Straight Razor vs Safety Razor: Battle of the Blades

Straight Razor vs Safety Razor
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Just like every man needs a good watch, every man needs a good razor. But which to use among so many thousands of options to choose from?

Safety Razors and Straight Razors are two razor variants that are very popular in the market. They are both preferred blades of choice by millions of people around the world. But then again the question comes. Which to choose? Should you go for a straight razor or a safety razor?

In case you are confused and haven’t decided yet, then look no further. This is the place that has your answer. Because today we’ll have a faceoff. It’s gonna be Straight Razor vs Safety Razor. 

So buckle up and wear your seatbelts because this is gonna be one badass fight.

Pre Shave Routine

One who owns either of these blades must follow a pre-shaving routine to have the most comfortable and seamless shave without cutting one’s skin. Before shaving with either of these razors, we recommend you to do the following:

  1. Prepare yourself by applying a hot towel to your face, 
  2. Use a pre-shave oil.
  3. Put on shaving cream before moving forward

Straight Razor vs Safety Razor

Time to address the elephant in the room. For your comfort, we’ve decided to compare and organize them in every category there is. We hope this will will serve as a guide and make your purchase decision easier on which razor to choose from

1. Design

The first and obvious distinction that meets the eye is the design and build of these two razors. Both razors feature different mechanisms. Here are some of the key differences when it comes to their design:

Straight Razor

Have you ever noticed the razor that your barber uses at a saloon which represents a knife-like structure?

A straight razor actually closely resembles a knife that it does any razor you’re probably used to. Not only does it resemble a sharp knife, but also cuts like a sharp one as well. There’s a reason why people refer to it as the “Throat Slicer”

It a long straight piece of metal with a razor-sharp tip that’s attached to a pivoting handle. Well, we are not here to scare you away or anything. It actually gives you the closest skin shave you can get from any razor.

Safety Razor

Safety razors ship with single variants, however, it usually comes as a double edged safety razor. It has a fixed metal handle with a blade attached firmly to it at the top. It’s crafted out of metal which allows one to shave with double-edged razor blades.

It is built out of metal thus making it seemingly effective and easy to be used as a double edged safety blade.This design and protective guard prevents you from cutting yourself as often as you would’ve while using the straight razor. This happens because of its ability to glide over your skin with the razor. 

Well, to put into perspective, safety razors are basically a more stylish version of the disposable razors you have used or seen.

2. Who it is for

Of course, the target customer and niche is also different for both these razors. They are not for everyone. They vary from individual to individual based on preferences.

Straight Razor

The individual who wants a superior quality shave with no stubbles growing up the next day should use a straight razor. People who don’t mind honing or sharpening their blades every now and then and have both time and skills, this razor is for them. One must be a shaving enthusiast in order to use this without cutting oneself.

Safety Razor

The individuals who want a seamless and smooth quality shave with a comfortable tension free shaving experience should use a safety razor. It is for individuals who don’t want to invest time in honing or sharpening the blades and willing to sacrifice some slight limitations of close shave in exchange for a safer and smoother shaving experience

3. Safety Measures

These razors aren’t made the same and hence their mechanism greatly impacts their user. Here are some of the key differences when it comes to their safety measures:

Straight Razor

“Is a straight razor dangerous?” The question might’ve already arisen in your mind by now. Truth is, it’s a bit more difficult (and maybe scary) at first; but like all things, practice makes perfect.  

Straight Razor features a very sharp blade and will give you a very close shave. But it also carries the risk-off cutting your skin very easily. Unlike safety razors, the blade is not protected or guarded to prevent it from gliding over.

Safety Razor

First, let’s get one thing clear – the word safe here has nothing to do with safety. Safety razors are NOT safe, if you are reckless with it and not taking proper care. So what the ‘safety’ in safety razor means is that here the blade is not exposed, but enclosed within the razor’s head. 

