Shaven, Not Stirred: Has Skyfall Made Cuthroat Razors Cool?

The sale of cuththroat razors has expanded in recent months, with the inclusion of the close blade in Skyfall cited as a reason why cuthroat shaving is making a comeback. Would you consider shifting to a single shiny blade, or letting a barber do the job for you?

Online shave retailer Men's Biz released the stats — not that they're a disinterested party — suggesting that since Skyfall came out, sales of cutthroat razors have jumped more than 200 per cent. Shaving is one of those topics that's deeply personal, if only because everyone's face is slightly different; even when Gus and I tested out a razor we didn't entirely have the same experience.

I've never actually had a cuthroat razor shave, and I've got to be honest and admit that the prospect does worry me slightly, but when I put the question to noted beard-wearer and Lifehacker editor Angus, he stated that it was a regular feature of his visits to the barber, though not in his bathroom. What's your take — do you already use a straight razor, or would you consider it just because Daniel Craig has his face scraped that way in a movie?


    If people only knew how much money, effort and time is required to keep a straight razor shave-ready - I'm sure they wouldn't bother. It's not for everyone and requires a lot of dedication to stick with it, not even mentioning the learning curve. You can compromise by purchasing something called a "shavette", where you place half a traditional razor blade into a holder that simulates a straight razor. Even then it's a poor imitation.
    I myself use a Mulhe R41 DE safety razor. That's a lot easier as it just takes standard (and cheap!) razor blades and handles much like a modern cartridge razor. Most importantly, you should use a good quality shave cream/soap and brush to produce your lather. No goop in a can!
    My weapons of choice are German razors, Russian razor blades, English shave brushes (badger hair) and Italian shave soaps.
    Props to mentioning Men's Biz - Nathan is a great bloke to deal with.

    Can someone comment on how long it takes to shave (from making a lather to cleaning and putting everything away) with a DE razor? I'd consider trying it if it didn't take much longer than a four-blade cartridge system.

    Last edited 23/01/13 5:28 pm

      I'm down to 15 minutes. I takes a lot longer than that when you are first starting out though. It can take you a while to get the lather right, and then you need to unlearn all the bad habits that go with cartridge razors.

      You're missing the point though. With traditional wet-shaving, it's all about the experience. The aim is to enjoy your shaving, not loathe it. This isn't cartridge shaving where you grab the latest gadget and a can of crap and get to it. There is almost a limitless combination of razor, blade, brush and soap/creme to try.

      Sorry to sound a bit evangelical about it. I once was a Gillette drone, but no more (Actually, one of my favourite blades is the Gillette branded 7 o'clock yellow pack made in Russia).

        People enjoy shaving???
        I love the feeling of a cutthroat (Only ever had it on the nape of the neck, but still love it).
        But I probably married the woman I did, because she loved my stubble. As a result, I haven't been clean shaven since!

        +1 for the phrase 'gilette drone', but I think you could have worked 'sheeple' in somewhere.

      I can't think of any reason why it would be any longer than a four blade cartridge system - probably faster as you don't really need to clean the blade out at all whereas those multi-blade systems always get gummed up with hairs I found and the worst you need with a DE razor is a quick rinse under the tap. You don't HAVE to switch to a full badger brush and lather system either - you can use whatever you normally use just as easily. I kept using shaving oil for years myself, and have only recently changed to a lather because I found one that I liked on my skin as much.

      For me, it takes an extra 30 seconds to make a lather with the badger brush and another minute to clean it.

      I feel I'm an outlier though because I never really felt there was much if a learning curve other than don't smash it into your face.

      20 minutes. Start to finish....after you and the razor are well acquainted that is

    I did try it years ago because I was sick of paying $9 to $14 for blades on modern razors, long story short don’t think about it if you are shaving your head as well. Now I have a 1950s Gillette safety razor and paying about $1.50 a blade.

    it takes a comparable amoount of time, depending on how hardcore you go.
    moabboy sounds like a bit of a d-bag to me, for most people at the end of the day shaving is a means to an end, not a highly enjoyable part of your day.
    I switched to DE about 6 months ago and it takes me 3-5 mins to shave, i don't really time it. I switched beecause I was sick of the wastage associated with disposable razors, and I'm findin I get a much better shave with the DE

    Last edited 23/01/13 6:05 pm

      That's a bit harsh. I just really got into it. I enjoyed trying all the different types of razors, blades and cremes. I feel sorry for you if you don't enjoy shaving and have to resort to denigrating others on the internet to feel good about yourself.

    Ever since i spent a bit more on a good shick disposable. I only need to heat up my skin in the shower and shave with no cream, soap or anything. Never get shaving rash.

      That's the first time I've ever seen "good" used in reference to a disposable razor. I suppose it comes down to beard thickness, but I found disposables to be like shaving with a rusty tin can if I tried to use them more than once. A decent DE holder with Feather blades does me fine, but to each their own.

    I'm also strongly in the Double Edged Razor camp. I bought a Merkur Futur DE safety razor back in 2009 along with a pack of 100 Feather DE blades. I'm still going through that pack of blades (I shave twice a week typically).
    I found the shave was much better than any electric razor or disposable razor I'd ever owned (and I spent far too much money on various branded shavers before I realised this).
    Up until now I've been using Somersets Shaving Oil, but I've recently switched from that to the a nice shavemac badger brush and Mitchell's Wool Fats Shaving Soap and I'm really liking the change so far. All of the above I bought from and they have been awesome. Super fast delivery and they include little samplers so you can try things.

    Let's make one thing clear, Skyfall has not made straight razor's cool, they have always been cool it was people just simply needed reminding.
    Props to everything moabboy has said though, if you're thinking about trading in your multi razor and gaining anything back in the way of convenience, that's ridiculous. The DE razor is about enjoying the experience; you wouldn't buy a luxury sports car if you only needed it to drive to work in peak hour traffic.

    They were always cool, they're just not particularly pratical with all the more efficient more effective alternatives these days.

    ditto to the above comments but I've got my time down with a DE to pretty much the same as a cart when I'm in a rush and need to - just with a better result. Mind you I have been doing it for 3 years now.

    "D-bag"? Really. Not only are you a rude arsehat, you choose that as your best insult? Oh and I can tell you it will take you longer than 5 minutes with a DE when you've finished going through puberty and you have real hair growing on all of your face.

    I made the switch to start off the new year.
    I now shave alternating between DE Safety and Cut-Throat. I shave everyday, and enjoy the experience instead of loathing it as before.

    Its more like a wind down for me at the end of the night, and about 15 mins to myself.
    Cut-Throat takes a lot longer than DE for me, but I'm getting quicker at both.

    If your not looking at spending that much and trying a Cut Throat, look for a "Shavette" on eBay. Its like a cut-throat but uses disposable blades. There are arguments for and against these disposable Shavettes (I'll leave that to others to look up).

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