I think straight razors are the most misunderstood grooming tools by men of the 21st century. I can’t totally blame them for it. After all, who wouldn’t be frightened by razors popularly known as “cut-throat”? Quite a scary name, I must admit.
But the truth is if you know how to use it correctly, straight razors could be the best tool ever for your shaving needs. No other type of razor provides as much control, precision, and closeness of shave as cut-throats. Not to forget that shaving with a straight razor is one of the manliest things a man can do.
So are you planning to go back to the old-fashioned way of shaving? Good decision, I must say. I switched back to straight razors about two years ago and never used any other type of razor since then. Although I did injure my face quite a lot of times in the beginning, I blame it on my lack of skill.
After spending hours researching, I finally found the best straight razor blades to suit my shaving style and skill set. Today, I will use my knowledge and experience to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Here we go:
Table Of Contents
- Best Straight Razor Blades Comparison Table
- Reviews of the Best Straight Razor Blades of 2020
- 100 Shark Super Stainless Straight Edge Barber Razor Blades
- Derby Professional Single Edge Razor Blades
- 100 BLUEBIRD Single Edge Razor Blades
- Feather FHS-10 Single Edge Razor Blades
- Sharp Hi-Chromium Stainless Straight Edge Barber Razor Blades
- How To Choose The Best Straight Razor Blade – A Complete Buying Guide
- Why Do You Need To Change Blade After Every Shaving Session?
- Summing up
Best Straight Razor Blades Comparison Table
Reviews of the Best Straight Razor Blades of 2020
These half-hollow, round-point, single-edged blades are the heart and soul of DOVO shavettes and Parker safety razors. However, you can fit them on simply any razor that uses compression to hold the blades.
It is simply a DE blade cut in half for shavette razors. It is crafted from A-grade carbon steel and is hard temper is nature. This means its edge retention ability and sharpness are absolutely unmatchable.
The biggest issue with hard temper blades is that they are very hard to sharpen. And that’s where Shark Super Stainless Blades shines through. The blades are ready to use right out of the box.
There’s no need to run it on a leather strop to maintain the sharpness. These half-blades need to be disposed after each use. Having said that, each blade should give you two smooth and close shaves before it starts losing sharpness.
The blades are securely wrapped in wax-papers for safe disposal after every use. The waxing also prevent the blades from catching rust. Despite being ultra thin, the blades are surprisingly robust.
It can seamlessly cut through the densest and coarsest of facial hair in minutes. All you need is light, small and swift strokes of hand, without putting any downward pressure against the skin.
Have you recently bought a shavette to jazz up your daily shaving routine? I am assuming you are still not fully confident about your shaving techniques. In this scenario, Shark half-blades could be the ideal choice for you.
These are much more forgiving than other straight razor blades. You won’t end up with a bloodbath unless you are being too careless.
With proper skin prepping before the shave and use of a pre-shave oil, you can get the closest shave of your life with this blade. I’d suggest using a thick shaving soap instead of a regular shaving gel for best results.
Also, use a shaving brush to lather the foam generously on the surface. Do not also forget to wash your beard with warm water before applying shaving soap. Once you master the art of using a shavette, you end up with baby-butt-smooth face and neckline.
Professional barbers also use this blade for shaping or outlining facial hair. Sometimes, when I feel creative, I use it to add fine details to my mustache and sideburns. It works like a charm on a very thick, coarse, old and scruffy beard.
I prefer to dispose of my blade after each shave, even though you can easily get two shaves from it. I don’t bother because the blades are insanely cheap.
Many people have complained that the blades get dull too quickly. I can’t deny it as I’ve noticed that the blades begin to dull right after two shaves. Mind you that I have a very thick beard and I shave my head as well. So the pressure on my blade is 2x more.
It would be a blasphemy to exclude Derby blades in an article dedicated to the best straight razor blades of all time. Whoever has owned a cut-throat razor is familiar with the brand. While the iconic Feather razor blades are claimed to be the sharpest in the world, Derby single-edged blades are designed to be the smoothest. It is compatible with all barber-style cut-throat razors and Shavettes.