Although it’s safer than a straight razor and the mechanism makes it less prone for you to cut yourself, you’ll still get nicks and cuts if you are not careful

How to use Straight Razor
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4. Usage

These 2 razors greatly vary when it comes to how they are being used to shave. Following are the ways in which one can shave using the razors in question.

Straight Razor:

In order to prevent cutting yourself, you need to know how to shave with a straight razor. Not everyone in the current generation knows how to shave with a straight razor due to the popularity of other blades and razor.

When you start using a straight razor, rest your three middle fingers on the back of the blade, your thumb on the side of the blade, and your pinky on the blade’s handle (also known as a tang). Don’t apply much pressure during the act of using a straight razor. Being gentle is key.

Safety Razor

You need to adjust the angle of the safety razor properly or else you’ll subject yourself to a subpar shaving experience with lots of nicks and cuts which may irritate your skin. It takes a while getting used to, but once you know the nuts and bolts there’s nothing stopping you.

You just have to keep the blade tilted at the right angle and use short strokes by going along the grain. You can go against it too. 

When using a safety razor, going slow is the way to go. Due its fixed head, the person needs to be patient while saving. Otherwise they run the risk of cutting themselves.

5. Maintenance

When it comes to maintaining, these razors have different needs that are required to be tended to. Otherwise, they’ll deteriorate over time.

Straight Razor

You must re-sharpen your blades to avoid nicks and cuts. It’s advised you do it after a few months of use. After shaving, users need to clean the blade with lukewarm water. Afterwards, you must dry the blades.

It helps prevent rusting. You can use olive oils and mineral oils which will aid in maintenance of  your blade as well. However, unlike the safety razor, you don’t have to worry about buying replacement blades like you would in a safety razor.

Safety Razor

Perks of using a safety razor is that one does not need to sharpen his blade every now and then if it becomes dull as the option of replacement blades is always there to avail. Users can replace blades whenever the blade wears down, which is more convenient than having to sharpen a dull blade when using straight razors. 

Quality of razor
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6. Quality and Precision

There’s a noticeable difference in the shaving quality and precision when it comes to using a safety razor and a straight razor. They are discussed below:

Straight Razor

This gives you the closest skin shave that you can find anywhere else. This is also what makes it the number 1 choice for the barber and tool that you see in every barbershop. One need not worry about a stubble growing right after the next day of shaving. This gives you the best quality shave with the most accurate and precise shave

Safety Razor

Despite offering a more comfortable shaving experience, it still comes at the cost of sacrificing its precision and quality. You will get a great shave, no doubt. But we can’t promise you that it will be as skin deep as a straight razor. This gives you a close to skin shave with less accuracy and precision compared to its straight razor counterpart

7. Skill

There is a difference in skills when it comes to operating these two razors. This can be a major deal breaker for some.

Straight Razor

Is straight razor for beginners? No.

Using a straight razor requires skill and patience. It is seen used by mostly barbers like a weapon of choice.. It’ll probably take a few months and quite a few shaves to become proficient with a straight razor. Unless you are a professional shaver who has a lot of experience, making the switch to a straight razor may not be the best course of action for you.

Safety Razor

Initial investment here is never the skill. Even an amateur with minimal shaving experience or practice can reap the benefits of this. Granted that the shaving quality won’t be nearly as good as a straight variant which offers a much closer shave, you’ll still be able to get away with using a safety razor as it requires less skill and practise. e.

8. Durability

A noticeable difference is seen between these two razors based on how long they last. 

Straight Razor

One of the biggest pluses of using a straight razor is that it’s built to last you a lifetime. required as frequently as in case of a safety razor. Infact, some men still use straight razors that date back to centuries. It’s possible due to metal design and superior build quality of the straight razor. You don’t have to bother much about replacement blades.

Safety Razor

Let’s be honest here. If you do not buy a premium safety razor that’s going to be hurting your wallet, you are going to have to keep replacing the blades. Contrary to its counterpart, the straight variant, the safety razor requires replacement blades very often. 

