How To Choose A Straight Razor: A Buyer's Guide

February 09, 2020 5 min read

How To Choose A Straight Razor: A Buyer's Guide

Naked Armor

For men, buying can be quite an ordeal. More so when one is confronted with a lot of choices.

Published by Naked Armor

One can never be too choosy when picking
a straight razor.

While the average woman wouldn’t have a difficult time poring over her choices just to get the perfect item, men just want to get it over with.

Of course, it’s fine when it’s just groceries and stuff. But when one is shopping for his grooming needs, one shouldn’t make a hasty decision, especially when it’s something as personal as a straight razor.

There are lots of straight razors in the market and they come in all sizes and materials. One might be overwhelmed by the variety so as to think that any razor will just suffice. But actually, it does not.

This is not just some disposable cartridge that one can use and quickly throw away. Your clean shave depends on the quality of the straight razor.

For the newbies, this will be quite a challenge because straight razors aren’t cheap to begin with. One has to carefully pick which one is worth in gold, so to speak. It’s also not only about the price. One needs to choose the style, the right grind, as well as blade temper.

Guidelines on how to pick the right razor.

1. Choose a Straight Razor with a Wooden Handle

Technically, a straight razor’s handle is called the “scales.” It’s two separate strips which are often held along by brass pins and washers, such as those found on the shoulder/tang of the straight razor that allows it to pivot into an open and close position. Most straight razors have 2 pins. In the case of bigger and heavier razors, as much as 3 pins are needed to provide better strength and stability.

In Elizabethan England, straight razors had luxurious scales. They could either be made from horn, bone fragments, exotic wood, or mother of gem. And while there are modern straight razors which still have these kind of scales, most of the ones on the market generally have scales made of celluloid, stainless steel, and timber wood.

Here at Naked Armor, we recommend getting a straight razor with a wooden handle because it looks classy and it feels warm and comfortable to the touch. While cold metal is perfectly fine, good quality timber wood has some extra properties that help keep the shaving experience luxurious.

For instance, we use sandalwood timber for our luxurious straight razors. Sandalwood’s natural wood oils persist long after it’s been processed into timber. That means its therapeutic properties can have some residual effects on your skin when you’re using your new straight razor.

2. Choose a Blade Made of Stainless Steel

Carbon steel and stainless steel are the two types of metal usually used for the blade in the modern straight razor.

Between the two, however, carbon steel is preferred by most manufacturers because it has much softer properties and therefore easy to work with in terms of producing a blade that’s very sharp.

But if you want a nice straight razor that’s durable, pick one that has a stainless steel blade. It’s a lot harder than carbon steel so it will stay sharp longer than carbon. It’s also quick to clean and is rust-resistant, unlike carbon steel.

The only downside with stainless steel is that it takes more effort to hone it than a carbon steel. But since it stays sharper longer, it won’t require frequent honing.

A stainless steel straight razor is durable, won't corrode easily
and is eco-friendly.

3. Pick a Blade with a Dutch Point

For safety reasons, a razor blade with a dutch blade endpoint is best for first time users. A Dutch point blade will protect you from any nicks and cuts because of its rounded edge. It’s a great tool to use for easing oneself into a straight razor shaving experience.

In terms of practicality, the Dutch’s round point is more forgiving to sudden changes in angle or direction, so one gets fewer chances of getting major nicks and cuts.

When razors are made, they’re manufactured in a number of different grinds based on purpose. Generally, most shaving pros recommend the hollow grind as the best overall grind for the average shaver.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

4. Pick a Blade with the Right Size

Also known as blade height, the size of a blade matters when using a straight razor. How big the razor naturally pertains to just how much it will weigh and this can affect the total amount of it when you hold it in your hand. Razor heights range from 8/8 inch (which is the highest) to 3/8.

Bigger sizes are favored for cutting heavier beards, where 3/8 sizes are compatible with trimming mustaches. To begin with, a 5/8 or 6/8 blade for most people is a perfect size.

5. Get the Correct Grind

When razors are made, they’re manufactured in a number of different grinds based on purpose. Generally, most shaving pros recommend the hollow grind as the best overall grind for the average shaver.

Hollow ground blades have the thinnest grind available which makes them easier to use and maintain. For thicker and coarser beards, a full wedge grind may be more appropriate because they are considered for heavy-duty use in shaving.

Only Naked Armor has the unique design that combines a full hollow and half hollow grind to make the blade versatile for all kinds of hair types.

6. Consider a Shave Kit Instead of Just a Straight Razor

And while you’re at it, why not buy a straight razor shaving kit instead. Not only does the kit come with a straight razor, but it also has the essential shaving products that one needs to build up a good shave. It’s a great way to get the best bang out of your buck.

7. Get a Naked Armor Shaving Kit

Consider this as a shameless plug but really, there are good reasons why you should consider getting a straight razor from us.

We’ve got a unique design for our straight razor blades. Our straight razors are designed in between a full and half hollow grind. This makes it versatile for entry-level clean shaving or for professional beard sculpting.

Think about it. As your skills increase through the years, you don’t need to get a spare straight razor to use for a professional cut. Your Naked Armor blade will do just fine as long as you strop and hone it regularly.

Our shaving products are made of sustainable, organic materials. Not only are they eco-friendly but luxurious as well.

With the Naked Armor shaving kit as luxurious as this, why settle for anything less?

Read Next

How To Stop Razor Nicks From Bleeding


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