5 Tips for Your First  Straight Razor Shave

5 Tips for Your First Straight Razor Shave

Posted by Marissa Neel on 9th Jun 2017

Straight razor shaving is a great joy in a man's life. The weight of a steel straight razor, the sound of smoothly cutting through whiskers, and the confidence a great manly shave can give is totally worth the small learning curve. Every manly hobby is worth the time and investment, and straight razor shaving is the ultimate in manliness and self-sustainability! Don't just take our word for it.... try straight razor shaving today!

1. Buy a SHAVE READY blade meant for shaving hair 

We see this more often than we would like. A girl friend, wife, or even an antsy bargain hunter buys a pocket knife that looks like a straight razor. Not all straight razor are made equally, and if the deal looks too good to be true, it is! 


Many 'straight razors' made in China or Pakistan (with the classic pocket knife handles) will never be able to be honed enough for shaving hair. We finish straight razors on a 20,000 grit wet stone, many pocket knives are finished on a 10,000. That's a huge difference, and you will feel it instantly. Tempered steel comes at a price because it is a specialized manufacturing process that takes years to perfect. Whether you are buying online, new, or used do your research. We are happy to answer any questions about make/model and if that razor can be honed. Email us a photo at help@razoremporium.com 

2. Do a Hybrid shave with Straight Razor & Safety

Straight razor shaving, like all skills, is about muscle memory. Take your first shave slow and only shave the easiest parts of the your face. Building on your success will help you gain confidence and you will never become frustrated. Remember: this is supposed to be enjoyable! Keep that safety razor handy for your adam's apple, under the nose, and around the mouth. There's no shame in taking things slow, your face and future straight razing prowess will thank you!

3. Face Lather, Face Lather, Face Lather

There are a million health benefits you gain when using a shave brush, but you have to use it correctly. When customers come into the lobby we tell them if you leave with nothing else, keep your cartridge, keep your goo, but buy a brush. The shave brush is responsible for a truly enjoyable and profitable preparation. But buying a brush isn't enough, you need to use it to its full potential, and that means scrubbing and building a lather on your face. Do not waste that potential by just painting lather over your beard.... That scrubbing increases blood flow to your face, which brings white blood cells, which speeds up skin cell turnover time, making you look healthier and younger! The bristles remove dead skin cells allowing you to get a closer shave and reducing your risk of ingrown hairs and acne. The bristles lift the hair so you can get a closer shave with less passes. Keep in mind the more passes you do, the more friction you are creating, and that equals irritation. It is possible you don't have sensitive skin, but you are reacting the way any normal man would when his dry face is scraped by 10 dull steel shards.. make sense?

4. Start your Ambidextrous Training Early

It's important to be able to utilize a straight razor in both the left and right hands for proper technique. As soon as the thought of placing razor sharp steel against your throat doesn't total scare the you-know-what our of you, you are ready to continue advancing your technique. Take it slow, and play a Youtube tutorial while you shave. Pause often and you'll be a master shaver in no time!

5. Stropping and Honing are Art Forms

You will not master stropping on your first shave... or your twentieth... and you will definitely not be ready to hone with the masters until you have made a million mistakes. That's okay! The lifetimes devoted to the art of honing and the craftsmen that offer this service are truly masters. Skip the pastes, skip the stones, don't buy a thing to maintain your own edge until your stropping technique has been flawless for months. We recommend not stropping with your Gold Dollar out of the bag so you can feel what a GOOD edge should sounds, feel, and shave like. Do not make the ultimate rookie mistake and ruin a good edge with bad technique before your first shave. Shave with your straight razor out of the bag, and then watch all of the Youtube videos before attempting your first strop. Forget about honing your own edge until you are a proficient shaver, and then go wild!

Kits are perfect for those who have always wanted to  try straight razor/ traditional wet shaving but were not certain of where to start.

We understand it can be overwhelming seeing so many varieties of shaving supplies out there. That is why we have gathered the perfect shave kit made for those who may be new or returning to safety razor shaving. Wet shaving is the answer to so many struggling with the high cost of cartridge razors, or the cheap painful shaves from shave clubs.

Kits Include: 

  Give it a Try  
Straight Razor Gold Dollar 208 SHAVE READY
Shave Brush Omega Boar Travel Brush
Pre/Post Cream Proraso Refresh
Shaving Cream Proraso Refresh
Aftershave Proraso Anti-Irritation Balm
Chrome Bowl 3.5 inches wide

The Razor

Gold Dollar 208 Razor

This is your ticket to self sufficiency and manliness. America's greatest generation used straight razors. You can experience the closeness, the daring, and the satisfaction of using a real razor. The 6/8" blade is easy to maneuver & see. The bottom jimps gives you a good grip. This one may not win any beauty awards, but at less than 1/3 the price for the same quality shave as a Dovo, it cannot be beat. And, if you really don't like it, we'll take it back.

  • Best Value Starter Razor - Shave Ready out of the box
  • Never buy another blade again! Become self sufficient.
  • Constructed from quality hardened carbon steel
  • High quality hardened 3" x 6/8" carbon steel blade is easy to judge angles, strop, & hone.
  • Shave better. Shave like a man.
  • These razors usually can be found online for cheaper but they do not arrive shave-ready. 
  • We re grind the bevel and completely sharpen the blade and make it shave-ready for you out of the box. 

The Brush

Omega Boar Travel 

Boar hair whips up a lather quick. This brush is great for Beginners for exfoliation and travel! Length: 76mm

The Soap 

Proraso Travel Samples

Classic barbershop scent, easy to lather shaving cream, pre-cream for extra glide, and anti-irritation aftershave balm. Volume: 10ml