Our step-up pick is the zertone Natural Wood and it has a cutthroat design, made of quality solid stainless steel. As for the finishing, it has been polished without painting so that it can last for many years to come. It has a mahogany wood handle and it can be easily used for traditional shaving due to its design.
The budget pick is the Utopia Care Professional and is made of brass with chrome finish that can easily stand the test of time. As for the design, each blade is individually wrapped in protective wax paper to keep the sharpness just fine, while the blade cover can be flipped easily.
A Little Background
A straight razor is a kind of shaving tool that is mostly used by barbers to help shave or finely trim a man’s beard or sometimes head hair. This shaving tool is used in barber shops and can be called different names in different countries. They are much better than electric razors and they make use of strops. They can also be known as a cut-throat razor.
They are super sharp as compared to regular scissors and are providing good ergonomics and precision when it comes down to specifically trimming hairstyles and beard styles of men. Without it, trimming and specifically styling or shaping hairstyles and beard styles can be difficult overall.
The straight razor is very dangerous to handle so you should be knowledgeable with it before you can handle one. The blade is usually very fine and sharp, and can easily cut through any thickness of hair. Usually, the blade can be replaced depending on your preferences and the needs for the customer.
For examples, super thick or coarse hair can be tough to cut so you might need a different numbered blade for that, and that is why such blades can be replaced and interchanged.
You will find them mostly in a barber shop, but you can also have one at home. The barber shop will choose the blade number and sharpness according to the texture of your hair or beard. The number can be found on the blade itself, indicating how sharp it will be for you to cut with it.
Barbers should definitely know how to read the different numbers on the blades of the edge razor to know the right blade to use for each thickness or coarseness of hair.
They are made of stainless steel, like most cutting blades used for various grooming techniques. Usually, Japanese quality and surgical grade stainless steel is made for this kind of product. This quality of stainless steel is usually the one that is meant for high precision cutting and does not rust at all, as much as possible, making it the best material for use in a sharp shaving and grooming tool for your best needs.
Some of them even have other attachment blades for you to use. The razors or the sharp shaving and grooming tools can have different blades, which can either be purchased separately or may come as a freebie for your purchased or packaged sharp shaving and grooming tool or straight razor.
These blades can be interchanged based on the user instructions that may come with your product, so you need to follow them for your best safety to avoid the likelihood of injuries.
Common brands of such razors include Equinox, Classic Samurai, Utopia Care, Dovo Straight Razor and many more. Sometimes, brands play a vital role in quality for the razor or sharp shaving and grooming tool, so that you know that you are purchasing a high quality product and brand like the Dovo Shavette. Cheap imitations can make you feel uncomfortable in the long run but durable and slightly more expensive ones can be safer and sharper than the cheap sharp shaving and grooming tools out there.
How we Picked
In choosing the best straight razor, you should have the following criteria:
Safety in using: you should know if the sharp shaving and grooming tool has enough safety mechanisms in order to be used properly without the worry or risk of injury or skin cuts. You can know this if there are user instructions on how to properly use the product, and if there are safety mechanisms inclided in the sharp shaving and grooming tool and in its construction.
Number of blade attachments or included blades: the number of blades included can vary per brand and type of tool that you have. The sharp shaving and grooming tool may have different numbered blades that can have varying thicknesses and sharpness for you to choose. Having an interchangeable blade mechanism can be useful if you work at a barber shop and use it for customers who may have varying thicknesses if head hair and facial hair.
Ease of use: the sharp shaving and grooming tool should have straightforward instructions on how to use it, and how to stay safe with it. You should be able to insert the corresponding blades in a simple manner and the interchangeable parts should be easy to put together, so that you can safely use the sharp shaving and grooming tool in any manner whatsoever. Some may even have a shaving brush.
Quality of stainless steel: the sharp shaving and grooming tool should have a good quality for the stainless steel material. Japanese quality stainless steel of medical grade or surgical grade is usually recommended to have a better sharp shaving and grooming tool or straight razor at hand. Some are cheaper with carbon steel material.
