Photo credit: J. Phillip Faranda Now that there are numerous models of 'self lubricating razors,' I thought there ought to be a thread devoted to discussing this unique subset of modern and vintage open comb razors. They are characterized by having a slotted top cap. The slots may or may not line up with the teeth of the baseplate. The purpose of the slots is to serve the same function as lubricating strips on a modern cartridge razor, only without the sluglike slime trail. @John Ruschmeyer helpfully posted the following: According to the original patent: "My invention relates to a new and useful improvement in a safety razor, and has for its object the provision of a safety razor so constructed and arranged that when dipped in water or placed in a running stream of water, it will retain a quantity of the water and release the same when the cutting edge of the blade is placed against the face. It is another object of the invention to provide a safety razor so constructed and arranged that it may moisten the lather immediately preceding the cutting blade as it is drawn over the face. Another object of the invention is the provision of a safety razor having a back plate provided at its opposite edges with transversely directed longitudinally spaced apart slots of such a width as to provide water receiving and retaining spaces so that as the razor is drawn over the face in the shaving operation, the water retained in the slots will flow onto the face and serve moistening purposes." The original self lubricating razor is the "Grand Shave King Self Lubricating razor." This razor was released in three different models, dates of manufacture are uncertain, but the patent for them was applied for in 1944, and granted in 1945. Due to their somewhat fragile nature and brass and aluminum construction, not many have survived to present day. 10 years ago, they were rare finds and often sold for $80-100 at a time when the Gillette Fatboy was $25-35. Currently, most are in the hands of collectors and on the rare occasion one does come up for auction, prices can reach upwards of $300. Luckily, in recent years, there have been a whole slew of modern reproductions. The first and most well known of these was put out as a homage by Pheonix Artisan Accoutrements called the Double Open Comb razor, but most people shorten it to DOC. The DOC model had a zinc alloy head, brass handle and was chrome plated. Quality control issues with the plating meant that the shiny chrome version was discontinued. It was replaced with a satin finish chrome version which was also discontinued. After several slight tweaks to the design, the current version is nickel plated. This is considered an excellent starter razor for those new to wet shaving, due to it's ease of use, comfort and mildness. It was introduced in 2013, and with a few periods of unavailability, has remained in production. A variant called the "Flight," combines the original DOC head with a two-piece 'travel' handle. After the success of the original DOC, the DOC Evolution was introduced. More aggressive than it's cheaper cousin, this razor is fully machined from 304 stainless, and is designed for the experienced wet shaver seeking a more aggressive and efficient shave. It was produced from 2015-2016. The demise of the Evolution was caused by the release of the DOC Ascension. Originally CNC machined from 7075 aluminum, it is now also made from 316L stainless steel. Moving away from the original DOC's bulldog style handle, the Ascension comes with a Gillette Ball End style handle, what PAA calls a "bomb tip" handle. The cap assembly is more curved than previous models, which they claim makes the razor adjustable (tighten or loosen handle to change aggressiveness, much like the Gillette Old Type razors). This razor is available in a machined copper/silver alloy as well. Occasionally, PAA releases limited edition finishes on these razors, notably the Grackle (cerakote/DLC black) and the Red & Black (anodized red & black). The Australian company Yaqi is also a manufacturer/importer of self lubricating razors. Their heads are chrome plated zinc. The Yaqi SRH-12 Mellon is similar to PAA's original DOC razor, and is quite mild. For those who don't want YAQI branding on the top cap, the same razor head (with 4 stainless handle choices) is sold through Italian Barber as the SLOC (Self Lubricating Open Comb) razor. The Yaqi SRH-77 is a slant, bar guard version. It's one of the more aggressive self lubricating razor designs. The Yaqi Grill is an odd duck, and is included as a courtesy. It's an "open comb" design, according to the manufacturer. I think it's a hybrid bar guard design, similar to the R-41, Occam's SS DE, or the Apollo Red Ring. According to Yaqi, it's a very aggressive razor, but I have been unable to find any reviews to confirm this. The Yaqi "Beast" is a community created frankenrazor, but one that has been cheerfully adopted by the manufacturer. It pairs the SRH-12 Mellon top cap with the SRH-04 (Yaqi's version of the DE-89) baseplate. Aggressive as the 2011 R-41, but just a tad less efficient, is how one user described it. Pearl (also sold in the U.S. as Cadet) had a DOC design on their website, the SSP-94 or SSP-95, depending on the choice of handle, but no longer. It appeared to be a copy of the PAA DOC. They still deserve a mention, since one of the more popular frankenrazor combinations is the Yaqi Mellon/IB SLOC top cap paired with the Pearl open comb baseplate. This ups the aggression of the Yaqi, while at the same time smooths out the Pearl. This combination is more aggressive and efficient than the Mellon/SLOC razor.