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Gillette rarity vs. performance question

A few months into DE shaving and I have been whittling down to the razors I really like and work well for me. Right now I am not at a point where I want to keep razors around that I don't like, but I am open to trying new things to really get a sense of what is out there. So far I have kept away from the really expensive old Gillettes. My question is, are the expensive ones (President, Brown Tips, various Old Types) expensive due just to rarity, or are they in a class of their own shave-wise? Obviously, YMMV, but I was wondering if the people buying them are seeking a tremendous shave, or a collector's piece. Now, I cannot imagine there will be a consensus on this, but I was hoping for someone with experience shaving with a rare, expensive razor could weigh in on the actual shaving benefits (basically, are these worth my money if I only am after a good shave?). Thanks in advance!
 
I think that shave quality is rather subjective. Rarity is certainly no guarantee of a great shave. I have a couple of less common razors and they shave very well. However, they cost almost 10X what a perfectly good razor costs, so the return in investment is really very small. It's mostly the pleasure of handling something nicely constructed and well finished that makes the shave more enjoyable. Like using CF cream rather than Proraso that does a perfectly good job.
 
That is sort of what I expect, but I do find a difference between, say, my pocket edition and my NEW. I was wondering if the same difference exists between a President and an Aristocrat or something.
 
The prices have begun to drastically increase in the last months. This may or may not be justified by the shave quality but I think one should always compare to the prices of current DE manufacturers like Merkur/Parker. So if you get a chance to grab an old Gillette in a good condition by a fairly low price, go for it.
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
The prices have begun to drastically increase in the last months. This may or may not be justified by the shave quality but I think one should always compare to the prices of current DE manufacturers like Merkur/Parker. So if you get a chance to grab an old Gillette in a good condition by a fairly low price, go for it.

+1

Like modern razors, one of them might by a good shave and will not be for someone else.
 
It's unfortunate for many folks today that the price of good vintage razors have been driven so high. I believe it is due to both rarity and quality.

I am the first to bash Merkur because I love my vintage Gillettes but I will say they are a good shaving razor. I simply prefer Gillette and think the shave to be better. Personally, my favorites are the higher priced pieces. In fact the Diplomat is my razor of choice and I would pick it hands down over a Merkur every day.

I collect Vintage Gillettes as well as shave with them. To me, it's worth the money to have what I want and enjoy although I must admit it does get expensive having to buy to of the same razor, one for the collection case and one to shave with.

Buy it, try it and sell it if you don't like it. It's that simple. It's all about enjoying the shave.
 
[JOKE:] The price of vintage Gillettes has skyrocketed in the last few months (since the middle of October '08, actually) because of TWO factors:

scottydoint

bythbook


I know, I know - there are others out there who will want to claim this incredible power and authority... but this is my story and I'm sticking to it. [end JOKE]

(Well it sure feels like prices have gone through the roof only since I've been collecting! [PERSONAL OPINION] And Scott seemed to be racking up some huge merch during this whole time. He got 'em, I just bid 'em up! [end PERSONAL OPINION])

[IRONIC COMMENT] And don't forget the Vintage Placebo Effect - the more you pay for a razor, the better it shaves. True Fact. [end IRONIC COMMENT]




[P.S. I want your Rocket LD in case, Scott. I want it.] <- true True Fact.
 
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I'm enoying shaving with vintage Gillettes more than with newer Merkurs. It's just priceless to shave with a 50+ year old razor that still looks fantastic and is well built. Apart from that, they actually even shave better in my opinion.
 
The price of vintage Gillettes has skyrocketed in the last few months (since the middle of October '08, actually) because of TWO factors:

scottydoint

bythbook


I know, I know - there are others out there who will want to claim this incredible power and authority... but this is my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'll add a third factor: Shill bidding. (not by those two sellers, but by others)

I see far too many razor auctions on the 'bay with user ID kept private--those just happen to be the auctions that I see driven steadily skyward, consistently, almost on a daily basis. Granted, they take great pix, and the razors are nice and shiny (and occasionally replated). But to confirm my point, I have seen other auctions where the seller has not figured out how to keep bids private, and you can tell by the bidding history that he/she is using the shill account to drive up the price. It doesn't happen that often, but it is happening.

There is a Tech on the 'bay going for over $30 right now; I paid less than $5 for one in better condition.

Back to the OP's comment, I don't think the more expensive Gillettes are better shavers--my Lowly Tech does as good a job as my Fatboy, at one fifth the price.
 
It's unfortunate for many folks today that the price of good vintage razors have been driven so high. I believe it is due to both rarity and quality.

I'll add greed. I'm shocked to see razors being auctioned for prices $200 or more for razors of the same or better quality I can pick up in an antique or second-hand store for under $50.

Yeah, I know all the guff about "whatever the market will bear". But the way prices have been driven up in the few months I've been away from checking things online is horrendous.

I'd encourage people to go out and look for themselves and be patient. Yes, $200 may get a razor in your hands more quickly, but a $200 razor doesn't necessarily shave any better than the same one picked up for $40.
 
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