Handle material: some are made of stainless steel while others are made of wood or durable plastic material for a better and lighter grip. The sharp shaving and grooming tool should be easy to handle for it to stay safe and keep you in sync with your line of work without making a vital or fatal mistake when cutting hair, shaving or trimming a person's beard.
Sharpness: the sharp shaving and grooming tool should have a good sharpness that will need to be sharpened less often as much as possible. The interchangeable blades may be disposable, but they should be durable in terms of sharpness so that they can easily cut any hair texture.
As our top pick, the Equinox Professional Straight has a 3-4-5 blade design, in which you can exchange each blade safely and effortlessly. It can guarantee a quality shaving experience and is very ergonomic due to the design that only lets you rest your index and middle fingers on top for ease of usage. As for maintenance, it comes with 100 extra blades so re-sharpening is a thing of the past. It will get the job done with each shave.
You can use every single one of the blade for up to 3 shavings and it can be easily exchanged depending on your needs. It has a wide variety of blade designs to choose from and it has good stability to keep you from getting discomfort overall. For most men, this is a wonderful razor to start with shaving up to weeks of beard to make you feel cleaner. In some cases, you can also use it as a leg shaver.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only con with the Equinox Professional Straight but not a deal breaker is disassembling it after use to protect it from rusting, but this is true for most razors.
As our step-up pick, the zertone Natural Wood is made with quality solid stainless steel so that it will not get dull too easily, as it has been already sharpened before you even use it. Being polished without painting, it is a neatly finished product with mahogany wood as the handle. It is for the people who want a vintage style straight edge razor. It also visually looks very nice and clean when it comes down to the overall design.
Because it is a bit heavy, it is definitely worth buying because you know it's made with a high grade and good quality steel. The weight is also stable because it gives you a perfect weight feeling without worrying about slipping away. It can be used by professional barbers so that you can please your clients with better manual shaving results. It presents a nice touch feeling when you use it by your hand.
The Utopia Care Professional is our budget pick, which is made of brass with chrome finish to make sure that it can withstand repeated use and be durable as much as possible without spending too much. Its design can also deter corrosion for long-lasting performance due to the presence of the stainless steel body design. There are a total of 100 premium derby blades included in the package to make sure you have something to shave with in the future.
It has a fixed straight blade razor design that is very useful for many shaving sessions without too much maintenance or replacement needed. It is easy to hold by resting your initial three fingers so you feel much more ergonomic as compared to using other types of shaving devices. Even if you do have touchy skin, this kind of blade will work well, as it protects your skin from burn and due to the safety design.
Best Straight Razor with a Leather Strop
The AKUNSZ Black Cutthroat is a good choice if you want one that has a leather strop for honing and stropping. It has a wood handle that is also very ergonomic and it is also made with nonslip ridges to keep your grip as secure as possible. It is made with quality materials such as the stainless steel blades. The leather strop is made with a combination of high quality canvas and solid leather for durability whenever you need to use it.
With this kind of construction, you will get smooth shaving experience. The wood material for the handle is made with rosewood while the total length of the blade when unfolded is 9.64 inches and 5.78 inches on the smallest blade part.
As with its construction as well as on the strop, its coat will not chip or fall off so you can guarantee that it was finished with great precision and quality. The design can also prevents the blade against scratches and other inconveniences.
Best Straight Razor for Barbers
This one is made for the barbers – the Ameauty Stainless Steel. It is made with high quality precision stainless steel blades that are of quality materials and will not stain at all from water and repeated usage. Because of the weight being balanced as much as possible, both barbers and casual users will find that it prevents too much strain, so it gives you comfort overall.
This shavette straight razor has a fast and safe mechanism for interchanging the blade when shaving.