If you have sensitive skin and you don’t consider yourself a shaving expert, this is definitely worth checking out. The strength and durability of a razor blade depend on the quality of the material. In this case, Derby has used the best-in-class Swedish steel strip to make these premium blades.
It is coated with chromium-ceramic, tungsten and platinum to harden the edges for extra sharpness. For the same reason, Derby blades can retain their edge effectively longer than most other single edge blades.
These blades have a short break-in period. In simple words, shaving feel much better and effective during the second or third use. The initial shave will “burn” the blades, fade the thick coating in order to expose the sharp edges underneath. This is the reason why your second shave with it will feel much more comfortable than the first shave.
Even if you have a thick beard growth, you don’t have to put much pressure to get a velvety smooth skin. Two swift and short strokes are all you need to complete your morning shaving routine.
This is one of those rare straight razor blades that actually go easy on sensitive skin. In fact, it is so smooth that I can safely recommend it to women for shaving their body hair. It doesn’t pull hair and won’t cause nasty nicking even if shaving techniques aren’t too strong.
If you want the smoothest and cleanest shave without risking injuries and razor bumps, this could be the perfect addition to your shaving arsenal. It is suitable for beginners as well as those who hate the feeling of multi-blade razors against their face.
Here’s a word of caution: although these blades are incredibly smooth for a cut-throat blade, you should learn to hold the blade in a proper angle. Failing to do so will invite minor cuts and razor burn.
You can re-use this blade only one time. If you attempt to shave third time with the same blade, you will have to put a good amount of pressure. I will not at all recommend doing that as it will result in bloodshed.
BLUEBIRD single razor blades effectively bridge the gap between ultra-sharp Feather blades and buttery smooth Derby. It has the right amount of sharpness to sweep out coarse and tough beard. It is ideal for those who have fine hair and moderately sensitive skin. It will also do a good job of shaving head unless you have super coarse and thick hair.
Another aspect that makes these blades worth every penny is the edge retention ability. While some of the costliest blades in the market lose their sharpness after maximum 2 shaves, this one can comfortably last for 3-4 shaves (only applicable for thin hair).
You can also use it to shape your beard and touch-up the sideburns, mustache, and goatee. The blades flex well and therefore, is easy to glide across the ever-changing contours of your face.
If all you want is a nice and clean-cut shave every day, these blades are worth buying. You don’t want anything heavy-duty to clean shave short/medium, non-coarse stubble. Make sure to prep your face properly before shaving to get optimal results.
Apply a thick layer of foam with brush and apply gentle strokes. The lesser pressure you put, the better. Always shave with the grain to avoid discomfort, nicking, and razor burns.
The blades are economical and also, longer-lasting than I thought. The quality of shave you experience for this price is unbelievable. Definitely recommended for people who need to shave regularly.
I’m afraid this blade won’t hold up well against extremely dense, coarse and tough beard. I am not entirely satisfied with its performance on medium-coarse stubble as well. It is meant to work only on thin and fine facial hair.
If you want to own the sharpest straight razor blades made in the world right now, Feather should be your go-to brand. These guys make classiest razor blades to give you the best shaving experience. These blades are designed to fit both vintage-style valet razors as well as modern OneBlade razors.
Made in Japan, these Hi-stainless steel blades are coated with a layer of platinum and PTFE for optimal sharpness and longevity. However, sharpness is not the only thing these straight edge blades offer. It also has a noticeably silky smooth quality to it which allows the blade to contour very well on the facial curves.
The safest and most effective way to shave with it is not to put any downward pressure on your skin at all. Just one or two light strokes will cut your beard down to the last inch, leaving you with a velvety-smooth face.
Areas under the nose and lower lip are generally the trickiest spots to shave. It is very hard to get a clean-cut shave on those areas with mild blades. Feather blades are one of those rare single edge blades that work like a charm on these tough spots.
