03-13-2012, 09:47 AM
#1
  • Java
  • Active Member
  • Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
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About a week ago, I received my 4th DE razor in the mail; a '57 (C-1) Gillette Gold Ball-End Tech. This is my impression of it as one who has been wet-shaving for a couple of months, and it's aimed at other new wet-shavers. I welcome any corrections from you old hands, but I am going to over-simplify things a little, so go easy on me. Ready? Here we go;

EVERYONE SHOULD START OUT WITH A GILLETTE TECH RAZOR.

There is my premise, now allow me to back that up. It has done more for my technique in 10 days than the previous 2 months of practice have.This is because it is definitely the least aggressive razor I can imagine. Now we kick the term "aggressive" around a lot, and it's easy for us new folks to assume that "less aggressive" equals "won't cut hot butter". It doesn't. Less aggressive means "more forgiving". I popped a new Derby Extra in my newly aquired Tech and it gave me just a sort of OK shave. My first thought was "Oooh, this is going to need a much sharper blade. (Noob mistake #1= always blame the equipment) But, not wanting to throw away a blade after 1 shave, I left it in there. Here's what I came to find out after three more shaves with that same blade. The Tech taught me that if I hold my Hoffritz Slant (a pretty aggressive razor) at a too-shallow angle, it cuts, but not very close. At the right angle, It shaves great. At slightly too great an angle, it cuts close, and irritates the crap out of your neck. At way too big an angle, it doesn't cut, and irritates the crap out of your neck. Are you picturing that? Now the Tech; unless it's at a near perfect angle, it does nothing at all. No shave, no irritation, no nothing. At the right angle it gives you a great shave. It forced me to learn that angle, and to hold that angle around all the curves on my face. It taught me that without me having to single handedly support the alum trade. All of a sudden my SS and TV special and even that Hoffritz give me better, more comfortable shaves. Yes I'm moving to sharper blades in the Tech, but now I'm not doing it to try to make up for poor technique.
Now, I'm told that the EJ 8x series razors are wonderful, and there is something to be said for starting with a modern, easily found razor, instead of having to locate a vintage one. I'll probably try one of those next. But I'll bet there are more than 50 Techs for under $20 right now on e-bay.
Well there's my first impression. I welcome any comments, corrections, insults, etc.

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 03-13-2012, 11:44 AM
#2
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Java, that is a great review of the Tech and will help others immensely. The Tech has been a standard for years and your review points out why that is so.

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 03-13-2012, 11:45 AM
#3
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Great insight, Java. I think the same could be said for the SuperSpeed one piece razors, generally speaking. I guess they are forgiving in the sense that they won't murder you in your sleep if you aren't vigilant about blade angle. I'm surprised that you find the Tech so sensitive to angle, but that may well be part of the YMMV factor of your particular beard and skin. It is great when you find a product that increases your awareness of technique, so that your whole collection of equipment performs better. For me, it was a Semogue boar that made all my brushes more effective.

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 03-13-2012, 11:51 AM
#4
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+1 Java, right on. Everyone should Tech up, especially beginners. There are cheap ones available at Etsy now and then.

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 03-13-2012, 08:12 PM
#5
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Java, thanks for an excellent review.

I agree with you that everyone should start with a Gillette Tech (or SuperSpeed). I would suggest the Tech first.

Although it's a very light and mild razor, I agree with your observation that if you pay attention to angle, the Tech gives a great shave.

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 03-14-2012, 05:13 AM
#6
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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A very good and thorough review. Beside Gillette Techs you can also find Lord brand techs that are made in Egypt. The are excellent and very cheap.

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 03-14-2012, 10:08 AM
#7
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That's an excellent review!!

I'm not a noob, but I recently returned to the Tech - with some modifications, and I'm convinced that it's not just a 'newbie razor'.

I used the Tech for a couple of weeks a month ago - with a Feather blade, and a cooncatbob handle (very heavy). The resulting shaves were excellent, and not any less close than what I can get from my Barbasol, for instance.

True, the Tech didn't remove as much hair at the first pass, but by the end of the 3-pass shave, it was the same closeness, without any risk of irritation. Smile

Yes, it does require spot-on technique to get a great Tech shave, but that's a limitation of the user, not the razor.


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 03-15-2012, 07:36 PM
#8
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Well, am I the only person to offer criticism of the review? Positive criticism that is. Biggrin

I couldn't agree with what you wrote more. You hit all of the major points as to why I suggest a Tech or SS to noobs. They are wonderful teachers for all the reasons you mentioned. Very well done.

