The 8 Best Straight Razors

Updated November 09, 2017 by Chase Brush

8 Best Straight Razors
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're the type of old-fashioned gentleman who demands an authentic experience in everything he does, including when grooming, then you may be interested in one of these classic straight razors. They can result in a closer shave than disposable models, and look cool, too. Just be warned: it takes a lot of practice to use one without ending up with tissue paper all over your face. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best straight razor on Amazon.

8. Velvet Forge Tactical

The round-point Velvet Forge Tactical is an effective tool that should make quick work of everything from 5 o'clock shadow to weeks-old growth, thanks to its super sharp steel blade. It comes in a quality leather pouch and makes a great gift during the holidays.
  • matte black finish
  • backed by satisfaction guarantee
  • handle isn't very comfortable
Brand Velvet Forge
Model pending
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Sanguine Pure Wood

The Sanguine Pure Wood features an ergonomic and attractive natural wooden handle that doesn't have any paint or polish on it. A brass screw in the hinge allows you to make smooth angle adjustments, though the unique double-blade design isn't for everyone.
  • easy to swap in new blades
  • comes with leather pouch
  • wood needs lots of maintenance
Brand Sanguine
Model wood-r5
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Black Widow Executive

The Black Widow Executive is a sleek and stylish choice for beginners and experienced users alike. The blade exposure is limited to just 1mm, reducing vibration and ultimately resulting in a smoother shave, while the swing lock armature allows for easy maneuvering.
  • rust-resistant steel
  • shiny gold accents
  • can feel a little flimsy
Brand Black Widow Executive B
Model pending
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Equinox International Professional Barber

The best-selling Equinox International Professional Barber ships with a generous 100-count box of Derby blades, which are each good for two to three shaves. Best of all, the whole package costs about the same as a packet of disposable safety razors.
  • surgical-grade stainless steel
  • blades come individually wrapped
  • components rust easily
Brand Equinox International
Model BC-STL/100B
Weight 3.8 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

4. Feather SS Folding Handle

The heat-resistant enamel of the Feather SS Folding Handle helps it stand up to the rigors of the busy salon, but it will perform just as well as your personal grooming implement at home. The one-piece blade is very durable and retains its sharpness well.
  • spring-mounted blade head
  • disassembles quickly for cleaning
  • comes in three different colors
Brand Feather
Model F1-25-202
Weight 2.1 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Dovo Solingen Carbon

The Dovo Solingen Carbon arrives super sharp and 100 percent shave-ready, meaning there's no need for stropping or honing before you get to grooming. It is expensive, but it boasts an elegant ebony wood handle and is a ridiculously well-made and durable barber's tool.
  • designed and made in germany
  • carbon steel blade
  • comes in blue metal storage tin
Brand Dovo
Model 4580
Weight 2.1 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

2. Feather SS Artist Club

A testament to Japanese craftsmanship, the Feather SS Artist Club is one of the few straight razors that does not fold down into a handle. Instead, the blade is permanently fixed into its solid resin grip, which means it should stay sharper, longer.
  • perfectly balanced for control
  • razor head can easily be dismantled
  • handle is heat-resistant
Brand Feather
Model acs-nb
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Sawtooth Shave Co.

Any refined gentleman would be hard-pressed to find a more elegant grooming instrument than the timeless Sawtooth Shave Co.. Made with a smooth, solid mahogany wood handle, it's the perfect addition to your salon or personal bathroom setup.
  • full hollow ground blade
  • high-quality japanese steel
  • designed to last for generations
Brand Untold Goods
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Clearing The Forest

Human beings have engaged in body-hair removal for all of recorded history. Even prehistoric man would scrape unwanted hairs away using sharpened stones or clam shells. Metal tools capable of shaving have been unearthed in 6,000-year-old Egyptian tombs — in fact, the men of some ancient cultures would all traditionally shave their heads, possibly to aid in hand-to-hand combat.

