How to shave with a straight razor

A straight razor is a type of razor that has been manufactured with one cutting edge. The blade is then sharpened on the opposite side to create a shaving-ready edge that curls away from the skin.

In the early days of safety razors, these razors were still found in many homes and their popularity continued throughout WWII. But now they're primarily used by professionals in barbershops and by men who lack access to more modern shaving methods, according to history author Mark Hoban.

Straight razors are cool pocket knives that are also still popular in countries like China, Japan, and Korea. In fact, in Japan these razors are known as tsuchi-oki, which translates roughly as "hands-down stone." Some of the top manufacturers of these instruments include Dovo Solingen and Thiers Issard.

In the past, razors were common for both professional barbers and people looking for a less expensive option for at-home shaving. However, even though there are many beauty salons and barber shops that still use straight razors or have them on hand in case clients request them, most stores have now switched to other equipment that's easier to use.

What Do Razors Look Like?

A straight razor is a single-edged razor with a handle that pivots on the back of the blade. This design makes it possible to simply move the blade along one's face in an angle and achieve a smooth, shaving result.

The razor is a sharp cutting instrument with a blade that can be adjusted to provide a close shave. The blade is mounted on an edge, which may consist of either a mildly curved solid bar or thin sheet metal. 

These razors are also known as open razors or cut-throat razors and can be differentiated from the earlier types of shaving instruments in that they have no guard beyond the blade itself. The term "cut-throat" is assumed to refer to shaving somebody else's beard closely, but it may also be derived from its close resemblance to the literal act - "cutting someone's throat".

Some types of razors can also be used to cut hair or perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on someone who has passed out. It would appear that these traditional designs are still in wide use today, as they're often seen in barber shops and on TV shows such as "Mad Men".

Variants of Straight Razor

These razors are used for close shaves. There are two types of straight razor, the old fashioned and the modern versions. The traditional razor was made from a single piece of metal, but nowadays it’s made with a double-edged blade. 

They were commonly used in barber shops and salons in many Western countries until the late 1800s when they fell out of fashion because they presented more health risks than the new disposable blades already available on the market.

After losing their popularity, some people have attempted to revive their use by amateurs and enthusiasts who have taken up vintage razors like they had done before 1880.

Straight razor

Shave with Straight Razor

The best shaving technique is generally a hot shower and a shave brush. There are many good reasons to do this and it’s definitely worth the effort. After hot water, use the brush to get your skin nice and clean, soften up your beard as much as possible, and raise or soften your hair for a smoother shave. 

The result is an easier shave, less razor burn, less ingrown hairs or razor bumps, fewer cuts (or nicks), and softer pores on skin after you're done brushing. Shaving with a straight razor is like shaving with a clean blade. Not only does this give you a closer shave, but the razor glides over the skin better and doesn't generate as much heat. 

This means less irritation and less razor burn. Shaving with a razor also means more of your shaving time is devoted to grooming, which means you'll get the best possible shave in the least amount of time. Shave in the direction of the grain (or against it if you have heavy, coarse hair). This is your first line of defense for a smooth shave.

Experiment with pressure. Many people put far too much pressure on their razor manually, which will make your shave more difficult and lead to injury, particularly if you're using a straight razor. Let the weight of the razor do the work and don't apply excessive pressure.

Always use a sharp blade. There's nothing worse than slicing up your face when you're trying to get that smooth feel and look only to realize that your blade just wasn't up to snuff.

Shave with Razors: Different Ways

These razors have been around for some time and they have been used by many people with good results. There are different features that a person can choose from such as wet or dry shave and more expensive models include things like lasers which are used to cut through the hair without any pain or discomfort involved from other methods.

There are different ways of using a starlight razor for shaving. It is recommended that you shave with a razor in the shower if possible, as it will help you get rid of the hair by loosening it up. You can use an electric or manual razor so long as you keep the blades wet after shaving and apply the gel to your skin before rinsing it away. 

If you don't want to use either of these options, try going old school and using a straight edge instead. Using a straight edge is much easier than trying to shave wet hair, but it also takes longer to complete which means more chances for creating ingrown hairs or pulling hairs out by accident. 

Unlike using a razor directly on your skin, you will have to use a lot of pressure with a straightedge to get the razor to cut through the hair. You can also use your fingers or clipper without putting it directly on your skin. This is highly recommended for people who are prone to ingrown hairs and bumps, as it will give you more control in case of an accident. 

If you want to still use a straight razor, consider using a straight edge or an electric shaver instead of an actual starlight razor. Star light razors can be used for different reasons and in several different ways.

Cleaning Your Razors

The preparation, patience, and care taken with a straight razor are vital for the longevity of the blade. Here's a quick guide on how to properly clean your razor.

These razors have become popular in the last few years and men’s grooming has never been more competitive or diverse. There is an obsession with shaving as well as an understanding of how much time and effort can be invested in maintaining a perfect shave each day. 

So what does this mean for you? In order to keep your straight razor working efficiently, you'll need to constantly stay on top of it by cleaning it every day. For most of our readers, no one is going to tell you that you need to regularly clean your razor, but for the first time shavers out there, you could be missing out on a lot by not doing it properly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Razors


  • They give a smoother and closer shave than their safety razor counterparts.
  • The weight of the blade acts as a guide to help you shave straight so that you don't cut your face.
  • Straight razors are inexpensive, but they last a lifetime if properly cared for. 
  • You can press the blade all the way down to your cheek without fear of cutting yourself because it has no guard or any other protective feature like its safety counterpart has, due to its simple design not harming anyone who doesn’t venture too far from their skin.


  • If you want to get a close shave or you're in a hurry and don't want to take your time, the straight razor is not for you. Also, aside from being used in the military and by some old-timers, it's not very common. This means that you may have to go through a lot of trouble and expense buying one.
  • Being a single blade razor requires special care and knowledge on how to use it correctly. If you do not know how to use this type of razor correctly, you'll end up cutting yourself once or twice by making an error in your shaving technique.
  • Most razors that are made for sale require extra maintenance. The blade needs to be sharp and well maintained for a good shave.
  • The fact that it does not come with a guard or any other safety feature makes it very dangerous in the wrong hands. If you're not careful, you could end up doing damage to your face.