Straight Razor Guide - Using a Cut Throat / Straight Razor

Cut Throat Shaving

Using a cut throat razor, or straight razor, is the pinnacle of traditional, old school wet shaving. It does, however, require a high level of experience and skill to use one of these razors correctly. Our guide below lays out the steps you should take when using a cut throat razor.

Step one: Open the razor by gently gripping the shaft with thumb and three fingers. Ensure the open handle points away from the face. Place your small finger in the crook of the blade. This enables a secure and stable grip and also provides maximum control of the blade whilst shaving.

Step two: Wherever you start to shave it is important to hold the skin taut with your free hand to provide a flattened surface. This enables the blade to glide smoothly and freely for a closer shave.

The angle of the blade will vary from person to person. We recommend a slight angle of 30 degrees to begin with until you find your ideal way to shave with comfort and ease. This only comes with practise and experience.

Step three: The strokes of the blade should be in the direction of the grain of the beard, deliberate, slow and approximately 1 to 1.5 inches at a time.
A good tip is to always begin a little way away from the prominent parts of the face such as the chin. Simply work over to these areas with steady strokes.

Step four: to get the smoothest shave possible it is usually necessary to go over the face a second time. This time the passes with the blade should be against the grain of the beard.

Step five: Once the shave is complete, simply rinse your face with warm water to remove all traces of shaving lather, then splash the face with cold water to close the pores. Finally, always moisturise your skin after shaving.

Step six: Remember to rinse the razor thoroughly with warm water and carefully wipe dry before storing where air can circulate around the razor. It goes without saying that the razor should be stored away from minors.
In the event of any minor nicks occurring, apply a moistened alum block or styptic pencil to the nick to stop the bleed.


Q: Is Cut Throat Shaving Easy?
A: In a word - NO. It'll take time and patience to learn this skill.

Q: Will a Cut Throat Give Me The Closest Shave?
A: In a word - NO. You'll get just as close a shave from a Safety Razor and a Safety Razor is easier to use compared to a Cut Throat Razor.

Q: I bought a £20 cut throat razor on eBay, it's new but I cannot get it to shave me, what should I do? 
A: Throw it in the bin, a decent brand new cut throat razor will set you back £100 or thereabouts, you also need a strop which will set you back around £50 minimum for a good one.

For more help and advice on how to use a cut throat or straight razor, call us on 0141 880 3040, or email [email protected].