Slant razor, what?
The slant razor is just another variation of a traditional double edge safety razor. However, it looks and cuts much differently.
If you are an experienced wet shaver you may consider looking into a slant razor for an even better shave for many reasons. Which we will get into in just a little bit.
In this review, we will try to help you find the best slant razor for you.
What is the Best Slant Razor?
RazorRock German 37
Phoenix Bakelite Open Comb
What Is A Slant Razor?
If you are still shaving with an electric razor or a multi-blade cartridge razor, it might be worth your time to look into a DE safety razor.
In fact, according to an informal survey up to 70% of guys who make the switch end up sticking with it.
Really the only difference between a slant bar razor and a straight bar is the twist of the blade.
Some straight bar combs will not put any angle on the blade. Some will press down slightly on each side so there is a slight curve if you look at the blade horizontally. However the blade still touches your skin on a straight line.
A slant bar puts a twist on the entire length of the blade so as you move the razor over your skin the whole blade cuts at an angle
Besides the slant, you can find almost all of the regular variations you would normally find in a safety razor.
Except for a butterfly, twist to open style head. These wouldn’t really work with that kind of angle. So, they will all be screw off heads.
However, you can find them with open or close combs.
Many are chrome plated brass but you will also find Bakelite, or hard plastic slant bar razors.
Why Is The Angle of The Slant Razor Better For Cutting?
So, do these slant bar razors really cut better than a straight bar?
The reason is that the curve of the blade reduces friction allowing it to cut right through your hair easily.
Instead of a straight bar blade hitting all of your beard hairs at the same point. The curve on the slant allows each part of the blade to hit just a few hairs which drastically reduces the friction. Therefore reduces the pressure needed to shave your beard.
Think of it as more of a slicing affect than a chopping motion.
Pros & Cons Of Using A Slant Razor
Since the slant razor cuts so well it is often recommended this be your second razor and not your learning experience or you may get turned off from wet shaving.
You can cut yourself with almost any razor, but when using a safety razor, you really need to use light pressure and go slow when you are learning.
Some razors are mild and more forgiving, making them great candidates for your first razor.
However, since slant bars are so efficient you must use almost no pressure at all or be prepared for a nick or two.
Some guys have trouble with the thought of using no pressure if they are used to smashing and dragging with a multi-blade cartridge razor.
That being said here are the pros of a slant bar razor:
Efficiency – as the blade cuts your hair more easily many guys will require less passes using a slant razor over a straight bar. This is great as it will save you time in the morning and instead of doing 3 or 4 passes you may be able to get away with 1 or 2.
Closer Shave – this also relates to the efficiency but you may get a closer shave since the blade cuts so well.
Handles Thick Facial Hair – If you have thick or coarse hair this could be a great option for you. The curve of the blade should plow right through the thickest of hair. Especially if you found a sharp blade that you like to use.
Sensitive skin – the slant bar could be good for sensitive skin. We already know that the more passes and pressure you need to shave, the more likely your skin is to get irritated. Since this type of razor improves on both of those areas, it could be good for you if you suffer from razor burn. Just make sure you use a smooth blade that you are comfortable with.
Unforgiving – like we mentioned earlier, the slant bar is not for beginners. Because it cuts so well you can easily cut yourself by applying the slightest pressure. The slant razor will definitely keep you on your toes and if you get too comfortable it will let you know.
Recommendations for the Best Slant Razor
There are so many razors available today and it can be tough trying to make a purchase online without seeing the razor in person.
However, these razors come from quality brands and have many reviews to check out before you buy.
Merkur Safety Razor 37c
Merkur is a very familiar name in the wet shaving world so it is not surprise they made this list with two different razors.
The 37C is 3.2 inches long and weighs in at 2.7 ounces so it is not the longest or heaviest razor. But it doesn’t really need the added weight with the curve the slant bar adds to the blade.
This razor is not necessarily more aggressive. It will just cut your hair more easily, as well as your skin if you rush or are not careful.
This razor comes highly rated and you will see many guys love this razor over others they have used like Muhle or other Merkurs.
They love how close a shave they get yet how smooth it can be without irritation or nicks.
Many guys who have been wet shaving for years finally made the switch and wish they had done so sooner.
The angle will reduce any drag which will result in a smoother shave.
