Many men think that trying to shave using a traditional straight-edge razor would be a disaster. I had the same prejudice, but thanks to a few straight razor reviews, my doubts about the benefits of using straight razors were dispelled. After some practice, I realized that these tools could give the best close shave to my male clients.
Looking for the best straight razor kit options, I have found out a lot of useful information regarding these products. Also, I have managed to learn about the shaving process with a straight razor and gained expertise in choosing the best blades.
Now, I am happy to share my experiences and useful tips with you to let you select the best model for your needs. I have compiled a list of some of the best straight razors on the market today, helpful hints, and shaving secrets at the end of this post.
Choosing The Best Straight Edge Razor: 7 Models to Note
- A.P. Donovan 7/8”
- Feather Black SS Japanese
- Feather Artist Club DX
- Dovo Bizmark
- Dovo Full-Hollow Carbon Steel
- Classic Samurai CS-102 Stainless Steel
- Bens Beard Kit
Here is my selection of some of the best straight razors on the market. I have highlighted the specifics of each model, their pros, and cons so that you could choose the right tool for yourself.
1. A.P. Donovan 7/8” – The Best Straight Razor Set
I want to mention that most straight razor models come with some additional details for a perfect shave. In case you are searching for a complete shaving set and confident to go for a 7/8” blade, check out this Donavan kit.
The set features mahogany wood and stainless steel handle and a Japanese steel blade. It also comes with an abrasive leather strop along with a metal carabiner belt. Moreover, within the package, you will get an abrasive paste, shaving soap, and crafted wooden box.
I want to emphasize the quality and sharpness of the blade of this model. It will allow you to make a close shave easily. The straight blade has been pressurized for maintaining its quality, and the wood handle straight razor has a balanced design, featuring a quality ebony wood handle. The mahogany wood that is also used for the handle ensures that you have a firm grip on the product.
This model can be an excellent pick for personal use. However, I highly recommend first-timers to be extremely accurate while using this straight razor. This tool manufactured by one of the best straight razor brands has a pretty big and sharp blade, so you should be extra careful when using it.
I like the decorated wooden box for the storage of all the accessories that you will also get within the package. This wood box features arabesque carvings hole in the lid and a well-crafted metal buckle. This product can come as a great gift for any man looking for a high-quality shaving set with the best straight razor.
- comes with a stylish wooden box for storage;
- quality carbon blade;
- suitable for beginners.
- may be hard to use the first few times.
2. Feather Black SS Japanese – Best Straight Razor for Professional and Home Use
Despite the supremacy of the German razors and shaving products on the market, Japan has not been left behind. This Japanese Feather SS model is of remarkable quality, and that’s why I have added it to this list of the best straight razors.
This tool allows blade replacement in a couple of seconds. Thus, you are assured of the sharpest item to use. The handle is made of quality silicone resin, which makes it long-lasting and comfortable to hold in hand. Additionally, the handle can resist high temperatures of up to 135 degrees.
Such Japanese straight razors require separate purchase of the blades, so note that you won’t receive the Feather blade within the package. The good thing is that the Feather Black SS model can host the best barber razor blades of 4/8” and 5/8” width.
Many professional barbers prefer using these blades because of their comfort size. Going for Feather blades, you are assured of getting completely sharpened items designed to provide a close shave without much effort.
If you are looking for a quality shaving tool, search no more as this Feather Black SS model is one of the top-rated tools nowadays. Even cleaning the razor is simple because all you have to do is to rinse water directly on it.
The sleek design of this straight edge razor ensures comfortable shaving compared to other models available nowadays. If you haven’t used a straight blade before, you won’t have difficulties with managing this tool. With simple practice, it will become easy to work with the blade.
- an easily replaceable blade;
- fast blade sharpening;
- highly-priced compared to other straight razors.
3. Feather Artist Club DX – One of the Sharpest Straight Razor Options
This straight razor will provide you with top-quality shave experience thanks to its well-balanced design. This model will fit men who are looking for a durable tool and a perfect shave. The tool doesn’t require complicated maintenance and is easy to use. Thus, I would recommend it for all first-timers and amateur barbers.
This straight razor allows using disposable blades. It means that you do not need to worry about sharpening the blade. Instead, you can remove the old one and replace it with a brand new sharp one. The Feather blades are known to be of high quality, so you won’t have to change blades often.
The handle locks the blade firmly thanks to the mounted tension screw. This screw plays a vital role in holding the blade in place.
