The Best Slant Razor: A Few Razors Askew for You and You and You

Slant razors! We always joke that slant razors are the last stop on the “safety razor express”—guys usually start with a regular closed-comb straight razor, then move on to open-comb models with more aggressive designs, and then finally end up exploring slant razors when all those previously-challenging safety razors aren’t challenging enough anymore. Eventually, many guys find themselves only wanting to use slant-angled razors, when nothing else will do it for them.

In other words… be careful with slant razors! You might get obsessed!

With that in mind, here are our picks for the best slant razor. There are five that we like, and we think they represent a good cross-section of what's out there. We'll start with some summaries, give a quick overall of why slant razors are so fascinating and effective, and then dive into the reviews.

Let’s boogie:

Summaries: Our Picks for Best Slant Razor

Here are the slant razors we like, and why we like them:

Parker's Semi Slant Safety Razor: A gentle model that's great for beginners—the slant of the blade is a little less severe than other models, making this an easy entry into the world of slant razors

Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Safety Razor 37c: A well-known and well-liked slant razor, also great for beginners—it's small and maneuverable and easy-to-use, and can provide a very close shave

The G.B.S Heavy Duty DE Slant Bar Safety Razor: A surprisingly heavy, surprisingly long model great for experienced shavers—at 5 ounces, it's one of the heaviest safety razors on the market, and it can be great for guys with sensitive skin

Merkur Safety Razor 39c: The "best of the best," in our humble opinion—an aggressive slant-head razor that can give a close shave even with very thick facial hair, and with its sleek design, it looks absolutely gorgeous, and finally… 

The Fine Accoutrements Aluminum Slant Bar Safety Razor: A surprisingly lightweight razor that can be a good pick for experienced shavers—it can be a great option for experienced shavers who are looking for a very unique (and very effective) tool.

Slant Bar vs. Straight Bar Safety Razors: Why Would You Choose a Slant Bar Safety Razor Over a "Normal" One?

Great question! First, let's back up and make sure we understand our terms.

Most safety razors feature a safety bar on the base of the device, which is simply a thin piece of metal that runs the entire length of the tool, and provides some protection from the razor behind it. Some people call this is a safety bar, and some people call this a straight bar, but we usually go with “safety bar.”

The safety bar runs over your skin first, and then after that, the razor runs over your skin.

You can see a safety bar here, in this disassembled safety razor:

This is a two-piece safety razor, and the bar on the top piece runs perfectly parallel to the safety bar on the base plate, and both are at a level angle. You insert the blade, screw in the top piece to the base plate, and you're good to go.

On a slant-bar safety razor, however, the razor head is not at a level angle—it dips, sometimes dramatically, so that one side of the razor head is lower than the other.

So why is that a big deal? Well, what looks like very sloppy craftsmanship is actually a really clever design that somehow makes a safety razor even more effective at providing a close shave. The dipped blade ends up acting like a scythe, mowing across whiskers at an angle, and taking them out more efficiently.

If you're a visual learner, imagine it using the following tools that feature the same physics:

A guillotine. Yes, it's a little gruesome as far as examples go, but it's pretty effective. A guillotine blade is angled so that it can quickly slice through the neck-meat of some good-for-nothing royal. Can you imagine if a guillotine blade was not angled, and instead, was level and flat? It would be a lot less effective (and somehow even more gruesome).

A snowplow. Imagine in your mind's eye a snowplow, driving down the street, pushing snow to the side of the road. What would happen if the plow weren't angled to the side, but inside flat and forward-facing? You'd get a lot of buildup in front of the plow—probably to the point where you'd have a hard time pushing the plow.

You probably get where we're going with this. Due to the angle of the razor, a slant-blade shaver can provide you with a shave that's even closer than a regular safety razor. When you consider that most guys are amazed when they make the switch from disposable razor to safety razor, you can imagine the awe many guys feel when they switch from straight-bar safety razors to slant-edge safety razors. It can be a wonderful moment when you see the work that a properly-sharpened slant-edge razor can do.

