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Thread: Open-comb?

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    Default Open-comb?

    So,

    I've only used one DE razor (my Merkur HD), so to say that I am a little razor-ignorant would probably be an understatement. As a result I have a question for you razor-wizzards: What difference is there with an open-comb razor (other than looking kind of cool)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NMMB
    So,

    I've only used one DE razor (my Merkur HD), so to say that I am a little razor-ignorant would probably be an understatement. As a result I have a question for you razor-wizzards: What difference is there with an open-comb razor (other than looking kind of cool)?
    It supposedly shaves closer.... I didn't notice all that great of a difference though.
    - Joel
    joel (at) badgerandblade.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by joel
    It supposedly shaves closer.... I didn't notice all that great of a difference though.
    A closer shave, eh? Might be worth trying if I happen to see one around for a couple of bucks (yard sale, crappy antique store, etc). Thanks for the quick response, Joel.

    Anybody else have thoughts on open-comb razors? Do they work better for you?

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    I like the regular/closed comb models better. I certainly didn't notice a closer shave from the open comb.

    Even still, if you get the chance to use one or score one cheaply, go for it. It may be THE answer for you.
    -Kyle
    ...the police often question him, just because they find him interesting...his blood smells like cologne...

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    I started with an open comb Merkur, the only real reason for this was my barber shop had one that was reduced.

    I thought they were for heavier beards as they don't get clogged so quickly rather than offering a closer shave.
    Cheers
    John

    [SIZE="1"]Ah... You can't beat the cold steel and the badger. All this electrical rubbish, little wheels spinning around all over the place for callow youths and peach fluff, Not for a man's beard. Razor blades for men! I think we'll have this on number 9. If you're going to have a shave have a close one!
    Tony Hancock, The Bedsitter, 1961.[/SIZE]

    [URL=http://badgerandblade.com/vb/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=51.35720401156475&lng=0.09587287902832031&zoom=16]My location[/URL]

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    I started also with an open comb, because the Trumper shop in London where I bought it, didn't have the "closed" one!!! ???
    Anyway I have now the closed comb and must say it shaves closer than the open one

    _____________
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcxpe
    I started also with an open comb, because the Trumper shop in London where I bought it, didn't have the "closed" one!!! ???
    Anyway I have now the closed comb and must say it shaves closer than the open one

    _____________
    Peter
    Really?

    I can get as closer shave with the open and closed comb, it came down to technique. I learned to use the open comb first then moved onto the closed. I get pretty much the same shave now with both.

    Which Trumper store did you use Peter? I love wandering up and down Jermyn Street, it costs me too much money though.
    Cheers
    John

    [SIZE="1"]Ah... You can't beat the cold steel and the badger. All this electrical rubbish, little wheels spinning around all over the place for callow youths and peach fluff, Not for a man's beard. Razor blades for men! I think we'll have this on number 9. If you're going to have a shave have a close one!
    Tony Hancock, The Bedsitter, 1961.[/SIZE]

    [URL=http://badgerandblade.com/vb/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=51.35720401156475&lng=0.09587287902832031&zoom=16]My location[/URL]

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    I always wondered what the open combs were for... If anyone knows anything about the history, please post! One online seller says that it's for tougher beards, but it's not like the combs actually "comb" the hair, so I'm not sure how they could help.

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    So,

    An open-comb razor will either give a closer shave, or will give a shave that isn't as close and may or may not be for heavier beards? Is that about right? I think that this may be an instance where I'll just have to wait and find one for a couple of bucks and then give it a try myself (and hope that such a move doesn't lead to full-blown RAD - so far I have only one razor, but I've heard that once you move to 2, well, it goes pretty fast from there )

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    Quote Originally Posted by NMMB
    So,

