[Updated January 2019]
It’s a fact that shaving with a straight razor is the king of all shave methods. Straight razors are the best because they are the cleanest tool for shaving. The best straight razors (aka single blade shaving razors) will reduce redness, irritation, and acne caused by shaving.
Oh yeah, and they’ll give you the smoothest shave possible.
They are the big brother to the shavette, another single blade shaving razor style, but one step up in difficulty. Straight razors require more maintenance than shavette razors since there is no blade to pop-out and replace.
The blade is built right into the body of the razor. This means you don’t throw it out when it’s gone dull. You have to sharpen it on your own using a strop.
Sometimes you can get a strop included with the straight razor when you order it. When the razor arrives in the mail you’re going to want to check to see whether it comes “Shave Ready” or not.
Regardless of whether it comes “shave ready” or “near shave ready” it is a best practice to use your strop to hone and sharpen it before your first use.
You may see a steel hardness measurement listed in the product details of straight razors. It might look something like “HRC 61-65” which is just an indicator of the steel’s hardness. The harder the steel is, the finer and sharper the blade will be for cutting.
For example, a wood chopping ax may have a hardness rated at around 50 HRC. The harder the steel the sharper the blade, which means it requires less force to shave your face. The best straight razors tend to have a hardness rating in the early to mid- 60’s.
The 4 best straight razors:
Dovo is a brand with a fantastic reputation for high-quality products. This straight razor is absolutely stunning.
Its handle is made of imitation tortoise shell, but plastic handle alternatives do exist. We recommend paying the little extra for the higher quality product. It will likely last longer and is better for the environment.
This Dovo straight razor comes “shave ready” which means it’s been honed and stropped and is ready to use out of the box. We’d recommend using a strop before the first shave anyway, just to make sure you’re not messing up your skin.
This of a straight razor as an investment. If you get a good one you’ll never have to buy another razor ever again. Dovo makes one of the best straight razors available.
The straight razor by Sawtooth Shave Co is perfect if you’re more into the traditional wooden handle appearance. Made with a real mahogany wood handle this straight razor looks classy and high quality.
The blade is made of high-quality Japanese steel with a hardness rating of 59-61. This is a hard steel and it should keep its edge longer than a softer steel. This steel also sharpens easier than other hard steels.
An upgrade option is available to get the straight razor and leather strop as a package. We highly recommend this because if you’re going to use a straight razor, you’re going to need a strop anyways. Both items should last you a really long time, and the strop even comes with wax for maintenance.
This straight razor is not a Dovo. However, you don’t need to pay Dovo prices to get a great shave. You can get the straight razor and leather strop package for less than the price of a Dovo!
A really cool straight razor by A.P. Donovan might be our favorite to give as a gift. This razor is ultra classy with a black sandalwood handle and Japanese steel blade.
The best straight razors all seem to be made of Japanese steel. Additionally, the company name is etched in gold on the blade which gives it a really slick appearance.
The steel hardness is rated at 63 which is incredibly sharp. The sandalwood handle is certainly substantive which lends to the feeling of quality when the product is in your hand.
When you order this razor it arrives in a decorative wood box. There are arabesque carvings on the lid and is secured with a metal buckle. Inside the box, the straight razor sits on a bubble bed of foam which reliably protects it from scratches.
This is a great gift because of the high-quality product and the cool box it comes in. The box doubles as a traveling case for anyone needing safe transport of their razor.
A.P. Donovan says a combination of “high-quality materials, stylish design, and effective functionality” is the way to produce the best straight razor. We think they nailed it with this one.
This straight razor by Naked Armor is for the lover of vintage design. With a super sharp razor hardness rating of 61-65 you’ll have no trouble shaving down that stubble.
Its handle is handmade of algum wood which has accents of gold copper heads on both ends of it.
The beautiful packaging of this straight razor make it a great gift. It comes contained in a leather travel case encased in a slick black box. The leather case looks cool and classy.
Make sure you get a strop for this razor. Unfortunately, it does not come shave ready and will need preparation before your first shave. Naked Armor suggests you give it a good strop the night before you shave.
This is one of the best straight razors for someone getting interested in wet shaving.
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