Straight Razor vs Safety Razor – Which Is Best?

Kieran   January 11, 2017   No Comments

Shaving – straight razor or safety razor?

Ever since early humans experimented with sharpened stones, men have had an appreciation for a good shave. Although trends in facial hair have varied by culture and fashion over the centuries, the razor remains a constant in the male arsenal of personal hygiene. There is still a modern debate of straight razor vs safety razor. Here are some cutting- edge facts from both sides:

Safety razors

Until the beginning of the 20th century, men used straight razors for shaving. It takes a while to shave with a straight razor and the blade needs periodic sharpening. While at his vanity shaving one morning, a man named King Gillette wondered what it would be like to have a razor with blades that were safer, cheaper, and disposable. All men would have to do was to change the blades for a fresh shave.

Gillette collaborated with another inventor who successfully made a thin, sharp blade that could be cheaply produced. By 1903, the Gillette safety razor was in full production. It was so convenient and popular, the government issued it to the soldiers during World War I.

Over time, many guys dumped their straight razors in favor of safety razors. They are still popular today. Men appreciate how safety razors are compact, user-friendly, and will give a good shave. The metal razor will last for years; however, the blades cannot be sharpened. You have to buy replacement blades. Fortunately, razor blades are not that expensive.

Another plus with safety razors is that the blades are adjustable. With just a turn of the knob, you can adjust the length of the blades for how close of a shave you want. Safety razors are a lot sharper than a disposable razor any day.

Getting your shave in the morning could not be any more convenient. All you have to do is insert the blade, close the grill, and choose your setting. You can lather up your face and start to work. One of the reasons these razors are called “safety” is because there is a grill cover over the blade cartridge. You are less likely to knick or cut yourself like you can with a straight razor. Your shave can be free of worry and a little blood.

A quality safety razor can be had for well under $50 (more if you buy a vintage model). If you see the money that you throw away with disposable razors, you realize that it is well worth buying. The only expense you will have is razor blades, and they can be found inexpensively in any department store.


• Convenient
• Sharp, disposable blades
• Easier and safer to use
• Sturdy
• Cheaper than a straight razor


• Blades have to be replaced periodically
• Their shave is not as close as a straight razor

Straight razors

The first modern straight razors were invented in England in the 1600s. Soon, makers in France and other countries had their own version. Straight razors were the quintessential tools of barbers for generations. Unlike safety razors, it takes a certain skill to use them properly.

Compared to any other razor, the straight razor gives the closest and most comfortable shave. They do not have the tendency to leave razor bumps like safety razors do. They also do better on thicker hair growth such as beards and mustaches. For years, many gentlemen went to a local barbershop to be shaved.

When Gillette introduced his safety razor, more guys wanted convenience and started shaving at home. However, the straight razor has never gone completely out of style. There have always been men who loved the look and feel of a genuine straight razor shave. With current trends in nostalgia, straight razors are enjoying a popularity among men of all ages.

There are still several companies that make straight razors. Some of the best are made in England, France, and Japan. You can expect to pay between $70 to $100 for a quality razor. Vintage razors are highly collectible among shaving enthusiasts and can command high prices. For daily use, new ones still do a great job.

Once you buy your straight razor, you do not have to buy replacement blades. If you do not want to pay for sharpening and honing services, you can easily learn how to do it yourself. Take time and learn how to use a straight razor properly, and you will be less likely to knick your face. Shaving may take a little longer in the mornings, but it will become a pleasant routine.


• Sharper and smoother than safety razors
• Gives an enjoyable close shave
• A venerable tool of manliness
• More of a hobby than a chore
• Straight razors last a lifetime with proper care


• Takes a while to learn to shave with a straight razor
• You need more time to shave than if you use a safety razor
• Start-up can be a little pricey, depending on the razor


Each type of razor has its own merits and disadvantages. No matter where you stand in the straight razor vs safety razor comparison, your goal is to get a good shave. These pointers can give you some ideas of which one to choose. You can pick the convenience of a safety razor or the vintage feel of a straight razor. Whichever one you use, it will help you look your best.

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