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Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:17 pm

It used to be that you could get pocket-sized combs which were just stiff enough to be functional, but thin and flexible enough that they didn't feel like they were digging furrows in your scalp, or snap in half after a few weeks if you put them in your back pocket and sat on them. At some point in the past decade or so, everyone seems to have switched to hard, brittle plastic that, in a word, sucks.

It really irks me that I can buy a smartphone that effectively puts the power of a 1990s-era supercomputer in my pocket, but I apparently can't get a decent $2 1990s era pocket comb any more.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:51 pm

Sounds like it might be time for an advanced diy project to me  :wink: I've always had a interest in plastics myself but haven't really pursued it any.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:03 pm

What you want may be an "unbreakable" comb.  Mine's made by Goody, but I don't see the exact one (5-3/4" all fine-tooth) on their site today.  Maybe they're the ones that have switched to a cheap Chinese factory to make their combs?
How about this one?
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:05 pm

 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:11 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
What you want may be an "unbreakable" comb.  Mine's made by Goody, but I don't see the exact one (5-3/4" all fine-tooth) on their site today.  Maybe they're the ones that have switched to a cheap Chinese factory to make their combs?

The ones that claim to be "unbreakable" lie. The last two I've broken were "unbreakable". First the teeth started falling off; then they broke in half.

If I'd known this was going to happen I would've bought a few extra ones back in the day. A dozen or so would've effectively been a lifetime supply, given the rate at which I seem to lose combs. Used to be I only needed to replace them when I lost them, because they got lost long before they broke. Not any more.

@meerkt - Those are all too long and bulky. I just want a classic, pocket-sized rubber or flexible plastic comb instead of the hard, brittle plastic ones everyone sells now.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:46 pm

That was just an example. I'm sure there are other types on eBay. :)

Maybe these wooden ones?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/262711415377

Or more flexible looking ones:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/371687073577
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200981508980

Or foldable:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/232038960679

Or Kid Cute Animals Design Comb Pocket Plastic Cartoon Hair Supplies 5.3":
http://www.ebay.com/itm/201337458815
Last edited by meerkt on Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:49 pm

I did do a little poking around on eBay/Amazon, and came across a lot of complaints similar to mine. Maybe everyone is sourcing them from the same 3 Chinese factories these days?

If anything good comes from a Trump presidency, maybe we can Make Combs Great Again? (Sorry for the R&P-ish sentiment...)
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:53 pm

Start a petition. With a few million people joining in... maybe the US comb factories finally reopen. :)
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:00 pm

Maybe when I retire from the tech industry I will start my own bespoke comb shop. :lol:
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:18 pm

You should let people upload their own: polymer structures + 3D shapes + drawings. And allow extras, like RGB LEDs and such. This is going to revolutionize the comb industry!
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:24 pm

Arthur Fonzarelli?!?!? Is that you!
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:26 pm

Ooh, ooh... power the RGB LEDs from the static electricity generated by combing! :lol:
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:11 pm

It's because Goody bought ACE and promptly discontinued their entire line, replacing them with their own dollar-store crap.

ACE was famous for their hard rubber combs which were very breakable but cheap and fully machined.  The plastic ones have a flash line completely around the middle of the teeth to snag hair and scratch your scalp, and fully machined wood or metal combs are expensive.  Nylon is probably the best material for a comb if anybody would only fully debur the teeth...

I think it's like hard drives--almost nobody is willing to pay a little more for quality so the market is filled with junk.  $2 in 1990 money is equivalent to $3.65 today, but I see Used ACE rubber combs going for $25 on eBay because nobody makes anything like them anymore.
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:31 pm

bfg-9000 wrote:
I think it's like hard drives--almost nobody is willing to pay a little more for quality so the market is filled with junk.  $2 in 1990 money is equivalent to $3.65 today, but I see Used ACE rubber combs going for $25 on eBay because nobody makes anything like them anymore.

Surely someone could produce something decent in lower volume for, say, $5-$8? I'd pay that (but not $25...) for a pocket comb that doesn't suck.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:44 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Surely someone could produce something decent in lower volume for, say, $5-$8? I'd pay that (but not $25...) for a pocket comb that doesn't suck.

No idea if available where you are, but I quite like those from Kent Brushes, the A OT and A FOT pocket combs are available here on the high street (Boots) for < £3.50 (probably about nothing in USD post-Brexit...)
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 6:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Surely someone could produce something decent in lower volume for, say, $5-$8? I'd pay that (but not $25...) for a pocket comb that doesn't suck.

