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Scallops

:c1: Scalloped bars come in a variety of depths and styles. Personally, I rate the classic Gillette's as non-existant and the classic Merkur 37 as "standard", with most others' offerings falling in between.

What do they do? Prevent the bar from acting like a squeegee and removing all lubrication from your face at a single pass. Ideally, blade, lather & water all coincide at the same spot at the same time. More solid bars tend to be on razors where cap-riding is recommended, more open, scalloped, bars on those with a shallower angle- but not always (e.g., Famex, Le Coq caged comb).
 
Scallops are part way between an open comb and a solid bar. As @Rob72 indicated, they allow a little lather to pass through for better lubrication. I have sensitive skin, so I like the scallops.

I also love scallops, as well as mussels, clams an oysters whether it is in a stew, roasted, baked or fried. I will even swallow oysters raw if I know they are fresh. Now that I live in the Midwest, raw oysters are off the menu.
 
Are they really deep enough to actually do that?

I sense an opportunity for a blind test here.
Depends on all of the involved variables: scallop depth & spacing, water quality (soft, hard), soap quality. The slicker the lather, the less difference it will make. The more defined the bar cuts, you can pass with less than ideal soap. As with any other "refined" design modification, the average user may or may not notice a real difference, and in mass marketing, you want mass appeal.



A drier shave will be harder on the blade, and if you want a comfortable shave, you'll want newer blades more often...hmmm....;) I don't know that this was a design drive for the SB razors, but it sure sounds like King Gillette.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
... I rate the classic Gillette's as non-existant and the classic Merkur 37 as "standard", with most others' offerings falling in between.

Yes, on the Gillette Techs, those aren't really scallops.

But it makes the safety bar "skid-proof"! (see reason 4) :001_rolle

techad.jpg
 
Scalloped bars and scalloped caps add different characteristics to a razor.
A scalloped bar glides noticeably different from a solid bar, but it is not yet an open comb indeed.
While a scalloped cap also has a nice effect on the skin - it's not much, but it glides easier.

It's also looking good. If anyone here considers a Timeless, get it with a scalloped cap and an open comb. Their open combs are very nice and safe with their inward bent and rounded teeth.
 
I'm not so sure I buy the idea that a scalloped cap has any functional purpose other than aesthetic. It seems to me that it is a modern design gimmick.
 
One of my ongoing fascinations is with the ATT G1 Gem-style razor. The razor was designed by a master designer to be just like a Gem 1912 in mildness and efficiency. I was hoping for a G2 eventually but that ship has sailed. Instead I picked up a few extra aggressive plates for it. One of them is now scalloped. I found that after scalloping the bar the razor was even more efficient at WTG passes and still mild ATG.

I load it up and keep it handy when I'm playing with shavettes -- it's a good bailout razor.

O.H.
 
More solid bars tend to be on razors where cap-riding is recommended, more open, scalloped, bars on those with a shallower angle- but not always (e.g., Famex, Le Coq caged comb).
Wait, I thought:
riding the cap = shallow angle
riding the bar = steep angle

I found an improvement using the Merkur 33C when I started using a steeper angle -- I now ride the scalloped bar.
 
Wait, I thought:
riding the cap = shallow angle
riding the bar = steep angle

I found an improvement using the Merkur 33C when I started using a steeper angle -- I now ride the scalloped bar.
Depends on where you start measuring your angles... But yes
Steep = bar riding, handle parallel to skin.
Shallow = cap riding, handle more at an angle away from skin
Neutral = something in between both extremes.
 
Despite the name, the main purpose of the safety bar is to stretch the skin in advance of the blade edge. The safety bar doesn't need to be completely solid to do that. I think the idea with scallops is to allow some lather to pass through and also reduce friction. They can look nice, too.
 
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