizes accidental cuts. Which, believe me, they happen a lot if you are not experienced enough.

Another benefit of this razor is the fact that it accepts all standard single edge blades or ½ double edge blades, making it really accessible and convenient.

While it comes with a set of five replacement blades right out of the box, you can test a variety of other blades that will provide the best possible results for you.
You can use your favorite blades and replace them after they get dull. No need for honing and blade sharpening.

While we didn’t have any issues with the razor, some reviewers on Amazon mention some issues with its durability. Bear that in mind. If you have a little bit more budget, you can also consider Feather’s Black SS Folding Handle Razor, which is a more premium option and a more durable one.

Type: Round point blade.

The good

  • Very affordable
  • A variety of different blades are available
  • Stainless steel design
  • Weights a bit more than the average shavette straight razor which, provides more precision

The bad

  • Some reviewers on Amazon had issues with its durability

Bottom Line

A great affordable razor that will not disappoint. An absolute bargain!

4. Best straight razor kit: G.B.S Black Luxury Shaving Kit 

G.B.S Black Luxury Shaving Kit 

What stands out about this straight razor:

  • All in one set
  • Comes with a traditional straight razor
  • Great price

The best straight razor for

Men who are looking for a kit that contains all the tools they need for straight razor shaving.

Overview

When it comes to absolutely have the best shaving experience possible, it is only logical that a straight razor alone will not do the job. You definitely need other tools such as shaving soap, a brush, a strop, etc.

G.B.S Black Luxury Shaving Kit aims to provide you with all the tools you need in order to have a seamless frustration-free experience. It comes in a kit with 8 essential shaving tools.

It includes a traditional straight razor, a strop, strop paste, a ceramic mug (for foam), shaving brush, alum block, and shaving soap.

And, what else is great?

You get all that at an amazing price.

Now, let’s discuss a bit further the straight razor that comes in the box.

Its blade is made from premium stainless steel and has a rounded point edge minimizing this way of accidental nicks. It is comfortable to hold and looks solid.

One issue we need to mention though is that while the manufacturer states that it is honed and ready to use, in our testing we found that it needed a little more sharpening.

Overall, this is a great kit that is also great for giving as a gift.

Type: Round point blade.

The good

  • Great value for money
  • Comes with everything you need for a seamless shave
  • Great to give as a gift

The bad

  • The blade needs a bit of sharpening before use

Bottom Line

If you are looking to purchase all in one go then G.B.S Black Luxury Shaving Kit is a steal.

5. Best with carbon steel, premium: DOVO Carbon Ebony Steel Straight Razor 

DOVO Carbon Ebony Steel Straight Razor

What stands out about this straight razor:

  • Sharp carbon steel
  • Sleek design
  • Superior craftsmanship

The best straight razor for

Men looking for a traditional straight razor with a carbon steel blade.

Overview

DOVO Carbon Ebony Steel Straight Razor is a razor to behold. It has a very luxurious design that is gold-plated and has superior craftsmanship.

Its premium design is also reflected by its handle, which is made from black ebony wood. It is very comfortable to the hand and easy to maneuver with.

The blade has a 6/8“ width, which makes it a bit larger than the rest in our list (5/8”). While this makes it perfect for shaving thicker facial hair, it is slightly more difficult to shave with precision in smaller areas with it.

The blade definitely has some weight on it, which provides more precision and smoothness while shaving the straight facial areas.

Another plus is that the razor and blade act as one unit to help ensure a smooth shave. The DOVO is treated with a finishing material that helps guarantee a smooth stroke over any facial skin.

However, don’t overestimate its sharpness, one wrong move can get the blood flowing, but the Spanish point helps minimize that possibility.

If you want a similar performance but at a lesser price, then consider DOVO Straight Razor. It also comes with high-quality carbon steel, but it is not gold-plated, reducing its cost.

Type: Spanish point blade.

The good

  • Finely-crafted carbon steel blade
  • Wooden handle looks great, provides great grip
  • Luxurious gold plated design

The bad

  • Its premium design makes it expensive

Bottom Line

We don’t want to over-emphasize how great this razor is. While it’s not cheap price-wise, it’s another wise long-term investment.

How we chose the best straight razors

Choosing the best straight razors for our review was very difficult considering the number of razors that are on the market right now.

Our ultimate decisions were based on personal experience, extensive study, and several reviews from others.

For example, if a razor received excellent marks in previous reviews but had received little discussion or traffic on Amazon, we looked into it more.

But, there is definitely the chance that we might have overlooked some options that could potentially perform better than the ones we included. If you think this is the case, don’t hesitate to comment, so we can check it out.

Frequently asked questions

What other tools am I going to need?

