The ultimate comparison: a straight razor vs cartridge razor shaving

When it comes to shaving, you have two main options: a straight razor and a cartridge razor shaving. Both have their fans, and both have their detractors.

The answer depends on a few different factors, including your skin type, the kind of superior shave you’re looking for, and how much time you want to dedicate to the process.

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In this article, we discuss the differences between a safety razor vs a straight razor so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

A closer look at straight razors

Are you looking for a close shave? Then you’ll want to consider straight shavers — also known as cut-throat razors. They offer a more precise, close shave compared to cartridge razors, but they take a little getting used to.

They have several distinct advantages. For starters, they give you a longer-lasting smooth shave if you learn how to use them properly. And because you don’t need to replace or dispose of cartridges or heads, straight razors are also a more sustainable shaving option for the eco-aware shaver.

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Of course, the double-edged safety razor is a bit more muss than fuss when you learn the art of shaving with a de razor you can get a closer shave, and let’s not forget a baby butt smooth shave.

The art of straight razor: a classic wet shaving ritual

You can feel like a master barber with a single ancient tool, combining the artistry of sharpening, honing, and stropping with the daily ritual of wet shaving to craft a custom shave.

Straight razor shaves require a bit more skill than their cartridge counterparts. It takes more time to perfect your technique and can be intimidating if done incorrectly.

Here are some key benefits of using a straight razor:

  • An ultra-close shave: straight razors are renowned for their sharpness which allows you to get an incredibly close shave, which can not be replicated by other means.
  • Longer lasting blades: with proper maintenance and sharpening, the blade of a straight razor can last you months or even years – meaning better value for money over time.
  • The artistry and ritual: going through the motions of prepping your blade, lathering up your skin, and performing the shave itself followed by post-shave treatment is therapeutic – making wet shaving an enjoyable ritual.
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The pros and cons of shaving with a straight razor

The straight razor can be intimidating, but many men swear by it. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of shaving with a straight razor.


  • Sharpness: straight razors can maintain their sharpness for a long time — up to six months! And they are generally easier to sharpen than cartridge razors.
  • The closeness of shave: many men find that they get a closer shave with a straight razor than with an ordinary cartridge razor. This means fewer ingrowns, and fewer pesky patches that you have to go over again and again.
  • Cost: although the initial cost of buying a straight razor may seem pricey, it is possible to find one in the $30‑$50 range. And once you have your razor, all you need after that is some shaving cream and possibly a honing stone for sharpening it every so often.
  • Environmental friendliness: straight razors don’t require any cartridges or disposable blades, making them much more eco-friendly than cartridges in the long run.
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  • Learning curve: shaving with a straight razor requires patience, practice, and skill. It can take quite some time to learn proper technique and achieve mastery of the art — but most find it’s worth it in the end!
  • Maintenance: taking care of your straight razor requires some extra effort — you’ll need to keep it clean after each use and sharpen it every few weeks or so, depending on how frequently you use it.
  • Risk of cuts: as you would expect, using an extremely sharp blade comes with an element of risk — it is possible too.

A closer look at cartridge razors

Now let’s take a closer look at cartridge razors.

Cartridge razors have multiple blades in a single head, and many now feature an adjustable pivot head and built-in lubricants. This type of razor is often recommended for beginners, as the blades are typically not as sharp as a straight razor, making them easier to use without risking an accident.

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The advantages of cartridge razors include:

  • Convenient – they are small, lightweight, and easy to use.
  • Variety – they come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and prices, so you can find one that best suits your needs and budget.
  • Quickness – they are faster to use than straight razors, making them ideal for those who are short on time.

In terms of cost, cartridge razors as well as safety razors, can be cheaper than straight razors initially because blades cost less — but their disposable nature means that over time you may need to buy more blades which leads to a higher cost overall.

The pros and cons of shaving with a cartridge razor

So, you’re still not sure if traditional straight razors or a modern cartridge should be your go-to for shaving. To help you make an informed decision, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of shaving with a cartridge razor.


  • cartridge razors are easier to manage and relatively safe to use.
  • a cartridge razor requires less precision and maneuverability when compared to straight razors, making them better suited for beginner shavers.
  • the blades of cartridge razors are usually disposable, eliminating the need for sharpening.
  • the blades of cartridge razors can be easily replaced whenever they become too dull or rusty.
  • cartridges are designed in such a way that they provide better control over where to shave, so they can be used on areas such as the neck without fear of cuts or scratches.
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  • the cost of replacing cartridges in cartridge razor can add up over time — buying just a single razor could cost more than maintaining a straight razor in the long term.
  • unlike straight razors, there is no customization option — so you’re stuck with whatever configuration the razor companies have chosen for you.
  • you may have to replace the cartridge razor handle if the blade head becomes incompatible with new cartridges after some time, limiting your cost savings in the long term even further.

Safety razors: convenient but inferior

Finally, let’s talk about safety razors – they’re the most convenient option and the one you’ll find in most stores.

The safety razor is designed to offer a fast, easy, and relatively inexpensive shave. Double-edge safety razor, which helps protect your skin from the sharpness of the blades.

