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Best Open Comb Razor

The classic open comb razor is still popular today, so check out our top picks for you.

Watching your dad shave in front of the mirror before going to work might be one of the fondest memories you had. And at some point, you tried to imitate him but weren’t allowed to handle the razor blade.

The whole activity might still be clear in your memory, but what the razor looked like could be foggy. Back in the day, men would use classic open comb razors made of stainless steel as opposed to ones with plastic or silicone bodies used today.

Open comb razors are still in fact very popular today, and you might find these commonly used in barbershops. Arguably, these types of razors are easier to use and maintain. So we have listed our top picks of open comb razors, so you can effortlessly get that smooth and velvety shave.

Merkur Razor MK-25C Razor

Best Overall

When you ask someone to suggest you a good open comb razor, there are high chances that they will name Merkur, hands down. The Merkur razor has been around for about 120 years, and is still heavily used today. So there is no question as to why it is the top of our list as well.

Material Stainless steel
Razor type Straight cut
Edge Double
Handle grip Knurled
Handle length 3.87 inches

If you are looking for an effortless shave with no hairs clogged in the razor, then the Merkur 25C is the one to go for. A great thing about this razor it has the ability to smoothly cut those hairs even if your beard or mustache hair is long. Meaning, you won’t even have to go through the initial step of trimming.

With its long handle and mild aggressiveness level, it is a great razor for beginners who are exploring open comb razor options. It is also a bonus for people with larger hands, as the grip is very comfortable.

Made of brass and finished with a chrome plating, the whole razor presents itself to be heavy duty and resistant to rust and damage. This three-piece razor not only has an elegant design, but can serve well as your first open comb razor. Once you get the flow of the shaving process, we guarantee that this will be your go-to razor.

Product Pros

  • Not too aggressive
  • Great feedback through handle
  • Gives a precise and smooth shave
  • Provides close shave with no irritation
  • Comes with a travel-friendly case

Product Cons

  • Usage instructions may be confusing
  • Might require three or more passes for clean shave

Parker 26C Safety Razor

Best Value (for money)

Although the Parker 26C has been released not too long ago, it has taken up the shaving community by storm ever since 2013. Considering all its amazing qualities, you won’t believe the value you would be getting for your money with this razor.

Material Brass
Razor type Straight cut
Edge Double
Handle grip Knurled
Handle length 4 inches

This razor comes with premium platinum razor blades, which pair up perfectly with the overall design. Once you find the correct angle with your face, the razor glide will be seamless like butter.

The Parker 26C is also a customer favorite because it is not too aggressive, so it is a friendly choice for both beginners and experienced shavers, and even among barbers. If you have sensitive skin, then you can purchase this razor with your eyes closed. Providing a close and comfortable shave, the quality of design and paired razor blade works against skin irritation in ingrown hairs.

To talk more about the design, we can’t stress enough about how elegant and sturdy the structure is. The handle is made of brass with a textured coating of black anodizing, to ensure a firm grip with no slippage even if your hands are soapy and wet.

But are you still wondering what the best thing about the Parker 26C razor is? You get to have a barbershop shaving experience by yourself at home, all under $30.

Product Pros

  • Provides a really close shave
  • Solid structure with strong grip
  • Easy to use
  • Heavy enough to allow it to glide lightly along the face
  • Reduces the chance or razor burn

Product Cons

  • Some imperfections on the chroming of the head
  • Gap between the blade and the base plate is incredibly small

VIKINGS BLADE The Chieftain 'ODIN' Safety Razor

Best Quality

If you are looking for an open comb razor with a high end appearance that will give a moderate amount of aggressiveness, then the Vikings “The Chieftain” Odin safety razor checks off all the boxes. The sleek design of rose gold and obsidian black combination is not the only attribute of high quality of this product.

Material Alloy steel
Razor type Straight cut
Edge Double
Handle grip Knurled
Handle length 3.75 inches

Considering all levels of experience in shaving, the Odin open comb razor was manufactured to provide a medium aggression for an all-rounder performance. The usage instructions are also straightforward and easy to follow, making your shaving routine hassle free.

Vikings Blade might be a small business, but their quality of open comb razors is nowhere near little. The design itself will have you almost convinced that it was forged by Norse gods themselves!

What adds most to its sturdy build is the fact that it is 20% heavier and more balanced compared to other open comb razors you’ll get in the market. Weight distribution throughout the razor has been carefully engineered to provide the perfect balance when shaving.

Blade replacement is quick and precise and takes only about five seconds to complete. So when it comes to quality, the Odin razor no doubt is the whole package.

