What is a Traditional Cut-Throat/Straight Razor?
A straight razor is a single blade, straight-edge razor attached to a handle that folds together. They are also called cut-throat razors, and sometimes an open razor. They are the oldest style of shaving tool ever used, and are considered the least safe, but they offer more control than a double edge safety razor. They are a type of razor associated with a bygone era that your father or grandfather may have used, but there's no better option for beard styling and facial hair control.
What is a Shavette? (Safety Cut-Throat Razor)
A shavette is very similar to a cut-throat razor, except it has replaceable blades. This makes it more affordable than a cut-throat razor, and requires less maintenance in sharpening/stropping the blade. You can purchase disposable blades here on our website. They are available in a range of materials, from brass to stainless steel. These are also fantastic for barbers, as replaceable blades are more hygienic and easier to replace.
Benefits of a Shavette/Cut-Throat Razor
The benefits of using a cut-throat shaver over other shaving tools are:
- More precise shave - the open blade allows you the ultimate control in the angle you shave at.
- This accuracy can result in less nicks and less ingrown hairs on your face.
- You also don't have to buy expensive cartridges.
However the downside is it requires a greater skill to use, and so until you get good, it's recommended that you use a shavette. Shavettes are also cheaper than a straight blade razor.
Cut-Throat Razor Blades
You can buy replacement blades for our shavette razors here.
How to Use a Cut-Throat Razor
Here's how to do straight razor shaving:
Prepare the skin - using a hot towel with warm water or taking a hot shower can help to prepare your skin and open the pores and minimise irritation.
Good lather - make sure you create a good lather of shaving cream or shaving soap using a shaving brush, and ensure the lather is still wet when you're shaving. Make sure to massage it into your skin.
Holding the razor - using your dominant hand, place your thumb at the on the shaft of the handle just underneath the sharp side of the razor. Place your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers on the opposite side, then rest your little finger at the very end of the razor in the crescent-shaped part.
To shave, stretch the cheek skin tight with your other hand, and hold the blade at a roughly 30-degree angle from your skin with a steady hand, using little pressure.
Be especially careful around the chin, adam's apple, bottom lip and top lip areas.
The first stroke should go with the direction of hair growth, and the second shave can go against or across the direction of the hair growth.
Get plenty of practice - the more you do it, the better you'll be with a single-blade shave.
How to Replace the Blades in a Straight Razor
Each shavette may have a slightly different way of replacing the blades.
There is a great video here on how to replace two different types of straight razors.
Best Cut-Throat Razor for Beginners
The best cut-throat razor for a beginner is a shavette, and in particular, the Razorine range, as it has two protective bars that aren't present on most straight razors.
How to Sharpen a Cut-Throat Razor with a Strop
A razor strop is a flexible piece of leather, canvas or fabric used to help straighten and polish the razor blade before or after each use. During use, a blade is often bent out of alignment, so part of this process fixes that.
Here's how to sharpen your straight razor using a strop:
- Hold the strop tightly, and run the blade along the strop, at roughly a 180-degree angle to the strop.
- The blade edge must be facing away from the direction you run it along the strop.
- Flip the razor over and repeat in the other direction, until the blade is sharp.