How To Hold A Straight Razor

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Getting to use a straight razor, for the first time, can be very tricky. Perhaps, you’ve spent so much time, standing before your bathroom mirror, and trying to figure how to hold a straight razor to achieve a smooth shave without having to cut yourself. Let’s show you how it’s done and why it’s not as tough and tricky as you may think.

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Why You Should Own a Straight Razor?

If you want that classic shave, like the one you’ve seen in your Grandpa’s old picture, then a straight razor is the right tool you need, and here’s why:

Cleaner Shave

No regular multi-blade razor will give you the kind of smooth shave a straight razor will give you. When you run your fingers on your face, after shaving with a straight razor, we can bet it will be as smooth as a hairless baby’s behind. Your regular razor comes with double multi-blades which are often of low quality and can only cut your facial hairs below the surface, leaving behind an ugly bed of ingrown hairs.

Also, having to run a multi-blade razor on sensitive skin may result in serious skin irritation. Ultimately, a straight razor helps you get rid of the ingrown hairs and you wouldn’t even have to deal with the burns and razor cuts your ordinary razor or shaving stick would do to you.

Cheaper Shave

When you look at the accumulated cost of having to buy regular multi-blade razors, which are often ideal for single-use, you will realize how expensive they are. Although, they normally come inexpensive at the face value while getting a straight razor maybe a bit expensive in the first instance but in the long run, you will be saving a lot of cash.

You wouldn’t be needing new cartridges or fresh razors when you have a straight razor. All you have to do is to treat your straight razor to an occasional stropping anytime you need it, and also storing it well after use to retain its perfect glow.

Saves Time

A bushy beard is always too much for a multi-blade razor to handle at once. Hairs get clogged up between the blades and this makes shaving very difficult. So most times, you either have to trim down with scissors or run the risk of cutting yourself if you insist on using just the multi-blade razor. Whichever way, this is time-consuming unlike having a quick sweep using a straight razor.

Environmentally friendly

Imagine the tons of waste every home will produce annually if every man uses a regular razor to shave. As earlier mentioned, multi-blade razors are most ideal for single-use which means every man is left with hundreds of razors to dispose of yearly.

While safety razors are quite ideal, straight razors are perfectly ideal as you can get to use them as long as they remain usable. Furthermore, the type of wastes you’d probably generate, shaving scums and natural beards, are biodegradable.

Steps on How to Hold a Straight Razor?

Holding a straight razor, to achieve a clean shave, is a labored process. You will need time to perfect the art, and that’s why this luxurious exercise is most enjoyed in the hands of an expert. However, this doesn’t mean you can treat yourself to it at home. You just can work magic with the straight razor if you follow these simple steps:

Prepare Your Skin

The only reason why your barber would use a warm towel on your face is to prepare your skin for a smooth shave. This often opens the skin pores and softens the hair to allow your straight razor to work smoothly.

In like manner, prepare for your luxurious straight razor shave by first jumping into a warm bath or at least massaging your face with a warm towel to open your skin pores and soften your facial hair. Also, consider using a pre-shave oil to massage your face, and to further soften your facial hair. After this, lavish your face with a shave gel.

Achieve The Right Angle

The best angle for a clean shave is thirty degrees. In other words, hold your straight razor at least thirty degrees from your face and maintain a consistent sweep when you shave. When you angle your hand right, it prevents you from holding the straight razor too flat in which case, you may tear the stubble. It also prevents you from holding the straight razor too steep because you may cut your face if you do.

The goal here is to hold the razor firmly at thirty degrees and maintain a consistent sweep. Adjust the pressure of the razor sweep where necessary. Also, use your other hand to support and stretch out your skin where necessary.

Be Consistent

First, understand the razor is sharp and the right pressure and consistent partner is what you need to get a cool shave. Start with the thirty-degree angle, of the straight razor, on the sideburn of your face, and take your first strokes by swiping the razor downwards, in a slant motion, towards your chin. That should be a single sweep. You may repeat the process if you miss a spot but with a well-angled sharp razor, you shouldn’t miss a spot.

Most importantly. Do not start shaving from a sensitive part of your face. When you approach the sensitive part such as your lip or neck area, always use your other hand to stretch out the skin around the area, and maintain the downward slant sweep.

Additionally, while holding your straight razor against your face, do not pull the razor or drag it down your face. Always remember that the goal here is to sweep through your beards, with the straight razor, as gentle and smooth as possible. Furthermore, always rinse off your razor before going for another sweep.

Don’t Hold with All Your Hand

To hold your straight razor correctly, all you need are your fingers. Place your first three fingers at the shank, your pinky on the tang and your thumb should be in the middle, next to the heel but not on the blade. This finger positions will make the razor sweep through your face with ease while using the thirty-degree angle.

Holding with all your hands won’t give you the flexibility you need and won’t also regulate the amount of pressure needed to have a clean shave without injuring yourself.

Post-Shave Care

Remember, you are giving yourself the luxurious treat that fancy barber would give you but you can do it better. Since it is necessary to have a warm bath or give your face a warm towel pat, it is also equally necessary to wash your face with cold water after shaving. This will help close your pores and tighten your facial skin.

Remember to pat your face with an after-shave oil, balm or moisturizer. Do not massage or rub the after-shave on your skin but instead rub on your palm and pat your face with your palms to avoid irritation.


Having an excellent shave starts with knowing how to hold your straight razor correctly, and we are glad to have walked you through that process. Remember to always clean your straight razor immediately after use, and let it dry completely before storing it away in a dry place.

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