Even if the razor is wet, it won’t slip easily, so you are protected from any injuries while shaving. The tool is also heat resistant. Thus, you can sterilize the blade in hot water after every use to avoid infections.
The razor is well-balanced, so your hand won’t get tired during the shaving, and the design allows you to use the blade comfortably even on a sharp chin. The item fits any hand perfectly, allowing the needed confidence and precision when going for a close shave. However, the price tag on this straight razor is a bit high compared to other similar models.
If the price is not the main factor to you, I profoundly recommend purchasing this item for getting precise close shaves. If you are a professional barber looking for a high-quality tool, that’s the model I would advocate for any day.
- firm and comfortable grip;
- perfect balance;
- a sharp and precise blade.
4. Dovo Bizmark – Professional Straight Razor of Universal Width
The German Dovo manufacturer is one of the well-known brands producing high-quality straight razor tools. There are many Dovo products available on the market, and this Bizmark model is one of the most popular choices of barbers all over the globe.
The Bizmark item tops my list of razors, and I highly recommend purchasing this tool, especially if you are a beginner. The Dovo company has created a reputation for manufacturing high-quality straight razors. This tool is manufactured in Germany, a country that is renowned for its expertise in the production of quality tools. Thus, you are assured of the perfect close shave with this model.
I want to note that this Bizmark model is retailed as a shave ready razor. It does not need any preparation activities, which is great if you are going to have your first shave with such a tool.
The blade is half-hollow in shape with a sleek design. It has a rounded point, so even amateurs can use this tool. I also want to note that the blade is manufactured from high-quality carbon steel that is known for its durability and wear-resistance. The item is 5/8” wide, which is a standard size of the blade for beginner barbers and individuals shaving at home.
The handle is made of top-quality ebony wood. Such wood allows a firm grip and makes the straight razor look stylish. Thus, you don’t have to worry about your hand constantly slipping off the product. This Bizmark model is a great option for first-timers, but maybe too blunt and short for professional barbers. If you have been in search for a nice straight razor to use at home, here is the option worth your attention.
- made of high-quality carbon steel;
- the blade features a round point for smooth shaving;
- a quality ebony wood handle.
- may be too short for professional use.
5. Dovo Full-Hollow Carbon Steel – Best Replaceable Blade Straight Razor
In case you want to save some money and still purchase a Dovo straight razor, then this 5/8” full-hollow carbon steel will fit your requirements best. It has a similar blade as the Dodo Bizmark model and features black plastic scales on the handle instead of wood used for a tool mentioned above. This way, the razor comes cheaper without compromising on the quality of the blade.
This straight razor comes as shave ready and will serve you for a long time. Also, you can sharpen the blade to ensure it gives you a close shave. To get the most out of the Dovo straight razor, it is worth investing in sharpening stones. However, you can contact services that sharpen razor blades if needed.
Depending on the thickness of your beard and the frequency of shaving, you will need to hone your blade regularly. My friends who use this tool at home usually hone it once a month, but some of them do it every couple of weeks. If you take care of this straight razor properly, it can last you a lifetime.
The plastic scales used on the edges of the handle reduce the cost of the tool but can be damaged pretty easily. If this point makes you worried, I recommend considering the tools with ebony wood handles.
However, the scales ensure a firm grip on the straight razor when making a shave, so if you use the tool accurately, the plastic won’t break shortly.
- shave ready;
- the blade is made of durable carbon steel;
- no need to sharpen it frequently.
- a plastic handle may break soon.
6. Classic Samurai CS-102 Stainless Steel – Best Straight Razor for the Money
This model is one of the cheapest straight razors listed here, but apart from an affordable price tag, it ensures great shaving experience. The Classic Samurai tool allows wet shaving without much effort and requires less maintenance than traditional straight razors.
I find this model the best budget straight razor because it is made of surgical grade stainless steel that allows a perfect shave and won’t wear out shorty. Moreover, the tool is fully manufactured of stainless steel without any plastic used for the handle. The material ensures a firm grip, although making the tool a bit weighty.
Stainless steel also makes this straight razor corrosion-resistant. Moreover, the metal design allows sterilizing the blade if needed. This tool is similar to shavette straight razors as it uses disposable blades.
Thus, you can pull off one after every shaving. You will need single edge razor blades for this model, but you can break a preferred double edge item in half to make one. Make sure to check what blades can be used with this model.
