The "Not Gillette" Vintage DE Thread

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by syngent, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. syngent

    syngent Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    I have seen some really cool DE razors out their,... mostly we all stick to what we know and can track down info on, and for most of us that means Gillette, and while they made amazing products, there is many more makers out there, recently Doug aka Nemo dropped a pic of what appears to be an old german clone i have never seen before, and the site does turn up a lot of oddballs such as the darwins

    Im curious to know what else is out there in vintage DEs and what people think of them quality made wise, and how they shave

    and we all love pictures,....

    If anyone has some i would love to hear from you

    thanks guys
  2. alex2363

    alex2363 Contributor

    Barbasol, very aggressive yet mild yielding results razor.. This thing is known as a Big Fellow on steroids, its very big, heavy but milder than a early spring day in New Jersey.. $images.jpg
  3. Alex, maybe for you, but the Floating head version i had was a bit too aggressive for me. Hee hee.
    Good luck with the photos, James.
  4. Schick Krona. One of the best DE razors around.
  5. There is indeed. In terms of shave quality, there are many razors that surpass the Gillettes, and it is not hard to figure out why. Following the brilliant, pioneering work of founder King Camp, Gillette designers and engineers mostly lay down on the job, focussing their efforts on creating ever-fancier handles and packaging, and inventing ever-sillier names that tapped the roots of male status consciousness and insecurity (Big Fellow! Senator! Aristocrat!, Diplomat! Regent!). But in terms of actual technological innovation, Gillette managed to produce only four or five generations of DE razors (Old Type, New Improved, New, etc), and, each time, the essential features of the new designs were copied from other companies (solid guard bar, TTO, adjustability, etc.).

    Meanwhile, scrappy European companies had to compete for what was left of the market so, in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, they concentrated on delivering quality shaves. Now, one-half century later, the very finest vintage razors are branded Eclipse, Rotbart, Hoffritz, Leresche, Kirby Beard, Apollo, Emir, and the like. Mind you, I’m not saying that there are no outstanding Gillette razors – far from it (the Tech and the President come first to my mind). Only that anyone who seeks absolute shaving perfection is best advised to turn elsewhere.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  6. I couldn't agree more
  7. Segal made a pretty cool TTO razor...





  8. Mortals,
    Moshulu speaks truth. Heed his words.

    All but one of my Gillettes are out of rotation and just last night I traded away my birth year fatboy. The quality of those "scrappy European companies" products is just so high in comparison to all of the Gillettes I tried to love that I couldn't justify keeping them in the rotation. The ones that Moshulu lists tend to be pretty expensive for those of us in the states, so if you're interested in trying some, I've picked up a L'essor for as little as 15 bucks (shipped!!) that shaves as well as or better than any of the gillette OC's and is even more beautiful. Occasionally, you'll find some little known or unknown razor that is actually made by Hoffritz or Leresche or Henckel's and meets their standards of quality and design. Right now, my best shaver is a German Slant that I can find virtually no info on and I just got another mystery vintage slant yet to be cleaned up.

    It's also possible to get, as I have, a series of uninspired and crappy shavers who were mass produced under virtually no quality control. One thing that can be said in Gillette's favor, I think, is that their worst razors are better than the worst that were produced even if their very best couldn't match the standards of the best of their European counterparts. They also managed to do this on a rather grand scale which is something no other manufacturer has done.

    And as we say here on the board, if there ain't pics, then it ain't so:

    My favorite razor, the Kirby Beard with it's signature grooved head. I won't swear that the head makes a difference, but these are the most effortless shaves I have. Probably more a result of the design of the closed guard than the head.
    View attachment 272622

    This is the fluted handle model which is just a stunning looking razor. There seems to have been as much care put into the appearance as to the performance.
    View attachment 272627

    This is an atypical Leresche. Moshulu suggests, damn his hide, that it might be a Ladies razor. This might be the prettiest one in my collection and the case is spectacular as well. I do shave with it occasionally, but the handle's a tad short for my taste. Still, hanging in my shave den it gives me pleasure even without using it.
    View attachment 272625

    This one was a shock. Simply a shock. It's a vintage German Slant branded Cabiri and it came to me in a leather case (perfect condition) including the blade cases. It still had the original label on it and had never been used. I had a Merkur 37c which is now sold and so had no particular love for slants. It was a 50 dollar risk that ended up well. This razor is simply the most efficient shaver I own. Ridiculously, stunningly, shockingly good. Beautiful balance as well. There's some issue on the inside of the handle in which what appears to be a very light bit of rust exists that I have to take care of, but it's otherwise perfect.
    View attachment 272624

    And then there are these guys. This pic represents about 35 dollars worth of a gamble that didn't pan out. I liked the look of these razors and they're solid brass and the combs were in perfect shape, but the design of the head creates an extremely aggressive and unforgiving razor that will tear your face off. They're well made, but poorly designed by which I mean that they're solid and sturdy, but the design decisions of the heads were bad ones. There's no curve to the bottom plate of the head. It's dead flat. When the top plate comes down, it does put a slight bend on the edge, but there's lots of blade exposed and the angles at which it can cut is quite variable and therefore hard to control. There's no "sweet spot", but there is a rather large bloody spot if you get it wrong.
    View attachment 272626

    On the one hand, it's enjoyable to see others discovering the non-Gillette options out there. On the other, please don't bid against me when a particularly good one comes up.
  9. Same here so far it has tamed every blade I have tryed. I always get no weeper etc with my Krona.
  10. I have a non Gillette Double Ring - no markings whatsoever So my Guess is a German copy? As for the shave ..... its aggressive!
    $IMAG0524.jpg $IMAG0523.jpg $IMAG0522.jpg
  11. This is deep shaving wisdom, and here is an illustration.

    There is not a single marking on this fantastic shaver, although I am 90% convinced that it is a Hoffrritz. It may not match some of the fancier barberpole Aristocrats for looks, but I it wins hands-down when it matters: at 7 AM in the morning.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  12. syngent

    syngent Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Wow some great history going on... thanks for sharing guys
  13. For Gods sake, I must have that Segal, it is EPIC!
  14. syngent

    syngent Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    Way worth having to mutilate a blade to work with it
  15. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    I bought this open comb two piece razor a few years back.


    I'm unsure or the maker as there are no stamps or maker marks. The handle spins to unscrew the cap but the
    bottom plate does not come off. I've used it a few times and it is a very nice shaver. It weighs in at 56 grams.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  16. What a razor. I'll take it off your hands anytime.

    Why have you only used it a few times in two years? Do you have that many razors in your rotation?
  17. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    Here's a bakelite razor and case, the previous owner said it was a Double Six, I'm pretty sure it's made by Souplex, Ltd. of Morecambe, England.

    Ungodly aggressive! The case is unhinged and I haven't opened the blade as much as I really want a peek.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2017
  18. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    Thanks oakshott. I do own quiet a few razors but I've never actually counted how many. My daily rotation is not that big I seem to gravitate to the same four razors.

    Honestly, I just forgot that this beauty was sitting on my shelf and this thread jogged my memory.
  19. Chris- that is a great looking razor! I picked up one a couple months back in rough shape, and posted it on the forum. It was identified as a Permedge by user amishmotorboat.
  20. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    Thank you for the info barticus. :thumbup1:

    It's great to finally put a name to the razor.

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