So you want to know the difference between a slant edged, straight edged, and open comb razor? Look no further! The answer is in fact fairly straight-forward:
The Straight Edged Razor
The double edged (or DE) safety razor has been around in one form or another since the late 1800s. The straight edge is more or less considered to be the original design. This razor features a closed, but often grooved, bar across the bottom edge of the blade, at a 90 degree angle to the handle of the razor. This bar gives a layer of safety (hence the name) over the straight razor, limiting at what angles the blade contacts your face. Further, it helps to gently stretch the skin as you pull downwards in order to cut on a tight surface, giving you a smooth shave. If this is your first time using a safety razor, this is the one you definitely want to go with!
The Slant Bar Razor
Patented in the early 1900s, this was considered an upgrade or improved design over your standard straight edged razor! The slant bar razor has a specially designed blade-guard and holder that slightly warps the blade to give it a guillotine-like angle where it meets the skin. Now instead of just trying to meet the hairs straight on, there’s a slicing motion at the point of impact. The slant vs straight razor will give you a closer, and some say, more comfortable shave. This style of razor is best of you have very thick or coarse hair, and should probably not be your first razor as there’s a bit more of a learning curve to it.
Open Comb Razor
The open comb razor sports some “teeth” along the bottom edge of the razor. Don’t worry – they shouldn’t bit. Rather, they help guide longer hair or stubble into channels, and help stretch the skin to give you a closer shave. If you like to wait several days a time between shaves, first of all, you’re doing something wrong, and second, this is the razor for you. These guys were very popular during the 70s when men sported handsome sideburns.
Whatever you choose, remember, this razor could last you the next 30 years! If this is your first double edge razor, take it slow. Remember to do short 1″ long strokes and don’t apply much pressure. Let the razor do the work!