The razor uses a mechanism that holds the blade in place. However, it is not that tough, and you may need to fix the blade position once in a while. It may come as a con if you have already used fixed straight razors before. However, you will still get the job done with the blade in place if you do short and precise shaving strokes.
This Classic Samurai CS-102 model is a good choice for beginners but not for professional barbers. I also want to mention that this tool does not come with a mounted tension screw for tightening the position of the blade, but still, the holding mechanism allows you to shave without worrying about the blade falling off. You will get a quality shave with this tool known as the best affordable straight razor for beginners.
- a stylish design;
- made of surgical grade stainless steel.
- you may need to fix the blade position once in a while.
7. Bens Beard Kit – Best Straight Razor Kit for Shaving Relief
The problem associated with purchasing a straight razor is the additional costs related to the shaving cream, brush, and aftershave products needed for a perfect shave. However, with this Ben’s Beard straight razor kit, you get a complete set that includes all the necessary items.
There is nothing better than finishing shaving without developing skin irritations, thus, getting shaving relief. A common problem associated with the use of straight razor blades is that once they get worn out, the shaving procedure results in skin irritations, shaving pimples, cuts, and so on. All these problems can be avoided by investing in Ben’s Beard set.
The straight razor comes with five sharpened blades that are manufactured by the leading razor firm, Gillette. It ensures that you will get smooth shaving without any skin irritations or scratches.
The blades are replaceable so that you won’t have to sharpen them once they get blunt. If you are searching for an easy-to-use and accurate shaving tool, it is better to try out the complete set, including one of the best replaceable blade straight razors.
The shaving brush that comes within the package is made of badger hair. The shaving cream is designed in a wooden bowl, which makes the package look nice. It also includes a wooden container for easier storage of blades after finishing your shaving.
The package comes in the form of a well-designed black case. Thus, it can become a perfect gift. The hand-crafted exterior design corresponds with the quality of this straight razor kit.
I find this shaving set one of the winning options on the market. If you have been looking for an all-in-one package, there is no better product I can recommend to you for this purpose.
- features a well-designed black case package;
- has an additional shaving brush;
- five sharpened blades within a package.
Tips on How to Pick the Best Men’s Straight Razor
When picking a straight razor model, you need to look for some specific features to end up with a quality tool. To ensure you make the right decision when selecting a shaving tool, I have highlighted some useful characteristics of cut-throat razors that you should look for when picking a tool. Check out these tips and go through my review once again to pick one or several straight razors that fit your needs and requirements.
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Width of Blade
The most common blade’s widths are 5/8”, 7/8”, and 8/8” for professional barbers. If you are looking for a straight razor for personal use, the 5/8” wide blade will serve you best. Such a short razor allows shaving your face and neck easily and quickly. However, you can try the 7/8” inches blade if you are confident in your skills. I recommend going for an 8/8” tool only if you are planning to shave your beard off.
Traditional Razor Vs. Shavette
One of the main points you need to decide on is whether going for a shavette or a fixed straight blade when choosing a tool for a smooth shave. Both options come with their advantages and pitfalls.
A traditional razor is usually made of premium steel and, thus, can serve you a lifetime. The blade is fixed and usually comes with a square or French (oval) point. A shavette allows using disposable and safety razor blades. Although the latter are often made of plastic or aluminum, such tools require less maintenance.
It is essential to go for a high-end straight razor of an appropriate thickness. The razor’s blade can be soft-, medium-, or hard-tempered. This feature affects the length of the edge and determines the ease of sharpening. When the temper is harder, it means that the blade will keep the edge for a long time, while a soft-tempered can be sharpened easier.
If you are looking for a top-rated straight razor, it would probably be made of either carbon steel or stainless steel. Stainless steel razors can last longer than carbon steel models, but the latter are cheaper and can be easily sharpened. Thus, it is up to you to decide on the material, but make sure to go for a quality tool.
The grind relates to the thickness and shape of the blade. Opting for a full hollow grind, you get the lightest and sharpest straight razor. However, with a flatter grind, you receive a less sharp tool that can be used by amateurs and novices.
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FAQ About Straight Razors
There are many specifics of straight razors to consider before making a purchase. Below, I have answered the questions I often get asked when advising people on straight razor models to buy.
Are There Any Other Tools Needed for a Close Shave?
When going for a straight razor, it is important to consider other additional tools that come separately. Although you can get a complete package when purchasing the A.P. Donavan razor set, many other models don’t come with a full kit. Therefore, you may need some additional items for shaving.
