Who makes the best straight razor? There's several brands out there but with the changes over time who has become the best? We can get closer to answering that by looking at what's available today.
While there are much fewer options than there was years ago we still have a bit to judge. Since the straight razor is a rather simple item in construct it comes down to purely the quality of the product. This should make it a little easier to crown a king.
Crowning a Straight Razor Maker
Dovo is who makes the best straight razor (Read Our Dovo Review). When you take everything from quality, design, and number of options today that would crown Dovo the current king.
Dovo was founded in 1906 in Solingen, Germany. They produced only straight razors for the majority of the time up until the 1950s. During the 50s they began to produce other grooming tools such as scissors and clippers.
Dovo has been creating straight razors for over 100 years. However, more recently Dovo has refocused its efforts in advertising back to shaving. They're a market leader for cut throat razor shaving.
What About for a Beginner?
If you're a beginner that's interested in getting started with straight razors you can find something useful with Dovo. However, if you're going to go the real straight razor route you'll need a strop and other items as well. I've written a guide on beginner starter kits that could help you.
The process of maintaining a straight razor is very important. You can't treat these like your cartridge or safety razor. There's more care involved to keep your razor like new and lasting a long time.
If you want to avoid the maintenance involved with straight razors you should consider a shavette. These are straight razors that have disposable and replaceable blades. I have a list of good budget razors like that if you're interested.
How to Maintain Your Straight Razor
The video above explains basic practices you should follow to keep your blade maintained. You should consider this the minimum you should be using to keep a healthy blade.
Your focus should be keeping the blade dry. Throughout the video he will bring up rinsing the blade under water and then drying with a towel between passes. So that each pass has a clean and dry blade.
When you wet your blade make sure it's the blade only and not the tang or scales of the straight razor. This should be your focus through your entire shave. The video then goes on to explain storing your razor.
If your in a dry climate and followed the process in the video you will be OK to store right after shaving. If you're in a high humidity area you may want to consider adding a light oil to your blade. This will keep moisture away for a day or two before your next shave.
If your scales are wooden or horn it's vitally important to keep them out of water. This type of material can soak in moisture and be very difficult to dry. Even when you think you've dried it there's still a slight moisture left behind. This can cause your blade to rust.
With proper maintenance your straight razor can last you a lifetime.
Other Types of Straight Razors
While Dovo is who makes the best straight razor there are other types out there. Maybe you're just looking for a sleek black straight razor or maybe you're on a budget and need a razor under 100 bucks. If you really want something different though look at the Japanese straight razors.
Japanese straight razors come in one straight piece and do not fold or have scales to store the razor. The blade is typically shorter and the way you shave with it is a little different. You shave in smaller patches and in shorter strokes to put it plainly.
Personally I really like the style of the Japanese straight razor. It's a simpler design and the shorter blade gives you more control when you're shaving.
Another unique option are the Damascus steel straight razors. These blades are made with a mixture of metals and it makes for a eye pleasing outcome. The blades displays swirls of material through it.
Damascus steel originated a very long time ago and the process was to make blades stronger. The original process of how they made Damascus steel was lost but today's methods are believed to be quite close to the original process.
Variety is Good
Some may disagree but having a variety of straight razors is a good thing. It brings new blood to the market and sparks interest in newcomers. I think having a variety of straight razor types has evolved the market and brought this old school shaving to a popular level today.
Even Dovo who makes the best straight razors has evolved to where they offer shavettes, wooden scales, plastic scales, and more.
Before You Go!
While Dovo may currently be the king of who makes the best straight razor there are plenty of other options out there. I would also recommend looking into the Feather straight razors. They make some good resin scale straight razors in normal and Japanese styles.
If you have any suggestions for straight razors please leave it in a comment below. Thanks for reading!