Straight Razor vs Safety Razor

Straight Razor vs Safety Razor

Whether you are a man or a woman, shaving is most probably a big part of your daily shower or bath, and although you may not give much of a thought to the razor you use whenever you shave, it will surprise you how big of a difference one or the other can make in your shaving routine.

There are different types of razors that you can choose from to get the job done, depending on your preference. Nowadays, men and woman alike are used to buying disposable razors or cartridge razors that have to be thrown away after using it a couple of times, if not only once.

Firstly, the effect this has on our wallets is incredible: you can spend ten times more money on disposable razors than replacing a safety razor blade, for example, as disposable ones have to be replaced a minimum of once a week, while replaceable blades for the safety razors last three to four times that amount of time.

Secondly, the environmental impact is enormous: whether you are being conscious of it or not, disposable razors are nothing more than a constant bunch of plastic and metal waste that will most probably never be reused again. And truly, we cannot afford this rhythm of product excess anymore.

Not too long ago, the electric shaving machine was created, and although it does not create any waste at all, the truth is that they don’t provide the best shave of them all. This means that you will need to shave again soon enough to make your skin suffer unnecessarily.

Straight vs. Safety Razor: What You Need to Know

Fortunately, people are starting to look back on our grandfather’s shaving methods again in the past couple of years. Safety razors and straight razors are coming back! And it’s certainly a good thing that this is happening.

These two types of razors, which are not used as often as others, are both very effective and extremely useful when it comes to obtaining a smooth, irritation-free shave. They will also make you save loads of money in the long run and, overall, will create little to no leftover at all.

What is even more interesting is the fact that this is the way men used to shave a hundred years or more ago! The back then well-known “wet shave” is probably the only way to get rid of your body hair without harming your skin.

If this is starting to sound interesting, and you would like to get a bit more information on each type’s advantages and disadvantages, as well as which one offers a better deal for you, keep reading. We will present both options objectively so you can choose fairly which of the two “old” razor styles will fit accordingly to what you are looking for.

A very important side note to keep in mind is that the straight razor vs safety razor argument is not one that necessarily has a one-size fits all answer, so, upon reading, you will have to decide which type has better advantages for you before acquiring one of the two. One thing is for sure, though: whichever you chose, it will definitely be a better option than the disposable razors you are used to, so far!

The Safety Razor: Pros and Cons

Let’s start with the DE Safety Razor.

This type of razor was first created by Gillette in the 1900 as an alternative to the normally used straight razor (which we will talk about later on). It turned out to be quite popular, and eventually replaced the barber’s straight razor for its more friendly approach to shaving.

A DE safety razor consists of a solid handle made, a sturdy head (both made out of metal), and a single, replaceable blade. This blade can be changed periodically but tend to last more than twice as long as plastic razors’ blades.

The device itself resembles modern disposable razors or razors with disposable blades, except it usually does not come with different moisturizers bands built into the blade or head of the razor. This means that you will have to acquire shaving creams and after-shave lotions on your own. Do not panic, this is also a good thing!

If you happen to come across the “real thing”, i.e.: creams and lotions made from organic ingredients, try them out: they will give your better results, and even if they might be a bit more expensive than the pharmacy ones, you will use less product which will make you save money long term.

The safety razor is also much sturdier than disposable ones, and is made of metal most of the time with no plastic parts. When buying a safety razor, you will have the chance to choose a model you truly like and that’s it! You will not have to replace it any time soon so it will be your shaving tool for the upcoming years.

One of the advantages to this razor over a straight razor is that it is easy to use. There isn’t a method to learn or any tricks to overcome when you’re using this one. All you have to do is pay attention to what you are doing and make sure you are getting the hair off your body.

The razor does most of the work, which means there is no reason to push hard against it, as you do with other types of razors.

It is a compact tool and what is best of it is that you can often set the length of the blade according to how you plan to use it. This unique feature is something neither the straight razor nor disposable ones offer.

At the same time, you will have to purchase blades for this one, so you have to find a type of blade you like and a style that fits into your safety razor. This is not something to worry about since many items come with extra blades upon purchase, or tell you where to order them online if you are unable to find them in stores.

Keep in mind that these replaceable blades are quite cheap and a pack of them usually cost up to seven or eight times less than disposable cartridges.

Essentially, the safety razor gets the job done in a no-muss no-fuss type of way that can leave your skin nice and smooth without clogging like the disposable ones. The “safety” aspect, which is a cover on the blade, makes it quite difficult to cut yourself, but they are still sharper than normal razors, which means you will end up with a great shave no matter what.

This does not mean you will be “safe” from cutting yourself. It means that you will still have to get the handle of it but it will always be worth it because of the closer shave you will end up with when using it.

Another great aspect of the safety razor is that it can also be utilized on different parts of the body, so men and women alike can opt for this type of razor in their shaving routines.

The Straight Razor: Pros and Cons

Now, as for the straight razor, we have to emphasize on the fact that this was the first type of razor ever to be sold in the market for men to use.

