You've bought the cut throat razor and now you need to know how to keep it sharp
Cut throat razors are the real McCoy when it comes to shaving. With a single blade, a cut throat causes skin less irritation while also cutting sharper. This is because you are essentially cutting hair off your face with a knife - and as with any piece of cutlery, if it's rusty or blunt, it's practically useless.
In order to craft a blade like ours that is ‘shave-ready’, it is first hot-forged from a piece of carbon steel. This is then hardened by heat treatment so that it will hold its edge. The blade then goes through a number of different machine and hand-grinding processes. At this point the different sides are added. The now complete razor is then hand-stropped in order to create the final sharp edge of the blade.
A cut throat needs to be routinely cared for so that it will in turn take best care of your facial hair. So here are a few expert tips on how to keep your traditional razor in top condition at home.
A light stropping of a cut throat razor on a proper leather strop will help to maintain it for many years of satisfying use. Straight razors must be properly cared for in order to ensure their performance longevity.
While razors made of stainless steel are less demanding on this front, other types of razors have to be rinsed with clear water and thoroughly dried after each use to avoid rusting and stains on the blade. Remember not to store your razor in a damp and unaired state to minimise the chance of natural wear. When not in use for lengthy periods of time, it is also recommended that a razor be rubbed with a light oil to similarly avoid wear on the pivot mechanism.
Murdock London Cut Throat Razor & Strop
After several shaves, your razor's cutting edge will become slightly more aligned with the head, which causes bluntness. If you use a strop correctly and treat your blade well, you will only need to hone once every month or even per year. Stropping serves to polish the edge of the blade and to re-align it at the correct angle for sharp, effective shaving.
(Please read this information very carefully, in order to avoid any damage, either to your fingers or your strop.)
Hang your strop on a hook and pull it towards you, with the leather side up. Now lay the fully opened razor flat.
You should hold the razor at the part between the blade and the handle, just using your fingertips. This enables you to easily turn the razor when stropping. The blade must be laid flat on the strop, so that the cutting edge and the back both make contact.
When using the strop, always move the razor towards the back of the blade, NOT towards the cutting edge, or else you will cut the strop to pieces. Pull the blade gently towards you. The blade should stand at approx. 30-40 degrees to the strop. Do not use too much pressure or else the blade will bend, which will alter the sharpening angle.
When you reach the end of the belt, roll the blade over the back of the razor and push it back towards the hook. Remember to keep the blade flat on the strop. This sharpens the other side of the blade. Repeat this 4-5 times, and your razor should be ready for work again.
It's important to remember that during the whole sharpening-process the back of the blade should never leave the belt. At the end of the belt, do not take the blade off, but simply roll it over.
- Strop only before shaving. If you strop your razor immediately after shaving, any loose metal parts can break off and penetrate the leather, effectively turning it into sandpaper.
- If you honed your blade just before stropping, clean it with water and soap and dry with a cloth without touching the edge; this too is to prevent small metal parts getting stuck into the strop, which can cause future damage.
- Always pull the belt tight, never let it bend.
- The movement of the blade should always direct towards the back, never towards the cutting-edge.
- Always work slowly and concentrated, mistakes can be expensive!