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1958 Ball End Tech - First Shave

Let me start by saying that the only "vintage" Gillette razors I've used before have been current at the time I used them. The one I remember best was a Super Adjustable that was my daily shaver for a decade or so back in the 1970's. So this foray into vintage Gillettes is new to me. I was looking for an Old Type, but that deal didn't work out and instead I bought a 1958 US made Ball End Tech. It was inexpensive and in near perfect condition. My first surprise was how small and light it is. The handle isn't quite as diminutive as the Fatip Piccolo's, but the Tech makes all of my other razors look and feel like behemoths. Nevertheless, I loaded it with a new Israeli Red Personna blade and decided to give it a go this morning. Blade loading is simple and the alignment is perfect. I lathered up with MWF and proceeded with my normal 2 pass shave. The Tech is light (I think I said that already) and easily maneuvered around the face and neck. Blade feel and audible feedback were both minimal, and it seemed highly unlikely that I could nick or cut myself or that this razor would cause any irritation. So the shave was quick and inconsequential. Unfortunately the results were less consequential than I would have liked. This is easily the least efficient razor I have ever used. I suppose it's OK if you want to do more passes or if you really don't need anything more efficient, but it's unlikely that I will keep this razor.
 
It's funny how different people are in regards to shave preference. For me a $10 ball end tech offers as good a shave as anything out there. Always DFS with 2 passes. BBS with 3 passes. I have yet to get a nick or weeper with a tech. I could happily shave with one for the rest of my life.

Sometimes I wonder why I bothered with the modern razors I like and use. The feather AS D2, razorock GC, and karve. For me they offer a shave as good as But not superior to a good old tech. But I like variety and so down the rabbit hole I've gone.
 
It's funny how different people are in regards to shave preference. For me a $10 ball end tech offers as good a shave as anything out there. Always DFS with 2 passes. BBS with 3 passes. I have yet to get a nick or weeper with a tech. I could happily shave with one for the rest of my life.

Sometimes I wonder why I bothered with the modern razors I like and use. The feather AS D2, razorock GC, and karve. For me they offer a shave as good as But not superior to a good old tech. But I like variety and so down the rabbit hole I've gone.
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I have had a similar experience. ASD2 was not really anything out of this world compared to a tech. Its very well made and a true delight.....but really not better than a tech. I tried a friend's GC and really hated it. Tedious and stressful to use. Not sure which model, but it was the aggressive one that came out and they cancelled the milder version. Lovely razor, but not a nice shave. I also have a Karve. I have used the B and C plates. I wouldn't call it efficient. I get a better, longer lasting shave from a NEW SC or LC, to be honest. I am debating whether to get a D plate or just sell it. I still use my techs a lot as well. I also bought a timeless aluminum which, nice as it is....it does not compete with my vintage razors in terms of quality of shave.
 
My guess is that your opinion will improve if you give this razor another 2 dozen or shaves.

Nothing to lose by trying!!
 
It's a keeper. Give it a few more tries. It's a razor for the times you look for a nice and easy DFS shave. I don't use mine very often but I can't really imagine my collection without a Tech. All vintage lovers have at least one for a reason.
 
My guess is that your opinion will improve if you give this razor another 2 dozen or shaves.

Nothing to lose by trying!!
Maybe, but I'm very tempted to put it on the BST forum. I believe that it will be not aggressive enough for my liking even after using it a while, but that someone looking for a mild razor would truly enjoy it. It reminds me a bit of my Feather AS-D1. Although the razors don't have much in common physically, both were just too "mild" for me. I used the Feather more than a few dozen times, but I never did come to appreciate the shave it provided and I ultimately donated it to the Saint Sue auction.
 
One of my five Techs in regular rotation in a 1956 #24 Ball Handle Tech (England) so I'm fairly familiar with this era Tech.

I typically use Kai and Personna (Med Prep and Israeli Red). Branching out with Rapira and Vokshod.

Of primary importance: The Tech requires a very shallow angle to work it's best. Start on the cap (handle 90° to your face) and decrease the angle until the blade just makes contact. With practice, this angle will become 2nd nature when using a Tech.

Use a light touch. You won't need pressure to get the job done. Pressure = Irritation.

I use WTG, XTG, ATG passes, plus an angled XTG/ATG pass, buffing and touch--up to finish my neck and chin.

At least DFS to BBS every time with zero to very little irritation.

Be nice to the Tech and the Tech will be very nice to you. :)

YMMV. :)
 
One of my five Techs in regular rotation in a 1956 #24 Ball Handle Tech (England) so I'm fairly familiar with this era Tech.

I typically use Kai and Personna (Med Prep and Israeli Red). Branching out with Rapira and Vokshod.

Of primary importance: The Tech requires a very shallow angle to work it's best. Start on the cap (handle 90° to your face) and decrease the angle until the blade just makes contact. With practice, this angle will become 2nd nature when using a Tech.

Use a light touch. You won't need pressure to get the job done. Pressure = Irritation.

I use WTG, XTG, ATG passes, plus an angled XTG/ATG pass, buffing and touch--up to finish my neck and chin.

At least DFS to BBS every time with zero to very little irritation.