If you have never seen a straight razor before, it may seem a little scary at first. It’s not called a cut-throat razor for nothing: it has a long straight piece of metal with a sharp tip (the actual razor) and a long handle about the same size. The blade folds up into the handle so that it can be transported safely and protect the blade.

This is the type of razor that is often used in barbershops by professionals. It was also the one that your grandfathers used to shave with, which makes the have a higher level of manliness than you do, we must admit.

The great thing about this type of razor is that you will not have to purchase another razor ever again after you buy it. It is a one-time acquisition that will last a lifetime, if not more. In fact, most men that are currently using a straight razor have obtained theirs from someone in the family, so you can always ask an old uncle or someone alike to see if they can donate you theirs!

If there is no one in your family to pass one onto you, you can always find a used in an antique store, or through eBay. There also a low number of companies that still sell them new. They could be more expensive than a safety razor one (maybe twice as one), but you don’t have to buy any blade replacement at all, so that makes up for it.

Of course, you will have to maintain the blade properly to ensure that it works. The maintenance it needs can be done by a professional although you can learn to do it yourself. It usually consists of sharpening it periodically, so that it stays sharp and hygienic.

The straight razor is, by far, the one that provides the best, closest and most comfortable shave out of all the existent razors in the market.

You will have to learn how to use this razor on your face since it is not as straightforward as you would think. There is a bit of a learning curve that can be tricky at the beginning, but once you learn that, you will find that this type of razor gives you the smoothest shave your skin has ever received.

The risk of cuts is also higher but, as stated before, if you truly learn how to do the “wet shave” properly, meaning using a shaving cream and after-shave lotion, you are unlikely to have any type of irritation or skin damage when you are done.

The wide blade also has a larger surface area, so it can get the job done faster than other razors. This can be a real lifesaver if you are in a hurry as well after you have mastered the art of using it properly.

The straight razor will never be clogged. And we mean that. In addition, the close shave it provides will diminish the amount of times you have to shave in a week, as the hair takes longer to grow.

Overall, people that need a smooth shave on their face and have problems with sensitive skin would benefit greatly from this type of razor because that is exactly what it is designed to help with.

To conclude, what is truly remarkable about this type of razor is that it will help you develop a skill that is actually considered some kind of art. Wet shaving with a straight razor will become a hobby, more than a routine, and you will only find yourself gaining great things, like almost-perfect shaves, from it.

Verdict: Straight Edge Razor vs DE Safety Razor

So, which one is truly better? The straight edge razor or the DE safety one?

Popular opinion is completely divided in this matter. On the one hand, the safety razor is a good transition if you are only used to disposable or cartridge razors; on the other, a straight razor can achieve a quality shave that no other razor can.

A good skill that you will acquire, no matter which one you choose, will be learning how to wet shave. Both the safety razor and straight razor work best when you apply real shaving cream on your skin.

This will allow you to become part of a shaving process that you will undeniably end up enjoying. Buying brushes to swirl the cream and produce lather, shaving with an old-fashioned tool, and then later applying hydrating lotions, are all steps from a shaving method that was almost lost in history until, a few years ago, these two types of razors started resurfacing.

The differences are big, and so are the results. So when you are trying to determine what type of razor you want out of straight or safety razors, the safety razor is your safest best and the easiest way to go from disposable ones to the straight razor, so it is a good away to try this one out first.

The safety razors are affordable, have cheap replaceable blades, and it can be used all over the body by males and females. They also come in different styles and are easy to maintain, so you can find one that really works for you.

In addition, they work just like disposable razors, so you do not have to waste a lot of time figuring out how to use them, and the cutting risk is lower than with the straight razor.

Nevertheless, after you have gotten the handle of the safety razor, and you are still interests in going further into the manliness world, it is highly recommended to acquire a straight blade razor and learn how to use it.

As stated above, you will never obtain such a smooth, close-to-perfect shave as you will with a straight razor and, as soon as you learn how to use it properly, it will be an easy way to get rid of your face hair while also taking care of your skin the way it deserves.

Even though safety razors diminish waste greatly, a straight razor produces no waste at all, and there is nothing you have to replace about it, so you can completely forget about spending big amounts of money on razors of any kind.

This is our final verdict: even today, the straight razor is still the best choice. But we understand if you are a bit dubious about jumping from disposable razors to a knife-looking one right away. Therefore, if you truly need the transition, you can always try a sturdy safety razor first and, after gaining some confidence, have a meeting with the straight blade razor itself.

Lastly, whatever you choose, do not forget to pamper yourself with a great, natural shaving cream to prevent irritation and bumps, and finish up with a nice-smelling after-shave lotion once you are done!

About the author


I use to watch my dad shave every morning before he went to work. When I was old enough to shave all I could think about was using an old school straight razor as my dad did. I want to share all I know on this blog about shaving and using razors. I love sharing and writing about this lost art.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: