Razors for the ambitious man.
When men first became serious about getting close shaves, the straight razor was their implement of choice. The sharp blade glides lightly and elegantly through even the toughest beard. These hand crafted shaving instruments represent a larger initial investment than other razors, but when properly maintained, will last a lifetime. So if you are tired of paying more and more for those overkill, multi-blade, disposable razors, do yourself a favour and invest in a sharp straight razor, it will truly represent money well spent.
Straight razor terminology
Below, we have identified all of the parts that make up a straight razor.
- 1. Handle
- 2. Shoulder
- 3. Back
- 4. Main
- 5. Peak
- 6. Cutting Edge
- 7. Blade
- 8. Heel
- 9. Shaft
- 10. Shaft Pivot
- 11. Toe
Straight razors with disposable blades
Straight razors with disposable blades are used mostly for hygienic purposes. They break a double-edge blade in two pieces thus exposing only one shaving edge at a time. This permits the user to use the razor on unconventional parts of the body that require to be shaved in the safest and most careful manner.
Razor width.The width of a straight razor is usually stated in eights of an inch or in sixteenths of an inch, measured from the cutting edge to the back. With a wide razor, the angle at which it is held, in relation to the skin surface, makes it easier and faster to shave with. On the other hand, it may be a little tricky around the nose and the ears, but it does get easier with practice. A straight razor with a 5/8inch width is a good size to start with and it is a very popular size. But essentially the width of the blade is a matter or personal preference.
Stainless steel or carbon steel?Straight razor are mostly made from these two types of steel.
Carbon SteelAs a rule, carbon steel can be honed to a sharper edge than stainless steel can. But unlike stainless steel, the carbon steel blade requires a little more maintenance and should get oiled down to protect against possible rust spots.
Stainless SteelAlthough it cannot be honed as much as a carbon blade, rest assured it can be sharpened enough to provide many close shaves without having to strop it anew. Also stainless steel is extremely tolerant to the humid environment that it is used and stored in.
In conclusion, there really is no great difference between carbon or stainless steel blades; the larger consideration should be the quality of the steel itself. This is why we deal with manufacturers from Solingen, Germany or Sheffield, England and Tokyo, Japan.