Product Pros

  • Able to handle thick underbrush with ease
  • Fit and finish is impeccable
  • Short handle makes it easy to maneuver
  • The blade is easy to change
  • Robust and durable design

Product Cons

  • Butterfly opening makes the razor head larger, therefore making it difficult to get a good cut
  • Handle is comparatively short, thus difficult to hold

MÜHLE TRADITIONAL R41 Safety Razor

Best Popular

When looking through community forums and online videos on open comb razors, you most likely have come across the Muhle R41 razor. This product isn’t just popular among men in this day and age, but has been since World War II. And the reasons for its popularity are rather obvious.

Material Metal
Razor type Straight cut
Edge Double
Handle grip Knurled
Handle length 3.7 inches

More on the aggressive side, the blade exposure is still not too extreme that it is unusable by beginners or inexperienced shavers. But if you have long or coarse beard hairs that you want to cut off quick and easy, the Muhle R41 razor is what you should go for, no questions asked.

If you’re a regular wet shaver, we suggest you don’t look for any other open comb razors, and just grab this one. With the Muhle R41 you get a classic design for a firmly clamped blade and perfect angle to get that smooth shave. The teeth of the comb have been specially created to bring in the beard and mustache hair in close contact with the blade, but allowing more of the shaving foam lather to stay on the skin as needed.

Such a design also has a lower chance of accumulating residual hairs, thus making cleaning and maintenance easier. An elegant, shiny, masculine look along with a vigorous and quick shaving experience is what is guaranteed from the Muhle Traditional R41 safety razor.

Product Pros

  • Highly durable and resistant to corrosion
  • Aggressive but not too extreme
  • Made from top notch materials, making it very solid and strong to touch
  • Suitable for beginners looking for an aggressive shave
  • Environment friendly and contains zero plastic components
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Product Cons

  • Can get too slippery because the knurling is not very deep
  • Not suitable for beginners in wet shaving

FaTip Special Edition Safety Razor

Best Brand

You might not get a solid answer from your barber when asking about the best open comb razor, but we guarantee that they will definitely have FaTip in their suggestions. This is a brand known to men since the 50s, and there are definite reasons as to why it is still considered the best brand of open comb razors.

Material Nickel
Razor type Straight cut
Edge Double
Handle grip Knurled
Handle length 3.53 inches

Keeping in mind the need for a close and comfortable shave, Italian manufacturers built this razor with the best materials and carefully thought through design to ensure the desired end result.

To add to the brand value, the FaTip Special Edition safety razor is made of nickel, a metal which is highly resistant to rust, corrosion, or any sort of damage caused by environmental factors.

Externally, this razor has a premium look and feel to it which mirrors its usage quality all the same. Providing low to medium aggression, the top comb is positioned in such a way that the blade is not exposed too much. At the same time, you are able to get a deep, close, and clean shave with no resulting skin irritation or razor burns.

Needless to say that FaTip has held on to its brand name till this day. So if you want to shop according to brand, FaTip is your number one choice for open comb razors.

Product Pros

  • Provides efficient and close shave
  • Has an effective balanced weight
  • Made from top notch materials, making it very solid and strong to touch
  • Does not irritate the skin
  • Has M4.5 x 0.75 threads

Product Cons

  • Small handle, making the grip difficult
  • Expensive and not valuable for the price

How to Choose the Best Open Comb Razors

Before we get into the details of our top picks, it is important that you first consider a few things, including whether or not you have sensitive skin. Although open comb razors are also known as “safety” razors, they still might not be suitable for beard and whiskers consistency/texture.

So in order to select the open comb razor that will be best for you, keep in mind the following things:

  • Type of bar
  • Number of pieces
  • Aggressiveness
  • Length of handle
  • Heaviness

Type of bar

Typically, the razor blade sits perpendicular to the razor’s handle. If you are a beginner with open comb razors, you should definitely consider one that has a straight bar.

With a straight bar, you are aware of how exactly the blade sits on top and at what angle you need to glide the razor over your chin. Such a design is common among most open comb razor manufacturers, so you also don’t have to worry about not being able to find one in the market.

Another type is the slanted bar razor. As the name itself suggests, this design holds the blade at a slight angle from the bar. This helps to achieve a firmer hold on the blade.

But as the blade is held in that slight twist, it creates a slicing movement when you glide the razor across your skin. As a result, you get a very close shave with just one pass. A slant bar can be intimidating, so it’s not the right choice for inexperienced shavers.

