How to use a Straight Razor – The Ultimate Man Guide

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2021

I first started looking into straight razors because my skin felt irritated due to multiple blades found in cartridge razors. There are few other reasons why I decided to continue to shave with straight edgde razors that you will find out later in this article.

The first result I noticed was that it made my face look perfectly flawless, which my wife enjoys. I would describe the experience as both soothing and enjoyable. If you wish to have a similar experience, you need to know how to use a straight razor.

The Benefits of Straight razors

You might not have thought about trying a straight razor with several kinds of razors on the market. Some people may feel threatened by a long, single blade. But others may feel that they are manly enough to try out the deadly-looking straight blade. when you learn how to shave with a straight razor and you master the blade you will understand all of the benefits it has to offer Whichever the case, there are some fantastic advantages of shaving with a straight edge razor. Let us look into them:

Less Irritable to the skin

With a single blade razor, as the name suggests, you only have to deal with on sharp edge coming into contact with your skin, unlike cartridge razors which have multiple razors cutting into the skin at once. With a straight razor, it takes only one stroke to deliver this ridiculously silky shave and leave you without the razor bump pain on your face. Additionally, you are less prone to have cuts on your face. In fact, you typically just have to shave your skin less frequently with the shaving knife, giving you a break from shaving daily.

Applying shaving cream to beard


Although there is an expense to be made in purchasing the equipment required for strait razor shaving, this equipment can last for decades, which is better than purchasing razors and cheap cartridges regularly for the remainder of your life. Buying high-quality straight razor is not going to be your only purchase; you will also need a strop, shaving bowl, hone, brush, and other extras. You could also decide to save yourself the hassle to purchase these items and treat yourself occasionally with a professional barber that uses a straight razor to shave. To make things simple I have reviewed some of the best straight razor kits which will get you started right away.

Irritation on the skin in reduced

It is wise to conclude that your face is less irritated when you have one blade over your face than multiple blade ‘cartridge razors.’ Just one stroke is required to get the super-silky close shave which renders you with super-smooth skin without the rash bump. You are less likely to injure yourself, but not likely to lose a patch of dumbbell, for the same reason. Moreover, you usually only have to shave with a narrow straight razor shave every other day to breathe in the blade. However, if you do experience some irritation or even razor bumps, read my article on how to deal with it effectively.

Good for the environment

No more tossing out discarded plastic razors or bags of old razor cartridges after a few uses and leading to the growing mounds of garbage in our climate. Using straight razors eliminates waste and benefits our environment. The use of decent shave soap instead of bottled shaving cream often removes the empty cans from the area.

Satisfying routine

There are a variety of everyday life activities that can be perfect for unwinding and relaxation. Shaving is one of these jobs. If you’re shaving, the attention that needs to be properly trimmed with a straight razor can almost have a meditative effect. You can find cushioned barber chairs in a cozy setting and aromatherapy applied to your shave by using shave cream, moisturizers, and hot and cold towels. The straight razor shaving method helps you to slow things down, relax, and enjoy the finer stuff of your life – including a close shave.


The meditative effects of the straight razor throughout the process of shaving are incredible. You have to slow things down with your work and really focus on what you are doing. These effects can be experienced when you imagine yourself entering an incredibly manly Zen-like state.

Man Wearing Black Cap With Eyes Closed Under Cloudy Sky

Prevent Ingrown hairs

It is incredibly frustrating to obtain ingrown hairs from shaving. Although you might have for different potential reasons for the ingrown hairs, one of the key factors is the use of a multiple -blade razor.

Why does this happen? Multiple- blade razors normally cut the hair follicle, which consequently affects how they grow again. This refers to the hair follicle being sliced under the skin, which then makes the hair grow again at an unexpected angle and probably an ingrown hair.

The positive thing is that you can’t shave your hair under the skin with a straight razor so you can’t bring your hair back. You get a closer shave, therefore, without the risk of ingrown hair. It sounds like a win-win.

The Tools

The Razor

Your main instrument is the razor. Don’t be a miser and choose your razor’s cheapest model. You should always go for a quality one, not the cheapest. Weak razors are more trouble than valuable. They irritate your skin; trigger nicks, and cuts that bother when you use it. On the other hand, a decent quality razor is enjoyable to shave with. A decent straight razor will last for decades if maintained well

The Brush

A brush allows cream and soap to form a smooth and dense shaving lather. Using a brush to lather up helps to bring the shaving cream under each whisker that leads to better, smoother shaves. Either a boar or a badger hair is used to create these brushes. Boar hair brushes are lower costs, but less humidity is maintained, and a poor lather produced. Badger pins are more expensive but make a better lather.

Straight razor and shaving brush leaning on shaving mug in white space

The Pre-wash oil

It’s pretty easy to add shaving oil. If you start the first time, rub your hands together to spread it over your skin and spill a dime amount (approximately 3-5 drops) into your palm.
If you have applied the shaving wax, you ought to use a rubber brush to add a good quality silicone cream.

The Shaving Cream or The Soap

You commit grooming sacrilege when you use a straight razor with a mass- artificial goop that is signed off as a shaving cream. Invest in certain creams and soaps of consistency. They cost you more than you would expect, but you eventually look quite manly afterward. Moreover, I’ve found that creams and soaps last longer than gels, so you save money in the long term.

