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Gillette Fat Handled Tech - my all-time favourite DE (pic heavy)


Gillette made several models under the Tech name but this particular model, the fat handled Gillette Tech, is my all-time favourite DE-razor - I just love it :001_wub:

There is a little disagreement as to when it was produced. Some sources say 1938-1941 and others 1939-1942, but it really doesn't matter to me if it is one year to either side.
The model was produced in both the USA and England and offered in nickel or gold plating.
I know that some have been replated in chrome, but I am unsure if it was offered in chrome plating originally, so if anyone has this knowledge please let me know.

Below: The two on the left are English models and the two on the right American models

I don't know if this general or just a difference in the ones I've got, but the bottom of the handle is more rounded on the English (bottom) than on the American (top)

English on the left and American on the right

Despite having such a short life span, the model came in two designs of the head; one with straight holes in the base plate and one with sort of triangular holes in the base plate.
The safety bar has a very tight line pattern on the upper side.



What makes this model stand out to me is the design of the handle. It is nice and thick with a very distinctive pattern.
The upper 1/4 of the handle almost resembles the columns found on ancient temples with vertical smooth lines/grooves.
The lower 3/4 of the handle continues the lines/grooves but they have a special herring-bone or criss-cross pattern.


Despite for the sturdy looking handle, the razor isn't heavy as the handle is hollow. Some people who like a heavier handle, puts weight into the handle in form of sand, lead or other suitable material. One of the razors I've got, came with very small stones in the handle.

Why is this my favourite DE?

Because I really like the design of the handle which is quite special. Gillette also made a model with a thin handle in a similar pattern, but somehow it doesn't aesthetic has the same appeal to me. It is like the pattern doesn't fit the thin handle just as well.
The head gives a very nice and smooth shave and it is not fuzzy about which brand of blade goes into it, it will deliver a good shave every time - at least in my experience. It is a mild razor and I like that it isn't hard on the skin.
The balance of the razor is really good too and I like the weight it has per factory and has found no need to make it more heavy.

And just to elaborate on the shaving properties; I have made a direct comparison of this razor with Mühle's R41 (2011 head). Both razors where equipped with a new Feather blade and I then shaved one half of my face with the Tech and the other with the R41. The result was that both razors gave me a BBS, and neither razor shaved closer than the other in either of the passes, they where equal during the whole shave.
But after the shave I could feel the side the R41 had shaved (no irritation or razor burn), but I felt nothing on the side the Tech had shaved.


Should I mention a modern razor which would come close to this particular model of the Tech, it would be the Merkur 34 HD. It is heavier, but the handle size and balance is somewhat equal to the Tech and although it got a nice criss-cross pattern of the handle, it just isn't as appealing to me as the Fat Handled Tech.
A Fat Handle Tech (with the triangular holes in the guard) is one of three DE razors I have chosen to keep in my arsenal. Currently I have replaced the stock Fat Handle with a Weber Handle, which I think has greatly improved it's shave qualities.
All right, you convinced me. I actually was called the other day by the local junk shop who I had asked to let me know when he found some more and picked one up in the box in great shape with some vintage blades along with another tech and a SuperSpeed for $5. The Fat Handle is currently drying from being cleaned and will be used with my first Astra blade use tonight.
I have still yet to shave with any tech at all. I lent my fat handle to a friend to convert him before I could use it. I have a ball end tech but I have been obsessed with my NEW as of late and haven't touched it.
I have found the pre war FH Tech with triangular holes to be the most aggressive of the Techs and I get great smooth shaves with them.
I love the Fat handled Tech. I think they get underestimated at times because we often recommend them for new wet shavers. But despite their being very forgiving, they give a very close shave. I haven't found another razor that requires so little effort to get a BBS shave. It is the razor I reach for most often.
Gillette Tech ( Fat and ball ended handle) is the underdog performing like a champ and one of my favorites.

Great write up. should have a place in wiki,
Gillette Tech ( Fat and ball ended handle) is the underdog performing like a champ and one of my favorites.

Great write up. should have a place in wiki,

+1. Load these up with Feathers, Labs, or Yellows and you've got a combo that can't be beat. Very comfy too.


Dirty Donuts are so Good.
The great thing about the tech is its simplicity in design which allows it to be such a versatile razor. Want a mild shave? Put in a Israeli Red Personna blade. Want a close aggressive shave? Put in a Feather blade. Want something in between? Then choose from the plethora of blades out there and it will transform the tech into whatever razor you want it to be.
Okay, I have two or three of these (with both the straight and triangular holes), and never tried them. I will use one of them tonight..
I just got mine out again this morning and had a great shave with it, as close as with my 37C Slant, but without the drama. The early Fat-Handled Tech just feels so effortless and comfortable to shave with, like other Techs, yet it gives great results.
Excellent post and photos! After collecting a couple Super Speeds, a Fatboy and a Slim I finally filled the missing hole in the arsenal with a lucky find at an antique store. I picked up a nice fat handle Tech, American w/triangular slots for $2.50! It is now my oldest vintage Gillette. I tend to like the heavier handled razors. I found a tall pill botttle and the Tech will break down and fit with a boar brush and a couple blades for a nice travel set.
the fat handle tech is my favorite razor. I think I own 5-6 of them but I really only use 1 as my go to razor. they sure don't make 'em like they used to
I use a different razor for each pass. After trying about 50 different razors for several months, my fat handled Tech is always my last pass and touch-ups razor. Merkur HD is my favorite razor for the second pass. The first pass is for New, Slim, Black Beauty or Bull Progress.
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