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considering an open comb for the first time

I'm here to ask for recommendations for an open comb razor. Here's the story why I am doing that.

A couple of days ago, I decided to use my Gillette Guard (GG) that had been sitting around for a while. I found that I actually got a closer shave than I normally do with my AS-D2 + Gillette Platinum Plus (GPP) without even really trying and shaving in quite a hurry. There was a bit of razor burn compared to the AS-D2 + GPP, but I attributed that to the quality of the blade. On doing a bit of research, I found that the GG is actually similar to an open comb. So that got me thinking if I should consider an open comb razor.

I am usually careful when I shave with the AS-D2 and it is very rare that I get a nick. Actually I know the razor and my face so well that even if I'm sloppy, it might result in less close of shave, but not a nick. Are there mild enough open combs where I wouldn't have to worry about nicks? What reading I have done seems to suggest that solid bar razors are more forgiving. Is that universally true or is there a mild enough open comb? Am I right in thinking that an open comb will deliver a closer shave?

Some of the ones I'm considering are Merkur, Muhle, and Fatip. What would be the best choice for a first time user?

Thanks.
 
You will be getting lots of recommendations soon regarding open combs razors...
I started with my 1st Open Comb the Parker 26C and have never look back...now with 10.
My (YMMV) considered mild OC razors are:
  1. Parker 26C
  2. Yaqi DOC (similar to RR SLOC)
  3. Razorock SLOC
  4. Pearl OC
A bit more than mild would be:
  1. Fatip Grande
  2. Gillette New SC & LC
  3. Gillette RFB
As you will read in many of the threads here in B&B, you won't know the best choice until you actually shave with it. For myself, I just choose based on reviews and experiences posted by members and/or watching utubes...

My next target/wishlist is the Fatip OC Slant....finger on the trigger...
Hopes this helps and best of luck...have a good weekend!
 
On doing a bit of research, I found that the GG is actually similar to an open comb. So that got me thinking if I should consider an open comb razor.

Are there mild enough open combs where I wouldn't have to worry about nicks? What reading I have done seems to suggest that solid bar razors are more forgiving. Is that universally true or is there a mild enough open comb? Am I right in thinking that an open comb will deliver a closer shave?
The Gillette Guard was design with view to reduce clogging in a cartridge system but not sure if it is a trus open comb.
The Merkur 15C is considered to be a mild open comb so very worth considering.
As with all razors, close shaves are related to technique and blade choice. Perhaps the change in razor made a difference but don't rely on results from just one shave. The Guard is a cartridge type and you got one good result.
The Fatip open combs are much more aggressive but the solid bar Gentile is worth looking at. Certainly has a bit more aggression than your AS-D2; it is also all brass construction.
You may also wish to consider an Edwin Jagger DE89 for a variation in your shaving tools.
 

ajkel64

The Aussie Bulldog
Moderator
I think that I would look for a vintage Gillette New and give that a go. Many love the Fatip razors but the earlier models had Blade alignment issues. I believe that the later models have better alignment than the earlier models. I have some of the earlier models and I stopped using them due to the alignment issues. It doesn’t bother some people but it bothered me.
 
I know it's a bit unrelated to what you asked, but everyone's suggestions match mine for an OC.

Can I ask why you aren't looking at a slant? I love my merkur 37c. I wouldn't call it aggressive so much as efficient and mines an older model before the mold change that if I remember makes the new ones a bit more mild. But the slicing action of a slant makes it very efficient and close shaving.
Razorock also has a 37 german slant for $20 that I just ordered but am told it's a clone of the 37c but it's a 3 price instead of a 2 like the 37c.

Just curious.
But all suggestions above are good ideas!!!
 

BigJ

Ambassador
Some good OC suggestions above! You may also expand your options to consider other SB possibilities (not to hijack your thread.)

Since you are using the AS/D2 which is very mild, you might also consider other razors such as the 34C which is a bit more aggressive and a very fine shaver for me if paired with a sharp blade. Just a thought!
 
Lot's of good recommendations - my own 2 cents is that an Open Comb in and of itself doesn't spell aggression, like SBs there are mild ones (Gillette NEW or Merkur 1912 if vintage doesn't appeal & pot metal doesn't bother you) & wild ones (Barbasol vintage or Fatip Lo Storto OC Slant). I prefer an OC because I find (at least in my head) it provides a better shave without clogging and if given a choice will pick an OC. If you like the stainless steel there's Above the Tie can supply a M for Mild headed razor with several machined SS handle choices & an OC head
 
...an Open Comb in and of itself doesn't spell aggression...
This is the truth about open combs. You can get OCs that range from baby soft to face chewing, and they’re not that way because of the comb. Positive blade exposure (blade edge sticking out past the bar and cap) spells aggression. Some famously aggressive razors are only available with open combs, though, so that reinforces an unfair stereotype.
 
