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The Best Straight Razors For A Closer Shave

Best Straight Razors 00 Hero

While the basic premise of shaving with a “cut-throat” razor remains largely unchanged, the number of options on the market has grown significantly. This can make shopping for an open razor difficult, especially for the uninitiated who don’t yet know how to shave with a straight razor. For this reason, we’ve searched high and low for the best straight razors currently on the market from a variety of different styles and price points. So, whether you’re a seasoned open razor connoisseur looking for the latest and greatest in true razors, or a curious first-timer on a budget, our list of the best straight razors is sure to resonate with you.

The Best Straight Razors

What is a straight razor?

Straight razors have existed in one form or another for millennia, with cultures like the Ancient Egyptians utilizing primitive copper and gold versions of the grooming utensils as far back as the 4th Millennium BC. In that time, a series of major advancements have taken place as metallurgy technology and production techniques continue to be refined. The first straight razors with a steel edge were made in Sheffield during the 1680s, and for the next two hundred years, it would be the main instrument for barbers around the globe until the safety razor came along in the mid-20th century. Today, stainless steel and carbon steel are the most popular choices for straight razors, but the design has been more or less the same through the years: a handle with a razor blade.

Why should you use a straight razor?

With the convenience of electric/disposable razors and the sort of middle ground that safety razors provide, some newbies to the shaving scene might be wondering why you should use a straight razor at all. Well, they provide the closest possible shave you can get, for starters, and they reduce irritation and razor burn (once you get the hang of it). You also get the most control with a straight razor, allowing you to shape your facial hair precisely, and you’ll save money in the long run because you won’t be buying replacement heads/blades (unless you get a shavette, but more on that later). Besides the utility that straight razors provide, the ritual and the history behind them makes shaving a much more interesting experience compared to disposables or electric razors.

How to use a straight razor

It can seem daunting to enter the straight razor ring, but all it takes is some practice and confidence. First, apply your shaving soap/cream of choice, grip the shank (the metal part that connects the blade and the handle), turn the blade slightly so that it’s pointing down, stretch your skin, and then start shaving (with the grain!). You’ll want to apply some more soap/cream and do a second shave across the grain, and then a final one against the grain. To finish up, rinse your face with cold water, and especially if you’re a beginner, some aftershave may help. Obviously, this is easier said than done, and it’s going to take some practice (and maybe a few knicks) to get it right. So make sure you have some disinfectant like witch hazel handy to keep your face in shape.

Traditional vs. shavette

Both of these styles may look very similar, but they have a key difference. Shavettes use a blade holder to house a single-edge, disposable blade, as opposed to the fixed blade on a traditional straight razor. This is mainly for hygienic purposes, but it’s also a good choice for beginners because you won’t need to maintain a blade while achieving the same quality shave you’d get from a traditional option. That said, traditional razors are still a great choice, but be prepared to sharpen and clean your blade.

How to keep a traditional straight razor sharp

Honing: To hone your blade, you take the edge and run it along a strop (a piece of leather) which removes inconsistencies and keeps it sharp.

Stropping: This involves sharpening your blade’s edge against a stone, and should be done every couple of months, depending on usage.

what to look for

Weight: Heavier razors will have handles made of steel or metal, and will help apply pressure so you don’t have to press against your skin as hard. Lightweight razors often have resin or wood handles, and offer more control over your facial hair (and are usually cheaper).

Handle: You’ll be choosing between straight handles and folding handles. Straight handles are the classic design and offer more control for some, but folding handles are a little safer, allowing you to cover the blade when it’s not being used.


Size: The width of a blade is marked in one-eighth-inch increments (from the spine to the edge), with smaller widths offering more control, and larger widths providing a better shave for coarse facial hair. Generally speaking, 5/8″ or 6/8″ will work for most people.

Material: You’re choosing between carbon steel and stainless steel here, and both are great choices. However, stainless steel is less likely to corrode, but carbon steel is easier to sharpen (and feels smoother in general).

Grind: This is referring to the blade edge’s shape, thickness, and flexibility. Full hollow grinds (right behind extra hollow) are thin and flexible, while wedge and quarter hollow grinds are thicker and less flexible. A full hollow blade is best for beginners because you’ll be able to feel the blade on your face and adjust for resistance more accurately.

Point: The two most common blade points are rounded and square. You should opt for the one that looks best to you, but a rounded point is a little safer for beginners as mistakes are less punishing.

Dovo Shavette Straight Razor

West Coast Shaving Dovo Shavette Straight Razor
  • Made in Germany
  • Reasonably priced starter pick
  • Comes with two blade holders
  • Might be too lightweight for some

The Best Shavette: Unlike traditional disposable and electric razors, shaving with a straight razor requires equal parts skill, patience, and practice. And, while diving in at the deep end is one (less-than-advisable) option, you’re much better off easing into things with a learner’s blade, like Dovo’s Shavette Straight Razor. Made in Germany from stainless steel, the Shavette negates the need for maintenance or sharpening by utilizing a replaceable blade. Plus, it comes with multiple color-coded blade holders, each conducive to different styles of shaving with a straight blade.

