All You Need to Know about The Best Straight Razor for Beginners

Best Straight Razor for Beginners

Bringing up a topic like shaving with a straight razor in this day and age won’t get you very far.

It is, like most things, considered as not “Trendy” or “Hip” anymore. Shaving is pretty much a chore for us that we like to get over with as soon as possible every morning.

Or so you’d think. Reality speaks in a different tone altogether. There are still people (like me and my friends) who cherish the art of shaving and want to learn it in the most traditional way possible. Yes, even the beginners who’re having their first foray into wet shaving.

What’s the Best Straight Razor for Beginners?

How to go about choosing one of them? How to maintain these classy tools?

These are all questions people need answers for. Hence, I designed this guide to provide people with razor choices, a buying guide, and a section dedicated to the maintenance of these items.

Top 5 Straight Razor for Beginners – Comparison Table

ModelLength HandleOriginPrice
Equinox Razor5 InchesSteelChaina Check price
Dovo Straight Razor9 InchesWoodGermany Check price
Feather SS Folding7 InchesPlastic resinJapan Check price
Parker SRX Edge5.5 InchesSteelIndia Check price
A.P. Donovan Straight8 InchesSandal WoodGermany Check price

Why A Straight Razor Out of All Things?

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Why should we go for a traditional and old-age shaving tool like this?

Cartridge or Safety Razors come with a “T-Shape” and a safety bar that guards our skin. But this distant (but not extinct) cousin of theirs grants only the naked edge for people to shave with.

But, there’s a twist in the story!

Due to the guarding bar and the “T-Shape,” people can’t see where the blade strikes their facial hairs. As a result, they end up stroking the razor multiple times over a spot. It triggers skin rashes, red spots, and irritation. If you’re having a bad day, you’ll suffer from nicks and cuts even with a dull blade.

With a quality Straight Razor, you can “See” where the blade hits. As a result, it takes people fewer strokes and less time to get a close shave.

If you are a beginner, with a product such as this, you can master the art and technique of shaving too. So, there’s that additional advantage.

Listing the Best Straight Razors for Beginners

Finding a straight edge razor for a newbie is tough. Really tough. Although we have several products to choose from, it boils down to one’s skill and how he chooses to handle the device. Below you’ll find five of the top straight razors that are built to serve beginners with minimal risk factors.

1. Equinox Professional Straight Edge Razor

When discussing the top 5 straight edge razors, Equinox is the first name that comes to mind. Now, people might frown over the idea of a “Straight-Edge” razor that’s entirely made up of steel. If you are worried about Equinox catching rust or get tarnished with time, it won’t.

Equinox Straight Razor

The stainless steel construction allows it to have a protective guard around the blade. Don’t worry, it’s easy to handle with an “Open and Shut” mechanism. This thing shields our fingers when loading and unloading a blade. This is part one of a two-part process that keeps our hands stress-free while shaving.

The second part of the process pretty much depends on the handle. First of all, the handle I’m talking about is ergonomic. People won’t have that much trouble gripping it, to begin with. On top of that, different fingers sit in different positions to create just the right angle for us to cut the beard effectively.

For example, the ring finger of ours sits on the back loop. You get to put the index and the middle fingers on top of Equinox professional SE razor. The thumb sits at a comfortable position near the blade compartment. Thanks to this, I could shave with minimal effort and pressure.

Did I mention that you can get at least 200 shaves out of this product? Yes, you can! This is thanks to the 100 Derby blades that accompany this razor when you’re buying it. Each blade accounts for 2 – 3 shaves before behaving like “Normal” blades. The combo pack is a bargain of a lifetime if you ask me!

Thanks to all these blades, you won’t have to constantly sharpen the razor. Just throw one away once it gets dull. A pro tip: Make sure to squeeze the blade protection cap in place while closing Equinox. Otherwise, the blade might fall out of the compartment.

Get Equinox Straight Razor at Amazon

Things I Liked about this Straight Razor

  • This is a “Classic” razor with stainless steel construction and a nice gripping system.
  • The handle is ergonomic in design; it facilitates superior gripping and faster shaving.
  • One can switch blades at a brisk pace thanks to an easy-to-open mechanism in place.
  • With as many as 100 blades, you can shave 200 – 300 times depending on the shaving frequency.
  • When I consider price vs. performance for Equinox, there are a handful razors that match the standard.

