As mentioned above, there are many types of straight razors. However, the list below caters to every budget and only presents what’s easily available online from trusted retailers.
Additionally, most of the razors listed below are shave-ready meaning that they require no honing before their first use. This is important for newcomers to straight razor shaving. Honing is not easy and might be best handled by professionals before trying yourself.
Before you go on, you might want to familiarise yourself with the different blade terminology. One of our straight razor guides will explain terms like “grind”, “points” and how blade sizes are measured. If you’re already aware of these, read on!
Can I Use A Vintage Straight Razor?
Many straight shaving enthusiasts love using vintage razors rather than newer models. In fact, there is a far greater variety of razors available secondhand.
Many of the best manufacturers didn’t survive the industrial revolution. Today, the industry is dominated by only a few companies from Germany, France and China. However, there are many prestigious historical brands from these countries as well as Britain, Sweden and the USA.
There are a few caveats to consider before scouring eBay for famous razors. Firstly, you need to know a bit about vintage straight razors. It’s important to recognise the defects due to age and mistreatment. This way you will be able to identify what you can fix and what is essentially dead.
For instance, frustrating rust spots known as devil’s spit are difficult to remove but they’re largely cosmetic. However, frowns or smiles on a razor’s edge can take a lot of honing, which will reduce the razor width.
Restoring Vintage Razors
Many people selling away vintage razors usually don’t know anything about them either. These old razors are sometimes found in a garage sale or an attic clearance. Often they’re not properly stored and have been exposed to humidity for decades.
If you pick up an old razor, you could always get it professionally restored. However, this is a costly job so check whether the razor is worth the investment. Razors can greatly vary in value and it’s better to reserve this for renowned brands or sentimental pieces. Of course, you can learn to restore razors yourself but it’s a long and arduous process.
Finally, you don’t necessarily know where a razor has been before buying it. However, there are reputed artisans that sell off professionally restored razors and even customise them.
For instance, we’re very fond of Whipped Dog who offers excellent restored and new razors for almost every possible budget. A simple search through forums such as Badger & Blade and The Shave Den will help you find them.
Now that you’ve read about the best straight razors, consider taking a look at strops to keep it sharp. Our straight razor sharpening guide features a list of the best strops and hones on the market to make sure that yours is in perfect order. Alternatively, we suggest the following guides: