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Gillette Tech Razor, Is it Da Bomb?!

Fat Handle Tech (all brass):
View attachment 932392
Ball End Tech (all brass):
View attachment 932393
Later Techs with aluminum handles and Zamac top caps:
View attachment 932394
In my opinion the Fat handle has the poorest balance, being slightly head-heavy.
The ball end Techs have better balance as the handle is solid brass, albeit smaller size.
The later Techs with the spiral/plaid aluminum handles and Zamac top caps are extremely light, balance well and still shave great. If the "dreaded Zamac issue" is a concern, these razors can be picked up for very little money and are often found attached to extra-short handles as travel razors in NOS condition. You could easily get a lifetime supply of these for less than $100.00. If you want light, that's the one I'd go for.
There were also Techs made during brass shortages.
15439669349711080639066.jpg
This was made in 1951 with a brass head and bakelite handle. I found it too unbalanced. However when paired with a heavier handle it really improves performance.
 
Not all techs are made the same. Check out ATT blade gap guide. I believe a 1932 canadian tech is more efficient than a pre war tech.
 
I like the Fat Handle because it is light in weight but not too skinny (like the ball-ends handles).
What's the whole issue with Zamac? Is that like some kind of chemical hazard?
Nope. It's a couple of similar alloys used to make a lot of different cast metal products.
From Wikipedia:
Zamak (formerly trademarked as ZAMAK and also known as Zamac) is a family of alloys with a base metal of zinc and alloying elements of aluminium, magnesium, and copper.

Zamak alloys are part of the zinc aluminium alloy family; they are distinguished from the other ZA alloys because of their constant 5% aluminium composition.

The name zamak is an acronym of the German names for the metals of which the alloys are composed: Zink (zinc), Aluminium, Magnesium and Kupfer (copper). The New Jersey Zinc Company developed zamak alloys in 1929. Zinc alloys are popularly referred to as pot metal or white metal. While zamak is held to higher industrial standards, it is still considered a pot metal.

The most common zamak alloy is zamak 3. Besides that, zamak 2, zamak 5 and zamak 7 are also commercially used. These alloys are most commonly die cast. Zamak alloys (particularly #3 and #5) are frequently used in the spin casting industry.

A large problem with early zinc die casting materials was zinc pest, owing to impurities in the alloys. Zamak avoided this by the use of 99.99% pure zinc metal, produced by New Jersey Zinc's use of a refluxer as part of the smelting process.

Zamak can be electroplated, wet painted, and chromate conversion coated well.​

The conventional opinion is that it does not last as long as, say, brass or stainless steel.
I have no problem with it, but I would still not pay a premium price for zamac razor heads.
 
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lancre

Contributor
I like the Fat Handle because it is light in weight but not too skinny (like the ball-ends handles).

Nope. It's a couple of similar alloys used to make a lot of different cast metal products.

The conventional opinion is that it does not last as long as, say, brass or stainless steel.
I have no problem with it, but I would still not pay a premium price for zamac razor heads.
Zamak razors will shave every bit as well as brass or steel razors. They're just more vulnerable to drops or overtightening. So they probably won't last as long. I've got brass razors dating back to 1915 or earlier. I don't see zamak razors making it that long.
 
Love my pre-war Tech with a Kai blade. Easy daily BBS for daily shaving. Getting a brass one had nothing to do with Zamac. I only decided on the pre-war because I had heard from a trusted source that they were more slightly more efficient than other years.

Zamac on a vintage Gillette is not the same type as you would find on a modern razor. Don’t fear the Z word on vintage Gillettes and other vintage razors more than 30 years old. I’ve seen plenty of vintage razors (Gillettes, Merkur etc) on auction that look like they’ve been missing plating for decades and even those haven’t corroded like my EJ did after just 4 years.

There are different grades of Zamac. These types span decades. Interesting reading online if you ever have the time.
 
Love my pre-war Tech with a Kai blade. Easy daily BBS for daily shaving. Getting a brass one had nothing to do with Zamac. I only decided on the pre-war because I had heard from a trusted source that they were more slightly more efficient than other years.

