A straight razor kit is men’s best grooming instrument to achieve super close shave. Many electric shavers and trimmers might be advertised as being capable to achieve close shave, but no shaver can actually achieve the cleanest and closest shave better than straight razors. The close shaving superiority of this traditional razor has made it barber’s most preferred choice. Even if the more modern counterparts of this razor have been widely available, when you visit a barber, your facial hair will mostly be groomed using a straight razor. This is the reason why straight razor is often called barber razor. If you want to keep your face perfectly clean from hair, straight razor is always your best option.
Straight Razor Structure
Straight razor generally consists of two primary components: blade and handle. The sharp blade of the razor is traditionally made from carbon steel, which is easier to hone but becomes dull rather quickly. The best straight razor, however, has blade that is made from stainless steel, which is more difficult to hone but is not very susceptible to dullness. Straight razor with disposable and replaceable blade is available, but customers generally love using classic razor with blade that needs to be honed at least twice a year. Classic straight razor must be used with a strop to ensure its sharpness as its blade is neither disposable nor replaceable.
The handle of the blade is made from material that guarantees optimal grip. The handle mostly includes scales, which can be made from synthetic resin, plastic, wood, celluloid, mother-of-pearl, tortoiseshell, animal’s horn, ivory, or acrylic. A straight razor normally has foldable structure. When not used, the razor can be folded so that the blade can be securely fitted inside the handle.
What Does a Straight Razor Kit Include?
If you buy a straight razor, especially the classic one, you will get a complete straight razor kit that includes not only the razor, but also some accessories that are needed during a shaving session. When you buy the razor, make sure that the kit includes the following accessories.
Straight Razor Kit Buying Guide
If you are ready to buy a straight razor kit, there are several important things to mind. To start with, make sure that you choose the right razor with the right material for its blade and handle. There are also some specific aspects of the razor’s design that you may need to know. A straight razor might have either concave or wedge-shaped blade. A blade with concave edge will push every strand of shaved hair toward the center of the blade, giving you a unique feel of hair restraint when shaving. A blade with wedge-shaped edge is good for cutting long beard. There is also straight edge razor kit that can be an excellent choice for many different shaving scenarios. The blade of a razor may be either long or short. Longer blade is a good choice if you want to cover more area on the skin when shaving whereas shorter blade is a good choice for detailing job.
To give you clearer clues of how to pick the right straight razor kit, here we present you five of the best straight razor kit products currently available in the market. These razor brands are known for their outstanding reputation and history, so you can expect the best razor kit for you to be one of them. Take a look at the features that they offer and you should be able to pick the right instrument for your straight razor shaving session.
Thiers-Issard 6/8″ Straight Razor
For more than a century, Thiers-Issard has been widely recognized as one of the top manufacturers of straight razor shaving kit. This French razor maker is known for its high-quality products, so if you buy a Thiers-Issard razor, everything will least likely go wrong. You can always enjoy the razor that you buy and will want to keep it for years.
Thiers-Issard 6/8” straight razor is one of the company’s most celebrated products. This straight razor has round point, so it is more forgiving to use especially for beginners. If you are not used to using straight razor with square or oblique tip, which may wound you easily, pick this razor.
This straight razor uses special TI Carbonsong C135 steel blade that is easy to hone and less likely to dull than ordinary carbon steel blade. To maintain its sharpness, be sure to hone it regularly as recommended by the manufacturer. Although it is better than ordinary carbon steel blade, it is still more susceptible to dullness than stainless steel blade. The razor is factory pre-honed when you receive it, but you still need to finish hone it before you can use it to ensure its sharpness.
Thiers-Issard’s unique eagle logo is etched in black on the blade and enhances the elegant look of the razor. The razor’s handle, which is made with black horn scales, offers excellent grip and further enhances the sleek and elegant look of the razor. The blade and handle make up a balanced razor that ensures comfortable use and close and consistent shave.
The only accessory that comes with this straight razor kit is a pouch that is made from calf skin. You will love the exquisite pouch not only due to its high-quality built and elegant look, but also due to its versatility and usefulness when you have to travel with the razor.
Straight American – Straight Razor with Full Shaving Set
Many straight razor customers often look for shave ready razor because it is ready to use out of the box. Unlike non-shave ready razors that often require finish honing, honing is rarely required for this kind of razor after it gets out of the box. Unfortunately, not all shave ready razors offer excellent quality. In fact, many products with this label are often low-quality products that will likely disappoint their users. We decide to present a shave ready razor in this review to make sure that you don’t fall into the marketing trap of low-quality shave ready razors.
Straight American offers a series of entry-level straight razor products for customers who wish to avoid all common hassles of using a straight razor. As a shave ready razor, it can be immediately used after leaving the box. As an entry-level razor, it has round tip that allows new users to use it easily and comfortably. For seasoned users, a variant with square point is also available.
GP Buckingham & Sons offers lifetime honing service for this model, so you can make sure that your razor will always be sharp and reliable to use. Your razor will be honed by hand and hand-honing is always considered much better than machine-honing. Therefore, you will get a high-quality razor when you buy it and its quality will always be preserved as long as you still own it.
