12-10-2016, 10:25 AM
#1
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Having some experience with both types of razors, I have to say that I prefer using my modern razors lately. The main advantages of vintage razors is that they're affordable options and it's easy to be found. If we forget these two things, modern razors are indeed better, at least in my opinion. The last two years, some talented machinists/ artisans have given us the opportunity to try some amazing shaving tools that outperform almost every vintage razor I've tried and I was lucky enough to try many of them of all kinds. I said almost because there are a few that really deserve our attention. I kept only a few that have sentimental value for me. Nowadays, the options seem endless, there are razors made from many different materials, from Aluminum and Brass to Stainless Steel and Titanium. There is a lot of expertise. Not all of them are affordable options, but, comparing them to most vintage razors in shaving quality, they are better razors. The build quality of the majority of the new razors is excellent, they give amazing shaves, the designs of some are innovative. I am sure that a few years ago things were different, but this has changed.

What do you think?

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 12-10-2016, 11:32 AM
#2
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I agree regarding the new razors in the sense of build quality, fit and finish, material options and so on. What I'm astounded by is some of those vintage razors that are nearing 100 years old still shave wonderfully..!! I have some vintage favorites and modern and the golden era of wet shaving we live in provides an opportunity to have access to both..

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 12-10-2016, 12:46 PM
#3
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Personally, I am surprised with the performance of only 3 vintage razors I've tried. These are the Schick "Lady Eversharp" Injector, the Gillette Aristocrat 1948-50 and the Ever Ready 1912. Only these 3 can sit next to my modern razors. I'm of the opinion that some artisans do great job. It's a fact that every month we read about a new razor. So many options...

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 12-10-2016, 06:04 PM
#4
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I think it is important to recognize that much of the positive recognition goes to a few of the top end makers and brands, and deservedly so.  I have a few myself.  My ATT slants, and iKon SBS, as examples, are excellent.  My Merkur 34G is also very good, and great value for money.  But...they don't represent the preponderance of modern DE razors out there, while I haven't tried all of the top end brands, I have a hard time imagining that they are better than some of my vintage models: British Gillette Aristocrat #16, Kirby Beard, Swing, Leresche #77, New Improved, etc., etc.  

The lower priced of the modern razors in my limited experience are not nearly as good as the low end vintage models out there.  The Gillette Techs, Old Type, Super Speeds, Rotbarts, Segals, can usually be had for less than $25 in great condition and are leagues ahead of comparably priced modern razors.  For an adjustable razor the Gillette Super Adjustable is affordable and superb.  These all are for me the best value in double edge razors. 

 Of course, if someone is willing to loan me some of their spendy Wolfmans, Webers, One Blades and other top end models, I will be happy to conduct a systematic comparison.  

Cheers!

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 12-10-2016, 08:46 PM
#5
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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My two favorite vintage razors or my Schick I2 Injector, and my Gillette Fatboy.

[Image: GwpfAQ7.jpg] [Image: sBwWJ6y.jpg]

And my favorite on only modern razor, the RX.

[Image: ux0xEWl.jpg]

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 12-10-2016, 10:49 PM
#6
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I've only tested one modern SE razor years ago and IMO it had no soul. It gave a great shave (BBS), but no better than my aggressive vintage SE razors. The problem I had with it and the reason I write that it had no soul was because it didn't talk to me when the angle was right. It was totally silent. I like my razor to give me feedback. Too, for the money spent, and I can't remember how many times more than a vintage razor it sold for, the shave was the same for far more $ spent.

I think it's great that new razors are being made though and my hat's off to the manufacturers for doing that, especially the folks making SE razors. Obviously there is a market and not everyone wants the "spreading butter on toast" sound as they mow down their stubble. Different strokes (literally!  Smile ) for different folks.

I have exactly 3 modern razors, all DE, two '11 Muhle R41s and one '13 Muhle R41. All my other razors, and I have a few, are vintage. My "go to" razor most days is an ER'24 "shovelhead". I have to force myself to use a different razor. I probably take 98% of my shaves with the '24.

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 12-11-2016, 01:02 PM
#7
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I have to challenge you to support your statement that new razors are "innovative" or that their "shave quality" is better.

We are surrounded by innovation I could use as an example. Fuel injection is a true innovation over carburetors. Better fuel mileage and and power is the result.
Reebok and Addidas have produced innovative running shoes that put Converse Chuck Martins to shame. 
LED flat screens have a much higher viewing quality over tube type TVs. Both in picture projection and power consumption.

I have to challenge you to quantify your statements on those two positions, without injecting feelings like "it feels right in the hand" or "the (enter name) seems intuitive". I cant hide that I enjoy all types of vintage razors. I posit that any and all "innovation" in DE razors and standard injector SE ended by the mid '80s. Anything made since then that uses DE and SE injector blades are copies of vintage designs. Nothing "new" to see here. I would like to see what innovative steps current razor makers have made that have moved DEs or SEs past the innovation that culminated by the 1980s.

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 12-11-2016, 01:27 PM
#8
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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My answer would that I was lucky enough to try literally dozens of razors over the past four years. More than 50. Modern razors like BBS-1, OneBlade, Asylum Rx, even the humble EJ DE89L and others, are such good razors, they give such good shaves, that outperform almost every single vintage razor I've tried. It's not the innovation only, it's the quality of the shave itself that matters to me the most. Better, closer, smoother shaves than many vintage razors. I know that some modern razors are not affordable and we are all able to find a lot cheaper vintage options that shave good, but if we want to compare them, some modern razors have no opponent in their category, SE or DE, they're indeed better razors. And this is just my opinion. There's a reason why EJ DE89 and not Tech or Super Speed or other is considered the best razor for beginners by so many wet shavers. Also, there's a reason why some of the latest modern DE and SE razors have so many fans. Do you think that these gentlemen haven't tried vintage razors? Another thing is that many vintage users haven't tried many modern. They're satisfied with the shaves they get and I respect that. If they had tried some moderns, maybe they would have a different opinion. Who knows? It's just shaving after all and different opinions. We can't agree on everything.

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 12-11-2016, 01:33 PM
#9
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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About innovation, all these designs we've seen the last two years, aren't innovative? The fact that we are able to find modern safety razors made from ss or titanium, isn't innovation? Razors that take Feather Pro blades, aren't innovative? I don't know any vintage razor that takes them. SE razors with sliding heads, aren't innovative? And so on...

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 12-11-2016, 02:18 PM
#10
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I think we can agree that we wont come to an agreement. I think modern SEs made to fit the oversize non-injector blades are in a category by themselves and cant be compared to vintage, so have the edge by default. (no opponent in their category)
Some vintage razors were made of SS, but if it were made of milled depleted uranium, how does that make the shave results quantifiably better?

I must disagree with you until you can show me how a new DE (enter name of choice) is innovative in that it removes facial hair better by (enter evidence here) thus resulting in a better shave.

Saying, paraphrasing here, "they are better because I think they shave better" is so subjective, and doesnt explain the steps the new mfrs have taken to make their razor any better than a 1957 Ball Tech. It is opinion based and not based on any evidence other than your (facial) feelings.


Good discussion here, but will concede to you. I appreciate your points of view even though I disagree.

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 12-11-2016, 02:39 PM
#11
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Everyone admits that King Gillette did something amazing in the beginning of the previous century. What I'm saying here is that some machinists the last years took a step forward and made innovative razors, either unique designed or based on older designs with a few innovative modifications. I respect their work and passion for our hobby and I truly enjoy shaving with their creations. As you said, we agree to disagree. But I have to say that I enjoy these discussions with fellow shavers.

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 12-12-2016, 10:01 AM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Of my 22 razors only 3 are modern; 2 iKons and a Merkur. All came from Bullgoose, btw. The iKons were both under $70 each and the Merkur cost under $30. The iKon X3 shaves closer than any vintage DE razor, on par with my SEs and Injectors.

