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Thread: What makes the Mühle open comb so efficient?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2014
    Coimbra (Portugal), Vancouver B.C.
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    Default What makes the Mühle open comb so efficient?

    The R41 in its different (handle) variations is considered one of the closest and most efficient safety razors.

    The Mühle interpretation of open comb design is the most noticeable feature of this razor and hence - at least some - people have started linking in their mind open comb design with close and efficient razor design.

    For the past few years I have used primarily straight razors, only occasionally falling back on my Mühles, but was recently tempted by (and fell for) the Tatararazors’ stainless steel Masamune Nodachi razor.
    Despite the Japanese names, Masamunes are very well made Portuguese stainless steel razors, but the three young Portuguese engineers chose to give their creations Japanese names as a homage to the legendary Japanese swordsmith craftsmanship that they were trying to match.

    The Nodachi version of the Masamune has a slightly longer handle than the original Masamune and can be bought with open comb, closed comb, or both open and closed comb heads.
    With a positive blade exposure, the Nodachi version belongs to a group of safety razor where the blade is in direct contact with the skin, which - just as a straight razor - makes for a very close shave.
    In fact, shaves with this razor compare favourably with my straight shaves - and I am known to be a sucker for BBS shaves.
    Blade exposure (0,13 mm) and gap (0,9 mm) are identical for both open and closed comb versions and I found in the first week of use that both versions give equally close shaves.

    I also compared the Masamune Nodachi open and closed comb shaves with my open comb Mühle shaves (shaving alternating one side of my face on alternating days with the Nodachi or Mühle) and again I found no noticeably difference.

    If the closeness of the Masamune Nodachi shave is not dependent on open or closed comb design, then I suspect that the equally close Mühle shaves may not be so much a function of open comb design, but more the result of positive blade exposure and more generous blade gap than on Mühle’s closed comb products.

    Which would also explain how Mühle made their open comb less aggressive when they slightly reduced blade exposure in 2013.

    What do you think?

    Last edited by beluga; 05-25-2021 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Mar 2012
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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    Works for me.

    Life is a terminal illness in the end

  3. #3
    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    May 2005
    New Mexico
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    Well, I put my original R 41 in the storage tray. There are just better alternatives out there these days. Either the Janus Razor or the Timeless Razor can give straight closeness. In the Titanium version the Timeless is light and precise feeling like a surgical instrument.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

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