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The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
05-14-2012, 03:27 PM
Post: #1
The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
A few days ago, Phil asked on the forums here if anyone was interested in a Gibbs Razor Tour. I jumped at the chance to try one of these, and so he sent the razors to me and asked me to be in charge of the Tour. :)

These are the razors:

[Image: 100_2637.jpg]

The razor on the top is an adjustable and the one on the bottom is not. The bottom one is called the Plus/Minus, because of the markings on the head which designate a more aggressive and a less aggressive side. More on that later.

[Image: 100_2639.jpg]

In the pic above, you can see the +/- sign on the head of the non-adjustable (on the left). You can also see the little pegs on head which are the hallmark of most Gibbs razors ---- they require proprietary blades (or modified regular ones).

Anyway - about the Tour: Please post on here if you're interested in joining the Tour. The only requirements for this are:

1) That you're in the CONUS (though this is negotiable....we'll see)
2) That you have 25 quality posts here on The Shave Nook
3) You're willing to review the razors you use

Each person is allotted 6 days to try the razors. They then need to mail the razors to the next person on the list - making sure to get a USPS Delivery Confirmation #.

Since these razors take proprietary blades, Phil has included some NOS Gibbs blades. However, you can just use new ones if you follow the tips below.
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05-14-2012, 03:31 PM
Post: #2
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
(05-14-2012 03:27 PM)yohannrjm Wrote:  Since these razors take proprietary blades, Phil has included some NOS Gibbs blades. However, you can just use new ones if you follow the tips below.



That's it

Should there be something between "follow the tips below" and "That's it"?
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05-14-2012, 03:33 PM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2012 03:33 PM by Tonality.)
Post: #3
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
I'd love to try them out, though I'd want to be at least 3rd on the list (so I don't have to interfere with SE May).
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05-14-2012, 03:45 PM (This post was last modified: 05-14-2012 04:00 PM by yohannrjm.)
Post: #4
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
Blade usage tips.

As I mentioned above, these Gibbs take non-standard blades.

They're actually almost exactly like regular blades, but they have a couple of notches in the tabs, which are used to align the blade on the head. See here:

[Image: 100_2643.jpg]

As you can see, the blades are otherwise identical. This was undoubtedly a marketing ploy - 'You can't use those pesky Gillette blades on our razors, but you can use our blades in your Gillette!'. This may also have played a role in the demise of Gibbs.

So, in order to use a regular blade in the Gibbs, you have to cut notches in the ends. You can do that with a pair of scissors, but I have an antipathy to holding blades and tinkering with them. Wink

So, Phil has provided some NOS Gibbs blades, but he wasn't very impressed with them himself. Also, I don't like NOS blades. They rarely are as good as modern blades.

So, I used a tip that Tony SC posted in this thread. You use the little pegs on the razor to punch the notches.

I do this by first placing the Gibbs blade on my new blade. I then mark the notches using a marker, like so (that's the Personna under the Gibbs):

[Image: 100_2644.jpg]

I then place the blade in the head-cap.

[Image: 100_2646.jpg]

I then assemble the razor, making sure the pegs align with the markings I made on the blade. This helps make sure the blade is properly aligned on the head.

[Image: 100_2650.jpg]

Then I tighten the razor, using pressure on the head - this causes the pegs to punch notches in the blade. Easy peasy!

[Image: 100_2652.jpg]

You can actually cause the tabs on the blade to crack, but it's not a problem in practice.

[Image: 100_2677.jpg]

(05-14-2012 03:31 PM)wingdo Wrote:  
(05-14-2012 03:27 PM)yohannrjm Wrote:  Since these razors take proprietary blades, Phil has included some NOS Gibbs blades. However, you can just use new ones if you follow the tips below.



That's it

Should there be something between "follow the tips below" and "That's it"?


You guys are too quick. :)

The forum software limits the number of pics you can add to a thread, so I was planning on writing several posts in a row.

Gibbs Plus/Minus Review

I've used the Gibbs +/- razor for three shaves, using a Turkish Permasharp blade modified as above. The shaves were pretty normal for me - three passes, with touch-ups.