Each blade is made with quality stainless steel and you get 10 bonus double edge blades. It has the capability for you to shave conveniently any beard or mustache easily and without a lot of effort. In addition to that, the easy to open blade guard is very convenient and allows you to make changes to your current blade. At only 2 ounces, it is not too heavy, while the blades that came with it are super sharp and durable.
Best Straight Razor with Disposable Blades
The BuzzBarber Tool Kit is made with disposable blades, but each of those blades are quality made from Germany. It gives you a smooth shave regardless of your skill and it comes with both single and derby blades in the package. As a professional grade tool for shaving, cutting or grooming, it can be able to provide you with clean shaved lines for when you do some personal beard grooming. For beginners, this can be a great introductory straight razor.
It is an easy to use designed shaving tool that will prevent nicks and cuts from forming, without spending too much on the price, as compared to those above $10 in price. It can give a smooth feel and it is not too heavy to carry around. If you have an old blade at home then it would be worth upgrading with this kind of shaving tool and it has a very small learning curve.
Best Straight Razor with a Matte Black Finish
The Classic Samurai CS-102 has a matte black finish so it has a very sleek and modern design. It can be used for both a barbershop and for personal purposes. It is made with quality blades plus 100 replacement derby blades for you to use. The wax paper surrounds each of the blades to keep them from getting dull as you keep them in place. It is also kept in a plastic pouch to keep your item safe.
There is also an exposure at the end of the blade part to keep yourself from getting cut. Moreover, as for the durability, it is completely made of metal so you don’t have to worry with a flimsy material. It has a stainless steel handle so it is very quality made, making the first swipe on a beard not too harsh, especially for beginners, while being silky smooth for your face. With flexibility, it is easy to make straight lines.
Best Straight Razor with a Balanced Weight
The Parker SRX Heavy is made with a balanced weight for professional barbers who want a feel of heaviness and not something that is too flimsy. It has a blade holder along with inserts to make sure that you interchange your blades easily without going over unsafe parts to keep them as secure as possible. Each of the blades are made with a 1/2 double edge design for added sharpness and stability. The blade arm also prevents you from injuries.
What’s more, it comes with a set of 5 stainless steel half blades, which can be used for replacement purposes. It is made with a heavy duty design in mind, so that it can be used in most barbershops and shave parlors in your area. Unlike other brands, there is no honing or sharpening with this kind of shaving tool. At 2.3 ounces, this one comes with the shark blades, which are nice and sharp to glide with.
Best Straight Razor with a Pouch
The Sanguine Wood-R5 is a good choice for those who need something like a pouch to keep their blade for shaving as secure as possible. It has been installed with a brass screw to keep your blade as tuned as possible depending on your preference. There is also a much more greater grip as compared to other brands due to the thumb rests included into the design. There is also a blade pack included with the product.
The included pouch is made from quality leather that will not easily deteriorate over time. Additionally, there is no paint or polish on the handle, making it very rustic and classic in terms of wood finish design. The whole thing holds the blade very securely so it does not pose a threat in terms of stability and injury threats. Generally, it has nice curves and feels good whenever you use it for your beard or somebody else’s beard.
Best Straight Razor with a Resin Handle
If you want something with a resin handle, the Feather SS Japanese is a good to go product. It is made with an excellent grip on the handle construction to make sure you get an accident free shaving experience.
This Japanese straight razor is a shave ready one with double-edge blades and a gum handle or resin handle can withstand heats up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit or 135 degrees Celsius. It is mostly is easier to control than other brands. If used diligently, you might get the closest shave ever in your life.
You don’t have to worry about maintenance as you can use it without having to strop and sharpen the blade. It also feels perfect in your hand while the grip on the disposable blades is very good and stable. Also, the shavette design is nonetheless ideal for most beginners as well as barber shop owners due to its shavette technology. The product is also a breeze to clean so you don’t have to worry about maintenance.
Others did not make it to our list because they were not sharp enough and also had design flaws in terms of their safety. This could compromise your way of working with the straight razor in the long run.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the benefits of shaving?
