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A Chaotic 1st Shave With A 40's English Tech

I had not shaved since Thursday Night, so with a nice DE 48 hour growth to clear (is it me or does DE stubble look better?) I thought it would be a good time to try out my 'new' Gillette Tech, Circa 40's with it's Gillette Old style ball-end handle. What could possibly go wrong eh?

I wanted to humour it's slightly smug 'I've been used in the field you know' vibe as much as possible, but no, I did not go to the back yard and commence to dig a fox hole (it is raining slightly and the park is lousy with snipers) Instead I loaded up a Gillette Wilkinson Sword Indian. This was it's 3rd use, because I wanted to replicate the authentic 'it will be a month before I am rotated out of the line and can get to a NAAFI/PX so I had better use each blade 6 times' sensation. I laid the blade on the slightly unfamiliar bar and ear system of the tech head and put on the plate, and commenced to screw on the Gillette New handle. I laid out my Arko stick (good as an anti-gas agent too, just wave it about) and my retro EBay red and cream handled brush. All very 1944.

After about a minute of screwing (all I'm capable of nowadays) it began to dawn on me the head did not want to affix to the handle. Odd, quoth I. It has never done this before. Well that was then and this was now. With a blade inserted the handle just did not want to play.
After some cursing I finally managed to get about two turns of the thread of the screw engaged. It seemed nice and solid.
I checked blade alignment. It looked fine. I was surprised at the blade exposure though. Twice that of my EJ89 I thought. This is going to be more on the 'efficient' side. Righto.

Cheerfully humming 'Long Ago And Far Away' (The Jo Stafford version) I set to. A good old face wash, then I set to slathering on the Arko on my chiseled features. That done, I began to lather up, while heating up my Tech under the hot tap. North to South, left cheek first, as is my way. The geometry of the head felt familiar, but the increased aggression was noticeable. There was a pleasing audible feedback. Left cheek done and left side of neck. Now chin and upper lip. Still trying to get the hang of the angle. That bloody dull blade is beginning to drag..badly.

Then the head fell off. I stared at the head, now under 3 inches of warm/hot water as per the best YouTube advice. The head stared back. I had not expected this.

My mind racing, I decided on a tactical field expedient. I would use the EJ handle! Take that Jerry! It worked. Re-armed, I commenced upon the left cheek. User error, and that dying blade then proceeded to give me a bloody oww-inducing nick under my right sideburn. Oddly, no blood. Slight panic began to creep in. An infantryman's worst enemy. I then proceeded to change out for a fresh blade. I had never done this mid-shave and it is slightly disconcerting I found. Right side of face done. First pass. It looked ok.

Second pass lather completed, I began to East-to-West. First strokes. Good, audible feedback. Doing a beautiful job of clearing my jawline. Then fatally, I looked down at the head. A glint of light made that increased blade exposure look strangely sinister. And that micro cut was starting to sting. A great, silent psychological battle between Tech and man began.

The Tech won. My strokes became more hesitant and timid. My grand plans for trying the Gillettte Slide withered and died. Second pass done. Third pass lather up. South-to-North. Very efficient. It even dealt excellently with my difficult under the chin area. However the controlling hand behind it was losing confidence. I managed to finish my moustache area, and did my warm and cold rinses and applied witch hazel.

Altogether a very eventful shave, and memorable. The Tech performed great, the operator did not. I would call it more efficient than I expected, a characteristic of early Techs I have read. Has any one else ever had this strange fear of razor syndrome kick in using a new model?

TL:DR

Simon
 
Has any one else ever had this strange fear of razor syndrome kick in using a new model?
Every single time I use my shavette without changing the blade. The feeling when the blade grabs feels like it's about to dig in a peel my face off. It's very primal and hard to shake. Probably like our ancestors shaving with flint. Your technique means nothing if the blade doesn't behave predictably.
 
I really liked how the head behaved. It's just the usual learning curve. I was surprised at the increased blade exposure. It's shaping up to be a great head. I will figure it out. I just need to get a Tech handle. The short DE89 handle fitted fine but I wonder if it affected balance.
 
Has any one else ever had this strange fear of razor syndrome kick in using a new model?
Not fear, but I have learned caution. When I move from one razor to another, I often make errors in my technique that contributes to a less than perfect shave, nicks included. And strangely enough, it happens most with Techs. A couple shaves, technique is nailed in. But that first shave....I have to be careful.
 
For me it's working out like this.
If the razor is shaving very differently, I am cautious and start ranting about the razor on a forum, like Badger and Blade.
The second shave then usually works out OR I get cocky and cut myself.
After that I usually have too many other razors waiting for the next shave and move on to repeat that cycle. :)

I usually leave the handle attached though. Once, not so long ago, I didn't tighten the head of my Wunderbar, but noticed and corrected that mid shave.
 
Whenever I use the MMOC, there's a hint of trepidation in the back of my mind... It's not even close to being a raging beast when blade angle is correct, but if you don't play by its rules it *will* hurt you.

My brief flirtation with the FaTip also gave me pause every time I picked it up, I never actually cut myself with it, but the implication that it *could* end me if I gave it the chance was well understood. I hope its new owner gets along with it better.
 
I really liked how the head behaved. It's just the usual learning curve. I was surprised at the increased blade exposure. It's shaping up to be a great head. I will figure it out. I just need to get a Tech handle. The short DE89 handle fitted fine but I wonder if it affected balance.

I've used Tech heads of various ages and types on original hollow handles, original thin handles and several different modern stainless handles... My take is that a given head/handle combination will still not shave any better than the angle and pressure modulation supplied by the shaver.

I definitely have handle preferences as far as length and weight, but how well I execute the shave and to a lesser extent the actual razor head and blade used have a much bigger influence on my final result than heavy vs. light or short vs. long handle.

I really like the EFBT head on a RR HD handle.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
I've used Tech heads of various ages and types on original hollow handles, original thin handles and several different modern stainless handles... My take is that a given head/handle combination will still not shave any better than the angle and pressure modulation supplied by the shaver.
Well, this is true until you get down to the shorty "travel tech" handle. For me, those are tough to get decent angle/pressure and a comfortable quick shave.

:tongue_sm
 
Well, this is true until you get down to the shorty "travel tech" handle. For me, those are tough to get decent angle/pressure and a comfortable quick shave.

:tongue_sm


Yeah, I've eyed those a few times on the 'bay and taken a pass. It looks like a cool concept if you had to pack really light, but so far my travel needs have never dictated that. My idea of a good "short" handle is in the 2.75 - 3" range.
Honestly, dealing with air travel constraints is the only time I entertain the use of disposable razors, with the venerable Bic single edge being my poison of choice ...they're not a bad razor really, given the ultra-light weight and low price.
 
Indeed, the BIC orange is probably the best fixed head disposable S/E razor in my experience. I used it for many decades, and it is actually an excellent preparation for using a D/E razor. It does require a learned technique. I found it surprisingly efficient.

I also have a 60's English Tech with the aluminum swirled flat base handle for outdoor/camping use. It often crops up in UK made travel grooming kits on the British 'bay. It was also issued to the British Army in the late 60's up to the early 80's.

Length about 76mm, ideal for my tastes. It is a light razor at 30gms, but this has given me no issues, as technique and blade choice overcomes it's light weight in my experience.

The short handle on the Travel Tech I don't think would work for me. Ergonomics.
 
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