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How Do You Use Open Comb Razor?

How Do You Use Open Comb Razor?

Most people use double-edged safety razors for their grooming needs, and these razors come in two main designs – the open and close comb designs. Many grooming companies and brands make these designs in different shapes and sizes, like this line, selling some of the best open comb razors in the market.

This article will address some of the frequently asked questions about open comb razors. These include, what it is, why you need an open-comb razor for your face, and how you can achieve a close shave with it.

We’ll also outline some major differences between this razor and the closed comb version. This will help you to make an informed decision when shopping for shaving razors.

What Are Open Comb Razors For?

Generally, safety razors come with a top plate, blade, and bottom plate. What makes it an open or closed comb razor is how exposed the blade is. While closed comb razors have a safety bar placed underneath the razor blade, the open comb razor has a row of teeth on the bottom guard instead of a safety bar.

These razors are designed to expose the razor blade for a clean shave. So, an open comb razor offers a cleaner shave with fewer strokes and minimal effort. The teeth under the blade help position hair closer to the blade for a more direct shave.

Thanks to this unique design, open comb razors do not get clogged easily, as lather and hair bristles can easily pass through the gaps in the teeth.

These razors are more aggressive because they don’t have a safety plate. Plus, using this razor type may require a couple of passes before getting all of the hair.

However, this is the best option if you’re looking for a perfectly close shave. Its aggressive design also makes it the better option for people with curly, thick, or stubborn facial hair.

How to Get a Close Shave With an Open Comb Razor

An open-comb razor has a bottom plate with tiny teeth that look like a hair comb. These little teeth are blunt at the tip, so they won’t cut you as you shave. Instead, it creates a better opening for the blade, allowing hair to pass through easily.

As you shave, the teeth in your open comb razor gather your beard, feeding it to the razor and preventing stray hair from escaping from the razor’s reach. This automatically reduces the number of passes you need to take with your razor before getting a close, clean shave.

How Do You Use Open Comb Razor?

Here’s how to properly use your open-comb razor:

Step One: Prep Your Skin

The thing about an open-comb razor is that you have an exposed blade running across your skin. This will require more control than another razor type, but the shaving experience is superior.

However, this razor increases your chances of skin irritation, so prepping your skin before a swipe is necessary. Start with washing and exfoliating to open up your pores and make shaving easier.

It’s best to shave after a shower, but if this option doesn’t work, you can use a hot towel on your face and neck to warm them up and open your pores.

Step Two: Use a Firm Grip

An open-comb razor does not have the same mechanism as a closed-comb razor that keeps the skin taut as the razor passes through it. In that case, you will need to pull your skin taut using your free hand and apply gentle pressure with your razor, as you don’t want to cut yourself mistakenly.

Step Three: Shave With and Against the Grain

For the first run, shave with the grain, paying attention to the direction in which your hair grows. Start with short steady strokes and cover all areas where hair grows, including your jaw. You may need to arch your neck to get around the jawline, but ensure you get every bit of hair.

After the first run, it’s time to back up and go against the grain for an extra fine, smooth shave.

You may have to reapply shaving cream to protect your skin as you do this second pass.

Step Four: Finish

Once done, rinse your face with cold tap water to close up your pores. Then, apply your after-shave routine, whether a balm or moisturizer.

However, be careful to pat this treatment on your skin instead of rubbing it in. This way, you can avoid skin irritation, as rubbing increases skin irritation.

Which is Better, Open Comb or Closed Comb Razor?

At this point, you may wonder which is better, an open comb or closed comb razor. It depends on personal choices and tastes. For example, people who prefer to grow their beards in between shaves prefer the open comb option because it makes it easier to shave without trimming down the hair. 

One feature that stands out in the open comb razor is that it can handle longer beard hair, unlike the closed comb razor. Also, its design exposes the razor blade a bit more, ensuring a closer shave.

A closed comb razor has a bottom plate running straight through. This covers most of the blade, making it clog up with hair and lather faster than an open comb razor. However, none of these factors indicates that a closed comb razor is a bad shaving tool.

On the contrary, it helps keep the skin on your face taut as you shave. This allows the razor to glide smoothly and guarantees a safe and effective shave. This protective barrier between your skin and blade helps prevent irritation. So, it is a good choice for people with sensitive skin.

Beginners often lean towards the closed comb razor because it’s easy to work with. It also minimizes contact between skin and blade. So, there are no right or wrong answers to the question of which is better.

Instead, the best option for you is the one you are comfortable using. Your skin and beard differ from everyone else’s, and while reviews and opinions help, no one can tell you what’s best for you.

Here’s what we can say: an open comb razor gives the closest shave, but the risk of skin irritation is high. So, we don’t recommend this option if you’re new to using shaving razors. As a beginner, starting with a closed-comb razor may be best until you find your footing.

While a closed-comb razor reduces the chances of irritation, it doesn’t deliver a clean shave. However, there’s a way around it.

If you shave constantly, you don’t necessarily need an open comb shaving razor because there’s little hair for the comb to direct. Since your beard is already short, your razor will get close to your skin, with the protection a closed comb razor offers.

However, if you like your beard full, you may not enjoy using a closed comb razor. It will clog up and require multiple passes for a clean shave.

Overall, starting with a closed comb razor is best until you feel confident enough to make a switch.


As a new wet shaving enthusiast, one of the first things you’ll notice is the range of options open to you, like whether to use an open or closed razor. Your choice will ultimately reflect preference, skin and hair type, and comfort level.

While some people cannot stand an aggressive shave, others prefer an open-comb razor’s smooth, soft feel. We explained these options in this article, which helps narrow down your options.