First of all, you will at least need good shaving cream. It is essential to look at the ingredients used in making the cream, especially if you have sensitive skin. I recommend opting for a shaving solution that specifically addresses your skin condition. Skin lubrication is necessary when shaving, and the cream takes care of it.
Also, you need a good brush to apply the cream on your face. It is not a requirement, but a quality brush is worth the investment. Depending on the type of the straight razor you choose, you also have to either invest in a leather honing strop or replacement blades.
In addition to these tools, it’s worth purchasing some aftershave products to take care of your skin. For example, I recommend buying a quality beard wash for cleaning your skin before shaving.
Stainless Steel Vs. Carbon: Which One is Better?
It is hard to choose between these two close options when going for a straight razor, especially taking into account their benefits and downsides. When talking about a carbon steel blade, it can hold and maintain a genuinely sharp edge. However, you will have difficulties keeping the straight edge. For stainless steel, it is not that sharp as compared to carbon steel blades. However, it is more durable.
Therefore, if you are looking for a perfectly close shave, I recommend going for carbon steel blades. In case you want to use the straight razor for the longest time possible, it is worth going for the stainless steel model.
Are straight razors the best tools?
I get asked this question most often. It depends on the type of shave you want to achieve, as well as your preferences in using different tools. In case you are looking for a traditional item, then you should try a straight razor for getting a close shave.
However, if you are searching for a razor that is easy to use without having to lift a finger, then I highly recommend you not to go for the straight razor as your preferred option. You will need a lot of practice to perfect your shaving skills and a level of safety when using such a tool. If you want to try a straight razor, choose a less sharp model with a round point to avoid any injuries.
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How do I shave with a straight razor?
In case you are going to use a straight razor for the first time, and you are not sure how to do it correctly, I recommend checking out a few videos on YouTube before taking a tool in your hand. However, there are some useful guidelines I can provide you with to ensure your safety and comfort when using a straight razor.
Shaving with this product usually takes up to fifteen minutes. Below you can find a step-to-step guide on how to make a perfect shave using a straight razor.
- Use a sharpened razor for shaving
The first step before starting to shave is making sure that the blade is sharp enough or has been sharpened properly. However, most barbers prefer using disposable straight razor blades that can be replaced after each shave so that the blade is always as sharp as possible.
- Honing the blade
When using a traditional straight razor, you need a strop to hone your blade once in a couple of days. The maintenance activities depend on the type and the material of the blade.
- Face lathering
After honing your blade, the next step is building a shaving lather on your face. There are a few ways of lathering up shaving cream, so you can do it as you like it. I recommend using a brush to apply the shaving cream on your face evenly. Use circular motions to ensure that the cream perfectly lathers your face.
- Correct handling of the razor
When holding a straight razor, you need to handle it accurately. There are different styles of gripping the razor with different finger placement options. Usually, one has to place their top three fingers on the blade, while having a thumb placed on the opposite side of the tool. Don’t rush when shaving, as it can result in injuries. Shaving with a straight razor is about patience and accuracy.
- Doing short and precise strokes
I recommend going for slow but confident strokes when shaving with this tool. When making your strokes, always aim for a downward direction to ensure a close shave. Begin with shaving one of your cheeks and go down the jawline and then your neck. After that, you can shave your chin and finishing the area around your mouth and nose.
Repeat these actions with another side of your face and neck. Make sure to clean the blade after using or throw away a disposable one.
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Parting Shot on Straight Razors
Making a buying decision with the given options above can be hard, but after taking a close look at each model, I am sure that you will pick the best model for yourself. If you have been in search of the best straight razor for shaving, now you have a list of seven high-quality options worth purchasing. I have tried all the tools reviewed here in my work, so you are welcome to pick one according to your needs.
When investing in a straight razor, you should ensure that you look into the different razor types. If you are a beginner, I highly advise going for models created for amateurs, as the professional blade may be too sharp and long for first-time users.
If you choose a tool with a fixed blade, I recommend going for one with a square point. It will allow more safety when shaving, as a more pointed blade may be harder to use and requires extra accuracy. Although a French oval point is pretty popular worldwide, a square or spike point provides a close shave without much effort.
Straight razor may be challenging to use at first, but it is a great tool for a close shave. With so many products on the market, I hope this review has helped you to note some models to try. Are there any other great razors I have left out of my list? Have you used any of the tools mentioned above? Tell me about your experience in the comment section below.