The cut-throat razor is an appealing throwback to traditional shaving. It’s heroically old school, both an objet d’art and a challenge. “It’s the apex of wet shaving,” says Robert Burton, ecommerce manager at The Executive Shaving Company, which sells a range of cut-throats. “You’re going back to a traditional type of shaving that was used for centuries before King Gillette came along with the safety razor in 1901. Ultimately it’s an open blade – there’s no protection, it’s you and your technique and the blade – there’s a challenge to that.”
And it’s not one easily mastered. The first time I tried shaving with a cut-throat, my face looked as if I’d had an accident with a lawnmower. I would have given up but for a subsequent cut-throat lesson with a traditional barber in Mayfair.
“Don’t shave with a cut-throat when you’re late for work,” says Barry Klein, managing director of Taylor of Old Bond Street, whose Jermyn Street store offers lessons. “Give yourself time.”
“When you look back at pictures of the Victorian era, most gents had a moustache for a good reason,” adds Burton. “Shaving under your nose is not easy with a cut-throat.” But, with persistence, both say a degree of proficiency is attainable.
Yes, this is certainly a skill that takes some time and patience to master. Certainly something for the bucket list of challenges. Once mastered, though, it makes traditional wet shaving even more economical and better for the environment!
See tips at The art of cut-throat shaving
Because real men shave with a naked blade