I can only try to imagine how good one of the high end modern razors must be, mainly because 1, I'd rather spend that kind of money on brushes, and 2, I get really good shaves already with my stable of inexpensive vintage. Like Nick said, I've no need to look further. But clearly the new manufacturers must be doing something right, as modern razors seem to dominate the discussions.

My current favorite shavers (i.e., last 2 weeks) are a Fat Handle Tech with triangle slots (the best combination of close and comfortable for my face), a gold plated Bullet Tip and a trusty old Featherweight. Awesome shaves! The newest of the bunch is probably around 60 years old.

otoh, I certainly wish nothing but continued success to all the modern razor producers. One of these days I'll be ready to obtain one.

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 12-12-2016, 10:20 AM
#13
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Amazing to consider my father's Gillette went thru WWII and it is still a great razor.

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 12-12-2016, 11:50 PM
#14
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I have a few special vintage shavers but for the most part, the modern ones seems to perform better for me.

With that said, I really liked my English Flat Bottomed and #58 Smile

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 12-13-2016, 05:19 AM
#15
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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I prefer stainless steel razors, but I think it depends on the design of the razor more than vintage vs modern.  I very rarely use anything other than my Wolfman OC or ATT M2. I have a few vintage Gillettes, but I don't use them unless I travel.

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 12-13-2016, 06:04 AM
#16
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I'm a vintage guy and most of my old razors shave every bit as well as my modern day (34C,37C,R41,DE89) razors.  I agree that some modern day shavers today are works of art and are outstanding shavers.  I just find satisfaction in using vintage such as my 1906 Single Ring (and it's brethren) razors that in some cases predate my father (and grand father) and were made with just pencil, paper and good ole manual labor.


[Image: cGArDKV.jpg]

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 12-13-2016, 08:08 PM
#17
  • GKR1
  • Member
  • San Diego
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I have 6 new razors and 5 vintage.  My favorite of the lot is the 34c.  Fav vintage is my Giellete New. LC RFB made in England.  Most over rated for me are TTOs FB, Red Tip, and Slim. However, I still love shaving with them.

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 12-14-2016, 08:06 AM
#18
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When I consider getting a modern razor, I do a lot of legwork (or keyboard and mouse work) and then I make a decision. 
With vintage I can't rationalize.
My fav 2016 acquisition is an English Gillette Hybrid. I have a lot more fun with it than with, say, the Wolfman. For me it was a lot harder to find the Hybrid and I spent more on it than on the Wolfman. I was lucky getting in James list early on.

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 12-18-2016, 08:07 AM
#19
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"Innovation" is not always a good thing. Cars, for example. Electrically-assisted steering, "fly-by-wire" throttle, and those stupid switches they put on the clutch basically killed the feel of driving. I admit I haven't used a "modern" razor, and doubt I ever will, for the simple fact that, as ShadowsDad said, they have no soul. I'll go further and say they have no class, no heritage. I'm stuck using a Flavia coffee maker at work, the kind that uses a "pouch" stuffed with stale grounds. It was a Keurig before that, but just as capable of producing the same, bitter swill. At home, I hand-grind each cup in a Zassenhaus mill (or my modded Hario Skerton), and have my choice of brewing devices. From a 100-year-old Wear-ever "Ideal" immersion to a war-era Silex "2-cupper" to my daily driver, an 11-year-old Braun with a gold mesh filter. This morning it was my '50s Melitta pour-over cone. Sure, the Flavia and Keurig are more "convenient, but if my life comes to the point where I can't wait three minutes for a cup of joe, I'd say there's something terribly wrong somewhere.

There's just something about using an item that makes you think, "I wonder who used this 50 years ago?", instead of knowing that the last person who touched it was the warehouse guy who just shoved it in a box.

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 12-18-2016, 08:11 AM
#20
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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(12-11-2016, 01:27 PM)nikos.a Wrote: Another thing is that many vintage users haven't tried many modern. They're satisfied with the shaves they get and I respect that. If they had tried some moderns, maybe they would have a different opinion. Who knows?

Oh well! Biggrin

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