Number of pieces

Do note that this factor does not in any way affect the way you shave. It only addresses how the blade is held on the razor, and how many pieces you get when you disassemble and reassemble the razor.

In case of safety razors, you get ones that are in one, two, or three pieces:

One-piece razor: These are also called butterfly razors. You open these by twisting to unscrew the bottom of the bar, and the top part opens up in two flaps.

The open and flapped out version of the razor looks similar to a butterfly, hence the name. You then have to place the blade between the flaps and screw the handle back in, and that way it stays clasped.

Two-piece razor: In this design, the handle is directly connected to the razor’s head. You just have to insert the blade in between the top and bottom plates of the head, and tighten the handle to keep it clamped in.

Three-piece razor: This is basically the same as the two-piece one, but here you can totally unscrew and remove the head from the handle.

So however many pieces of the razor will work just depends on your personal preference. You can choose the type whichever is convenient for you.

Aggressiveness

The more exposed the razor blade is from the head, the more “aggressive” the design and feel is. If a razor has a higher level of aggressiveness, you will need fewer swipes to get a clean shave. But this is useful only if you are experienced with shaving and don’t mind a few cuts.

It can sometimes be hard to tell which razors have the blades lesser and more exposed, because it varies due to extremely small differences in thickness of the head or blade. As this can be tricky to notice, it is best to go for razors that have adjustable blades.

In adjustable razors, you are able to change the placement of the blade according to your convenience. That way, you don’t have to worry about the razor being too aggressive, or too far in that the shaving process will become slow.

Length of handle

All open comb razors don’t have the same handle length. Some of us are accustomed to holding longer handles, while others are comfortable with a small one.

Although it might seem like a negligible matter, the size of the bar is quite important, as it determines your grip on the razor overall. It is also important to some of us have smaller hands while others’ are bigger.

If you can’t get a comfortable grip on the bar, there are risks of the razor slipping off from your hand and causing unwanted cuts. Hence, you should consider the handle length based on the size of your hand or however you are comfortable, so that you can have a good control of the razor.

Heaviness

Just like the length of the handle, how heavy the razor weighs in your hand is also very important. A razor that is the right amount of heavy will help it to glide easier on the skin, giving a close shave experience.

If you’re purchasing open comb razors in person, make sure to check the weight of it on your hand and see if you feel comfortable with it compared to other designs. If it is too light, controlling it will be difficult and will need more passes for a clean shave.

Tips for Buying and Using an Open Comb Razor

You now know what to look out for when choosing the right open comb razor. Here are some additional tips on buying and using it:

Check with others

As we mentioned earlier, open comb razors were very common and popular in the earlier times. So before going ahead and buying one, talk to your dad or uncle and get suggestions on what design would be the best.

Chances are they are still comfortable using such razors, and will be able to help you pick one. Even if it’s not from a family member, try talking to your local barber to help guide you through buying the best safety razor suited for you.

Assess your skin type

If you have sensitive skin and worry about razor burns or ingrown hairs, then you should definitely go for open comb razors. It will provide you with a clean and effortless shave, which requires less passes, so that means the razor won’t linger on your skin for too long.

But if you’re still worried about irritation, get a safety razor with an adjustable blade. That way, you get to control the aggressiveness and keep your skin safe.

Wet your face

As almost all open comb razors have high aggressiveness, there is a chance of getting cut if you are not careful or holding the razor wrong. To create a barrier between the blade and your skin, you must always work on wet or damp skin.

Dampening your face will soften the skin and create a smoother canvas for the razor to glide, thus resulting in a close and clean shave with no cuts and minimal passes.

Is it okay to shave using an open comb razor everyday?

Depending on the level of aggressiveness, strokes, quality of razor and shaving cream or foam products, yes, it is completely fine to shave daily using an open comb razor. It is still advisable that you take care of your skin and regularly clean the razor out well.

How often should you replace the blade in an open comb razor?

If you shave daily, then the blade will last for 6 to 7 days and needs to be replaced with a fresh blade. For long or coarse beards, the blade might need replacing after 5 days.

Are open comb razors better than plastic ones?

Generally, the material and design of open comb razors allow them to provide a close shave quicker, while also preventing the blade from clogging up. Even if it does clog up, the cleaning process is simple and fast. In that case, open comb razors have the higher ground.

Are safety razors cost effective?

Considering that the safety razor you will purchase will be made of durable material and allows replacement of blades, it is still cost effective. The cost of a good quality open comb/safety razor could start from $25, but the investment will be worth it in the long run