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As you glide it across your skin, the double-edge safety razor blades lift your facial hair and then cut it off at skin level.

That said, there are several drawbacks of double-edge safety razor shaving:

  1. The double edge safety razor tends to become dull very quickly as they’re exposed to water and moisture regularly;
  2. With the amount of force used to move it across your skin, a double-edged safety razor can end up pulling at your facial hair or causing skin irritation;
  3. You’ll have to change double-edged safety razor blades every few weeks or so – this is costly when compared to a straight razor!

How do straight razors and cartridge razors compare?

Now that you have an idea of what type of shaving is available between straight razor vs cartridge razor, let’s dive into the comparison.


First and foremost, when it comes to cost, a straight razor requires a significant financial investment upfront for the necessary tools, such as quality blades, sharpening stones, and strops.

On the other hand, cartridge razors are cheaper, to begin with, but you will need to replace the cartridges regularly (every week or two depending on your hair growth).

Ease of use

When it comes to ease of use, many people find cartridge razors easier and less intimidating because they’re already assembled and don’t require any special instructions or skills.

The straight razor takes some practice before a person can master it but can offer a much smoother shave once perfected. Some dads may even find it fun to pass down this skill set to their sons!


Cartridge razors are typically more likely to cause ingrown hairs as opposed to straight razors because their multiple blades tend to pull at hairs rather than cutting them at their base.

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Furthermore, since cartridge razors have built-in guard bars which lift facial hairs before cutting them off; the skin remains intact but stubble razor bumps can still form from these lifted hairs re-entering their follicles after being cut at an angle. The straight razor does not have any guard bars so the risk for irritation is much lower as hair is cut closer to the skin with each

The cost factor: a straight razor saves money in the long run

In the shaving world, straight razors are seen as a long-term investment. Compared to cartridges razors, a straight razor is going to cost more upfront — but you’ll save money in the long run because you don’t need to buy costly replacement blades.

A straight razor blade is incredibly cheap, with many razor companies offering packs of five or more blades for under $10.

Compare this single-blade razor to cartridge razors, where each new head is highly priced — not to mention the cost of additional cartridges and shaving cream. While there are some good deals out there for refills and bulk purchases, you will still be spending more in the long run than with a single-blade straight razor.

If you’re looking for an affordable and low-cost way to shave that saves money in the long run — then look no further than the classic straight razor design.

Environmental impact: a straight razor is an eco-friendly choice

When it comes to eco-friendliness, shaving with a straight razor gets the edge over disposable razor shaving. Here’s why:

  1. Reusable blades. Straight razors are made with stainless steel blades that can be reused hundreds of times. But with cartridge razors, you need to replace the blade cartridge every three to five shaves, which produces waste in the form of disposable plastic cartridges that take centuries to break down. That’s thousands of cartridges you add to landfills every year if you’re using a cartridge razor.
  2. Compostable packaging. Straight razors also come in packaging that is compostable and doesn’t require excessive resources and energy to create, which is great news for the environment.
  3. Fewer chemicals. Shaving creams and gels designed for straight razors are typically free of harsh chemicals like alcohol or fragrance, while most commercial shaving creams and gels contain these chemicals that can damage the environment when they enter our wastewater systems.

This means less waste going into our waterways — so if you care about protecting the environment and reducing your carbon footprint even more, go for a straight razor whenever possible!

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A little about electric razors

While disposable razors have been the go-to option for many years, electric razors offer a convenient alternative. Whether you’re looking for a close, comfortable shave or just want to simplify your routine, an electric razor could be the answer.

They often feature pivoting heads that contour to your face, allowing for a more thorough shave. And because they cut facial hair below the surface of the skin, they reduce the likelihood of irritation and razor burn.

Of course, they don’t offer as close a shave as traditional safety razor blades.

Safety razors

Safety razors are making a comeback and for good reason. Not only are they more eco-friendly and budget-friendly than disposable razors, but they can give you a closer shave too. Here are some things to know about using a safety razor.

Safety razors use double-edged razor blades that you swap out after one or two uses. This makes it much more sustainable than a disposable razor since you’re not throwing the whole thing away after a few shaves.

When it comes to performance, safety razors are hard to beat. Since the blades pivot independently for each hair, they contour closely to your skin for a comfortable yet close shave. The single-blade razor is also exposed on both sides so it can cut hairs that approach from different angles.

The first thing you’ll need is a quality safety razor. Stainless steel or brass is best. You’ll also need to get some double edge razor blades. Start with a multi-pack so you have extras as you learn.

Shaving with a safety razor takes a light touch. Use short strokes and shave in the direction of hair growth. Rinse the razor frequently under warm water to clear hair from the blades. Apply shaving cream or soap before each pass. But once you get the technique down, I think you’ll find a safety razor is a simple, affordable, and efficient way to get a close, comfortable shave.

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Safety razors pros and cons

Traditional safety razors offer a close, comfortable shave but come with some caveats. Pros include a low cost per shave, high customizability, and an enjoyable shaving process. However, there are some potential downsides as well.

A major benefit of safety razors is the extremely low cost per shave. A single double edge razor blade can be used for multiple shaves with only blade replacement costing around 10 cents each.

