12-13-2015, 12:12 PM
#1
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Guys, I'm conflicted.  

My "mechanical, engineering side" is really intrigued by the thought of owning a piece of shaving history, and a fine piece of shaving equipment in the process.   If (probably when..., knowing myself) I get one, I'd have it thoroughly cleaned, brushed, tuned, and very likely re-plated (brushed nickel or rhodium) so it would be in perfect condition - in other words, completely and professionally revamped.

My practical side is wondering though if the shave I'd get from a completely revamped, "perfect condition" Fatboy would be worth it.

I've read a bunch of posts here and elsewhere, seen how much interest there is in these 'ancient marvels' across the Internet - but is the shave really that good?  Is it comparable to the shave I'd get with a modern razor?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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 12-13-2015, 12:50 PM
#2
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Paired with the right blade the FB can deliver a shave just as good as any other razor but that could be said for any decent razor. 

I say go for it though. 
The Gillette adjustables are neat mechanical marvels that are no longer made. 
I have a FB and a couple slims and use them when the mood strikes and they deliver. 
There are other vintage razors I prefer but I can't see me getting rid of my FB.

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 12-13-2015, 01:02 PM
#3
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No its is not that good. You're a newbie and I suggest you not repeat the same mistake I did-- use a DE. I used one (ok tons of them) faithfully for a couple years but realized SEs and Injectors are SO much better. They are more comfortable and easier to use (the angle is flat against the face so it is very intuitive). SEs/injectors also have guards that protect your skin against the sharp corners. The blade is also thicker so it is not as likely to flex and nick you against the grain, especially if you have a tough beard.

I think adjustables are just a gimmick... The shave on a Fatboy or Slim is not any better than a regular SuperSpeed and a SuperSpeed has less to go wrong and is much cheaper.

Restoring it wont make a difference in how it shaves. Try it before getting expensive work on it done. Be sane. If you insist on a DE I would also recommend a Feather Popular which is more comfortable than a vintage gillette and better for newbies. You can get one new for about $15. It is the only DE I still have.

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 12-13-2015, 01:06 PM
#4
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Here is a thread I made about the GEM Micromatic: http://theoriginalsafetytoo.com/thread/1...ible-razor and how durable they are. They are the original  twist to open razor and have a much better build quality than a fragile tto Gillette.

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 12-13-2015, 01:07 PM
#5
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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I think adjustable razors definitely have a place but I did not care for the Fatboy. If you are interested in a vintage adjustable, get an Apollo instead.

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 12-13-2015, 01:27 PM
#6
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I like the Fat Boy and it shaves well if cranked up to #9 setting for me. I like the weight and the thicker handle too. Would I pay the price commonly asked for one? Generally no but from a garage sale why not even if it is only to experience an adjustable on the cheap.

Unless any Fat Boy you buy is really hacked why bother to have it replated?  Just clean it up and use it if in good original condition.

There are modern razors that will shave as well or better for my than the Fat Boy at #9. These would be a Fatip, Muhle R41 2013 version, Wolfman OC head with the 0.74 blade gap and also a Gem 1912 SE. All are aggressive razors. Another razor I would not classify as aggressive but shaves as well as the others for me is a Merkur 37C slant. I am sure there are others I have not used so there are plenty of modern razors that will shave every bit as good as a Fat Boy and possibly better.

OTH they are a neat piece of Gillette history that you can shave with if that is your bag.

Bob

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 12-13-2015, 02:32 PM
#7
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(12-13-2015, 12:50 PM)willc Wrote: Paired with the right blade the FB can deliver a shave just as good as any other razor but that could be said for any decent razor. 

I say go for it though. 
The Gillette adjustables are neat mechanical marvels that are no longer made. 
I have a FB and a couple slims and use them when the mood strikes and they deliver. 
There are other vintage razors I prefer but I can't see me getting rid of my FB.

