Straight Razors vs Safety Razors: Which One Should You Pick?

Here’s one thing a lot of us already know: razors are possibly one of the most useful things on the planet. They’ve been around forever and they haven’t outlived their usefulness just yet. On the other hand, they’re also ever-evolving, just like all other things! There’s no denying that there have been many different types of razors over the years.

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What we’re going to focus here, however, are straight razors and safety razors. Nowadays, plenty of men have experienced the pleasure of using straight razors, as they conclude that it gives them a closer shave, as opposed to modern-day safety razors.

However, older safety razors have also grown in popularity, with users giving plenty of input on how great they are at shaving. Some have even remarked that they’re never going back to disposable razors ever again. That’s really saying a lot.

Well, what exactly are they? To find out, why don’t we take a further look into two of the most popular types of razors that persisted in the modern age? In any case, it’s a great way to see how well they stack up against each other.

Straight Razors

straight razor

Straight razors consist of a really sharp single blade that chops through facial hair as you use it. They essentially resemble small knives. They are foldable and are virtually harmless when stored.

There are those that use disposable razor blades as well. However, people prefer the classic design for a variety of reasons.

So, why has the appeal remained in them? Well, here are some known benefits of using a straight razor, as well as some disadvantages.

Pros

    • Straight razors are generally sturdier. It can last a lifetime. In fact, some people are actually collecting straight razors from the last century or so. They’re not only items for shaving, but they also make great collectibles.
    • Can you sharpen a straight razor? Yes! In the long run, they are cheap. They don’t really need to be replaced. You have the option to sharpen the blades whenever they go dull. You don’t need to buy blades, unless you’re using ones that require them.
    • The blade of straight razors cover a lot of ground. Users noted that they don’t worry much about missing patches of hair on their face even with one pass, since the range of straight razors already do the job for them.

Cons

    • Straight razors require a lot of practice. People can’t exactly rely on the little knowledge they have on using them, so the best approach is to get used to the feel and the method of shaving with one. Using a straight razor does take a while and will involve a few cuts along the way.
    • The blade will inevitably wear out over time and you’re going to need a competent smith or artisan to get it replaced. Some would just throw the entire razor away to get a new one altogether. Sharpening a dull blade is really just one thing, but replacing a badly-damaged one is another.
    • Straight razors are not exactly safe. Yes, this is an obvious point, and you’ve seen this coming a mile away, but it still holds true. You’d risk cuts and wounds with them. They could injure or maim others in the process. Don’t make the mistake of misplacing your straight razor!

​Summary

In any given scenario, a lot of people really prefer using straight razors for the pros above—aside, of course, from the fact that they give you a much closer shave.


Safety Razors

Safety Razor

What about safety razors? From the name alone, they’re great for those who don’t want to put up with the cutthroat nature of straight razors. Razors evolve, right? It was only a matter of time that people would move from straights to safety razors.

Safety razors resemble the newfangled razors we’re familiar with, except they’re mostly made out of metal. And not just any metal—tough, industrial grade metal, which can be quite heavy. You use thin, double-edged blades for safety razors that you need to replace from time to time.

Safety razor benefits are aplenty, but there are also some cons you should consider.

Pros

    • Safety razors are easier to use. They prevent the blade from cutting deep into your skin. There are also adjustable safety razors that’ll help you regulate how aggressive the blade cuts through.
    • Like straight razors, they’re incredibly well-built. The difference is that you don’t really need to worry about damaged blades or anything, since you can just replace them with new ones. As far as anyone’s concerned, you can use your grandfather’s old safety razor and restore it, just like new.
    • Safety razors, compared to most cartridge-based razors, are ridiculously cheaper to own. Those small razor blades really won’t cost you much, although the blades aren’t reusable after they wear out. But still, you’d save tons of money on those cartridges!
    • Safety razor blades last longer. They have double edges, so whenever one edge turns dull, you can always use the other. In any case, considering the price of the blade, they last a really long time, so you don’t have to get a new batch on a frequent basis.

Cons

    • Safety razors don’t give you as close of a shave as straight razors. Beginners will be surprised to know that it’ll take multiple passes with a safety razor just to get a good shave out of it.
    • Blades do need to be replaced on safety razors. Straight razors can allow you to get away with the single blade for years on end, but safety razor blades will require some changing, which can be inconvenient whenever you’re in a hurry.
    • People noted that compared to straight razors, they’re not getting a close shave with safety razors. There’s a distinct pleasure in using them, because it feels like you’re wielding a weapon in battle. You won’t feel that much of a thrill as you’re scraping away with safety razors.

In summary, we can take note of the following things that mark how different straight razors and safety razors are in a number of ways.

For one thing, straight razors are more robust and give users a closer shave, compared to safety razors. On the other hand, safety razors are easier and less dangerous to use. They’re also really durable and can be restored in a number of ways.

Straights will give you more control and much more precision when shaving, but they can also lead to accidents when not done properly. Safety razors, although they seem limiting compared to straight razors, provide you with security, as well as value. Both razors, however, are great for the price.

If you’re looking for something that’ll give you a closer, more classic feel, then straight razors are your best pick. On the other hand, if you want to prioritize safety, then you’d best go for a safety razor. Even then, both razors provide you excellent value and will really outlive those disposable razors that you’ve been using for years.

​Summary

In conclusion, it’s really up to you what type of razor you’ll get. Be it a straight razor or a safety razor, you can still afford yourself a satisfying shave. Choose the one you want. Or if you want to, you can just try out both, just so you’d know what really suits you best.

Alex Palmer
 

The editor here on The Shaveyard, loving life and all things shaving.

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