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Gilette HD Rocket

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I got this from the BST for $95- you can decide if that was a good price or not. In the Vtge market there's always tension between buyers & sellers trying to get the best deal for themselves and I've known some guitarists looking for/buying vintage instruments to switch their position 180 degrees when they change their role, without batting an eye.
I think the overall quality of the "real" Gillettes is well-known, though I'm sure there've been fluctuations over time which I'll learn about as I go. Certainly this particular model is in good condition and seems well-made. The silo-doors operate smoothly and secure in place very well. This is not as heavy as either my 11c or Slant, which took me by surprise, nor is the handle quite as thick. The colour of the piece is distinctly different too from any modern chroming I've seen and I don't know if this is the natural aging process or an aspect of '50s alloy choice.
You can't really get any more user friendly than this, can you?
Grip is fine.
Ease of blade-replacement: see above
This seems to have that un-losable sweet-spot that the HD has...it just turns around itself without you even thinking about it and suddenly your on your second pass. As to agression, I think this is a not-very-precise way of quantifying the most ephemeral aspect of DEs- the interaction between skin, blade and arm. Obviously something like a slant is blatantly agressive, but as you get into the middle of the range, I think lots of other things must affect it, including your soap/cream-choice and how twitchy your arm is that morning. I used to think more agression was better, but now I'm realising this is not the case. For me, the Rocket was quite forgiving but very effective and I'm definitely glad I've finally got a good Vtge G in my collection!

Latest reviews

Pros: weight
Cons: availability
I wish these were as plentiful as the techs that are all over the place. Still, I was able pick one up in excellent condition for around $30 shipped. The razor has heft which lends to a better balance for me. It's the notched bar, which I find inferior to the earlier un-notched super-speeds, but there were no alignment issues. A superior razor overall, for a closed comb TTO.
Grip
5.00 star(s)
Price
5.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
1.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
5.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)
Pros: Excellent build quality, excellent shaver
Cons: TTO knob sometimes turns loose while shaving
The Gillette Rocket HD is a very fine razor. Mine is user grade, with some slight plating loss, but that does not detract from the shave quality at all.

It's a very user friendly razor, with great ergonomics. My only complaint is that, now and then,I somewhat loosen the TTO knob when I repeatedly push against it with my pink. The TTO mechanism should be near the head, like later Gillette razors had. It does not happen often, but the awareness of the possibility detracts from the shave slightly.

The grip itself is great, due to the hefty handle and the nice knurling. Changing the blade is a breeze as well, as with all TTO razors.

It's not very agressive, but very effective. You can really let the weight do all the work, and have a great shave in two passes.

Adjustability is none, since it is not an adjustable razor. But the balance while shaving is great, with the remark that the knob sometimes is in the way of my pink finger.

It's a classic!
Grip
3.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
4.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
4.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
2.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)
The Gillette Rocket which I've got is a Gillette Apparat Nr. 52 made in Germany. It's identical to a Gillette Rocket apart from its name.

[imga=left]http://badgerandblade.com/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=21079[/imga]This particular razor came from the bay for 5 €. It required a thorough cleaning session with polishing some rust spots out of it.

The performance can be compared to a black handle Super Speed. I dare to say it is better. The razor is a bit heavier and in my opinion sturdier. The weight makes for a better balance and shave. You can just let the razor glide i.e. it's easier to just use the weight of the razor and not to or only slightly to press down. While a Super Speed isn't bad this thing is really good. There's more metal and though it's preference I think it's less rattling.
I went with an Asian Gillette Super Thin blade. The resulting shaves were all good. Good as in smooth and clean.

Now the looks. The handle is textured which also helps while doing different shaving techniques. Though it didn't respond to polishing as well as the non textured head (second picture). The knob on the bottom is securely fixed when silo doors are shut. Overall a NOS can be placed on the shelf.

Shaving with it is a joy. I rate it second only to a Gillette NEW.

I didn't rate the razor on price and adjustability because it is no longer made and comparing an adjustable to a non-adjustable is like comparing apples and oranges.

displayimage.php
Grip
3.00 star(s)
Price
1.00 star(s)
Balance
4.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
1.00 star(s)
User Friendly
4.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)

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scottish steve
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