Things That Could Have Been Better

  • There are intricate parts near the blade compartment where water might get stuck.

2. Dovo Straight Razor Carbon

If you are a shaving enthusiast who has an eye for aesthetic and pricy products like me, you’d love this one. Although it’s priced at just over $100, it’s worth the price we pay. Dovo departed the usual “Emblem” engraving when conceptualizing “Carbon.” As you can see, it doesn’t have any emblem on it.

Dovo Straight Razor Carbon

One look at Dovo would make you realize how classy it is. I found the “Wooden Handle” easy to grip while shaving. It adds a touch of class and longevity to the product. People often buy straight razors with plastic handles that degrade within months. I assure you, it wouldn’t be the case with Dovo Carbon.

Thanks to the handle, beginners will have the luxury of a relaxed grip and fewer possibilities of nicking or cutting the skin.

Don’t take anything away from the edge of this straight razor. The makers put a bit more grind in the metal when refining the edge for this product. This resulted in a “Fine” edge that moves swiftly when we want it to. With the right blade at its core, one can get the closest shave in one or two passes.

When it comes to the weight of Dovo, it’s light. I could maneuver this thing over my face without any hiccups or accidents. Despite the weight, Dovo Carbon delivers a close shave. The “Diamond Cut” texture allows you to get a clean shave when shaving against the grain without applying much pressure.

It’s a good razor for sensitive skin. The blades won’t’ behave too aggressively. That’s a plus when you consider the fact that most of the users of Dovo Carbon are beginners. Even if people feel uneasy for first few shaves, my advice would be to give it some time to adjust with your face.

Get Dovo Straight Razor at Amazon

Things I Liked about this Straight Razor

  • The stylish design is equal parts functional. The design makes shaving a piece of cake.
  • Wooden handle grants users a better grip than the conventional ones as it is textured.
  • Beginners will find it easy to operate and maneuver around their faces than other brands.
  • Makers put a lot of grind into the metal to give Dovo a fine edge that assists in shaving.
  • One might have to go through multiple passes to get a clean, irritation-free, and close shave. For beginners, this is a good thing!

Things That Could Have Been Better

  • Setting this thing up takes more time than any other razor of its kind.
  • It’s not shave ready when you unpack the whole thing. Some degree of prepping up is still necessary.

3. Feather SS Folding Handle Razor

Professional barbers and beauty startups hunting for the best straight razor for beginners at a price just under $100 are in luck. This avid “Wet Shaving” fanboy has just the tool for them. It’s Feather SS Folding Handle Razor.

We know and admire “Feather” for the awesome blades that they put out on the show. Yet, this time, the Japanese brand nailed it in terms of SE razors too!

Feather straight razor

Before you ask me, “How,” check out the construction of this razor. You have the body built out of stainless steel. It facilitates comfortable shaving. Take it from an avid straight razor lover: Feather SS won’t succumb to rust, chemical harshness, and impurities even after two years of rigorous use.

However, “Quality” of the shaving is equally dependent on how one positions his hands on these razors. Don’t underestimate the “Grip” and “Control of movement.” Feather did a wonderful job covering the handle with Resin. It soaks up prevents sweat and water from interfering with a comfortable shave.

Having Resin on covering the enamel handle means our fingers won’t be stressed during long shaving sessions. Pressure distribution is the key to wet shaving. Thankfully, users enjoy superior control over the razor. It minimizes chances of nicking and cutting the skin while getting rid of our facial hair.

If you don’t know, Resin can keep its cool even in boiling temperature levels. Feather takes pride in tampering the resin handle to resist soaring temperature level of 135 degrees. Well, at extreme weather, at least this straight razor will bear your imprints (Relax, it’s a joke).

Tired of counting the benefits of this tool? Don’t rest yet! As it turns out, the blade sits on a “Spring Mechanism.” I could load and unload blades with a touch of my finger and without too much of a stress.

