A slant bar razor is a type of non-adjustable razor, meaning it has a fixed blade angle and exposure. What makes the slant bar unique is the slant of the blade, which slices through hair rather than chopping. A typical DE razor has a straight edge, which cuts bluntly across hair, pushing stubble over rather than going in for a clean cut. This causes stubble that feels a bit rougher after you’ve shaved.
A slant bar does not push stubble over but rather quickly slices, reducing resistance and leading to softer stubble. Think about the guillotine versus the Scottish Maiden – slicing versus blunt force.
Because the slant bar slices so cleanly through hair while maintaining a good gap between the razor and the skin, it’s a wonderful tool if you have thick, wiry hair and sensitive skin. When the blade does not push against stubble, the stubble does not push against skin, which means less irritation and a smoother shave.
It also works well for a neck shave, where alternating grain patterns, shifting contours, and delicate skin can get the best of even the most seasoned wet shaver.
The slant bar should be your second DE razor
The fact that a slant bar razor cuts so effortlessly makes it a liability if you press too hard. If you’re switching over from a cartridge razor and are used to putting pressure on the razor, translating this method to a slant bar razor will result in bloodshed.
Since keeping the right amount of pressure on the bar is so important, we recommend trying a slant razor after you’ve mastered your technique on your current safety razor. You should be getting consistently smooth, irritation-free shaves. Once you hit that point, you’re ready for the new level of closeness that a slant bar can offer.
Tips for using a slant razor
Blade sampler packs are your friends
You may consider yourself a Feather guy through and through, but once you make the transition to slant, it’s time to do some blade exploration (which should be done with any new razor). See our blog post on how to find the right DE blade for you for a step-by-step process. And be open to the fact that the blade that ends up working well on your slant bar razor may be terrible in your original DE razor, and vice versa.
Emphasis on (almost) no pressure
You handle a slant bar razor the same way as a normal DE razor, but with even less pressure (and of course at the correct blade angle). The slant bar will do the slicing for you – you don’t need to help it along with extra pressure.
There were various versions before the twisted head we know today came to be. In 1916, the first recognized patent was filed by Thomas Wild of Britan (although there is still debate about who filed a patent first – Wild or Merkur).
Wild’s patent drawing shows an open comb design with a torqued head. You’ll find that same head on the Merkur 37C as well as slant bar razors by Above the Tie and Maggard.