Even with the continuous production of new models and shapes of safety disposable or refillable razors by the leading brands and manufacturers, straight razors have been getting quite a comeback recently.
Straight razors are also known as cut-throat razors and open razors. This is because of the way that this type of razor is constructed wherein the whole blade is exposed. Because of this, a straight razor is more “open” to the skin and a single hand mistake can cause a “cut throat” accident.
Using a straight razor is not as simple as using a safety razor. You can’t just pick any model or brand and start shaving even if you have no prior knowledge of proper shaving. Since straight razors have a whole exposed blade, one must be able to handle it properly and know how to use one to avoid accidents.
Getting used to handling and maneuvering a straight razor can take some weeks before you can actually achieve the clean shave that you want. However, once you get used to using your straight razor, you will be amazed by how easy it is to use and how you are able to get a better shave. You can even create different looks by exploring ways of shaving with a straight razor.
Another reason why straight razors are getting a well-received comeback is that they can actually let you cut down on the amount of money you spend in purchasing a safety razor.
Since safety razors are either disposable or can be refilled with new blades, this means that you will need to continuously spend every time your safety razor gets blunt. With safety razors, the initial purchase may be costly but proper handling and maintenance will make it last a lifetime.
Given these benefits in using a straight razor, you might be wondering whether this is the right shaving tool for you. In this article, we will discuss the different straight razor blade types to let you choose which one can work best for you.
What are the Different Blade Types?
There are two most common metal types used for the blade of a straight razor—stainless steel and carbon steel. The following are the differences between the two:
Stainless steel straight razors have the ability to maintain its sharp edge longer. Unlike carbon steel, stainless steel will not easily rust even if you forget to completely dry it after each use. Since stainless steel is harder than carbon steel, it can be a little harder to use and not as comfortable to use especially if you are still not used to using a straight razor.
Furthermore, honing or sharpening the blade can take more time as compared to sharpening a carbon steel straight razor. Still, a perfectly sharpened stainless steel straight razor will let you have a clean shave.
Carbon steel blades have a sharp and long-lasting edge. They can provide a clean and comfortable shave and are easier to sharpen and hone.
However, unlike stainless steel straight razors, carbon steel can rust easily and is more prone to oxidation. Because of this, extra care like complete drying and applying oil on the blade should be done to ensure its quality. Proper maintenance of your carbon steel straight razor is the key to achieving great and clean shaves.
What are the Different Point Types?
If you search the internet for an image of a straight razor, you may notice that even though they have the same parts, there are different points or tips with each one. There are five different straight razor point types which serve different purposes:
A French point straight razor has a quarter circle shape with a single sharp point that is a little longer. This type of point is great for maneuvering in tight spots or shaving smaller areas that can be harder to reach.
A Spanish point straight razor has a concave or inward-looking tip and can also be used to reach smaller areas.
This type of straight razor point is similar to the Spanish point but has a smaller and more defined notch on top. This promotes better maneuverability in reaching spots like the ears and the nose.
Spike or Square
Just as its name suggests, the Square straight razor has a square tip that has two sharp points. Depending on how you are able to master this type of straight razor, the square tip can be used to shave nose hair.
The most common straight razor point is the round tip. This type of straight razor is best for beginners since the tip of this razor can minimize accidents caused by incorrect handling of a straight.
What are Other Straight Razor Types?
Most of what is discussed above pertain to a European style straight razor. But there are two other straight razor types—the Shavette and the Asian Straight Razor.
The handle and shape of a shavette are similar to a straight razor but the difference is with the blade used for shaving. The Shavette uses a double-edged safety razor blade which is then attached to a mounting mechanism.
Shavettes do not need honing since the blades are simply replaced every time they get blunt, making them more convenient for individuals who are traveling. A downside with this type is that you will still need to regularly purchase double-edged razor blades.
Another type is the Asian straight razor. This type of straight razor is small and commonly has a permanently mounted blade. There are some models which are similar to a shavette wherein you can replace the blades.
Unlike European straight razors which have a handle and blade that fold together, Asian straight razors look like straight little knives that you use for cutting hair on your face or body. Asian straight razors are efficiently used even by hairstylists to create a certain look.
Given the information on straight razors, you can have a clearer understanding on which type of straight razor you should use to achieve the clean and close shave that you want.