07-29-2013, 11:15 AM
#1
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I've been reading reviews and posy on different razors and have a few questions on open and closed combs. Am i right in assuming (I hate using this word) that open comb razors are more aggressive than closed combs? How much does the technique between the two combs vary?

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 07-29-2013, 12:23 PM
#2
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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First off the technique is the same closed or open comb. There is a certain myth that open combs are more aggressive. Not true in every case.

Examples: Above The Tie H1 head is very aggressive do to its blade exposure yet its closed comb. The same for the iKon 2013 standard bar which is a lot more aggressive then its open comb counterpart.

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 07-29-2013, 12:33 PM
#3
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... and then you have something like Goodfella OCs that are rather mild.

The point is that there are no rules, but generally speaking, yes, the OC razors tend to be a bit more aggressive. JMHO

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 07-29-2013, 01:16 PM
#4
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The big difference between open and closed combs is the way in which they guide the lather and whiskers toward the blade. The aggressiveness is dependant upon blade gap and blade exposure. Many open combs are designed to be more aggressive because people who use them expect them to be that way. It's a self fulfilling prophecy sort of thing (people expect OCs to be more aggressive, so manufacturers design them to be more aggressive, which leads to most OCs being more aggressive).

Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Xparent Cyan Tapatalk 2

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 07-29-2013, 03:41 PM
#5
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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The technique is the same, but the comb marks actully help a bit with your angle... if you see comb tracks where you have shaved, the angle is too steep. Try a Gillette NEW if you want a fairly gentle OC. I really like mine, paired with a sharp blade.

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 07-29-2013, 09:31 PM
#6
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(07-29-2013, 11:15 AM)DavePaskowski Wrote: I've been reading reviews and posy on different razors and have a few questions on open and closed combs. Am i right in assuming (I hate using this word) that open comb razors are more aggressive than closed combs? How much does the technique between the two combs vary?

Open Comb does not equal aggressive.

There are plenty of safety bar razors that are more aggressive than their open comb counterparts.

Your comments seem to emanate from misconceptions parroted by lots of people who visit forums and assume "because it is written is must be so".

The Feather Razor Blade is another item surrounded by misconceptions.

If you wanna give Open Comb a try then use one of the Merkur models. They are considered mild and very easy to use.

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 07-30-2013, 08:08 AM
#7
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Some are more aggressive than others. The Merkur 1904 is one of the mildest shavers I've used. The Cadet OC is quite aggressive.

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 08-19-2013, 04:05 PM
#8
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I have an iKon OC 2013, and it is mild!

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 08-19-2013, 08:46 PM
#9
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Dittos what's already been written.

IMO all razors should have been OCs for the superior lather pass through and all that follows from that.

Why should noob razors be starved for lubrication? I just don't understand the thinking of the designers. Unless they were trying to make extremely inexpensive razors. I'm betting a punch die for a closed comb was less expensive an operation than an OC.

Then we move to SE razors, where a closed comb in SE is for all intents and purposes an open comb in DE. To find a CC (in DE parlance) razor in SE we need to find a safety bar razor which are very few. I don't know of many SE razors that have a safety bar comb especially when looking at the early models. There is Valet and the much later GEMS toward the latter end of that companies production (Clog Pruf, Flying wing, Featherweight, G-Bar, and Pushbutton). I know nothing of Injectors which probably (maybe?) had safety bars or closed combs and I should stop right here before I step into it further. Again, I suspect the safety bar (closed comb) was a production shortcut to rein in cost in later years.

There is no logical reason to think that an open comb is more aggressive than a closed comb or a safety bar razor since it's head geometry that governs aggressiveness and not the comb that merely allows lather through to lubricate the blade/skin interface. Of course lather does other things as well, which I deliberately ignore for this purpose. IMO an open comb (to include closed comb in SE) is the superior method of lubrication delivery (OK, I'll bow to cushion slightly) and that's what it's all about.

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 08-19-2013, 10:46 PM
#10
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Very good advise mixed in with proper technique. Great work NOOKERS.

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 08-20-2013, 12:08 AM
#11
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Open Comb is to Safety Bars, What Safety Bars are to multi-blade cartridges.

Its a better way to make a DE Razor with some exceptions on both sides of the fence, but better none the less.

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 08-20-2013, 12:56 AM
#12
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The main difference I found is that Open Combs - even a mild one like my Merkur 25C - tends to be less forgiving when it comes to sloppy technique... YMMV off course Wink

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 08-21-2013, 09:42 PM
#13
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The things I notice are 1) the open comb doesn't clog and stays closer to the skin & 2) it is easier to use in tight spaces like beneath the nose.

