Safety Razor vs. Straight Razor

For centuries, safety razors and straight razors have been the tools of choice when it is time to shave. Depending on your point of view, there are pros and cons to both types of razors. This article will discuss the fundamental differences between the two men’s grooming tools.

Men’s Razors For Shaving

The majority of the population is more familiar with safety razors than straight razors. You probably have seen a straight razor in your grandfather’s bathroom; or maybe you have seen one being used by a barber in a movie or in a television show. It looks like a long piece of metal with a razor tip attached to a rotating handle.

They are often referred to as ‘cutthroat razors’ because it resembles a knife in appearance, and it cuts like one too!

The straight razor was the only real razor for men until Gillette invented the safety razor in the early 1900’s. Since then, the usage of the straight razor has declined and is really only used by professional barbers and stylists. The safety razor is mostly used by the general population, men and women alike!

Safety razors look very much like disposable razors and cartridge razors. The difference is that disposable and cartridge razors are made of plastic and safety razors are almost always made entirely of metal.

If you were to closely observe a safety razor and a straight razor side by side, there is definitely no confusing the two. Their appearance and functionality are very different. Straight razors are popular with professional barbers and stylists, but safety razors are more convenient and are mostly used by the general public.

In recent years, straight razors are making a comeback because of its ‘old school’ feel. The actual shave may or may not be very comfortable and can often lead to shaving irritation, however. That’s why many professional barbers nowadays will use a straight razor to shave the back of the neck, sideburns, and to “line-up” a beard, but few use it on the entire face. It might feel nice while the shave is being performed, but you’ll most likely pay for it with extreme shaving irritation the next day.

It’s All In The Blade!

The main difference between a safety razor and a straight razor is the blade itself. Safety razors have removable, or disposable blades that connect to the razor’s head. Straight razor blades require maintenance and sharpening in order to keep them working properly. It is necessary to strop your razor before each use. If not, the blade will quickly become too dull and will require a specialist to sharpen, which can be very expensive.

Many guys who are new to shaving, and don’t want to use a disposable cartridge razor, prefer the ease and convenience of a safety razor. Whenever it becomes dull, you simply throw away the removable blade and replace it with a new one. There are also many different types and qualities of safety blades making easier to find the perfect razor for your face.

Keeping the blade sharp can be another task within itself. If you prefer to go with the straight razor, then be prepared to spend money on a strop and stropping paste in order to keep the blade sharp. You can think of a straight razor as a long term investment. Safety razors will require you to purchase replacement blades whenever the razor becomes dull. Depending on how often you shave, this can be multiple times a month.

Safety Razor Pros & Cons


It doesn’t take much practice to get a perfect shave with a safety razor. The biggest benefit is the ability to replace the blade whenever it becomes dull and it is very affordable. If you are a person who shaves everyday of the week, one blade will last for about a week before it needs to be replaced and the blades usually only cost a few cents.


Even though you are not as likely to get nicks, cuts, and irritation with a safety razor as you are with a straight razor, it is still not as safe and comfortable as most disposable cartridge razors.

Straight Razors Pros & Cons


The main benefit of using a straight razor is the fact that it makes shaving more of a ritual and and an experience than just a necessary chore. They are very well made, durable and built to last. Since they are usually at least 3 inches wide, it allows you to complete your shave with less strokes. If you decide to purchase a straight razor blade, if cared for properly, it will last you for a lifetime. You will only need to sharpen your blade about twice a year using honing and stropping techniques. You can even get creative and buy a custom handle for your straight razor to fit your personality. And not to mention, it feels pretty ‘bad-ass’ to own a straight razor.


Shaving with a straight razor is a skill. It takes a lot of practice and training to achieve the perfect shave. Those who are inexperienced will have a much higher chance of getting nicks and cuts on your face. Since it only comes with one blade, if it ever becomes damaged, you will have to replace the whole unit. If you let your blade become dull, it will take a lot of skill and time to sharpen the blade again.

The Take Away: Safety Razors vs. Straight Razors

Now that you are more familiar with the fundamental differences between safety razors and straight razors, now it is time to make a decision. But before you go out and purchase a razor, take the time to do research by reading the reviews and ratings of the brands that are available.

Safety Razors:

  • May provide a closer shave than some disposable razors
  • Easy to use with no learning curve
  • Low initial investment; minimal cost to purchase replacement blades

Straight Razors:

  • Freedom and control while you shave
  • Increased risk of nicks and cuts
  • Must shave with proper technique
  • High initial investment; no cost to maintain (besides sharpening the blade)

Choosing The Right Razor

If you are looking for guidance on how to choose the right razor for a smooth facial shave, you have definitely come to the right place. There are a variety of options when it comes to choosing a razor to remove unwanted facial hair. As a matter of fact, there are so many options, that it can be difficult to know which razor is best for you.

