What Size Straight Razor Should I Use?

April 02, 2018 5 min read

What Size Straight Razor Should I Use?

Naked Armor

Somewhere in this article, you’re probably expecting some penis size joke. Understandable, given the phallic overtones of the topic.

Published by Naked Armor

So that you know, we’re keeping this blog clean so we’ll try not to oblige. ;)

The male preoccupation about size, notwithstanding, razor blade size is a perfectly legit concern among shaving enthusiasts.

It’s one of the many aspects that you need to tick off when shopping around for a straight razor.

If you are a newbie to straight razor shaving, it won’t be the first thing to pop up on your mind, but you’ll certainly give it a serious thought once you’ve learned that there are plenty of sizes to choose from.

To help you solve your dilemma, we’ll provide you a run-through on the many aspects of razor size. We hope that you’ll be able to find some answers enough for you to decide which size you want to get.

Why Size Matters

Today’s straight razor design hasn’t differed wildly since it was introduced in the 1680s. It’s still basically a razor with its blade folded into its handle. While a straight razor has many components, there are two main parts: the blade and the handle.

Between the two, it’s the razor handle that has often been dismissed as serving a purely aesthetic function. While that has been largely true-just check out the Elizabethan era razor handles-it does have its own function: to allow you to hold the blade comfortably enough that you can wield it sharp and true. That you do it with style, is just basically the cherry on top.

For the purposes of this post, however, we zero in on the razor blade. Size matters in a straight razor. It is the blade size that decides how smooth your shaving experience would be. If you pick a straight razor with a large blade, the chances are high that you will experience difficulty in shaving the areas around the ears, under the nose, etc.

Meanwhile, choosing a smaller blade will allow you to maneuver it easily around your face while shaving. It would be easier to trim the edges or shape your beard in a way that you like.


The type of material that a handle is made of will affect the balance of a razor. Lighter material like plastic might disrupt proper maneuvering, while the heavier ones, like wood, enable you to maintain the proper balance.

— Derek, Naked Armor Founder

Size Up My Blade

So how does one measure blade size in a straight razor?

A straight razor’s blade size can be determined by the blade’s width. This width is the calculated distance between the cutting edge and the blade’s back portion.

It is represented as a fraction like 13/16, 5/8, 4/8, etc. The fraction essentially represents the blade size divided into an inch. So, an 8/8 blade means that it has a 1-inch blade, a 13/16 is .813 inches, 4/8 = 1/29 inch, etc.

Now you may ask how these widths are different?

It all depends on what you want to achieve with a straight razor.

If you’re aiming for a blitzkrieg, take-no-prisoners kind of an approach in your war with your facial hair, a large razor blade is just what you need. Its wide width will allow you to shave off large patches of stubble with the least amount of strokes.

It’s also recommended for those who have heavier beards.

This is because its added size and weight will help plow the sharp edge through the whiskers like red-hot knife on butter.

However, if you are looking to trim your beards, a narrow razor blade would be more ideal for you.

Narrow razors can be easily controlled, making it safer for a newbie. You can easily maneuver the blade in hard to reach areas of the face, like below the earlobe, or under the nose.

In fact, it’s this one fact that is often thrown against big razors: wider blades are not maneuverable.

To a certain extent, it is true. But if the blade is honed quite well, wide blades can give the same level of shaving satisfaction as a narrow razor blade would.

Handle Me Good

By design, a straight razor’s handle is curved and sized a bit longer than the blade. This makes it easier for the blade to be folded in the handle.

The handle safeguards the blade when it is not in use. More importantly, it provides support and balance while shaving with the straight razor.

It is crucial to ensure that your straight razor is well-balanced. Only then will it deliver a more consistent and closer shave.

Often, the type of material that a handle is made of will affect the balance of a razor. Lighter material like plastic might disrupt proper maneuvering, while the heavier ones, like wood, enable you to maintain the proper balance.

Size Vs Weight

It might be tempting to pit a blade size against overall razor weight, but neither quality is more important than the other.

In reality, both qualities are linked to a straight razor’s performance. The weight and length of both handle and blade determine how well-balanced a straight razor is. This is because the mechanics of a straight razor’s balance depends on the principle of counterweight.

This means that the weight of the handle should equal that of the blade, no matter what material the handle-also known as scales-is made from.

To check whether the razor has balance, use the pivot pin as a reference. The pivot pin is the bolt that allows the straight razor to open and close so you can use it.

A straight razor can be called well-balanced only when on opening, it balances properly on the pivot pin.

This balance should be a result of the corresponding distribution of weight of both blade and handle, in a way that one counterbalances the other.

A properly balanced straight razor should be easy to maneuver while shaving and also safe to handle.

So, while size is important for effective shaving, the weight of a straight razor determines its balance. And without proper balance, a straight razor is not only useless but also dangerous.

So, What Size Should I Pick for My Straight Razor Blade?

Pick a 5/8 blade size. Whether you need the razor just for trimming or for all-out shaving, it will give you the results you want. This is perfect for a newbie like you, although it will also work perfectly as well for shaving pros.

Speaking of shaving pros, if you are looking to add a high-quality razor to your collection, then check out Naked Armor’s Solomon and Bela Razors.

They’re beautifully handcrafted, with exquisite wood handles and high quality Japanese stainless steel blades with a hardness rating of 61-65 HRC.

The thing that sets apart a Naked Armor blade from the rest is that it’s a hybrid blade, crafted between the ½ hollow and a full hollow. This gives you the best aspects of the two designs, giving you a luxurious shaving experience.

The straight edge razor blade is 7/8 wide at the widest point and 5/8 at the tapered end. It’s perfect for shaving or for trimming.

Naked Armor straight razor blades are easy to clean and maintain. And their durability is well-guaranteed. These blades can easily handle tough shaving tasks, leaving you with nothing but baby-smooth skin.

Still need convincing? Check out these wonderful reviews. Otherwise, click Add to Cart below.

Naked Armor straight razor blades are easy to clean and maintain. And their durability is well-guaranteed. These blades can easily handle tough shaving tasks, leaving you with nothing but baby-smooth skin.

So, without any delay, visit Naked Armor to get access to the most efficient and durable straight razor blades.

Read Next

How To Hold A Straight Razor

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