Table of Contents
- 1 Who uses straight razors, and why?
- 2 Best Straight Razor With Disposable Blades – Top 10 Picks!
- 3 OUR #1 CHOICE
- 4 RUNNERS-UP
- 5 DOVO Solingen Straight Carbon Razor
- 6 Naked Armor Straight Razor Shaving Kit
- 7 Feather Artist Club SS Scotch Straight Razor
- 8 Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Edge Razor
- 9 Zertone Handmade Straight Razor
- 10 urwunder Beardo German Straight Razor
- 11 Grandslam Pro Natural Straight Razor
- 12 Parker SRX Straight Razor
- 13 Black Widow Straight Razor
- 14 How to choose the best straight razors for barbers
- 15 Frequently Asked Questions
- 16 Final words
Straight razors are classic barbershop staples. It will also remind you of the tragic Sweeney Todd as he slashes the throat of his customers. But far from the gruesome character that made straight razors infamous, this trimming tool is actually very useful. Almost every barbershop still use straight razors. While there are electric alternatives, nothing beats the control and expertise it takes to shave with this tool. And if you’re looking for the best straight razors for barbers, you’ve come to the right place.
Too long; can’t read? Here are my top 10 picks as a full-time barber:
Who uses straight razors, and why?
Straight razors are common sightings in barbershops. Since it takes a lot of practice to get used to, experienced barbers take up a big share of the straight razor market.
The good thing about straight razors is it allows a barber to maneuver all over the client’s skin. This is something electric razors can’t offer.
You’ll probably saw one of these in your grandpa’s house. Well, the old man has good reasons for sticking to the traditional. Straight razors give a baby-smooth finish if you know how to use it.
Aside from that, straight razors are more cost-efficient. While this is also the case with many electric razors, straight razors are undeniably cheaper but with good quality.
The only waste with the best straight razors for barbers are dull blades. If you have a shavette, you only need to replace the blade, so you don’t have to sharpen it with a strop.
To my surprise, a lot of other guys I know like using straight razors at home. They cite lower cost, eco-friendliness, and feeling more badass as the reason. And as a barber, I listed the best straight razors I’ve tried in the past years and reviewed them here.
Best Straight Razor With Disposable Blades – Top 10 Picks!
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Feather Artist Club Wood DX Straight Razor
Value for Money
For blade replacements, the Wood DX straight razor is compatible with Feather Pro, Pro Guard, Pro Super, Pro Light, and Pro Soft guard blades. All of these are sold separately and easy to come by.
Meanwhile, this straight razor’s handle is made of real teak wood finished with a resin coating for a classy look. The blade is made of stainless steel, so it lasts long, even if washed repeatedly. Also, I like the fact that the blade doesn’t have a bevel, so even lefties can use it with ease.
This suave straight razor comes in a neat and printed cardboard box with the razor strapped inside. It’s a perfect give for a barber in your life or yourself. Sure, it comes at a higher price, but I won’t mind splurging for this level of craftsmanship.
The handle is made of real teakwood
Compatible with many Feather razor blades
Made in Japan for the best cutting edge
Steep price range, but worth the splurge
DOVO Solingen Straight Carbon Razor
One of the best straight razors for barbers I swear by is the DOVO Straight Razor Carbon. This is made of 5/8″ hollow ground, silver steel blade. It’s extremely sharp and able to produce the closest shave you can ever see in your life. I also like to highlight this razor’s excellent craftsmanship, not to mention that the blade can be re-honed using a decent strop.
Moreover, the blade has double stabilizing pieces and gold etching for a remarkable look. There’s also a narrow tang so you can hold it comfortably.
The topnotch German steel blade is connected to an ebony wood handle. It’s tough and well-made. It also gives the razor a nice grip and classy look.
Based on my experience, this piece from DOVO is the smoothest. It cuts like butter and easier to get used to than other razors I’ve tried in the past. There’s no tugging, even on long hairs. I also used this as a balding razor, and the results are quite stellar. This is the perfect razor if you have a lot of growth to remove because it will really cut its way through the thickest hair.
However, I just want to remind you that some DOVO straight razor batches aren’t shave-ready. You need a strop to hone the blade and have it ready for use. Other than that, I don’t have major complaints about this cutting tool.
Naked Armor Straight Razor Shaving Kit
If you’re also looking for other grooming products, the Naked Armor Shaving kit might be right for you. Aside from its high-quality straight razor, it’s also bundled with shaving soap, brush, paste, and strop. All of these are kept inside a wooden box.
