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Gillette Tech 1951 Three Piece with Black Plastic Handle

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After wet shaving with a variety of vintage Gillettes for nearly two years, I would say I have seen and felt enough of the Techs and Super Speeds from the thirties to the seventies to know where this Gillette Tech three piece black handled 1951 razor stands in the time line.

The W1 has two outstanding features: a solid plastic handle and the first dating code, the W-1 date code being the first year and first quarter of stamped date codes for Gillettes (unless you count the partial year of 1950 V-3 code).

The exceptional qualities of this razor end there, unfortunately. Here is the breakdown:

For a razor that has few peers compared to the 50's superspeeds, this Tech is relatively cheap. These can be found on Ebay and other sites for around 25 to 30 dollars US, but I found one in very good condition at a local antique store for 5 dollars.

I believe the worst knock on this razor is it's overall quality with the solid plastic handle. Compared to other metal or metal plastic combination razors that holds up to wear and tear decade after decade, the screw in handle feels less stable than it's newer and older brothers. Fortunately, the threads where the head screws into the handle are metal, but such a feature does little to prove to me that this razor was built to last like a TV Special or even a 1930's Tech.

For a wet shaver who has enjoyed the ease of use that comes with a TTO, this three piece feature is a little inconvenient. Of course, this also makes changing the blade a little more time consuming. For a three piece that is also a great razor, I can overlook such a set back, and for a special razor, I actually love the nostalgia of it. Not so much here.

One can imagine that a ribbed plastic handle should be easy to grip. For the most part, this is true of the 1951 Gillette. However, the handle is rather short and skinny, leading to an unnecessarily uncomfortable grip.

This razor is fine for those looking for a gentle razor, but not too gentle. It's certainly not aggressive as a red-tipped super, but not nearly as easy on the face as a blue-tip or older style Tech.

The W1 has little give and certainly no adjustability, and to combine this with the maladjusted weight between the metal cap and the plastic handle, this is not an evenly distributed razor and takes some getting used to for a man used to the beautifully balanced Schick Krona.

Aesthetically, it is mixed attractive and ugly with Gillette Diamond and Arrow trademark on the nickle plated cap, but the solid black plastic handle seems out of place and certainly takes away from the overall 3 1/4 inch long razor.

Still, I keep this razor in my rotation for the novelty of it, if for no other reason than this vintage Gillette certainly stands out as a blip in time. On a scale from one to ten, I'd give this razor a six.

Latest reviews

After wet shaving with a variety of vintage Gillettes for nearly two years, I would say I have seen and felt enough of the Techs and Super Speeds from the thirties to the seventies to know where this Gillette Tech three piece black handled 1951 razor stands in the time line.

The W1 has two outstanding features: a solid plastic handle and the first dating code, the W-1 date code being the first year and first quarter of stamped date codes for Gillettes (unless you count the partial year of 1950 V-3 code).

The exceptional qualities of this razor end there, unfortunately. Here is the breakdown:

For a razor that has few peers compared to the 50's superspeeds, this Tech is relatively cheap. These can be found on Ebay and other sites for around 25 to 30 dollars US, but I found one in very good condition at a local antique store for 5 dollars.

I believe the worst knock on this razor is it's overall quality with the solid plastic handle. Compared to other metal or metal plastic combination razors that holds up to wear and tear decade after decade, the screw in handle feels less stable than it's newer and older brothers. Fortunately, the threads where the head screws into the handle are metal, but such a feature does little to prove to me that this razor was built to last like a TV Special or even a 1930's Tech.

For a wet shaver who has enjoyed the ease of use that comes with a TTO, this three piece feature is a little inconvenient. Of course, this also makes changing the blade a little more time consuming. For a three piece that is also a great razor, I can overlook such a set back, and for a special razor, I actually love the nostalgia of it. Not so much here.

One can imagine that a ribbed plastic handle should be easy to grip. For the most part, this is true of the 1951 Gillette. However, the handle is rather short and skinny, leading to an unnecessarily uncomfortable grip.

This razor is fine for those looking for a gentle razor, but not too gentle. It's certainly not aggressive as a red-tipped super, but not nearly as easy on the face as a blue-tip or older style Tech.

The W1 has little give and certainly no adjustability, and to combine this with the maladjusted weight between the metal cap and the plastic handle, this is not an evenly distributed razor and takes some getting used to for a man used to the beautifully balanced Schick Krona.

Aesthetically, it is mixed attractive and ugly with Gillette Diamond and Arrow trademark on the nickle plated cap, but the solid black plastic handle seems out of place and certainly takes away from the overall 3 1/4 inch long razor.

Still, I keep this razor in my rotation for the novelty of it, if for no other reason than this vintage Gillette certainly stands out as a blip in time. On a scale from one to ten, I'd give this razor a six.
Grip
3.00 star(s)
Price
4.00 star(s)
Balance
2.00 star(s)
Quality
2.00 star(s)
Adjustability
1.00 star(s)
User Friendly
2.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
2.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
2.00 star(s)

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