Be sure to look for the following when choosing your next razor.

The Number Of Blades In Razor & Moisturizing Strips

Usually, razors have anywhere from 2 to 5 blades, although there are 6 blade razors on the market nowadays. If you have a very thick and coarse beard, you should use a razor with 4 or more blades. If you don’t have a lot of facial hair, then using a razor with 2 or 3 blades will result in a clean, neat shave. The number of blades will vary depending on razor models.

Also, if you tend to use multiple strokes will shaving the same area, you should use a razor with fewer blades. If you make 3 strokes with a 5 blade razor, you’ve just had a blade drag across your face 15 times. This could cause irritation. Most people tend to get the best results from a 3 blade razor.

We also recommend buying a razor that has moisturizing strips. These strips protect your skin and can be very beneficial, leaving you with a soft, smooth shave. No matter the brand of the razor blade you choose, we always recommend that you become familiar with the instructions on the packaging for the best results.

Remember to change your razor blade on a regular basis. If you are using disposable blades, just throw away after use.

Traditional Razor or Electric Razor?

Traditional razors are the best option if you are trying to achieve a close and clean shave, but if you have hypersensitive skin, an electric razor will cause less irritation when shaving. Electric razors are also a good option if you are running late, or in a hurry. Traditional razors always yield the best results, though it takes more time, it is always the best option. Just ask your local barber, stylist, or better yet, barbetologist!

Sharpness Of The Blade

Using a top quality shaving razor usually has nice sharp blades. Cheap razor blades usually aren’t as sharp and might pull the hair while shaving or not cut the hair as closely. You will not experience a smooth shave when you compromise quality by buying a cheap shaving razor.

Determining The Weight Of Razor

The overall weight of the razor is not that important, but it is the distribution of weight that can have an negative effect when shaving. We recommend buying razors that are comfortable to hold and use. A good razor will have the ability to balance itself in your hand. Razors that are too heavy on one side or the other are not a good choice. Some disposable shaving razors come with a very heavy head and can have an unfavorable impact while shaving.

Review The Ratings

With so many razors to choose from, take the time to check out the reviews and ratings before making your purchase. Do as much research as you can. There are tons of forums and blogs that are available online that list the best razors available to buy. When you start to do your research on which razor blade to purchase, remember the following:

  • Blade type: Use stainless steel blades for premium sharpness and hygienic purposes.
  • Razor head: Flexible razor heads can be angled across your face for precision. Most cartridge razors have pivotal heads.
  • Maintenance: Rinsing and wiping off the blades every few shaves extends the life of the razor.
  • Length & weight: Choosing the razor that is comfortable to hold and easy to grip will improve your shaving results and experience.
  • Special Features: Buy razors with lubrication strips or a razor with multiple blades. These razors provide the best results.

The Take Away

Choosing the right razor can be a difficult task. Even experienced shavers can have a hard time finding the “perfect razor” to shave with. Also remember that the sensitivity of your skin and how frequent you shave might limit your razor blade options.

So there you have it; keep these tips in mind when finding the right razor, and happy grooming!

How To Grow A Beard

It can be a challenge to grow a beard, but keeping it groomed and presentable can be just as difficult. And if you learn the following facial hair care tricks, you will find that growing and grooming a beard has never been so easy.

Eat Your Vitamins

If you are Ridiculously Serious about growing and maintaining your facial hair, supplements like Vitabeard will help you achieve your goal. Your beard is mostly made of proteins and fats, but having a daily dosage of Vitamins B5, B3 and B9 will help you grow a full, healthy beard. Eating more greens, egg yolk, nuts and lean meat can help speed up the growth of your beard too.

Your Beard Should Match Your Face Shape

The shape of your head should dictate your beard style and how you grow your beard, and your facial hair should match the dynamics of your face. We are not trying to tell you how to grow out your beard, but if you want to avoid looking like a shuttlecock, you should take our advice. You might not be a math whiz, but geometry and symmetry are your beard’s’ best friend.

The majority of men have one of the following face shapes:

  • Oblong/Rectangular Face: beard should have full sides and a short bottom.
  • Round Face: facial hair should be long on the bottom, short on the sides.
  • Square Face: hair should be full on the chin, shorter on the sides.
  • Oval Face: oval faces are neutral when compared to the other face shapes, so most styles will work well.

Don’t Forget To Wash

It is a must that you wash your face every day, but not your beard. Men naturally have oily skin, so washing your face at least twice a day is necessary: once in the morning and again in the evening, but your beard is a different story.

