The latest craze of returning to old school straight and safety razor shaving is due not only to the overall retro nostalgia which has overwhelmed most spheres of life, culture and fashion, but is also due to the fact that shaving with a straight razor or a safety razor with disposal double edge razor blades is much more price efficient than buying endless quantities of the overpriced and highly advertised cartilages for your latest disposable safety razor.

straight razor vs safety razor

Also, it is becoming perfectly clear to more and more people, that even though the latest disposable razor cartridges include 3-4-5 blades in one, they still cannot provide as close a shave as a good straight razor can.

Overall, a straight razor can give you a close shave at a very good price. So can a good safety razor with replaceable double edge razor blades.

So, if you are considering moving to one of these traditional types of shaving but are still wondering which one is better for you, here are some of the main differences as well as the pros and cons of safety razors vs straight razors:

Straight razors are also referred to as “cutthroat’ razors, and you have most probably seen them used in movies and namely in the numerous barber shop scenes in mafia movies. These razors are more like knives and can actually be a very dangerous and even a deadly weapon. This is why they have been gradually replaced by the safety razors and the plastic disposable ones or the electric shavers through the years. Also, when the AIDS epidemic first began decades ago, the use of straight razors by professional barbers became prohibited in a number of countries and regions because of the dangers of safety issues and the possibility of spreading the HIV and AIDS virus through accidental nicks and cuts during shaving with the same straight razor.

At a glance: Straight edge razor or Safety razor?

The biggest pro of the straight razor is that it is a very sturdy razor with one single blade which can actually last a whole lifetime, if proper honing and sharpening is performed regularly.

Gives you much closer shave.

Possibly the biggest con of the cut throat razor is the time and practice it takes to get to safely and successfully use it. It can take quite a bit of trial and error, as well as some painful cuts and nicks while you are at it.

Another possible con of the straight razor is that if it becomes damaged, you need to throw it away and replace the whole thing because it is one singular unit. Also, straight razors are generally more expensive than safety razors.
The pros of safety razors include the fact that this type of razor, when used properly and with good razor blades, can give you a perfect and extremely close shave, which you can’t achieve with other types of shaving techniques.

Another positive factor in regard to safety razors is that it takes much less practice and time to learn to use them properly and safely than it takes to get used to straight razors when you are just getting started.

Also, using a safety razor is much cheaper than any of the modern shaving variants. Once your blade gets dull, you don’t need to sharpen it, just dispose of it safely and replace it with a new one and it is ready for use again!

The cons of safety razors are that they are not as cool as the straight razor, if coolness is the effect you are looking for in the first place.

Also, even though the razor blades are very cheap, they are still an investment, whilst the straight razor doesn’t require such additional purchases, so using a safety razor is more expensive than shaving with a straight razor.
Whichever old-school variant you pick, the result from your shaving will be much better than that from shaving with disposable or multiple blade cartilage razors. The reason is that both will provide you with the closest shave possible via the so-called wet shaving process.

Plus, shaving with these old fashioned shaving tools will not be accompanied with the usual irritation which follows much of the modern shaving. The reason is that both types of old fashioned razors have one single blade, which is sufficient to provide the perfect close shave, and yet cause less irritation to the skin, because of the reduced contact with the skin during shaving, as compared to shaving with razors with double, triple or more blades.

Also, both the safety and straight razors are much more hefty and thus stable and of higher quality than the plastic disposable ones. This requires the use of little or no pressing during shaving unlike the pressure which needs to be used when shaving with the light plastic razors.

Also, their heftiness and higher quality build make them more stable to hold and use, more durable.

So despite having their own pros and cons, both the razors are definitely a great choice for people who want a high quality shaving experience, less irritation and less money spent for shaving.