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Gillette 1948-50 Super Speed

Item Description

General Notes
It's the well-known Gillette model made between 1948-50. Just like the 1947 before it, the first post-war model of razor put out by Gillette, it carries no date code, and is only distinguished from the 1947 model by the presence of a notch in the bar to facilitate easy blade loading.

Physical details
It's a traditional TTO model. Mine came to me pretty dirty, but with some boiling water/vinegar, toothbrush and dish soap, polish and mineral oil bath, and this thing is good as new. They're built to last, and the action on the silo doors is smooth. I can see this razor lasting another 60 years, and maybe more. Impressive construction. It has really nice heft, feels really good and well balanced, and is very easy to grip. It's may not be the prettiest star in the Gillette universe with knurling on the handle carried right down onto the twist knob, but everything about the design says simplicity and facility.

Shaving
I can only compare this to my Merkur HD as that is the only DE safety razor I had previously used. The HD had always given me great shaves, and I still intend on using it, but the Super Speed actually elevated my shave to a new level. The razor is slightly heavier than the HD, and the balance makes it much easier to shave without applying pressure. The angle seems to just find itself, even going along different facial angles like straight down the chin then down the neck. As close to seeing-eye shaving that I have experienced.

The doors seem to close down tightly on the blade, but not so tight that the blade becomes rigid. That makes it more forgiving and, in my opinion, a great shaver for a neophyte wet shaver. I hate the term "Aggressiveness" because it denotes the Razor versus my face. It was really easy on my face, but it still shaved really well, so I only gave it a 5 on the "Aggressiveness" field because I didn't know what to say. I used a Derby, but an Israeli, Merkur or Feather would be just as at home and would probably yield similar results, especially if you already use one of those blades in your Merkur HD now.

Conclusion
A simple three pass (N-S, ear-to-nose, then S-N), with a bit of touch-up around the muzzle, and I can honestly say that it was the easiest, closest, and most comfortable shave I have ever had. It makes a clean and obvious cutting sound when the angle is right (which is really easy to do), and the head of this razor is shaped to go anywhere, including right under the nose, with ease. If you can find one of these, or the 1947 model, buy it. Remember that there are a lot of these around, so they're not so rare as to spend your child's college fund, but for under $25 you should be able to pick a good example and clean it up yourself. It's worth the time to get to know it, and then you'll be pleasantly rewarded with great shaves, maybe for the rest of your life.

Peace,

Pierre

Latest reviews

Pros: Smooth, easy shave
Cons: None
Great shaving razor! If you have never tried one your doing yourself a big disservice. If you like middle of the road aggressiveness and smooth easy shaves this razor has it all.

It's a quicker shave than a Tech, A Tech takes three passes for me, This one takes only two passes followed by minor touchup on my neck.

It's a permanent member of my daily razor rack which also includes a Red Tip and Two regular FlairTip razors. Any Super Speed is great in my opinion but the 1948-1950's are the Gold Standard.

I can't foresee ever not having this razor in regular rotation in my shave routine.

Get one and try it you wont be disappointed.
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
5.00 star(s)
Balance
4.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
2.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)
Pros: excellent mechanical design, made to last
Cons: having to search for this vintage wonder
On a lark, I bid for on the world famous bidding site and won the bid. The Gillette Super Speed showed up and I researched to be a '49 model.

I sent it to Razor Emporium for its clean up service. It came from this great repair shop looking clean and ready for service.

It quickly became one of my top 2 razors. Easy to get a great shave with this vintage wonder of a design.

Newbies looking to get into wet shaving should not fear this razor.
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
2.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)
Let me state right at the start, this is my favorite razor. I have eight razors, from vintage to modern, open and closed comb, SE and DE- they run the gamut. I bought this as part of a lot of four razors with a Slim Adjustable being the primary reason I purchased the lot. I didn't expect to love this razor and if the price of the lot wasn't right, I would have been unlikely to ever buy one. When I first tried it, I was pleasantly surprised at what a comfortable, effortless and close shave I received. I have now used it with Feather, Derby, Crystal, Merkur, Shark, Iridium and Personna blades and have yet to have a blade fail to perform in this razor.

Price: I paid $42 shipped for this and three other razors. I was looking to spend ~$30 with shipping for the Slim so I figure my cost for this razor was about $5 shipped. They can often be found on B/S/T for from $10 to $15 shipped. This is a third of what a new razor typically runs. 10

Quality: This razor was manufactured 60 years ago and functions as if brand new. What more can be said. 10

User Friendly: The razor is very maneuverable and is the easiest one I have for getting under the nose. 10

Grip: I find it simple to grip but have a couple of razors with slightly better knurling. 9

Ease of Blade Replacement: It doesn't get much easier than Gillette TTO. 10

Aggressiveness: This was the most difficult for me to score. I have several more aggressive razors. However, I find the the aggressiveness of the Superspeed just right for my face. I had to decide which would score higher between these razors. I reluctantly took a point off the score here but could easily be convinced to bump this up to a 10. 9

Adjustability: N/A

Balance: I find this razor to move effortlessly. 10

I have often seen this razor recommended as a great one for those new to DE shaving. I would go further and say it is a great razor for anyone involved in DE shaving. For me, the 40s Superspeed was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. This is my first review and I felt I should pick the one shaving product that I would least like to do without.
Grip
4.00 star(s)
Price
5.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Adjustability
0.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
5.00 star(s)

Item information

Added by
vox_rox
Views
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Reviews
27
Last update
Rating
0.56 star(s) 27 ratings

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