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Gillette Red Tip Blade Selection

Hello, I thought I would share my experience with the Gillette Red Tip and the Gillette Platinum Blades and request some informative feedback from the forum.

Several years ago I purchased a Gillette Red Tip. As I was new to wet shaving, I found that I nicked myself too often and the blade feel was too aggressive. My thought at the time was to use less aggressive blades like the Red Personna and the Lab Blue Personna, but that did not solve the problem and I eventually put the Red Tip aside. A few months ago, I decided to retest my skills with the Red Tip. On a whim, I loaded it with a Nacet Blade and it gave me an excellent shave. I was so surprised that I decided to have the Red Tip refurbished. As you can see in the image below, Chris Evatt at RazorPlate.com did an excellent job.

After I received the refurbished razor, I decided to spend some more time trying to optimize the blade selection. The PolSilver, which was my favorite blade and worked extremely well with the Merkur 34G and Gillette Tech, worked well in the Red Tip, but was not quite as smooth as the Nacet. The only issue with the Nacet was that it became sharper with use and could feel uncomfortable with slightly too much pressure. I decided to try the Gillette Platinum blades (blue box with white lettering) that some vendors are calling the new Swedes.

To make a long story short, the combination is amazing. I never thought that any blade could be decidedly better than the PolSilver, but I was wrong. The blade is unbelievably smooth and the level of sharpness is perfect for my beard and skin.

The one counter intuitive lesson here is that a more aggressive razor does not necessarily call for a less aggressive blade. Another surprise was that I could notice the improved glide of the razor after Chris's restoration. My take away is that a more aggressive razor calls for less applied pressure, but that the toughness of your beard determines the ideal razor blade. For reference, blades like the yellow Sharks, the Green Derbys and most of the Lord blades are not usable for me. They tug and pull rather than cut trough my facial hair. Feathers, on the other hand, are too sharp and feel too aggressive.

Let me know your thoughts on my conclusions. I would definitely encourage members with tough beards and sensitive skin to try the Platinum blades. Also, if you have an inclination to restore a vintage razor, don't hesitate to take advantage of Chris's excellent and very reasonably priced restoration and replanting services. He definitely has a passion for that work.

In my red tip I like the GSB. They give me a close and smooth shave. The "New Swede" plats run a close second but leave stubble on my chin. Nacet comes in third with a great shave but a lot of weepers. If not for the weepers Nacet would be my go to.
That's very interesting. I find the Nacet just a bit too sharp for the Red Tip. It is very smooth, but I feel like a little too much pressure would result in a nick. Many years ago when I found the Silver Blues to be very smooth. It's possible that my beard had become rougher, but the SBs I recently purchased are noticeably less smooth than the Platinums and Nacets. They are certainly usable, but just not quite as smooth for me.
Anything about blades will be controversial with many shavers.

My go-to blade is the Personna Lab Blue. In a Gillette Red Tip it is very good, but not highly aggressive.
When I first started shaving, the Lab Blues were my favorite. I also liked the Red Israeli Personna's. For some reason, I tend to get small nicks and weepers with both of them them. They definitely work, but I may have subconsciously tuned my technique (angle, pressure, etc.) to the Gillette Blades.

I don't think that these differences are necessarily directly related to sharpness of the blade. I wonder if anyone has analyzed the flexibility of the blades and their exact width. If they stick out of the razor a few additional micrometers, or bend at a slightly different angle, or the edge is beveled at a different angle, the performance may also be affected.

I don't really consider the differences between people's experiences as confounding. I believe that they are real and DE shaving gives us the opportunity to customize the experience for ourselves. If we were just considering averages, I am fairly certain that the modern cartridge razors were optimized to cover the largest number of people. Some of the learning curve with DE shaving is related to finding the right equipment. Whenever I give friends blade samples, I make sure to include things that did not work for me. I assume that their experience will be different than my own.
In my red tip I like the GSB. They give me a close and smooth shave. The "New Swede" plats run a close second but leave stubble on my chin. Nacet comes in third with a great shave but a lot of weepers. If not for the weepers Nacet would be my go to.
One thing about the Nacet is that the sharpness seems to increase with use. For me it becomes almost too sharp on the second shave. A very small amount of excess pressure will result in a tiny cut. The first shave in the Red Tip works extremely well and then I switch it to a milder razor. I am sure that the sharpness would tone down with use, but I have not ever switched the used Nacet back to the Red Tip.
I just got a Red tip. I have had two shaves with it so far. I used the Gillette platinum. It is a very good shaver. One blade that has been good in everything Is the Wilkinson sword made in China for the India market. They are very inexpensive and work in all razors.
I have a 1957 Red Tip in my rotation of three razors (others are 1959 Fat Boy and 1948-1950 Slim), and it's by far my most favorite. I get great shaves no matter which blade I use in it. My two go-to blades right now are Personna Med Prep and Shark Stainless.

Thanks for the reference on Chris Evatt. I wouldn't mind getting a couple of mine spiffed up.
In my 1958 red tip I use vintage Wilkinson sword or lab blues, great shaves with both, however I think just about any blade will work fine if you take the time and patience to perfect it
Just finished shaving with a 1958 red tip with a derby extra for 15 straight days and no sign of losing comfort or smoothness and still sharp. If I can keep going with this same blade it will take the wind out of vintage blades lasting like they have some kind of magic.
I have a '57 Red Tip, also replated by Chris several years ago. My go to blade is for the Red Tip, as several others have said, is a GSB. To me it has a perfect balance of sharpness and smoothness. I have also used a Wizamet Super Iridium, and it also has produced some really nice shaves.
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