The Debate Between Straight Razors VS Shavettes

May 25, 2020 5 min read

The Debate Between Straight Razors VS Shavettes

Naked Armor

Among shaving pros, choosing the merits of a straight razor over a shavette is something of a past time.

Published by Naked Armor

Straight Razor VS Shavette

If one goes through the various online shaving fora, one can see long discussion threads devoted to discussing which one is better.

That’s why if you are a newbie to wet shaving, you might be confused by all the arguments and end up unable to decide whether to get a straight razor or shavette.

Here at Naked Armor, we happen to have both razors and we swear by their quality and effectiveness in getting a close shave. But just to help you out, we’re going to do a round-up of all the online arguments regarding a straight razor vs a shavette.

But first, what is the difference between the two?

Same Profile, Different Blades

The main difference is in the blades.

A straight razor and a shavette both have the same design profiles: a narrow single blade that can be fixed or tucked into its handle. The difference is that a shavette has disposable blades. The blades are not resharpened. After a barber uses a shavette blade, he disposes it, usually into a blade bank.

Shavettes feature a mechanism that lets you clasp or slot a razor blade along the spine. Usually, these are simply double-edged (DE) safety razor blades that you cut in half.

A shavette only has a cutting edge that is as long as a safety razor blade’s width. In contrast, a straight razor’s cutting edge goes from the shank all the way up until the point.

The main difference between a straight razor and a shavette is in their blades. A shavette uses disposable blades while a straight razor has a single blade that needs stropping and honing.

Less Upkeep

The disposable blade is what makes the shavette appealing for first-time users. That’s because one does not need to strop and hone the blade.

Among professional barbers, using a shavette is more practical and convenient to use due to hygienic regulations. As people became more aware of the dangers posed by bloodborne pathogens, stringent laws were passed that regulated the use of straight razors in barbershops. Shavettes proved to be the best alternative to getting a close shave made from a straight razor.

Barbers prefer using a shavette for hygienic purposes.

So Which is Better?

Among shaving pros though, there are some with the opinion that a shavette shouldn’t be an entry-level razor for a beginner.

Some even think of the shavette razor as a styling tool and not a real razor. According to them, it only became the razor to use among barbers when the regulation laws kicked in.

Their opposition is based largely on the shavette’s DE blade. It relies on teflon to cut through the beard so a DE blade performs differently than a blade fashioned from hardened and sharpened steel.

A straight razor, meanwhile, relies on regular stropping and honing so that it remains sharp for easy shaving.

A shavette is also relatively light when compared to a straight razor. It’s something that new users should consider, especially those who are a bit heavy-handed. The lightweight of a shavette takes getting used to.

For some though, they don’t mind its lightness. Because it is light and the blade is thin, it’s easy to control when shaving your facial hair. In fact, according to a user who has a coarse beard, he can get the same results in 2 passes with a shavette rather than a straight razor which takes him 3 or 4 passes.

A straight razor is useful for regular grooming and building up your skill in wielding the blade will make your senses attuned to knowing how to use other blades in the future, like a shavette.

— Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

A Matter of Preference

It all boils down to a matter of personal preference.

Shaving pros are right when they say that shavettes are not entry-level straights. They feel different, they shave differently. They are lighter, have more rigid blades, shorter blade length, and are more unforgiving of mistakes than a real straight razor.

But if one masters the technique of using a shavette, then one gets to have a close shave without going through the hassle of maintaining the blade.

A straight razor, meanwhile, is more comfortable and intuitive. In fact, according to one user on Reddit, a straight is easier and more comfortable to use for two reasons: 1) the cutting edge is longer so that it can cover more of the face in one swipe, and 2) because there are "seams" in the shavette (the blade goes in a holder, which then goes in another holder) which tugs the hair occasionally rather than just a smooth cut.

Here at Naked Armor, our advice is that if you’re serious about learning a type of traditional shaving, we recommend that you try a high-quality straight razor first. A straight razor is useful for regular grooming and building up your skill in wielding the blade will make your senses attuned to knowing how to use other blades in the future, like a shavette.

Naked Armor Razors

And as it so happens, our straight razors here at Naked Armor are perfect for beginners and pros alike.

That’s because they are designed uniquely between a full hollow and half hollow grind. This means that they have all the benefits of both grinds. They can cut easily through coarse or thin hair.

They’re also made from high-quality Japanese steel and expensive sandalwood or stainless steel handles. This makes them durable and eco-friendly with a low carbon footprint.

Naked Armor's Solomon Straight Razor


But if you’re in the mood for a shaving tool for touching up a beard’s cheek line, shavettes are the ideal companion. Their short cutting edge and higher visibility make them far easier to use than either straight or safety razors.

Our shavette razors are top-of-the-line, artisanal pieces. They’re stylish and made from high-grade stainless steel. They’ll give you a close shave and the sharp edge your beard grooming needs.

For more of our straight razors and shavettes, check out our website.

Naked Armor's Samson Shavette Straight Razor

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Top Barber Shaving Techniques Using a Straight Razor

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