Switching to a straight razor or trying to find the one that offers the closest shave? This guide is for you. We found and tried the best straight razors on the market to give you an honest review of each.
Considering a Straight Razor?
Straight razors have this alluring blend of tradition and danger. You’ve seen Sweeney Todd, right?
But you’ve also seen the straight razor used in the context of friendly, Mayberry-esque old-school barbershops where skilled barbers make their use look easy and natural.
Like they couldn’t kill you with one ill-timed twitch of the wrist. But let’s not think about that. Why are men coming back to the humble straight razor with all the leaps and bounds the shaving industry has made?
Why Use One
Because nothing delivers a closer, smoother shave. It’s cheaper than buying razor cartridges. Plus, there’s something so satisfying about the ritual nature of using a straight razor.
The lather, the careful gliding of the blade over the skin, the soft sound that can only be described as buttering toast. It’s close. It’s personal. It’s what your grandpa used.
When you shave with a straight razor, you’re a skilled, confident gentleman grooming himself with something dangerous enough to be confiscated from your carry-on when you fly.
That’s worlds away from haphazardly dragging a Fusion5 across your face while toothpaste drips out of your mouth. As you might’ve guessed, a straight razor can be dangerous – if you don’t use it properly.
So make sure you’re well-versed in straight razor use and safety before you try one. We’ll share a few safety and form tips late on in this guide.
Whether you’re planning to switch to a straight razor or already use one and want to find the absolute best, we’ve got what you’re looking for. We’ve carefully reviewed dozens of straight razors to find the ones that deliver the best results.
We even bought 7 of our favorites and put them to the test — yes, we spent $100 on products so you won’t get stuck with one you’ll hate.
Our Top Picks:
- Equinox Professional Straight Edge Razor
- Utopia Care Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor
- Facón Professional Classic Straight Edge Barber Razor
- Black Widow Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor
- Parker SRX Heavy Duty Professional Straight Edge Barber Razor
- Shaving Revolution Straight Edge Barber Razor Kit
- Seeyo Straight Razor Shaving Kit
And we can pretty much guarantee that once you learn to use a quality straight razor, you will never return to your trusty Gillette. The results are that good. Here are the best straight razors we found and what makes them stand out.
Now, keep in mind that these are all pretty much the same thing (except the one from Seeyo). The big differences are the weight and the way to which they open. About half of them have a clamp (that holds the blade in) that does not open very far.
Keep this in mind, as you don’t want to accidentally cut yourself changing a blade. Aside from that, the weight, aesthetics, and included blades are the only other differences.
Best Straight Razors
Channel your inner gentleman with one of these high-quality straight razors. Most models we reviewed are technically shavettes that use disposable razor blades – no leather strap required.
You’ll also find a true straight razor that you sharpen with a leather strop. We’ve found the razors that consistently get great reviews from guys who have long since ditched modern-day razors.
And for what? In favor of the closer, smoother shave straight razors deliver, of course. And we’re going to try them all to see if they’re worthy of being called the best. Check out our top 7 picks.
1. Equinox Professional Straight Edge Razor
Equinox is a respected name in straight razors. Their professional straight edge razor definitely deserves a spot in our top 7. The razor is made of oxidized stainless steel, so you’ll never have to worry about rust.
The design is ergonomic, letting your ring finger rest on the little loop on the back handle, your thumb near the blade compartment, and your index and middle fingers on top.
This makes it easy to get the right angle when you shave, which is a pretty important feature because you’re not trying to die here. The blade guard is really simple to open, making razor blade changes safe and quick. It also comes with a package of 100 disposable single edge Derby blades.
These aren’t the absolute best, but will definitely serve their purpose. Plus, you can always grab a box of Bolzanos blades for around $4. More than 8,000 guys giving this razor a 5-star review can’t be wrong. This is a quality pick!
2. Utopia Care Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor
The Utopia Care professional straight razor is one of the best. Made with 430-grade Japanese stainless steel, it’s built to last and has the kind of weight that screams quality.
There’s a matte black finish that looks a little more suave than the silver stainless. The twin blade holders easily pull apart for blade insertion and securely lock it into place.
The grip is designed to be comfortable in your hand. This might not seem like it matters much, but it’s important. This razor is also weighted really well, making it easy to keep it at the correct angle while you shave.
It comes with a box of 100 Derby blades (again, not our preferred blades, but good enough). The price is excellent. With 15,660+ reviews and an average of 4.5 stars, this one’s a winner.