The razor is well-made, with a solid, substantial head. The handle is pretty narrow, and may be a problem for people with thick fingers, but I was otherwise pretty happy with the razor build quality. It is head-heavy, which is fine with me.

The +/- signs refer to the two sides which have different aggressiveness ratings (+ being more aggressive). The mild side is pretty mild, while the aggressive side is just about right for my preferences.

This was an issue for me. I found it to be more of a distraction than a useful feature (like I did with the iKon dual-headed razors). I hate this setup - it's like the razor has no idea what it wants to be! After trying to pay attention to which side I was using, I gave up and used both sides as I would a normal DE razor. Hardly the way this was meant to be used.

Even so, the shaves were really nice. I did find that the shaving angle on the + side was more intuitive, while on the - side it was less so. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the - side was less comfortable to shave with.

However, the shaves wound up being pretty good. I was able to get a close, comfortable shave each day with no real effort (after getting over my irritation with the dual-sided head).

It's a nice razor, but it doesn't separate itself much from most DE razors. The dual-head seems gimmicky to me, with no real use -- just as the new iKons are. If the razor had the + side aggressiveness on both sides, I'd buy one. As it is, I don't know if I would buy one.
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05-14-2012, 05:03 PM
Post: #5
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
(05-14-2012 03:45 PM)yohannrjm Wrote:  I'm pretty sure that the - side was less comfortable to shave with.

I reached the same conclusion. Strange, huh?

Thank you for the comprehensive review as well as the tips for modifying a blade to fit. Thumbsup
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05-16-2012, 02:12 PM
Post: #6
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
Hmm.....there doesn't appear to be much interest in this tour.

Apart from Anthony, we have no takers.

-------------

As an aside - the adjustable has been much more fun than the +/-. Review will take place tomorrow, but I've been pretty impressed with it.
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05-16-2012, 02:21 PM
Post: #7
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
I wonder why, I only tried the adjustables and they are not bad shavers at all !!

Thanks for the review Yohann
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05-17-2012, 06:03 AM
Post: #8
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
Review of the adjustable

I've now used the adjustable for three days, using the Red IP blade shown in the pics above.

In the first place, using a modern blade with these razors is pretty easy, and shouldn't deter anyone who's interested in buying one. You just need to take a little care when placing the blade in the razor, to make sure the edges are aligned.

Secondly, the build quality on this razor is much better than the Gillette razors of that time. It really is well-made and feels substantial in the hand. This razor is also head-heavy, which is what I like.

The handle is thick and stubby. People who like long handles will have an issue with this one. I don't usually care for very long handles, but even I would like this one to be a little longer. The handle has a deeply lined surface. This is nice, but I found that this was slippery when wet - more so than any razor I can remember. The answer to that (as Squire from SMF once told me) is to keep you hands dry when shaving. :D

The adjusting mechanism is smooth and continuous. The numbers are held in place while the adjusting ring moves around them. The razor also has a nice touch, with a 'normal' position being marked with an N. I like my razors a little more aggressive than 'normal' (whatever that means), so it was easy for me to find a setting that I like.

The shaves with his razor were very impressive. The weight of the head allows the shave to be very smooth and comfortable (for me). It fit well around the contours of my face, and having the blade-tabs hidden was a plus. On each day, my shave was more comfortable and closer than I have ever experienced in the first few shaves with a new razor.

So basically this razor excels in -

1) Build quality
2) Looks (very handsome razor)
3) Shave quality

It only suffers a bit in the usability arena because of the fact that you can't just throw a modern DE blade in there, but otherwise it is really good.

I said above that I wouldn't buy a Gibbs +/- razor (I won't), but I would buy one of these. It may bump off all my other adjustables from my den.
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05-17-2012, 08:07 AM
Post: #9
RE: The Gibbs Razor Tour - with reviews and tips!!!
Just a word of caution, the razor is well constructed and solid but there is a weak spot I've seen in several of them (including one of mine). The plastic tube that makes the handle may crack if overtightened.

Other than that, if searching for one, remember that the golden Gibbs (nº 15) is aluminum and very light at 1.3oz, while the chrome one (nº17) is the heavy one at 2.8oz.
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