How to Sharpen a Cut Throat Razor

Written by col forbin
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How to Sharpen a Cut Throat Razor
Cut throat razors can be found at some barber shops. (barber shop pole image by Tammy Mobley from

Cut throat razor is another name for straight razor. Straight razors are old-style devices used for shaving facial hair. Though straight razors have lost popularity to safer-to-use razors marketed by big companies, you may still see a barber who takes pride in using a straight razor for a close and neat shave. Since straight razors are not disposable, it is necessary to sharpen them from time to time to allow for the most comfortable and close shave possible.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Leather strop
  • Straight razor hone

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  1. 1

    Place the cut throat razor on the top of the hone and press it down the hone diagonally with the blade at the lead. Use a short stroke by make sure the entire side blade comes into contact with the hone to ensure even sharpness.

  2. 2

    Flip the razor over and push the razor back up the hone to sharpen the other side. The razor should be held diagonally with the blade leading the way. Use short strokes but make sure the entire side of the blade comes in contact with the hone to ensure even sharpness. Five strokes on each side of the blade is ideal.

  3. 3

    Pass the razor up and down the leather strop. The blade should be rubbed along the strop by being pulled toward the body of the razor, not the edge. Stroke down for one side of the blade, turn the razor and go back up for the other side.

Tips and warnings

  • Light strokes on the hone are ideal.
  • Five passes on the hone for each side of the blade is ideal.
  • Ten to 20 strokes on the strop is ideal.
  • Be careful when handling a sharp cut throat razor.

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