open comb vs safety bar

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Hercule, Aug 16, 2021.

  1. Hercule

    Hercule Active Member

    Not considering those who frequent such hobby forums as this etc, but with regard to the average joe/jane shaver for whom shaving is just something that needs to be done, do you think open-comb razors are more of a European thing than an American thing anymore? I suspect (a gut feeling not backed up by actual data) that once the safety bar was introduced, the American market by and large didn't look back.

    By the way, is there such a thing as an open-comb multi-blade (disposable or otherwise)?
     
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  2. jmudrick

    jmudrick Type A Man

    Joe and Jane European aren't buying OC razors either.

    There are disposable OC razors for medical use but can't imagine you'd want one.

    Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
     
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  3. IAmTheJody

    IAmTheJody Gillette-i Master Staff Member

    Open comb has its purpose as does solid bar.

    Generally, open comb is for longer hair. The comb rakes the long hairs into rows that makes it more efficient to cut. If you shave everyday and therefore your hair is not long, a solid bar is more efficient because it doesn't have to deal with arranging any hair for cutting.

    It's early, I'm still drinking my coffee and don't know if any of what I said makes sense. If not I will come back later and change it. lol
     
  4. Tedolph

    Tedolph Well-Known Member

    I wonder about this....

    Doesn't the safety bar scrape away all the lather from your face before the blade gets there? At least an open comb safety razor let's half the lather through. It seems to me then that the real purpose of the full safety bar is to do the skin stretching for you while preventing you from chopping off your nose.

    Can somebody straighten me out on this?
     
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  5. Hercule

    Hercule Active Member

    What does the early Gillette advertising say about the safety bar?

    I suspect the function of the bar below the blade edge, whether safety/solid bar or toothed, is to establish the correct angle for the blade to safely and effectively cut stubble or, rather, to plane across the skin and not into the skin.
     
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  6. jmudrick

    jmudrick Type A Man

    Sure. Gillette didn't invent the safety bar, they were being used for decades, typically as pictured . In DE form the Barbasols and others introduced lather slots with bars as later seen on the Tech.[​IMG]

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  7. gwsmallwood

    gwsmallwood Well-Known Member

    They're actually quite good. I picked some up for any time I need to travel without checking bags.

     
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  8. jmudrick

    jmudrick Type A Man

    Cool. Not bad at all . Others I had seen were a lot more expensive.

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  9. brit

    brit in a box

    i predict a boom in OC sales when the hipsters/lumberjacks decide to shave their beards off..:happy102::eatdrink047:
     
  10. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Wiping off the lather seconds before the razor hits the skin is common. My barber will lather the nape of my neck, then, just before he shaves it, he wipes the lather off. I wipe off the lather right before shaving close to my handlebar 'stache. I want to see where that blade is going to be so I don't take off more than I want. Wiping off the lather isn't going to hinder the slickness, unless you wipe it off, then let it dry before shaving that area.

    As for the bar stretching your skin - if the bar is stretching your skin, you're using waaaayyy too much pressure. The correct amount of pressure? You should be trying to take off the lather, leaving a clean path, without touching your face. I know that actually can't be done, but you get the idea.

    The safety bar and comb is there for one purpose - safety; it keeps the blade from going too deep into the skin. Sure, you can still get cut, but it won't be to the bone. If it wasn't there it'd be like shaving with a straight, nothing to prevent you from cutting too deep.

    That bar, solid or straight, in no way helps establish the angle. The axim is "ride the cap", that means place the cap against your cheek, start your shaving stroke, then adjust the angle by raising or lowering the handle to find your optimum shaving angle. You're not going to be able to tell anything about angle from that safety bar or comb. The sound of scraping toast will tell you you're at an angle for cutting whiskers. To high or too low on the angle and there's no sound, nothing cut.

    yup
     
  11. Hercule

    Hercule Active Member

    I tend to ride the bar. To be honest, I don't think I've ever ridden the cap. It just seems counter intuitive to engaging with the blade. That's probably also the case with an open comb too, I just don't remember. It has been so long.
     
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  12. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I would think riding the bar would create an angle too steep to be effective, but if you're making it work...

    It's your shave. Enjoy it your way. :)
     
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  13. jmudrick

    jmudrick Type A Man

    You might want to read the patents for the Tech* and other early safety bar DE razors. The bar IS intended to keep contact with the skin (the grooves/striations are there for a reason), whether you (or I ) elect to shave that way is another matter.

    *In the Tech the scoring on the bar is intended to reduce slipping

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    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  14. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I didn't say the bar wasn't to contact skin; I don't think one can shave without the bar in contact with the skin. Sorry if I made that implication. What did I say to make you think otherwise?:signs002:
     
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  15. jmudrick

    jmudrick Type A Man

    My mistake then, carry on.

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  16. Hercule

    Hercule Active Member

    I should have said that I really don't consciously ride anything. But the bar rides closer to my skin than does the cap. I'm more likely to lever up from the bar than down from the cap to get the angle.
     
  17. Tedolph

    Tedolph Well-Known Member

    I am not at all on board with wiping off the lather before I shave. Now, I have done this where I have gone back over a spot and not reapplied lather first but it is something i try to avoid. I can definitely tell the difference between a stoke on skin with lather, and a second stroke on the same skin where the lather has been removed. That is why when I do use a safety razor it is an open comb.
     
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  18. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Oh, I'm not saying wipe off all the lather. I only wipe off the little bit beside my 'stache so I don't wind up with lopsided bars! :eatdrink047:
     
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  19. Tedolph

    Tedolph Well-Known Member

    Are you using a Straight Razor?

    WIN_20210504_11_58_42_Pro.jpg resized.jpg

    You can always see what you are doing with a SR right down to the millimeter!
     
  20. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    On Saturdays. But when the lather has been brushed up into the hair line, I gotta be sure, so I wipe away a bit of lather to see the line more clearly.
     
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