Likes a fat handle in his hand
This is the ever popular Gillette RED Flare Tip SuperSpeed TTO DE Safety Razor. I am guessing this razor was made in the 1950's, considering that is when many of these razors were made. Its clearly seen better days, plating is in rough shape, there is even some yellowed discoloration. Razor is 3.5 inches long, and it weighs in at 2 ounces or 58 grams. I think these are made out of brass if I am not mistaken, and they just apply a nickel coating on them. While this is not a heavy razor by any means, it is heavy in the head, which puts the balance point toward the neck of the handle.
This is another one of those TTO AKA Butterfly razors. You open the bay doors by rotating the RED knob at the bottom of the handle. This is a tried and true mechanism that has been used for years, and on many razors. The mechanism works fine on this one, even though the blade bay has seen better days. I could be mistaken, but I think it still holds the blade rigid enough, I don't seem to sense any blade chatter, so I think its still alright. Its always good to oil the mechanism once in while on these things, its just good preventative maintenance.
I am really pleased with the knurling on the handle, this is quality folks, it provides the grip that one requires, regardless if your hands are dry, wet, and or soapy. It also has a unique style of its own, due to the flared tip at the end. Because these have the TTO mechanism inside, these have hollowed out handles with the threading inside, so I wouldn't call them a solid handle, which is why most of the weight is in the head of the razor. I'm not really a fan of the balance point on these, but you can make them work. I loaded this razor up with a brand new Gillette Platinum blade, and began to shave. 7-day whiskers!
When I did the WTG passes with this razor, I discovered this razor has a wide degree of angles it can be used in, so I don't think its too picky there. But I felt like holding the handle midway between steep and shallow on this one. I didn't feel like this was the smoothest in the WTG passes, but certainly smoother then my Rex Ambassador, but not as smooth as my previously reviewed Merkur 37C razor. It also seemed to have been having a little trouble on the whisker quantity, but still did it. So 37C wins here.
In the XTG passes, I felt like it was beginning to have trouble on parts of my face, and doing OK in other's, it was weird. I expected after doing my XTG passes, that most of the whiskers would have been gone by now, but there was still a high concentration of whiskers in the sideburn area. I proceeded to make sure to get the tricky under the nose hairs, and try to get my chin good enough. I could feel a lot of blade feel with this razor, I felt like any moment, if I make one misstep, its gonna open me up. I looked at the blade gap, and it looks a lot like the same blade gap on my my Timeless TI95 razor. Blade reveal appeared to be OK but IDK.
Once I got to doing the ATG passes, this is when this razor completely let me down. With my whiskers so short now, this should have been easy pickins, but this razor was completely incompetent! Not only did it take forever to complete the ATG passes, I never really completed them, why? Because for whatever reason I cannot fathom, this razor is completely missing whiskers. I have never seen a razor, make me want to go every direction possible around the side burn area, trying to get whiskers. WTG, XTG, ATG, DTG, and I was still having difficulty. I was stretching my skin, doing everything I can to desperately get those pesky whiskers, to get me to a solid BBS. I also had troubles in the sides of my chin in lower lip area.
I am just truly thankful that I scooped up too much of that quality hard soap, as I had far too much in my bowl, which allowed me more lathering material, to try and aid me in getting these suckers! Even as terrible as my Feather AS-D2 is, this razor is even worse! I don't know if there is just something wrong with the razor, or maybe it was a bad blade pairing, or maybe this razor is just never going to work for me. All I know is, it did a serious number on my face, which I didn't discover right away after the shave, but minutes later. When I ran the alum block on my face, it felt like my first month of wet shaving all over again, massive levels stings over my entire face and neck.
After the shave and rinse, I applied Thayers Lemons Witch Hazel, then I hit my face up with 2-different PAA Star Jelly aftershaves, trying to get through those, figured they might help my skin. After an hour later, I was starting to feel irritation on my face, so I went in the shave den to look at myself in the mirror. My face broke out in red blotches all over my face, and I discovered I had two nicks that I didn't see during the shave, but were scabbed over. I cleaned those spots with a cotton swab just dipped in water like I usually do. But the condition of my face, I was horrified! So I was like, this is so bad, I need to breakout the lotion, and I applied a layer of skin healing lotion to my face.
Maybe my razor is faulty, maybe the blade is faulty, or maybe it was just never intended to be. Whatever the problems is, I can't in all conscious recommend this razor. This experience was nothing short of a colossal failure, that I do not wish to repeat. I think from now on, this will become a display piece, which is great that I got the case with it. I still thank Phil for sending this to me, and I don't wish him to feel bad about it, its still a good display piece, even though its not pristine condition. But I have no wish to be shaving with this razor ever again.
And before you folks say, "I will tell you what your problem is, you were shaving 7-day whisker growth, no razor can do that you fool!" Well, I will have you know naysayers out there, I shaved 7-days of whisker growth with my Merkur 37C in my previous review, and that razor was nothing short of stellarnarious performance! I am giving the Gillette RED Flare Tip SuperSpeed razor a out of stars.
Tools and supplies used for todays shave
(1) Gillette RED Flare Tip SuperSpeed Razor
(2) Gillette Platinum Brand New Blade
(3) Captains Choice Starry Night Shave Bowl
(4) APShaveCO G5C Synthetic Shave Brush
(5) French Nature Hard Soap In A Jar
(6) Stirling 125G Alum Block
(7) Thayers Lemon Witch Hazel
(8) PAA Bay Rum & Cold Spices Aftershave Balms
PS: If I was doing something wrong, please let me know. But its been a long time since I've had a shave anywhere near this bad, and last time I did, was back when I used my Feather AS-D2 razor in March of this year.