Question: Safety vs. Straight Razor

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by ron177, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. I am thinking of purchasing a razor but I don't know whether I should buy a safety razor or a straight one.

    What are the pros and cons of each? Which one is better? Any recommendations?
  2. Hello and welcome to B&B! If you read this FAQ, and the tutorial sticky threads, there is a ton of knowledge relating to this topic and many others. Be prepared to hear many different opinions though! :tongue:
  3. If straight razors entice you at all I would go straight to that. Skip the middle man sort of a thing.
  4. I can't say one is better than the other. If you don't have interest in one, don't get it. Straights have a higher start up cost and require maintenace like honing. Which can costs.

    You can get a DE very inexpensively and 100 blades for less than $15.

    I use both. I like both. Straights take a little longer to learn and are way different than DE's. Both give incredible shaves. Okay, for me a DE is closer shave because I'm not experienced enough w a straight!
  5. Luc

    Luc Moderator Emeritus

    Welcome to B&B!

    This is a preference. Pick the one that you think will suit you the most! I love both!
  6. Good to have you here at B&B. I've given straight's a lot of thought, and have been so close to making the move, but I get such a great shave with a DE that I'm just going to stay with them.

    The DE is a nice way to get into wet shaving, and I think that once you get good shaves with the DE, if the interest in straights is still there then give them a shot. Of course that's just IMHO however.

    I've got a new DE on the way, but who knows, I just might make the switch anytime. :w00t: :biggrin: :tongue: :wink:
  7. Shaveing with a straight takes lots of practice to get a good shave. I to am new to de n straights. Straights are expensive compared to a de . The way i see it a straight makes me feel more like a man. I see someone shave with a straight , i think in my head that looks badass. Either switching from the plastic disposables or them new 5 blade razors is goin to help everyone out . Less polution. I am still tryin to learn to get a good lather i got the cheap vdh from walmart for about 8 bucks. Good luck with the shaveing.
  8. Probably redundant answers. If so just count as a vote for whatever I am repeating!

    Which is "better" depends on what you are after. Things to consider:

    • Straights have steeper learning curve.
    • Straights cost more and require extra (and expensive) equipment (primarily a strop).
    • If you get serious about straights you may want to use a set of hones. This is an even bigger expense and bigger learning curve. (You can get away with paying "honemeisters" to hone for you.)
    • Straights can be more of a hobby, if that's what you want, just because of the previous three points.
    • The shaving "experience" is a bit different. Some prefer one some the other.
    • You can get just as good a shave from either. (Others may disagree.)
    • All the other "wetshaving" stuff is the same: soaps, brushes, pre/after shaves, prep, even the techniques although the techniques are more important for straights.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  9. Many thanks all the responses! I am very appreciative of all the insights. I am thinking of buying a Merkur HD (based on reading reviews on this website actually).

    However, there are more than one Merkur HD out there in the market.

    - Merkur HD Classic "barber Pole" Long Safety Razor #38c
    - Merkur HD 34c
    - Merkur HD Slant Safety Razor 37c

    Any thoughts as to what's the difference between these. Which one of these is the famous HD that everyone talks about?
  10. Welcome to B&B!

    The 'famous' HD is the 34c - generally, the "standard" by which other razors are judged.

    Many (most?) members here own (or have owned) one - that should say something about the 34c by itself.

    The 37c is the 'slant' or 'slant bar'. Probably not a razor for a beginner, but everyone's different.

    The 38c has the same head as the 34c, but a much larger/heavier handle. Some like this, some do not.

    There are also B&B member opinions of all of these in the Safety Razor section under 'Reviews' - I believe these are the top 3 under 'M'.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  11. +1 - But I would add that straights have the potential for better shaves once you figure them out. I started with straights and still prefer them, but I use DE's from time to time and enjoy that as well.
  12. Hey Ron.
    I'd get an Muhle-Pinsell R-89 instead of a 34c. Same head, slightly different balance but much better made and the same price. I'd also start with a DE as you probly need to get other aspects of you shaving regime sorted out, i.e. soap or cream, boar or badger brush, prep techniques, understanding your hair-growth etc. I think its likely that you'll at least try a straight at some point, but you have the rest of your life to do this. Give it 6 months with safety razors. Start with the R89 for a few months trying different blades etc, then maybe buy a Superspeed, Tech or a Slim and then when you can get a damn good shave anyway, try a straight. It took me a stupidly long time to get good results with a straight. Don't know if I'm more clumsy than normal or if there's just a huge drop-out cohort which my bloody-mindedness refused to allow me to be part of, but if you're going from Mach3 and "goo" to a Dovo, you're putting a lot of un-necessary pressure on yourself, your face and your nerves.
    This is just my advice of course. One thing I would say. You've come across the "Encyclopedia Shavetannica" in this forum. They are a wonderful bunch of true gentlemen who will never knowingly steer you wrong. I am proud to be a part of badgerandblade....and someone always knows the answer to your question no matter how arcane and has made the same mistake, no matter how stupid.
  13. mdunn

    mdunn Moderator Emeritus

    in my opinion - straights are better.

    If its not something you really want to do though, choose DE. Its not super easy to do, and theres a fair bit of a learning curve, so if youre not dedicated to it you will get frustrated and give up.
  14. Huge +1 with Mdunn

    Actually if yer asking you should start with a DE...
    Straights are more of a calling, then a decision... :tongue:
  15. I agree. What first got me thinking about them was seeing an old television program where one of the main characters was using a straight. From then on, I knew I was destined to use them.

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