That was sort of my thinking as well.  I would only use it occasionally.   But, coupled with the interest others were showing, the mechanics of the razor intrigued me.  Plus, it's a quirk I have to want to restore old stuff to like new so one thought led to another...

I just didn't want to put all that effort (and expense) into something that, in the end, wouldn't be functional too.

So thanks, that helps.

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 12-13-2015, 02:41 PM
#8
  • MaxP
  • Senior Member
  • Madison, WI
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I'm a restorer of things, so I appreciate your thought process.

In my opinion, the Fatboy is a fine example of mechanical engineering.  It's worth having one for that reason alone.  As others have stated, it will shave well, but it's not the end-all razor.  I find a Weber or R41 or Schick are more to my liking.

All that aside, this is a great hobby and we each get to choose what is or "cup of tea."

Have fun.

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 12-13-2015, 02:50 PM
#9
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Rather than "Shaving as a Hobby", I get less weird looks if I style myself to the outside world as a Collector of Shaving History.
As a collector having a piece of popular gear is OK. Enjoying the gear is an added benefit.
  I didn't overpay from Fleabay. I do get a good investors feeling knowing I found mine in the wild for five bucks. If you want it, get it, use it. Then love it or hate it, you will have an informed opinion.

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 12-13-2015, 03:03 PM
#10
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I had one for the only reason of seeing what the hype was all about. I'm sure it's the one for some but I have gotten better shaves from plenty of other razors. Didn't find it shaved any better than the Slim adjustable. I find I'm more of a 2-3 peice razor guy. They just feel more solid and hold the blade tighter IMO. No chatter and smoother shaves.

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 12-13-2015, 03:21 PM
#11
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(12-13-2015, 01:02 PM)fram773 Wrote: No its is not that good. You're a newbie and I suggest you not repeat the same mistake I did-- use a DE. I used one (ok tons of them) faithfully for a couple years but realized SEs and Injectors are SO much better. They are more comfortable and easier to use (the angle is flat against the face so it is very intuitive). SEs/injectors also have guards that protect your skin against the sharp corners. The blade is also thicker so it is not as likely to flex and nick you against the grain, especially if you have a tough beard.

I think adjustables are just a gimmick... The shave on a Fatboy or Slim is not any better than a regular SuperSpeed and a SuperSpeed has less to go wrong and is much cheaper.

Restoring it wont make a difference in how it shaves. Try it before getting expensive work on it done. Be sane. If you insist on a DE I would also recommend a Feather Popular which is more comfortable than a vintage gillette and better for newbies. You can get one new for about $15. It is the only DE I still have.

Well, I readily admit being a newbie to wet-shaving - but having been shaving for nigh on to 45 years now, I know a good shave when I've had one - and it's been nigh on 45 years since I've had one.  Started with old injectors and a host of other cheap brands/styles - mostly because they were cheap and I didn't much care about shaving - just had to.  Then I switched to electrics in the Navy, tried single blades for awhile, then ultimately descended along with millions of others into proprietary cartridge marketing hell ever since - till recently.

It's nice there are plenty of options out there for people to choose.  Everyone has their preferences and everyone's skin and beards are different too.  After much research, I decided to start wet-shaving with a DE Merkur Progress.  I chose Merkur for the quality and adjustable for my own benefit - to learn, figuring adjustability would give me options as I learned.  I learned in about 3 shaves.  It wasn't rocket science - just took a little getting used to is all.  I've since purchased a Merkur HD and a Muhle R89, both non-adjustables.  And I love all three.  I just switched from Merkur blades to Astras, and am waiting to try the Feathers and Derbys I just ordered.

I am NEVER returning to cheap, multi-color plastic, proprietary cartridge marketing hell.  Ever.  And as long as I'm now committed to DE wet shaving, I'm going to do it right, not with some cheap "As Seen on TV" $19.99 piece of junk imitation razor.  Sorry, that's just not me.