A: If you are forgetting to shave then here are some good reasons to do so:
Stimulate hair growth
Those with lack of facial hair might get hair growth stimulation with a shaving process.
Helps prevent acne
Those with thicker facial hair will keep their hair growth process away from causing acne.
Scrubs dead skin cells
You may reduce the risk of getting a rough face when you shave often.
Keeps you face clean looking and presentable
A clean beard is a well respected thing for men.
Feel young and refreshed
You will also feel much younger if you do.
Your aftershave products help your skin
These products can add nutrients to your skin.
Q: What are the different kinds of shaving tools and their pros and cons?
A: Shaving tools are used mostly for shaving, but most will use it for bear shaving. Here are the different kinds of shaving tools to choose from, with their pros and cons:
Type of shaving tool
What it is
Disposable shaving tool
Your regular supermarket shaving tool that has a disposable design.
1. They are cheap
2. They are easy to use
3. Great for travel
1. Not as sharp
2. Not durable
3. Some are of poor
Electric shaving tool
The shaving tools that have battery power or cord power on them.
3. Easy to clean
4. Can be used without shaving cream
1. Not as effective as a double edge shaving tool
2. Possibility of irritated skin afterwards
Cartridge shaving tool
The more durable version of the disposable shaving tool, usually with a metal body.
1. You only need to replace the cartridge or blade
2. Very quick to use
3. Very easy to use
4. Safe to use
1. Not that cheap
2. Hard to find on most shops
Safety shaving tool
An old school version of the cartridge shaving tool, built with a cover on top of the blade.
1. Saves more money in the long run
2. Usually more durable
3. Safer to use
4. Less shaving irritation
1. May require a learning curve
2. Can be expensive for the initial cost
Shavette shaving tool
The good old fashioned way of shaving a man’s beard.
1. Closest shave possible
2. Durability is the best
3. Some are very cheap
1. May require a steep learning curve
2. Can be dangerous when not handled properly
3. Can be troublesome to sharpen
Q: Why should I get a shavette shaving tool?
A: A shavette shaving tool has the following benefits for you:
1. It can give you the closest shave possible.
2. Most of them are cheaper than having to purchase many replacement blades.
3. The durability is very good as compared to other shaving tool types.
Q: How do you shave with a shavette shaving tool?
A: To shave with a shavette shaving tool, you need to do the following:
1. Do a pre-shave method by adding tea tree oil to a towel with warm water and covering your facial hair, to help open up your pores. You can also use jojoba oil or any related oil.
2. Hold the blade, not the handle so that you get a good grip for the job of shaving. You can experiment with different angles that you are more comfortable with.
3. Add the shaving cream to the areas of concern, add water and start shaving. Make sure that the shaving stroke is as clean and smooth as possible.
4. Add some jojoba oil or any related oil to a treated area to avoid irritation and aftershave burn. These oils are very soothing for your skin.
5. Hydrate your skin with a tonic or lotion that is specifically made for shaving. Hydration is important to keep your skin as healthy as possible after the shaving process.
6. Apply styptic if you cut yourself to make sure the bleeding stops and your cut gets remedied. Be careful when shaving, especially with a shavette shaving tool.
Q: What are the parts of a shavette shaving tool?
A: For you to truly know how to operate a shavette shaving tool, here are the things you need to know about the different parts of a shavette shaving tool:
This is the top corner of the blade.
This is the bottom corner of the blade.
This is the edge of the main shaving tool blade.
This is the main face of the blade.
This is the side that lies at the back of the blade, near the head part.
This is the center part of the main blade that sets apart the first blade and the holding blade.
This lies at the bottom of the shoulder, is slightly curved, and is part of the secondary blade holder.
This is the part of the blade that is on the second part, separate from the main cutting blade.
The tang is the end part of the shank that goes into the handle when it is retracted.
The pivot connects the tang part of the blade and the shank with the handle part of the shaving tool.
The handle is usually made of wood, and is how you would usually handle the shaving tool.
Q: What are some misconceptions about shaving?
