Looking for the best straight razor blades for home shaving? You’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up the top 7 blades on the market to make your search stress-free. Read on to learn all you need to know.
Straight razors have long been the de facto shaving tool for men until safety razors stole the spotlight starting in the late 50s. As we have come to know, new doesn’t always mean better.
Thankfully, straight razors are making a comeback, much to the delight of shaving enthusiasts who have never erred off the well-beaten path. More and more people are also beginning to discover why straight razors will always be synonymous with the quintessential barbershop.
Why Shave Using a Straight Razor
If you have sensitive skin, dragging a bunch of razors across your face won’t help much. Still, the morning shave has to be done. Safety razors are a great way to work around this problem, but straight razors are even better.
The latter’s extremely sharp blade edge means you use minimal pressure to get a close shave. So say goodbye to ingrown hairs and razor bumps. Straight razors also go hand in hand with a skincare routine involving lather, shaving brush, and shaving gel.
The kind of shaving creams used with a straight razor (not the stuff that comes in a can) exfoliates your skin, leading to a milder and gentler shave. The shaving brush, which is part of the ritual, lifts the hair for a more efficient shave with your razor.
Speaking of the shaving ritual, you’ll typically shave with a straight razor after taking a shower. As a result, your hair will be softer and the skin moist, increasing the chances of that perfectly close but cut-free morning shave. Finally, using a straight razor is an art form.
You’ll quickly develop a technique for getting a more or less aggressive morning shave. Many men also find this morning ritual therapeutic, a far cry from the mechanical process that other razors encourage. These razors are also very easy to clean, reducing the chances of rust and bacteria accumulating on your shaver.
Our Picks for the Best Straight Razor Blades:
- Best Overall Straight Razor: Dovo Inox Straight Razor
- Best Runner’s Up: Feather Black SS Folding Handle Razor
- Best Straight-Handle Straight Razor: Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Razor
- Best Budget Straight Razor: Parker SRW Straight Edge Razor
- Best Straight Razor for Beginners: Dovo Straight Razor Shavette
- Best Classic Straight Razor: A.P. Donovan Straight Razor Set
- Best Stainless Steel Razor: Parker SR1
The 7 Best Straight Razor Blades in 2022
To find the best straight razor blades, I scoured Amazon to shortlist at least two dozen highly-rated straight razors to try out. Then, we rounded up real user reviews to get a sense of what actural users like and disliked about each. Below are the results of our little experiment.
1. Dovo Inox Straight Razor – Best Overall Straight Razor
- Traditional straight razor
- Rounded blade for safe shaving
- Great for beginners and seasoned shavers
- Terrific quality razor from a renowned manufacturer
- Maintenance intensive
- Very expensive
We’ll jump right into the unanimous winner of our best straight razor review, the Dovo Inox Straight Razor. This option is for the straight razor purists who want only the best. We loved that this razor is excellent in the beginner’s hands and perfect in the hands of a seasoned shaver.
Its beautiful olive wood handle is a looker but also practical. The handle offers a firm grasp even with wet hands and feels comfortable to maneuver. In addition, you get a super-sharp 5/8-inch-thick blade.
Our experts agree that this is the ‘perfect’ blade size for a straight razor if such a thing exists. We loved the rounded blade, making this razor forgiving for inexperienced shavers. This is also one of the best stainless steel blades we’ve seen on a straight razor.
On the downside, this Dovo Inox Straight Razor is maintenance intensive. This is nothing peculiar to this specific brand. That’s just how traditional straight razors are.
The blade requires stropping, ideally after every use. This exercise helps to keep the razor nice and straight. You’ll also need to sharpen it once a year. If you are looking for a sharp, traditional, and efficient straight razor, this Dovo is an exceptional choice.
This manufacturer has been in the straight razor business since 1906, so you know you can’t go wrong with Inox. As a side note, the manufacturer claims this razor is shave-ready. It’s not. We had to do a fair share of stropping to get it going.
2. Feather Black SS Folding Handle Razor – Best Runner Up
- You can swap out the blade when it gets dull.
- The build makes learning straight razor shaving easy.
- Cleaning it is a breeze.
- The stainless steel finish won't rust.
- Replacement blades are expensive.
The Japanese are long-respected bladesmiths, and this Feather Black SS Folding Handle Razor leaves no doubt. This razor has a more modern look than the Dovo but is just as effective at cutting down hair with minimal pressure.
This is a shavette-style straight razor. It is perfect for people who prefer blade replacements to the high-maintenance traditional straight razors. You can get a firm grip on the plastic handle with wet hands.