The straight razor in this kit has a Japanese stainless steel blade with a textured grip so it won’t slip from your hands. It’s fairly wide with a full hollow design. Overall, it’s 7.8″ on the widest part and 5/8 on the tapered end. It’s ergonomic and very classy, which every barber can’t resist.
Meanwhile, the handle is made of algum wood with gold copper caps for balance and style. It’s also nicely weighted, so it remains comfortable on your hands.
As for the extras, the wood brush is badger-friendly, and there’s a natural shaving soap on a 7-ounce jar. It’s complete with sharpening paste and a heavy-duty leather strop.
The best thing about this Naked Armor straight razor is it’s shave-ready from the package. This is also covered by a lifetime, money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with its performance on your barbershop. Such a guarantee is proof of this kit’s quality.
Based on my experience, this gives a smooth shave, much like the ‘baby bottom’ feel. However, you need to practice using this one before putting it on anyone’s face. It’s a little longer than other razors, which makes it a tad heavier as well. Other than that, this razor would be a workhorse for every barber.
Feather Artist Club SS Scotch Straight Razor
Another Feather straight razor I recommend is the Artist Club SS Scotch. It’s made with a Japanese stainless steel body for smooth shaves. I also like its rounded shaving head that prevents accidental nicks and cuts, especially for beginners. This razor’s main body is corrosion-resistant, and the handle doesn’t rot fast even if soaked in water repeatedly.
Also, you can change the blade by pinching the razor head until the blade drops. Any Feather Artist Club blade is compatible with this specific razor.
Moreover, the blade is paired with a super resin wood handle that can endure temperatures of up to 275F. You can also dismantle the razor for cleaning since the blade uses a spring-mounted mechanism. Despite its one-touch release, the blade remains intact on the razor while shaving.
Overall, this razor is 5.6 inches long, which is manageable for most barbers. It’s also lightweight for just 1.8 ounces with grooves along the tang so you can hold it with ease. It also has a nice weight to it, which many barbers also like.
This straight razor comes in a printed cardboard box, which you can wrap as a present. However, I wish that it also has a leather case, considering its price range. But since it’s very sharp and made to last for decades, I can let this minor niggle slip. Besides, this fits on standard razor cases that you can purchase for a few bucks.
Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Edge Razor
For those who are looking for the ‘true’ straight razor, you should check the Feather Black SS. It’s super-engineered with a stainless steel body and a replaceable blade. This is heat, chemical, and rust-resistant, so it’s guaranteed to last for decades. It’s a kamisori-style Japanese blade and many barbers like its non-folding design, which is easier to hold than folding razors.
I also like the excellent grip of its handle, which is made of silicone resin. Sure, it’s not as classy as wood, but it’s durable and gets the job done. You can also dismantle the blade and the handle using Feather’s one-touch, spring-loaded mechanism.
Aside from that, this has an excellent grip, which is a big deal for barbers. It’s like a small knife that will let you cut through hair with ease. The blades are smooth and sharp, which is what matters if you’re looking for a functional razor.
For its price, I don’t have any major complaints. It’s cheaper than the other Feather straight razors I’ve reviewed above, but it’s far from junk. While it takes time to get used to, you’ll be comfortable after a few practice shaves.
Be it for a professional barber or personal use, I’m confident that this straight razor will last for years – if not a lifetime.
Zertone Handmade Straight Razor
If you don’t have the budget to indulge on high-end straight razors, I recommend the Zertone Handmade razor. This has a classic vintage style made of S45C carbon alloy steel blade with a hardness of HRC58 to 61. It’s also pre-sharpened manually, so it’s ready to use straight from the package. The blade is also hollow for easy drying after each use.
Aside from that, this has a scale made from synthetic wood. It’s polished and colored for a more appealing look. I also like its contour that fits well on my palms, which makes it easier to maneuver while grooming a client.
Moreover, the back of the razor has wavy bumps that make it easier to fold and unfold. There’s also a generous tang for a comfortable hold. I also like the anti-slip ridges along the tang that prevents the razor from slipping when used on wet shaves.
This straight razor comes in a shiny case so you can keep it safe when not in use. And aside from greenwood, the handle is also available in synthetic gold and natural wood. You can also get the one with an upgraded blade or the option bundled with replacement blades.
The only thing I noticed is that the screw is a little loose, which makes the flap open while in use. I need to do some tweaking to set it right. Other than that, this is a versatile straight razor for the money.
urwunder Beardo German Straight Razor
Another classy but affordable razor that I recommend is the urwunder Beardo. This is German-made with a secured blade that doesn’t fall out easily. Also, the blade edge protrudes at 1.2 mm instead of the typical 0.9 mm to achieve close shaves with less effort.
