Question: “Would a Straight Razor be Good for Self Defense?”

Answer: No. It would not. Why? Because straight razors are dangerous! The blade is not fixed. That means that it does not lock into place. This leaves the user at risk of the blade folding down atop his knuckles and cutting (or cutting off) their own fingers. Since you would be striking with this razor against a non-compliant opponent, the chance of that blade being struck down atop your fingers with great force is rather high.  (I have mentioned that I get asked the craziest questions, haven’t I?)

Straight Razors as Weapons

Yes, you could try to train with the blade and be mindful to only use it in a slashing motion. But as the old saying goes, “Every plan is a good one until you get punched in the face.” If you’re playing with a straight razor, your technique and training is only as good as your your ability to control your adrenaline. Most fights and self-defense situations are extremely fast, brutal, and chaotic. This leaves a lot of room for error.

Many people who try to draw and deploy weapons in the heat of the moment while someone else is attacking them. Unless you’re the Scarlet Pimpernel, there’s a good chance you could drop your straight razor, use it ineffectively, or cut yourself. In another worst case scenario, you could have it taken away from you by your attacker. If this happens, you’re in for a world of hurt.

Let’s talk about something else: blood. An edged weapon is bound to produce a lot of blood. (You’re stabbing, slashing, and cutting your attacker, after all!)  Flowing blood increases your odds of contracting HIV/AIDS and the alphabet Hepatitis infections, etc. Don’t believe me?  Check out this unfortunate politician who ended up on the wrong end of a straight razor in South Korea:

Assault With a Deadly Weapon, Etc.

Lastly, if you’re planning on using a straight razor to “defend yourself,” I suggest you spend some money to have an attorney on retainer. Why? Because if you use this weapon against someone and hurt them – and chances are you WILL harm them – then you will have to justify your use of said weapon in front of a jury of your peers.  Here’s the best way to put it: How do you think the average suburban soccer mom would react when the prosecutor shows the jury pictures of someone who’s been cut up with a straight razor?

Here’s a few things to remember about police, prosecutors, and jury trials:

  1. Saying you hit/kicked/stabbed/slashed/clubbed/shot someone in “self defense” is ADMITTING THAT YOU ATTACKED SOMEONE! (Remember this, because it will come up later.)
  2. The man who tried to mug/attack/rape/kill you is NOT going to admit this to the police. He’ll play up the fact that you slashed him up like a salami stick in a deli while playing down his actions.
  3. Since you just ADMITTED to slashing him but your attacker did not admit to any crime, chances are you’re going to jail. Remember: Police don’t do what they do to discover the truth, they’re there to make an arrest and fill a quota.
  4. You just admitted to a crime. (See above.)
  5. The average jury member abhors violence and will likely see you as the aggressor.
  6. You need thousands of dollars to beat a felony conviction like the one you’ll be facing.
  7. Even if you win, your victim – yes, he’s considered the victim at this point – can still sue you in civil court. You could end seeing the paycheck you work hard to earn going to the asshole who tried to harm you!

Straight Razors are Dangerous!

So I reiterate, a straight razor is NOT a good weapon for self defense. You have a higher chance of cutting your own fingers off then you do harming your attacker. If you are skilled enough to carve your attacker up with one of these devices, I wish you the best of luck in court. Self defense is very hard to prove in a court of law. This is especially true in this day and age of gung ho cops and hotheaded prosecutors. Remember, it these people’s jobs to MAKE convictions. That’s it. And remember, it’s easier to convict action than it is intent. The guy holding the bloody straight razor is going down, 10 times out of 10. I recommend you only use them for shaving… that’s more than enough risk for any one person!


About J.P. Ribner, Indie Author

J.P. Ribner is the author of the Viking fantasy adventure series, The Berserker’s Saga. Currently, the saga features three novels – Legacy of the Bear, Prophecy of the Bear, and The Berserker’s Return.  He’s also in the process of editing his next book, Wasted Youth: A Flint Punk Rock Memoir.  Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, J.P. now lives in the Metro Detroit area with his wife and three sons.