Full Guide On Straight Razor vs. Safety Razor

Last Updated: 2021-07-25

by Jeel Patel

Shaving tools have always been dominating the grooming industry time and again. And with the advent of electric shavers and razors, the industry has shown its true potentials. But do you know how things have evolved and how it all started?

It began with traditional shaving tools that you must have seen your grandfather using. These types of tools are known as straight razors that you must have found at barbershops. Though it is a cut-throat razor, it still manages to prevent cuts and nicks. Mostly, professional barbers use it for shaving sideburns and necklines.

Then comes the safety razors with different types, but the popular one is double edge safety razors. It gives you cutting flexibility from both sides of the blades. It even does not clog up quickly. And not to forget that it ensures less irritation than cartridge razors. Furthermore, there is no hassle in cleaning the safety razor.

Men nowadays tend to use cartridge razors in their shaving routine due to their speed and convenience, but they do not offer satisfactory results. It raises the question of which is better? Straight razor vs safety razor!

So, let’s know more about both the types of razors and their factors to evaluate while buying one for yourself.

Quick Comparison Between Straight Razor vs Safety Razor

DetailsStraight Razor Safety Razor
Cutting RiskHighMedium
Learning CurveHighMedium
Shave TimeHighMedium
Clogging?No Not Much
Blade ControlHighMedium
Travel-Friendly?Requires Bag CheckRequires Bag Check
Cost LowMedium
Manliness LevelHighMedium

In-depth Review on Straight Razors

straight razors vs safety razors

A straight razor is a long piece of metal with a pivoting handle that can cut the hair close to the skin, offering a clean and close shave. Straight edge shavers are also known as an open-blade or cut-throat razors that last for a lifetime. The strong handle and stainless blades make them sturdy and durable.

If you are a professional who has a little bit of experience in shaving can try your hands on straight razors. It requires both skill and patience to glide over the face. Any negligence could result in cuts or nicks.  

It’s the most budget-friendly product you can bag in 2021. However, the maintenance cost still stands intact along with a straight razor.

How to Maintain a Straight Razor?

straight razor vs double edge

A straight razor blade is 3 inches long and requires sharpening at regular intervals. If not done, it is vulnerable to cuts and nicks. You should know what is needed to sharpen the blade of a straight razor?

  • Strops polish and straighten the straight razor blades.
  • Hones restore the blade teeth after several uses.

After shaving, it is a must to clean and wash the blade with hot water. Avoid washing or drying the edge can lead to rusting. You can even use Olive oils and mineral oils to maintain the form of a straight razor blade.

Due to the longer side, you get the benefit of shaving a larger part of the face with a single stroke. It isn’t like safety razors that shave a smaller amount and requires more strokes to offer a clean and close shave.

On top of it, modern straight razors also give the freedom to swap the blades, which means you have complete control over the straight razor.

Now that you know the maintenance part, you must also know:

How to Shave with a Straight Razor?

shavette vs safety razor

If you are using a straight razor, then it requires a lot of skill and technique. As said earlier, any misuse could result in cuts and nicks. It means you will have to learn the basics about the straight razor.

Firstly, hold the razor with three fingers on the back of the blade and thumb on the side, and place your pinky finger on the handle that divides the two parts. You must avoid applying pressure while the straight razor is over the skin.  

Initially, passing the blade for the first time could be a horrifying experience, but you will gradually learn it with regular use.

There are grooming accessories that can enhance your shaving experience, but we will talk about them in the later phase of the article.

Pros
  • Durable & Sturdy/li>
  • Freedom and control
  • Single blade razor
Cons
  • Require skill and practice
  • Vulnerable to cuts & nicks
  • Requires re-sharpening of blades

Now, let’s look at the details about the safety razors.

In-depth Review on Safety Razors

disposable razor vs cartridge

The Safety razor is just over 100 years old and is an upgraded and improved version of disposable razors. Also, it is far better than straight razors and ensures cutting in half the time.

