Straight Razor vs Shavette

Straight Razor vs Shavette

Two razors that are often used by barbers because it clearly gives the best result. That disposable razor from the local drugstore isn't something that makes most men happy. And that has a reason. The Straight Razor and Shavette are made for the best shaving result with the fewest disadvantages. However, there are clear differences between the two. Time to put those two knives against each other in this battle. May the best knife win.

What is a straight razor and what is a shavette?

straight razor

We start with the oldest of the two shaving instruments: the straight razor. A heavy and relatively large open razor that means you have to make fewer movements when shaving. Designed in England in the 17th century and by far one of the most old-school razors out there. Before this time, shark teeth, bronze and shells were used for shaving. Sounds cool, but comfortable is different. So it will not surprise you that the man became very happy because of this invention.

The straight razor is a single edge razor. It is folded for safety and can therefore be folded open if you want to use it. This open razor cannot be replaced and must therefore be sharpened every so often to keep it sharp. This does require a certain skill, but the best things in life always need skills.


The name shavette came onto the market through the Dovo brand. Actually, this razor was always called the 'replaceable straight razor'. And the name says it all, the blade can always be replaced, unlike the Straight Razor. Simply place a new blade in the holder after a few shaves. However, this knife can also be folded and unfolded when you want to use it. Safety is also paramount here.

Previously this knife was always used in traditional barbershops, but nowadays this is prohibited. The knife should not be used on more than one person, no matter how well you clean it. This is to prevent diseases or skin conditions from being spread. It makes a difference that this is not at all fascinating for people who just want to use it at home and only for themselves!

Now that we know what both knives are, what they look like and how they originated, it's time to start the battle. Each topic will score one point for either one.

Using the straight razor and shavette

Ease of use straight razor

The straight razor is a beautiful authentic knife, but it must be sharpened every 2 or 3 shaves. You should do this with a leather shaving belt . This is a special belt to get your razor sharp again. Sometimes this takes a little practice, but practice makes perfect and before you know it you'll be a master at this. Once you get into the routine, using a straight razor is a piece of cake. And what's really nice: you never have to replace your razor, so that saves a lot of trembling sweaty hands.

Tip: read in the article how to maintain an open razor how you can keep your open razor sharp.

User-friendliness shavette

With the shavette you don't have to worry about sharpening. When your knife is blunt, take it out and throw it in the trash. Saves hassle, especially if you don't want to invest time in learning how to sharpen your knife. You do have to pay close attention when you want to change your blade. The new blade is sharp and therefore you need to know exactly how to place a knife in the shavette. So this does require a certain skill.

The conclusion of the use is that certain skills are required for both shaving instruments. But once you master those skills, you don't have to think twice about it. Therefore, both knives get a point.

Current score = 1-1

Sharpness of the knife

The different razors both come with good sharpness. The straight razor is therefore an irreplaceable knife that is razor sharp at the start. It makes sense that the knife can become blunt over time. Normally you replace a blade, but that is not possible with this knife.

What is possible, however, is to sharpen the blade again by means of a shaving strop. This should be done approximately after every 2 to 3 shaves. Once you have mastered this, you no longer have to worry about the sharpness of your knife.

The blades of the shavette are replaceable. So the principle is very simple: when your knife is dull, you replace the knife. You should do this approximately after every 7 to 10 shaves. So the blade stays sharp up to 3 times as long as the straight razor. That's why we're going to give this point to the shavette.

Current score = 2-1 for the shavette


The straight razor is a sharp, large blade. The knife is hidden in the holder, which only becomes visible when you open the knife slowly. So transporting or taking it with you will not entail any danger. It also makes a huge difference that you don't have to replace the blade. No hassle with razor-sharp little blades that you have to put in something.

The shavette is also sharp, but less large. The shavette is also folded into a holder, making it just as safe as the straight razor to take with you. The tricky thing about the shavette is that you have to replace the blade every so many shaves. This means that you will always have to place a razor-sharp blade in the holder, and this can sometimes cause some problems if you are not yet familiar with it. So always read the instructions on how to safely place the blade.

This one seems clear to us. The straight razor is safer because you don't have to struggle with razor-sharp blades.

Current score = 2-2

Which is more beneficial?

The straight razor is usually slightly more expensive to purchase than the shavette. And don't forget that with the straight razor you have to invest in a shaving belt. If you don't do this, your blade will already be blunt after about 3 shaves. Investing in this sense is therefore cheaper in the end.

However, once you master the skill of sharpening, the shaving belt and straight razor can last for years. In the long term, this knife will therefore be a lot cheaper. Don't be tempted by the price of the shavette and the replaceable blades, which are a lot cheaper to purchase. Above all, think about the long term. And if we do that, the straight razor really scores a point here.

Current score = 3-2 for the Straight Razor

Which is more sustainable?

How long both razors last, of course, depends entirely on the care you provide the blade. Would you handle this well? Then the straight razor usually lasts longer. When you know exactly how to sharpen and treat the knife, it will be able to be used for decades.

Current score = 4-2 for the straight razor

Benefits at a glance

It's time to make a list of both with all the pros and cons. After that, the winner will be clear.

Benefits straight razor

  • Because of the larger blade you have to make fewer movements when shaving
  • The blade is heavier, so your hand vibrates less when shaving
  • The blade can always be razor sharp by sharpening it with a razor belt
  • The straight razor can last a very long time if you maintain it properly
  • Ultimately cheaper in the long run
  • Honestly: it just looks badass

Shavette benefits

  • Your blade will stay sharp for up to 7 to 10 shaves
  • You don't have to sharpen your knife and therefore don't have to buy a shaving belt
  • The shavette and the accompanying blades are cheaper to purchase
  • The shavette is lighter and therefore more convenient to take with you on a trip
  • You replace your blade every so often, so you don't have to clean the shavette thoroughly

Disadvantages in a row

Disadvantages straight razor:

  • Suppose it breaks, you have to buy a whole new straight razor
  • Sharpening requires a certain technique and knowledge that takes time to learn
  • You need to purchase a shaving belt to keep the razor sharp
  • It takes time to sharpen your blade every 2 to 3 shaves

Disadvantages shavette

  • Requires knowledge to replace the blades and is therefore less safe
  • Is lighter and therefore also more susceptible if your hands shake quickly
  • More expensive in the long run because you have to purchase razor blades
  • Doesn't last as long as the straight razor

And the winner is…

If we keep track of the points, we can't avoid it. The straight razor wins in just a few more areas and is therefore the absolute winner of this battle! The fact that the straight razor is more durable (and therefore also cheaper) was the deciding factor.

Good things take time, and so also with the straight razor. But do you have the patience and interest to learn the necessary skills? Then leave those dating sites behind, because we foresee that the straight razor is your match of the day!

If you still have questions, or if you would like to find out which razor suits you best? Then we are happy to help you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Good luck!

Your friends, The Alpha Men.