You would think, but apparently there is no market between dollar-store and $50 titanium tactical combs here.  Speaking of which every sporting goods store sells titanium forks and spoons for ~$10.  I can kind of understand those because titanium has no taste and they're lighter for camping, but I don't need a comb that can survive a cremation!  I do see some titanium combs in that price range but the dimensions show they are more like tiny mustache combs.

Hmm, I just thought of something--in industry they rarely polish sanded plastic like lathe-turned screwdriver handles because a simple bath in solvent melts it into a shiny-smooth finish.  Perhaps a longer solvent bath could be used to smooth the flash to produce an ugly, but functional, comb?
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:00 pm

Amazon has an importer for Kent.  Prime eligible.   8)
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:16 pm

Wow thanks Topinio!  Claims to be saw cut and reviews say they're durable plastic so should be much less breakable than wood or bone/horn.  I especially like the size of the 113mm/4.44" and 146mm/5.75" models.
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:38 pm

bfg-9000 wrote:
It's because Goody bought ACE and promptly discontinued their entire line, replacing them with their own dollar-store crap.

ACE was famous for their hard rubber combs which were very breakable but cheap and fully machined.  The plastic ones have a flash line completely around the middle of the teeth to snag hair and scratch your scalp, and fully machined wood or metal combs are expensive.  Nylon is probably the best material for a comb if anybody would only fully debur the teeth...

I think it's like hard drives--almost nobody is willing to pay a little more for quality so the market is filled with junk.  $2 in 1990 money is equivalent to $3.65 today, but I see Used ACE rubber combs going for $25 on eBay because nobody makes anything like them anymore.

My daily driver (comber?) is an ACE hard rubber comb I bought in June 1989, 2 weeks after I graduated high school. 27 years and only 5 broken teeth. I hope they cremate me with it.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sat Nov 12, 2016 9:08 pm

bfg-9000 wrote:
... if anybody would only fully debur the teeth...

With a third hand (or clamp or vise or equivalent) it would be trivial to "floss" the teeth with some 400 grit sandpaper and debur the teeth yourself.
For something that would be used several times a day every day, this kind of personalized detail work on a comb doesn't seem unreasonable.
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:30 am

@Topinio & JAE -

Bingo! Based on the Amazon customer reviews, it looks like that is the answer. Order placed.

Not sure what "Hand Made" means WRT a plastic pocket comb, but whatever.

One minor oddity I noticed in the Amazon listing: A 2-pack costs more than twice as much as a 1-pack... WTF? :o

I didn't realize I would spawn such a lively discussion with this thread; I was just being kind of cranky, in an Andy-Rooney-ranting sort of way. :lol:
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:47 am

just brew it! wrote:
I didn't realize I would spawn such a lively discussion with this thread; I was just being kind of cranky, in an Andy-Rooney-ranting sort of way. :lol:

8) guess a lot of us have had the same issue :-? hope you like it...
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:58 am

Now that the problem has been solved, I feel it's safe to say that you can completely obviate this problem by shaving the pate.

(ducking as I run out the door) :P
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:02 pm

Maybe someone should start a comb review site for people like yous. ;)
Last edited by meerkt on Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:14 pm

You remind me of grandpa Simpson talking about tying an onion to his belt here.    Ultimate old man gripe
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:02 pm

So the Kent is stiffer than I'd hoped, but the small size means it isn't uncomfortable to have in the back pocket. We'll see how well it holds up.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:15 pm

just brew it! wrote:
So the Kent is stiffer than I'd hoped, but the small size means it isn't uncomfortable to have in the back pocket. We'll see how well it holds up.

Sorry, realise now I should've said in my earlier reply that it might not be super-duper flexible, hope you're not too disappoint, but IME mine are flexible enough to be back pocket combs without one ever breaking on me ... and they don't have that stabby feeling that cheaper ones do.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:20 pm

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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:23 pm

I will only be disappointed if it does not last. it is definitely an improvement over anything I've found in the past 5 years or so, and if it is sufficiently durable it will have been worth the extra $.
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Re: Why does nobody make decent pocket combs any more?

Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:08 pm

If I still had hair I would design and 3d print one, but alas mother-nature decided to remove the need.
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