However, it isn’t safe as the term says – safety razors. It is also vulnerable to cuts and nicks if not handled with care. You get enclosed blades within the razor heads. It is built with metal, making it sturdier and long-lasting. Even, you can change the blades as per your convenience.

There are two types; single-edge and double-edge.

The single blade edge has one side exposed, whereas the DE blades have two sides exposed to the skin. Choosing between both could be a daunting task; single-edge razors are budget-friendly, while double-edge razor comes with a wide variety of options and blades are also affordable.

The latter has a steeper learning curve, but if we compare it with straight razors, safety razors are easy to learn and use. Within a week or two, you would be able to excel the safer-to-use razor.

Do not expect cuts and nicks-free shaving from the first use.

You will also require to pass the razor over the same area multiple times due to no lift and cut technology, and the blades also aren’t set at a 30-degree angle. Anytime you feel the blades are dull, replace them with a new one. It makes shavette vs. safety razor quite similar.

The double-edge safety razor may seem costly, but it isn’t true. It is affordable, and the edge blades also seem inexpensive. If you compare the long-term cost of the DE safety razor along with blades, then it may be pricey than straight razors, but it’s worth every penny.

You get a variety of design types to select in DE safety razors:

Design

Design is one factor you will neglect and apply pressure that leads to irritation, cuts, and nicks. But, in the case of safety razors, you do not need to worry about such things. What matters is the weight, and that is sufficient enough. The bulkiness makes the razor glide smoothly over the face.

It is beneficial for older men who tend to shake hands while shaving. It decreases the risk of cutting as the edge doesn’t touch the face. Nowadays, safety razors use a double-edged blade that allows the user to cut from both sides.

Now, let’s look at the head design.

Head Type

Cartridge razors come with a blade that connects with the handle, but that’s not the same with safety razors. It has a metal handle and blade fixed firmly on the top. It will not move and sit steadily.

On the other hand, the safety razor user needs to set an angle for a smooth and proper shave. Not doing so can lead to cuts and nicks. It requires practice, but a regular shave will make you familiar with the position.

Remember to tilt the blade at the right angle.

As discussed, the learning curve is steeper, which means you will need to have the patience to get a clean and smooth shave.

Now, let’s head towards maintaining the razor criteria.

Maintenance

If you compare straight with safety razors, the latter gives convenience to replace the blades, unlike the straight razor that requires leather strop to sharpen the dull blade. Even skin conditions and hair length will compel you to change the blades.

Suppose you want your safety razor to work appropriately, then access or take apart the device after every few months to clean them thoroughly. There is an average of three-pieces that requires cleaning.

What is the Initial Investment?

The initial investment of the safety razor is low compared to a straight razor but will deliver an effective and efficient result. You will get two types of razors; cheaper and qualitative. If you choose a cheaper one, you will have to use a plastic handle, while a qualitative razor comes with a metal handle that lasts a lifetime.

Safety razor blades can cost you somewhere around five cents per blade, while disposable blades cost 40 cents per blade. If you are using a safety razor, you will get a closer shave than straight razors.

Pros
  • Requires less practice/li>
  • Replacement blades are readily available
  • Safe to use
Cons
  • Require to purchase new blades
  • Not safe like a disposable razor

Now that you have seen the battle between safety razor vs. straight razor, let’s know what to evaluate when buying one for yourself.

What are the Things to Compare: Straight Razors vs. Safety Razors

straight razor vs safety razor closeness

Shave Time

Both razors (straight razor shave vs. safety razor) require shaving time, and it depends on how quickly you learn it. So take that into account while planning to buy one. It is not advisable to shave in a hurry as it will not deliver satisfactory results.

If you want to learn shaving with seriousness, then you can consider these razors. The more time it takes in the initial learning period, the more you will be familiar with the technique. And once you are a pro, you can do it easily and quickly.

Maintenance

Keeping the equipment in its position for a more extended period of use requires proper maintenance. You cannot bring home a product, use it, and overlook it when maintaining it. It results in getting dull and blunt.

Both the razors (straight razor vs. double-edge) have a separate way of maintenance. Let’s look at it.