Our bodies produce oils that benefit your beard, but if you wash your beard everyday, then you are washing away those natural oils and you will be left with a dry and possibly damaged beard. On average, you should wash your beard at least twice a week. If you work outside or play sports for a living, then it is okay to wash your beard everyday if you apply beard tonic after washing.

Learn To Train Your Beard

Trimming your beard to your chosen shape will help train your facial hair, but it’s not the only way. Combing or brushing your beard on a regular basis will combat stubborn hairs and force them to grow in the correct direction. There are several types of combs and brushes designed for beards available on the market. Use one on a regular basis and you will grow the beard of your dreams.

The Correct Way To Trim

There was a time when growing a beard was easy. Just stop shaving. Nowadays, things are much different. It is necessary for men with beards to still be presentable, so beards require much more tailoring. Not keeping up with your beard might display your manliness, but it may not benefit you during your next job interview.

Pruning is needed, if you wish to have a well-groomed beard. Investing in a quality trimmer is essential. Try to master the following techniques:

  1. Comb it out
  2. Use clippers for an even cut
  3. Fade the neck and cheeks
  4. Trim the mustache properly
  5. Use scissors for detailing
  6. Finish with a beard tonic to add moisture

Beard Oil, Beard Oil, Beard Oil

We cannot say this enough, and we’ll say it again: Nothing helps a beard more than using beard oil on a regular basis. A specialized product such as Woodlee’s Beard Tonic, which is much more refined than your basic beard oil, will make your beard softer and shinier. If you need more information on beard oil, consult with your local MUG location.

Don’t Forget About The Mustache

Beard and mustaches go together like peanut butter and jelly. Unless you plan on leaving your house with a chinstrap, growing a mustache will compliment your beard. To keep it looking neat, trim the area under your nose with a pair of grooming scissors. If there is a certain look you are going for, you can keep your mustache in place with styling wax.

Last But Not Least, Be Patient

An awesome beard is a product of self-discipline. When you are in the beginning stages of growing your beard, try to resist the temptation of trimming or styling the peach fuzz on your face. Leave it untouched for the first 4-6 weeks. This allows the hairs to grow in evenly on your face, as some hairs grow faster than others. Then you can pick a style that best suits your face.

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Shaving

Learning how to shave is a rite of passage for all men. Once you shave your face for the first time, it will be part of your routine for the rest of your days. It’s important you learn the correct way to shave. If not, you can easily count on small cuts, irritated skin and an overall unpleasant feeling mug.

Trending beard styles and razor technology will always change, but the basics of giving yourself a great shave never does.

The Correct Way To Shave

We’ve raised the bar here at Men’s Ultimate Grooming by using specialized shaving products and focusing on a high quality experience. The following are great shaving techniques you should begin to incorporate into your shaving habits . We will also share with you some big “don’ts” you should never do while shaving, unless of course you want the small nicks and irritation that follows.

Pre-Shave & Post-Shave

Conquering your mustache and beard calls for more than just a razor and water. If you have sensitive skin, It is recommended that you use a pre-shave treatment such as Woodlee’s Beard Tonic to soften your beard and to add an extra layer of protection. After shaving, follow up with a post-shave balm to calm any irritation and add essential oils back into your skin. In fact, a quality post-shave balm may be the most important step in the shaving process.

If you’re looking for a ridiculously good post-shave balm, that carries the essential oils your skin needs while smelling great, be sure to check our Woodlee’s Post Shave Balm.

Shower, Then Shave

A hot shower opens up your pores and softens your beard, allowing a close, clean shave with little to no irritation. The steam created from the hot shower causes the skin to soften and it loosens up the pores. This allows the blade to glide smoothly across your face. Shaving over the sink is classic, but if you are the ‘shave in the shower’ type, then you should invest in a fogless shower mirror for the best results. If not shaving right after a shower, at least put warm water on your face over the sink before you begin shaving.

This might be obvious, but we recommend that you always have a mirror around when shaving!

Short Strokes

Using short strokes will result in a painless, neat shave. Short strokes also reduce the amount of pressure placed on the blade handle, which leads to less cuts. At some point someone gave bad advice to shave with endless strokes.

Though there are many styles and techniques, trying to shave with endless strokes should never be one of them.

Always Change Blades

The worse thing that you can do to your skin is shave with an old razor. There is a saying that goes ‘the quality of the shave is only as good as the razor.’ Choosing the wrong razor can be a costly, and a painful mistake. Good quality razors will have an indicator strip that determines the condition of the blade.

When the indicator strip begins to fade to white, it’s time to change the blade.
If you’re wondering which razor is right for you, click here for a list of the best razors for men.

The Wrong Way To Shave

Although the bad tactics listed below might seem like basic information, sometimes it’s best to state the obvious. You will be able to enjoy clean, close, painless, refreshing, less irritable shaves if you can avoid the following bad shaving techniques.