The spring-loaded mechanism also makes removing the blade and cleaning your razor a breeze. Everything comes apart in just one action. Simply pinch the razor head, and the blade pops out.
The sharp blade makes cutting through your beard fast and easy, including stubble. However, this blade requires more experienced hands than the Dovo. Learners can expect a few cuts before mastering their technique.
On the plus side, Feather Artist Club has a line of blades, the Pro Guard, specifically for beginners. These blades come with a foil guard to offer some protection against cuts. One downside: removing the razorblade is easy, but putting in a new one isn’t.
It will take a bit of practice before you can line up the blade perfectly on the first try. Nevertheless, it is still an excellent straight razor and a worthy contender for first place.
3. Feather Black SS Japanese Straight Razor – Best Straight-Handle Straight Razor
- Feather blades are high-quality.
- Resin handle provides exceptional grip.
- Easily out the blades as they get dull.
- Cannot use other brands of straight blades.
- On the expensive side.
Not everyone wants a foldable straight razor. If you answer this description, this Father Black SS Japanese Straight Razor is a great choice. It comes with a sharp blade and is the perfect compromise between a disposable razor and a straight razor.
This option even comes with a box of replacement razors to get you started. Replacing the blades is also very easy with its spring-mounted housing. Popping in a new blade is much easier than the Feather Black SS Folding Handle Razor, which newcomers will appreciate.
The Feather Company, also a Japanese straight razor manufacturer, has been in business since 1936. The main contention with this straight razor is the blade replacement. Feather razors are slightly longer than your typical shavette razor.
So you’ll be stuck using blades from Feather if you like to experiment with different brands. Still, this is an excellent choice for beginner to intermediate users.
4. Parker SRW Straight Edge Razor – Best Budget Straight Razor
- Weight allows beginners to get a close shave.
- Parker blades are very high quality.
- Blades are easy to swap out when they get dull.
- Very affordable.
- The handle is plastic.
This Parker SRW Straight Edge Razor is arguably the best value for money option in this review. This is a top-quality razor at a very affordable price and a perfect entry-level option. If you’re wary about dropping $100 or more on a straight razor; this option is a great introductory choice.
We appreciated the stainless steel blade on this Parker. You typically get aluminum or lower-quality blades at this price range. This Parker is also perfectly balanced, making it a safe choice for beginners, intermediate, and expert shavers.
Its rounded tip adds further to its beginner-friendly appeal. Finally, we liked that the blade is easy to change. However, this Parker SRW isn’t as well constructed as the higher-end options like the Dovo.
This is hardly a family heirloom. We recommend it as an entry-level straight razor. But, you might want to shell out a little more if durability is high on your list.
5. Dovo Straight Razor Shavette – Best For Beginners
- High-quality in almost every aspect.
- Round tip and hollow grind are perfect for beginners.
- It is stylish yet functional.
- It is expensive.
- Blade may need to be sharpened before first use.
- Whetstone and strop not included.
Dovo is probably better known for its traditional straight razor. The brand also makes terrific shavette razors targeting novice shaver. You don’t need to worry about stropping and other maintenance besides cleaning your blade and changing the razor periodically.
This Dovo is also a budget pick and is perfect if you are looking for your first straight razor. Beginners will particularly appreciate its lightweight design. It is surprisingly easy to maneuver while still being well balanced.
Finally, the blade is very sharp, giving you an aggressive shave without much risk of cutting yourself. The main contention with this razor is its lightweight. Beginners will appreciate its maneuverability.
But, barbers and seasoned shavers might think it’s too light. One of our barbers compared it to a children’s toy. But, all in all, this Dovo Straight Razor Shavette is a great entry-level option for beginners.
6. A.P Donovan Straight Razor Set – Best Classic Straight Razor
This A.P. Donovan Straight Razor Set is yet another option for the shaving purists. This razor set quickly transforms your morning shave into a soothing ritual. You get a leather honing strap, a badger hair shaving brush, shaving soap, and of course, your traditional straight razor.
Buying your shaving accessories separately can quickly add up. We appreciated getting everything in one excellent package. The A.P. Donovan Straight Razor is made from Japanese Alloy. It’s actually carbon steel, which is the traditional material for these razors.
The blade is very well constructed and perfectly balanced. The wooden handle adds to its classic appeal and feels very comfortable to the touch. The wooden storage box to keep your shaving tools is a nice finishing touch. The blade is already sharpened, so it only needs stropping.
Some people prefer shave-ready razors. We think that stropping is part and parcel of a classic straight razor shaving experience. Some people may find the 7/8-inches-wide blade a little bulky. Our expert barbers loved the large blade and overall construction.
