01-30-2013, 09:50 AM
#1
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That's how long I've been traditional shaving with replaceable blades and what I've learned so far, condensed of course. Bear in mind this is just about vintage razors; at least 30 years old.

Feel free to add your observations about vintage razors to the thread.

> Generally, fixed head razors get milder as they get closer to modern day. Generally. That includes both SE and DE razors. There are modern exceptions, but that's not what this is about.

DE, Gillette specifically:
> Gillette never really made what I would call a truly aggressive razor. They made razors folks would use that couldn't bite them given a little bit of proper technique.
> The older ones are generally more aggressive, with exceptions.
> The exceptions to my mind are the "modern" (everything is relative right?) adjustables, but for true aggression even those are on the mild side even when dialed up to 9. I'm not disparaging the Fatboy, Slim, and Super Adjustable, it's just the way I see it. I love the Slim.
>Love a vintage fixed head Gillette, just wish it was more aggressive? Shim it.

SE:
>No way to shim any SE razor that I know of. You have what you have.
>The older razors (lather catchers and mini LCs) are more aggressive generally, especially in feel on the face. They are in the transition from straights to disposable blades so the manufacturers are trying to make the transition as much like a straight as possible. Think shaving with a blade glued to a stick. Some more so than others. Again, there are exceptions to this the GEM Jr Bar comes to mind.
> As with DE, the closer to modern day one progresses, particularly in and after the 50s, the razors get milder.
> SE razors never get "Tech" mild, more like 40s/50s SuperSpeed mild at best (on a Fatboy or Slim, setting 3-4).
>SE blades have a considerably longer useful life as compared to DE.
>SE has audio feedback when technique is "right" making them easy to use. Some folks can't tolerate the sound. Others live for it.

OK gents, I know I couldn't have hit on all that the community knows about vintage razors, so have at it! Especially if you disagree with me. I love to hear dissenting opinions.

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 01-30-2013, 10:24 AM
#2
  • Mynorx
  • Active Member
  • Southern California
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The only vintage razors I have are an open comb micromatic that Teiste gifted me last year and a Gem Push I got from a trade. I really dont know the dates but they dont seem overly aggressive like the modern day Futur, grande, or slant tend to be. Ive never tried any other vitange razorsSad

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 01-30-2013, 10:48 AM
#3
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Thanks Brian for the analysis. You hit the nail on the head. To me the only decent shaving vintage razors are the single edge and injectors. What Gillette started doing in the early 70s is lead us to cartridge razors and the rest is history. Thank goodness there are enough modern razor makers to save us.

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 01-30-2013, 02:38 PM
#4
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Brian,
While I only own three vintage razors, a Gillette Fatboy, a Gillette Rocket HD, and a Gem "G" I would have to agree with your statements.

All three are non-aggressive, just a real mellow shave and definitely more than a two pass shaver.

That's not to say I don't appreciate their looks and fine craftmanship,just holding one in your hand to feel what true quality and pride in manufacturing was all about.

All three are over 50 years old and are in pristine condtion and even thought they are not my first choice in razors I still like to shave with them from time to time.

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 01-30-2013, 03:28 PM
#5
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Some very good thoughts Brian.

I have been at this for less than a year and even then was not completely sold on wet shaving until about a month into trying it. Previously I was a Barbasol/Fusion man, easily obtaining DFS in two passes with a total time investment of about five minutes a day. For many, and dare I say, most adults shaving is a chore or routine that is best done efficiently, quickly with as little danger as possible. For most shaving goods manufacturers, especially those reporting to shareholders, catering to the masses is a must, so the ongoing development of safer, faster and more profitable shave systems will evolve.