3. Facón Professional Classic Straight Edge Barber Razor
Facón – the brand name sounds fancy, and the quality of this razor backs it up. It’s surprisingly affordable and designed really well. This expertly crafted Japanese stainless steel razor has a durable black powder coating, so it will last for a long time.
In fact, it comes backed with a lifetime no-questions-asked guarantee! At 1.8 ounces, it’s not as heavy as some of the other razors on our list, but that’s definitely not a downside.
The design of this model is really well thought out. The blades are held securely in place with a swing lock armature. The adjustable tension screws make it easy to customize your shave.
Plus, you get 100 single edge blades when you buy this model. It has 5,008 reviews with an average 4.6-star rating on Amazon. Users rave the most about its ergonomic handle, value for the money, and maneuverability.
4. Black Widow Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor
Black Widow might be a cool name for a straight razor, but it has a lot more going for it than that. Designed for comfort, a smooth shave, and precision, this model is a favorite among straight razor users.
The weight is nice in your hands at about 2.6 ounces. You can clearly tell you’re not holding a cheap razor! The balance is perfect and helps you properly angle the blade for the smoothest shave.
It’s crafted with 100% stainless steel – no cheap aluminum – and has an armature swing lock to securely keep your blade in place. It’s precise enough for detailed work, thanks to the 1.5mm blade exposure.
It comes with Derby, Shark, or Black Widow blades (the bonus blades you’ll get will vary). Overall, this is a high-quality choice that is nice enough to gift. No wonder it has 2,780+ reviews, with an average rating of 4.6 stars!
5. Parker SRX Heavy Duty Professional Straight Edge Barber Razor
If you’ve mastered the art of shaving with a straight razor or shavette, professional quality is what you’re looking for. You want the kind of razor a barber would be confident using on his clients. This is that straight razor.
It’s engineered with heavyweight stainless steel on the arm and handle, weighing a little over 2 ounces for the ultimate comfort in your hand. The design is slightly rounded at the end to make cuts and nicks less likely.
Your razor blades will lock into place with the clip/lock blade holder that protects against wobbly blades. You can use a traditional barbershop single edge blade with this, or break a double edge blade in half (like they’re designed to do).
You get 5 Parker Premium Platinum half blades with the razor. Parker is a highly respected brand in the shaving world. They’ve been around for more than 40 years.
This razor has 1,700+ positive reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars – it’s worth a buy if you’re a straight razor guy.
6. Shaving Revolution Straight Edge Barber Razor Kit
Hearkening back to the old days with a scary-sharp straight razor and ditching the cheap modern-day imitators? Yep, we’re in the midst of a Shaving Revolution. Fitting, because that’s who makes this quality razor.
It’s made with stainless steel, so you know it’s durable enough to stand up to coarse beard hair and won’t rust. We like the shape and feel of the handle, which is easy to grip and helps you seamlessly guide the razor along.
It’s so comfortable in your hand that you’ll feel confident doing precision and edge work with it. It’s backed by The Viking Promise, so if you find that it’s not what you’re looking for, they’ll refund you or replace it without question.
This razor has 1,260+ reviews, and a 4.4-star average. It’s rated highest for maneuverability, value for the money, and is great for beginners. It comes with 100 single edge blades, so you’ll be set for a while!
7. Seeyo Straight Razor Shaving Kit
If you’re looking for a true straight razor – the kind that you have to sharpen with a leather strop. There are no disposable blades here. It is only you and the blade you’ve carefully sharpened to a beard-decimating edge.
Aside from how unbelievably cool that is, the Seeyo straight razor kit has many features that make it stand out. The attractive Micarta wood handle ensures a tight, even grip on the razor for no unfortunate slipping incidents.
It’s a solid weight at around 2.1 ounces. The stainless steel concave style blade is where it really shines, though. It comes sharpened, but reviews say you should do a couple of passes on the included leather strop to hone the edge.
Speaking of that hanging leather strop, it’s nice. It’s made of leather and canvas to allow you to get your razor blade perfectly sharp.
There aren’t as many reviews on this razor, which is understandable. Fewer people are up for the challenge of a real straight razor that must be sharpened with a strop.
It gets a solid 4.2 out of 5 stars, and most of the 3- and 4-star reviews are written by men who admitted they couldn’t quite get the hang of sharpening the blade. If you’re seeking a way to be superior to every man in terms of grooming, this is your ticket.