Weight: .8 oz
Handle: Folding
Dimensions: 5.25 in x .75 in x .4 in
Blade Material: Stainless steel

Feather Artist Club Black SS Folding Handle Razor

Feather Artist Club Black SS Folding Handle Razor
  • Good for beginners
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Slip and heat-resistant handle
  • Does not perform quite the same way as a traditional straight razor

The Best Japanese Shavette: Feather is a Japanese brand that (as the name would suggest) makes lightweight straight razors just like this folding shavette that’s made with Japanese stainless steel. Keep in mind that shavettes use disposable blades, but Feather has made cleaning and replacing easy with a spring-mounted blade head. The stainless steel body is 5.6″, and the black resin handle (which is slip-resistant and can handle heat up to 275°F) is 4.8″

Weight: 1.5 oz
Handle: Folding
Razor Body Length: 5.6″
Blade Material: Stainless steel

Morrama Black Angle Razor Kit

Morrama Black Angle Razor Kit
  • Named one of the best razors in 2022 by GQ
  • Minimal, modern, and award winning design
  • May require more shaves for coarse beards

The Best Minimal Razor: Though the first production of straight razors dates back to 1680s England, the overall design and profile of the cut-throat razor has gone mostly unaltered over the last couple of centuries. Recognizing this lack of aesthetic creativity, the London-based label morrama has shaken things up in the space with its Black Angle Razor Kit. The award-winning design is machined from aluminum, features a double-edged blade, is secured via a brass pin, and comes with a matching matte-finish CNC’d aluminum stand with a silicon anti-slip bottom.

Weight: .25g
Handle: Straight
Blade Size: Not listed
Blade Material: Aluminum

Ralf Aust Limited Edition Fendrihan Straight Razor

Ralf Aust Limited Edition Fendrihan Straight Razor 6 8
  • Handmade in Germany
  • Carbon steel with a square point
  • Full hollow ground
  • Requires a bit of sharpening before using

The Best Traditional Razor: Ralf Aust is a German-based label that crafts straight razors by hand, with attention to detail that fans and experts in the space appreciate. You can see that precision and care in this limited edition straight razor that the label dropped with Fendrihan, as it’s handmade with African Blackwood scales, and features a 6/8 ” carbon steel blade with a full hollow grind. For those of you interested in a subtle, classic, and effective straight razor, then this may be the one to get.

Weight: Not listed
Handle: Folding
Blade Size: 6/8″ square point
Blade Material: Carbon steel

Boker Elite Carbon 3.0 Straight Razor

Boker Elite Carbon 3 0 Straight Razor 6 8
  • Round point and an extra hollow grind
  • Comes in special historic packaging
  • Great for coarse beards
  • This is a traditional blade, so it will require maintenance

The Best Carbon Steel Razor: In the latter half of the 19th century, opulent, high-end straight razors were sold under the banner of “Boker Elite.” This legacy now lives on through the revived German outfit, which is responsible for the Carbon 3.0 Straight Razor. Hand-ground and assembled in Solingen — also known as “the City of Blades” — this carbon fiber razor features CNC-milled carbon scales shrouding a 6/8″ honed carbon steel blade with a dual bevel back. The Elite Carbon 3.0 also comes in special historic packaging and is sold with a certificate of authenticity.

Weight: 3.27 oz
Handle: Folding
Blade Size: 6/8″ round point
Blade Material: Carbon steel

Thiers Issard St. Jacques Sheep and Wolf Straight Razor

Thiers Issard St Jacques Sheep and Wolf Straight Razor 5 8
  • Made in France
  • Full hollow ground
  • Special art depicting St. James the Apostle’s route across Spain
  • Needs to be honed a bit before use

The Most Unique Razor: Thiers Issard St. Jacques is one of the world’s leading straight razor purveyors, with the French outfit dating back to 1884. This particular limited edition item from the Thiers-based company has been bestowed with a 5/8″ round point, full hollow-ground, TI Carbnsong C135 steel blade. The white resin scales are decorated with the “Chemin Saint Jacques,” which was the route taken by St. James the Apostle as he famously traveled through Spain. The lightly colored, pastel-heavy handles are offset by the blade’s gold “sheep and wolf” inlays.

Weight: Not listed
Handle: Folding
Blade Size: 5/8″ round point
Blade Material: Carbon steel

Grim Blades Rosewood Kamisori

The Blades Grim Grim Blades Rosewood 6 8 Kamisori
  • Made in America
  • Quarter hollow grind
  • Option to add a personal laser etching
  • Does not come in a standard razor coffin

The Premium Pick: Japanese for “razor,” a Kamisori is a distinctive style of the straight razor from the Land Of The Rising Sun. Heavily influenced by traditional Japanese design language and visual themes, Grim Blades’ Rosewood 6/8” Kamisori is a high-quality, razor backed by a 61 HRC Austrian steel blade. This made-in-America razor is hand-pined, boasts a custom scythe point, and is decorated in handsome genuine Rosewood scales. Sold shave-ready, the Rosewood 6/8” Kamisori is offered with a lifetime warranty.

Weight: Not listed
Handle: Straight
Blade Size: 6/8″ scythe point
Blade Material: Fine Grain Tool Steel

The Best Shaving Soap for your Straight Razor

Best Shaving Soaps 00 Hero

Barbers and straight razor enthusiasts alike stand by shaving soap, so you should head over to our best shaving soap guide – your face will thank you.