For those of us that treat shaving as a hobby we must not only take the razor design for what it offers today, but for what it was like using these tools when they were actually manufactured. For instance, a Gillette Old Type originally was used with relatively thick carbon steel blades that were probably much less sharp than modern day equipment is capable of manufacturing. Same goes for the old lather catchers and their included stropping mechanisms, allowing old time shavers the ability to put a fresh edge on that very thick wedge blade. These antique razors loaded with an antique blade may very well be the equivalent or even less aggressive than a late model Gillette with a modern blade. I, for one, have not ever tried an antique razor blade so I don't have any first-hand knowledge but rather thought I would add some more food for thought in what is already a very interesting topic.

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 01-30-2013, 03:32 PM
#6
  • Dave
  • Moderator Emeritus
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The only Vintage Razors I've kept are a Schick Krona and a Schick Injector.

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 01-30-2013, 03:46 PM
#7
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I don't own any modern razors....

I have 2 razors manufactured in the 60's,the rest range from the 1950's and older back to World War I.

Gillette hasn't built a razor that provides the performance/aggressiveness/efficiency I prefer since sometime around June of 1921.

I've owned or shaved with several modern (2000 - 2012 mid range & top shelf) razors and have not found any that match the combination of build quality and performance of my vintage razors.

The general trend over the years seems to be increasingly toward dumbed down kinder,gentler razors....

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 01-30-2013, 04:19 PM
#8
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Geez guys. Here I was feeling good about the shave I got from my EJ DE87 this morning but now I find out it's been dumbed down for me. Confused

Jokes on you cause nothing can be dumbed down enough for me!!

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 01-30-2013, 04:49 PM
#9
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(01-30-2013, 04:19 PM)Bittermormon Wrote: Geez guys. Here I was feeling good about the shave I got from my EJ DE87 this morning but now I find out it's been dumbed down for me. Confused

Jokes on you cause nothing can be dumbed down enough for me!!

LOL
What's an EJ DE87 ???

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 01-30-2013, 07:25 PM
#10
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Quote:DE, Gillette specifically:
> Gillette never really made what I would call a truly aggressive razor. They made razors folks would use that couldn't bite them given a little bit of proper technique.
> The older ones are generally more aggressive, with exceptions.
> The exceptions to my mind are the "modern" (everything is relative right?) adjustables, but for true aggression even those are on the mild side even when dialed up to 9. I'm not disparaging the Fatboy, Slim, and Super Adjustable, it's just the way I see it. I love the Slim.
>Love a vintage fixed head Gillette, just wish it was more aggressive? Shim it.

I always thought that the 3 piece Gillette OC razors (tech doesnt count here) became more aggressive with more recent manufacture. Each incarnation of the Old Type I have used seems to be more mild than any of the news. I've never tried a new deluxe, so I don't know where it would fit in. This is just my observation and as always ymmv.

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 01-30-2013, 07:56 PM
#11
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Brian. It's a nice way of summarizing both DE and SE razors over the years.

So does that mean men are growing weaker...or at least thin-skinned? Biggrin

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 01-30-2013, 08:01 PM
#12
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Thanks for sharing your impressions, Brian.

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 01-30-2013, 09:24 PM
#13
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Great insights. Interesting reading!

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 02-23-2013, 01:36 PM
#14
  • celar36
  • Enjoying Life 1 shave at time
  • London, UK
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Brian, many people keep saying that I was born 100years too late. I have different behaviour and manners then rest at my age area.

What you write about SE and DE made me smile as you know I find hard to shave with DE, only SE works with me. You hit the true essence of both in my case, of course many can disagree and prefer DE but thats individual choice.

The quality back in the days was something, now is all about quantity sadly(with exceptions of course)

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 02-23-2013, 04:16 PM
#15
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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This is what I purchased today. Is the price right? Seems in good, restorable condition. I followed a few threads here and though, well, why not shave with an old. Interestingly, this dates as 1909, according to the code on the inner bar. Anyone use one of these? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200899136645?...106wt_1180

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 02-23-2013, 07:00 PM
#16
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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(02-23-2013, 04:16 PM)Shaun Wrote: This is what I purchased today. Is the price right? Seems in good, restorable condition. I followed a few threads here and though, well, why not shave with an old. Interestingly, this dates as 1909, according to the code on the inner bar. Anyone use one of these? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200899136645?...106wt_1180

That looks like a silver plated razor. Use the baking soda and aluminum foil trick on it, and it'll sparkle like new. Nice score.