Our Picks: Full Slant Razor Reviews

Alright—here we'll get into the nitty-gritty. We'll start with a great "intro" model:

Parker's Semi Slant Safety Razor

The "identifying factor" for Parker's Semi-Slant Safety Razor is in that word, "Semi." The slant—that is, the angle at which the safety bar declines—is a little less severe than many other slant-head razors, and that makes this a little bit easier to use, and therefore a better option for men new to slant razors. It makes it a little less aggressive, too, but that can be fine if you're new to all this. It can still offer a tremendously close shave, and a shave closer than most non-slant safety razors.

With that in mind, though, a light touch is still needed when using the Parker Semi-Slant—even if the slant is less than other slant-razors, it's still a powerful tool, so take it easy (and that goes for new slant-users and experienced slant-users, as well!).

As far as shape and size, this is a sort of "middle-of-the-road" safety razor—it's about 2.9 ounces / 82 grams, which makes it hefty but not *extremely* hefty, and it's four inches long, which is right in that sweet spot of "not too long, not too short." You'd imagine that most safety razors would come in this sweet spot, but many don't—they're either very short (3 or 3 1/4 inches, which some guys really like) or very long (4 1/2 to 5 inches, which is great for tall guys and/or guys with big hands). The four inches here is just about right.

There's one last thing about this one we like a lot: it's offered (at the time of this post) in three color tones. It's made in a graphite tone (black, basically), rose gold (which has a warm, pink-ish hue), and satin chrome (which looks like a traditional safety razor—that shiny steel grey color). This doesn't get mentioned a lot when people are talking about slant razors, but there's not a ton of variety when it comes to appearance. Slant razors are a niche product within a niche product—using safety razors is a sort of unique activity, and using slant razors is a unique activity among people who use safety razors—so it's nice that Parker offers some variety here. They didn't need to do that—and most makers of slant safety razors don't offer that variety.

Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Safety Razor 37c

Merkur is one of the "big names" when it comes to safety razors, and the Merkur Slant Bar Double Edge Safety Razor 37c is one of the best-known slant-bar razors (with the other being the 39c, which we'll talk about in a moment).

This is our other "best slant razor for beginners" pick, because it's got a decent weight (and you therefore don't need to use too much pressure, or any at all, really), it's maneuverable and because of its diminutive size, it can reach tough-to-get-to areas around the mustache and under the chin, and it's a good option for light whiskers to heavy. That ticks all the boxes, really.

It's got a nice weight to it—2.6 ounces / 74 grams—which is right in that "Goldilocks Zone" of weight—and it's on the shorter side at 3.25 inches. That's good for average-sized men and shorter men, but may not be a great fit for taller guys with big hands. It can be a little bit difficult to grasp and maneuver (and if you're a taller guy, you may want to look at the Merkur 39c below, which is basically the same model but longer).

If you're interested in a good beginner model but you want to full-slant instead of easing into the water with a semi-slant, this is the one we'd recommend.

There's one thing we'd like to mention to the "old school" guys who may be reading our post—if you had an old 37c and you're looking to replace it with this one, it may be a liiiiittle bit different. Merkur remade the model in 2015, and it's a little milder than the older model—that is, it's less likely to nick you, but it's also a little less likely to give you a super-duper close shave. It's still a powerful tool, but it's not as "biting" as the older model.

The G.B.S Heavy Duty DE Slant Bar Safety Razor

The G.B.S Heavy Duty DE Slant Bar Safety Razor is a really interesting model. It's got a lot going for it, and it can be a great choice for a lot of guys, but there are a few aspects of it that make it... well, odd. Kids today refer to something is "EXTRA," meaning something is intense in each of its qualities, and that's a good way to interpret the G.B.S. Heavy Duty Slant Bar—it's a bit extra.

First off, it's HEAVY. Weighing in at five ounces, 141 grams...! That's super-duper heavy for a safety razor, and it rivals one of the heaviest safety razors in the game, which is the not-slanted Merkur 43c. With that kind of weight, you want to use a really, REALLY light touch—which can be difficult for new wet shavers. For that reason, we'd reserve this one for experienced shavers, who may really appreciate that kind of weight.

