Newbie needs advice on open combs.

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by falconhal, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. falconhal

    falconhal Active Member

    Been looking at eventually purchasing a non aluminum razor. Seen alot of nice ones and it seems like I am narrowing it down to steel or bronze. Been seeing an increasing amount of open comb options. Any advice to a newbie about open comb razors? Should i try a cheap aluminium oc 1st?
  2. Ijustmissedthe50s

    Ijustmissedthe50s The Warnee

    I personally dont subscribe to the notion that there are "newbie" razors or longer user safety razors. My first two razors as a wet shaver were a vintage se and a shavette. I had read TSD posts regarding all types of razors. The common theme was/is...pick a razor you like and learn to use it. I began shaving with each based on knowledge learned here in 100s of posts. When it was time for blade to meet skin I immediately began working on technique. Neither posed a significant challenge, though I read many posts proclaiming that they were decidedly not "newbie" razors. However, it seemed as the most practical advice I picked up was that it's your technique, not your equipment, that determines the quality of your shaves. And...its true. The variety of razor types I own each have their own personalities and quirks, but after becoming familiar with them, I couldnt pick one that would have been just a starter razor, open comb or not.
    My personal advice? Pick your oc based on your criteria...looks, price, material, convenience or whatever. When you get it, learn to use it and love it.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  3. falconhal

    falconhal Active Member

    I guess I am really just need advice on the pros and cons of the open comb razor. Don't want to blow 100-200 dollars on a razor and not like it because its an open comb.
  4. MntnMan62

    MntnMan62 Well-Known Member

    I agree with @Ijustmissedthe50s . There are no newbie razors. And I don’t even know of an aluminum open comb. They may exist. But I don’t know them. All I can do is give you my list of open combs that I use. And I use open combs exclusively.

    Gillette Old Type (brass)
    Gillette Single Ring (Some are nickel coated brass and some silver coated brass)
    Gillette New Deluxe (brass)
    Schone Open Comb (brass)
    RazoRock Game Changer Open Comb 0.84 (stainless steel)
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  5. Ijustmissedthe50s

    Ijustmissedthe50s The Warnee

    Gotcha. @MmtnMan62 is surely more qualified than I am to explain the benefits of oc razors in general. Less clogging? More blade contact? I'm only guessing. I sure like mine though.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
    Edison Carter and falconhal like this.
  6. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    I have a few open comb razors.
    I don't see to much difference in them compared to closed comb per se.
    The only difference is that if you don't shave often, or want to shave off a few days or weeks of growth. These type of razors are perfectly designed for just that.
    I have very efficient (aggressive) open comb razors. I also have very inefficient (mild) open comb razors.
    Get one you like, that's a personal preferance, then enjoy.

  7. Jesseix

    Jesseix Active Member

    I’d look into a Gillette NEW, built solid and smooth, efficient shavers.
  8. tonich

    tonich Active Member

    Gillette NEW RFB !
  9. The situational shaver

    The situational shaver Well-Known Member

    Personally, I would highly recommend an open comb razor. Started using one this spring, best shave ever.
    You don’t have to spend 100’s on an O.C. I bought a RazoRock O.C. head for 5 or 10 dollars. Put it on a handle
    I already had (Merkur 33c), and it was all good. Two weeks later, I saw the SLOC head, the Self Lubricating Open
    Comb razor. Bought one for about $25, even better. If I want a bbs shave, the SLOC is my choice. No nicks, no cuts
    no weepers, nothing. Every time I use, it I am amazed at how close my shave is. It gets closer, smoothly, on my
    ‘goatee’ area than any other razor I’ve ever used. I ‘buff’ my chin, and mustache area, it’s definitely great for that.
    I have a thick beard, but soft hair, so I find an O.C. works better with a ‘smoother’ blade, (think Derby).
    I can’t imagine ‘buffing’ with a Feather! But, who knows?
  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I'll start with the cons. And yes, there are valid reasons to avoid, and also seek out open combs.

