When most people think of a traditional razor, they tend to think of a 50s movie in black & white where a barber is seen lathering up one of their customers while precisely shaving their bears using a straight razor. In fact, most people do not actually know if straight razors are still around today. The practice of using a straight razor in day-to-day life has become somewhat of an art over time, however safety razors are starting to gain popularity amongst shavers worldwide. Regardless of which razor you prefer, both are still some of the most popular razor options available. The real question is, is there a difference other than modern safety features?
What is a safety razor?
A safety razor is a shaving instrument that typically has a protective device made of plastic or metal between the edge of the blade and the skin. This protective device helps reduce the risk of injury and skill needed to safely use a safety razor. The safety razor was started back in 1880 has continued to be one of the most popular types of razors available.
What is a straight razor?
A straight razor is a razor that consists of a long blade that folds into its handle. Straight razors once stood as the main method of manual shaving but today have lost popularity due to the ease of use and the dispensable blades used by the safety razor. While it wasn’t uncommon for men to own their own straight razors, it required a certain amount of skill, patience, and attention to achieve a safe and clean shave. For this reason, it is traditional for men to go to the barber shop for a shave like this.
The difference in the blades
The biggest difference between a safety razor and straight razor is the size of the blade. Safety razors are made up of dispensable blades while straight razors are a long blade that often need to be resharpened as the blade becomes dull after a number of uses. The safety razor uses a much thinner, shorter razor blade that is much easier to manuever on skin.
A straight razor is a completely different concept than a safety razor. The blade is typically more than double the length of a safety razor and is much thicker. In addition, the blade would traditionally be sharpened prior to each shave, allowing for the smoothest outcome. When folded out from the handle, similar to a pocket knife and has to be held and handled in a completely different manner than that of a safety razor. While safety razors cost more over time, due to blade replacement; a straight razor does require maintenance and upkeep to keep it in pristine condition.
The difference in the shave?
The advantages and disadvantages of shaving with a straight razor in comparison to a safety razor is a highly-debated topic and isn’t likely to come to an end anytime soon. Many people still prefer the clean and quick shave that you can get from a straight razor. The blade covers more surface area per stroke than that of a safety razor and requires far less rinsing. Safety razors can easily become clogged which results in the blades needing to be rinsed more often. Without the proper knowledge of how the blade works, a straight blade shave can be very dangerous to the average shaver.
Shaving with a safety razor is the preferred method of convenience. You can shave with a safety razor wherever you would like and can just about do it in your sleep. Safety razors are readily available, affordable, and to the untrained groomer, much safer than a straight razor.
Is one better than the other?
Straight razor vs. safety razor is an argument that has been widely discussed for the past century. The truth of the matter is; it comes down to personal preference. Once you are set in your ways and accustomed to something, you will always think your way is better.