Safety Razor vs Straight Razor

Have you ever given a thought to why do men shave? Considering that there is no medical reason behind this daily ritual undertaken by them, the main reason could be that they want to appear presentable, especially in front of women. A close shave adds to the sex appeal of a man. No wonder they spend a considerable amount of time shaving.

Although electric shavers reviews have been quite good, men still prefer the good old blade to shave. However, they are often confused about the kind of razor to use. Let’s compare safety razor vs straight razor on various parameters and try to eliminate this confusion.

Safety vs Straight Razor

Safety Razor vs Straight Razor: Definition
A straight razor, also known as cut throat razor, is a razor with a permanent single blade and a handle. Like in a pocket knife, the blade of a straight razor can be folded inside the handle cavity. Straight razor blades are either made of stainless steel or high carbon steel.

A safety razor as the name suggests is designed in such a way that only the edge of the blade is exposed to the skin of the user, thereby protecting him from any kind of injury. Cartridge razors and disposable razors fall under this category.

Safety vs Straight Razor: Usability
A safety razor is very easy to use. Even a first time user can produce good shaving results with them. On the other hand, using a straight razor for hair removal requires a great deal of practice and patience. Proper method of shaving has to be learned while using a straight razors as it involves a lot of skill, steadiness and training. This might take days or sometimes even months.

Safety Razor vs Straight Razor: Smoothness
Both straight razor shaving and safety razor shaving make your skin equally smooth. However, safety razors might cause hair ingrowth. The multi-blade cartridge pulls out the facial hair from the hair follicles in the skin before actually cutting it. Certain part of the hair can sometimes remain uncut inside the skin and the hair can grow beneath the first layer of the skin, thus causing ingrown hair. The straight razor has a single blade, so no such problem arises while using them. Read more on shaving tips for men.

Safety vs Straight Razor: Utility
In case the facial hair is very long and coarse, using a straight razor for shaving is the only option. A safety razor might not be able to shave a long beard. Read more on how to shave a beard.

Safety Razor vs Straight Razor: Safety
In safety razors, multi blades are used. These safety razor blades can cause skin irritation as the same area of the skin is shaved again and again. Straight Razors are safe once the user has learned how to shave properly. A first time shaver however, should be prepared for some small cuts here and there. Read more on shaving tips for sensitive skin.

Safety vs Straight Razor: Time consumption
Shaving with a safety razor is less time consuming as it is a ready-to-use razor while a straight razor needs to be sharpened with a razor strop before every use. Straight razor sharpening does take a few extra minutes every day.

Safety Razor vs Straight Razor: Environment friendliness
Safety razors are a hazard to the environment. So many cartridges are thrown each year by numerous users which are a sheer waste. Even the plastic packs in which they come, add to the already difficult-to-dispose off plastic waste.

Safety vs Straight Razor: Expense
A straight razor is a one time investment as the blade does not need to be changed and usually lasts for a couple of years. A straight razor with inscriptions might cost a little more but simpler straight razor designs do not cost much. Safety razors, on the other hand are quite expensive as the cartridges have to be changed frequently. The cartridges of safety blades sold are usually overpriced by the manufacturers as the user has already bought the razor and is unlikely to change it in spite of the high cost.

In safety razor vs straight razor debate there is no clear winner. Shaving facial hair by either of these two, has its pros and cons. Buy a safety razor set complete with a safety razor stand and a shaving brush, if it is convenience what you are looking for. However, if you are the “masculine types” who is proud of his steaks and beer, who loves to take risks and derives satisfaction from doing things himself, buy yourself a straight razor set. As Anne Frank once said, “Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Good debate but I think it’s worthwhile to also consider shaving soap versus shaving creme.
    I stopped using the cream because it’s so wasteful. A bar of shaving soap will last more than a year and there’s next to no packaging.

  2. straight razors says:

    i never knew there was a whole underground of straight razor enthusiasts. cheers!

  3. Old post, I realize, but I would like to offer some input.

    Cartridge based safety razors are certainly very wasteful. However, you do not mention Double Edged safety razors. They have most of the benefits of straight razors and much less of the side effects of cartridge razors. The only waste is the old blades, which are 100% recyclable steel. You can just collect them in a jar and send them to a scrap yard.

    That said, straight razors are certainly greener, there is absolutely no waste. But, you forgot to mention that they do need to be sharpened. Places such as mine offer honing services. You can also buy your own stones and sharpen them yourself. Remember, no straight razor comes from the manufacturer truly shave-ready (a term of art).

    Anyway, pretty good article. Cartridges are bad.

  4. Superb site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get responses from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

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