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Do vintage razors wear out with regular use

Luckily, I have a Gillette slim adjustable and a British Gillette #58 razor in nearly mint condition.
Now I am afraid to use them as I don't have any backup for them.
Though I clean my razors thoroughly after each shave with tooth brush and dry them with a fiber cloth, how much are the chances of wearing out these razors with regular use. What I mean by wearing out is plating loss, mechanical failure or rust etc.
 
My opinion is that they have lasted this long having been used. I use my vintage razors on a daily basis, and use a modern razor too. With care and proper cleaning they should last your lifetime,and be passed on to your children.
 
Considering the impeccable care you obviously give your razors, if you keep using them and avoid dropping them on the floor I would say this is a question that may well be asked again one day by some lucky person who is using these particular razors long after you're dead and gone.
 
Gillette 1947-1955 Super Speed Razors, Cases, and Razor Blade Dispensers.JPG Faisal; I concur with Jerry and Muhle Skinner completely. Dropping your razor is perhaps the biggest risk for anyone, particularly for us older folks like myself. This danger can be reduced with a small rug on the floor at the sink. I clean my bevy of Super Speeds, and E1 195 Adjustable, and several Pre-War Fat Handled Tech razors with dish washing hand detergent and an old toothbrush following each use. The key is to dry them thoroughly, so a hair blow dryer heats them up sufficiently. The water inside the handle must be shaken out as well. Captain Murphy, here on the site, advocated this regimen, as well as oiling my TTO type razors with a gun lubricant at the handle opening- he and I both use Hoppes 9 oil for our Super Speed razors, but other choices are still good ones. This completely eliminates TTO mechanism chatter on all of my Super Speeds. When Cap restores a razor- I related that the nickel plating can be lightly waxed with an automotive wax to preserve it and provide sheen, and I do that rarely and only during a part of the initial clean-up when found. Cap does this now to all of the razors that pass through his shop. I also lightly go over the razor with a cotton make-up round and a Q-Tip, and I do not recommend any metal polishes except during the initial cleaning- Mother's Polish works well there, albeit with only light pressure as it will remove the plating if you are not paying close attention to what you are doing. My razors are all used- they are not medicine cabinet jewelry, and are all well-maintained. I am sixty-one, and I fully expect them to last the remainder of my life. You will do yourself a regrettable dis-service by not using your vintage razors and enjoying them. Many folks have their collector grade razors and cases, and also have user-grade razors in a daily rotation. This circumvents your inquiries entirely. For instance- I have a new-old-stock Gillette Contract Tech from WWII that I will not use. The rest are up for grabs daily. Believe me- your question was a good one! God Bless! Tony Brown RN mgbbrownVintage Early  Super Speed Shave Den.JPG Medicine Cabinet No More Room.JPG Super Speed Shaving Circa 1948.jpg
 
This comes up a lot whit fountain pens as well. Do you really use those old pens?

Actually I have and use fountain pens that were made before WWI while my oldest razor is a mere baby at only about 75 years new.
 
Why are you using a toothbrush? Out of all the things you're doing, that is the one that has the chance to degrade your finish, if done after every shave.
 
Paintflinger; a soft, totally worn-out toothbrush will absolutely will not degrade the nickel plating. Rub an old toothbrush against your cheek- even a hard scrubbing will not damage your skin! It certainly does not remove the enamel on your teeth from daily tooth brushing! You are also using it in conjunction with dishwashing hand soap, which acts as a lubricant and cleaner in this process. Millions of automotive mechanics and restorers using stiffer parts cleaning brushes on thinner and older cadmium plated parts covered with abrasive dirt and old, hardened grease cannot be wrong I assure you. Brass brushes, which are far, far stiffer, are commonly used to initially clean razors and are designed to not scratch the plating. This type of cleaning was recommended to me by Cap, who is the site's razor restoration expert. I have also asked him to weigh-in on this topic. Most plating damage is caused by acidic shaving soap detritus left for decades on a razor, or the razor was dropped, or commonly thrown into an old glass upside down on the blade silo doors when used in period in the medicine cabinet. I hope this helps! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown
 
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hmmmm..... no, they don't last forever! Your great-great-great grandson might have to replate them..
 
Paintflinger; a soft, totally worn-out toothbrush will absolutely will not degrade the nickel plating. Rub an old toothbrush against your cheek- even a hard scrubbing will not damage your skin! It certainly does not remove the enamel on your teeth from daily tooth brushing! You are also using it in conjunction with dishwashing hand soap, which acts as a lubricant and cleaner in this process. Millions of automotive mechanics and restorers using stiffer parts cleaning brushes on thinner and older cadmium plated parts covered with abrasive dirt and old, hardened grease cannot be wrong I assure you. Brass brushes, which are far, far stiffer, are commonly used to initially clean razors and are designed to not scratch the plating. This type of cleaning was recommended to me by Cap, who is the site's razor restoration expert. Most plating damage is caused by acidic shaving soap detritus left for decades on a razor, or the razor was dropped, or commonly thrown into an old glass upside down on the blade silo doors when used in period in the medicine cabinet. I hope this helps! Tony Brown RN mgbbrown

Fair enough. Personally I'd still avoid daily scrubbings of my razor even knowing what you're stated.
 
They wont last forever, nothing does but theyve lasted this long and are still going strong. Its not exactly something Id worry about, nor would I be stocking up on dozens of vintage razors just incase your favorite one wears out.
I was like that a few months ago: I had 5 Fatboys, 4 Super Speeds and a couple Techs; thinking, "well, what happens when one of them wears out." Thats probably enough razors to last anyone several lifetimes.
 
Based on the wear I see on older razors the biggest concern would be plating wear on some of the old brass razors. Gold plating is thin and soft typically on old Gillette and Gem razors and nickel plating wears off too. I have a number of 80 to 110 year old razors that show plating wear. Replating is always possible. Unless dropped the brass base metal shows minimal wear or damage. I also have a couple of pre WW2 stainless steel razors and they still look new.
 

KeenDogg

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I think like others have stated that if you take the proper steps, they will last a lifetime. A good cleaning with a toothbrush has always done well for me and I don't even use an old one. The nylon bristles are super soft. I am comfortable that they aren't damaging the plating. I know that people have used a brass brush to clean the knurling with no ill effects. Some guys like to rinse and do an alcohol bath too, which is good for displacing moisture. It's all in what you feel comfortable doing. But to answer your question, I think you will be fine.

Kindly,
Adam

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I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that your face will wear out first. It is, after all, far softer than the razor you're running over it.

I agree with mgbbrown's suggestion up-thread that a small rug at the sink will help cushion accidental drops - and it will feel good on your feet.
 
I own and use 20+ razors that far exceed my own age and still work admirably well. I would not fear for them.

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Based on wear patterns I see on classic DE razor top caps, particularly gold and nickel plated ones, the main worry is wear to the plating on the center of the top cap. Whiskers can be abrasive over time. Do NOT over tighten the handle as it can cause wear to the threads in the handle and on the top cap center stud. Early thin top cap Gillettes pre 1920 can show visible damage to the top cap due to handle over tightening. In other words other than damage due to abuse and accidental damage they should last fine and plating on the old brass razors is easily redone if necessary.
 
My 1961 fat boy is already over 50 years old and looks almost like new. No plating loss at all and just a few light scratches on the doors. I would think it it is good for another 50 years with good care. "They don't make'm like they used to".
 
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