If you own any of the OneBlade line razors (such as CORE or GENESIS), blindly go for these blades. It is also an ideal choice for the fine gentlemen who love to shave with antique valet auto-strop razors.
Although these single-edged blades are quite sharp, these are not as outstanding as Feather double-edged blades. However, the difference is hardly noticeable unless you are really picky about your shaving equipment.
You will need fewer strokes to get a super close shave. Fewer strokes mean the chances of razor bumps, burns and redness will be less. For a quick, smooth and efficient shave, make sure to use a lot of shaving cream and a quality brush to lather it well.
The more foam you use, the lesser the risk of nicking your face. I’d also suggest using a pre-shave oil if you have an extremely coarse beard.
If you have solid shaving skills and you prep your face well, the outcome will be great. These blades are capable of giving a great finish. It is also useful for outlining upper lip, chin line and sideburns to achieve professional-level grooming.
For all this, you will be spending only a few cents per week. How awesome is that?
I repeat, it is one of the sharpest blades ever made. So if you are not fully confident about your shaving technique, you will risk injuring your face big time. For the same reason, I won’t suggest it to people having extremely delicate skin.
Sharp, durable, smooth and economical- these Hi-Chromium blades have got everything you are looking for. But so does all the other blades featured in this list. So what makes this one special?
These short straight razor blades have the right amount of power to cut rough beards, yet it is smooth enough to keep your skin irritation-free. Not as sharp as Feather or Shark Blades, not as smooth as Derby. But still quite good for the price.
You can’t shave for more than two or three times with it. But you still get full value for money as there are 100 blades included in the package. It costs a little more than Derby which is fine because it certainly handles coarse beard much better.
If you have bought a box of an average razor blade before, you must have noticed that not all the blades have an equal level of sharpness or edge retention ability. The first 10-20 blades might be great but the rest are practically useless.
To the best of my knowledge, this is not the case with Sharp Hi-Chromium. Each and every individually wrapped blade delivers what it promises. It gets you the closest possible shave with three to four effective passes. That’s everything you need from a straight razor blade, anyway!
These blades are relatively smaller than all the straight razor replacement blades I have used so far. It should easily fit barber razors and Shavettes from brands like Dovo and Parker. I’m quite sure it will fit in butterfly-type safety razors as well.
Some have complained about wax spots around the edges. I think the problem is product-specific.The batch I received didn’t have any wax or glue spot on it. Each blade was nicely wrapped in paper.
Coming to the performance, I’d say it is best for shaving short to medium length, medium-coarse stubble. You are left with a smooth and soft skin without putting any extra effort.
There’s no pulling and it requires fewer strokes to complete the shave. This means less skin irritation and zero risks of razor bump breakouts. On top of it, a pack of hundred blades is cost-effective and looking at the shaving quality, it’s a great value for money too.
It’s really hard to highlight a fault in this one. The sharpness begins to decline after two shaves. But that’s a common issue with most single edge razor blades, anyway.
How To Choose The Best Straight Razor Blade – A Complete Buying Guide
Shaving with a straight razor, cut-throat or Shavette is not the easiest thing to do. You need to pay close attention and have great shaving techniques to maneuver it properly. This could be a challenge for beginners. But don’t worry. Although it has a steep learning curve, once you master the technique, you will achieve an incredibly smooth shave.
Buying a good razor handle is indeed very important. But no matter how good or expensive the handle is, it is practically useless without a top-quality blade. Choosing the right single edge blade is not so easy. There are several aspects to consider in order to find the most suitable blade for your needs.
In the upcoming section, I am going to talk about the aspects and features that can make or break the deal. I’ll try to elaborate as much as possible.
This is the first and foremost thing to consider while buying a straight razor blade. There are mainly 5 blade point types-
1. Round Point or Dutch Point: By far the most common one. The tip of such blades is semi-circular. It is best suited for beginners as it is more forgiving than the other 4 types of single-edged blades. Therefore, lesser hazard of bloodshed and razor burns.
