I was thinking about this the other day as I was looking at all of the different straight razor products that I’ve used over the years.
What if I were new to wet shaving and wanted to get started with the perfect straight razor kit? What would I choose and what would I put in that kit? I decided to write a quick guide on the best straight razor kit (in my opinion). Would I buy a kit or would I piece together a few options?
Let’s take a look at what I would do if I have to start over again and build a straight razor kit.
Should I buy this all in one kit?
I don’t see any reason why a newbie to west shaving can’t get away with a full kit and there are several in the market. I think most kits that are under $100 come with all of the basics that you’ll need and most beginners should be more than fine getting their feet wet in this area.
I see no reason why you can’t replace any of the components in your kit after you get more familiarized with what you like and prefer.
The best straight razor kits for gifts
Naked Armor Straight Razor Kit
This is probably the best kit you can buy that includes everything that you’re going to need. It comes with a quality razor made from Japanese steel with a very beautiful wood handle. The blade itself has a good weight and balance to it which is important when you first start shaving. It also comes in a great gift box that is sure to impress as a gift.
I love the fact that it comes with sharpening paste for your leather strop. This is something that is overlooked when stropping your razor. I always like to have some kind of abrasive paste to help me get the job done a lot quicker. The organic shave soap comes in a tin so you really don’t need anything else out of the box in order to have a full shave. You can lather the soap up inside of the tin, apply it to your face and close the tin when you’re done.
All in all this is a phenomenal gift if you’re looking for a complete straight razor kit.
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GBS Straight Razor Shaving Kit
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I love wood shaving accessories. While I don’t mind porcelain or stainless steel, something about the wood elements of shaving accessories does it for me. I like the fact that they are organic and have a natural element about them. The GBS straight razor kit has a wood soap cup that will fit your shaving soaps and also a wooden handle holder on the shaving brush.
Holy wood Batman!
In addition to that, the straight razor handle is also 100% wood. Now, I’d have to imagine that long term use of this much wood around water is going to cause some long term issues if you allow them to be soaked with warping, but other than that, this is a great value straight razor shaving kit
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What if you want to build your own straight razor shaving kits?
This is the route that I would go since I pretty much only use one type of brush and I know exactly what I would want to have for shaving soaps. Let’s take a look at what I would put together if I were building a straight razor shaving kit.
Well, you clearly need a straight razor… that should go without saying.
Razor blades if you’re using a disposable straight razor
Shaving soap or shaving creme
Shaving bowl to mix your shaving soap
Shaving strop to hone your blade
The best disposable straight razors for your kits
As I see it there is really only one option for a beginner. I would go with a disposable razor. They aren’t as expensive as a full blade razor and you don’t need a strop or stone to sharpen them. While I’m not the biggest fan of our disposable society, I do think there is something to be said about trying disposable razors before committing to a larger investment.
You can really test out if this is something that you want to incorporate into your shaving routine and what you like before taking the plunge into a $100-200 razor
Parker SR1 Barber Straight Razor
I’m fairly confident that everyone and their father owns this razor and for good reason. It’s one of the best-built barber straight razors on the market. It’s 100% stainless steel and at 1.7ounces is definitely on the lighter end of straight razors which can be helpful for beginners that don’t yet have the dexterity to deal with a heavier razor. I also like the snap lock mechanism that allows you to ensure the disposable blade is in place.
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Equinox Barber Straight Blade
This is another one of those razors that you’ve probably seen around in barber shops. There isn’t much to tout here. It’s a quality, stainless steel, straight razor with disposable blades and a great weight for good control.
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The best razor blades for your straight razor kits
I won’t claim to be a disposable blade specialist, but the best analogy I can imagine is this. If you walk into the grocery store and you have to buy toilet paper. Picking Derby would be like picking Charmin. There are many companies that make stuff to wipe your but with.
Charmin is the only one that makes TOILET PAPER
If you say Cottonelle, I will find you! (Don’t believe me, Reviewed.com agrees)
The best straight razor for your
straight razor kits
Excluding all the fancy shenanigans you’ve probably seen in the movies with bad guys and straight razors, they are basically the original razor and have work for years to get the job done. You can invest a LOT of money on a razor, but for the purposes of this article, there is only one that needs to be mentioned.
Dovo Carbon Steel Straight Razor
There are lots of products in the market for straight razors and you can get as fancy as Nick Cages guns in Face-Off. Unless you’re the boss of a villainous gang, then the Dovo is by fare the BEST straight razor in the market for beginners and pros alike. It’s made from high-quality Swedish carbon steel, which I’m not honestly sure what that means as I’m not a metallurgist but rest assured the shave is crisp.
It will NOT come shave ready. I would recommend consulting blade sharpening specialist in your area if you’re not comfortable wet stoning a blade yourself.
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The best shaving soap for your straight razor kits
Without getting into a very long conversation of sensitive skin, because I’ve covered that extensively in other articles. There are a couple of options that should be in every straight razor kit.
It’s soap… in a bowl… that you shave with. It’s been the #1 wet shaving soap in a bowl probably since your great grandfather was living.
Is there more that needs to be said? If so, check out this article.
For those of us that prefer our soap, not in a bowl. I use the Sandalwood scent, but that’s just because I want to pretend that I’m a lumberjack who’s manly and lathers his face with a porcupine.
It’s good stuff and it comes in multiple scents for different types of skin. You really can’t go wrong with Cremo. Oh, and it’s American made.
The best shaving bowl for your straight razor kits
I recently covered an article about this very bowl here, but I’ll summarize for this article. It’s thick porcelain that retains heat very well. The bowl is much larger than it appears in the photos and very sturdy.
I’ve dropped this bad boy from heights I’m ashamed to mention and I’ve never so much as chipped it. The knob handle is the absolute perfect addition to make this a must have addition in every straight razor kit
The best shaving brush for your straight razor kits
There are a lot of shaving brushes in the market, but for a straight razor kit I think there are really three directions you can go. The qualities of each are more thoroughly covered here, but rest assured these are some of the best options available.
The best shaving leather strop for your straight razor kits
I’ll be perfectly honest in the fact that I don’t know much about leather strops other than how to use one. I like a strop with a hook on it so that I can connect it to the little ball thing at the top of a door hinge and that’s about it. The GBS has been in my shaving kit for well over a few years now and I’ve been pleased with everything it has to offer.
I’m a huge proponent of taking my razor to a professional sharpener and letting them do the initial sharpening and then just honing the blade to keep it straight and sharp every other month. I found a service in my area (and I’m sure there is someone familiar with sharpening knives in your area) that sharpened my first straight razor for $15 and I’ve never needed to have it re-done. I just hone with the GBS cowhide strop
There are a lot of ways to put together a straight razor kits. You might find it simple to just purchase an entire box set like the Naked Armor straight razor kit or you may want to piece together a bunch of individual components.
Whichever way you choose, this article should help guide you in the right direction.
Last update on 2020-12-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API