Straight Razor vs Safety Razor

If you are considering taking the plunge into the world of wet shaving, and moving away from those horrible cartridge razors, then should you try a safety razor, or go for the straight cutthroat razor?

First let me begin, by saying welcome to the wonderful world of proper manly shaving. Both the safety and cutthroat have been around for years, and continue to be used throughout the UK.

I know a lot of guys who use electric shavers, and also use disposable razors to get their morning shave done. No matter what method of shaving you use, one thing is certain, they all take time.

So shaving with a safety or a straight one also takes time, but the good news is, that they don't really take any longer, than any other method of shaving.

Some people still consider these two razors as belonging to the past. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we would go as far to say, as they are making a huge revival.

Many men now like the idea of a shaving stand, with a shaving brush and safety razor hanging from it in their bathroom. It does have a certain classical look to it we think, and some even say any man of distinction should own something like that.

Benefits of Using a Safety Razor

A safety razor is also known as a double edged (DE) safety razor. That is simply because you can use both sides of the razor blade to shave with.

If you are new to this method of shaving, then my advice would be to go to the safety razor as your first choice. There are a few reasons for that, but the main one is simplicity.

Muhle R89 Closed Comb Safety Razor

There is only a small initial outlay for some good shaving cream, a DE safety razor and a few blades. You can get all of that for under £20, and the only thing you need going forward is to top up on your shaving cream and blades.

It is a low entry cost and you do get a fantastic super close smooth shave.

Benefits of Using a Straight Razor

Using a cutthroat razor also has its advantages, but it also takes a lot more practise. My advice would always be to go for a safety razor first.

That gets your skin used to a proper blade, and it also gives you the practise needed, so as you don't cut or nick the skin.

best straight razors

When you have mastered that, then for sure check out  a good straight razor. If you already own some good shaving cream, then all you need is the actual cutthroat razor itself.

Again these are not expensive, so you can add one to your shaving kit when you feel ready to make the move. There are two types of these. One uses razor blades which you change when required.

The other style is a fixed blade, which you will need to keep sharpened with a honing strap, that looks like a leather belt. Bot types are fun to own.

Straight Shaving vs DE Safety Shaving Benefits


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    Closest Shave that you can get
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    They look fantastic
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    Can be done very quickly when you get used to them
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    Available in a lot of different styles
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    Considered to be the outright manly shaving experience


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    Easy to use and give a very close shave
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    Affordable and use normal razor blades which are very cheap
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    Come in a range of styles and prices

Personally I use a safety razor every day, and then when I have a little more time, like on a Sunday morning, I will use my cutthroat for a nice relaxed shaving experience.

Cost Savings Enjoyed With a Safety Razor

I might not have convinced you yet, and if that is the case, then I am going to have one last attempt. Let's talk money and see if that does the trick. A good quality safety razor costs less than £20. It will last for around 10-15 years at least.

You need to change the razor blade after every 4-5 shaves, so you will need about 100 blades a year. Those will cost you about £20 for that amount of blades. 

So initial outlay is £20, and blade cost in a year is £20, and that gives you one of the closest shaves you will ever have. We recommend using this safety razor with a good quality shaving cream like Proraso. 

If you don't want to do that, then a gel will do OK or even that horrible foam stuff, though we don't really recommend doing that.

Now compare that to the price of cartridge blades and you will see that this type of shaving saves you a fortune.

Cost Savings Enjoyed With A Straight Razor

If you decide to go down the cutthroat route, then you have a couple of choices. Buy one that uses razor blades and those cost around £15, plus the same £20 for your razor blades each year.

You could also opt for the fixed blade which costs about £25 and a honing strap which costs about £10. That way you don't need any blades.

Compare that to buying cartridges and hopefully you see that either this straight razor, or the safety razor will save you a fortune over the years.

Aside from that, you get a far better and closer shave that is kinder to your skin.

Final Decision

I remember making the move from using cartridge razors for a couple of reasons. The price was just stupid, and the brands kept changing the model numbers. Trying to find the right blades was hard enough, and then paying out silly prices really wound me up.

I bought instead a Merkur 34C safety razor, some shaving cream and some razor blades. It took me about a week to learn how to use it properly. Since then I would never dream of returning to those other cartridge styles.

Everytime I see the words "New and Improved" it does make me smile, knowing that the only thing that has changed, is probably the price and maybe the addition of yet another blade, to make it 6 blades that don't shave properly.

My rant is over, so good luck to you if you fancy making the change. I already know you will never regret it.

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