My first open comb shave

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by cameraflier, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Friday I came home from work to a pleasant surprise. I found a package waiting for me. I was the lucky recipient of a recent PIF, landing me a Gillette Old Type. This would be my first experience with an open comb. (origional PIF posting here: )

    My background: I started wet shaving at New Year’s, 2011. I’ve got about 8 months in the game. I’m also a bicycle commuter. I shave in the morning, prior to my ride. My goal has become a DFS, with minimal sweat-sting during the ride to work. I only go for a BBS on those special days. Otherwise, I target the compromise shave, close without burn. Current kit is a newish EJ, loaded with a Persona, and Tabac.

    First Impressions: I’ve been using an EJ for about 8 months. In comparison, the Old Type is surprisingly small and light. It’s still sturdy though. The head seems thin and slim. Nice knurling on the handle. The comb looks a bit less polished than I would expect. I'm not talking esthetics here, rather how it was machined. The corners have very square edges. I wonder how smooth this combed edge will feel.

    The shave: Saturday morning I loaded with my standard blade. As I tightened it down I noticed the exposure wasn’t even on both sides. I loosened and reseated things, and all was fine. At first contact, this razor feels delicate. I attribute this to the smallish size and weight. It seemed to provide more feedback. It wasn’t as smooth, but with the comb I didn’t expect it to be all that smooth. The additional feedback really helped me dial in the blade angle. I like that. The sweet spot was subtle, and more tactile. I did my normal 3-pass shave. My neck grows from east to west, and I’m too skinny to have an easy approach down there. Beneath my sharp jawline, there are few flat spots. My ATG neck pass is more of a diagonal slide. The comb made that interesting. I could feel the edges, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. I started to feel a little more burn on this pass. It was nothing tragic, just an over-shaved feeling. No cuts or weepers.

    Result: The wife noticed right away. She said my shave was noticeably closer than usual. I was impressed too. I mark this as a new personal best shave. Clarification: My new closest shave. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but best yet in the other categories. Once I tame this beast, it could easily become my Game Day shaver.

    I had a little burn for the next few hours. Nothing tragic. I could tell I’d taken some skin off in that shave. For now, I look forward to bad weather days, when I know I’ll be car commuting. I’ll use those days to polish up my skills with this jewel. For now, I lack the finesse to make this a daily shaver. I look forward to building some skill, and transitioning onto this razor full time. I like it enough that I wonder about having it re-plated someday. I should do some research on that.

    Another big "Thank You" to the B&B community. This PIF will keep me busy for a while. Gracias gents.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  2. Glad to hear it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience :scared: My first time with an open comb was exactly the same. Just like any other razor once you get the angle, etc... down it works great. I also get my closest shaves with an OC.
  3. Good job!
  4. As already briefly mentioned, the blade angle will be a bit more shallow with the 'Old Type' than your EJ.

    eta: The Old Type with Bobs Bull Mastiff handle is one of my favorite DEs.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  5. Congrats.
  6. I'm glad you had a good experience with your Old Type! It is my go-to razor when I'm forced to limit myself to just one or if I just want a close, no-fuss shave.
  7. My open-comb should be here any day - looking forward to giving it a try.
  8. I had my first open comb shave last night. With a NEW I got in a lot of 3 dirty razors and gave them a nice clean and polish. It was a 3-pass DFS. I normally make at least 4 passes, but last night I didn't need to.
  9. My first open comb was an old type bulldog. I really liked it for shaving my head if I had missed a day. This weekend I found a Goodwill, and like it better than the old type. Like you, when I loaded the old type I would take a couple cracks at getting it lined up. The way the blade sits in the Goodwill, the blade is perfectly lined up the first time. The diamonds on the head fit perfectly in the diamond cutout on the blade. My wife noticed it was a good shave as well, 2 pass bbs face and dome.

    On the blade side; I found the smoothest blade for me with the old type is an Astra Superior Stainless, Treet durasharp carbon second. Of course YMMV, and the platinum may work for you. Stainless and carbon blades are smoother for me than the plats in all my razors.
  10. I have several Open Combs, I enjoy the shaves they give. In fact this week I am going to use a rotation of my Open Combs.

    Once you have the angle, the pressure down pat they deliever a superior shave.

    Glad you discovered the open comb enjoy.
  11. nice nothing like a open comb shave :)
  12. The experiece has me looking back at old Open Comb threads. Now the comments are clearer to me. Many folks sited Old Types as providing a lot of feedback. I wonder - is the often professed higher quality of an OC shave due to the head design, or the additional feedback it gives, thus helping the user do a better job himself? Not only is the lighter head give more tactile response, the little furrows of lather left behind when I got too steep were obvious. I might not have noticed so quickly with my solid bar EJ. The question is poorly posed, but it's in my head.


    old thread here:
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  13. Congrats on the razor PIF, fantastic among PIF's lol. I look forward to getting an old type open comb myself one day, I hear there really good with nabbing the perfect BSS!
  14. Glad you liked it. I own only one OC at present but I'm seriously thinking about another one.

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