How to Use a Cut Throat Razor on Yourself
Everyone knows that getting back to basics is good for the soul. Camping under the stars on a summer’s night, practising ancient yoga techniques in a forest cabin – even cooking outdoors on a BBQ can put you back in touch with some dormant skills. But can the same really be said for shaving?
At Wilkinson Sword, you might not expect us to bang the drum for the oldest method around when we’ve spent over a century reinventing shaving time and time again with cutting-edge innovations. After all, we invented the first safety razor in 1903 and effectively removed the need for running alarmingly sharp objects across your face. We’ve never looked back since, continually perfecting our designs and still using the same basic idea as a springboard for the very latest shaving technologies like the Hydro 5 Skin Protection Sensitive.
But we’d be the first to admit there’s nothing quite like a cut throat shave for precise styling and a timelessly classy look. There’s something authentic and tactile about a cut throat shave that still sets it apart after all these years. That’s why the classic razor to top all classic razors is making a comeback, and we’re proud to put our name to the Wilkinson Sword Vintage Cut Throat Razor.
About the Vintage Cut Throat Razor
With a sturdy wooden handle and interchangeable blades, our Vintage Cut Throat Razor is as useful for a touch of beard styling as it is for complete shaving – and just practising your technique will soon see you mastering this time-honoured tool. The blades are also triple refined to ensure you get the most close and comfortable shave possible.
How to shave your face with a cut throat razor
It’s understandable to be a bit daunted when you open the packaging. After all, a cut throat razor probably bears little resemblance to anything you’ve shaved with before. Given that extra care and undivided concentration are needed in order to avoid injuring yourself, it’s an understandable reaction – but just taking it slowly and understanding the best way to use your razor will start your cut throat shaving journey on the right foot.
You’ll soon come to realise that cut throat razors aren’t just the preserve of scary Victorian barbers à la Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd, but a modern, stylish and highly effective way of unbeatably precise grooming, leaving a post-shave smoothness quite unlike anything you’ve known previously.
Just follow these steps to ensure a comfortable and safe shave. Like any other form of shaving, the best way to avoid nicks, cuts and irritation to the skin is to take your time and focus on what you’re doing.
Prepare your skin and hair
Taking a shower first softens and cleanses the hair, making it easier to remove, and exfoliating the area first with a good quality scrub can help ensure a smooth shave. Apply a generous amount of shaving cream or gel to the skin before you start shaving.
Keep to a 30° angle
Making sure your cut throat razor blade is kept at a 30° angle from the skin is key to making sure you avoid injury – it should prevent you from cutting yourself or tugging on hairs at the root and causing your skin to become irritated. Starting at this angle isn’t enough; you need to maintain it throughout, and this is the technique that takes time and practice. Keep things slow!
Pull the skin taut
Keeping the skin tight throughout the shave helps to avoid nicks and cuts, so use your free hand to pull the skin as flat as you can. There’s no right or wrong way to do this – you’ll know your own skin so do what feels right and comfortable.
Start at the top
Taking the first stroke at the base of the sideburn and working downwards on the cheek gives you the space to get used to the technique and find what works. The areas around the mouth and nose are that bit more difficult to master, so don’t go for these first.
Stroke as few times as possible
Re-strokes can cause razor burn, especially with a cut throat razor – so take small, gentle and slow strokes to try and cover a patch in one go. If you do need to return to an area because you notice hairs that you’ve missed, go back to it at the end of your shave when the skin has had a little time to recover.
Protect your skin post-shave
Looking after your skin after you’ve finished shaving is the key to preventing redness and inflammation, as well as problems like ingrown hairs. The same applies with a cut throat razor, and after-shave care is especially important the first time you use it. Cool your skin down with a damp towel, and use a gentle balm to soothe and reinvigorate the area you’ve shaved. And don't forget to clean your razor too!
Is it better to shave with a cut throat razor?
Shaving is all about technique, and finding what works for you. One person’s skin isn’t the same as somebody else’s. So you’re just as likely to find your perfect shave with any of our razors and blades as you are with a cut throat razor – it’s about exploring your options and discovering your individual preference. But there’s no doubt that when wielded carefully and used properly, a cut throat razor can make for an extraordinary shave.
Is using a cut throat razor dangerous?
When used with the correct technique, there is no reason why a cut throat razor should be more dangerous than any of the other razors in our range. It should be handled with care and attention whether you are shaving or not. Shaving carefully is about protecting your skin from nicks and cuts, and the same applies whatever types of razor you are using.
Can you use regular shaving foam with a cut throat razor?
You can use exactly the same shaving cream, foam or gel that you would normally use with a cut throat razor. The one you choose should depend on how it feels on your skin, as many products and razors are specifically for sensitive skin.
If you've already mastered the act of shaving your face with a cut throat razor, why not read our guides on how to shave your head or how to shave your chest?