Safety Razor

Every 2-3 months, you must unscrew the parts of the razor and clean it thoroughly. For this, you can use a brush to clean it, or you can place them under hot water.

Straight Razor

This shaving tool requires a lot of maintenance. It would help if you prevented it from rusting, and for that, clean it with hot water and let it dry after every use. Also, you can coat your straight razor with mineral oils or olive oils.

As discussed earlier, you need to hone the razor blade every 5-6 weeks to maintain its sharpness. Once you finish honing, strop your straight razor blade to smooth the edges of it to cut the skin.

Style

Straight razors are stylish and are ruling the grooming industry since its inception. Undoubtedly, learning wet shaving with a straight razor requires proficiency and experience, but you are a grooming star if you are pro in using a safety razor.

Undoubtedly, a metal body gives a sleek design to safety razors that beautifies your bathroom counter. Also, they come in different styles and options.

Price

Safety razors are way more affordable than straight razors. It ranges somewhere around $30 to $120, and the replacement blades cost is additional.

On the other hand, the straight razor range starts from $50 and can go above $250. Unlike, safety razor, it does not have additional costs. You might have a question about sharpening it. Well, a one-time purchase of hone and strop will make your straight razors last a lifetime. 

Both the shaving devices (straight edge vs. safety razor) require wet shaving accessories. So. let dive deep into a few ones that can enhance your shaving experience.

Other Accessories to Enhance The Razor Performance

is a straight razor better

No matter which type of razor you use for a close shave, it still lacks in performance. And the reason being the shave accessories. Using products that dry out your skin is not advisable, and to avail yourself of a close shave, you must avoid cheap-quality products.

Pre-shave oils and shave creams or soaps are some of the best things you can add to your grooming kit to reinforce the shaving tool.

Pre Shave Oils

These shave oils contain a blend of carrier and essential oils that bolsters the sebum oil (the natural oil that skin produces). If you apply it to your skin, it lubricates it, making a thin layer between the shaving cream and the skin.

Apart from pre-shave oils, shaving creams are the best accessories that I have repeatedly said in the article.

Shave Creams

It is essential for the skin as it moisturizes the skin and lubricates it, preparing the facial hair for shaving. It will make the hair follicles softer and smoother that ensures a clean and close shave.

Also, it reduces irritation if you know the right technique of shaving. Here shaving soap can also bring a world of difference.

Shaving Soaps

They come in different sizes, grades, and forms. It is ideal for the ones who love using a straight razor as it provides a layer of lubrication compared to shaving cream.

These products enhance the experience, but it entirely depends on personal preference as to which product to opt for.

FAQs:

1. Which is better straight razor shaving vs. safety razor?

Both the razors are the best when it comes to offering a close shave. They are far better than disposable and cartridge razors. Also, they cost less maintenance than other razors.

2. What is Shavette?

Shavettes are razors that resemble open-blade ones. The only difference is you can eject blades. It makes it popular and allows it to win the battle between straight razor vs. shavette easily. Using a straight razor could be a time-consuming task in the long run, but shavettes are entirely feasible and easy to use.

3. How to use a straight razor?

Hold the razor with three fingers on the back of the blade and thumb on the side to hold the blade part. Your thumb should be on the section where both the razors intersect. After a proper holding, shave with the grain to achieve the best results.

4. Which is better: disposable razor vs. cartridge razor?

It all depends on the quality shave that both razors offer. And, the angle that the blade faces also plays a vital role in achieving a close shave. With a cartridge razor, you would be able to shave in only one direction, and the same goes with disposable razors. To conclude, it would be unfair to consider either razor as better than the other.

Conclusion

Both the razors can provide a closer shave, just like professional barbers. A high-quality razor can make the session intuitive and easy. The article consists of a wealth of information along with the pros and cons to distinguish them. With this, we end the ultimate battle between straight razors vs. safety razors.

We hope you like the article, and we welcome suggestions, feedback, and questions. We’d love to hear from our valuable customers. For more such good reads, you can subscribe to our website.

Disclaimer

Published Date: Jan 11, 2021

Sign up for weekly updates from Tomfw.