This straight blade razor comes with a complete set of luxury shaving accessories. You will get GP Buckingham & Sons’ quality cloth and leather strop, brush, soap, and bowl. The razor is thus shave ready not only because of its ready-to-use blade, but also because it has included all accessories that are needed to start a shaving session. Both new and seasoned users will enjoy having this shave ready razor and using it.
A.P. Donovan – Excellent straight razor 7/8 “Razor Set
A.P. Donovan full-hollow straight razor kit offers some features that make it an excellent choice for experienced users. To start with, it is a razor that comes with a complete set of extras that you require to start a shaving session. Within the package you can find a strop made from high-quality linen and Kazakh cow’s skin with excellent abrasive effect, an abrasive paste that is rich in abrasive mineral to maintain the abrasiveness of the strop, a shaving brush with Badger’s hair that feels gentle on the skin, cream enriched with fragrance and skin-care substance, an exquisite wooden box, and the razor.
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What is so special about the razor? A.P. Donovan straight razor kit includes a sharp blade made from Japanese carbon steel. Its round tip might make it suitable for new users, but its length is definitely designed more for seasoned users. If you are a new straight razor user, it is better if you avoid this razor, but if you are a barber or an experienced shaver, you will find this razor an excellent choice. The blade looks elegant with its shiny steel body and A.P. Donovan’s logo etched in gold on it. The blade is coupled with a high-quality mahogany handle, which looks stylish and offers excellent grip even though no scale is used in its design. The combination of the blade and the handle offers perfect balance that ensures efficient and comfortable use of the razor.
The razor is shipped pre-honed, but it is not a shave ready razor. You need to hone it first once it leaves the box before you can use it. With proper honing that is expected to be done regularly and proper use of the included strop and abrasive paste, this straight razor kit will remain useful for the rest of your life.
Shaving Straight Razor 6/8″ GD w/Box 208 Gold Dollar
Gold Dollar straight razor is another shave ready straight razor kit that gives you everything you need in order to start a straight razor shaving session. The blade of this razor has been fire-hardened and oil-quenched in the factory, so its superior sharpness is guaranteed. You can use the razor right after it leaves the box without having to hone it first, though honing is still recommended to ensure the blade’s sharpness. The razor has round tip, which is great for beginners, though we dare say that experienced straight razor users will also enjoy using it.
The razor comes with a complete set of straight razor shaving accessories, including GB Buckingham & Sons’ excellent strop, the Blades Grim’s high-quality shaving soap container, a handy shaving brush with soft synthetic satin hair, a booklet that guides beginners to take the most benefits from the razor, and a razor box for storing the razor and all of the included accessories. With all of those accessories present in the package, users should be able to use the razor without much hassle. With the included booklet, beginner users should be able to master the art of straight razor shaving in no time.
The handle of this razor may not appear as exquisite as that of its competitors, but the design is unexceptional design is intended to keep the razor’s price affordable. Despite its mediocre look, the handle is fairly easy to hold and it offers rather excellent grip as well.
Lifetime sharpening service is offered for this razor. Therefore, whenever you feel that the blade has become dull, you can always send your razor to have its blade sharpened. The included strop might be stiffer than normal, but it is still a reliable accessory to keep your razor ready to use when you start a shaving session.
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Wacker Old Sheffield 15/16″ Razor, Black Horn Scales
Many seasoned straight razor users regard their straight razor not only as shaving instrument, but also as collectible. For those who love collecting straight razors, Wacker Old Sheffield with its traditional look and barber’s notch is an excellent choice both as a shaving instrument and as a collectible. The exquisite and antique look of this razor make it a straight razor to be proud of and its high-quality built makes it an excellent tool to keep your skin clean-shaven.
The blade of this razor is made from silver steel, which is known for its unmatched purity and homogeneity. During the manufacturing process, the blade went through comprehensive heat treating and tempering process that makes it an excellently sharp and uniform blade. Performance is always at the top when you use this razor in your shaving session.
Paired with the blade is a sleek handle with black horn scales derived from natural buffalo horn. Although labeled as black, the use of natural horn makes it impossible to guarantee the similarity of color in the handle of all Old Sheffield razors. Some razors might have pitch-black handle, but color variation is always expectable.
The black handle appears elegant and exquisite while maintaining its traditional tone. It appears as an excellent match for the high-quality blade. The black handle also offers comfortable and consistent grip. The pair makes up a balanced razor structure that guarantees excellent shaving performance and unmatched comfort.
Perhaps, the best thing about Old Sheffield razor is that it is made by hand based on old crafting method that is proven to be excellent. Hand crafting of this razor guarantees its excellent quality and unmatched performance. With excellent performance and exclusive appearance, this razor will definitely an excellent collectible and shaving instrument for straight razor kit lovers. No accessory accompanies this razor, so you need to buy them separately.
Some razors that are mentioned here are designed specifically for professional use. This means that those razors are more suitable for seasoned straight razor users. There are also straight razor kit models that are designed specifically for beginners; however, even entry-level razors will still perform rather excellently if used by experienced users. So basically, all razors mentioned here are suitable for everyone, though you still need to take a look at the unique features of each razor to make sure that you can pick the best one for you.
Not all razors that are reviewed here include stropping. Unless you already know, stropping is always needed before using the razor in order to realign the indentations that may be present on the edge of the blade. If the straight razor kit that you buy doesn’t include a strop, be sure to buy one separately to ensure the optimal performance of your razor.