Monday, 5 November 2012

First attempt at cutthroat razor

Last week I promised I'd share my experience attempting to use an open or "cutthroat" razor. If I start by saying it will probably be my last, you'll get the idea.

The Bluebeards sent a perfectly respectable shavette - basically a straight razor lookalike which takes disposable blades. Nice piece of kit, £9.99, click on their name to get hold of one. Once I'd loaded it up - snap a standard blade in half and put it where it fits, basically - I washed, lathered up and started shaving. My barber does  it, it can't be that difficult, can it?

Er...yes. Yes it can. The Bluebeards' site says get an angle of around 30 degrees and apply next to no pressure, going first in the direction your hair is growing and second in the opposite direction. I have no doubt this is a perfect description of how it's supposed to work.

So no, I can't tell you exactly why it didn't do much for me. I mean, the blood was probably because I'd got the pressure wrong - and the bit where my hand twitched, you just don't want to know.

The angle is probably something else I got wrong - and would no doubt account for the fact that by the end of the attempt - sorry, half way through when I gave up - I had two small grazes under my nose, a mild abrasion on my cheek and a couple of nicks on my chin. Oh, and an actual cut of about half an inch on my jaw, looking as though I hadn't shaved. And a wife who was more than usually concerned for my sanity. And a daughter who thought the whole thing was the funniest thing she'd ever seen.

Today I had a go with my trusty Merkur Futur. If I'm honest, I'm quite clean shaven, no cuts anywhere (healed up nicely over the weekend) - and before I take up the shavette again I'm going to have to work out exactly what I'm trying to fix here. Shaving with a cutthroat razor is a skill - if you want to take it up, good luck. But never underestimate the damage a naked blade can do.


  1. I Bought one of these several years back. There's something wonderfully romantic about the idea of a cut throat razor and the disposable blade just added to the charm.

    The reality was that learning to use it is a painful process, but once you finally get there, it really makes shaving a special treat; something you have to spend time on, forcing you to pamper yourself a little.

    I'm now a fully bearded man, but I still have my trusty open blade razor waiting for the day.

    I highly recommend everyone try using one of these at least once.

    Thanks, Guy, for a wonderful introduction to the cut throat razor.

  2. Yep, I tried one as well in the never-ending search for the perfect shave.

    A Gillette-based-shaving-solution now seems better than ever!


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