06-18-2021, 03:39 PM
  • Bax
  • Senior Member
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Today in the mail, I received a Gillette Traveler razor kit.  If you haven't seen this old model of razor, it's the "Fun Size" DE razor by Gillette!  I paid $20 on an auction site, probably double what I *could* have bought it for, had I been more patient.   It arrived this morning.  I knew it was coming, so I held off on shaving today, just so I could give it a test drive.
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I unboxed it.  The latch worked well, and the hinge worked well.  The mirror was a nice touch.  The mirror wasn't in perfect condition, but pretty good considering this old razor kit's likely age (1960's?).

I boiled the razor a while, then scrubbed the heck out of it with dish soap and sudsy water, then went at it with an old toothbrush and Crest (with fluoride, of course... surely THAT must do SOMETHING good), and finally rinsed it off with alcohol.  Then I dried it off and dropped in a blade... the same brand/lot blade I've been using in my '49-ish Super-Speed (for a fair comparison).  [What do you *call* a '48-'50 unnumbered Super-Speed, anyway?]  I think the handle of the Traveler is aluminum; it's really light.

Here's how it compares, size-wise, to my $1 Super-Speed that I got at an auction (pic taken before I put in the blade):

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Unfortunately, this little guy has a defect in its head (don't we all):
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The chrome plating has a chip/pit and some chrome has flaked off.  Bummer.  Guess I didn't look at the photos closely enough before clicking "buy now."  Oh well.  It'll be interesting to see if this flaw affects the shave.  The case was pretty nasty, so I pulled off the cloth/mesh cover off of it.  Beneath it was... the backside of the mirror!
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I was expecting a solid lid, not an empty frame for the mirror inside.  Guess I'll have to figure out what to do with that later.  Maybe I'll add my own cover of some type.  Or ask my lovely, crafty bride if she's got any goofy craft-things she'd like to do to it.  Or I could spray paint it, I guess.  Better yet, I could just leave it, because doing ANYTHING to it would be work, and that could cause my incredibly dangerous "work allergy" to kick in. 

Whether this razor works well or not, it's awfully cute.  It's like the Suzuki Samurai of the razor world:

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[break][break]  Time for a shave.

I did the exact same routine I do every morning with my Super-Speed.  Bloomed my soap and soaked my badger brush while... umm... "making believe I was a unicorn citing haiku" (youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q).  Then I washed my face and got ready to shave.  Dumped the excess "bloom water" and started whipping up lather in the bowl.  When it was as perfect as I'm able to make it, using the best technique that my klutzy ineffective incompetence can muster, I lathered up my face and began...

This light-handled stubby razor was a real challenge at first, just because it FELT so different in my hand... and on my face.  But I experimented a bit and got the knack after the first couple of glides from cheekbone to jawline (WTG).   After I got the knack, I thought the stubby handle actually gave me more control than a normal sized handle!   Or the sneaky pint-sized little leprechaun of a razor cleverly misled me to BELIEVE I had more control.  Not sure which.  After my first pass (I usually only do 1 pass). I rinsed my face and felt it, with great anticipation.  I was astonished at the result!  This was, quite possibly, the worst shave I've ever had!  So I lathered up my manly, masculine jaw and did another pass; this time I went ATG.  I rinsed my face and was amazed that the result -- it was 180 degrees out from my last one... I got a BBS shave!  Holy Cow!  I wasn't expecting THAT!  Come to think of it, I never noticed the flaw in the chrome while I was shaving, even though it's a 3-D flaw.  I used both sides of the razor (making a swipe with each side, then rinsing the razor), so I guess it didn't make a practical difference.

This sure seemed like an interesting result.  To me, at least.  I had a very bad first pass; because of the light razor, perhaps?  Because I didn't know what the heck I was doing and was figuring out this stubby handle as I went?  I typically never need 2nd pass, but with THIS razor, my ATG pass made all the difference in the world!  I dunno for sure how to explain this confounding experience with the "Traveler," but I ended up getting a darned good shave out of this diminutive little travel razor in the end!  And it was fun experimenting and learning as I went along.

Bottom Line:  Thumbs up.  Full-size razors aren't that much bigger, so the size-challenged handle really isn't required to make it suitable for travel.  It's just a cute little novelty for the collection.  (It's my 4th DE razor, so I can claim to have a "collection" now.)  I have a teeny-tiny little Proraso sample-size boar brush, so maybe I'll pair it up with this mini gnome-sized Gillette razor and really use these "travel size" items in my travel kit -- just for fun!  If you can find a Gillette Traveler, it'd probably worth picking up.  It's a pretty a cool toy, if nothing else (especially if you find one for $10ish instead of $20ish like I paid).  

Maybe if I get pestered by a grandson who wants to shave with Gramps someday, I'll give him this one (without a blade) so he can "shave" with me.  It DOES seem "kid sized" after all.  ;-)

- Bax

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 06-18-2021, 05:23 PM
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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Maybe if I get pestered by a grandson who wants to shave with Gramps someday, I'll give him this one (without a blade) so he can "shave" with me.  It DOES seem "kid sized" after all.  ;-)

This is brilliant Smile

Here’s my future grandkid’s toy..
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22 7,071
 06-18-2021, 05:37 PM
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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I have one of those Travel Techs someplace - mine had a map of Vegas on the front - when the strip ended at Flamingo if I recall - might have a mirror as well  .. never could get a shave out of the Techs, long or short handled they are just milder than my beard allows

84 982
 06-19-2021, 05:58 AM
  • Bax
  • Senior Member
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Looks like you scored one that was unused New Old Stock, Charlie!  Huzzah!  ("Huzzah" is my new "old gentleman" classic expression of enthusiasm that I've just adopted.  It goes well with old-school razors.)  I poked around a little bit before I bought mine, and there seem to be a lot of promotional versions of this Traveler razor around.  It must have been a popular give-away as a marketing gimmick.  The version with a vintage of the adolescent Vegas strip sounds like a cool one, Gary!
- Bax!

0 538
 06-20-2021, 04:22 AM
  • RyznRio
  • Senior Member
  • Connecticut
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actually many of these travel razors from gillette are basically new old new stock. I am guessing that most were purchased as Father's day or Christmas gifts for the guy who has everything. maybe a shave or two out of curiosity then lost in the back of the shave drawer. I use mine when I travel which I just did! first travelling in 18 months!! My wife and I went to the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania. Mine came in a little red leather case. The tiny handle looks useless but balances well with the Tech head which gives a perfect DFS with NO irritation which is important all the time but who needs irritation when you are on vacation.

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