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 02-23-2013, 07:51 PM
#17
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+1 It certainly appears to be a silver plated Single Ring. I use one frequently. It's a wonderful razor.

Definitely use the aluminum foil and salts to reverse the oxidation. Polish will remove silver- don't do that.

I'll see if I can find a link to the technique. I found a few.

http://shavenook.com/thread-the-science-...ing+silver

http://shavenook.com/thread-the-science-...ing+silver

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 02-23-2013, 08:08 PM
#18
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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[quote='ShadowsDad' pid='198591' dateline='1361677909']
+1 It certainly appears to be a silver plated Single Ring. I use one frequently. It's a wonderful razor.

Definitely use the aluminum foil and salts to reverse the oxidation. Polish will remove silver- don't do that.

I'll see if I can find a link to the technique. I found a few.

http://shavenook.com/thread-the-science-...ing+silver

Thanks for the information. I know the silver foil technique; but different versions are always welcome. Smile

There is a bit of tarnish though (brass verdigris) so I i'll have to tackle that.

Together with the New I also recently purchased I was thinking of getting both re-plated in any case. Both seem to have no cracks in the handle which makes it so much better to me. I hope the New has no crack; looking at the pics now I see only the one side of the handle. I'll be annoyed if it does end up having a crack, but probably won't because it's a three piece.

This has been a great discussion for me, but has reinforced my RAD.

Thanks for all the information; it's very generous.

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 02-23-2013, 08:16 PM
#19
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(02-23-2013, 04:16 PM)Shaun Wrote: This is what I purchased today. Is the price right? Seems in good, restorable condition. I followed a few threads here and though, well, why not shave with an old. Interestingly, this dates as 1909, according to the code on the inner bar. Anyone use one of these? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

Good going Shaun,that's a kickass razor ! I've found the the Single Ring you have here and the 3 piece 1921 and prior OLD's to be among the most brilliantly performing double edge razors.You'll probably notice that the shaving angle is much more shallow (cap more parallel to face) than later DE razors.

I have 2 Single Rings:

My best Single Ring came off the BST here @ TSN,I got it from Celestino. This of course isn't the proper case:
[Image: sring1_zps3bfda831.jpg]

My 1st Single Ring was a "cut repair" a quarter inch or so was cut off back in the old days to eliminate the cracked portion which was a common repair back then in the days before epoxy.
[Image: A9.jpg]

It came with the original case:
[Image: A5.jpg]

This is a 3 piece US ARMY Issue 1918 OLD with an iKon handle.Loved this set up,but the original ball end handle gives beautiful feedback.Seems like the vibes travel from the blade right up the handle.

[Image: securedownload-26.jpg]

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 02-23-2013, 08:27 PM
#20
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Wow, great looking hardware there!

I was surprised I only had to pay $26 for a razor dating to 1909; 104 years old. Where were the other bidders? Oh well, worked out well for me. Also, no hairline crack in mine.

I can't wait to try it.

Angle no problem; I am a very dextrous, careful and experienced shaver, but thanks for the tip. The hair under my jaw grows UP; in most clips I have seen the hair goes the other way. It means I have a confused jawline area where for around one eighth of a cm I have hair sprouting seemingly in every direction. Perhaps the single-ring scythe I have just bought will mow it down in one fell swoop Smile

I also have some old Gillette blades never used (dating from 1914) and they look in very good shape. Should I risk it? Maybe, eventually, yes why not. I don't expect great results from them. If I do, and don't cut myself to shreds I will report back.

How do you find modern blades in the Old? I have heard some critical comments about the combo.

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