by James Adams November 07, 2020 6 min read
When you go to buy a cut throat razor, you may find it challenging to decide on which one to purchase because of the product’s description.
The following are questions that we end up asking ourselves;
Traditional straight razor blades are also referred to as cut throat razors or classic straight razors. Using a cut throat razor or straight razor to shave is the most common method of shaving. Although some wet shaving addict disagree that it is the most effective way to shave.
Differentiating between razor blade widths can be figured out through its weight and how easy it is to manoeuvre around areas that are difficult to access like beneath your nose.
Razor blades are measured as a fraction of an inch.
3/8” and 4/8” razors are relatively very small but possess their own advantages. Because of how small they are, they can easily be used to access under your nose and upper lip. They give better feedback thus making is easy to know where exactly the razor is.
5/8” and 6/8” are referred to as normal. They make shaving quite easy and are light as well. These type of razors are the most common and are highly recommended for beginners.
7/8” and 8/8” are the biggest in size. Because of their extra weight there is less resistance by the hairs. This is regarded as an advantage because you will be able to get a good shave with a less sharp razor blade. Another advantage is that they have more surface area to hold lather, and so you don’t need to wipe them off often. But they can be more difficult to move around.
What we refer to as the secondary influencer of the total weight of the razor is the cross section of the blade. For example, a full wedge razor has more steel in the blade than a full hollow.
The diagram below shows the most common types of grinds and what they look like when you look at them from the point:
Singing hollow is also a type of grind that is an extremely hollow razor that got the name “singing” because of the sound it makes when shaving.
The basic purpose of a hollow grind is so that honing is made easier and the bevel of the razor should be aligned with the spine. What this means is that the rest of the steel available in a full wedge is far from the honing stone.
The sharp and style point or tip of the razor blade us a combination of both aesthetic design and performance.
Round Points are the most common and highly recommended for beginners because there are no sharp points that can result in a cut with a wrong angled pass.
Flat/Square/Spike Points are valued for their ability to access areas that are difficult to reach. Areas like under the ear, under the nose and the likes. If an inexperienced shaver uses an incorrect angle the sharp point can cause a cut.
Barber’s Notch is a combination of a round point and a cut taken out. This is meant to provide safety of a round point and an additional flexibility to be able to have access to areas like around the nostrils and lips.
There are three ways in which the shoulder of a razor blade can be classified, and they are; shoulder-less, single shoulder or double shoulder. The shoulder is meant to stabilise the razor and is very important for razors with thinner grind.
The difference between the three classes of shoulder doesn’t affect their respective performances. The single or double shoulder are the most common and makes it easy for you to comfortably and confidently grip the razor.
The finishing on the blade is mainly on its appearance and has no effect whatsoever on how the razor performs or the steel’s quality. They are generally two categories of finished blades, but there are so many difference between both of them.
Satin Razor Blades: a satin finished razor blade looks more like a brushed steel made up of a number of fine scratches. The finer blocks will give a more satin type of finishing and the coarse ones will give a matt type of finishing. They are made to impart a specific kind of finishing.
Polished Razor Blades: after the blade has been polished to make it look as shiny as possible, you get a mirror polished type of finishing. A polished surface doesn’t get stained easily and is the best for straight razors that are mostly made out of carbon steel.
Looking back at the civilisations of ancient Rome and Greece, iron blades with lengthy handles were used by men to develop the shape of the cut throat razor which was the only razor in use till the 19th century. As improvements came to the manufacture of steel so did cut throat razor blades that were surgically sharp and could be re-sharpened.
The more advancement in the razor blade technology completely changed shaving habits in the 20th century. As at 1900, shaving was either done by a local barber (one you trust to perfectly handle a cut throat razor), or done at home by yourself.
Well to do customer could own a set of seven cut throat razors, stamped or etched Sundays to Saturdays. With this, the user had access to a ready to shave razor every morning. And every week or twice a week the user will strop his razors, making sure the blades are sharp each day of the week.
As simple as the straight cut throat may be, doesn’t mean it is crude. The modern straight razor from the 1950s onwards now referred to as just razor is a distillation of design that has been evolving since the 1600s.
Razors got to the height of their designs in the 1930s or thereabout. As of this time, the blades were made out of the best steel available. They couldn’t be sharpened any further.
Jun is an experienced writer for hairdressing and barbers. She has a great passion for premium hair scissors, and his favourite brands to cover are Kamisori, Jaguar Scissors and Joewell. She teaches and informs people about scissors, hairdressing and barbering in the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Subscribe to our newsletter for sales, discounts and hairdressing & barber news!