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Ultimate Guide: How to Shave With A Straight Razor Perfectly

Old is gold, this proverb is becoming more popular as it’s getting old. And it perfectly explains the popularity of using straight razors for shaving. Nowadays, various sophisticated shaving tools have been invented to ease the shaving experience of men. But, nothing can snatch the appeal of a straight razor.

This old and simple shaving razor is still in use and some guys never use anything else other than a straight razor. But, it needs great expertise to master a shave with a straight razor. That’s why we are providing you with the ultimate guideline of how to shave with a straight razor flawlessly. Before that, know what is a straight razor.


What Is a Straight Razor

Straight Razor

Straight Razor is the most conventional razor available in the marketplaces. It is an open-bladed razor with a curved handle and the blade can fold into its handle. Straight razors are also known as cut-throat or open razors. It has a cutting edge and a fixed handle. One must have great skills and patience to get a fine shaving experience with a straight razor.


How to Master the Art of Shaving with a Straight Razor

To master the art of shaving, one must get access to the necessary tools. Once he gets the tools then there arises the necessity of the proper guidelines. So, we can divide this part of the articles into two segments: the tools and the steps.


The Tools

tools for shaving with a straight razor

Before going to any further steps, at first, you have to arrange the required supplies to get a great shave with straight razors. You will need the following tools while shaving with straight razors.

  • Straight Razor
  • Smooth Leather or Linen Strop
  • Barber Stone or Whetstone
  • Pre-shave Oil
  • Shaving Soap
  • Shaving Cream
  • Badger Brush
  • After Shave Lotion


The Steps-By-Process of Shaving with Straight Razor

Shaving with a straight razor incorporates some other activities other than shaving. One must take care of the razors to get a smooth and cut free shave. So, maintaining the blade is a part of the shaving process. Besides, one must prepare his face before getting any direct contact with any kind of blades. Prepare your face and razor to get a perfect shave every time. Learn how to shave with a straight razor like a pro.

  1. Take Preparation: If the hair follicles are open and soft, it will produce the best shave. And, the easiest way to do it is to take a hot shower or to apply hot towel right on the face for a few minutes. This will open up the pores.
  2. Apply Shave Oil: This step is especially for sensitive skin. Apply some pre-shave oil to protect the face from future razor burn. 
  3. Shaving Cream/Soap: Pick up a badger brush and apply shaving cream or soap onto the skin with the help of the brush. Make sure the cream reaches the contours of the face.
  4. The Right Angle: This is the first step to the advanced level. Hold the blade to a slight angle that is about 30 degree. Stretch out the skin to make a smooth surface out of the face. This will ease the shaving experience.
  5. Start with the Sideburns:  Gently shave the places around the sideburns putting little pressure on the blade. Go slowly and don’t forget to shave with the grain.
  6. The Chin & Jawline: Continue the process with great care as you’ll have less control while shaving the chin and the jawline. Pull the skin down to get a closer shave.
  7. Shave Across the Grain: After shaving with the grain there must be some hair remaining to be cut. Go against the grain to shave off the left out facial hair. Going against the grain demands great care and attention. Go slowly, gently and carefully.
  8. Clean It Off: Wash your face with cold water after the shaving activity. Now apply an aftershave lotion or whatever you are habituated with to finish the shaving with a straight razor.


Maintain the Equipment

A straight razor must be maintained regularly to get a clean shave. There are two steps in this maintenance process: Honing and Stropping. Stropping should be done regularly but honing is not a regular activity to do. You can do honing after every two or three shaves.



Honing- straight razor tool

Use a whetstone to sharpen the straight razor blade by honing it. Put the blade flat on the stone leading the edge of the blade to the surface of the stone. Then move the blade forth gently with moderate pressure. A few strokes will be sufficient unless the blade is old and dull. Be careful, you may hurt your fingers.

Safety Razors vs. Straight Razors



Stropping- straight razor tool

Use the stropping strop that is Leather or Linen to make the razor ready for a closer and cleaner shave. Hold the lower part of the blade strongly and sweep the razor across the strop.  Tighten the strop to get the best impact of the stropping. Stroke the blade towards you with light pressure and repeat the process until the stropping is over.


Shaving with a straight razor demands a great deal of time and patience. If you don’t any of these you better choose an electric shaver. But, if it’s your liking and weakness about the straight razor, be a master of it by following our instructions depicted in the above discussion.