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Gillette NEW Deluxe - 15mm vs 17mm, which one do you prefer?

And why?

What's your opinion about the Deluxe, and particularly those of you who have tried both versions, which one is your favorite?

I've read many threads about NEWs, and many comments about the Deluxe in particular, and the 15mm doesn't seem to be very popular among those who have tried both versions. I've read about its harshness, some blade chatter, and uncomfortable shaves. For this reason, and also because the 15mm is not easy to find, I haven't been actively trying to get my hands on one of these. I have been extremely happy with my 17mm Deluxes and I thought the 15mm wouldn't be any better.

Then, Doc scores this 15mm on eBay for a ridiculously low prices, and comes up with the ''15mm Challenge'', which I obviously accepted. I received the razor on loan from Doc, and I quote ''for an extended testing period (1 year, 2 years, whatever).'' :lol:

I believe the first shave was more than enough to form my opinion, but even so I wanted to use it a few more times before posting my thoughts.
There's no doubt in my mind, the 15mm is the better shaver, IMO of course! How is that even possible, I LOVE my 17mm Deluxes! But the reality is that the 15mm is at least as efficient, and even smoother than the 17mm.

Looking at the baseplates side by side from above, they are indistinguishable, there's no difference except the wider hole of my 17mm which obviously doesn't affect the shave. :001_cool: The surface where the blade sits is EXACTLY the same.

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a side view, again exactly the same thing:

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The only difference is really the bottom of the baseplates. The teeth of the 15mm are cut slightly deeper into the baseplate (exactly 0.5mm on each side). Will that influence the way it shaves? I don't think so, but I'd like to hear your opinion.
If anything, this will make it easier for the lather to clear out from the edge of the blade, but that's it, IMO.

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So, if the baseplate is not the main reason why they perform differently, the cap must be it, right? I think so.

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The exposure seems to be similar, as well as the blade gap. But the cutting angle does look slightly different. I actually measured it using ScreenScales and there's a difference of 2 or 3°s. Is this what makes them different? I don't know, but they're definitely not the same. Would Gillette pair the 15mm only with 15mm-specific caps? Highly unlikely, but who knows.

The other part of the challenge was using the 15mm baseplate paired with a tabless cap from a UK Flat Bottom NEW. I used this combo today, and I'll confess - I used it for the first pass only. Then I swapped the caps again, I was missing the efficiency of the original 15mm. The tabless cap does indeed make the razor a little bit smoother, perhaps too much. I prefer the original cap, and I think it is more than smooth enough, YMMV of course.

$Tabless cap.jpg

Next challenge, and only to confirm that the caps do indeed make the difference, I'll be using the 17mm baseplate paired with the cap of the 15mm. If I'm right, it'll shave just like the original 15mm, if I'm wrong ... I'll be very confused and I'll have no idea what makes them perform differently. :lol:

So, after reading this extremely boring post, which one is your favorite, and why? Pictures of your Deluxe would be appreciated too. :thumbup1:
 
I do like the shaves I get from my 15mm baseplate. Here's a photo of the razor re-plated in 24ct Gold.
I need to spend more time with the 17mm plate razor. I do use the Criterion/Belmont razors more they are 17mm plates.

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Below is my 17mm plate razor, the blade + razor combination on this occasion wasn't very smooth. I'd go as far as to say rough, one shave was all I did with this combo :mad3:

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Beautiful razors, Brian. Especially that replated 15mm. :001_tt1:

Never tried those blades, but probably it just doesn't pair well with the 17mm. IMO the 17mm is definitely not rough, but the 15mm is noticeably smoother, and that was a huge surprise.
 
Beautiful razors, Brian. Especially that replated 15mm. :001_tt1:

Never tried those blades, but probably it just doesn't pair well with the 17mm. IMO the 17mm is definitely not rough, but the 15mm is noticeably smoother, and that was a huge surprise.

Thank you for your kind words :thumbup1: I agree Edgar the 17mm isn't rough just me using a blade that didn't agree with the razor. I've had other shaves which have been fine with other blades in this razor.
 
Edgar:
I am encouraged by the fact that we agree on one thing: the 15mm and 17mm heads do not perform the same (and we need to find out why they perform differently). On everything else, our opinions diverge!
Before continuing, I want to point out that my position has a major advantage in that 15s are very hard to find while 17s come in various beautiful and wonderful forms.
For me, the quality (end result) of the shave is identical, but the 17 is noticeably smoother. The 15+tabless cap may be the best deluxe configuration of all (I need to revisit it; my last experience with that combo was months ago).

Who else has taken the 15mm challenge? Chime in with your thoughts and opinions.

@Brian: that is one gorgeous 15! Perhaps I should get mine replated ...
 
I only have one Deluxe, and I think it is a 15 mm?? I'll have to look closely at it this evening when I get home. It came in the "Red and Black" set-up; does that limit it to one or the other?
 
I have both and most recently shaved with the 15mm and my recollection is that it is smoother than the 17mm. Hard to pin point but it is there and is simply less "harsh" though the 17mm is not "harsh" in the usual sense. There is that much difference. Pics. later

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Well, no wonder. These are different models looking closer, The Deluxe and Standard. Both great but not the comparison we are talking about here. I still like the 15mm in this comparison but like both and when comparing New Deluxe the 15 still wins. I had a BRW handle to go with the 15mm replated head by BRW I purchased recently.
 
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Edgar:
I am encouraged by the fact that we agree on one thing: the 15mm and 17mm heads do not perform the same (and we need to find out why they perform differently). On everything else, our opinions diverge!
Before continuing, I want to point out that my position has a major advantage in that 15s are very hard to find while 17s come in various beautiful and wonderful forms.
For me, the quality (end result) of the shave is identical, but the 17 is noticeably smoother. The 15+tabless cap may be the best deluxe configuration of all (I need to revisit it; my last experience with that combo was months ago).

Who else has taken the 15mm challenge? Chime in with your thoughts and opinions.

@Brian: that is one gorgeous 15! Perhaps I should get mine replated ...

Actually, we agree on two things, Doc. They are different, and the end results are the same (I know I said the 15mm is at least as efficient as the 17mm, but I didn't mean to imply that it might even be more efficient). But, IMO the 15mm is smoother, and that's where our opinions start to diverge.

I also want to clarify a couple of things - I absolutely LOVE the 17mm Deluxe, and I didn't dislike the 15mm + tabless cap combo. But it's not what I expect from a Deluxe. It's a really smooth combo, but also slightly less efficient, IMHO.

I think the 17mm baseplate + 15mm cap will be an interesting test. :thumbup1:

I only have one Deluxe, and I think it is a 15 mm?? I'll have to look closely at it this evening when I get home. It came in the "Red and Black" set-up; does that limit it to one or the other?

Not really, Randall.

Even though most 15mm seem to come in Red & Black sets, there's also examples of those sets that came with 17mm razors, I've got one, came with a long Tuckaway-style handle, like the one Brian posted, and a 17mm head.


I have both and most recently shaved with the 15mm and my recollection is that it is smoother than the 17mm. Hard to pin point but it is there and is simply less "harsh" though the 17mm is not "harsh" in the usual sense. There is that much difference. Pics. later

Nicely described, that's exactly my opinion. :thumbup1:
 
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Well, this thread inspired me to break out the New deluxe that I don't use much. I never knew which version it was mostly due to an aversion to the metric system...low and behold it's a
.59 inch deluxe!

Not as pretty as some on this thread though...
 
Thanks for the review Edgar. The 15mm Deluxe was the one that I just purchased. I guess I'll have to use it during the weekend so I can compare it with your notes.
 
Hello Edgar, and everyone. I thought I would weigh in on this topic as well. First, here's a couple of photos of my 15mm, and 17mm New Deluxe's. The 15mm is on the left.

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It seems to me the 17mm head is both smoother, and more efficient. That's my 02 cents worth. As always of course YMMV.
 
Well, this thread inspired me to break out the New deluxe that I don't use much. I never knew which version it was mostly due to an aversion to the metric system...low and behold it's a
.59 inch deluxe!

Not as pretty as some on this thread though...

.59 inch? My guess is that is a 15mm ...

:laugh:

Thanks for the review Edgar. The 15mm Deluxe was the one that I just purchased. I guess I'll have to use it during the weekend so I can compare it with your notes.

Thank you Hector, your input will be greatly appreciated. :thumbup1:

Hello Edgar, and everyone. I thought I would weigh in on this topic as well. First, here's a couple of photos of my 15mm, and 17mm New Deluxe's. The 15mm is on the left.


It seems to me the 17mm head is both smoother, and more efficient. That's my 02 cents worth. As always of course YMMV.

Hi Alan, nice razors! Thanks for the pictures. :thumbup1:

Thanks for sharing your opinion with us. So far at least, everyone agrees that they're different.

I really don't think it's the baseplate, but OTOH I don't think Gillette would have paired the 15mm baseplates with this particular cap only. In fact I think it would have been more of a random pairing.

Chris thinks it has to do with the cap and the corner tabs and I agree. Most likely there's plenty of 17mm razors with caps like the one on the left, and 15mm with caps like the one on the right. Or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I would like to understand why they perform differently.

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They're both EXCELLENT shavers, but some of us prefer the 17mm, others prefer the 15mm, that's the YMMV thing.

But we all agree that they are indeed different, that's not YMMV, that's a fact.
 
I prefer the 15mm, to me the 17mm feels slightly smoother and the 15mm feels slightly more aggressive.


I've got 3 x 15mm & 1 x 17mm, I'll have to dig the backup's out and check the caps at some point.
 
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To say that this discussion has not gone in the direction I expected would be a huge understatement. Which underscores why this is fun! Bring it!
 
To say that this discussion has not gone in the direction I expected would be a huge understatement. Which underscores why this is fun! Bring it!

Yup, I thought the 17mm would have more fans. I was also pretty sure I'd be one of them. :lol:

OK, in all seriousness and as I already said, they're both superb shavers and equally efficient, I just find the 15mm a bit smoother, that's all.

@ItsAllGravy

Steve, let us know if you check your caps, that would be awesome! :thumbup1: Posting a picture of your beautiful black chrome 15mm on the UFO handle would be great, too. :wink2:
 
Thanks for starting a very interesting thread here, Edgar. I've really enjoyed reading it. I don't have either so I really have nothing to add, except that you all have some beautiful razors and I'm subscribed! :thumbup:
 
Ok I'll bite. I have tried both and still own two 17mm De Luxe Razors. I have the chrome Criterion and the chrome Norfolk Tuckaway. I think I like the 17 more than the 15 because they are chrome versus gold. Ha. I am not a big fan of gold. My 15mm Red & Black set was in poor shape and I sold it off. I actually could not really detect a real big difference between the two. They both shave extremely well so I kept the pretty ones. I actually use the Tuckaway head w/ a ATT Atlas several times a week. Great efficient razor! I suppose you can't go wrong with either but I don't think I have ever seen a 15mm in anything but gold. Deal breaker! :lol:
 

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