Wondering how safe Feather Straight Razor is to clean? People can sterilize it. Also, it doesn’t react harshly to the disinfectants I use. Just be careful about not using Sodium Hypochlorite as a disinfectant.

Other than that, cleaning it is a breeze. I’d recommend rinsing it under running tap water. Don’t worry, the inside parts won’t rust or become dull because of the water.

Get Feather SS Folding at Amazon

Things I Liked about this Straight Razor

  • I like the steel construction as it grants durability and protection against rust and moisture.
  • Makers used resin in making the handle. It’s comfortable, slip resistant, and heatproof.
  • People can easily change the blade if they want to thanks to the spring loading system.
  • Cleaning it is easier than you think. Just rinse it under tap water and you’re all set for next round.
  • It can be sterilized before being put on the skin to stay on the safe side against viral invasions.

Things That Could Have Been Better

  • Some of my friends thought  the replacement blades to be a bit expensive than they should be.

4. Parker SRX Stainless Steel Straight Edge Barber Razor

I might get quite a lot of slack for including Parker SRX on my list of best beginner straight razors. But the look and sheer benefit of the making serves beginners and professionals of wet shaving alike.

With Parker SRX, you see what you get. It’s made out of stainless steel. Unlike some SE razors, Parker doesn’t use cheap and low-grade aluminum to get the job done. The shine on it stays for a long period of time unlike some of the cheap razors that get disfigured or wither with age.Parker Straight Razor

This is a razor with considerable weight behind it. It weighs 2.3 ounces with the blade arm and the scales combined. This works out perfectly. Beginners can shave close to their skin without putting too much pressure on these blades. Newbies won’t have to worry about accidental cuts now.

Further minimizing these cuts is a rounded exposure that makers put into the design. I noticed it at the end of the blade compartment. This rounded design perfectly counters traditional rough edges that other straight razors have without taking away the sharpness of the blades.

Inserting the blade into place is easy as well. Parker put inserts into the design of this straight edge razor. That makes putting the blades in, a moment’s task. Also, The Clip/Lock system here keeps the blade locked in a position. Hence, it won’t fall out of the razor. It takes all the hassle away from shaving.

Since we’re discussing “Blades,” let’s see what Parker SRX has to offer. Well, as it turns out, we get 5 Shark Super Stainless Steel blades with this Straight Razor. Plus, I got a sleek storage case. Thanks to this, I can now take this tool anywhere I go for a trip. Parker SRX is perfect as a gift too.

Things I Liked about this Straight Razor

  • Sleek stainless steel design gives Parker SRX a functional and aesthetic boost at the same time.
  • I like the handle. It’s comfortable and helps me to leverage my hand size for a close shave.
  • You get a rounded opening for the blade that minimizes chances of nicks and cuts while shaves.
  • Parker SRX helps me to swiftly changing the blades and also keeps them in place with a clip.
  • It comes with 5 Sharp Stainless Steel blades and accepts barbershop quality blades too.

Things That Could Have Been Better

  • The rivet of this SE razor felt weaker than that of the rest for me.
  • The handle might feel “Off balance if people are not careful enough.

5. A.P. Donovan – Excellent Straight Razor

While scouring through numerous straight razor brands to come up with this review, I got tired of buying blades, brushes, straight razors, and protective cases separately. Luckily, I found A.P. Donovan Straight Razor Set! This is for people who’d do anything to get their hands on a “Classy” shaving system.

Yes, I had to pay well over $150 for this set. Yet, it was worth the money. If you must know, the entire shaving set (along with the straight razor) is handcrafted. Yes, this includes the steel as well.

A.P. Donovan Straight razor

For those of you who don’t know, the body of A.P. Donovan’s razor is crafted from high-grade Japanese steel. Makers heat treat this Japanese Shirogami steel by hand. As a result, this can achieve a hardness of 63 Rockwell when correctly measured. I asked for durability in this piece, I got it!

I wasn’t surprised finding out that the same technique is used in coming up with the blades. Japanese blades are known for having hard edges and nimble core. It allows them to cut hair flawlessly and without extra pressure being applied from the user. The result? Fewer nicks and cuts.