My interest in the Fatboy is strictly.... "archeological."  I like things that are made well and which survive generations.  I also like restoring old stuff to as new, or better.  It's a hobby.  Of course, having a 'like new, or better' razor like a Fatboy (or something else, if it comes to that), means I'd be obliged to shave with it - and probably want to as well.  Ergo, this thread.

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 12-13-2015, 03:25 PM
#12
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(12-13-2015, 03:03 PM)FreddieP318ti Wrote: I had one for the only reason of seeing what the hype was all about. I'm sure it's the one for some but I have gotten better shaves from plenty of other razors. Didn't find it shaved any better than the Slim adjustable. I find I'm more of a 2-3 peice razor guy. They just feel more solid and hold the blade tighter IMO. No chatter and smoother shaves.

Thanks for that input.  Precisely the sort of feedback I was looking for.  

I haven't decided to get one yet - though if I ran across one, as someone else suggested, in a garage sale for $5-$10, I'd readily scoop one up most likely.

Like you, I like the ones I've purchased thus far (Merkur, Muhle) - for their quality and precision and great shaves.  

Just trying to figure out if the hype behind the Fatboys are worth it.  Smile

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 12-13-2015, 03:26 PM
#13
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(12-13-2015, 02:50 PM)Marcus Aurelius Wrote: Rather than "Shaving as a Hobby", I get less weird looks if I style myself to the outside world as a Collector of Shaving History.
As a collector having a piece of popular gear is OK. Enjoying the gear is an added benefit.
  I didn't overpay from Fleabay. I do get a good investors feeling knowing I found mine in the wild for five bucks. If you want it, get it, use it. Then love it or hate it, you will have an informed opinion.

Good advice - thanks

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 12-13-2015, 03:34 PM
#14
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(12-13-2015, 02:41 PM)MaxP Wrote: I'm a restorer of things, so I appreciate your thought process.

In my opinion, the Fatboy is a fine example of mechanical engineering.  It's worth having one for that reason alone.  As others have stated, it will shave well, but it's not the end-all razor.  I find a Weber or R41 or Schick are more to my liking.

All that aside, this is a great hobby and we each get to choose what is or "cup of tea."

Have fun.

That's awesome.  Thanks - and yeah, if I got one I'd most certainly have to restore it to "like new" or better - and if I did that, I'd just as certainly feel obligated to actually shave with it too.  Smile  It is that that concerns me - going through all that effort and expense and it not shaving at least moderately well would be pointless, in my mind.

That being said - I'm definitely sold on today's high quality razors.  I've got two Merkurs already and a Muhle.  And having a somewhat addictive personality, I can easily see myself saving up for something like a Pils or even a Wolfman someday.  Smile

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 12-13-2015, 03:37 PM
#15
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(12-13-2015, 01:06 PM)fram773 Wrote: Here is a thread I made about the GEM Micromatic: http://theoriginalsafetytoo.com/thread/1...ible-razor and how durable they are. They are the original  twist to open razor and have a much better build quality than a fragile tto Gillette.

That was interesting, thanks.  I looked at a number of single-edge razors in my initial research but I have to be honest, regardless the quality or how precisely engineered various ones might be - they just don't catch my eye.  I prefer the balanced look of a double-edge.

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 12-13-2015, 03:43 PM
#16
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(12-13-2015, 01:27 PM)BobH Wrote: I like the Fat Boy and it shaves well if cranked up to #9 setting for me. I like the weight and the thicker handle too. Would I pay the price commonly asked for one? Generally no but from a garage sale why not even if it is only to experience an adjustable on the cheap.

Unless any Fat Boy you buy is really hacked why bother to have it replated?  Just clean it up and use it if in good original condition.