A: To steer clear of certain misconceptions and myths about shaving, we listed them down:
“Shaving tool blades must be changes at least once a week.”
It depends on the blade type, quality and the type of shaving tool that you have. Some may require up to a month of blade changes.
“If I shave on a daily basis, it will grow back faster.”
Growing back hair or beard depends on your genes, whether you are naturally hairy most of the time.
“They should not be used below the neck.”
Shaving below the neck may not be manly for most men, but it can actually help to save up on your shaving tool work in the long run.
“If you have a new shaving tool then that is most likely to cause injuries.”
That is not true – it is the entire opposite. Dull blades are more likely to make injuries and cuts than new shaving tools and blades.
Q: What are the common ingredients of shaving creams?
A: The common ingredients of shaving creams may include the following:
Also used for soaps, cakes, pastes and cosmetic creams and other personal care products.
It is known to be sugar alcohol and is used for cosmetic products, shaving creams, hair care, toothpaste, soaps and the like. It can help your skin to not dry out.
It is an odorless gas and it can be found in cosmetics and personal care products. It can be found in cosmetics and aerosol propellants.
Laureth-4 and Laureth-23
Known as clear, colorless liquids, they can be easily found in most products that need an surfactant - emulsifying agent, such as deodorants and moisturizing items.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
It is most commonly found in shampoos and are used as cleansing agents. They can be rinsed away easily as an ingredient.
This is a kind of ingredient that can be used in addition to many consumer products. It can be used to add freshness, or softness depending on what mood you want to give to the person or end user.
It can make a product image or recognition and it will pass on color when added or applied, because it is in the form of a dye or pigment.
Q: What are the differences between shaving cream, foam and gel?
A: The shaving cream, foam and gel have the following differences:
1. Foams – these ones are great for those with oily skin because they usually have more drying ingredients, which can be bad for sensitive and dry skin.
2. Gels – they offer great lubrication for those with dry or sensitive skin, since they have a transparent but hydrating formula.
3. Creams – it depends on the formulation of the cream, but if your cream is made of glycerine in its component or ingredient, it will be much more hydrating for your skin.
Q: What are some common mistakes in honing a shavette shaving tool?
A: In honing a shavette shaving tool, you may run into the following mistakes, which can be bad for your blades in general:
Too much wear on the toe part
To remedy this, consider a stone that has a lower grit in terms of sharpening.
Frowning shaving tool
You can fix this by applying better and more even pressure, or spending more time on the stone.
Caused by excessive frowning and wearing of toes.
Your honing technique is not that good and the hone is too narrow.
Straight edge on a smiling shaving tool
Gradually remove the metal to avoid this problem.
Wear on the heel
Don’t ignore the bolster when it comes down to honing your shaving tool.
Q: Is wet shaving better than dry shaving?
A: Wet shaving and dry shaving have the following differences:
Type of your hair
Those with thicker facial hair can benefit more from wet shaving with cream.
Those with thinner facial hair can benefit more from dry shaving in general.
Type of your skin
If you have sensitive skin, you should stick to wet shaving.
For those with normal skin that isn’t very sensitive, you can still consider dry shaving.
Wet shaving takes a lot of time so it is probably not the best choice for your busy lifestyle.
Those with busy lifestyle can stick to dry shaving with no problem for time consumption.
Q: What are the differences between an electric shaver and a traditional shaving tool?
A: Between an electric shaver and a traditional shaving tool, there are specific differences, such as the following:
Electric shaving tool
Traditional shaving tool
They are the best in terms of efficiency and power.
They are manually powered in terms of operation.
Electric shaving tools are usually safer for beginners.
Traditional shaving tools might not be that good for beginners.
Closeness of shave
Electric shaving tools are not that good in terms of maintaining a close shave.
Traditional shaving tools are perhaps the best in terms of keeping a close shave.
Electric shaving tools are portable, but can take too much space.
Traditional shaving tools don’t take a lot of space in general.