However, all the craftsmanship of straight razors can result in “Naught” if the ratio of weight differs between the steel and the handle. To me, A. P. Donovan’s set isn’t the case of a mismanagement. The makers used Mahogany wood to form the handle.

This form of hardwood perfectly counters heavyweight steel on the other side and creates a harmony. As a result, beginners won’t feel troubled when moving this tool on their faces.

When it comes to the brush of the set, it’s made of badger hair. The brush felt smooth on my face. The shaving soap of mine quickly produced thick lather.

I love the leather strap too much! It’s abrasive. Users can hang the entire set on their bathroom wall using it.  As A. P. Donovan puts it, manufacturers used leather from Kazakh cow and linen fabric in the making.

Hold on, there’s more! As the last piece of the puzzle, users get to have a crafty wooden box with a golden emblem. Naturally, the entire set fits inside. There’s a foam insert in place so that our razor, blade, and handle don’t get scratched. It serves as a gift or a transport case too!

Still, need reasons to declare it the best straight razor for beginners?

Things I Liked about this Straight Razor

  • Made from Japanese handcrafted steel, the body and blade of this razor are of superior quality.
  • Hardwood in the handle creates nice “Weight Balance” between the handle and steel part of the razor for optimum comfort while gripping.
  • A badger brush makes sure that men can come up with rich and thick lather when shaving.
  • People can use this SE razor with left or right hand depending on which one they favor.
  • The wooden box is durable! It functions perfectly as a gift and transport case for travelers.

Things That Could Have Been Better

  • Few of my friends have issues with the strop. It could have been made into a lightweight version.
  • Some of you may prefer a longer tool than this at hand.

Thinking of Doing Your Own Research? Consider These Factors Carefully!

There’s a good chance that people won’t go with my recommendations when straight razors are concerned. If you are one of them and want to do your own research, make sure you consider all of these factors before pushing the “Buy” button online.

Check the Build Quality First!

No one would buy a flimsy straight razor. Not even a beginner. That’s why it’s important to check how a product is built before leaping for it. While selecting products to use and review, I’ve come across multiple brands which claim to be made out of steel. Yet, they use cheap-grade aluminum.

Before this happens to you and you end up sacrificing $20 or more on a below average product, check the metal yourselves. Rub it against your clothes or see how it reacts to water. Stainless steel’s shine won’t fade away like Aluminum’s.

Another way to be sure that you’re not getting conned is by going for reputed brands like Parker or A. P. Donovan only. Sure, they’ll cost a bit more than average. But, you’ll get a classy product that’ll stay with you for years!

Inspect the Handle

If you wouldn’t go for a lightweight and flimsy material for the neck of the razor, why compromise on the handle? My opinion is to look for a tool that has a durable holding piece. A plastic handle will break or bend easily with time. Generally, metal handles are good but convey heat like crazy!

Take a cue from my book and go for Enamel handles with resin cover or one made of Hardwood. Enamel handles with a Resin cover (like that of Feather SS) enables certain razors to withstand the extreme heat of up to 135 degrees Celsius. Hardwood handle as seen in A. P. Donovan is great in heat insulation.

The weight of the Two Portions Should be JUST Right

While choosing a straight razor with a good handle, make sure the weight balance between the upper part and the handle is JUST right. Lightweight handles and a heavy upper section will spell catastrophe for a beginner. The imbalance in weight makes the upper part hard to control and people get nicks and cuts.

The cuts are deeper than those caused by cartridge razors or DE ones. The idea is to select the best beginner straight razor that has a sturdy yet comfortable handle. The handle and neck should cancel each-other’s weight so that newbies can do more shaving with less pressure on their faces.

While You are at It, Check the Grind of the Razor

I spoke of the weight balance just now. To make things easier for the beginners out there, I advise them to look at the razor’s grinding process. People have two types of razor grinds that they work with.

If you see a lot of material towards the top half of the razor, it’s gone through a “Wedge Grind.” It’s the traditional version where the razor has weight and does the cutting for you. Cutting through stubbles of beards will be like a knife on butter.

