I have a lot of guys come into the shop wondering about old school shaving. They want to get away from the high priced replaceable head razors that cost us men an arm and a leg each year. Some fellas don’t know the difference between a safety and straight razor. Here’s a little info on both of these types of razors.
A decent safety razor goes anywhere between $20-$40 bucks. It’s a single purchase for the razor. No more throwing cash into the fire for new heads! Depending on the brand of blade, the cost is around $.10 a blade. This is pretty reasonable. The blades usually last between 1-1.5 weeks.
Parker 66r Butterfly Safety Razor-$30.00
Parker makes quality razors. This one can be bought at the shop. Free pack of 10 blades with every purchase!
Shark Super Chrome- $10.00 per 100 pack
Shark Super Chromes are a great blade. They keep their edge through everyday use very well.
A good straight razor is around $20-$25 bucks. There are cheaper razors but quality goes down substantially. The handle will be made out of cheap plastic and it probably won’t have a nice heavy feel to it. Depending on what straight razor you purchase the blades vary in price. Cheaper razors take the double sided blades that a safety razor uses. The difference is you split the double sided through the middle (in the paper!) and place one side in the razor. Just don’t forget the other side is still in the paper! Many times I have crumpled the paper up and hooked myself with a bloody mess! Please be careful! The more expensive changeable straight razors only use single blades. They usually come in a dispenser so it’s easy to remove and place into the razor. These blades are usually made specific for a particular razor and are of better quality. The other alternative is a conventional straight razor. These are made of solid metal and you must hone (sharpen) and strop (polish) the razor. These razors can get up there in price. If you can find an old antique straight razor for cheap (under $50) I would buy it. Even if you’re not going to use it buy the thing! It will look quite awesome sitting on your desk or in a shadow box!
Monsieur Charles Straight Razor-$21.00
If you’re going for gold I would start with this little guy first. The blade is not so big and it keeps the blade securely locked in place.
Personna Mini Hair Shaper Blades-$20.00 per 20 pack
Nice sharp blade that works really well and stays sharp. This is my go to in the barber shop. It’s reasonably priced and effective.
Grim Blades Carbon Conventional Straight Razor-$295.00
Very cool!! Remember there is more of a learning curve to honing and stropping!!
My suggestion is to go with a safety razor to begin with. It was designed to get that close shave but not cut. This doesn’t mean it won’t if you hold it incorrectly. Hold the razor at about 30 degrees and your good. Much less of learning curve than a straight razor. You’ll pick it up quickly though! Don’t be scared! Now a straight razor is a whole different ball game. The way you hold the razor is vitally important. Unless you want to look like Freddy Krueger on a good day I would just go with a safety razor. Takes quite a bit of skill to wield that tool properly!