Electric shaving tools are very simple for beginners to use.
Traditional shaving tools may have a steep learning curve in order to stay safe in using it.
Q: Who are some of the world’s best trained barbers?
A: Some of the best trained barbers out there who are very skilled with a shavette shaving tool include the following:
Lake Worth, Florida
El Paso, Texas
men and women haircuts
New York City, America
general barber cutting services
The Dirty Shaving tool
cuts and shaves
barbering and male grooming
fades and professional designs
Summerside, Prince Edward Island
hot towel shave
general barber cutting services
Port Credit, Ontario
barbering and male grooming
Q: In New York, where should I get a professional shave or beard trim?
A: If you want to get a good professional shave or have your beard trimmed professionally, here are good locations for you:
Martial Vivot Salon Pour Hommes
39 W. 54th St., nr. Sixth Ave.
Clarins face mask deluxe shave
pure essential oils cleanse repairing
750 Third Ave., at 46th St.
conditioning hot-oil scalp treatment
5 Horatio St., nr. Eighth Ave.
neck and hand massage
Frank's Chop Shop
19 Essex St., nr. Hester St.
classic straight-edge shaves
gentle massage targets pressure points
1031 Lexington Ave., at 74th St.
a creamy emollient
layers of shaving cream
tension-relieving face massage
steaming hot towels
Q: What are the signs that it’s time for you to shave?
A: In order for you to know when it is time for you to shave, you can consult the following:
1. Your beard gets in the way of your work.
2. It also gets in the way of your love and sex life.
3. Your beard gets in the way of your food.
4. People might think you look gross.
5. Most people might mistake you older than you look.
Q: Are there benefits to having a beard?
A: There are some benefits to having a beard instead of shaving it away, such as the following:
1. Provides warmth in the winter
2. Protects your skin against UV rays
3. It keeps you away from throat disease
4. People with asthma are better off with a beard
5. Acne and bacterial infection can be reduced by a beard
6. You don’t have to sacrifice shaving time
7. Beards can be attractive
8. Beards can improve your sex life
Q: Are there drawbacks to having a beard?
A: While there are pros, there are also cons to having a beard:
1. You have to shave it properly in order to maintain it
2. You have to be wary about hair problems like lice
3. Some people say beards make men look older
Q: How do you treat your skin after you shave?
A: To treat your skin after you have done shaving, here are the things you need to do:
Consider one that is free from alcohol so that it will not harm your skin in the long run.
You can also use a caring balm or a cream to treat your skin properly.
You should give your skin proper rest from shaving too much if it gets irritated.
Try dry shaving instead of wet shaving if it gets irritated.
Q: What are the different kinds of stainless steel?
A: The different kinds of stainless steel include the following:
1. Ferritic – it is a kind of stainless steel with a similar structure to low alloy, carbon and chromium.
2. Martensitic – these ones are made with magnetic materials with a high carbon level.
3.Austenitic – these are made with nickel, nitrogen and manganese as materials.
4. Duplex – they have great strength, endurance and are a combination of ferritic and austenitic.
5. Precipitation hardening – these ones can be made from niobium, aluminum and copper.
Q: How are cutthroat and shavette different from each other?
A: The two types of shaving tools are differentiated by the following:
A shavette has double blades that can be replaced when you need to use a different one. It has two halves and is usually much cheaper than the cutthroat shavette shaving tool.
A cutthroat is a type that is the classic one used in the 19th century and are heavier than shavettes and tend to give you a closer shave than a shavette shaving tool.
Q: What are some important beard etiquette?
A: To make sure you are not disrespecting others with your beard, you need to remember the following:
1. Don’t let it simply grow – trim it properly.
2. Always clean your beard from food scraps.
3. Consult a barber on the best style of beard for you.
Wrapping It Up
In the long run, the Equinox Professional Straight is our pick for the best straight razor, due to the well-designed blades, the quality shaving capability it can give, the rolling ball mechanism and the quality stainless steel material.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.