    Cons: the teeth are fairly easily damaged. If you tend to accidentally drop your razors, this is a good reason to not get an open comb. This can be mitigated somewhat by getting a stainless steel open comb which is far more durable. (Or by not fumble fingering your razors).

    Pros: Unlike a regular safety bar razor, an open comb razor will eat any length of hair. The open structure of the comb ensures that no matter what level your technique, some shaving cream always reaches the blade. They also clog less than a bar guard razor.

    Leaving aside the length of hair you want to shave off, there is no functional difference between an open comb and bar guard. Gillette switched to a bar guard because it was more durable, and cheaper to manufacture. There may also be some slight skin stretching benefit to a bar guard.

    If a razor is properly designed and used, the guard, whether it be an open comb or a safety bar, will never touch your skin, or at most, barely graze it.

    Edit: Modern Gillette razors have taken the risk out of shaving, and basically have negative blade exposure. Their razors are designed to work when the entire face of the razor is pressed into the skin and thanks to the ball and socket pivot, angle is literally idiot proof.

    If they had stuck with two blade cartridges, this forum probably wouldn't exist, and shavers, by and large, would be getting excellent shaves.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  11. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    Forget the notion that an open comb is different. It's not. It's the angle you must master. If I close my eyes, I cannot tell the difference when shaving with an open comb or safety bar.
  12. david of central florida

    david of central florida Rhubarb Rubber

    FaTip grande
    Built well
    Smooth shaver
    Relatively inexpensive
  13. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer


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  14. brit

    brit in a box

    british gillette new rfb..if you like vintage can find a decent clean one for $100 or less.if the teeth are bent don't buy it.then learn to use it..if you like modern then there have been several mentioned and recommended here..a u.s gillette new short comb or long comb is fantastic as well,but most being gold wash the plating doesn't last long.if you like bare brass they are great options. the Karve razor has both options and new baseplates are available for a decent price.well made..and sellable if you don't like it..
  15. falconhal

    falconhal Active Member

    I was actually looking at a Timeless bronze. The open combs are pretty, but never having used an open comb, didn't know how much different functionally it would be. Also keep getting ads for the PAA Ascension razor. On that note, is 316L stainless that much of a difference as 303 for shaving?
  16. brit

    brit in a box

    i don't know a lot about the stainless razors,i only have but one ,the razorock mamba,but its stainless,mild and safety bar not open comb.nice razor but i rarely use it.i am into my 30s/40s vintage gillettes..found open comb gillettes to be a decent benchmark.there are many razors that are more efficient to those that like them..
  17. Lancre

    Lancre Well-Known Member

    I can definitely tell the difference by face feel rather than by shave quality.
    I can feel the individual teeth. I get comparable shaves from both SB and OC.
    Since I shave daily, the OC's potential advantage on multi-day growth never comes into play for me.
  18. MntnMan62

    MntnMan62 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't say I'm more qualified than anyone. But I find open combs, generally speaking but certainly not across the board, to be more efficient. I find them much better at mowing down several days growth than a straight bar razor. But if you're shaving every day, I'd be using a milder version of an open comb such as RazoRock's Old Type. It may have the same name as the vintage Gillette it emulates, but the shaves are nothing like each other. The RR version is a nice daily driver. And if I were more patient and was more focused on my technique I'd be able to use any of the others listed as a daily driver as well.
    Ijustmissedthe50s, falconhal and brit like this.
  19. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    303, 304 and 316L (for purposes of shaving) are identical. If you were handed identical razors, each made from 303, 304, and 316L, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    316L is slightly more corrosion resistant than 303 or 304, and it won't make a lick of difference to you unless you shave with salt water or live on the beach.

    Most stainless razors are 304, and 316L is only used when a manufacturer feels the need to have a better selling point. IMO. The difference in cost of manufacture is only a couple of bucks. Edit: per razor. Depending on how many razors are in each batch, the extra costs can amount to hundreds of dollars.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
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