Best Straight Razor for Barbers (Review & Buyers Guide 2023)
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When it comes to the best shaving tools a barber should wield, you’ll come across varied advice based on personal experience. While there may be truth in what some barbers say, how do you know whose experience to trust?
Even though there may be confusing opinions on which is the best, there are some areas of overlap. For instance, all barbers agree that hygiene is key. For this reason, they prefer using straight razors with replaceable blades or shavettes to traditional straight razors (more on this later).
To help point you in the right direction, we’ve included a range of reliable options for barbers at different skill levels. Whether you’re searching for a reliable but affordable option or a premium straight razor, we have the ideal suggestions for you.
But before we get into the review, let’s look at:
Why Are Barbers Not Using Traditional Straight Razors?
Straight razors give clean and close shaves. So it may be shocking to learn that some barbers don’t use reusable straight razors today as they did a few decades ago. And those who still do have moved to use shavettes because of their convenience, time, and hygiene.
The difference between a shavette and a traditional straight razor is that shavettes feature disposable blades that solve the hygiene issue.
Are Straight Razors Legal?
In the US, professional straight razor shaves can be handled by licensed barbers. The only state that categorically prohibits conventional razors is Rhode Island. However, other states like New York, Oregon, and California have sanitation prohibitions. Regardless of these rules, you can use a straight razor at home in any state.
The use of straight razors in barbershops was questioned in the 1980s when there was a spike in blood-borne diseases like HIV-A, Hepatitis B, and C. Health authorities updated the code to keep barbers and clients safe. According to the California Board of Barbering & Cosmetology, the sanitization process should be:
- Rinse and dry the straight razor using a clean towel
- Strop the razor
- Submerge the razor and scales in a disinfectant approved by the board
- Rinse and dry the razor with a clean towel and then place it in a sealed container for secure storage
- After straight razor shaving, repeat the process before the next client
What to Look for in a Straight Razor for Barbers
When searching for the best straight razors (shavettes) for barbers, you should consider the following:
- Handle and spine material – these parts are important since they dictate the durability of the razor. You want to know the razor won’t bend, break, or fall apart easily before purchasing. You also want to know the razor will not accidentally slip out of your hand and cut the client.
- Weight – generally, heavy and dense items are harder to manipulate. Your fingers and wrist may have a hard time controlling such a razor. On the flip side, if the razor is too light, it’s easier to slice your cheek, especially if you are used to heavy razors.
- Loading mechanism – unfortunately, blade loading mechanisms aren’t standard. You want the mechanism to be intuitive and hold the razor blades tight. This ensures you have more control and can swap blades with ease.
- Price – consider the amount of money you want to spend on your shaving equipment. Although shavettes are less expensive than straight razors, it doesn’t mean they’re cheap. With a reasonable budget, you’re bound to find a razor that’ll work for you.
Top 3 Best Straight Razor for Barbers at a Glance
Last update on 2024-02-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Straight Razor for Barbers (Summary)
Last update on 2024-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. DOVO Straight Razor Shavette – Best Straight Razor for Barbers
It is important to bear in mind that while the shavette vs straight razors are considered to be more of training wheels in the wet shaving industry, it does not mean that they are of low quality compared to other open razors. This stands out with the DOVO Shavette razor.
While it is technically a beginner razor, perfect for a novice needing some time to master the art of this type of shaving, it works great for pros as well. It is a perfect means to try straight shaving while keeping your initial investment to a minimum. The DOVO Shavette is well priced, and even though the square point blade is disposable and you have to replace it regularly, it is a fairly easy blade to maintain. But when you look at it from the perspective of the requirement of sharpening blades, it is not expensive. They help you save some cash on this end.
While this has the style and looks of a traditional razor, in the way it folds, it is lighter. With the DOVO Shavette, there are also blade holder options with regard to color and blade. These are green, black, and clear.
Every holder comes with a different blade type. The clear for instance features a double-edged blade that is split into two portions while the black features a blade similar to the double-edged blade, only longer.
Last but not least, the green unit features a blade that is stiff compared to the other two types. Its blade length resembles the traditional open razors.
Note that the green and black holders are costlier than the clear holder. Also worth noting is that while the blade’s sharpness is a great thing, you need to take extra care when using it.
Full review: DOVO Shavette
2. Feather Artist Club SS Japanese Razor – Super Sharp Blades
Since you are reading this, it is safe to assume that you take your shaving seriously. This is commendable, and yes, grooming is not a thing you should joke around with. But if taking your shaving seriously is a big thing; you need to be ready to put your money where your mouth is.