Two people said they received a razor where the chrome was already messed up, however most of the other complaints seem to be guys who just didn’t like the razor for their beard.
RazoRock German 37
The RazoRock German 37 slant razor is a little longer than the Merkur 37C at 3.5 inches. It comes with a stainless steel 316L bull-dog style handle.
This pack also comes with 5 un-branded double edge razor blades.
Many guys mention how well this razor handles 3-day beard growth like a champ.
It is also about half the cost as the Merkur 37C so you might see an increased value with this razor.
This razor may even make lesser quality blades work better. Instead of having to buy a super sharp blade like a Feather you may be able to get away with something like a Derby.
Another benefit that has been mentioned is longer life out of the razor blades. Several guys first shave with this razor was with a blade that already had a couple shaves on it and saw improvement!
Of course, there are guys who don’t notice much of a difference in the aggressiveness over a regular straight bar razor but still say it works well nonetheless.
This razor does not have many reviews but you would be happy to know it has no 1 or 2 star reviews with just one 3 star. So, while it is a small samples size, so far, this razor seems to please its owners.
Merkur Safety Razor 39c
The Merkur 39C has a couple different variations with the standard, the heavy duty and the barber pole.
In general, it is like the 37C with the same head but has a longer handle. It even has a nickname, “the Sledgehammer”
The barber pole edition is 4 oz. in weight with a 3.75-inch-long handle. You may enjoy the added weight if you like a more aggressive shave.
The longer handle also helps your grip when in hard to reach spots or performing an against the grain pass.
While some guys mention the added aggressiveness of this head. Others say if you just ignore it you can get a better shave using less pressure.
However, please take your time and be careful if you are new to this type of head.
Some compare this to the more expensive iKon slant razors and say the quality of the craftsmanship is far superior giving a better shave.
The added weight will be noticeable so this is even more reason to not apply any pressure while shaving.
Most of the complaints talk about getting cut and nicked all over the place. It cannot be said enough to use caution with slant bars and you probably don’t want one for your first razor.
One guy tried to use it on his head…it didn’t work out so well.
Best Slant Razor for Beginners – Phoenix Bakelite Open Comb
Another slant razor that might be a good one to start with is the Phoenix Bakelite open comb razor. It is similarly price to the RazoRock but it is made of a lighter material, Bakelite.
This hard plastic will weigh a lot less and may be more forgiving if you can’t kick the habit of applying pressure during the shave.
It also has an open comb which can be more aggressive than closed combs razors. So, you may be able to get away with just one or two passes.
Many guys love this razor because it works so well for such an awesome priced. Since it is a slant and an open comb it may be good to try this one out with some smooth Derby blades. At least until you know how it will cut on your skin.
Many men talk about how close and comfortable a shave you will get with this razor.
This also doesn’t have as many reviews as the Merkur’s but again, there are not many complaints.
Overall this should offer a solid shave with little irritation for a great price point.
Ikon X3 Slant Head Razor
Ikon recently re-designed their head out of aluminum instead of stainless steel to help reduce the cost. However, this is still one of the more expensive models on this list.
It also uses a bulldog style handle like the RazoRock but is a little shorter, at 3.15 inches.
The curvature that the X3 head puts on your favorite razor blade is so nice that you may not even feel the razor cutting your hair.
The quality of the Ikon can be felt from the start and it may be worth the added cost.
Despite cutting the hair so well, guys mentioned that you don’t get the feeling that you are going to cut yourself. The blade gap is narrow on this one so while it works efficiently, it may not be super aggressive.
There are several comments that only two passes are needed with this razor to get a BBS shave.
This razor may give you the best of both worlds, giving an incredibly close shave while also a comfortable, smooth shave that won’t leave you with irritation.
Ikon B1 Slant Head Razor
So, this Ikon B1 is just the head, however it fits most other 3 piece handles. If you already have some razor in your collection you should be able to insert one of those handles.
Or you can purchase a new one to go with it like a Weber Bulldog handle.
Ikon took their original slant razor head and added a proprietary B1 coating to it to help make it more durable. Even though it is stainless steel, it could still oxidize or stain.
This coating will help keep it looking fresh plus, it gives the razor a sleek black matte finish.