But, beginner shavers may find this A.P. Donavan intimidating. This is a great straight razor set that comes with everything you need to get started wet shaving.
7. Parker SR1 – Best Stainless Steel Razor
- Parker is a well-known and trustworthy brand
- You don’t have to worry about sharpening your blades
- One of the best looking and stylish packages on this list
- One of the least expensive options
- You will eventually need replacement blades
- No shaving soaps, lotions, or aftershave included
Some people are naturally clumsy. If you go through straight razors more often than you like, this Parker SR1 may be the answer to your troubles. The straight razor is all stainless steel so that it will withstand those dreaded accidental drops.
This is also a very modern-looking and sleek shavette-style straight razor. This blade also gives you the same quality shave as a traditional straight razor. This quality is a great surprise at this price range. Also, this razor is cheap enough to replace if you manage to break it.
The blade replacement is easy with this Parker SR1. You also get a couple of Shark blades to get you started. The Parker SR1 is compatible with most brands of shavette razors, so you’ll have an excellent time experimenting with different ones.
Although this is a stainless steel razor, it’s not as good quality as some of the higher-end ones we reviewed. This is hardly a surprise given the price range.
We recommend this Parker SR1 to entry-level shavers not quite ready to splurge on their first straight razor. You should be able to get in some good practice and hopefully steadier hands before you’re ready to graduate.
Picking the Best Straight Razor Blade
The straight razor design is quite basic, but you’d be surprised at how many different options are on the market. There are a couple of things to consider before deciding on the best option for you. We also paid attention to these factors when choosing the straight razors to test and review.
Traditional Vs. Shavette Razors
Probably the most perceptible difference between straight razor types is traditional vs. shavette razors. Traditional straight razors have a single shaving blade attached to a shaving handle. Thus, these razors are traditional and the ‘original’ straight razors.
Shavette razors maintain the classic straight razor design, only that the shaving blade is replaceable. Barbers especially prefer this type of straight razor. This is because they can simply replace the blade between clients rather than having to sanitize the razor.
Additionally, shavette razors are low maintenance. They don’t require stropping or honing. Stropping refers to polishing and straightening the blade. You use a razor strop, usually made from a soft material such as a strip of leather, balsa wood, denim fabric, or canvas.
Honing means sharpening the blade using a sharpening stone or another type of sharpening system. Finally, shavette-style straight razors tend to be easier and more forgiving for beginners. They are also a cheaper alternative to traditional straight razors.
There are also a few different blade types to consider when choosing a straight razor. These include:
- Round Point Blade – These blades have a rounded edge rather than a sharp edge. This option is perfect for beginners, reducing the risk of cutting oneself by mishandling the blade.
- Square Point Blade – This razor has a square tip with sharp edges. These razors are perfect for getting around tight spaces such as under the chin and neck. In addition, more experienced shavers can use this blade to cut nose hair.
- French Point – This design is a compromise between the round-point and square-point blades. You get the same tip as a square point, except that it is slightly rounded out. This makes it easier to get around tight spaces, but with extra safety, so it’s hard to cut yourself.
You’ll typically see one of two blade materials used on straight razors. The blade will be either stainless steel or carbon steel.
Carbon Steel is the most popular option for straight razors. This material offers an exceptionally sharp edge and stays sharp for a long time. Carbon steel is also easier to hone and sharpen. The blade also feels very comfortable on the skin while shaving.
On the downside, carbon steel is prone to oxidation. So you’ll need to be careful about drying and oiling the blade to avoid rust.
Stainless Steel blades maintain their edge longer than their carbon steel counterparts. This option is also impervious to rusting and requires less care and maintenance than carbon steel.
On the downside, the stainless steel blade is more rigid than the carbon steel option. This results in a less comfortable shave, especially in the hands of an amateur. Additionally, stainless steel razors are more difficult to sharpen and polish.
Straight razor blade sizes read as a fraction, such as 4/8 or 5/8. As a general rule, narrower blades are easier to maneuver, while wider blades work better on thick hair. For most people, 5/8 or 6/8 size blades work well. However, the ideal blade size is mostly a matter of personal preference.
Handle (Scales) Material
Straight razor handles are called Scales. These are made from different materials, including metal, plastic, horn, wood, resin, and ivory. The razor’s scales help to store the blade and also balance the blade while shaving. For the most part, reputable straight razor manufacturers use good-quality scales.
So you may not have to worry too much about the razor’s balance. In addition, most razors come with either plastic or resin handles. Wood handles are also quite common. They are attractive but may be prone to cracking and splintering after continual exposure to moisture.