But once one gets accustomed to aggressive razors they are frustrating to go back to for the very same reasons you wrote.

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 03-16-2012, 03:36 PM
#9
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I enjoy using my fat handled Tech a lot on the last pass and touch-ups after using more aggressive razors on the first one or two passes.

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 03-17-2012, 07:39 AM
#10
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I think the downside to this recommendation is that the mild nature of the Tech may cause newbies to use too much pressure. Then, when they move on to something more aggressive, they to some extent have to relearn what they're doing and really really back off of the pressure.

I think the Tech is a very fine razor. I have one and use it for (as edgerunner describes) last pass and touch-ups, but it would really aggravate me as a primary stubble reducer. For newbies, I think a better recommendation (and where I started a month or so ago) is the DE89 or something similar.

- Mark

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 03-17-2012, 09:47 AM
#11
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Mark, that's a valid point, but that's also where us training a noob comes in. We need to stress at every point, "no pressure". Or the actuality of just enough pressure to keep the razor from chattering but not enough to deform the skin. Once they get that as part of their routine and don't see blood (consistently) they're off to whatever razor they want to use, basically.

Heck, I've seen some folks write that (this vailidates your point) that their razor actually works better with pressure. You gotta know that person will turn their face into hamburger with an '11 R41.

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 03-17-2012, 10:02 AM
#12
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(03-17-2012, 09:47 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Mark, that's a valid point, but that's also where us training a noob comes in. We need to stress at every point, "no pressure". Or the actuality of just enough pressure to keep the razor from chattering but not enough to deform the skin. Once they get that as part of their routine and don't see blood (consistently) they're off to whatever razor they want to use, basically.

Exactly. That's why I think it's wise to start with a somewhat more aggressive razor than the Tech. It's one thing for a bunch of videos and forum messages to tell you "no pressure," but it's a whole other thing when direct and immediate feedback from the razor -- in the form of slight nicks, weepers, burn, etc... -- tells you that.

With the Tech and other similarly mild razors, I just think the newbie can get away with using too much pressure, not realizing that he is doing so, and then get a rude surprise when he tries to move on to a more aggressive razor that reveals the pressure problem. I say, why go through that? Just start with something a little more aggressive. I'm not talking an R41 or a Slant or anything like that. Just something that will immediately expose technique issues and force the user to back off a bit and focus. For me, the DE89 was perfect for that. I think a moderately dialed-down Slim Adjustable would have done it too.

Cheers,

Mark

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 03-17-2012, 12:38 PM
#13
  • Colcurinho
  • Member
  • From the land of Semogue, Musgo Real, ..
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I have one, and I love iy. A mild and nice machine.

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 03-17-2012, 02:37 PM
#14
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my buddy lent me a tech to try when I was first starting out, but I never did actually try it. I never got any real good shaves with a DE razor, so I went right into injectors.

I really should consider trying out a tech since I have a bunch of DE blades here still from when I was using a DE razor.

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 03-17-2012, 08:31 PM
#15
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Very nice review, sir. Congrats and enjoy!

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 03-17-2012, 10:27 PM
#16
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Excellent review, Tom. You touched on the points I would make about the Tech: Designed for sensitive skin, excellent for learning, and you need to get the blade angle just right for an effective cut.

I started out with a Merkur razor and found it too aggressive. I switched to the gentle Weishi and my shave improved and learning accelerated. It wasn't long after that that I switched to a gold, thick-handled Tech, which I used for 3 1/2 years almost exclusively. I think it's a wonderful razor.

- Murray

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 03-20-2012, 04:07 PM
#17
  • Sargon
  • Member
  • St. Louis, Missouri
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I never was personally that fond of 'em, though a friend loves the one I gave him. Now 40s super speeds... Those are hard to beat. YMMV in action. That said, you have a point. A well made and mild razor is a decent starting point for most guys. I've come to really love my Futur, but I would never suggest it as a first razor.

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 03-20-2012, 04:14 PM
#18
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(03-20-2012, 04:07 PM)Sargon Wrote: I never was personally that fond of 'em, though a friend loves the one I gave him. Now 40s super speeds... Those are hard to beat. YMMV in action. That said, you have a point. A well made and mild razor is a decent starting point for most guys. I've come to really love my Futur, but I would never suggest it as a first razor.
+1 on the 40's Superspeeds Smile

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