Just like the X3, you will get what you pay for when you spend a little more on this slant razor head.
You may find yourself performing less passes with this one and getting more shaves out of your blades.
While the upfront cost may be higher, you may end up saving time and money in the long run.
However, it is not too aggressive so you can use the lightest touch to work right through the toughest beards or even on a 3-4-day beard.
Best Slant Razor Conclusion
To wrap things up, a slant razor should probably not be your first razor.
However, if you have sound technique and ready to prove to your buddies that you are the man. Have no fear of these curvy razor heads, it could be time to make a move on one of these.
Of course, deciding on which one is best for you will depend on your wants, needs and beard type so we hope you have found this review helpful.
I currently use a Merkur but, I am thinking seriously of moving up to the Ikon B1 Slant Head Razor Head. A friend tells me that the Ikon performs much smoother with-the-grain and across-the-grain passes, as well as under the nose and other tight spots.
And, I am always looking for the perfect shave. Hopefully, it is not as elusive as Bigfoot!
The perfect shave could be as elusive as bigfoot! Which Merkur are you using Jim?
I’m using the Merkur 701. It’s a top-notch razor but, I’m always looking for a better shave. My face hair is very coarse!
Jim, if you decide to give any of these slant razors a try let me know how it works for your coarse hair. Although the Merkur Futur is a great razor as well.
These razors look really different than anything I have seen before. I would love to take one for a spin, but I am also a bit on the edge about it because I have really sensitive skin and a lot of acne scars, and from the sound of it, I could end up with even more scars. Would this type of razor be good for someone with my type of face or should I try something else, and if so, what? Thank you for the informative post by the way
Some guys with senitive skin actually like these becuase they shave so well you won’t need to apply pressure or perform as many passes. This can help prevent irritation.
Of course every guy is different so you would need to give one a try to find out for sure.
Amit Misal says
I have used both slant razors and automated razors,
both have their pros and cons,while automated razors seem to be difficult to clean,slant razors are easy to handle and clean.As shaving is often a boring and tiresome process,to make a little change i use both of the methods for shaving.
That is a great idea Amit, switching up your shaver to prevent boredom! I will have to give that a try to get out of the daily routine.
I used to shave with a wet shave razor blade when I was younger but I have used a beard trimmer for the last few years.
If I was to get back into wet shaving which model would you suggest?
I do not shave regularly, perhaps once every 7-10 days, would one of these be suitable for this irregular shaving when the hair gets longer?
Hi Craig, if you plan on using your beard trimmer first to shave down you stubble, than anyway of these would be fine. You could get away with the affordable RazoRock.
If you plan on using your slant razor straight on a 2 week old beard you may need one of the higher end Ikon’s.
I have shaved with 5 of the 6 you listed. Unfortunately you don’t compare the finest slant on the market today, which is the definitely the Wunderbar. It’s 316L stainless and CNC machined. I sold my other slants and am on a waitlist for another Wunderbar.
Thanks for stopping by Dan and the comments. I will have to check out the Wunderbar!
Ron R says
I have been shaving DE straight bar wet shaving for 4 months now and there is no doubt that a slant will give just as good a shave as any thing else but I think it is smoother because you are simulating a guillotine effect on the blade at a much shallower razor angle(ideal geometry). I just received the razorock 37 German built “torsionhobel” and it is a winner IMO. 1st shave with it and I new it was the closest shave I had ever performed as a daily shaver. Make sure you use a nice slick soap and you will have this in your top tier razor of your Den.
Good article and very simplified for the average shaver!
Hey Ron, thanks for the comments and stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and your new Razorock!
Thanks for the write. I have a Merkur 23 (I think), and after 7+ years, the bolt on the head broke off. They don’t seem to sell pieces so I can’t replace it so far. It makes me a bit sour and I’m currently looking at other options. I’m mainly looking for the closet shave I can get.
I have a Mekur 37C. I bought it based on reviews. It looks and feels a little cheap, but the shave is great!
I recently purchased an iKon B1 slant bar. Beautiful head, but it is almost impossible to align the blade properly. I never could, even though I tried all the tips I could find online, even the iKon website. I didn’t research it enough. It gets generally rave reviews, but it turns out that this is a common complaint. Hopes dashed. Now I wish I had donated the money to charity instead of throwing it away.