Carbon steel . . . half-hollow grind . . . 5/8 inch – too many technical terms?? Don’t worry, in the beginning, we were all a bit confused.
To make it as simple as possible for you to get started, we’ve explained the essential features of straight razors here.
If you are looking for instructions for a perfect wet shave, please check out this article!
The blade width is traditionally given in inches. In practice, straight razors with widths between 3/8 and 6/8 inches are the most common. Each size has its advantages for you to consider when making your purchase.
Narrow straight razors, such as the DOVO Nr. 42, show their strengths in tight facial areas such as around the nose, ears, or eyebrows. With a narrow straight razor, you can easily manoeuvre and set the right shaving angle in these areas. A 3/8 inch straight razor should be used mainly by skilled users.
Straight razors with a width of 5/8 inches are the real all-rounders. Thanks to their broad spectrum of tasks, they are the most common in the world of traditional wet shaving. Not only for experienced shavers, beginners should also use straight razors in this size such as the DOVO BARBAROSSA or ASTRALE. They easily manage the balancing act between precise trimming of contours on one side and a gentle shave on the other. The weight allows the straight razor to glide effortlessly over your face.
The 6/8 inch straight razor is best used to work for strong beard growth. Due to the high weight of the blade, it gently and smoothly glides over your skin without any effort. The BERGISCHE LÖWE is a good starting point for this straight razor size. Give it a try!
A steel blank is ground and sharpened several times by hand to get a high-quality straight razor. There are different types of grinding methods which define the characteristics of a blade.
Straight razors with a flat grind are often called a “wedge” type ground straight razor, such as the DOVO No. 42. Its characteristics are rigidity and torsion-resistance. You will often find this grind on narrow straight razors to allow very precise shaving. The most traditional types of straight razors were ground only with this profile because technical possibilities of hollow grinding were not available. Nowadays, this grind is rarely used for full-face shaving. However, it offers advantages in combination with a narrow straight razor for precise shaving work.
Full hollow grind
Today, most straight razors are made with a full hollow grind. Up to 15 work stages of our most experienced straight razor sharpeners are necessary to achieve a full hollow grind. The flexible blade adapts best to your skin imperfections and is therefore very popular. The clear feedback with the characteristic sound guarantees a thorough and comfortable shave.
Half hollow ground blades are much more flexible than flat ground blades and vibrate slightly when in use. However, they are not as flexible as a straight razor blade with a full hollow grind. Some straight razor users appreciate these blades because they offer a compromise between flexibility and rigidity. This robustness makes straight razors such as the DOVO No. 101 BEST QUALITY less sensitive and provides a safe shave feeling.
Through the long history of straight razors, a lot of experimenting took place. Several types of points prevailed. Here you’ll find an overview of ours.
Advanced and professional shavers love the square point. It allows very precise shaving and trimming of contours, but it should be used with care – the sharp point carries a particular risk of injury. If you want to try a straight razor with this point, the DOVO No. 25 is a good start!
Nowadays, the round head is the most popular point type for traditional straight razors. Straight razors such as the DOVO FORESTAL are suitable for most purposes. The benefit of the rounded point is that it reduces the risk of injury during use. As a beginner, you should reach styles with this point to learn the basics of wet shaving with before you reach for the more challenging models.
The French point is a good compromise between the round and square point styles. With this point, you can trim contours very nicely and shave them thoroughly without as much experience. If you are looking for a straight razor in this style, take a closer look at DOVO No. 42.
The Spanish point consists of an acute angle which changes into a concave shape at the cutting end. We have designed the DOVO BARBAROSSA with this head shape so that you can take care of your contours in the traditional wet shave without having to worry about safety.
Which blade material should you choose?
Originally, straight razors were made purely of carbon steel, but with advances in material technology, other metal alloys such as stainless steel, have also found their way into traditional wet shaving.
Straight razors made of carbon steel are known for their smooth shaving characteristics. The good cutting durability of the steel is achieved by heating it to approx. 1000 degrees Celsius followed by quickly quenching in an oil bath. Straight razors made of this steel achieve a Rockwell hardness of up to 61 HRC.
However, carbon steel is not stainless. You should follow the care guide so that you can enjoy your straight razor for a long time.
Our stainless steel straight razors are forged from rust and acid-resistant steel. This modern alloy is characterised by good cutting durability and sharpenability. The advantage for you is that the straight razors are very low-maintenance and easy to clean – so you don’t have to worry about rust or oxidation.
Recommendation for straight razors beginners
We’re glad you made it this far!
You have now gained a very large overview of the different product features of our straight razors, so you’re armed and ready to make a good purchasing decision.
If you are asking yourself how to take care of a straight razor, then please have a look a this article. Here you will learn everything you need to know.
Here we have three recommendations for you:
DOVO NR 100 BEST QUALITY
The DOVO No. 100 BEST QUALITY has proven itself over the years as a great beginner’s straight razor. The full hollow grind ensures a gentle shave while the round point keeps the risk of injury low.
With a shavette, you have the least upkeep. You don’t have to worry about stropping or maintaining for your straight razor – insert the blade and start!
DOVO NR 41 INOX
The DOVO No. 41 INOX is also a great introduction to traditional wet shaving. The round point and the full hollow ground blade make shaving safe and gentle, while the stainless steel requires minimal maintenance for your straight razor.