To back up your seriousness in shaving, you need to have a beast for a shaving tool. The Feather Artist Club SS Straight Razor is exactly what you are looking for. Though it is a Japanese straight razor, and some may consider it a basic shaving tool, it is sophisticated in more ways than one.
- Experienced wet shavers claim that it is the best replaceable blade shaving razor on the market. The process of changing its blades is easy. All you need to do is pinch its razor head, and the blade will pop out ready for replacement.
- The blades, on the other hand, are extremely sharp, with no honing or stropping needed. The sharpness cannot be compared to any other unit. Japanese manufacturers are known for not taking shortcuts when it comes to quality and sharpness.
- The Feather SS features durable stainless steel construction. With such solid construction, you can expect the razor to last for years. The steel makes it heat resistant, and it is not worn out by impurities or chemicals over time.
- The handle features silicone resin. This resin, like stainless steel, is heat resistant. It can withstand temperatures as high as 275 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the resin provides a strong grip.
- The head of the blade is spring mounted. This makes it easy for one to change the blade when the time comes.
- It features a smooth and black matte finish. It is beautiful.
- The shaving head is round. This provides the blade with sufficient exposure to provide a soft and smooth shave.
- If you are new to the game, using a straight razor will prove to be a challenge. This is because they require a bit of a learning curve. However, with the Feather SS, though you still have to go through the learning curve, it is easy to use as it has superior grip and control. This will help you master the shaving art and technique in a comparatively short amount of time.
- It is easy to clean this straight razor. You only need to dip it in hot water and wipe
3. Feather Artist Club DX Wood Handle Razor – Luxury Professional Shavette
The Feather Artist Club DX is perfect for shaving purists. The beautiful wood handle is a very classy touch. It delivers a close and smooth shave, especially in the hands of an experienced shaver.
The Feather Shaving Company has been in the game for more than 80 years. As such they certainly know a thing or two about the shaving industry – “cutthroat” to be specific.
The Feather DX round point blade is replaceable. The blade is as sharp as you would expect in any other quality product. And the best part is that they need no stropping or honing either. The blade head is spring mounted and features a one-touch mechanism that makes it easy to take apart and reassemble during cleaning. To keep the handle of the blade at your desired angle is a pivot screw. It also helps to maintain constant tension.
The handle is made from resinated wood which is a special polymer that is chemical and water-resistant and is heat-treated. With these qualities, you can easily sterilize the razor in boiling water.
The sharp blade means that one wrong move can have you shedding a bit of blood. It is imperative to exercise care and caution while shaving.
4. Parker SRW Stainless Steel Straight Edge Barber Razor (Shavette) – Professional Barber Straight Edge Razor
Parker SRW Shavette is designed with professionals in mind. It is however still a perfect choice for beginners and experienced shavers alike. The price is affordable and hard to beat. On top of this, it is a very high-quality product.
The Parker company has been in the industry for quite some time. In this period, it has proven itself a leader in design and innovation. The stainless steel Parker SRW lives up to the hype and industry high standards.
Below are some of the features it sports.
- The blade cover of the Parker SRW is constructed from stainless steel and not aluminum as many believe and as is the norm with other brands
- Reviewers have taken note of the Parker SRW in their hands. They complement its great balance and weight which make it smooth to use and nick and cut free.
- It accommodates both half double edge and single edge disposable blades. These blades are designed to securely snap into the blade holder. The overall design makes it easy to change the blades. It is without a doubt a great advantage for professional barbers who do not have time to waste changing blades.
- It features a rounded tip which minimizes the risk of cuts and nicks. It is beginner-friendly.
- It features 100 sharp blades perfect for professional use. It is perfect for individuals looking for comfort while shaving
- Most reviewers term Parker SRW as fun
- Blade Type – Round Point blade
5. Classic Samurai CS-102 Stainless Steel Straight-Edge Razor – Excellent Value
This budget shavette is perfect for both pros and newbies in the game. Classic Samurai CS-102 has a lot playing in its favor. With it, you enjoy a great shaving experience at a fraction of the cost of other open razors. But this low price does not mean cheap or inferior quality. On the contrary, it is loved and preferred by professionals for its high quality.
Here are some of the many features:
- Classic Samurai CS-102 is made of stainless steel. It is easy to take apart, change parts, and reassemble as needed.
- The Classic Samurai CS-102 straight razor features a great synthesis of weight and balance. It is user-friendly, especially for individuals learning the technique.
- It comes in a pouch (plastic) for added protection. This helps to extend the life of the straight razor
- It is offered in a range of colors
- Round point disposable blades
At this point, you should have a good idea of the shavette straight razor you want to purchase. But even more important is maintaining high hygiene standards with your clients. This will ensure you remain on the right side of the law and give quality and worry-free shaves.