Aside from that, the urwunder Beardo has a recessed grip that accentuates the blade. This makes the razor easier to hold and use, even if you’re still learning barbering basics. And for peace of mind, this razor has a standard locking screw so you can fix the handle and blade at an angle you’re comfortable with.
The blade of the Beardo razor is removable and replaceable, so you won’t have to purchase another unit when the edges get dull. I also like its patented blade holder, which lets you use just about any standard blades in the market.
Aside from that, the handle of this razor is made of natural Pakka wood with resin coating. It’s properly weighted for less hand strain and excellent grip.
Aside from the Beardo straight razor, the package also includes five Gillette 7 o’Clock SuperEdge blades and a leather case. For its low cost, this is already a nice bargain. The razor works smoothly, which is more than what beginner barbers need.
Overall, this is a good straight razor. However, I feel like the handle is a bit light for my taste, but it’s not really a deal-breaker.
Grandslam Pro Natural Straight Razor
The Grandslam Pro is one of the first razors I’ve ever used, and I’m still impressed by its quality. This is a cutthroat razor with an excellent cutting edge made of carbon steel to last long. Overall, this straight razor is well-balanced and has a decent blade that will pass the taste of most barbers.
Aside from that, this has a nice wood handle with a polished finish. It’s also ready to use straight from the package. However, if you’re not happy with its edge, the package includes a strop so you can refine the razor to your liking. You can also sharpen it using a whetstone that you have to purchase separately.
This razor offers a sliding style cut, which cuts like butter. It’s designed for both professional and personal use, which the ladies will also find useful.
You will also get a storage case, which is very much necessary with this straight razor. You just have to be careful when closing the case because the blade’s heel tends to stick out a little bit when placed inside.
Overall, this is nicely made, but don’t expect it to be as sleek as expensive options. I can say that this quality is already a steal for its price, not to mention that it’s bundled with a few extras.
Parker SRX Straight Razor
The Parker SRX Straight Razor is a heavy-duty option if you’re looking for full steel design. It has a heavy-duty steel blade, arm, and scales that will last for years. Despite the 100% steel build, this straight razor is only 2.3 ounces. It remains comfortable to use, even on busy days at the barbershop.
Aside from that, this has a rounded exposure at the blade’s tip to prevent accidental cuts. It also has a lock blade holder that prevents the blade from falling off while in use.
Thanks to its well-made scales, it’s very easy to change or remove the blade of this razor. It also accepts any single-edge or half of a double edge blade. In case the initial blade gets dull, the package includes five Shark Super Stainless half blades as replacements.
In addition, I really like that they used an all-stainless steel material for the entire razor. Most all-metal options I’ve used in the past are made of an aluminum handle, which lacks good weight.
Moreover, this razor comes in a branded gift box, but without a leather case. But then again, this is an affordable razor, and you can always purchase the case separately.
Just one tip: make sure that you secure the blade well. It tends to move if not placed properly, which is one thing that some users complain about.
Black Widow Straight Razor
Last but not the least, I recommend the Black Widow Straight Razor. This has the classic barbershop pole colors on its handle. Still, the highlight of this razor is its tarnish-free and rust-resistant blade holder. It lasts long, even under repetitive use.
It also has a very comfortable grip that prevents the razor from slipping while in use. The tang is textured, so you will have a nice grip, even on wet shaving.
Another thing that I like about this razor is its 1.5 mm blade exposure for detailing work and close shaves. Overall, this is 2.5 ounces, which is a great weight to keep the razor easy to maneuver while preventing hand strain. For this price range, I’m surprised that this razor is well-balanced.
Aside from the razor, you will also get a pack of 20 single-edged blades. You can easily replace the blade for every client on the fly. Anyway, it’s a much easier task than mastering stropping.
This straight razor shaves like butter, although it takes practice to master blade replacements. Other than that, this is a very great deal for barbers on a budget. It’s not toyish, and the manufacturer has excellent customer service if you’re not happy with the quality of the razor you received.
How to choose the best straight razors for barbers
When it comes to the best straight razors for barbers, you should consider the following points:
✔️Traditional vs. shavettes
The first thing that you have to consider is whether you’d like a traditional razor or a shavette.
Traditional razors have a solid blade connected to the handle. It can be sharpened once the edges got dull. On the other hand, shavettes utilize blade holders. Instead of re-honing the cutting edge, you’ll use half-edge blades that will be inserted into the holder.
