First Safety Razor. Open Comb, Butterfly, Adjustable?

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by 15DollarMan, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. First post here, Great Forum.

    I believe I'm ready to re-try (do) shaving with a Safety Razor. There was a short (and painful :117: ) college time experimentation with it, but I did not have the patience then :blushing: .

    Now, living a much busier life, any excuse is good for slowing down.

    So, from my recollections of what dad used and what I have seen after researching here and other fora, what I'm looking for looks more or less like a Feather DE Razor Popular , BUT, I see that for the ever popular Merkur models there is a choice of Open Comb, vs. Closed Comb and I don't understand if it makes any difference. If it does which Comb does the Feather model have?
    Also, I seem to remember dad's razor being adjustable and having the 'Butterfly' type loading doors. Does the Merkur Classic model have these features? Should I just go for the Feather?

    Are there any other models with similar prices that you would recommend that do contain all the desirable features?

    :em2300: Thanks for your responses.
  2. I believe a closed-comb non-adjustible is recommended for beginners. Although I suppose you could start with an adjustable on a mild setting and work your way up. I believe the open combs are more aggressive shavers, so that might not be best to start with.

    If I recall correctly the only Merkur model to use a butterfly-door-type mechanism is the Vision ($$$), the rest are a sandwich-type (pull/unscrew the top, place in blade, clamp it back down). The Feather Popular uses a twist-to-open (TTO) butterfly-door mechanism, as does the Weishi, the Parker, and many vintage Gillette razors. Along these lines the Weishi or a Gillette Superspeed come as recommended for a beginner DE razor. If you don't mind a non-TTO though, the Merkur HD is usually regarded as the better baseline beginner razor.
  3. Thanks Arcman.

    Is there a place where I can see the other beginner friendly SRs (Weishi, Gillette Superspeed).

    Classic and Lee, the 2 websites I see frequently suggested, seem to not carry the others you mentioned.
  4. I would recommend the vintage Gillette Super Speed (between 1947 and 1952). These can be purchased on Ebay fairly inexpensively.

    Generally, speaking the Merkurs are more aggressive than the Super Speeds.
    Good luck, Amigo.
  5. Pretty much any Gillette DE razor is going to be acquired through eBay or other auction site as Gillette hasn't made them since the 80's. I found my Gillette Superspeed in my grandfather's medicine cabinet, so that might be worth checking. :biggrin:

    Weishis can be found a few different places, most commonly here I think.

    I believe I've also seen it on Amazon, they call it a "feather" razor, but it seems pretty obvious that it's a Weishi.
  6. The other option is posting a Want to Buy (WTB) request in this forum. Superspeeds are often offered for sale by members, and the price and quality is less variable than you'll find on eBay.

    If I had an extra I'd offer it, sorry.

    Good luck.

  7. Thanks for all the replys guys.

    I probably would find my dad's razor if I looked for it, but don't want to be disappointed if it turns out it's gone.

    I checked e-bay and there are some very low priced almost NOS razors there, still I do not yet feel comfortable with the notion of using someones old razor.

    I think I will order a Merkur Classic, still prefer the 'looks' of the Butterfly TTO Feather... May order one each.
  8. Suzuki

    Suzuki Moderator Emeritus

    If you go with the Classic (great razor by the way), consider spending a couple of extra bucks and getting the long handle variant - nice if you have bigger hands and a little extra control over the regular handle.
  9. Learning wetshaving is kinda like the Hippocratic ideal: first do no harm.

    With that as a guiding theme, Merkur razors are not the starting point for wetshaving. They are more of a goal to be reached when you master the technique.

    I know this is a Merkur fan club, but for someone starting out, the Gillette Tech is hard to beat. (Some here have praised the Tech and I thought, that's too boring. Yet it often delivers my best shaves.) It is mild and really is the model for 3-piece razors like the Merkur Classic and its variants.

    Going far into the Merkur jungle, I have a Merkur Futur. Frankly, it is a beautiful monster. After some time wetshaving, my technique is still not good enough to use the Futur on a regular basis.

    By the way, I find the Tech to be more forgiving than either a regular 60's Super Speed or even a Super Speed blue tip.

    P.S. As for the germ issue, there are options for you. Actual unused NOS razors on eBay. Or you could use Barbicide, a barber's classic for disinfecting. I have used both Clippercide -- a powerful spray made by the same company and Citrus II which more powerful than Clippercide, killing HIV in 1 minute and totally disinfecting in 10 minutes.
  10. If twere me, and I was wanting to start using a blade razor, I would look at E-bay for either a Schick DE or a Gillette Knack. Either one gives a gentle shave but both are TTO. Both are inexpensive and give you a longer grip to practice your technique with.
  11. Welcome to B&B. Giillette made several open comb, butterfly models in the mid 30s.
  12. Hi, I'm a newbie to this site but not to these wonderful razors. My dad back in Colombia had a Gillette super speed, I in the other hand, had been shaving with a merkur adjustable which have been great. Unfortunatly the one spring bar broke and thats how I ended in this forum.
    After reading your quote I google a super speed and just bought a 1954, now I'm just wondering if there is a major change or difference between the 1952 and the "newer" 1954?
  13. You have a number of different options as far as razors go. I'll post up what I think are good starters.

    Merkur: I'd suggest the HD. It has some heft to it, and is a good starter razor. Either that, or the long-handled classic. A Merkur is fine for someone just starting out. The HD runs a little over $30, I think.

    Gillette: Flare Tip Super Speed, sometimes called a 60's super speed. (edit: a 50's or 60's SS, see Guido's page on SS IDs) Easily maneuvered, not too aggressive, and decent models can be had on the BST for a song. You should not spend more than $15 for a good one.

    Schick: The Krona. My personal favorite next to the Red Tip Super Speed. This razor yields a consistently great shave that rivals the shave of any Gillette. They can be had for under $15.

    As far as disinfecting goes, clean with scrubbing bubbles, let sit in alcohol, then air dry.

    Super Speed on left, Krona on right:
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  14. I'll second the Super Speed in the TTO field. I'd like to try a Krona.

    My favorite Super Speed is the 40's model.

    Don't turn up your nose at a three piece Tech razors. Great shaver, for a new user or an old hand at wet shaving.

    I'd save the Open Comb and adjustables for your upcoming RAD phase.
  15. Actually, the 40's style Super Speeds were made from 1947 to 1st quarter 1954 with a brief reintroduction in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 1954 as the 1954 Gillette Cavalcade of Sports TV Special. See the Super Speed link in my signature for more info.

    Also, I would suggest purchasing from B&B's Shaving Mall.
  16. Check out the link in my signature. The 1954 flare tip would be clasified as a 50's style, while the 1952 is a 40's style. The linked thread will illustrate the differences.
  17. I have very little to add, but would just say that using a more aggressive razor is not a sure sign of experience, or great technique and shouldn't form a basis for kudos. You don't "graduate" from a Tech or a Superspeed- these razors have their own character but are not beginner's razors. In many ways its the sign of mature technique to get a great shave from them. If you think of it in guitar-terms, when you start off you're looking for the biggest amp, the most effects etc; but often the coolest, most experienced players do what they do with a battered Telecaster and 50W combo.

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