Frequently Asked Questions about Straight Razors
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In this article, I will go more into depth on the most frequently asked question about straight razors. I hope you will find it useful!
Buying Guide and Best Shaving Technique
If men were being honest they would say that shaving is a chore for them. Well, for most of them anyway since there are still those who enjoy it. They seize the opportunity readily and take time to ensure that they are well-groomed. Making first impressions is after all seemingly imperative in this life. For those men who enjoy shaving and grooming, they welcome the return of straight razor shaving with open arms. They think that this form of traditional shaving should not have disappeared as with so many other things from the past.
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Now a little history of the open razors to help you appreciate their return. The use of folding razors dates back to the 17th century in England. For the longest time, about a century, they were the only option men had for grooming and keeping their faces baby-butt smooth. But the 1900s ushered in a new era that saw the creation of classic safety razors followed closely by electric razors. These inventions, needless to say, turned the once ‘worshiped’ straight razors into relics rarely used. Only daring souls still used open-bladed razors; either for nostalgic purposes or just because it made them feel a little bit more masculine.
There is one thing that straight razor enthusiasts have in common – they share a love for the fine things in life. They also seem to have a significant amount of patience which allows them to savor moments and experiences. In recent times, safety razor manufacturers have gone on record to state that they have experienced a massive drop in their sales. On the other hand, straight razor brands state that they have experienced exponential growth. This could only mean one thing – straight razors are back and with a bang.
Barber Razors Penetrating the Market
Straight razors are also referred to as true razors or the cutthroat razor and are, as mentioned, making a big comeback. Whether you are one of those men looking to give these razor types a try or an open blade devotee, it is important to know the considerations to make while choosing the best straight-edge razor and learning the perfect techniques for straight razor shaving.
Related reading: What are the Best Safety Razor Blades?
Factors to Consider When Buying a Straight-Edge Razor
In this piece, we shall have a look at some of the factors we deem important when it comes to choosing a great open-blade razor. However, I should point out that some of the most important considerations have nothing to do with the type of blade you choose. On the contrary, it has more to do with your discipline levels and patience.
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Straight razor shaving is not for individuals who are always in a hurry or cannot stand spending the time to learn the technique of proper straight shaving. As you prepare to buy your straight razor and transform into a “razor man”, you should be prepared to be deliberately slow to master your blade. This is important because the efficiency of the razor you choose will also depend on your technique. A novice wielding event the best cut-throat razor on the market can easily render the razor next to useless.
How Much Should I Pay For It?
A fortune? Honestly, how much should one pay for a simple piece of metal with a handle? Well, you do not have to spend all your savings, but a high-quality product will cost several hundred dollars. Some of the best in the market have price tags in the range of thousands of dollars. The price difference is caused by the material used for construction, the precision and craftsmanship that is used to forge the razors as well as in honing them.
As you prepare to make a purchase, remember that these tools are designed to serve you for a lifetime. There are also many straight razor kits and men’s shaving kits available if you want to jump right in.
How Do I Tell the Quality of It?
Can a new shaver judge the quality of this classic tool? Yes, they can. However, learning how to tell the quality is possibly an even more challenging process than learning how to use the razor. For instance, an open razor blade can have a medium, soft or hard temper. This greatly affects just how long its edge will remain as well as the ease of sharpening the razor. Hard tempered straight razors tend to keep their edge for longer while softly tempered razors prove easier to strop and hone.
The indentations on the blade also referred to as the grind, are an important characteristic. Why? Well, a complete hollow grind lightens the blade and makes it sharper. But with the increased sharpness comes an increased safety hazard. The opposite is true for a less hollow straight razor making them a better choice for newbies to the art of open razor shaving.
That said, also remember that the needs of different persons are different. Sticking to one straight razor brand with a reputation that precedes itself is the surest way of choosing a great razor.
The Point, Width, Material, and Balance
With regards to this consideration, two questions do not need you to be an expert to answer correctly. The first is about the width of the blade. Wide blades are usually considered harder to manage. They, however, can contain more lather while shaving thus facilitating the shaving process. On the flip side, narrow blades are perfect for reaching tight spots such as behind the ears and under the nose.
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The second question is the blade point. Generally, round pointed blades are easier to manage while the square versions though more precise are tougher for a user to handle.
It is, however, a relief to note the ease in determining a well-balanced open razor. This is a good thing since it is a key element that determines how easy it is to handle the blade and shave consistently. The handle on the razor has got to be solid not to mention comfortable. It should feature scales that help add to the grip.
When you first pick up a blade at the local store for scrutiny, the very first thing you will check, consciously or unconsciously, is the blade material. The cheap and affordable straight razors are made of stainless steel. The stainless blades are said to last longer and cut better compared to the carbon steel blade.
But despite these advantages, most brands still prefer and insist on manufacturing their razors with carbon steel blades since they can produce high-quality blades with this material.
Ruiru Kibet is passionate about beard care and male grooming. He believes it’s an art form and is happy to share his insight with men across the globe. He’s into wet shaving and evidence-based grooming, a passion that helps him analyze men’s grooming brands, products, and wet shaving practices presenting you with the best recommendations and advice. Kevin's profile on Linkedin.