Experience Straight Razors
Straight razors are artfully constructed shaving implements with a rich history
A well-crafted straight razor can last many years and produces a superior, clean and close shave. Master the straight razor shave by understanding the anatomy of the straight razor, and learning proper use and maintenance techniques.
Know your Straight Razor
Know the Blade. Master the Shave.
- Point: the rounded end of the blade.
- Edge: The cutting surface of the blade.
- Spine: The non-cutting top of the blade also known as the "back."
- Shank: The point where the blade and tang meet. Used in the hold of the razor.
- Tang: Acts as a lever to open the blade. Also used in the hold of the razor.
- Heel: The point where the shank meets the blade's edge.
- Scales: Acts as the handle of the straight razor. Also used as protection and storage of the blade edge.
Selecting a Straight Razor
1. Understanding Blade Width
Our straight razor blades are available in one eighth increments from 3/8" to 6/8". A 5/8" width is most commonly used in straight razors. The larger the width, the more shaving cream it can scoop up during strokes. This means less wipes are needed in between strokes. The width is also important in achieving the 30 degree angle to the face.
2. Choosing a Straight Razor Handle
The right straight razor handle can make a subtle yet significant difference in your daily shave. Select a handle that feels comfortable in your hand and that compliments your own personal style.
Black Straight Razor
Far from ordinary. Handcrafted in France and consistenly rated five stars by our customers.
Horn Straight Razor
Exquisitely crafted from the finest materials. No two horn razors are identical in pattern or color.
Stainless Steel Straight Razor
A stainless steel finish with a carbon steel blade. For a no-frills approach to one's daily ritual.
Bocote Wood Straight Razor
Constructed from beauriful Bocote wood, witha unique texture and grain. Need we say more?
Black Wood Grenadille Straight Razor
A bold, firm handle constructed from authentic African Grenadille wood.
Black 5/8" Blade Straight Razor
Crafted in Germany from highly durable black resin. With a 5/8" blade for increased maneuverability.
Disposable Blade Straight Razor
A travel-friendly alternative to packing your strop. Pairs perfectly with our 3/8" disposable blades.
How to Shave with a Straight Razor
It is recommended to shave after a hot shower letting the steam heat help soften the beard hair. Continue to prepare your skin by applying The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Oil and then Lather Up! using warm water, a Shaving Brush and The Art of Shaving Shaving Cream. You are now ready to begin your shave.
2. The Hold
Hold the razor at an approximate angle of 30° to your face. If you hold the razor too flat it will tear the stubble, too steep and it will cut the skin. You will adjust your hold on the straight razor as you change sides of your face and into areas such as the chin and upper lip.
Pull skin slightly taut with your hand in the opposite direction of the blade's movement to avoid cutting your fingers.
3. The First Stroke
Begin on one side of the face, starting at the sideburn and take the first stroke at a downward slant from the top of the cheek near the ear. The stroke should be short and even and move from point to heel in a scythe-like movement without jerks or chopping. The razor must not be pulled or dragged and the skin must always be held taut with the free hand to ensure a smooth glide.
4. The Chin & Upper Lip
As the chin is approached, lift the razor slightly. Use the middle of the blade for going over the chin. Never begin a fresh stroke on a prominent part of the face, such as the chin or jawbone. Begin a little away from such places and work over with steady strokes.
Treat the two sides of the upper lip as part of the face remembering to pull the opposite side of the lip to smooth out the skin. Leave the center of the lip to be done separately by holding the nose up slightly to tighten the skin.
5. The Lower Lip & Neck
For the lower lip, adjust your mouth so the skin of your lower lip is tightened. The first strokes should be taken across from the corner of your mouth to the center of your chin. Remove the remaining hairs on the upward stroke, beginning from the chin and allowing the razor to follow the contour under the lip.
Be careful to follow the grain of the hair in the neck area to avoid irritation. This pattern will differ from person to person dependent on hair growth.
Having gone over the whole face once, it is usually necessary to go over a second time against or across the grain to ensure a clean shave. It is very important to re-lather your face and never take a stroke without shaving cream to cushion and protect your skin.
The skin should be held taut in front of the razor and this time the strokes taken as far as possible, against the grain of the hair.
After shaving, splash the face with cool water. Apply The Art of Shaving After-Shave Balm or Lotion to the face and neck to replenish moisture and soothe the skin. Pat the skin, do not rub or massage as this can cause irritation!
You may also use an alum block or pen to tighten skin as needed prior to applying After-Shave.
Caring For Your Straight Razor
New straight razors are factory honed and ready to shave.* After a few initial uses, straight razors must begin to be stropped before each use. This stropping helps maintain the original sharp edge of the factory honing.
*Some shavers may prefer a sharper edge. After your first initial shave, you may opt to have the razor hand-honed if a sharper edge is desired.
First, hang the leather shop securly to a wall or fixed point at about chest height.
Grip the lower handle firmly and pull out the strop until it is horizontal. Do not allow the leather to become absolutely taut (this will cause the blade to "bounce" off of the strop).
2. The Technique
Begin using the canvas side of the strop to warm the blade and remove any debris. Your stropping technique will remain the same on both sides of the strop.
Hold the razor in a firm grip with the tang between the thumb and first and second fingers of your hand. Fold the remaining fingers lightly around the handle.
3. The Forward Stroke
Lay the razor blade flat on the strop, a short distance from the handle with the edge towards you. Holding it flat on the strop, make the first stroke upwards and away from you ensuring you also move the blade from left to right (or right to left if you are left handed) to cover the entire length of the blade. To avoid breaking your razor, allow the weight of the razor to move the blade across the strop. Do NOT put additional pressure on the strop.
4. The Reverse Stroke
At the end of the first stroke, roll the blade on its back to reverse directions. Keep the blade flat, mimic the motion of your first stroke moving toward you with the blade edge facing away. (DO NOT roll the blade on its edge. This will cause rounding to your blade and dull its edge).
You will not need more than 6 strokes to sufficiently prepare the blade.
5. Turn & Repeat
Now, turn to the leather side of the strop. At this time you may use a small amount of strop paste if desired. To use strop paste, apply a small amount of paste to the strop and work into fabric or leather until spread evenly.
Use the same technique from the canvas side continuing to keep the blade flat to the surface of the strop. Roll blade and repeat for an equal number of regular, even strokes.