Cut Throat Razor Tip

Cut Throat Razor Tips

The razor is one of mankind’s oldest tools.  Open (straight) razors consist of a blade with tang and a pair of handles.  It is drop-forged and hardened with special care.  Contrary to pocket knives and household knives, razors are hollow-ground.  The more hollow ground the blade, the sharper and more expensive the razor.  The quality of the special steels for razors has continuously been improved and different widths are still being produced.  The widths of razors are indicated in inches and can vary from 3/4” at the narrowest to 7/8” at the widest.  The thickness of the back of the razor is in proportion to the blade width.  A rivet in the tang of the razor holds the handles together and allows the razor to fold.  In order to maintain it’s extreme sharp edge a razor must be honed by hand on a leather strop. (Open razors designed for salons and spas will have refillable blades).

Wet Shaving using an Open Razor

Prepare skin and apply a good lather.

Hold the razor at an angle of approx. 30 degrees.  If the razor is held too flat, it will tear the stubble; too steep and it will cut the skin.

Place the thumb on the blade itself and not the tang.  The position of the thumb will vary as the different strokes are taken, but it must always remain on the blade.

Begin on the right side of the face and take the first stroke downward in a slanting stoke from the top of the cheek at the ear.  The razor should be lying almost flat on the face.  The stoke should be made with the blade moving from point to heel in a scythe-like movement without jerks or chopping.  The razor must not be pulled or dragged and the skin must always be held taut with the free hand.  No stroke should be shorter than 1” or longer than 3”.

One side of the face should be wholly shaved according to the following diagram before proceeding to the other side.

As the chin is approached, lift the razor slightly.  Use the middle of the blade for going over the chin.  Never begin a fresh stroke on a prominent part of the face, such as the chin or jawbone.  Begin a little way from such places and work over with steady strokes.

Treat the two sides of the upper lip as part of the face, shaving the right side from nose to face and the left side from face to nose, leaving the center of the lip to be done separately by holding the nose up slightly to tighten the skin.

For the lower lip, the first strokes should be taken across, with the skin tightened between the thumb and finger placed under the corners of the mouth.  Remove the remaining whiskers on the upward stroke, beginning at the chin and allowing the razor to follow the contour under the lip.

Having gone over the whole face once, it is usually necessary to take a second pass to ensure a clean shave.  The face should be lathered again as before.  Some gentlemen prefer to shave across or against the grain for the second shave, taking longer strokes.  (Shaving against the grain is not appropriate for a gentleman with sensitive skin, ingrown hairs or razor burn).

After the shave, clean the face with cold water,  and rinse and dry the razor carefully and thoroughly.   Finish with an aftershave balm to sooth and heal the face.