If you have a friend that’s new to shaving, be sure to share this valuable information with him.

Do Not Use Soap

We would not recommend a bar soap to wash your body, so don’t even think about using bar soap to wash your face! Using bar soap on your face will leave behind residue that dries out your skin. Even moisturizing bar soaps can do serious damage to your face.

If you’re looking for a great shaving cream and ready to ditch the bar of soap, try Woodlee’s Shaving Formula. Surprisingly enough, you can even use their Beard Tonic beard oil as a preshave oil!

Finish with Cold Water

The temperature of the water has a significant impact on the success of your shave, so it is important that you pay attention to the sink settings during your grooming routine. Remember, earlier we learned that warm or hot water opens up the pores. Warm water is also a better wetting agent, this means that it allows the blade to glide better. At the end of your shave, however, you need cold water to rinse and close and tighten your pores. So remember, shave with warm water first, rinse with cold water after.

Do Not ‘Strong-Arm’ While Shaving

It’s already hard enough to achieve a flawless shave consistently. Don’t add more pressure to the task. Applying too much force to your face while shaving will result in bumps, bruises, nicks and irritation . Relax and let the blade guide you as it glides across your face. It shouldn’t be a bloody mess every time you shave!

There is no need to show your strength while shaving. Smooth and easy should always be the goal.

Do Not Shave Dry

With all the education and technology available, you will be surprised by the number of men who try to shave without shaving cream, gel or shaving formula. This can cause irritation, razor bumps and cuts. Dry-shaving is a technique mostly practiced by those who use electric razors. If you’re using any type of razor to shave, you must use some type of shaving cream or ointment.

It creates a shield on your face that protects the skin from the hardness of the blade. Ask about Woodlee’s shaving formula.

Woodlee’s – Ridiculously Serious

For a smooth shave and healthier skin, you have to do more than the traditional ‘razor over skin’. By learning and following the instructions above, you will avoid cuts, bandages and razor burns. Shaving doesn’t have to be so painful!

It’s about time that someone took men’s grooming serious. We’re serious about men’s grooming. Woodlee’s decided to work with renown chemist and experts to develop a new line of shave products that are available at any MUG location. We are dedicated to being much more serious about men’s grooming products than anyone else. This is Woodlee’s “Ridiculously Serious” Supply Co.

Reasons To Shave With Warm/Hot Water

There are certain techniques you should avoid to prevent obtaining cuts and shaving rash when using a standard razor. Always take a shower right before you begin to shave, or at the very least splash warm water on your face over the sink. Once your face has been exposed to the steam and warm water, your facial hair becomes very soft. This allows for a smooth shave. Shaving with cold water will cause your facial hair to have sharp ends that are capable of piercing the skin of anyone you hug.

If you ever received a shave from a professional, then you will notice that the shave always begins with your face being covered with a warm washcloth for several minutes. There are many benefits of using warm water:

  • Warm water makes your facial hair stand up, making it easier to shave.
  • Warm water helps the tips of the hairs from being sharp.
  • Warm water relaxes and loosens the skin.
  • Warm water opens and cleans the pores. Clogged pores result in acne and ingrown facial hair.
  • Warm water prevents shaving rash.

Ready, Set, Shave!

Once your pores are open and your beard is soft, then it is time to lather up and start shaving. But before you lather up, apply pre shaving oil to your face if you have particularly sensitive skin. This allows the razor to glide easily across your face to avoid cuts, redness and irritation. Once you applied the facial oil, now it is time for shaving cream. We recommend that you ban all shaving foams and gels from your bathroom. Not only are they bad for your skin, they also dry out your facial hair.

After the shaving cream has been applied evenly on your face, the shaving begins! A common mistake men make is shaving against the grain. This increases the chance of razor bumps and ingrown hairs. You will definitely know the feeling if you are shaving against the grain. Your shaving experience should be smooth, clean and refreshing. You are shaving the wrong way if you feel tugging and pulling as the razor glides across your face. If you like the feeling of an extra-close shave, you can shave against the grain AFTER you’ve already shaved with the grain and have applied more shaving cream.

Warm, Then Cold Water Is The Key

As you may know by now, water is the key ingredient when shaving. You should always be shaving with warm/hot water. At the end of your shave, however, splash your face with cold water in order to remove the cream, oil and loose hairs off your face. Then apply a shaving balm to moisturize your skin to prevent flaking and peeling.

Woodlee’s was not satisfied with the performance of men’s shaving products that are currently available on the market. Working with chemists and experts, we created our own line of shaving products. Can shave products improve your skin’s conditions? Yes! Check out our Woodlee’s products, only available online or at Men’s Ultimate Grooming.