How do you use a shaving belt?

Hoe gebruik je een scheerriem?

We have noticed that many men are still unfamiliar with what a shaving belt is and how to use it. Time to elaborate on that, because a shaving belt is an absolute must-have if you want to keep your open razor sharp! If you don't, your razor won't last as long. So if you properly maintain your open razor it will last you a lifetime. Consider a straight razor as a good investment. But you must know how to use it properly. Let us take on that task today! So pay attention, we're going to start at the beginning.

What is a shaving belt?

A shaving strap is also known as a shaving sling, so don't be confused if you come across these different terms. A shaving strap is literally a strap on which you can sharpen your razor. When you sharpen your razor, it will become as sharp again as when you first used it. And it is not entirely unimportant to do this once in a while, because all shaving problems like razor burn, ingrown hairs, etc. can be prevented by a properly sharp razor.

A shaving belt has two sides. One side is leather and the other is canvas. With the canvas side, you make sure that all the metal particles of your razor are facing the same way. In the shaving industry, this is also called "aiming." So, with this you literally point the metal particles back to the right side. But, more on this later. Once you've pointed your razor, you're going to get into polishing. You do this, as you might guess, on the leather side of the razor blade. When you polish your blade you make sure it becomes smoother and thus a lot more comfortable to shave with. So both sides are equally important and should both be used.

How to use a straight razor?

Many people stop using a shaving belt because they simply do not know how to use it properly. Bummer! To make it easier for you, we've created a step-by-step guide to using a shaving belt. Follow these steps and your straigjt raor will glide over your skin like a knife through butter again.

  1. First, start by hanging your shaving belt. You do this, for example, on your bathroom door or on the hook where you normally hang your towels. Hanging is important because the shaving belt will soon need to be under tension.
  2. Grasp the other side of the shaving belt itself and make sure there is tension on the shaving belt. It is important that the shaving belt does not bend because then your blade cannot move as smoothly over the shaving belt. Thus, you will not achieve the desired result that way.
  3. Hold your open razor between your thumb and forefinger and place it flat on the razor strap (on the canvas side).
  4. Now it is time to sharpen your open razor. You do this by moving your blade from top to bottom across the razor strap.
  5. Have you ended up at the top bottom of the razor with your blade? Top, then turn your blade over and gently move it back up again.


Using the canvas side of your shaving belt is what you do when aiming your razor. So aiming literally means pointing all the metal particles of your open razor in the same direction. You have to pass your razor over this canvas side about 15 times. If you do this correctly, after 15 times you will know for sure that the metal particles have come to face the same way.


Just as important as aiming is polishing your razor. This is because when you do this, your razor will be soft and a lot more comfortable to shave with. As we described earlier, this will ensure fewer problems during and after shaving. Polishing is done with the leather side of your razor. Pass your razor over the leather side about 20 to 25 times to make sure it will be soft and comfortable.

Do I need anything else to sharpen my blade?

A shaving belt is necessary to maintain your open razor, but the razor itself also needs to be maintained. You do this with special types of pastes for your shaving belt and a tensioning belt.

Yellow paste

The yellow paste for your shaving belt is specially made for the maintenance and care of the leather side of your shaving belt. This is because the yellow paste is tremendously greasy and thus keeps the leather supple. Therefore, if your leather is supple, your razor will also be more supple after use.

White paste

Besides yellow paste, you also have a white paste for your razor. The white paste is specially made for the canvas side and will ensure that the canvas is cleaned after every time you use it. So the white paste will ensure that the canvas silk is maintained and lasts a lot longer.

Span belt

After straightening and polishing your razor, a good option is to use a tensioning belt. This tension belt also has two sides; one brown and one colored. The colored one can alternate between red and green. Red is specially designed for silver steel or carbon open razors, green is for sharpening stainless steel open razors. The straightening strap is to be used in the same way as the straightening strap and is used when your razor needs some extra sharpening from time to time. Pointing is actually step 1, polishing is step 2 and sharpening is step 3.

When should you use a shaving belt?

Actually, it's quite simple. If you notice that your razor is getting blunt, then it's time to use a shaving belt. This varies with each razor and its quality. Therefore, it is important to keep feeling how your razor is shaving. After all, you are the best judge of when your razor needs sharpening! Razor burn, ingrown hairs, red bumps, they will all be a thing of the past when your razor always feels like new.

The bottom line is that it is important to use a shaving belt if you want your expensive or quality open razor to last a long time (or maybe even your lifetime). Also, if you often suffer from irritation after shaving, a shaving belt is an essential part of your routine. You may balk at the purchase, but if you can keep using your expensive razor for life, you'll probably be a lot cheaper in the end!

We hope this has helped you a lot, but if you still have any questions, feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you get the best products for the ideal shave. You happy, we happy.

Good luck!

Your friends, The Alpha Men