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An Honest Review of the GSC Fat Guy

As promised, here's my review of GSC Fat Guy razor. And don't think I can't hear some of you sneering in the background. :biggrin1:

Much to my surprise, the razor arrived in a padded mailer a day earlier than expected. The presentation was all right, I guess. Tucked inside the box were five "complimentary" Dorco stainless blades. Nice gesture on GSC's part, but I'll never use these.


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My first impressions of the razor were: "Ye gods, this thing is shiny." I understand that a chromed Fat Boy clone is anathema to some people, but the plating is done decently, at least. There are a few nicks and dings in the silo doors which is about what I expect from a $30 Parker, but not a $109 "flagship" razor. It's got some decent heft to it, but it doesn't weigh as much as my Parker 87R.

The TTO knob is a little wobbly when it's open, but it firms right up when locked. The adjuster detents are fairly solid, but there's some definite binding around the 4/5 mark. Impressively, the doors open and close smoothly with only the slightest hitch when unlocking. A couple of the numbers aren't completely filled with paint, but the metal underneath has a yellowish appearance.


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A close inspection of the business end revealed some surface texturing inside of the silo doors. "Huh," I thought, as I initially believed that this thing was made from brass stampings; I'll hazard a guess that its parts are cast or (admittedly unlikely) MIM. The combs look about as straight as my untrained eyes can tell.

Just for S&G, I loaded up a Gillette Platinum blade and tested the Fat Guy on all settings from 1-9. Aside from an ever so slight bowing of the blade that disappeared on higher numbers, things looked pretty much even on both sides. The silo doors close tightly with no rattle or slop.

Long story short, do I think this is a $109 razor? Hell no. I can see it as a $59, maaaaaaaybe $69 razor for what it is and how it's constructed, but hey, I guess Sheldon has a business to run. :001_rolle Do I trust it enough to shave with it? For now, I do, and I'll follow up with my shaving experiences with it in the near future. My biggest concerns with longevity are the mechanics of the adjuster dial and the plating, but we'll see how it holds up in the long term with frequent use.

OTOH, I could just return it and get my money back. Decisions... Decisions...
 
Interesting. From your earlier post on this subject it seems that it does meet your expectations. It would be an anticlimax to return after all this hand wringing. Take one for the team!
 
My curiosity got the better of me and I shaved with the Fat Guy today. I used a new Astra SP blade along with my usual Proraso Red soap. First pass WTG was on 5, second pass XTG was on 3, and head shave was on 1. I played it safe and took my time, but I achieved a DFS with no nicks or weepers, and I had no fear of the razor biting my scalp. I honestly can't complain. :001_smile The adjuster seems to have freed up a bit and the detents are softer now. This razor reminds me a lot of my Parker 87R in terms of efficiency and mildness.

I'm not going to lie. I wanted to hate the Fat Guy but using it has made it earn my grudging respect, at least for the time being.
 
I did not buy the Fat Guy but only because I happen to have a Fat Boy in great condition. But, I applaud the replica projects going on. I'm eagerly awaiting the successful completion of the Gibbs replica. Enjoy your razor!
 
I decided not to get one. I posted about it well over a year ago but passed. Two things about it that troubled me include the price and the plating. If it retailed for under $65, they would have been selling like hot cakes. The aesthetics look good but the plating is similar to what you would expect if you got your 195 plated by someone with limited experience. Too darn thick.

Not a bad casting job and by most reviews, it shaves pretty good but again, too pricey. The knurling, especially the knob is a lot different than the 195 but it looks nice all the same.

This is for someone that wanted a 195 but didn’t want a used one and didn’t want to spend uber bucks for NOS. The problem always goes back to price. It is not hard at all to find a 195 with no plate to speak of and have it replated for what you would be paying for this razor. I’m glad someone finally came out with a clone though.
 
I did not buy the Fat Guy but only because I happen to have a Fat Boy in great condition. But, I applaud the replica projects going on. I'm eagerly awaiting the successful completion of the Gibbs replica. Enjoy your razor!
Thank you! If my experiences with the Fat Guy continue to be good, I might consider retiring the Parker. I'm really liking the concept of "dial-a-blade-gap," as well as the overall balance of the Fat Boy-inspired design. To tell you the truth, I'm seriously considering buying the real McCoy so I can own both.

Like you, I applaud the ambition of trying to recreate a 195 with modern technology and materials, if for no other reason than the sheer courage of it. The result was far from perfect, but I'm impressed with how it shaves despite its flaws.
 
Thank you! If my experiences with the Fat Guy continue to be good, I might consider retiring the Parker. I'm really liking the concept of "dial-a-blade-gap," as well as the overall balance of the Fat Boy-inspired design. To tell you the truth, I'm seriously considering buying the real McCoy so I can own both.

Like you, I applaud the ambition of trying to recreate a 195 with modern technology and materials, if for no other reason than the sheer courage of it. The result was far from perfect, but I'm impressed with how it shaves despite its flaws.
Thee adjustability and the heft is what us fatboy users haven been in love with for quite some time now. Believe it or not the slim is even smoother and can be more manuaverable due to the less height of the head. The fatguy may be a well made clone and redially available, but if you enjoy that one try the original and give the slim a try as well.

Larry
 
Thee adjustability and the heft is what us fatboy users haven been in love with for quite some time now. Believe it or not the slim is even smoother and can be more manuaverable due to the less height of the head. The fatguy may be a well made clone and redially available, but if you enjoy that one try the original and give the slim a try as well.

Larry

I own both and echo this sentiment. I prefer the heft and look of the Fat Boy, but my Slim shaves smoother and better. Incidentally, my Slim has intact original nickel plating and cost a fraction of my Fat Boy. And I don’t think that’s uncommon. There are lots of great Slim razors to be had.
 
Great review. I would like to see the Fat guy be a success for those folks that prefer new over used. I really like the bright chrome on my 87R and the Fat Guy looks like it is similar. Hoping this becomes a regular addition to the GSC offerings. Perhaps I would be interested if I could catch one below $80.
 
Thee adjustability and the heft is what us fatboy users haven been in love with for quite some time now. Believe it or not the slim is even smoother and can be more manuaverable due to the less height of the head. The fatguy may be a well made clone and redially available, but if you enjoy that one try the original and give the slim a try as well.

Larry
Thanks for the suggestion! I will definitely consider looking for a Slim in the future. I don't see why I can't own both. :biggrin1:
 

emwolf

Contributor
Having picked one up at the early backing price I don't feel ripped off, much like the Model T. At full price I doubt I'd buy either, but adjustables are so much fun.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Great review
And appreciate the honest review and not the I bought it and now I’ll force some love in a review to make myself feel better review.
 
I know Fat Boys are hideously overpriced, but can’t I get the real thing for less than $109?
User grade Fatboy's can be had in the sub 100 dollar range...they will never be pristine but they will be useable. I wound up with two of them in the sub 60 dollar range each and they are in great shape and user quality and they are restored by me perfectly. Each of them still have the plating in tact, the adjustment works, and both shave quite well. Yes I had to do a little cleaning and polishing and I had to oil the TTO knob at the bottom with some food grade mineral oil but each are good to go. Sometimes you can get a diamond in the ruff for cheaper then a restored perfect Fatboy and all it needs is a little love and in the end its perfect given its age. The same can be said for the Slims as well....as long as the plating isn't wrecked, pitted, or missing...these badboys can be polished and they are as good and look new with a little elbow grease.

Larry
 
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