While most men of our modern culture engage in considerably less fist fighting on a daily basis, there's still plenty of reason for them to shave. A smooth chin can make an important first impression on a big date, or help you look sharp and organized when you close the deal with that high-dollar client. Also, as many women will attest, freshly-shaven skin just feels better — to men ant their partners.

Thankfully, we don't have to use sharpened clams to achieve today's lofty beauty standards. With all of our modern technology, there is certainly a variety of ways to keep stubble at bay. A lot of guys choose to use a utilitarian electric shaver. These get the job done quickly, but definitely don't provide that smooth-as-silk feeling that the cheek so relishes.

The traditional safety razor has undergone a facelift in the last two decades, as well. A far cry from the standard, plastic, disposable type, some models even feature vibration and as many as five parallel blades to make shaving more effective. But in over 300 years of use, the straight razor as we know it has consistently given one of the closest shaves available. And with the right technique and upkeep, it can be very easy and economical as well.

Why Use A Straight Razor?

One of the great reasons to use this old-school shaving method is evidenced by the discovery of intact metal shaving tools from the 4th century B.C.E. A quality knife, kept well, can pass down through generations without losing its effectiveness.

Professional-quality models are made from a number of different high-hardness steels. Stainless steel is easier to care for and retains a good edge even with moderate upkeep. Carbon steel, popular among many enthusiasts, often holds a sharper edge for longer, but requires more experience to properly hone and a bit more work to maintain and protect. A lot of prominent brands use their own proprietary alloys with special inclusions such as silver or extra chromium, offering certain improvements to hardness and edge retention.

A good cut-throat blade might set you back quite a bit more than a pack of disposable razors. But it's the last one you'll ever have to buy, and the traditional barber's tool will give you a tighter and more comfortable shave than a safety razor ever could. Furthermore, for those facial hair artists in the crowd, the highest precision manscaping can only be done with a perfectly honed piece of metal.

Of course, using this retro beauty technique can be slightly off-putting, especially the first few times you're running that razor-sharp blade across your neck. But with care, attention, and patience, straight razors can shear the hair from your face as quickly and safely as other tools. Many cut-throat aficionados will agree that the user has far more control of an open blade than they do of the fixed-style apparatus used in safety razors that's often shrouded in plastic and gets irreparably dull after multiple uses.

Getting The Most From Your Blade

Like any knife, shaving implements become dull with use. The upkeep of a straight razor is similar to the care of any other high-quality knife. Actually, the steel used in many razor blades is comparable to that used in a lot of high-end chef's knives — some of which have directly borrowed alloys from successful razor smiths, to great culinary success. And, while the care of your heirloom-quality tool does require a certain soft touch, it's actually pretty simple, and it's something you can master with a little practice.

Let's start by touching on the concept of sharpness. A truly sharp knife has a finely tapered edge that's free from nicks and distortions, even on a microscopic level. As a blade encounters objects of varying resilience, the very edge is forced out of true. Over time, the edge curls over ever so slightly, preventing a clean cut.

Kitchen knives require frequent sharpening because they have to cut through a lot of food items that are rather hard. Because razors only ever meet damp hair, they tend to need less sharpening so long as they are properly honed. The honing process used on a straight razor is also known as stropping. The tool used (a strop) is nothing more than a leather band of a consistent smoothness that's securely anchored on one end. The barber simply pulls the strop tight and runs the razor backward down its length using gentle pressure and moderate speed.

It's a pretty simple process, but it does require a bit of practice and attention to detail. For example, too much pressure can result in increasingly rolled edges, and anything but a perfectly clean blade can damage the strop and, subsequently, the razor itself. After stropping, you should finish your blade with oil before storage. This is especially true for carbon-steel blades to keep them from oxidizing, pitting, and rusting.

Of course, as when using any hair-removal product, care should be taken to ensure personal safety. Just like any tools, your shaving kit is safest when everything is in full, working order. Luckily, a straight razor makes that maintenance easy, and leads to a great final product: your beautiful, smooth face.

Please use caution when shaving the face or other sensitive areas.

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Last updated on November 09, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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