Tips on Shaving with a Straight Razor
You’ve seen the best straight razors this world has to offer. But do you know how to use one safely and properly? Sure, you could jump right in and plan to figure it out as you go.
But we’d prefer you make it through your first straight-blade shave with your skin and arteries intact. So, safety first! Shaving with a straight razor that uses disposable razor blades – a shavette – is slightly easier than using a true straight razor.
It requires careful motion and attention to detail. It takes a little getting used to, and there’s definitely a learning curve. But the closeness and precision of the shave will have you hooked from the first try (even if you nick yourself a bit along the way).
Manage Expectations for the First Shave
That brings us to our first tip: Manage your expectations. You might get a barbershop quality close shave the first time you shave with a straight razor. But you probably won’t.
In fact, many guys who use these razors say they had to finish the first shave with a cartridge razor to get complete smoothness.
But that’s only because you have to take a little time to learn the motions and techniques to benefit from a closer shave with a straight razor. Experienced straight razor shavers say it takes about a month to really nail the technique.
“About a month of dedicated shaving with a straight seems right. Once you’ve got the motions down of wielding the straight, and know your facial hair pattern, it will give a dramatically closer shave.”
– Bladeforums.com User
“It took me about a month the first time I picked one up. That was all trial and error.”
– Reddit.com User
“I felt quite confident after about 20-30 shaves. Say a month to month and a half.”
– Reddit.com User
“I shaved once or twice a week and felt “comfortable” after a month and was getting a fantastic shave after about 3.”
– Reddit.com User
Research and Practice
You just got a new “toy,” and you’re excited to use it right away. Not so fast! Do a little research before you use your face as a guinea pig. The best research method I’ve found is watching straight razor shaving videos.
You can read about a technique all day long and still not have a clear understanding. It’s best to actually watch someone show you the strokes and motions. Below are links to some helpful videos:
- How to shave with a cut throat shavette
- How To Shave With Straight Razor Explained The Easy Way! No Cuts
- How to shave with a Parker SR1 Shavette straight razor
Once you’ve seen the best methods to use with a straight razor, you can try practicing on a balloon or even a tomato. Cover your preferred practice object with the cream or foam you plan to lather with.
Then practice holding your razor at the correct angle to “shave” the cream off without popping the balloon/slicing the tomato. When you can shave the cream off without harming the object, you’re ready to try it on your face.
Prepare Your Face and Beard
Don’t even think about shaving with a straight razor without adequately preparing your skin. You’re about to be face to face with an incredibly sharp blade edge. To minimize the chances of snagging hair or cutting yourself, moist heat is your best friend.
Grab a towel, get it thoroughly damp, and toss it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. You want it very warm but not scalding hot. Wrap it over and around your face for 1-2 minutes.
This serves to open up your pores and soften your coarse facial hair. This makes the shaving process go a lot – wait for it – smoother.
Once you’ve pampered your countenance with a hot towel, grab your favorite lathering soap, foam, or cream that you plan to shave with. And make sure the blade is razor-sharp before you use it.
Perfect the Technique
Practice makes perfect. You may not get a 100% smooth shave on your first try, but you will if you keep practicing. Here are a few tips to perfect your technique. Make sure you’re holding your razor at a 30-45 degree angle from your face.
You don’t want to hold it any closer or further away than this, or you risk tugging on hair instead of shaving it (holding too close) or cutting and irritating your skin (holding too far away).
Apply your lathering cream with a shave brush, not your hands. The stiff bristles lift your hairs up and away from the skin, making them ripe for the shaving. This results in fewer ingrown hairs and a closer shave.
Use your formerly hot towel once you’re done shaving to cool and soothe your face after shaving. The cold temperature will help close up your pores and further reduce your chances of irritation or ingrown hairs.
Bask in the Glory of Superiority
Once you’ve got the technique down, you’ll be able to cut the time it takes to shave down to a couple of minutes. Which is great, because you’ll probably take at least 30 minutes the first time you try a straight blade.
That’s okay. It’s all part of the process of becoming the superior male. You can bask in that superiority now. Your unfathomably smooth face is the physical testimony of your steady hand, unwavering confidence in your blade-wielding ability, and fearless nature.
You’re not just a man anymore. You’re a gentleman successfully using a centuries-old shaving technique that others are too scared to try.
And when they ask how you managed to get such a close shave, maybe you decide to enlighten them on the art of the straight razor shave. Maybe you chuckle condescendingly and keep your secrets. You win either way.