Let’s get straight to the point: these razors are not for the faint of heart. Or the unsteady of hand, come to that. Because wielding a straight razor successfully takes some skill. You must be gentle. You must be calm. You must be delicate. And, above all, you must be smooth…
But, once you’ve mastered the art of the single-blade shave, you’ll reap the benefits. Shaving straight is considerably cleaner than shaving with a cartridge or electric razor. As it’s essentially just a single, sharp piece of metal, there is no lubricating strip, foil shaver or tightly packed grouping of blades that can clog up with skin or soap.
Instead, using a straight razor has been proved to reduce the risk of common skin infections, ingrown hairs and razor burn. It keeps things slick, sleek and easy — and works wonders to wake you up on a morning. Because not even the strongest cup of coffee sharpens the senses like the whetted threat of nicking your neck. So, if you want to get back to basics and learn a new grooming skill this spring, here are the best razor-sharp tools for the job…
Find a traditional, inexpensive straight razor
First things first; you shouldn’t be using a straight razor in a rush. So, in much the same way that you brew your weekend coffee in a Moka Potrather than your weekday cafetière, you should save the single-blade shaves for when you can relax and make a ritual out of things.
And, if you’re only using your razor for a fraction of your shaves, you don’t want to spend too much money. Enter both Murdock and D.R. Harris — both heritage London-based barbers with traditional options under £50. Or, if you’re looking to nudge into three figures, there are few better classically crafted open razors than this ebony and carbon steel design from Truefitt & Hill.
Make a shaving statement with a precious metal razor
Then again, if the whole point of a straight razor is to take your time, luxuriate in the ritual of grooming and splash out, why not look for something a little more decadent? Altogether glitzier and ritzier is the precious metal option; straight razors either hewn from or with handles adorned with precious metals.
With a Spanish point, the finely worked blade of this Dovo razor — James Bond’s blade of choice — is elegantly gold-plated. Taylor of Old Bond Street have offered up a similarly opulent option; with a 24k gold finish etching and silver plate on the handle. Or, going straight for the jugular (metaphorically, obviously) this cut-throat razor from Böker has spared no expense, plating its entire Damascus steel blade with gold.
Add some sinkside interest with a razor-sharp objet d’art
And then come the sharpest of the lot; slickly designed razors crafted to cut through the safe, traditional offerings — whilst maintaining that single-blade set-up that separates the men from the boys. With these grooming tools, guests will see you have an eye for art and a gift for grooming.
From Morrama, this iconic ‘Angle’ razor is perhaps the most eye-catching of the lot. Crafted from anodised aluminium and perfectly balanced, it’s even won awards for the closeness of its shave. Similarly, this collaboration between Ezra Arthur + Max Sprecher is created with lines so smooth they speak to the cleanness of its cut. And Discommon’s almost organic-looking handle is machined from aerospace grade gunmetal aluminium.