Some are aggressive and some are not. IMO an open comb does not have to be aggressive to work properly.

A tough beard or a long beard may require an aggressive safety bar type razor to prevent clogging, but my experience has been that a mild open comb won't have any issues overcoming lots of growth or a really tough beard.

IMO, all you need to do is learn to use it and enjoy the benefits.

Too much is said about who should be using one, beginner, expert, etc. And its like any new razor, just use it and figure it out.

All the talk of OC Razors being more prone to cut you is misconception. Some Razors can be more aggressive and prone to nicks and cuts but it has nothing to do with the Comb vs the Safety bar.

I think too many people never end up trying OC razors because of these parroted fairy tales.

If you haven't tried one and its on your mind, give it a shot. I think more people will end up keeping them and using them.

The safety bar wasn't designed to give you a better shave just as a cartridge wasn't designed to provide the best shave.

Get an OC Merkur and give it a shot.

Or go on believing that OC Razors and Feather Blades will chop your head off.

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 08-21-2013, 10:00 PM
#14
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Aggressiveness is usually related to blade exposure and not SB vs OC.

Both styles range from mild to aggressive models and it is a misconception to regard all OC razors as aggressive and SB as mild.

The reason I chose to try OC was the suggestion that they were more effective in lifting the individual hair follicles rather than pushing them flat against the skin.

Prior to throwing away carts and canned goo I suffered terribly with ingrown hairs. While I don't believe OC razors were solely responsible for eliminating this problem, they did seem to assist.

My opinion now is if you have a thick beard, with omni directional growth, sensitive skin and/or a proneness to ingrown hairs, an OC can assist. However, proper preparation and then technique is really all that is required to enjoy using either.

Personal preference will be the ultimate decider and any fear of one being more aggressive than another should be based on individual models and not SB vs OC.

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 08-21-2013, 11:24 PM
#15
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(08-21-2013, 10:00 PM)ben74 Wrote: Aggressiveness is usually related to blade exposure and not SB vs OC.

Both styles range from mild to aggressive models and it is a misconception to regard all OC razors as aggressive and SB as mild.

The reason I chose to try OC was the suggestion that they were more effective in lifting the individual hair follicles rather than pushing them flat against the skin.

Prior to throwing away carts and canned goo I suffered terribly with ingrown hairs. While I don't believe OC razors were solely responsible for eliminating this problem, they did seem to assist.

My opinion now is if you have a thick beard, with omni directional growth, sensitive skin and/or a proneness to ingrown hairs, an OC can assist. However, proper preparation and then technique is really all that is required to enjoy using either.

Personal preference will be the ultimate decider and any fear of one being more aggressive than another should be based on individual models and not SB vs OC.

Bravo!!! Excellent Post!

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 08-22-2013, 01:41 AM
#16
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(08-20-2013, 12:56 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: The main difference I found is that Open Combs - even a mild one like my Merkur 25C - tends to be less forgiving when it comes to sloppy technique... YMMV off course Wink

Agreed, especially around areas like the jaw line....

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 08-22-2013, 07:14 AM
#17
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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I too have read the various reviews that OC Razors are more aggressive than closed combs. But, I have found that it not the case either.

I originally bought vintage safety razors (OC and CC) when I switched to DE shaving. Old Gillettes and any other old razor that I saw on The Bay or in an antique store.

Then, I was fortunate to be the highest bidder on The Bay for several newer model Gem Razors. The Gem Razors were owned by a guy who worked for the razor company. So after a little while purchasing on The Bay I have just about every Gem Razor that was made.

Then, I started buying the newer models of razors and so far have focused on the OC razors. (Weber, IKons, Muhles, etc.)

To me an OC is just like a CC. It is the razor itself that is either mild or aggressive. Sure the OC will shave differently than a CC but, a razor is a razor.

But, I like OC Razors and Vintage Razors the best followed by several of the newer razors.

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 08-22-2013, 07:15 AM
#18
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Guys thanks for all the insight. I now have a Gillette Long Comb New on the way.

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 08-22-2013, 07:24 AM
#19
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(08-22-2013, 07:15 AM)DavePaskowski Wrote: Guys thanks for all the insight. I now have a Gillette Long Comb New on the way.
Give it a good chance and I bet you'll love it! Try it with a range of blades to find what works best for you. My NEW LC is my favorite DE razor, especially with Astra SP or Perma-Sharp Super blades.

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 08-22-2013, 08:24 AM
#20
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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I use an open comb regularly in my rotation. Personally I enjoy the shaves that it gives. The technique is very similar to that of a closed comb, the angle tends to be closer. The comb brings the the whiskers up to the blade. I find that is slightly more aggressive but the aggression is more controlled and comfortable.

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