    An open-comb razor will either give a closer shave, or will give a shave that isn't as close and may or may not be for heavier beards? Is that about right? I think that this may be an instance where I'll just have to wait and find one for a couple of bucks and then give it a try myself (and hope that such a move doesn't lead to full-blown RAD - so far I have only one razor, but I've heard that once you move to 2, well, it goes pretty fast from there )
    I was once verry happy with a short handled open comb razor that I started with. I now have all the Merkurs except the adjustable one that's not the Futur or Vision but I'm sure it'll come.
    Cheers
    John

    [SIZE="1"]Ah... You can't beat the cold steel and the badger. All this electrical rubbish, little wheels spinning around all over the place for callow youths and peach fluff, Not for a man's beard. Razor blades for men! I think we'll have this on number 9. If you're going to have a shave have a close one!
    Tony Hancock, The Bedsitter, 1961.[/SIZE]

    [URL=http://badgerandblade.com/vb/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=51.35720401156475&lng=0.09587287902832031&zoom=16]My location[/URL]

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    [...
    Last edited by With The Grain; 09-28-2006 at 07:46 PM.
    -James-

    Jerry: Why are you buttering your face?
    Kramer: I'm shaving with it.
    Jerry: Oh Moses smell the roses.
    Kramer: Jerry, it's vastly superior to any commercial shaving cream. Now feel my face.

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    James,

    Thanks for the info. I am the type of person who love to fiddle with things, but has come to accept that when I "fix" something that I don't know much about (like a razor, for instance), well, it isn't going to work nearly as well when I'm done. Though, that doesn't necessarily keep me from trying. That said, perhaps an open-comb razor isn't something that I need (though, if I happen to find one at a good price it may still become something that I own).

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    Quote Originally Posted by With The Grain
    it's definetly not true;
    the open comb merkurs are designed after the "old style" gillette open combs, both of these razors have zero blade gap, meaning the blade lies directly on the open comb, whatever is written about them do not fool yourself into thinking they are for thick beards or shave more aggressively. They actually shave poorly! to the point where if you actually want to get a good shave out of one you must create a/or multiple 'shims' for it. this shim idea was 'invented' by DEF over at SMF and can turn an old style gillette or a Merkur open comb into a decent shaver, ive made my shims simply by chopping of the blade edges of DE razor blades with tin snips and then fitting 3 of them below the actually shaving blade, ie your creating blade gap where none existed- a great idea by DEF.

    Now all that said if you want an open comb that will truly shave very well without having to mod it up you need to hunt down a Gillette "New" razor, these have blade gap and shave like a dream, easily rivals a 40's superspeed for a similar shave.
    Another option would be an open comb GEM micromatic or EVERREADY single edge razor, most people seem hesistant to try these but they are brainless and great shavers as well.

    I'm happy to take advise from more knowledgable people here but I don't understand why the blade sitting directly on the open comb would cause a "poor shave", why is this?
    Cheers
    John

    [SIZE="1"]Ah... You can't beat the cold steel and the badger. All this electrical rubbish, little wheels spinning around all over the place for callow youths and peach fluff, Not for a man's beard. Razor blades for men! I think we'll have this on number 9. If you're going to have a shave have a close one!
    Tony Hancock, The Bedsitter, 1961.[/SIZE]

    [URL=http://badgerandblade.com/vb/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=51.35720401156475&lng=0.09587287902832031&zoom=16]My location[/URL]

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    ....
    Last edited by With The Grain; 09-28-2006 at 07:46 PM.
    -James-

    Jerry: Why are you buttering your face?
    Kramer: I'm shaving with it.
    Jerry: Oh Moses smell the roses.
    Kramer: Jerry, it's vastly superior to any commercial shaving cream. Now feel my face.

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    I believe these razors were designed to do double duty as moustache-trimmers; I think that is what the comb was for.
    -Scotto


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    Thanks James, I'll do some digging.
    Cheers
    John

    [SIZE="1"]Ah... You can't beat the cold steel and the badger. All this electrical rubbish, little wheels spinning around all over the place for callow youths and peach fluff, Not for a man's beard. Razor blades for men! I think we'll have this on number 9. If you're going to have a shave have a close one!
    Tony Hancock, The Bedsitter, 1961.[/SIZE]

    [URL=http://badgerandblade.com/vb/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=51.35720401156475&lng=0.09587287902832031&zoom=16]My location[/URL]

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    I decided I'd stop just reading and join the forum.

