Shavette Straight Razor: Is It Better?
There has been an ongoing discussion on whether or not a shavette straight razor is better than the traditional straight razor.
If one goes through the various online shaving fora, one can see long discussion threads devoted to discussing which one is better: a straight razor or a shavette.
That is why if you are a newbie to wet shaving, all the arguments about shavette straight razors will eventually confuse you. As a result, you will end up unable to decide whether to get a straight razor or shavette.
Here at Naked Armor, we happen to have both razors, and we swear by their quality and effectiveness in getting a close shave. But just to help you out, we are going to do a round-up of all the online arguments surrounding a straight razor vs. a shavette.
- Difference Between a Shavette and a Straight Razor
- Shavettes are Low Maintenance
- Shavette or Straight Razor: Which is Better?
- Cost Overview
- A Matter of Preference
- Naked Armor Razors
First, what is the difference between the two?
Difference Between a Shavette and a Straight Razor
The main difference lies in the blades.
A straight razor and a shavette have the same design profiles: a single narrow blade that can be fixed or tucked into its handle. The difference is that a shavette razor has disposable blades that you cannot resharpen. When the blades get dull, you can just replace them with a new one and also put the dull blades in a blade bank. Meanwhile, a straight razor blade is irreplaceable and needs sharpening through honing or stropping to prevent dullness.
Shavette straight razors feature a mechanism that lets you clasp or slot a razor blade along the spine. Usually, these are simply double-edged (DE) safety razor blades that you cut in half.
A shavette only has a cutting edge that is as long as a safety razor blade’s width. In contrast, a straight razor’s cutting edge goes from the shank all the way up until the point.
The main difference between a straight razor and a shavette is in their blades. A shavette uses disposable blades while a straight razor has a single blade that needs stropping and honing.
Shavettes are Low Maintenance
The disposable blade is what makes the shavette appealing for first-time users. That is because one does not need to strop and hone the blade. Instead, they can simply replace the blade. And, voila! They will have a new and sharp blade ready to use.
Among professional barbers, using a shavette is more practical and convenient to use due to hygienic regulations. Regulative agencies passed strict laws monitoring the commercial use of straight razors, especially in barbershops.
These laws were the result when people became more aware of the dangers posed by bloodborne pathogens. In the end, shavettes proved to be the best alternative to getting a close shave made from a straight razor.
Barbers prefer using a shavette for hygienic purposes.
Shavette or Straight Razor: Which is Better?
Shaving pros have some quite strong opinions on using shavettes. For them, these straight razor alternatives should not be an “entry-level” razor for beginners.
According to these shaving pros, shavette straight razors only came into the picture simply because the hygienic regulations were passed. If not, barbers will not even think about using shavettes.
Their opposition is mainly based on the shavette’s DE blade. It relies on Teflon to cut through the beard. So, a DE blade performs differently than a blade fashioned from hardened and sharpened steel.
On the contrary, a straight razor relies on regular stropping and honing to remain sharp for easy shaving.
A shavette is also relatively light when compared to a straight razor. It is something that new users should consider, especially those who are a bit heavy-handed. The lightweight of a shavette can be challenging to master.
Yet, some people do not mind the shavette’s lightness. Because it is light and the blade is thin, the argument is that it is easy to control when shaving your facial hair. In fact, according to a user who has a coarse beard, he can get the same results in two passes with a shavette rather than a straight razor which takes him three or four passes.
But if you are in the mood for a shaving tool for touching up a beard’s cheek line, shavettes are the ideal companion. Their short cutting edge and higher visibility make them far easier to use than straight or safety razors.
Naked Armor's Samson Shavette Straight Razor
Naked Armor's Solomon Straight Razor
A straight razor is useful for regular grooming and building up your skill in wielding the blade will make your senses attuned to knowing how to use other blades in the future, like a shavette.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
A shavette is significantly cheaper even in comparison with the lowest quality straight razors. However, do not forget that you will have to spend more over time replacing the blades. On the other hand, you can view straight razors as a long-term investment, which is costly at first but much cheaper in the long run.
Using a straight razor is more cost-efficient than using a shavette. But, to truly make your purchase worth it, do not just settle with a straight razor. Buy a kit, like Naked Armor’s Solomon Straight Razor Kit, complete with everything you need to have an excellent shaving experience and maintain your blade’s prime condition.
Those who invest in straight razor kits already have a well-crafted straight razor with Japanese steel and biblical wood handle, leather strop partnered with a sharpening paste to keep it sharp. The kit also includes organic shaving soap, badger-friendly shaving brush, and a leather travel case.
Having a basic sharpening tool like a leather stop on hand is great to prevent a straight razor from getting dull. It will also save you some time and money spent on going to honing experts. And while you are at it, you can also equip yourself with a honing stone for straight razors, just in case you have major chips on your blade in the future.
Nonetheless, straight razors will cost you less in the long run. Again, you do not need to continue buying new blades just because your old ones got dull. The only downside is you will have to learn how to strop a straight razor and how to hone a straight razor. But, trust us, it is all worth it. Who knows, you can even use these skills to offer personal honing services for fellow straight razor enthusiasts?
A Matter of Preference
It all boils down to a matter of personal preference.
Shaving pros are right when they say that shavettes are not entry-level straights. They feel different. They shave differently. They are lighter, have more rigid blades, shorter blade length, and are more unforgiving of mistakes than a real straight razor.
But if one masters the technique of using a shavette straight razor, then one gets to have a close shave without going through the hassle of maintaining the blade.
A straight razor, meanwhile, is more comfortable and intuitive. In fact, according to one user on Reddit, a straight is easier and more comfortable to use for two reasons:
- The cutting edge is longer so that it can cover more of the face in one swipe.
- There are "seams" in the shavette (the blade goes in a holder, which then goes in another holder), which tugs the hair occasionally rather than just a smooth cut.
Here at Naked Armor, our advice is that if you are serious about learning a type of traditional shaving, we recommend that you try a high-quality straight razor first. A straight razor is helpful for regular grooming, and building up your skill in wielding the blade will make your senses attuned to knowing how to use other blades in the future, like a shavette.
Naked Armor Razors
And as it so happens, our straight razors here at Naked Armor are perfect for beginners and pros alike.
That is because they are designed uniquely between a full hollow and half hollow grind, giving them all the benefits of both grinds. Therefore, they can cut easily through coarse or thin hair.
They are also made from high-quality Japanese steel or Japanese stainless steel and expensive wood or stainless steel handles. This makes them durable and eco-friendly with a low carbon footprint.
Meanwhile, our shavette razors are top-of-the-line, artisanal pieces. They are stylish and made from high-grade stainless steel. They will give you a close shave and the sharp edge your beard grooming needs.
For more of our straight razors and shavettes, check out our website.
Naked Armor's Shavette Straight Razors all made from high-quality materials.