Open Comb vs. Closed Comb Safety Razors

Posted by Emily Wheeler


 

Double edged safety razors are available in two main designs: open comb and closed comb. Whether you're a beginner or have been shaving for years but are new to safety razors, you may be wondering what is the difference? The terms open and closed comb refer to the design of the razor head. Safety razor heads are usually constructed with a top plate, the blade, and then the bottom plate. Whether it is open or closed comb determines how exposed the blade is. The more exposed a blade is, the closer and more aggressive the shave will be. The difference in the razor head design will have a significant effect on your shave. Knowing the difference between the two options and how exactly it affects your shave will help you choose the right razor for you. 

 

Closed Comb 

Closed comb razor heads have a safety bar underneath the razor blade. This straight bar provides extra protection against the blade and helps keep the skin stretched tight while shaving to reduce the risk of cuts or nicks. With a less aggressive design, the closed comb is an ideal option for those who shave every day. If you shave every day or every other day, your stubble should not be long, and you may find that a less aggressive razor is better on your skin for daily use. Closed comb may also be a great option for those with sensitive skin, or if you experience irritation, razor burn, or nicks easily. Because they are less aggressive and provide added protection, they are also great for wet shaving beginners or someone who is new to using safety razors. 

Muhle Closed Comb Safety Razor Head

 

Open Comb 

Open comb razor heads do not have a bar that runs under the blade. Instead, they are made with a row of teeth on the bottom guard. This allows for more direct contact between the blade and your skin. Because there is no bar to help keep your skin tight, you will need to have this technique down. With practice, keeping your skin tight with each pass will be an easy habit to learn. Open comb safety razor heads are designed so that the blade is more exposed to create an incredibly close shave. The teeth run underneath the blade and help position your hair closer to the blade for a very direct shave. The design of the razor head also doesn't get clogged as easily because hair bristles and lather pass through the gaps in the teeth. Because they do not have a safety bar and are designed to get the hair as close to the blade as possible, open comb safety razors are usually more aggressive. Learning to use a more aggressive razor will take time and practice. It is important to take your time and go slow, as you are more likely to experience cuts or nicks with an aggressive design. Open comb razors may also require fewer passes because you are able to get most, if not all, of the hair on the first pass. This will depend on how sharp the blade is, your hair type, and how often you shave. If you are an experienced wet shaver and are looking for the ultimate close shave, the open comb may work best for you. If you have thick, curly or stubborn facial hair, the more aggressive comb design may also work better. 

Muhle Open Comb Safety Razor Head

 

 

Choosing between an open or closed comb safety razor is largely based on preference. You should take into consideration your level of experience, how comfortable you are using safety razors, and your skin and hair type. While anyone can use either an open or closed comb and still get a great shave, you may find that one type works better for you. If you are a beginner or are still learning to use a safety razor, a closed comb will offer more protection and may be easier to learn with. For an experienced wet shaver who is comfortable with the technique and is looking for an incredibly close and smooth shave, you may prefer an open comb option best. 

 

Whether you're looking for an open or closed comb razor, check out our selection of safety razors to find the one that's best for you.