    Hello Gentlemen, James is spot-on ..., Comb razors are not as often claimed for those with tough beards etc. They can, and often do shave just as well as bar guard razors...., some of the vintage (NEW style) Combs are some of the nicest razors ever made.

    The DE Comb razor pre-date their bar guard cousins by some 30 years or so....,Gillette abandoned the comb in favour of the bar-guard on economic grounds - good comb guards are more expensive to manufacture.

    Aesthetically combs can be very nice.

    The reason however why combs have a bad name is that Gillette perfected the Comb in the 1930's with its NEW range, but most combs including the Merkur 1904 are of the Gillette's Old Style type.

    Modern razor blades are considerably thinner and more flexible than those from the first couple of decades of the last century. Back in those early days DE blades resembled clock springs in thickness - Gillettes prototypes were actually made from clock springs.

    The old style combs worked fine with thick blades because the springyness in the blade meant that the cap could be loosened just a little (adjustable was the claim in the early ads) to create a gap with the comb teeth. As DE blades became thinner & sharper the system didn't work as well. Gillette modified the comb in the 1920's twice, they beefed up the comb teeth, made them longer and gave them a coat-hanger profile, this created the gap without having to loosen the cap.

    Within a few years of perfecting the comb, Gillette released both the cheaper to manufacture (metal stamped) bar guard 3-piece razors, and the One-Piece razor mechanism which is better with the bar guard. Three piece combs quickly appeared to be old fashioned & out of date.

    Gillette at this time also fiercely protected its NEW style patents - there was a DE blade war going on at the time which eventually ended with the main opposition merging with Gillette and the universal DE blade shape. All this meant that if any manufacturers were still making combs it would invariably be the old style. Gillette did continue to make some NEW style combs for a little while longer, but they were under the names of subsidary companies such as Rubie etc.

    Putting a shim under the blade of a Merkur 1904 improves the razor no-end but if you want to experience a comb in all its glory then you need to try a 1930's Gillette NEW. The NEW is always written in capitals to distinguish it from the older 'new improved' Gillette range.

    NEW combs are no worse than the bar-guards - the design works equally as well, but they look better IMV and top-end razors from the 1930's are the pinnicle in razor craftsmanship.

    Don't write off the comb until you've tried the last & best design - the NEW.

    Regards
    John

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    Welcome aboard, John. I thought you would have changed your user name to something more appropriate, like yasuo195.
    Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

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    Hi John and welcome.

    James pointed me to some of your posts on SMF, thanks fot the info. I'll try the shim thing in my Merkur. What's best to use though? I'd have thought a slice of margerine tub (as used by a SMF mamber) might be a bit unstable. I thought maybe using a dremel to grind the edges off old razor blades might do the trick.
    Cheers
    John

    [SIZE="1"]Ah... You can't beat the cold steel and the badger. All this electrical rubbish, little wheels spinning around all over the place for callow youths and peach fluff, Not for a man's beard. Razor blades for men! I think we'll have this on number 9. If you're going to have a shave have a close one!
    Tony Hancock, The Bedsitter, 1961.[/SIZE]

    [URL=http://badgerandblade.com/vb/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=51.35720401156475&lng=0.09587287902832031&zoom=16]My location[/URL]

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    195 - I am not a number, I am a free man.

    John, I used tin snips on some old Gillette Blue blades (slightly thicker) to make my shims. I use 2 or 3 cut blades stacked.

    The dremel is a good idea, the finish I got with the snips is very rough.

    Make sure you wear protective goggles because the blade edges are very brittle and liable to splinter.

    I'm just hoping that there is some enterprising forum member out there with a metal shop that is able & willing to make a batch of shims to sell.

    Regards
    John

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