A straight razor, also known as an open or “cut throat” razor, is a single shaving blade which usually folds directly into its handle.
These were once the standard for home and barber shop use, but have slowly been replaced by safety disposable razors and electric razors in some circles.
The true shaving aficionados out there know that straight razors give you a closer shave and save you money overall.
These one-time investments require a small amount of yearly maintenance, but will provide years of enjoyment when taken care of properly.
Along with the lower cost and the cleaner shave, using a straight razor feels like a hobby instead of a chore. You get the feeling of using the same tools the old fashioned barbers did, and it’s a man card all on its own.
When it comes to using a straight razor, you have to make an initial investment in a quality razor. It’s hard to know which one to choose, and you don’t want to end up with a low quality straight razor for years.
To find the best straight razor, I tried the top five sellers on the market today so you don’t have to.
Boker Straight Razor
Produced in their Sollingen, Germany facility, Boker boasts of this model as a straight razor with “premium quality straight razor for an affordable price.” The King Cutter shaped razor is 5/8″ and made of an alloy containing silver.
When the razor arrived it was sharp and almost shave ready. A bit of stropping was all it needed to give a close shave. The blade is thin and feels almost flimsy in the hand, but that also makes it very maneuverable.
The handle seemed light and cheap when I first removed it from the package, but once I started using the razor, I realized that it balances the thin razor very well.
The German craftsmanship was evident with this razor, and at $163.95, this blade seems like a solid investment.
This thin but sharp blade gets a score of 7.5/10 on my scale.
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Parker SR1 Stainless Steel Straight Edge Barber Razor
The search for the best straight razor continued with this model from Parker, which is a crossover between the permanent straight razor and disposable blades. Its stainless steel handle comes with 5 additional disposable blades for the feel of a straight shave with more of the convenience of disposable razors.
The feel of this straight blade is excellent, and makes for a clean shave in style. However, at a price of only $20.00, this blade isn’t as high quality as others on the market.
The handle seemed to have a design flaw that made closing the blade difficult. It was possible, but took a bit of trying.
The blade included has a rounded edge, which helps reduce the chances of accidental cuts, so for those new to straight razor shaving, this is a good option. When it came time to replace the blades, it was difficult to wrestle the old one out.
For its low price and safety, I would rate this as a good choice for beginners not ready to make an investment, but for the more experienced straight razor shavers, this receives a score of 5/10.
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A.P. Donovan – Professional 7/8″ straight Razor With Strop
With a handle of solid sandalwood and a blade made of Japanese tempered steel, the A.P. Donovan includes a strop for immediate use. A stylish box is included to keep the razor safe on your counter top. The company boasts of a close but gentle shave with their sharp steel razor.
When it arrived, this razor did not disappoint. The solid wooden handle had a great feel in the hand, and balanced the weight of the blade easily.
It gave a close and comfortable shave after a quick stropping. While the blade and handle are of great quality, I would prefer a bit higher quality strop, but it got the job done either way. At about $120.00, this razor is an investment that will pay off.
For its high quality blade, solid wood handle, and included strop, I give this razor a 9.5/10 on the Best Straight Razor scale.
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Dovo “Diamant” Straight Razor
Next on the search for the best straight razor comes the Dovo “Diamant” with an olivewood handle and a sharp 5/8″ blade coated in a black finish. The blade thickness is recommended for its close shave with easy use.
When the razor arrived, it took a few minutes of honing and stropping before it was ready for use, but other customers have stated that theirs was ready out of the box.
Once I was ready to use it, the blade was comfortable and effective, giving a close, even shave.
The handle balanced the blade very well, but was lighter than shown online. At $240.00, this razor is a definite investment for the true straight shave enthusiast.
For its high cost, the razor did not disappoint in its use. However, it wasn’t ready for use straight out of the box, and the wooden handle was different than pictured, so I give this razor 9/10.
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Feather DX Folding Wood Handle Razor
I was hesitant when I read reviews calling this razor the “Ferrari of razors” and didn’t know if it could live up to the hype.
This razor definitely did not disappoint. Well-balanced feel, close shave, and high quality craftsmanship all come together for a great shave experience.
The only downside to this razor is the price of $230.00, which is definitely a large investment for most.
This razor tops the list with 10/10.
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So what’s the best straight razor?
The overall best straight razor out of these five reviewed is definitely the Feather DX with the folding wood handle. Its high quality will not disappoint, and the investment is worth it for a close, clean shave every time.
In second place is the A.P. Donovan Professional 7/8″ straight razor which includes a strop. This high quality razor is a great razor within a median price range.
For those looking for a beginner straight razor, the Parker SR1 Stainless Steel razor is the best quality with a low price. You can try out that razor for only $20, then move on to a higher quality straight razor once you’ve perfected your technique.