Beard styal. Razors - Open Comb Versus Closed Comb

Double edged safety razors generally tend to come with two distinct styles of razor head – closed comb and open comb. Different shaving styles.

To the novice wet shaver what do these different types of razor head mean and how do you use them to shave? In this article we hope to answer these questions.

Closed Comb Double Edged Safety Razors

A closed comb double edged safety is the most common form of razor produced today and it is one of the most popular used by millions of wet shavers around the world. A closed comb razor head provides extra protection for the user by the use of a straight, safety bar that runs the length of the razor blade.

This bar can be flat or have small grooves in it. Its purpose is to tighten the skin just before the blade cuts through the hairs. This ensures a smoother flatter, shaving surface for the razor and so reduces the risk of nicks or cuts to the skin by the blade.

A classic example of a closed comb safety razor is the Muhle R89. This a three piece razor, you can see from the image to the right that the razor head has a straight edge bar which runs the entire length of the razor blade.

Facial beard

Who should use a closed comb safety razor?

A closed comb safety razor is perfect for all wet shavers, both novices and experienced users alike. It is the razor best suited for regular daily use. You must always remember to prepare your face and beard properly before shaving. Use a pre shave soap or oil and a good quality shaving soap or cream to create a rich, protective shaving lather.

Open Comb Double Edged Safety Razors

In contrast to the closed comb safety razor, the open comb double edged safety razor has a different design of razor head. Instead of the straight bar the open comb has a row of teeth that run underneath the razor blade. These teeth help to guide and position the hairs of the beard closer to the razor blade, so they can be cut more effectively without clogging up the razor.

An open comb safety razor generally tends to be slightly more aggressive than a closed comb razor. Although more razor blade is exposed by the teeth in the open comb head, these teeth also allow much more shaving lather to enter the cutting area to lubricate and protect your skin. One benefit of the open comb razor is that because they shave closer you need fewer passes across your face to get e really close shave. Fewer passes equals less irritation to your skin. Another benefit is for guys who shave only once in a while, weekly or less. The open comb construction allows shaving debris, bristles and lather to pass through without clogging the blade.

A great example of an open comb safety razor is the German made Timor Pure (pictured to the right). This is a three piece razor, the image to the right shows the difference in razor head and the row of open teeth in place of the straight bar.

Modern beard styles 2016

Who should use an open comb safety razor?

Given the slightly more aggressive nature of the open comb safety razor they are best suited to the more experienced wet shaver. However, with time and practice you can master them to give a smooth, close shave. The key is to take your time with the razor, use short strokes and ensure that you have prepared your face properly before shaving. Use a pre shave soap or oil and a good quality shaving soap or cream to create a rich shaving lather.

The Slant head safety razor

The slant head razor is a razor that is produced by only a limited number of manufacturers, most notably Above The Tie in the US and Merkur of Solingen in Germany. The iKon slant head safety razor and the Merkur 37C razors both feature razor heads where the razor blade is curved on a slant. This is different to all other razors which present this blade edge in a straight parallel line. The theory behind this design is that the blade ‘scythes’ through the hair giving a cleaner, quicker cut.

If you need any further help on selecting the right safety razor for you and your face, please call us on 0141 880 3040, or email [email protected].

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