There are plenty of other tools that can help improve your shaving experience. Some of which we mentioned in our review of the G.B.S Black Luxury Shaving Kit.

The most essential ones, however, are:

1) A good shaving cream. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to read the ingredients list and opt for a more naturally formulated one.

Using a shaving cream creates a protective layer that protects your skin from accidental cuts. We recommend not shaving without it.

2) Additionally, depending on whether you have a traditional or a shavette straight razor, you will need a honing strap or replacement blades.

3) Lastly, the last essential tool you need is an aftershave. This will help keep your skin moisturized and protected from any irritations after you finish.

Other not necessary tools you might consider using are a shaving brush and a mug for the shaving cream/foam.

Is carbon better than stainless steel?

That depends.

If you are looking for the closest shave, then carbon steel is obviously the winner.

Because it is a very hard steel, it can produce very sharp edges. However, the harder the steel the more maintenance it needs as it tends to get dull more often.

Stainless steel on the other hand is not as sharp, but it is more durable. Because of that, it needs less maintenance.

Concluding, if you are looking for sharpness go with carbon steel, if you look for convenience go with stainless steel.

How long does a straight razor last?

That always depends on how you maintain it.

Usually, a traditional straight razor is more durable as it has fewer moving parts. You just have to hone the blade from time to time.

Is a straight razor worth it?

If you are willing to take the time and learn how to properly shave with it then, hell yes.

If you maintain it properly, a traditional straight razor can last a lifetime saving you hundreds of dollars otherwise spent on disposable razors.

Can you use shaving cream with a straight razor?

Yes, you can. It is actually recommended to use shaving cream to protect you from any accidental cuts that might occur.

Is straight razor shaving hard?

Shaving with a straight razor is definitely harder than any other type of razor.

Be prepared for a few cuts at the beginning, but once you master it, you will not want to go back.

Check out our illustrated guide below on how to shave with a straight razor for some guidance.

How often should you hone a straight razor?

You should strop your razor blade with a leather strap every time you shave.

If you do that, then you might probably need to hone your razor once every three months to once a year.

How often should you shave with a straight razor?

As a general rule of thumb, around every 2-3 days.

If you want, you can shave daily, but be aware that regular shaving can irritate the skin if it is sensitive.

Does oil keep razor blades sharp?

Oiling your blade regularly (i.e. with mineral oil) will reduce the chances of getting rusty and maintain its sharpness for longer.

 

How to shave with a straight razor (A simple, illustrated guide)

We understand that shaving with a straight razor might be difficult at the beginning. But this is often because people who attempt to shave didn’t have the proper guidance prior to that.

Here is an illustrated step by step guide on how to shave with a straight razor.

1. Getting started

Getting startedPrepping for a straight razor shave comes down to two things: sharpening your blade – either with a leather strop or razor stone – and softening your whiskers with warm water (either in the shower or with a wet towel).

Or, if you have a replaceable blade, make sure the one you’re using is sharp.

2. Lather up

Lather upThe next step is to lather up. The best way to add a shaving gel onto your face is using a shaving brush, but it is also possible to use your fingers.

Make sure you apply the lather everywhere on your beard.

3. The grip – hold the razor in the correct way

The gripThe best way to hold a straight razor is with your first three fingers on the back of the blade and your pinkie on the tang.

Place your thumb on the side of the blade near its middle.

4. The shaving stroke

The shaving strokeWhen using a straight razor, use slow, even strokes, especially if you’re a newbie. Shave in the direction of hair growth at all times.

5. The sequence

The sequence

Begin by shaving the side of your face and pulling the skin upward with your non-shaving hand. Work your way down from the top of your cheek to the bottom.

Shave under your jaw and tighten the skin, then shave your upper lip and finally under your chin. Before shaving, tilt your head back to raise the chin area.

Straight razors vs. safety razors vs. cartridge razors vs. electric razors

By now, you probably understand that straight razors are very different from other types of razors.

But why are there still men that prefer them over others?

Let’s take a closer look and compare straight razors to some of the other razors available.

Straight razors

Traditional straight razors are simple in design: they are just a handle and a blade that you use to shave.

That blade does require honing and sharpening to keep it sharp.

While straight razors might be more expensive than the rest, when taken good care of, they can last a lifetime.

If you can get past the learning curve, they have the ability to provide you with the closest shave which, any other type of razor can’t simply offer.

Of course, there is always a shavette if you want to take several test drives before getting behind the wheel of the Lamborghini. But you will need to buy replacement blades often.

Safety razors

Safety razors are available in many types, including two-piece, three-piece, and butterfly, and also require some getting used to if you’ve never used one before. Not as much as a straight razor, though.

