In the past, straight razor is the only method used by men when shaving.
Yet today, it still considered to give better result in shave, even though there are many other options available to choose.
If you look into the current market, straight razor is not just dominated by the kind of hardened steel, but also the type of disposable blades. Straight razor with disposable blades is also known as shavette.
For ease of use, I will refer disposable blade straight razor with shavettes for the rest of the article.
Though the both razor look similar, they different in many ways. The most attention is their price; shavette is cheaper than “traditional” straight razor.
This can be a debate for new users straight razor, whether to buy shavette or straight razor.
To help you decide, I will cover you about shavette and the difference with a straight razor. And I will also give the list of the best straight razor that you can find on Amazon.
What is shavette?
Shavette is a fixed or folding blade razor. It looks like a straight razor, but using disposable blades.
Shavette was first developed for the barber. They used it to cut the hair.
Shavette used in a place of scissors or cut for trimming the hair, and for shaping sideburns, airlines, and the nape of the neck.
When people start paying attention to the dangers posed by blood-borne infections due to the use of a straight razor. Which led to the use of a straight razor is restricted by law.
And they started looking for straight razor alternative, which is shavette.
Since then, the popularity shavette experienced a resurgence as the growth of demand for an alternative to the straight razor.
So shavette or straight razor?
The choice is depends on you. However, in my opinion, shavette more suitable for experienced users.
For beginners, I advised to use a hardened and sharpened straight razor.
Although, it can be daunting at first, take the time to learn how to shave and maintain the razor can be rewarding.
Once you have enough experience on the straight razor, shavette is worth trying.
As they can be useful when you are short on time or being away from home and do not want to have to carry strop with you.
The best straight razor
Boker Straight Razor King Cutter
This is a new model of Boker “King Cutter”, the blade has a width of 5/8 inches and made of carbon steel.
The scales have black plastic with logo inlaid Boker. It looks rigid but has a nice weight.
Full hollow blade and measure about 77x18x5mm. The King Cutter logo engraved on the blade and will last to many polished.
Overall razor has a significant weight but not excessive. A nice balance and feel greats in the hand.
Unfortunately, the blade is not shave ready, so you need to sharpen it beforehand.
Thiers-Issard Special Coiuffeur
Thiers-Issard sSecial Coiffeur has a blade width of 5/8 inch and round point blade.
This is a nice little razor and good for entry level.
Like the other vendors, the blade is factory pre-honed only. Therefore, you need to hone it first to make it shave ready.
The scales have a black plastic with “1937 Special Coiffeur” logo engraved on the blade. The blade is half hollow.
When you buy this razor, you will get a handmade leather travel pouch. This is a great offer and will last more than a lifetime.
Dovo Ebony Wood Handle DOV4580
Dovo Ebony Wood Handle looks beautiful and well constructed.
On the handle and blade, it has a nice gold decoration. The handle feels tight and nice to grip. This straight razor packaged in a blue box with foam inside.
The blades open and close easily. The razor blade has a width of 5/8 inch and a half hollow grind.
The blade seems pretty sharp, but it is still not ready to shave. It is better to hone this razor before shaving to get the better result.
Dovo “Natural” Straight Razor
Natural Dovo Straight Razor has a width of 5/8 inch blade and the handle is made of bamboo.
The bamboo material shows the natural warm, golden color and unique grain bamboo. And 5/8 inch blade is the most popular size of Dovo straight razor.
The blade fully hollow and made from the finest steel with rounded point for additional security.
Overall, a good razor for beginners, but the price is quite expensive, around $ 170.
Straight Edge Barber 100 Derby Razor Blades
For a shavette, I suggest Straight Edge Barber 100 Derby Razor Blades.
This razor is very cheap. The price is around $11 plus 100 derby blades.
It made from stainless steel and has good construction. The blade held firmly in place just as it should be.
You simply slip in a blade and a little arm folds down to lock it in place. The main arm folds in to secure the blade when not in use
The main issue with shavette mostly is the blade.
Depending on how coarse your beard/hair may be may determine how often you will need to replace the blades, as the provided blades tend to lose its sharpness.
But the good news is you can use other brands for the blade. So if you have a problem with derby blades, you can try to changes with other brand.
And see what best for you.
Tips before buying straight razor
If you decide to pick a straight razor rather than shavette, there are several tips for you before buying a straight razor.
Straight razors are available in different widths. The size varies from 9.5 mm (3/8 in) to 25 mm (8/8 in).
For new user, I recommend blade with 5/8 and 6/8 widths.
The smaller blade, the easier to control and easy to reach a tight spot, while the wider blade is hard to make maneuver.
But, a wider blade can bring more lather than narrow blade.
It just like a spoon, in a single pull, so you can have a longer time in shaving and minimize the rinse cycles of the blade.
Although in learning time, you might cut yourself numerous times, no matter what the width of the blade you choose.
The commonly blade point you can found is round and square point.
Round point blade has a semicircular blade point so it does not have the sharp ends.
Therefore, it is more forgiving blade than square point, but less accuracy.
While the square point have very sharp perpendicular to the cutting edge of the razor.
You can reach a small area, but at the risk of pinching the skin, so it requires some experience in handling.
The majority of modern blades have some amount hollow, which makes the concave indentations on each side of the blade.
A hollow will make the blade lighter, sharper, and easier to use. However, at the same time, it also increases the chances of cutting yourself.
For this reason, I would advise beginners to go with something more than half hollow.
But, if you are experienced, you might enjoy the extra sharpness of the full hollow.
Most of the vendors sell straight razor only with factory edge (not shave ready). In order to use it, you need to sharpen the blade first.
If you don’t know how to hone, you can send it to a professional. However, it will add more costs.
Therefore, try to find out, whether it shave ready or not.
If it isn’t written in the description, please contact the seller and ask about it.
After it’s sharp, you will be able to maintain it with just a leather strop for several months if not years before re-sharpening.
Another thing to look at is the parts that will you hold (the scales) made of.
Some of cheaper straight razor is using inferior materials, the chance you scales broken is very high.