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Straight Razor vs. Safety Razor

Straight Razor vs. Safety Razor

Safety razors and straight razors are both single-blade razors that provide you with the closest possible shave. In this article, we’ll compare these two types of razor tools—the safety razor vs. the straight razor to see which one comes out on top.

We've compared these two types of razors based on these factors:

  • Learning Curve
  • Quality of Shave
  • Maintenance
  • Time Commitment
  • Overall Cost

Quick Take

Our Choice: Safety Razor

Both of these tools will give you a high-quality shave, but when it comes down to it, we choose the safety razor. These double-edge safety razors have a much lower learning curve and initial cost and can give you just as good and close of a shave as a straight razor. They are ideal for all skin types and don't typically bother sensitive skin. 

Straight razors are a favorite among experienced shavers and barbers but are not ideal for everyday use. These razors come with a steep learning curve, and if you're not careful, you can easily end up with shaving nicks that you'll need to cover up with toilet paper. While they do offer a high-quality, smooth shave, they come at a higher cost and require more upkeep.

The Most Effective Razor: An Overview

What makes a razor effective really comes down to one thing: the quality of shave it can give you. If a razor isn't able to give you a good quality, smooth shave, then what's the point? So what does a razor need to have to be effective? To start, it needs to have a high-quality, sharp blade that can easily cut through facial hair without causing irritation. It also needs to be durable and built to last so that you aren't constantly throwing money at a replacement.

Safety Razor

The safety razor is a wet shaving razor that uses a single-edged or double-edged blade to remove unwanted facial hair. The double-edged razors have two sharp edges that easily cut through facial hair. Since it uses just one blade, it is able to give you a closer shave without skin irritation. Safety razors have a lower initial cost, but you do have to buy replacement blades every so often, but they are very inexpensive and eco-friendly, especially when compared to disposable razor cartridges. 

Straight Razor

A straight razor is similar to a safety razor in that it uses a single blade. However, instead of being attached to a head, it is a long free blade edge that allows you to shave large areas at once. They also let you get the closest shave possible, but it can take a lot of practice to master using this tool. Quality straight razors have a bit higher initial cost, but their blades don't require replacement, only regular sharpening to keep the blade effective.

Learning Curve

Safety Razor

The safety razor does come with a bit of a learning curve, but the shaving technique is easily perfected with a little bit of practice. Once you get the hang of using this tool, you'll be able to get a barber shop quality shave right at home.

Straight Razor

Straight razor shaving can take a long time to master the proper technique, and even then, it comes with a lot of room for error. The process of shaving with a straight razor blade is very different from using disposable razors or safety razors. You'll have to start out very slow to avoid nicking the skin and to ensure you get precise lines and a smooth shave.

Winner: Safety Razor

Quality of Shave

Safety Razor

A safety razor gives you a clean, smooth shave that leaves your face feeling soft and moisturized. This is because it gets as close as possible to the skin and doesn't cause any cuts or nicks on the skin and doesn’t cause razor burn or ingrown hairs. On top of that, since it uses just one blade, it is able to get closer to the skin than other tools.

Straight Razor

A straight razor will also give you a close shave that looks great. It won’t cause skin irritation or razor burn as long as you use a proper technique.

Winner: It's a draw! They both provide an equally great quality shave.


Safety Razor

Since safety razors use a removable blade, they are much easier to maintain than straight razors. All you need to do is replace the disposable blades regularly to make sure the razor can work efficiently.

Straight Razor

While the straight razor's blades are meant to last a lifetime, they do require some upkeep. They do not use replaceable blades, so in order to keep the blade working properly and as best as it can, you must sharpen it regularly. If you aren't careful, you could damage the blade and end up needing to replace it.

Winner: Safety Razor

Time Commitment

Safety Razor

A safety razor can take some time to get used to, but once you practice and get the hang of the technique, you can breeze through your shave routine in no time. It does take more time to complete than other tools like disposable razors or electric razors, but the quality of the shave is worth the extra time investment.

Straight Razor

Using a straight razor requires a lot of patience and skill. While it provides you with a great clean-shaven look, it can take a long time to master the technique needed to get that desired look. Even then, you have to move slowly and carefully to ensure you don't cut or nick the skin. For a relaxing treat, you can visit a barber for a shave with a straight razor. 

Winner: Safety Razor

Overall Cost

Safety Razor

Safety razors come at a variety of cost levels, and even the most expensive ones end up being cost-efficient over time because the blades are inexpensive to replace.

Straight Razor

Straight razor also come in a range of price options, from less than $10 to several hundred dollars, but that is the only investment this tool requires. Other than the regular sharpening of the blade, the only cost associated with this tool is the initial purchase.

Winner: Straight Razor

Which razor is best for you: Safety Razor or Straight Razors?

While these two options have many similarities, they do have differences that set them apart and put one on top. The razor we prefer for daily use is the safety razor. This razor is great for all skill levels and all beard types while offering the same precise, clean shave that a straight razor offers.

  • Overall Winner: Safety Razor
  • Learning Curve winner: Safety Razor
  • Quality of Shave winner: Tie
  • Maintenance winner: Safety Razor
  • Time Commitment Winner: Safety Razor
  • Overall Cost Winner: Straight Razor
No matter which option you prefer, Style & Swagger has an option for you. Check out our quality collection of safety razors here and our straight razors here.