Straight Razor Shaving





Introduction: Straight Razor Shaving

About: If you find yourself reading this hit me up if you are nearby. We can hang out and make something awesome.


My name is Matthew and I have been straight razor shaving for some time. Today I will share with you some of my knowledge and how I get a clean shave every morning. I will keep things simple for you guys today. I find straight shaving extremely enjoyable, get a closer shave, and I can purchase around 100 blades for $5. I use cheap disposable blades that I place in my own customized straight razor.

You will need:

- A Straight Razor

- Blades or a Sharpened Razor

- Shaving Cream

- Preshave Cream

- Brush (ideally)

- A towel handy

Step 1: Prep Your Razor

- If you are using disposable razors like I am you will have to place a new blade in your razor. Do this by inserting your blade gently in between the two metal pegs and hold firmly while you close the blade.

- A straight razor that does not utilize disposable blades will need to be stropped. Best practice is to keep the blade at a 30 degree angle and give it 10-12 strokes in an X pattern back and forth.

(I will not be going deep into this section as many people differ on technique and I am using a disposable razor today)

Step 2: Prep Shaving Cream

You may choose to:

- Lather on face

- Lather on hand, then apply to face

- Lather in a dish or bowl

Take a finger full of shaving cream and place it on your wet brush. Use hot water as it opens up the pores! Lather the shaving cream. I prefer to lather on the back of my hand (non-shaving hand). I find it easy and convenient. With practice, you can keep the front of you hand clean. This is important because you will be using this hand to stretch the skin on your face out while shaving.

Step 3: Shaving

- Start with holding your blade properly. Many people use a pinched grip like they are holding a pencil or throwing a dart. You have much more control if you hold razor in between the handle and razor. In most circumstances try to hold the handle between you middle and pointer finger while steadying the blade with your thumb (picture 1). Getting behind the ears can be tricky and you may have to modify your grip.

- The first rule to getting a clean shave and keeping your skin looking good is to always shave with the grain. This can be tricky because everyone has a slightly different pattern. I have included a picture to show common grow patterns. Underneath the chin can vary greatly and you will have to take your time. It is extremely important that you use your non-dominant / non-shaving hand to hold your skin tight (I cannot show this in pictures as I am the photographer as well). By holding your skin tight below or above where you are shaving you will prevent pulling and discomfort while shaving. I will put green dots to mark where I would hold if I were not holding a camera. When shaving underneath the chin I like to hold below on the neck. This is usually the only time I do not hold above. This is all preference. When shaving around your mouth feel free to make as many funny faces as you like :-D

- Always reapply shaving cream to areas that you will go over twice. Never Dry Shave! You should have plenty of shaving cream between your hand and your brush. Don't be afraid to lather some more. The angle at which the blade touches your face should be extremely narrow. Keep it as narrow as possible. It should not take much effort to shave. Let the weight of the razor do the work!

*Note* I have washed off shaving cream from my hand so that I would ensure my phone would be dry.

Step 4: You're Finished!

I hope you had fun shaving! If you cut yourself your first time that does not mean you did anything wrong. It takes practice and it still happens to us all! All that is left is to clean up and put some pre-shave on. Yes, I like to use pre-shave instead of aftershave. I believe that it treats your skin better.

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable!

P.S. If you would like to see how I stained the handle of my razor I have included the link below.

How to Dye Wood Using Natural Ingredients

Hair Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Hair Contest 2016



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    22 Discussions

    Was that originally a Parker SR-1? Would like to see the process for making the scales, as I think pinning for the shavette would be different from that of a traditional straight.


    1 year ago

    I'm learning to shave this way. Just using it 2 times a week (other days i'm in hurry). Thanks for the instructable. How often do you change the blades?


    1 year ago

    This is really great information. I've been toying around with this idea for years, my only break in the process of using a straight razor, is what angle do you hold the blade to your skin? When I'm testing the sharpness of a pocket knife, I'm angled to the skins as if I am slicing the hairs off. I'm just a little leery of getting that close to my throat with a straight blade, slicing hairs...

    1 reply

    I just updated the Instructable to address your comment. Very appropriate question. Thank you! ~The angle at which the blade touches your face should be extremely narrow. Keep it as narrow as possible. It should not take much effort to shave. Let the weight of the razor do the work!


    1 year ago

    I've been shaving with a straight razor for a while, don't you use a hot towel before shaving? it is really good for me.

    how often do you change the blade?

    1 reply

    Now you are talking! This is a great idea. You can heat it up and use pre/aftershave to give it a good scent. Sadly my towels do not stay hot very long and it becomes too much work for me day to day. This is great for weekends. Thank you for contributing!

    If you put the camera in video mode and on a tripod or other device to steady it, then you can shave with two hands. Then download it and pick the frames you want and insert then in your subject article.

    1 reply

    I do wish I had a tripod for this exact reason! I really did this project last minute. I wanted to see a project for men in this area of the community.

    Looking good, buddy!

    Thanks for the great instructable :)

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    How much do these blades cost compared to the disposable blades for regular razors?

    1 reply

    We are talking a good chunk of change here LesB. $8 max for 100 blades vs. the alternative.

    Hey Matthew - I love seeing that a guy is posting here to this contest. And, love the look of your straight razor with the wooden handle. Very nice. Great Instructable! I've seen videos of women even using these to shave their faces...rather than call it shaving, they named it dermaplaning....I guess it is supposed to keep the skin exfoliated and renewed. :)

    1 reply

    Much appreciated! You can take a good layer off when you shave if you're not careful!

    You're finished, or you are finished. Not your finished. But nice Instructable.

    1 reply

    listen people if you screw up you can do some pretty bad damage especially if you are diabetic be warned or using blood thinners i am a professional barber!!!

    Nice detail. I've been using a true straight razor for about 4 years and I completely agree- the improvement between straight or shavett and plastic, 3 or even 5 blade razors is simply amazing and only truly appreciated when one experiences it themself. One point- I have found badger hair brushes to be superior to synthetic brushes- lather is richer and whiskers more easily raised from the skin.

    you said 90° angle but i think you meant more like 15 or 30

    1 reply

    Good catch! That "9" snuck right in there. Thanks for letting me know!