Razors for the ambitious man
When men first became serious about getting close shaves, the straight razor was their implement of choice. The sharp blade glides lightly and elegantly through even the toughest beard. These handcrafted shaving instruments represent a larger initial investment when compared with other razors. But if properly maintained, they'll last a lifetime. Tired of always forking out more cash for those overkill, multi-blade, disposable razors? Do yourself a favor and make the investment. Get a sharp straight razor. It'll be some of your best-spent money.
Straight razor terminology
Below you'll see all the parts that make up a straight razor.
- 1. Handle
- 2. Shoulder
- 3. Back
- 4. Main
- 5. Peak
- 6. Cutting Edge
- 7. Blade
- 8. Heel
- 9. Shaft
- 10. Shaft Pivot
- 11. Toe
Straight razors with disposable blades
Straight razors with disposable blades are used mostly for hygienic purposes. They break a double-edged blade in two pieces, thus exposing only one shaving edge at a time. This lets you use the razor on unconventional parts of the body that require shaving in the safest and most careful manner.
Razor widthThe width of a straight razor is usually stated in eights of an inch or in sixteenths of an inch, measured from the cutting edge to the back. With a wide razor, the angle at which it's held in relation to the skin's surface makes it easier and faster to shave with. On the other hand, it may be a little tricky to get right around the nose and ears. It does get easier with practice, though. A 5/8" wide straight razor is very popular and makes a good size to start with. Ultimately, though, the width of the blade is a matter or personal preference.
Stainless steel or carbon steel?Straight razors are made primarily from these two types of steel.
Carbon SteelAs a rule, carbon steel can be honed to a sharper edge than stainless steel. But unlike stainless steel, a carbon steel blade requires a little more maintenance and needs to be oiled down to prevent rusting.
Stainless SteelAlthough it can't be honed as much as a carbon blade, rest assured it can be sharpened enough to provide many close shaves without having to strop it again. Also, stainless steel is extremely resistant to the humid environment in which razors are often used and stored.
In conclusion, there really isn't a great difference between carbon or stainless steel blades. The larger consideration should be the quality of the steel itself. This is why we work only with manufacturers from Solingen, Germany, Sheffield, England, and Tokyo, Japan.