Shaving with a cut throat razor or straight razor is the most traditional shaving method. It is argued by some wet shaving enthusiasts as the most effective way to shave to get as close as possible.
Executive Shaving has a range of mostly German and French cut throat razors and a selection of vintage cut throat razors.
View our range of brand new cut throat razors
View our range of shave ready vintage cut throat razors
Basically, a cut throat razor has a single straight blade that is attached to a handle by a pin. The blade folds into the handle (the handles are known as scales) when not in use. The steel used for the blade must be of the highest quality, typically silver steel and carbon steel is used. Sheffield steel from England is highly regarded by razor manufacturers. Cut throat razors need to be maintained regularly, this involves wiping them dry after use and storing them where dry air can aerate the blade and scales.
The razor's edge also know as the fin, needs regular stropping with a leather strop belt. Stropping removes tiny burrs that form on the fin during the shaving process, additionally stropping rights the fin which may have a tendency to fold over ever so slightly between shaves. A well maintained, good quality razor should deliver a tug free, close, smooth shave for 9 months at least before it needs honed. Honing, like shaving and stropping a cut throat is a skill that needs to be learned over a period of months.
As far back as the ancient civilisations of Rome and Greece, men used iron blades with a long handle and developed the shape of the cut-throat razor which was the only practical razor until the 19th century. With improvements in steel manufacture came cut throat razor blades that were surgically sharp and capable of being re-sharpened.
Advances in razor technology changed shaving habits in the 20th century. By 1900, most men were either shaved by the local barber (your trusted confidante, wielding a cut throat razor), or by themselves at home. Better-off customers would have sets of seven cut throat razors, stamped or etched Sunday to Saturday. This way the user had access to a shave ready razor every morning. Weekly or bi-weekly the user would strop his razors to ensure a keen, sharp blade for each day of the week.
Safety Razors were first patented in 1847 but it wasn't until an American by the name of Mr King Camp Gillette launched his safety razors in 1904 that they started to become popular. The huge increase in sales of safety razors meant cut throat razor manufacturing almost died out until the recent rise in popularity in the late 1990s. Thankfully, manufacturers in Germany, USA, Japan and France are (almost) able to meet the huge demand for cut throat razors.
A cut-throat razor must be used with extreme caution.
Executive Shaving is pleased to provide advice on using a cut-throat razor before you buy: Call 0141 880 3040 or email [email protected] where our team will be able to help you.