Be nice to the Tech and the Tech will be very nice to you. :)

YMMV. :)
Thanks for the advice, but based upon how many passes you are using to get to BBS, I'm guessing that I'm doing it right. I prefer razors that get me to BBS in two passes (with maybe some minor touch up). I just don't see how the Tech is going to be able to do that.
 
One of my five Techs in regular rotation in a 1956 #24 Ball Handle Tech (England) so I'm fairly familiar with this era Tech.

I typically use Kai and Personna (Med Prep and Israeli Red). Branching out with Rapira and Vokshod.

Of primary importance: The Tech requires a very shallow angle to work it's best. Start on the cap (handle 90° to your face) and decrease the angle until the blade just makes contact. With practice, this angle will become 2nd nature when using a Tech.

Use a light touch. You won't need pressure to get the job done. Pressure = Irritation.

I use WTG, XTG, ATG passes, plus an angled XTG/ATG pass, buffing and touch--up to finish my neck and chin.

At least DFS to BBS every time with zero to very little irritation.

Be nice to the Tech and the Tech will be very nice to you. :)

YMMV. :)
I must ask, how can one tell the year of an English Tech?
I have an old English Ball End Tech with Aluminum handle and Aluminum bottom plate but no marking what so ever except for "Made in England".
I have only the razor, not the original box.
I would love to know what year it was made, or in what decade.
Is there a way of telling its approximate age?
 
You might try a heavier and longer handle. I put my fat handle Tech head on a Razorock HD handle from time to time. That is a 3.25 inch solid stainless steel number.

You can also try a Feather, Nacet, etc. blade.
 
Thanks for the advice, but based upon how many passes you are using to get to BBS, I'm guessing that I'm doing it right. I prefer razors that get me to BBS in two passes (with maybe some minor touch up). I just don't see how the Tech is going to be able to do that.
And that's alright. Shaving is very much a YMMV pastime.

My Southern Italian beard does not cooperate with any razor, especially on my neck and under my chin. Grows in all directions. ;)

YMMV :)
 
Thanks for the advice, but based upon how many passes you are using to get to BBS, I'm guessing that I'm doing it right. I prefer razors that get me to BBS in two passes (with maybe some minor touch up). I just don't see how the Tech is going to be able to do that.
You could hold onto your Tech for days when you just need to do touchups after shaving with a more aggressive razor. I often use my Tech for touchups after I do my regular passes with a Slim Adjustable. Keeps the irritation to a minimum.

I must ask, how can one tell the year of an English Tech?
I have an old English Ball End Tech with Aluminum handle and Aluminum bottom plate but no marking what so ever except for "Made in England".
I have only the razor, not the original box.
I would love to know what year it was made, or in what decade.
Is there a way of telling its approximate age?
You could match it up to one of the razors in the mr-razor's Tech gallery.

Or, you could post some photos of it here and someone will identify it for you. That's what I did with my Dad's English-made Ball End Tech and I received an answer very quickly.
 
I must ask, how can one tell the year of an English Tech?
I have an old English Ball End Tech with Aluminum handle and Aluminum bottom plate but no marking what so ever except for "Made in England".
I have only the razor, not the original box.
I would love to know what year it was made, or in what decade.
Is there a way of telling its approximate age?
The seller told me the year of my #24 Ball End. There is supposed to be a date code somewhere on the razor.

Perhaps we could impose on @mr-razor to assist?
 
It's funny how different people are in regards to shave preference. For me a $10 ball end tech offers as good a shave as anything out there. Always DFS with 2 passes. BBS with 3 passes. I have yet to get a nick or weeper with a tech. I could happily shave with one for the rest of my life.

Sometimes I wonder why I bothered with the modern razors I like and use. The feather AS D2, razorock GC, and karve. For me they offer a shave as good as But not superior to a good old tech. But I like variety and so down the rabbit hole I've gone.
+1 +1 +1 :)
 
Sorry to hear that. I came back to wet shaving, as they say with a beat up 1955 ball end tech I found for a dollar. Didnt think much of it moved on to super speeds and a fatboy. Blades, soaps, brushes you name it. Lately its just been the old tech any blade a no name badger and a old tub of proraso red. Life is good.
 
cant beat a tech. simply cant.

They take a small midge of time to get used to. Being so efficient, they don't need to rip your face off on a single pass.

ONLY time I have issue with a Tech is when I haven't shaved in 3 days. THEN its simply Fatboy time.
 
Sorry to hear that. I came back to wet shaving, as they say with a beat up 1955 ball end tech I found for a dollar. Didnt think much of it moved on to super speeds and a fatboy. Blades, soaps, brushes you name it. Lately its just been the old tech any blade a no name badger and a old tub of proraso red. Life is good.
"Beat up old tech for a dollar ". I love that example. And it'll probably go another 50 years unlike many new razors.
 
Thanks for the advice, but based upon how many passes you are using to get to BBS, I'm guessing that I'm doing it right. I prefer razors that get me to BBS in two passes (with maybe some minor touch up). I just don't see how the Tech is going to be able to do that.
Just learn how to use it. And you might
Be surprised.
 
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