Strops, hones, combs, sharpening paste Oh My!

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by whitetiger7654, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 New Member

    I thought I had it all figured out. Buy a safety razor like a Merkur HD then replace the blade once a week. But then I hear about all this stuff. Do Strops, hones, combs, and sharpening paste relate to a safety razor or just straight razors?
  2. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    In general, hones, strops and sharpening pastes are straight razor related only.

    Combs are DE related.
  3. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 New Member

    That's a load off. So can you tell me what comb is and how to use it? I haven't seen any articles on it. Sorry for all these noob questions.
  4. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
  5. Sejanus

    Sejanus New Member

    Have a look at the pictures above that Jo posted.

    In short, an Open comb is little gaps in the safety bar that allow for more blade exposure and thus in theory a closer and more aggressive shave. A No Comb or standard safety bar lacks the gaps and is generally considered more mild and less close. These are all up in the air though and it is really a personal choice on which is preferred. They are typically the exact same price as well.

    Really they are pretty straight forward, they are the exact same in terms of technique, you simply might get slightly different results/aggressiveness ratings.

    To sum up: Open Comb = "More Aggressive/Closer Shave", Stand Bar/No Comb = "Less Aggressive/Not quite as close".
  6. Personnally - I think the closed comb looks better ;) I always fall for those sleek lines !

    Lee
  7. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 New Member

    I don't have a mustache or beard and shave all my facial hair off. So in that case I would want an open comb. Even though I do agree the other razor is more attractive looking.
  8. Sejanus

    Sejanus New Member

    You don't have to though, keep that in mind. My current go to DE razor is a closed comb and I have VERY thick and dark hair and do not maintain any facial hair.
  9. All kidding aside, I can get a very close BBS shave with a closed shaver. My go to is a gentle 1949 Gillette. I have an aggressive Merkur Slant Bar as well but I don't use it everyday.
  10. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    I believe a greater percentage of wetshavers use a Closed Comb.
  11. Sejanus

    Sejanus New Member

    +1, also there are only a few OCs out there.
  12. Michael

    Michael Duke of Kent

    I have one open comb razor. A 1906 or so gold Gillette. Looks cool, but is too aggressive for my taste. I don't have a very coarse or thick beard and this razor just doesn't suit me. MANY new razors on the market today are made by Merkur (at least the business end is). So, you can spend $100+ or you can just buy the Merkur HD for about $30 and have the same head for 1/3 the price. Of those who go for a new razor, that seems to be a leading contender.

    Others prefer a vintage Gillette TTO (twist-to-open). 1950's vintage or earlier seems to be the preferred choice. To determine the year of an old Gillette, this may be helpful... http://www.geocities.com/safetyrazors/gil_ser2.htm

    The good news is, razors are relatively inexpensive, unlike most brushes. If you find that the one you bought isn't to your liking, for another $30 or in many cases less, you can start all over again. And you can always sell any you decide you don't like.

    If I were buying my first razor, it would be an old Gillette or a Merkur HD, both closed comb. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Good luck.
  13. whitetiger7654

    whitetiger7654 New Member

    Thanks guys. Ok I'm sticking with the Merkur HD plan for now then. I'm slowly acquiring everything I need to spread out the cost and to keep the SO from killing me.

    PS. Has anyone seen any bags of money laying around? ;)
  14. Michael

    Michael Duke of Kent

    Sejanus has the bags.

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