What you need to know about cutthroat or straight razors

Most men would love to shave with one of these unique razors.

Whether it be a new one or a vintage restored model.

The advantage of using a cutthroat razor is that it does not need replacing, saving you thousands of rands in purchasing of disposable razor blade costs. 

While this sounds like a fantastic option, you need to remember that these razors do not sharpen themselves. You need to invest in buying various waterstones or whetstones (imported from Japan) and other fine stones to keep the edge sharp.     

When the edge has been honed (this is sharpening on various sharpening stones) then you strop the blade on a leather strop. This can either have canvas on one side and leather on the other or both sides could be leather.

Strops can be paddle shaped (like a small cricket bat with leather fixed to both sides) or long like a leather belt. They all serve exactly the same purpose. That is to align and refine the edge of the straight razor, ensuring the blade is sharp enough for the shaving process. Before, during and after the shave the razor must be stropped according to your individual beard type.

It is a good idea when first using a cutthroat to visit your local barber and ask him to show you the correct blade holding position and angle to shave at.

When barbers are trained to use a cutthroat they need to shave a balloon covered in shaving soap without popping it! Only then do they begin using it on themselves and then customers.

It takes a great deal of time and practice to master these techniques in the fine art of vintage shaving, but most people find the benefits well worth it.

When you have spent the amount of money required for this task you will never buy razor blades again