 9. Price

Of course, these razors don’t come for free. However one of these razors comes with a hefty price tag where else the other keeps adding up for different adjustments. 

Straight Razor

Initially, a straight razor is more costly than the safety variants. There are, however, no extra expenses such as replacement blades or purchasing a fresh razor. Unlike safety razors, with time, the cost doesn’t increase. It’s a long term commitment, but it’s a little costly at first.

Safety Razor

Depending on the quality the price will vary. Despite investing in a very good quality safety razor, you’ll still need to purchase replacement blades which will add up to the cost over time. 

10. Style

Some of you might not even care about either of those. If you are a guy for whom fashion and style are what makes the difference then this is the part that you should look out for.

Straight Razor

Straight razors are a classic,timeless piece which offers a style statement that is over a century old. If you master the straight razor you’ll have mastered a real grooming art. It makes you feel and look like a total badass. This is a classic timeless piece one that’s not going to run out of fashion anytime soon. 

Safety Razor

The safety razor is also a stylish addition to your bathroom counter. With their all-metal construction, safety razors are timelessly cool. You can find safety razors in a variety of styles, with great options available for practically any budge

Pros and Cons

We’ve made enough comparisons and analyzed the differences. But of course, some of you are solely looking for the ups and downs for straight and safety razors. This will help make your purchase and buying decision either and gather an overall idea and perspective about the matter.

The pros and cons for both of these razor variants are given below:

Straight Razor

Here are the pros and cons of using a straight razor:

Pros

  • Safe way to get an extremely close shave compared to shaving with the straight razor.
  • Incredibly well made and sturdy. 
  • Durable
  • If maintained and taken care of properly, will last a lifetime
  • Covers a lot of surface area with each shaving stroke
  • Highest level of freedom and control
  • Super smooth and close to skin shave 

Cons

  • A steep learning curve that is very different from a commercial razor
  • Prone to nicks and cuts
  • Takes a lot of time commitment to hone and sharpen the blades when it becomes dull
  • Requires a lot of skill and practice
  • Blade damage would require replacement of the entire unit 

Safety Razor

Here are the pros and cons of using a safety razor:

Pros

  • safe way to get an extremely close shave compared to shaving with the straight razor.
  • Convenient and quicker shave
  • Easier to replace the blade as opposed to sharpening and honing
  • Requires minimal practice and skills
  • Less prone to nicks and cuts
  • Cheaper

Cons

  • Price of replacement blades keep adding up over time thus ultimately leading to being more expensive than the straight razor
  • Cannot perform close to skin shave like the straight razor
  • Not as accurate and precise and leaves more hair compared to straight razor
  • Not as durable as a straight variant.
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The Verdict

So who won? In this article, we’ve discussed the pros and cons of each blade and talked about how they differ. Our final verdict is that there are no winners or losers here as both of them are great in their own individual right. 

But at the end of the day, “It Depends”. There’s no one size shoe that fits all solutions here. It all comes down to your individual taste and preferences. A straight razor gives you the closest to skin shave as possible. It isn’t going to run out of style anytime soon.. It’s called old school school razor for a reason. It shall last you a lifetime with proper care and attention.

On the other hand, Safety razors are recommended for you if you prefer a shaving experience with no troubles. If you’re someone who’s relatively new to shaving, you’d be better off with a safety variant as this will help prevent nicks and cuts. This will also give you a bang for your back.

Conclusion

Both straight razors and safety razors have their individual strength and weakness. There is no ruling that states that you have to limit yourself with one blade only. In fact, we would rather recommend you to try out both. Pick one and use it for a while. Afterwards switch to the other. See what works for you

The shaving quality in both the razors are great and can easily get the job done. There is no black and white decision here that needs to be made. You can pick both. We guarantee you’ll leave satisfied either way.

Have you made a decision? Which blade do you prefer? Have you ever experienced cuts with these razors? Would you recommend any particular razor or are you a fan of both? As always we love hearing from you. We’d like you to comment down your answers below.

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