Frequently asked questions.

What type of materials do you use to make your metal combs?

Stainless Steel

Our stainless steel combs are crafted from AISI type 304 Stainless Steel manufactured here in the US. The material conforms to American Institute of Steel and Iron standards and is used in a wide variety of applications including; flatware, surgical equipment, food handling equipment, beer kegs and dairy equipment.

Stainless Steel is formulated in many different alloys for many different applications. All stainless steels have a minimum content of Chromium to provide corrosion resistance. Stainless steel has a beautiful luster.

Titanium Alloy

Our titanium combs are crafted from ASTM Grade 5 Titanium Alloy. This material conforms to ASTM (American Society for Testing & Materials) standards and is used in the aerospace industry as well as in biomedical implants.

Titanium as an element was discovered in 1791 and named after the Titans of Greek mythology. The two most useful properties of the metal are corrosion resistance and strength-to-density ratio, the highest of any metallic element.

Pure titanium is similar in strength to low grade steels, but the Grade 5 alloy is many times stronger.

Naval Brass

Our brass alloy combs are crafted from Marine Grade Naval Brass and complies with ASTM B171. It is widely used for marine hardware, pump and propeller shafts and rivets.

Brass was created by man thousands of years ago and has been appreciated for its strength, corrosion resistance and beautiful gold color since its discovery. The heft of the material immediately confers strength and timeless quality. Simply put, brass just feels good in your hand. Brass is non-ferromagnetic so it is often used in precision instruments; telescopes, watches, compasses, etc. Brass is a an alloy of copper, zinc and sometimes other trace elements depending on the alloy.

Brass is an excellent material for a comb. Unlike wooden, plastic or carbon fiber reinforced plastic, a brass comb will last for many generations with just a little care. Brass forms a natural patina depending on the environment it is in and can always be polished to maintain a bright finish. To keep your brass comb looking naturally beautiful, simply wipe it clean with a cloth and some mild soap and water.

Do you offer any sales discounts or promotions?

Our goal is to offer the highest levels of design, craftsmanship and quality at an excellent value throughout the year. We do not participate in artificial pricing gimmicks such as 24 hour flash sales and seasonal discounts. We do, however, provide exclusive purchasing opportunities to those that have signed up on our mailing list.

Do you have any plans to make combs of other materials besides metal?

No. Combs made of other materials like plastic, wood, shell, horn, carbon fiber, etc. are all susceptible to breakage under normal conditions or have other serious limitations as compared to metal combs. Plastic, resin and carbon combs are mass produced and are generally poorly finished. Take a close look at any injection molded plastic, resin or carbon fiber combs and you will see the rough edges along the parting line of the mold.  Wood, shell and horn are nice materials, but as a comb, they can absorb water and chemicals and eventually crack, splinter or chip. (A note about carbon fiber. Carbon fiber composites come in a wide range of variants. Some companies add trace amounts of carbon fibers to injection molded plastics and resin products and call them "carbon fiber" or "carbon fiber composite".  It was a common trick for manufacturers of tennis rackets in the 1990's to dope trace amounts of titanium dust in fiberglass and say their product was made of "titanium composite".  What's old in new again. Look on Amazon (the Walmart of the internet) and see all the "carbon fiber" combs that are plastic or glue with carbon particles added.)

How do you get your combs so smooth?

It's in the design and the workmanship.

We design our combs with your comfort in mind.  The teeth of our combs are double beveled on the tip and have a smooth rounded radius between the teeth at the tooth root. This makes for a comb that picks up hair easily but will not snag, shave or bind the hair as it passes between the teeth and comes in contact with the comb spine.

Every comb we make is hand ground, filed, sanded and polished to remove any sharp edges or corners. In fact, we have a rigorous 17 step process to make sure your comb is smooth and comfortable. Regardless of the final finish or material type, every single one of our combs has its teeth polished to ensure there are no sharp points or unfinished edges. We use a Burr King belt grinder and a Baldor polisher (both machines made in the USA), but most importantly we use a heavy dose of elbow grease. There is no substitute for time and effort when it comes to finishing our combs. 

We do not outsource the critical finishing process step and no other metal comb manufacturer does all this work in their own shop.

Simply put, our combs are the most finely finished metal combs available.

What is the difference between the High Polish and Burnished finish?

The high polish surface is reflective, almost like a mirror. The burnished finish is a smooth, non-reflective finish similar to the well-worn handrail at a train station. The burnished finish is less likely to show finger prints and has an aged, "patina" look.  Both of these finishes are smooth and easy on your hair and whiskers.

Do you offer a Satin, Brushed or Sand Blasted finish?

Absolutely not! Those finishes look nice to the naked eye but under a microscope they look like a metal file or rasp.  You wouldn't want to comb your hair with a nail file or a cheese grater.

What are the dimensions of your combs?

Our standard size combs measure between 4 1/2 and 5 3/8 inches wide and are about 1/10th of an inch thick. We also sell compact combs which are smaller in size. Our compact combs are about 2 1/2 inches wide. The width of each comb is detailed in the specifications section of each description.

Were you the first to develop and offer a metal comb?

No. Metal combs have been around for many thousands of years. Just about every ancient civilization made hair combs from metal. In recent decades metal combs have been made of aluminum, steel, brass, titanium, silver and gold. Tiffany & Co. has sold metal pocket combs and metal handle brushes continuously since the mid 1800's. To this day they offer a small comb made of sterling silver.  We began offering our metal combs in 2013. Those that say they were the first to make a metal comb in modern times are simply misinformed.

Why don't you sell your products on Amazon, eBay or the other large internet retailers?

We truly believe in supporting local manufacturers, small shops and US businesses. The big internet retailers primarily sell imported goods which has an adverse effect on small US manufacturers and retailers. We find it hypocritical for a company to say their core value is local manufacturing while selling through and supporting a giant corporate entity that puts small shops out of business. We support local business by not supporting the giant internet retailers.

Are your designs patented?

No. Design patents are expensive and would increase the cost of our combs. We would rather spend our resources on shop equipment, developing finishing techniques and providing the best possible customer service. Unfortunately those that would copy a design care less about intellectual property. As a consumer, what you really want is the best value and highest quality, not a patent number stamped on the package. Our value is not limited to our designs but is in our level of craftsmanship, which is unmatched.

Other companies tout their design patents but in reality, those patents are likely unenforceable since the designs were introduced to the market years before their patent applications were submitted. Not to mention that the design can be found in a 1950's era yellow plastic comb.

Do you make custom combs?

Yes, send an email to metalcombworks@gmail.com to discuss options or read more on our Custom Shop page.

I own a retail shop, do you wholesale your combs?

We only wholesale to select brick and mortar retailers but are not adding any new stockists at this time.  

How do I best care for my comb?

Clean your comb from time-to-time with dish soap and warm water. Dry completely with a soft cloth or microfiber towel. 

How are the combs packed and shipped?

All combs are packed in a handmade card stock pochette style envelope which is placed inside of a custom foil printed slide tray box. All combs with the exception of our Key Comb are shipped in a cardboard.

We ship USPS priority mail with tracking from our California shop to US addresses and USPS first class mail to international destinations. These options can be selected at checkout. If your home country is not listed as an option upon checkout, please contact us at metalcombworks@gmail.com

We are not responsible for lost items but tracking is provided.

Do you ship outside the US?

Yes, we ship worldwide.