A double-edge safety razor, like a shavette, features an ejectable blade that should be replaced after a week of shaving.

Although a safety razor has a lower initial cost than many straight razors, the expense of new blades can make it a costlier purchase in the long run.

Cartridge razors

This type of razor is the most common, and they are very cheap.

They don’t require any long learning curve to use them, and they are very portable.

The only drawback is that their replacement blades are usually expensive, making them not so ideal in our opinion as the two previous options can provide a closer shave.

Electric razors

Electric razors are just unbeatable in terms of convenience. Simply turn it on, and you’re ready to shave. They’re available in two styles: foil and rotary, and in many cases, they’re suitable for wet shaving.

It’s debatable if you’ll get the same close shave as you would with other razors, but they are a great option if you are in a hurry, and what a quick shave.

Conclusion

Hope you found this review helpful.

As always, we value your opinion.

Let us know what you think about any of the straight razors that we’ve included here or others that we’ve missed.

Until next time!


You might also like:

Best Aftershaves for Men Your Skin Would Love

Best Shaving Creams That Will Guarantee a Great Shave

Best Shaving Soaps for an Old-School, Effective Shave

Best Shaving Brushes That Will Up Your Shave Quality

Best Razors For Men That Provide a Nice, Smooth Shave

Best Rotary Shavers for a Nice, Quiet & Smooth Shave

  • Today there are a lot of bad straight razors. I have found a lot of negative revies of big brands all saying the same things. So I think thie reviews must be genuine and tell the true.
    Razors that don’t cut properly needing to be sharpened or that will break during the honing ( Boker for example) Razors that have bevel not equals and teeth on the edge giving cuts ( Thiers Issard), Razors that lose they sharpenes after the second passage( Timor),
    A similar issue is for the blades . Chip blade( like Astra blue) don’t cut well. You will insist and will cut.
    So itìs a paradox but is more dangerous a mild blad than a super sharped blade.
    We must focus on the super sharpened blades for shavette and straight razors!! But the incovenience is that means pay a lot of money!! Is the cost for not beign cutted on the infinite. Whit a chip blade you can’t cut properly and whatever you will do you will not cut well. If you insist you will cut your skin. We can’f think to buy a good razor to 200€ or a good blade to 0,10€

  • I would like to say disagree with the article that most straight razor users have stainless razors. When shopping for straight razors most companies make available carbon steel razors, just my opinion.

  • I’ve been using the Diamond Edge (shavette) which was about $8 with Derby Extra double edge replacement blades (another $8 for 100 of them) for almost ten years now.

    For an intial $16 investment and roughly $10 every 3 years in blades, I couldn’t be happier.

    Replacement blades or sharpening?:
    Every razor in this article takes replacement blades except the Dovo, which requires stropping. I started off thinking I wanted the traditional, authentic style of stropping and I got a few different razors and sharpened them, stropped them and tried to keep them sharp. It is a LOT of work and careful technique and even so, I never got close to the edge you get with the disposable blades. I recommend disposable blades and I don’t honestly think the $200 Japanese blade holder is worth the extra $193 to hold the more expensive disposable blades, which are $2 each instead of 8 cents each like the Derby Extras. If you make so much money it doesn’t matter to you, go ahead and get the $200 one.

    I think if you try a basic holder with Derby blades for a year you’ll be happy. One sharp learning curve is the blades have a sharp 90 degree edge so you will cut yourself a bit until you learn to be more proficient. Get a styptic pencil ($5) as well to start off. You can shave with soap or regular shave creme or gel. I started w/ soap which is fine but now I prefer gel for moisturizing qualities.

    • I as well have been using a Shavette type razor for the last eight years and have found I’ve gotten the best .04 cent shave possible. 2 shaves each blade every other day. I recently purchased a traditional straight razor and wow its awsome. The sound and feel are what sets it apart from the disposable blades of the Shavette. However the sharpness of the disposable blades is hard to match, but the straight razor is still in the ballpark. I used a double edge safety razor for a couple of months to learn how to streach my skin and learn shaving patterns, then moved to the Shavette and have never more than nicked my face and can count on one hand how many times that’s happened. As long as you streach your face its hard to cut the skin.

    • Thank you for that.
      I bought a straight razor from a truckstop because there weren’t any other options there and I NEEDED a shave badly! Proceeded to slice myself a few times, but got the hang of it rather quickly, pain is a GREAT motivator! I like the straight razor over a Bic, just for the “cool” factor, and I usually have to unclog it and rinse and did repeat, many times.
      After some research, a cut-throat seems like a LOT of work. As a noob, I think I will go with the shavettes to start.
      Thank you for the insight!

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