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A Buyer’s Guide for Sweeny Todd Fans

Whether you need to keep your spec-ops beard under control or finally have the huevos to ditch your comb-over and rock the Mike Seeklander look, it’s time to invest in some real shaving kit. If you’ve read the how-to article in the preceding pages and are looking to buy a straight razor, be quick because they’re flying off the shelves like .22 LR ammo.

“Demand is so high that there are six-month-plus backorders for most straight razors these days,” says John Koontz of WestCoastShaving.com. “When we get some in, they are sold out in a few hours.” He adds that straight razors have made a comeback something fierce because customers have realized the benefits:

Economical: Over the long run, investing in a straight razor is cheaper than buying Gillette cartridges.

Go Green: “It’s the most environmentally friendly of all shaving,” Koontz says, because you’re not tossing disposables or using electricity with an electric razor.

Efficient: “If you know how to use one,” he says, “the shave is second to none.”

With that in mind, we’ve put a spotlight on some straight razors that come highly recommended by Koontz and other shaving experts. They range from reasonably priced production models to ornate custom one-offs that cost as much as a Kimber 1911.

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Make: Boker
Model: Edelweiss
Blade Width: 0.625 inch
Blade Material: carbon steel
MSRP: $130
URL: www.westcoastshaving.com
Boker is known internationally for all sorts of pocket knives and fixed blades. In the shaving world, it’s a top brand for straight razors. The Edelweiss is one of its most popular models, thanks to a sharp blade and a classic bone handle.

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Make: Dovo
Model: Best Quality (Half-Hollow)
Blade Width: 0.625 inch
Blade Material: carbon steel
MSRP: $115
URL: www.royalshave.com
This half-hollow blade is not as thin (re: sharp) as the full-hollow version, providing easier control and a more forgiving shave. It’s well suited for both newbies and veterans. Handles also come in black, blond, or white.

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Make: Dylan Farnham Custom
Model: The Stone-Age Straight Razor
Blade Width: 1 to 1¼ inch
Blade Material: 0-1 tool steel
MSRP: Sold for $680
URL: www.classicshaving.com
Dylan Farnham is a knifemaker who creates amazingly imaginative custom straight razors in very limited runs for ClassicShaving.com. Though the sold-out Stone Age isn’t available anymore, we had to share it with you. It’s as much art as it is a tool, and you can expect more crazy-intricate designs to come in the future.

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