Both are useful razors, but shavettes tend to cheaper. It also saves you from the task of stropping. If you’re new to straight razors, shavettes are a good start.
For the blade of the straight razors, you’ll usually choose between carbon steel and stainless steel.
Carbon steel is a combination of iron and carbon that produces a cutting edge that will last for decades. It’s very stiff so that the razor won’t lose its edge fast, even under consistent use. However, it can form surface rust and must be oiled regularly.
On the other hand, stainless steel is less likely to rust and requires little to no maintenance. Also, it’s easier to sharpen a stainless steel blade than very hard carbon steel. The downside is that stainless steel tends to lose its edge faster than the other material.
Straight razor handles can either be metal, wood, or plastic. Metal handles are classic and offer a long-lasting design, especially if it’s made of stainless steel. However, it can get slippery when used on wet shaving.
On the other hand, wood is a classic option. It gives the straight razor a classy look, and you can find it in different wood and color options. High-end razors will use ebony, teakwood, Pakka, and algum with resin coating. However, straight razors with wood handles tend to be more expensive.
Lastly, low to mid-priced straight razors use silicone handles. It offers an excellent grip, but quality can be questionable over the years. The plastic may chip and rot after a few years.
Straight razors have sizes that are measured in 8ths of an inch. It refers to the width of the blade, which can be 5/8″, 6/8″, 8/8″, and so on. If you’re a beginner, you should opt for narrower blades because it’s easier to control and move across the skin.
The blade grind refers to the blade shape when viewed from the top. It can be extra hollow, full hollow, half hollow, or quarter hollow. You can also find near wedge and true wedge blades, but these are not common.
The fuller the grind is, the more comfortable the shave will be. The added weight will make every glide smoother and more relaxed on the barber’s end. An extra hollow grind is best left to experts because it requires practice to master.
Also, take note that blade grinds only apply to traditional razors with blades that can be sharpened.
The blade point refers to how the blade tip is designed. It can be square, which is more likely to cause accidental nicks and cuts. You can also get a Spanish blade point, which has a concave profile.
I prefer round or French blade points most of the time since it’s safer and less likely to get chipped when bumped or dropped to the floor. It’s also great for beginners.
Blade exposure refers to how well the blade protrudes from the blade holder (also referred to as ‘aggressiveness’). This is measured on shavettes since it has removable blades on which it can be anywhere from 0.9 mm to 1.5 mm. A highly exposed blade is suitable for detailing work and close shaves. However, beginners should steer clear of it in the meantime.
Lastly, check the weight balance of the straight razor. A good weight is somewhere between 2 to 2.5 ounces, but this will vary on your personal preference. The added weight will provide smoother shaves because the barber doesn’t have to exert too much force to drive the blade into the skin.
However, avoid very cumbersome razors, either. This will cause hand strain, which is a bummer on busy days at the barbershop.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it dangerous to shave with a straight razor?
A: Shaving with a straight razor is as dangerous as using other types of razors. It’s all about your technique and how you handle the trimming tool. As much as possible, practice shaving with a straight razor first before putting it on your face or using it on your barbershop. Remember that straight razors have no blade guards, so you have to master control at all times.
Q: Do barbers reuse razor blades?
A: In my experience, yes, we reuse razor blades. But if you’re going to an upscale barbershop, chances are the barbers will replace the blades after each client. If you have sensitive skin, you can ask the barber to replace the blade. Most barbers will understand and won’t mind doing so.
Q: How does stropping work?
A: Stropping is the process of sharpening a razor’s cutting edge using a material that’s often made of leather. Take note that stropping is done after the blade has been pre-sharpened. It will only refine the edge but not sharpen it from scratch. The strop will remove burrs or uneven spots at the edge of the blade. This is done on straight razors with fixed blades.
Q: Can I use my leather belt as a strop?
A: If the leather belt has rustic and solid leather with a rawhide side, it can be used as a strop. However, you should do this at your razor’s own risk because leather belts aren’t made for such purpose. As much as possible, invest in a durable strop, especially if you bought an expensive razor.
Q: What whetstone can I use to sharpen a straight razor?
A: For straight razors, I recommend whetstones with a grit of #4000 or #8000. This will re-sharpen your razor without causing burrs or damages to the edge. However, if the cutting edge is very blunt, you may need a coarser stone to regain its sharpness.
The best straight razors for barbers are classic options that offer excellent results. It’s perfect for detailing work, close shaves, and other trimming techniques. Still, it’s important to get a trusty razor that will last for years of regular use. If you’re looking for one, the 10 options I reviewed here won’t disappoint.
What do you think of these straight razors? Let me know below!