Safety razors are also highly customizable with a wide variety of handles and blades to choose from. Blade options range from mild for sensitive skin to extra sharp for thicker hair and dense beards. The act of shaving itself with a safety razor can be a more mindful and enjoyable experience.

However, safety razors do take more time and technique to use effectively. It may take several shaves to master avoiding scratches and cuts as you learn to hold the razor at the proper angle. For beginners, safety razors can lead to more irritation, ingrown hairs, and razor burn until you dial in your technique.

Overall, safety razors offer a cost-effective and customizable shave but come with a learning curve that may cause discomfort initially until you get the hang of it.

Which is right for you? Making the final decision on safety razor vs straight razor

It’s time to make a decision: safety razor vs straight razor. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your objectives and preferences, as shaving is a personal experience.

Here’s what you should consider:


Straight razor shaving can cost less in the long run. The initial investment in a straight razor and accessories is greater than that of a cartridge razor, but no blades need to be bought repeatedly. Safety razor also cost less upfront, as well as replacement blades are cheap.

Double-edge blades are inexpensive at around 10 cents per blade offering you up to 5 close and comfortable baby butt smooth shaves and come in compact packs of 5 or 10 and bulk saver packs of 100.

While the blades are all dull at the same rate depending on the coarseness of hair the short lifespan of double-edge blades also ensures your keeping your shaving routine sterile and clean.

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Level of comfort

If you’re new to wet shaving, it will take some time to get used to a straight razor’s head and master the angle. This can initially lead to irritation or scratches. You may find that a safety razor is better for learning how to shave because it requires less skill and care – as long as you use quality blades.


A safety razor is much quicker for daily shaves, so if you’re short on time or just want something quick in the morning, it is likely your best bet. Straight razor shaves take longer – up to 10-12 minutes depending on the area being shaved – so if you have more time for self-care rituals this might be ideal for you.

It all comes down to your individual needs and lifestyle when making this decision between a safety razor vs straight razor.

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Making the switch: transitioning from cartridge to straight razor shaving

So you’re thinking of switching from a cartridge razor to a straight razor. It can be an intimidating prospect, but it’s well worth it. Here are the benefits of transitioning:

Irritation-free shave and razor bumps

Straight razor blades may seem like a more aggressive shave, but it has less irritation—and you’re less likely to get razor bumps or ingrown hairs.

Financial savings

At first, it might seem like safety razors are more expensive than cartridges because the cost of replacing them isn’t cheap.

Environmentally friendly

The only thing you need to replace regularly with a straight razor is the strop paste—which you can make yourself with kitchen ingredients—or strops themselves every few years. That makes them considerably more eco-friendly than safety razors.

If you’re considering switching over to straight razor shaving, just remember that there’s a learning curve involved and it’ll take practice before you get the hang of it. With patience and consistency, however, the de-razor transition can be smooth!

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Ultimately, the decision between a safety razor vs straight edge razor vs a cartridge razor is a personal one. A straight razor offers a more classic and traditional look but requires a bit more time and patience to master. Safety razors offer convenience and modern technology, but are more expensive over time and can cause scratches and cuts due to their multiplicity of blades.

Regardless of which you choose, proper shaving techniques will ensure you get the best possible result. So, find the razor that appeals to you, practice the art of shaving, and enjoy a comfortable and luxurious shave every time!

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Let’s settle some of the most common questions when comparing safety razor vs straight razor.

What are the advantages of a straight razor?

One advantage of a straight razor is that you get an incredibly close shave. With a single blade, you get a closer shave than ever before. You can also go for weeks without needing to sharpen or replace your blade, and maintenance of de razor itself is relatively simple.

What are the advantages of a cartridge razor?

Safety razors on the other hand offer several advantages that make them very attractive. Cartridge razor is much easier to use and requires no special skill or technique to maneuver.

Additionally, they don’t need to be sharpened or maintained like a straight razor, so they’re perfect for those who are looking for an easy and convenient way to smooth shave with minimal fuss. Also, many safety razors come with several blades at once, allowing you to get an even closer and better shave much more quickly than with a single-blade straight razor.

Is straight razor better than cartridge?

When properly used, the straight razor blade cuts hair faster to the skin and provides softer results than other cartridge blades. It also reduces razor burn, an invasive form of skin irritation in sensitive skin.

If you don’t want to think about any of that, just sign up for the dollar shave club and you don’t have to. A new razor head will come in the mail every so often and you can throw it away when you’re done with it.

Is a straight razor the closest shave?

A straight razor includes a sharpened blade that fits in the grip, and the blade remains sharp after use by lifting & honing the blade. Straight razors offer an extremely close shave in most situations.

Why do barbers use straight razors?

The razor’s single sharp edge gives maximum contact to a skin surface, giving the best smoother shave possible.

What are the disadvantages of a straight razor?

Considerations: quite hard for beginners and very dangerous in the beginning. Straight-edge shaving has completely different properties from electric razor shaving as the least dangerous or hard method.

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Brian Anderson

I hope that my review articles objectively and honestly worked out on our resource, will help you choose the best tool for yourself with such a massive selection of products from different world manufacturers.

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