The Mirror

When the time to shave your hair with the straight razor, you will need to use a good mirror that will allow you to see yourself. It is an important factor in how to use straight razors. You can use the sink in your bathroom to make sure you have a clean shave and also to ensure that you did not miss a spot when you are shaving.

The Preparation

Stropping Your Blade

For better results, straight razors must be kept extremely clean. That’s why you sometimes see barbers running straight razors over a leather cord, known as a strop. Although the version of the strap is the most common one, you can also find strops in paddle or loom shape. They are used the same way, except the grip is different. Typically, before shaving, you use a leather strop, and after shaving, the fabric is used to rid the razor of moisture.

Straight razor on a leather belt

Honing Your Blade

The honing skill can take you years to learn. Although, after some practice, you may be able to obtain a “shave ready” edge, it may take a lot longer to be an expert. A simple way to decide whether a blade is sharp enough is to trace the tip very gently (from the heel to the point) over a moistened thumbnail. When the blade cuts through the thumbnail with a firm, secure grasp the sword is ready to cut. A blunt blade glides effortlessly along with the hair. An over-honed razor cuts against the nail and creates a sharp, painful sensation.

Use hot water to hydrate

Like in every shaving, before using a straight razor, you have to smooth the skin to clear the pores. If it’s your first experience using a straight razor so you probably ought to clean the skin to prevent severe burns carefully. Wash your face with warm water to soften the hair as well as make for a cleaner shave.

Apply Pre-Shave Oil

Put a couple of drops in your hand palm and moisten both palms tenderly for a few seconds, then massage them into the bristles of the beard, then rub down the beard for at least 30 seconds.

Then allow the oil to ‘work’ for 30 seconds at least before using your shaving lather. Wash the oil out of your hands with this minute.

The Cut

1. Grip the razor with your thumb and three fingers

Even if the razor has a handle of wood or plastic, you do not hold it. Place your thumb on the shank below the blade (the metal part connecting to the handle). On the opposite side, use the ring and index fingers. Now use the pinky finger on the tang, the small pieces of metal at the outside of your handle, and, over time, other people change it for better convenience or spatial power. This is the best way to grip it.

Man looking down at a straight razor

2. Grip the blade at an angle to protect your skin.

The blade ought not to be flat or directed against your skin. Turn it slightly, instead, so that the sharp blade section faces down against the skin. You should hold it close to your nose.

3. Stretch the skin out with the other hand

The concept here is to start with either side of your face. Make use of your hand to pull the skin so as to make it smoother and cleaner.

4. Follow the direction your hair grows

Keep the razor in the right angle and begin from the top side of your cheek. Pay attention to how your hair grows, for example, if it grows down. Stroke, the razor in a smooth, guided movement downward gently. Continue to rinse off the blade where you left off. After each stroke, rinse offs the blade. Remember to do this to all the sides.

5. Trim and shave your upper lip

You can start with any part of your face, which is the fastest way to get to your mouth. The skin here is delicate and can cut severely, so you can push towards your point using quick, gentle strokes. If you want to shave effectively, and then draw your lips close to make it easier to cut the beard.

6. Shave from your neck and go up to the jawline

You do the rest of the face as you did on the sides. Face the ceiling, bring your free hand upon your jaw and lower it down to the area under your chin. If the jaw region has been taken care of, push the neck down around them.

Man receiving a shave on the cheek

7. Make lather for the second shave

Wash your hair, lather up, just as you did previously. You have to cut this time side by side. Click the first time more softly than you did. Travel to the middle of your face from your mouth. Every stroke is rinsed.

8. Make the final pass which should be against the grain

You need to rinse off again and before applying soap/cream and water. You should shave yourself the closest as possible in the third round. Work up the neck from the bottom. To prevent cuts bet as gentle as possible.

If you are looking for more tips on how to achieve a manly shave check out this guide!

The Finish

1. Apply Aftershave

Now that you have a clean shaved face, what you need to do next is wash your face the final time with cold water. The reason is that cold water moisturizes the skin at the same time it closes the pores. This is important as it relaxes and radiates the skin as it is a sensitive part of the body and needs to be kept smooth and moisturized.

2. Apply talcum powder

You need to use a product that contains talcum powder after applying aftershave so that it absorbs moisture properly and kills out the friction. The powder also prevents rashes and leaves a clean shave.

Talcum powder in the bottom of the bath, making slightly entertaining patterns.
Talcum Powder and Water

3. Dry and clean the blade

A soft cloth should be used to clean the blade of your straight razor. You could also use kitchen towels or toilet paper. The purpose of removing all moisture is to preserve the blade not letting it rust. This is one way of maintaining the razor it is simple and it will make it last longer.


Now that you know how to use a straight razor you can easily shave. The best attribute of a straight razor, the beautiful style, and the solid outside of the shaving tool. If you know the right technique, you can easily shave. It could also make you more of a badass, you’ll know. You will be cutting with a tool that can act as a deadly weapon. Each morning, you appreciate being alive as you put razor-sharp steel next to your throat.

No maintenance is required for a straight razor. The blade does not need to be changed or cleaned. After 10 to 12 months of use, all you will do is re-sharpen it. This is one razor that is manageable and it is not easy to use. However, it is a skill worth knowing and a fun one to practice!

Good Grooming!

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