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What Does a Straight Razor Kit Include?

What Does a Straight Razor Kit Include?

Straight-razor shaving evokes nostalgic images of a barber sharpening a solid metal blade with a hot towel and leather strop at the ready. And using a straight razor may be more challenging, so you may wonder: do people still use straight razor kits? They do, and here’s why.

You have complete control over the blade with a straight razor and much more control over the angle than with any other razor. With the right angle, you can shave with just the right amount of pressure. Furthermore, you can also use straight razors to trim and shape your beards.

Using straight razors is a lot of fun, but you must do it right. To set you up for success, you should get a kit with everything you need to get that perfect shave with a straight razor. Let’s look at what comes in a good straight razor kit.

What Do You Need for a Straight Razor Shave?

For a proper straight-razor shave, you should have a complete kit that includes the following:

Pre-Shave Oil

Before you lather, you should put on the pre-shave oil. Find any fragrance you like. You can even use a little olive or coconut oil if you are on a budget. Pre-shave oil will make it easier for the blade to slide over your skin as you cut through your whiskers.

Straight Razor

This is the star of the show, and luckily, there are several good ones on the market. Straight razors can be divided into different types based on price, quality, and where they were made. Before you buy, look at the blade more closely and consider its features. An excellent straight razor should be made of materials that are easy to carry. Some companies pay closer attention to the final product’s quality than others, so choose carefully.

Two-Sided Leather and Fabric Strop

Once you’ve chosen your razor, keep it sharp to get the most out of it. A sharp razor keeps you safe and free from unnecessary cuts. However, when you sharpen a blade, you make tiny metal burrs on it that can cut you, and stropping helps get rid of the burrs.

The best strops have one side made of fabric and the other made of leather. The purpose of the material is to get rid of all the things that could hurt the leather first, like rough metal, soap particles, hair, and so on. Then the leather does most of the work to get the razor’s edge back.

Shaving Soap

You will need shaving soap, cream, gel, or oil. Be wary if it comes in an aerosol can; it’s probably not worth your time. Shaving soaps are good because they make a thick lather and thus have substantial power to eliminate whiskers. Shaving creams are also great because they can do the same things that soap does, but they don’t require a brush, which is excellent for travelling.

Generally, triple-milled hard soaps are the best for shaving, even though they cost a little more. A good soap should have a lot of fat and glycerin; the best fat level is between 40 and 50%. This high proportion of fat is needed to keep the skin lubricated and protected while shaving. The shaving soap in a high-quality razor kit will take care of your skin, no matter how sensitive it is.

Shaving Brush

No matter what kind of razor you use, you should have a good shaving brush. These are handy because the soft bristles can hold a lot of hot water and soap, resulting in a thick, rich lather.

A shaving brush is one of the essential parts of your straight razor kit. When you use a shaving brush as part of your routine, it keeps your skin clean and exfoliates it. The shaving brush gets rid of dead skin and keeps pores from clogging. A shaving brush makes it easy to whip shaving soap into a rich lather and quickly cover your skin.

The brush’s bristles can reach places your hands and fingers can’t. The bristles do a great job lifting the hair and getting lubricant into every corner and crevice of your facial hair.

Some of the finest shaving brushes have synthetic fabrics with a smooth feel against the skin. These brushes are also the best for your straight razor kit because they don’t have animal fur.

Aftershave

Lastly, it would be best if you had an aftershave to take care of your skin after the cut. Aftershaves soothe razor burns, bumps, and irritation and clean and seal your pores to prevent dirt and germs from entering your body.

How to Maintain a Straight Razor Kit

An excellent straight razor can last forever, but taking care of it is essential because it’s a delicate tool. Here are some things you can do to make your straight razor kit last longer.

Choosing High-Quality Materials

High-carbon steel is one of the most preferred materials used to make straight razors. Carbon steel is better than stainless steel because it keeps its edge longer and is easier to sharpen. Even though high-quality stainless steel works just as well, carbon steel is still the best razor material.

Carbon steel has many benefits, but on the other hand, without proper maintenance, it rusts easily. While you don’t need to worry about it rusting during your shave, the actual risk comes after you shave when your blade is put away.

To keep your razor from rusting, all you have to do is let it thoroughly dry when you finish shaving. After each shave, wash your blade well and dry it with a towel over and over again.

If you live in a humid area, you must oil your blade. Keeping your razor in a nice case would be best. A razor will work at peak performance if you take good care of the blade.

Sharpening

Every time you use a razor, the edge gets duller, making it less effective. As a razor gets duller, it can take more effort and strokes to get the shave you want, making it more likely that you will cut yourself. By sharpening, or honing, the blade, you can fix any rough edges or dents and ensure your straight razor will last a long time.

Using a whetstone to remove steel and shape a new edge is one effective way to hone a razor. Sharpening the blade keeps it valuable and authentic to its purpose. Be careful not to oversharpen the blade, as you could also hurt yourself if you use a blunt blade too hard. If you keep your blade reasonably sharp, it will last longer and keep working.

Any retail store sells hones, and a quick internet search will reveal many how-to blade-sharpening videos.

Stropping

Stropping puts the bent parts of a straight razor blade back in place and keeps it in good shape for a long time.

Most good strops have one smooth side and one rough side. Start with the rough side, like sandpaper, and end with the soft side.

To use the strop, you must put it on a solid leash attached to a stud. Tighten the strop and carefully place the razor flat on the leather. The razor’s shape will set your tilt. Pull the razor across the length of the strop with light pressure, allowing the razor’s spine to lead the way. Start moving in the opposite direction after gently rolling it over the spine at the end of the strop. Slowly and gently do this 20 to 30 times for the best results.

Final Thoughts

Switching from a safety razor to a straight razor can be tricky. It can seem like a lot to learn, and mistakes can be messy. But if you know the parts of a razor well from the start, the rest will be easy, and you’ll have a smooth, beautiful face in no time.

You’ll only have to be careful about the quality of the kits you buy. If you don’t know how to use a straight razor, look it up or ask someone who does. It will save you from making mistakes and protect you from getting hurt. Also, make sure you’re only using the best kits you can find.