That weight has some surprising benefits, though, and a razor like this can be a great option for guys with sensitive skin. With a pass or two or three, you can get a really close shave, while obviously respectfully utilizing the item's weight and applying a miniscule amount of pressure. Your mileage may vary—it can be difficult to predict what will work for guys with sensitive skin—but we've had some luck here.

So in addition to being heavy, it's LONG—five inches, to be exact. If you're used to stubbier safety razors, this might feel a bit like shaving with a baton or a wand—not a bad experience, but certainly new. It's not prohibitively long, but it's definitely on the lengthier side of things. If that's not your style, you want to pass on this one.

Lastly, the head is pretty big. That can make it tough to maneuver around the more delicate areas of the face—but again, if you know how to use a slant razor, a bigger head may allow you the opportunity to cover more ground with greater speed. Again, we think this is a great model if you know what you're doing.

All in all, we'd say this is an interesting and compelling pick for guys who have used slant razors for a while, know what they feel like, and want to try something new.

Merkur Safety Razor 39c

We mentioned earlier that Merkur makes two slant-head razors—the 37c and the 39c. The Merkur Safety Razor 39c is the more "deluxe" version, and there's a little more... how shall we say... "manufacturing precision" involved. It's a high-end razor, and if we were to give a "Best Slant Razor" award, this would probably take first prize. All the slant razors here are great, but this is probably our favorite.

To our minds, everything about this model is just right: it's 3.5 ounces / 100 grams, which is heavy enough to provide a very close and not require pressure (the kind of pressure that results in nicks and cuts), and it's 4-inches—usually good enough for men of all heights and sizes.

You know our favorite thing about the 39c, though? The look of it. When you take a close look at the razor head, it looks curvy, almost liquid-like, and that's a departure from most safety razors, which can look blocky and stern. It's a unique look, and it’s the type of design that requires incredible manufacturing precision—and it's not a coincidence that the company that makes the 39c is a German brand with more than a century of experience designing and making high-end shaving tools.

The manufacturing precision isn't the only design aspect that's worthy of praise, though—the handle features what is probably our favorite style of knurling, which is sometimes called "spiral barbershop." Most handles feature either straight or diamond knurling, and while those are both fantastic, there's something uniquely inviting about the spiral motion—it makes it easy to grip (and feels great too).

So—this is our pick for "best of the best" model. It's capable of a fantastically close shave, it feels wonderful, and it looks like artwork.

The Fine Accoutrements Aluminum Slant Bar Safety Razor

Who doesn't love fine accoutrements? Our last inclusion, the Fine Accoutrements Aluminum Slant Bar Safety Razor, is an interesting one, mostly because of its weight: coming in at 1.1 ounces / 31 grams, it's really light. That's something of a rarity in the wet shaving world—most slant razors (and most safety razors in general) try to include a sturdy amount of weight, to "do the work for you," in a sense. The weight helps slice through whiskers, without requiring you to exert pressure and run the risk of cutting yourself. It’s not an aggressive razor in the traditional sense, but it can act that way.

The Fine Accoutrements turns that paradigm on its head, and says "You're going to need to roll the dice and use some pressure." It makes it a really interesting model, because you need to be a little more engaged with your shave. You'll need to use a bit of skill in order to get that baby-butt smooth shave you're hoping for, so if you like a challenge—or you want to re-live the thrill of learning how to use a slant-edge safety razor—this can be a fun (and effective!) pick.

This, too, is another very attractive model. It's got a smooth, rounded shape, and it's made of machined aluminum (hence, its light weight—it's rare for a safety razor to be made solely from aluminum) which gives it a very polished, shiny look. Many safety razors go for a "cloudy grey" tone—which works wonderfully in most cases, and is very attractive—but that highly reflective look can be very eye-catching. It's also got some unique, intriguing knurling, with parallel rings up and down the length of the handle—another original design decision.

Thus Ends Our Rants on Slants

There you have it! Those are our top five picks. We like each of them, and have found each are great for specific purposes. We hope there's something here that helped you, and if you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line. In the meantime—have fun, be good, and happy shaving!

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