I have a Merkur open-comb, the travel shave 985C with short, two piece handle (they all have the same head). It's a beautiful little razor. Very mild. I'd have to try hard to nick myself with it. With a sharp blade like a nacet I get a lovely, buttery-smooth shave.

Despite being mild in terms of blade exposure, the open comb means it can easily tackle longer hair as well as short stubble. With the right blade, it will slice through a full beard like it wasn't there.

The Fatips are quite a bit more aggressive. One day I'd love to get a piccolo but my Merkur is just so damned good I haven't got around to it yet.
 
OC got notging to do with aggressivity. It is still the blade exposure that makes a razor aggressive and some open combs (Merkur) got even negative blade exposure while other (Fatip, Mühle) got positive. I have been an OC fan, but I have realized they got no other real benefit than less clogging and some kind of relathering when buffing.
 
My thinking is that aggressiveness is not the same as effectiveness. For example, I do not consider the Gillette Guard aggressive at all, yet I find it more effective than my AS-D2. For example, with my AS-D2, if I’m not very careful during my first path around the throat, I usually nick myself. I never had that problem with the Gillette Guard even though the first pass felt much closer than what I am able to get with the AS-D2. I tried the Gillette Guard last night again and once more was surprised by its effectiveness.
 
I’m not going to try and sell you on one particular razor because if I’ve discovered anything along the way, it’s that every razor reacts differently on each face. But! But I will say this, I haven’t bought a closed comb since my first open purchase. I find opens way more comfortable on my face.

Good luck!
 
You will be getting lots of recommendations soon regarding open combs razors...
I started with my 1st Open Comb the Parker 26C and have never look back...now with 10.
My (YMMV) considered mild OC razors are:
  1. Parker 26C
  2. Yaqi DOC (similar to RR SLOC)
  3. Razorock SLOC
  4. Pearl OC
A bit more than mild would be:
  1. Fatip Grande
  2. Gillette New SC & LC
  3. Gillette RFB
As you will read in many of the threads here in B&B, you won't know the best choice until you actually shave with it. For myself, I just choose based on reviews and experiences posted by members and/or watching utubes...

My next target/wishlist is the Fatip OC Slant....finger on the trigger...
Hopes this helps and best of luck...have a good weekend!
It looks like you have a lot of experience with OC razors ! I like the Parker 24C a lot (same thing as 26C), but I want something different or maybe more durable. Do you have any experience with the Game Changer OC .84 (or maybe .68 but I've read it is mild). I want something stainless steel preferably to last a long time.

The SLOC and the Fatip OC Slant are also on my radar...
 
It looks like you have a lot of experience with OC razors! I like the Parker 24C a lot (same thing as 26C), but I want something different or maybe more durable. Do you have any experience with the Game Changer OC .84 (or maybe .68 but I've read it is mild). I want something stainless steel preferably to last a long time.

The SLOC and the Fatip OC Slant are also on my radar...
Hi, thanks for your kind words. I wouldn't say I have lots of experiences with OC razors... :D There are more experienced members here using OC razors...:)

Yes, ever since I used that Parker 26C, I was smitten with OCs and was looking for one with a more smoother & efficient shave. Hence the collection that I have.

No, I don't have the Game Changer OC .84 (I have the GC.84 SB only). I would love to get my hands on one but it's kinda pricey for me. I've been on the look-out in the BST for either a JAWS or an OC baseplate...I would go for the OC.84 and perhaps JAWS for.68

Please advised that the SLOC is a quite mild razor (YMMV) unless using an aggressive blade.
My experience is using certain blades (YMMV) can sure give an excellent close shave with an OC razor.

Yup, fingers on trigger for the FOCS....just need some kind of pressure...😆😆😆
 
Vintage: Gillette New Long Comb
Current: iKon B1 Deluxe

I wouldn’t call these mild open comb razors, but there are far more aggressive ones that don’t shave as well IME. Once you get your ideal blade, technique sorted, and your lather just right, you will feel like you’re gently wiping your whiskers off instead of cutting them, that’s been my experience anyways! Open combs FTW!
 
I would say: Gillette New L C
if you want a new razor: Razorock OC .84
Karve OC C
Fatip Open Comb Slant

I have used a ton of these razors and with any of the above I would be happy.

Or you can keep using that Gillette disposable, there is nothing wrong with them.
 
If you want a mild open comb, try a RazoRock Old Type. Definitely mild enough for every day use. Another option but with a bit more aggression is a Schone Open Comb. But it definitely can give a very smooth shave.
 
I’ve never used a Razorock old type, but I’ve been eyeing the head due to its low price and good reviews. Seems like a good introduction to open combs

I love my OC razors. I usually use a NEW long comb, but I also have an old Wade and Butcher DE which is essentially an old type clone from the 20s. Excellent shavers. Give them a shot.
 
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