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Open Comb Safety Razors

I have 18 razors in rotation, which is plenty. Yet I aim for 16 now. I just eliminated the two open combs I own, a Merkur 15 C and a Parker 69 CR.
And that because I don't see any advantages with these chaps.
The Parker is gentle but brings nothing new. The Merkur 15 C is a better shaver, yet even if I have never got nicks or cuts from it, the teeth irritate my skin for a couple of hours. And I do always apply a good cushion of lather and sooth my skin with cream after I'm done.
So I put them aside. And when I have a one-week bear growth ( which I rarely have) I use the Merkur 39 C, which I love, with bbs and no irritation at all.
I tend to think that open comb is a bit of a myth, because when you have the right blade the right gap and a good head drainage you don't need it.
What do you guys think about this?
 
The main goal when shaving is to get the closest and most comfortable shave possible regardless how you do it and if open comb razors don't work for you, then you're on the right path of finding your own best way of shaving.

I have mixed feelings towards the open comb razors, since some work really well, but others don't because the way the teeth were made and they feel a bit scratchy and toothy to me, but not everyone agrees with my statement and that's ok.
 
I think the 15C head (based on the old type) is hugely underrated and one of the best razors you can get. The mildness makes it very easy to use in general. I love the range it covers. It will literally do anything with very little clogging. Week-old beard. Head shaving. Body shaving.

But if you only ever have short stubble to shave I guess you can manage fine without an open comb.
 
I have open comb razors that give me wonderfully smooth, efficient shaves. My best open comb razors are vintage Gillette razors. I also have safety bar razors that do the same. I suggest not putting all open comb in the category of they don't work for you until you try many more. That's part of the fun of this hobby, looking for that unicorn! Enjoy the journey!!!
 
My #160 Goodwill is currently on the countertop & I'm evaluating carbon steel blades with it. The older carbon steel blades were thicker than modern stainless and blades like the Treet Black Beauty give impressively sooth and close shaves. Unlike a lot of modern razors, the older Gillette open combs can be a little fussy to shave with. It is imperative that the top cap edge, blade and bottom plate/teeth all contact the skin simultaneously, otherwise you will get a less than great shave.

Goodwill new replated.jpg
 
You should use what you enjoy, and what works for your face. I happen to enjoy my SLOC so it's my main driver, but a Rockwell 6C provides almost the same enjoyment and result without the OC so I use it quite a bit as well. Horses for courses.

I pulled this little jewel out this morning and it did a fine job.
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Unlike a lot of modern razors, the older Gillette open combs can be a little fussy to shave with.
My Gillette NEW #44 RFB is my favorite OC razor (and it's not in the least fussy).

Here it is with its custom lightweight GT Handle (and some friends):
1939-RFB-Pu_2022-05-13.jpg

It is imperative that the top cap edge, blade and bottom plate/teeth all contact the skin simultaneously, otherwise you will get a less than great shave.
Being a dyed-in-the-wool steep angler, the guard then blade are always touching my skin... the cap hardly ever. It's been a long time since I had a less-than-great shave. :001_tt2:

Obviously your mileage varies, and you won't be joining the SASA any time soon. :wink2:
 
I don't think you can generalize. Open comb razors such as the Fatip/Schone OC, SLOC, and Gillette NEW SC I find give a very smooth and comfortable shave. I really like some safety bar style razors, too. My favorite razors are compact and fairly light in weight, with the blade well supported and without a large gap.
 
I tend to think that open comb is a bit of a myth, because when you have the right blade the right gap and a good head drainage you don't need it.
What do you guys think about this?
In general I agree with you. None of my decent SB razors clog with just lather, although I find the cheaper Muhle R89, Parker, etc. all clog horribly. Open comb razors do have a clear advantage when cutting long hair, though.
 
It is possible, poor technique.
But I think it depends also from the anatomy of the bar. The teeth of the 15 C are much more thiner than those of the 69 CR.

The Gillette Old Type and the Short Comb do have the reputation of having that rough feeling of the teeth, but not absolutely everyone agrees. I have my theory of why is that, but knowing the opinion of some B&B members, I would keep it for myself and safe a lot of time in pointless debates, So YMMV and the usual fancy pants references.
 
Welcome to B&B.
I tend to think that open comb is a bit of a myth, because when you have the right blade the right gap and a good head drainage you don't need it.
I use the Fatip open comb which is based on the Gillette Old Type and that has minimum blade gap, positive blade exposure and gives me no irritation during or after the shave yet has no head drainage to speak of. The positive blade exposure means you have to be a little more careful than when using the Merkur 34C say.
There is some benefit with the open comb when shaving very long stubble, I read anecdotally, but that is not something I have tested as I shave daily. I think the theory is the open comb allows less flattening of the stubble as the razor passes.
The irritation from the open comb is because you are shaving at a very steep blade angle and applying pressure, as suggested in post #10. Try a shallower blade angle with less pressure and the razor will work just as well with no irritation. For your information, blade angle is defined here; Blade Angle | Badger & Blade
Interesting you mention the Merkur 39C as working well for your longer stubble because that goes from average to large blade gap along the safety bar. I expect you also use that razor at a steep blade angle. I don't think I would be comfortable with the longer handle but some like it. I use the 37C sometimes (around September usually) and that gives a good daily shave too. Perhaps you should try the 39C as a daily shaver.
With all those razors in your collection you are probably spoiled for choice, I know I would be.
 
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