The classic wet shave with a razor is in vogue, because the shave has some advantages over shaving with a wet razor. Shaving with a straight razor is gentler and more thorough. Men with sensitive skin benefit from this. In addition, you do not need electricity to shave and by razors for resharpening or with interchangeable blade can save quite a bit of money over time.

Straight razor for men

The shape of a razor with blade and handle resembles a folding knife. When the razor is not used, the blade can be hidden in the handle made of wood, horn or plastic. However, the blade of the razor is many times sharper than a folding knife. Good razors differ not only in the handle. The grind of the razor and the shape determine how well you get along with the razor during wet shaving.

razor knife
Is shaving with a razor only a case for the barber? Not at all! More and more men are switching to the classic straight razor for wet shaving. Less plastic waste, but also the celebration of shaving and deceleration let men of today reach for the unprotected razor blade.

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What razors are there?

For straight razors, a blade width between 3/8 or 6/8 inches has become the norm. A 3/8 inch razor is one of the narrow razors. It is suitable for fine shaving ears, nose or eyebrows. The razor with 6/8 inch is a wide razor. It copes with even strong beard growth. In the razor comparison, you notice the significantly higher weight of the 6/8 inch razor. It glides over the skin without much effort.
A universal and for many men the best razor for with many applications is the razor 5/8 inch. It is a razor all-rounder for beginners and copes with a gentle wet shave just as well as trimming the beard contours.

Razors also differ in the grinding:

  • Full hollow: Common in narrow razors, up to 15 operations in the manufacture, ideal for skin imperfections. In addition, you can find razors extra hollow, which are considered even more flexible than full hollow.
  • Semi-hollow: Less sensitive and not as flexible as a full-hollow razor. However, a good shaving feeling and the blade swings easily during use.
  • Derb: Old grinding method used before the full hollow grind. The blade is suitable for narrow razors to shave the contours.

The shape of the best razor also has an impact on the shave. The following head shapes have emerged.

  1. The round head is probably the most popular shape in a razor, even as a razor for beginners. The round shape reduces the risk of injury.
  2. The degree head is used in a professional razor. Its sharp tip allows accurate shaving and trimming, but also carries a high risk of injury.
  3. The French head is an alternative of round head and degree head. The risk of injury is lower than with a degree head.
  4. Spanish head razors have a concave shape at the end of the blade. Spanish head is suitable for classic shaving and trimming the edges.

For men: what material should be the razor?

An old razor used to be made of carbon steel. In the process, steel is heated to 1000 degrees and then quenched in an oil bath. This gave the steel a hardness of up to 61 HRC. The disadvantage: an ancient razor made of carbon steel was not stainless. Modern razors, on the other hand, are made of stainless steel, easy to maintain and low maintenance. Stainless steel is also resistant to acid. Therefore, stainless steel and carbon steel are among the preferred materials for razor blades.
A high quality razor can be a Japanese steel razor with special sharpness. An attractive appearance distinguishes a Damascus razor. The individual views of the folded steel are visually visible.
Razors with interchangeable blade are called shavette. If the blade is no longer sharp, you can replace it and do not have to buy a whole new razor. Razor blades for a razor with interchangeable blade are usually in the razor set, which may also include a shaving brush, shaving soap or beard oil.

Straight razor what handle?

The hilt of the razor is made of different materials, which are selected according to their own preferences. What are the variants?

  • Straight razor with wooden handle
  • Razor metal
  • Razor plastic

Razor handle scales can have inlays such as marquetry, patterns and decorations. Even water-sensitive materials are now processed so that they do not warp or swell due to moisture.

razor with changeable blade
Today’s razors are offered with interchangeable blades. The razor blade is inserted into the razor and locked. After that can be safely shaved.

How to change the blade of disposable razor?

The blade of a disposable razor cannot be changed. Only blades of an interchangeable blade razor are replaceable.
Open a supplied razor blade and break it in half for lengthwise. Then open the holder of the disposable razor for the blade and position one half of the blade on the holder provided. Check that the blade is seated correctly and close the holder again. Done!

Sharpening an antique razor

Old razors do not have to be thrown away. Using sharpening stones (different grits) or a paste belt will make an old razor sharp again. For the different whetstones, you also need a whetstone holder in which the whetstone is clamped. Start with the coarsest grit up to the finest grit. The blade is dragged over the grindstone several times from each side until the grindstone is changed. Instructions for this are available online
To sharpen a razor with the leather belt you have the choice between professional belt with hemp or linen cover, on which you can pull off the burr and paste belt. With paste belts, the leather is covered with a paste when sharpening on the leather is no longer enough. In addition, a combination of leather belt and paste belt is available.
For sharpening, the belt is suspended from a holder at one end. The left hand grips the other end of the belt and tightens the belt. The other hand grips the razor at the thin point between the blade and handle pulls the razor over the leather. In doing so, the back of the knife is lifted slightly. Do not forget to turn the knife to the other side from time to time. If you do not dare to sharpen, you can also have the old razor sharpened.

Straight razor: the test

Stiftung Warentest has already tested wet razors and straight razors in 2010. A current test on razors there is unfortunately not yet. Check therefore especially customer reviews or a razor comparison if you want to buy your razor online.

Shaving with the razor

In preparation, it is important to check the sharpness of good razors and, if necessary, sharpen them on the leather strap. Prepare your face for shaving by washing it with a cleansing lotion. As in the barbershop, you can then rub the area to be shaved with shaving oil and press a hot towel against the skin. The skin relaxes, the pores open and the beard hair comes out more. After that you need shaving foam to soften the beard hair. Either you make shaving foam classically with shaving brush and shaving soap or you use shaving foam from the can. Alternatively, use shaving oil.
Now apply the shaving cream or shaving oil to the beard. First, it is recommended to soap the area above the upper lip and chin. There, the beard hair is particularly stubborn and requires a longer exposure time. Then follow the cheeks and neck. After about five minutes you can start shaving.

How should I hold the razor properly?
Hold the razor at a 30 degree angle to the face. With your free hand, pull the skin tightly in the area to be shaved so that the razor shaves a flat surface. Run the razor with the stroke in the direction of hair growth. Shave the cheeks and neck first. This is followed by the chin and jaw.
It is useful to wipe the edge of the razor after a few strokes on a soft cloth or briefly hold under running water to remove adhering hairs and shaving soap. Wash any soap residue from your face after shaving. Cold water will close the pores. Pat your face dry and put a drop of after shave on your skin to prevent skin irritation. Once the after shave is absorbed, apply a rich skin care product to soothe the skin.