Closed Comb Versus Open Comb Razors

Closed Comb Versus Open Comb Razors

Referring to the two main styles of double-edged (DE) razors, the difference and benefits between closed and open combs is one of our most frequently asked questions. Formed of three parts, traditional safety razors consist of a handle, top and bottom plate with a blade sandwiched in between the two plates. The comb, whether open or closed, indicates the design of the bottom plate and therefore the blade exposure or closeness of the shave.

The Closed Comb

The bottom plate of a closed comb razor is designed with a flat edge that typically has grooves in it; it’s referred to as ‘closed’ because the safety edge has no gaps or teeth. The flat edge of the bottom plate keeps the skin stretched tightly across the bar whilst shaving, providing a ‘’safer’’ shave. Considered the gentlest of safety razors it’s perfect for daily shaves and well suited to sensitive skin as well as beginners.

The R89, the most iconic MÜHLE razor is a classic example of a closed comb safety razor. Long-lasting and corrosion-resistant, the MÜHLE R89 provides incomparable quality and longevity. A premium product that produces a distinctly close and lasting shave.

Did you know?

  • Excluding the ROCCA range, the closed comb razor head is available across all MÜHLE ranges and razors.
  • The MÜHLE R89 Replacement Head (MÜHLE R89GESCHL) is sold separately and can be used with all MÜHLE DE Razor Handles, (other than the Twist).

 The Open Comb

Designed with distinctive "teeth" the open comb razor head, unlike the closed comb, has no straight bar left to touch the shaver’s face leaving more blade exposed the ideal set up for the ultimate close shave. The open comb is a much more direct shave, with many enthusiasts considering it to be the most direct DE razor available. The teeth, whilst not sharp, effectively channel beard and hair to the blade, whilst allowing more lather to remain on the face. Developed specifically for experienced wet shavers, the open comb style razor also tends to be preferred by those with denser or thicker beard growth. With more blade exposed, the open comb allows for a more direct shaving technique and is also less likely to become clogged by lather and hair.

A premium product that produces a distinctly close and lasting shave: the R41Black is a great purchase for fans of the open comb style. Presented in classic black with chrome metal highlights, the razor makes a striking addition to any bathroom shelf.

Did you know?

  • The MÜHLE R41 Replacement Head (MÜHLE R41OFFEN) is sold separately and can be used with all MÜHLE DE Razor Handles (other than the Twist) thus transforming them into more direct razors for the ultimate close shave.
  • The open comb razor head is available across the MÜHLE Traditional range, however with the heads sold separately (see above point) different razor styles such Hexagon, Purist, Sophist, Kosmo, Stylo and Intro ranges can be also be transformed, into an open comb style.


Finally, the ROCCA, still considered a closed comb style as the comb has no gaps, it lies somewhere between the typical R89 open closed head and the R41 open comb head and offers the best of both worlds. More direct than the closed comb, but with the safety of the flat-edged bar, the ROCCA razor can be a fantastic middle-ground for shaving. Formed of stainless steel, the latest addition to the ROCCA series is as strong as it is beautiful. An elegant design with great balance and grip. 

 Illustrations: Arina Shabanova