2. Square Point: It has a straight point profile with sharp endpoints. It takes precision and skill to handle this type of blade. It works best for shaving tight and tricky spots.
3. French Point: It sort of a hybrid between round and square point. A French point blade has sharp endpoints but the tip is a quarter circle. It provides the safety of Dutch point blades but also delivers close and effortless shaves like square point blades.
4. Spanish Notch: The blade tip is rounded around the spine but after a specific point, the tip bends to form an inward curve. This type of blade is very easy to sharpen and offers great shaving precision.
5. Barber’s Notch: Almost similar to Spanish notch. The only difference is that here, the inward curve is smaller. It makes opening barber-style folding razors easier.
This kind of blade is best for professional stylists and barbers who need to flick open their razors several times a day.
High carbon steel and platinum-coated stainless steel are the two most commonly used materials used for manufacturing straight razor blades.
Stainless steel blades are inexpensive and usually hold the edge well for a long time. Carbon steel is more expensive and doesn’t have a brilliant edge holding ability.
But many top-of-the-line brands still prefer carbon steel because of its tremendous sharpness. Stainless steel cannot beat the high shaving quality and closeness provide by high carbon steel.
So this basically comes down to durability, cost-effectiveness v/s great shaving quality. The choice is yours.
I personally prefer stainless steel because it fulfills my shaving needs very well. Plus, it’s easy on my pocket too.
Wider blades are difficult to maneuver but can also cut a thick bunch of hair in a single pass. Such blades are more aggressive and ideal only for experienced, highly skilled shavers.
Narrower blades, on the other hand, are easier to work with on tight, hard-to-reach areas. Smaller blades help you clearly see where the blade is going and therefore, safer for first-time users.
Straight razor blades can have a soft, medium and hard temper.
Hard temper blades have excellent edge retention ability but are very difficult to sharpen.
Soft temper blades are very easy to sharpen but the sharpness doesn’t last very long.
Medium temper single-edged blades also lose its sharpness quickly. But sharpening them is less difficult than sharpening a hard temper blade.
My preference is medium temper as these are cheap (so it’s okay to discard them after one or two users), easy-to-maintain and provide a super close shave too.
Blade manufacturers use grinding method to eliminate metal from the blade’s point. The more metal it removes, the lighter (and sharper) the blade becomes.
Full hollow grind or extra hollow grind blades can be extremely sharp and therefore, need to be handled with caution. Only expert shavers and trained barbers can maneuver such blades without injuring the skin.
Less hollow grind blades are more forgiving, not very sharp and safer to use for beginners.
Why Do You Need To Change Blade After Every Shaving Session?
Not changing the razor blade from time to time is one of the biggest shaving mistakes one can commit. You have to remember that the blade gradually loses its sharpness with each shave. I cannot tell you the right time to change your blades. You will have to figure it out yourself.
There are few clear signs that tell you when it’s high time to replace the blade, such as:
- The blade doesn’t cut smoothly anymore.
- You are putting extra pressure to get a close shave.
- The blade is causing nicks and razor burns.
- You feel tugging and pulling while shaving.
Most single edge razor blades are built to last for 2-3 shaves. Do yourself a favor. Don’t try to forcefully stretch its lifespan. A dull blade is the main culprit behind post-shaving skin problems like razor bumps, burns and of course, painful cuts.
While you may get as many as 4-5 shaves per blade on thin beard, you should replace the blades after 2 shaves if you have a very thick, dark and coarse beard.
Shaving with a traditional straight-edge barber razor is a lost art. Some find it intimidating because of the sharpness, some find it difficult to use. I agree with both.
But once you get past the learning stage, you’ll realize that it is the best shaving tool in the history of mankind. Pairing a classic straight razor or Shavette with a fine single-edged blade is essential.
That’s why I’ve dedicated this article solely to replacement straight razor blades. High-quality single edge blades are very difficult to find. The good thing is I’ve done the time-consuming research part on your behalf. My job is done here and now it’s your time to make an informed choice.