However, a beginner with little to no experience with these cutting tools WILL face accidental cuts (some of them can be fatal).

Quality shaving has its trade-offs as well. Wedge grinded razors take time and are difficult to sharpen. Also, beginners will find it hard to move these things.

So, the Germans came up with Hollow Grind towards the 1870’s. Here the material is carved out. You have a lightweight razor that’s easy to strop. People can easily maneuver them. Sharpening the razor is easy as well!

Judge the Blade Points to Find a Proper Combination

If you guys don’t know, there are three types of blade points that all the SE razors have. It’s the part of the blade opening on the neck from where blades stick out. Depending on their experience levels, people can go with any one of them. These are Round Point, Square Point, and French or Oblique Point.

I’d advise the beginners to go for straight razors that have round point blade openings. The idea is to have a semi-circular blade profile without leaving any sharp edges. This makes it more forgiving than other variants which tend to cut our skins if we’re not careful.

If you’ve had your foray with SE razors and don’t mind things more aggressive, I’d suggest going for the “French” or “Oblique” blade profile. It’s the mid-point between the semi-circular and the aggressive “Square” points. Here we see the rounded opening meet with a square edge to make it precise.

For the pros of shaving, there’s the traditional “Square” shaped blade points. These are more precise than the other two that I mentioned. But the trick is, people need to handle it with care.

Judge the Width of Your Blades Just in Case

Make no mistake, it doesn’t directly bear an impact on how close you can shave. However, the best straight razor for beginners shouldn’t have a blade too wide. Wide blades tend to be more aggressive.

Also, you can’t strop or hone the blade to sharpen it properly. Wider blades can be difficult to handle as they can fall onto your face at an awkward angle.

Smaller blades are more precise and forgiving when it comes to beginners. Make sure you purchase a ½-inch blade (or 4/8 blade) than a 1-inch product (8/8 blade) to go with the razor. The razor itself should accommodate the size.

Also, pay attention that the razor doesn’t let blades stick out more than they should. Otherwise, chances of you cutting your face will increase by several folds and I’m not joking.

When speaking of Straight Razors, there’s every chance that a user like me might have overlooked some features or factors that should’ve been addressed. To make sure you don’t miss a thing when out to buy one yourself here’s more detailed buying and upkeep guide from one of the experts at the job.

How to Maintain Such a Product?

Let’s say you’ve bought yourselves the perfect straight razors as a beginner. They cut well and fast.

Firstly, congratulations! These things aren’t easy to pick.

After you’ve done a few rounds of shaving, you’ll realize that straight razors are sharper than the kitchen knives we use. But the trick is, you need to keep it that way for as long as possible. This is done by sharpening the edges of the razor. It’s best done on a sharpening stone.

You can get quality Waterstones that do the job. My advice would be to send it over to a “Hone Master” who’s a professional at this job.

After you’re done with the “Sharpening” process, all you need to do is to stroke the razor backward on the back of an abrasive leather. It doesn’t “Cure” the bluntness of these tools. Yet, it fixes the misaligned thin edges that people get worried about.

However, if you wish to learn about honing and aligning the edges in detail yourselves, have a listen to Geer Geeks’ Podcast.

If you are a guy who likes to read about interesting stuff, this guide will teach you how to hone these tools. People will get all the help they need in every step of the way.

This is where the guys discuss and do a live recording of the SE Razor Sharpening Process. But let me warn you: Learning and perfecting these skills take years of practice.

Let’s Wrap It Up

For me, razors are personal belongings of people just like their clothes. These things bear a signature of their taste when it comes to grooming. If someone compares cartridge razors as SUVs, I’d compare Straight Razors to “Personalized” racing bikes.

Vintage products like A. P. Donovan’s Razor Set is holding up to this date. That gives you an idea that class is a permanent trait. As far as functionality goes, straight razors are every bit functional (and sometimes better) than their cartridge or slanted counterparts.

However, one needs to be careful in choosing these things. The Best Straight Razor for Beginners comes down to choice, performance, and comfort. You’ll find products and brands on my list that serve the Trinity very well.

Want to look elsewhere? You can! Just follow the buying advice and maintenance tips to the core.

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