There are modern razors that will shave as well or better for my than the Fat Boy at #9. These would be a Fatip, Muhle R41 2013 version, Wolfman OC head with the 0.74 blade gap and also a Gem 1912 SE. All are aggressive razors. Another razor I would not classify as aggressive but shaves as well as the others for me is a Merkur 37C slant. I am sure there are others I have not used so there are plenty of modern razors that will shave every bit as good as a Fat Boy and possibly better.

OTH they are a neat piece of Gillette history that you can shave with if that is your bag.

Bob

Thanks Bob - totally agree.  I've no intention of making a vintage razor my main razor - definitely sold on today's modern razors for their quality and precision engineering - and their awesome shaves.  It was the "piece of Gillette history" that piqued my interest.

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 12-13-2015, 04:27 PM
#17
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I really like using my Fat Boy. I got a BBS shave this morning. IMO, it's worth a try at the right price. (Whatever your, OP, price tolerance may be). I am not of the opinion that it is a bad razor.

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 12-13-2015, 04:31 PM
#18
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(12-13-2015, 03:43 PM)Niemander Wrote:
(12-13-2015, 01:27 PM)BobH Wrote: I like the Fat Boy and it shaves well if cranked up to #9 setting for me. I like the weight and the thicker handle too. Would I pay the price commonly asked for one? Generally no but from a garage sale why not even if it is only to experience an adjustable on the cheap.

Unless any Fat Boy you buy is really hacked why bother to have it replated?  Just clean it up and use it if in good original condition.

There are modern razors that will shave as well or better for my than the Fat Boy at #9. These would be a Fatip, Muhle R41 2013 version, Wolfman OC head with the 0.74 blade gap and also a Gem 1912 SE. All are aggressive razors. Another razor I would not classify as aggressive but shaves as well as the others for me is a Merkur 37C slant. I am sure there are others I have not used so there are plenty of modern razors that will shave every bit as good as a Fat Boy and possibly better.

OTH they are a neat piece of Gillette history that you can shave with if that is your bag.

Bob

Thanks Bob - totally agree.  I've no intention of making a vintage razor my main razor - definitely sold on today's modern razors for their quality and precision engineering - and their awesome shaves.  It was the "piece of Gillette history" that piqued my interest.


Don't misunderstand me, vintage can be as well made as modern razors and sometimes better. I'd have no problem using a vintage razor as my main razor. The Fatip I use is known to have QC issues but fortunately mine did not have any. I believe both the Muhle R41 and Merkur 37c have zamak heads with plating over not solid brass with plating over. Merkur has also been known to have QC issues. The fit and finish on the Wolfman OC head that I have is impeccable but you might gag at the cost compared to other modern razors. So far as shaving goes either modern or vintage will work well, just take your pick.
Bob

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 12-13-2015, 04:40 PM
#19
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I really enjoy my Fatboy and use it in my rotation.  You can usually pick one up in the auctions if you keep a look out for one at a good price.  The one I got was nice and it didn't need to be rebuilt or replated.  It was cleaned but I gave it a cleaning again just for my own piece of mind.

Worse case you buy it and not like it - you can always sell it again on the same site.

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 12-13-2015, 05:48 PM
#20
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I love my fatboy so much so I had it revamped and re-chromed.  Paired with the right blade i.e. one that works for you it gives a great shave.  If you really want one you should go ahead and get one.  I have noticed that the prices have been going down as of late so you could possible get one for less then $50.  I wouldn't worry about buying one that is already redone.  That is where you are going to pay a lot of money.  I picked up another one the other day for $35 on the bay.  It needed a good cleaning but after a soak in scrubbing bubbles and a go around with a gun brush it looked pretty good.  Then I took some metal polish and really shined it up.  It's not like it is a major investment.  Try it out.  If you find you don't like it there are tons of people out there willing to buy it from you.  Everyone is different so no one can tell you if it will work for you or not an everyone's opinion is different.  I am adding a before and after picture of the one I picked up the other day.  The before is taken from the listing on the bay.

[Image: s-l1600.jpg]
[Image: s-l1600.jpg]

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