Philadelphia, PA
(This post was last modified: 03-17-2016, 09:13 AM by andrewjs18.)
What's your preference and why?

hrfdez likes this post
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
I've only used 1 open comb, my 1920's Old Type. Personally, I see very little difference in the way they shave, save that the Old Type is particularly aggressive. That, however, is a feature of the razor, not the comb-type. Some OC razors, such as the Grand Shave King or the PAA double-open comb, are extremely mild...

I've heard it said that the big "selling point" for open combs is the ease of cleaning and the difficulty of clogging the razor during the shave. That has never been an issue for me, as I shave daily, and I rinse every couple of strokes.

My preference is for safety bar, but not out of any need or performance desire. It simply comes down to what appeals to me both aesthetically and financially at the moment, and what comprises the bulk of my collection...

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-Chris~Head Shaver~

Austin, TX
I went through a phase recently where it was OC all the time. I like the face feel, particularly from those that are typically thought of as more aggressive. I also like the channeling of the lather of an OC vs. SB and feel it contributes to a generally more effective shave based on my skin and beard.

Lately I have been using more SB in the rotation though and the reality is, I get great shaves with both. In fact, with the Wolfman razors I don't get much, if any, discernible difference between the two.

I have never met an open comb that felt comfortable and did not leave some degree of irritation behind.

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
Andrew, I think it's important to decide what constitute an open comb and a closed comb.  Most of us are familiar with the Gillette Old Type and NEW from the 1920s-1930s and would accept that they are open comb.  With the advent of some of the wonderful artisan razors coming out now, I think the waters might be slightly muddied.  When I think of open vs. closed comb I think of my lather catchers.  Here are two examples:

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This Gem lather catcher is clearly an open comb

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This Ever-Ready 1907 lather catcher is what I consider a true closed comb.  The comb is easily recognizable but the combs are closed at the bottom.

I get fine shaves from both of these antique razors but definitely have a preference for the Ever-Ready.

Next is a modern take on the open/closed comb in the iKon Shavecraft 101.

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The open comb side of the iKon Shavecraft 101

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The closed comb side of the iKon Shavecraft 101

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Looking down on the head of the iKon Shavecraft 101 with the open comb side clearly on the bottom.

I very much enjoy using the Shavecraft 101 and use both sides of the razor during my shave.  Both sides are quite comfortable to use.

Personally, I think the design of the comb is more important than whether or not the comb is open or closed, especially with open comb designs.

This is just my 2¢ and others may be more knowledgeable on the subject but I hope this helps.

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
I'd like to add that I do not think that a closed comb is the same as a safety bar. Something like the Gillette Tech or its modern head equivalent is a safety bar, not a closed comb.
I agree with what's been said here by Freddy and Chris.

It's too nuanced to easily say there's two camps that razors fit into.

Not a black and white situation with an easy way to answer.

While I use safety bar razors and closed combs most often for the same reasons Chris mentioned in general, there are some open comb razors that I also enjoy using and could happily, more importantly comfortability, use daily.

As a pattern though, I prefer less aggressive razors. Most of which fall into the closed comb or safety bar side of the spectrum.

At a glance for instance, the Ikon Standard may appear similar to a Tech or possibly a Feather razor. Deceptively similar in appearance. After you have shaved with one though, it is clear that it's similar in appearance alone. As aggressive as many open combed razors.

Vice versa. Really can go both ways. Examples abound.
Shave yourself.
I prefer solid bar as I have never got on with open combs. I have a Muhle R41 which I find very aggressive compared to my ATT S2 which I find aggressive too. But when I look at the two together I would say the Muhle is more of a semi open comb. I have the Ikon Shavecraft 101 & find the open comb side is mild compared to the ATT & the Muhle.. So Freddy I think you could be right.

San Diego CA
(This post was last modified: 03-16-2016, 11:25 PM by Blackland Razors.)
It's simple for me. If I have a lot of stubble then an open comb does the trick. If I don't, the closed comb or safety bar is just fine.

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Chazz Reinhold HOF
OC for two or more days of grow. SB for everyday. SB feels smoother to me as an everyday razor. YMMV :-)

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