Straight Talk On Straight Razors
I often get asked how I make my beard lines so tight and consistent… So today I reveal the not so secret secrets that I arrived at through hard-fought research…
When it comes to a name, the straight razor, really does meet it name because you can make very nice straight lines, especially on the neck and jawline. It really is kind of silly to have 4 or 5 blades or whatever the latest thing out of Gillette or whatever has.
I have a “butt” chin and have been using a straight razor pretty much since I was able to shave because a multi-blade razor could not get in there.
For many years, I used a “travel” straight razor that was kind of cheap (approx $12), like this one:
Those are great and are a nice place to start, but what I use now is the amazing Feather SS straight razor from Japan, that is made more for professionals. The blades are extremely sharp and so I would not recommend it until you’ve test driven the cheaper one above.
When I say sharp, I mean it, you really need to pay attention, because these are professional grade, stainless steel, tempered, honed, ground and platinum hardened. Basically, the Japanese don’t fuck around when making these. This razor which is around $60 is my favorite because it gives you a super close shave, but also because it has an amazing blade injector system I’ve never seen anywhere else.
You squeeze the top of the blade to release the used blade from the razor, then you take the blade injector and line it up with a hole on the razor, and simply slide it down and into the razor. It’s amazing and very satisfying and doesn’t leave you trying to squeeze it in or use some other faulty mechanism.
Speaking of how sharp these blades are, when you first start out, whether you have the cheaper one or the Feather SS, you are going to get cut. Hell, even having shaved thousands of times with the straight razor, I still cut myself (especially when in a hurry)… Fortunately, though, there is something called at Styptic Pencil that pretty much stops most light bleeding and seals the cut instantly. You just put some water on it, and it stings (oohhh it stings), and then it stops and leaves some little white chalk on you which you wipe off later (don’t forget)… I just learned right now in looking up styptic, that maybe it stings because as an “antihemorrhagic” agent, it makes the tissue contract to seal blood vessels.
. You just put some water on it, and it stings (oohhh it stings), and then it stops and leaves some little white chalk on you which you wipe off later (don’t forget)… I just learned right now in looking up styptic, that maybe it stings because as an “antihemorrhagic” agent, it makes the tissue contract to seal blood vessels.
I also have real straight razors that require being stropped and oiled, honed, etc, but honestly, who has time or even the room for all of that stuff. Unfortunately, I keep my beautiful, antique German blades from Solingen (“City of Blades“), solely for display. If you want to learn about straight razors, even more in depth, and all the other accessories, I highly recommend the forum Badger & Blade, but be careful because the rabbit hole goes pretty deep on this topic…