Zamac on a vintage Gillette is not the same type as you would find on a modern razor. Don’t fear the Z word on vintage Gillettes and other vintage razors more than 30 years old. I’ve seen plenty of vintage razors (Gillettes, Merkur etc) on auction that look like they’ve been missing plating for decades and even those haven’t corroded like my EJ did after just 4 years.

There are different grades of Zamac. These types span decades. Interesting reading online if you ever have the time.
You're telling me an EDWIN JAGGER razor corroded after FOUR years?! No friggin way, those razors are supposed to be held to the highest esteem in the modern wetshaving world.
 
I too like the size, grip & balance of the fat handle.
I've got a post war tech, nothing fancy to look at, but a nice shaver over all.
I'm feeling the nudge to move pre-war USA, Canadian or even English if I can find one reasonable.
Mostly for a little more aggression and a prettier razor.
 
I've got a pre-war ball end tech and a post-war fat handle tech. They both hold the blade rigid, but I find on the post war, the base plate matches the curve of the blade better, and makes it even more rigid. The ball end handle is shorter, thinner and heavier.

They both shave very well and give an effortless DFS every time. It takes a bit of work to get BBS with either one. The guard and top cap are quite thin and can maneuver tighter spots easily (ie, under the nose).
 

Saxonbowman

Ambassador
Another light but mild razor is the Blue Tip Super Speed. It doesn't have the absolute rigid blade clamping that the Tech has, but you really can't tell the difference when shaving. In terms of aggressiveness its about equivalent to the type I injector.
 
You're telling me an EDWIN JAGGER razor corroded after FOUR years?! No friggin way, those razors are supposed to be held to the highest esteem in the modern wetshaving world.
Although I have plenty of razors, some expensive, some not so, I always liked shaving with my EJ, great shave every time. It was my first DE 6 years ago. It will still barely hold now, just only a post, so of course I haven’t used it as a daily in years. When I get around to it, I’m going to get a replacement cap with brass threads.

It certainly isn’t the best razor I have, but I enjoy shaving with it and it seems to be a great razor for many people regardless of how well their technique has progressed.
 
I used a Schick injector from mid-60's until I switched to carts in the early 70's. I bought a '59 ball end Tech 8-9 years ago, that still looks new. It even had the cardboard blade insert, when I bought it. I used it a few times, but I preferred my SS's, then a Merkur 34G and now a GC, so haven't used the tech in years. The tech is a little too mild and light for me.
 
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Today I used, and got a great no-nick, no-irritation, classic shave with, my postwar fat-handled Tech.

Whenever I use it, I wonder why I need any other razor. (Then, of course, I look at the knurling on my Red Tip, the short teeth of my NEW, or my marvelously machined Slim, and like them all over again.)
 
Not all techs are made the same. Check out ATT blade gap guide. I believe a 1932 canadian tech is more efficient than a pre war tech.
Out of curiosity I feeler gauged various Techs I owned years ago to include a pre-war Canadian, pre-war U.S., post-war U.S. fat handle, ball end & finally an English flat bottom. Guess what? They all were right at 0.025" + or - 0.002", i.e., no difference in blade gap. Nada. I do subscribe to the theory put forth here on the forum in the past that the post-war has better blade rigidity thereby giving a slightly smoother shave.
 
Have you ever measured the blade exposure? IMHO, gap gets FAR more attention than it deserves.
The difference among various Techs only varies according to the top cap thickness re exposure. The later Techs have thinner caps. That said, even then the difference is inconsequential. Personally, the pre-war with triangular slots has a tad less blade rigidity at the edge and I think many interpret that "feel" as a little more aggression when in reality its not. It's the senses playing tricks on the shaver.
 
I believe a 1932 canadian tech is more efficient than a pre war tech.
1932 Canadian Tech is not actually a thing. Both pre-war and post-war Canadian Techs, triangle and oval slots, carry the 1932 marking which represents the Canadian patent date for the New slot and corner tabs system, nothing to do with production date or early design. Here for example a '53 Canadian Tech with the '32 patent date.

1953 (Y4) Gold Tech Canada.JPG
 
1932 Canadian Tech is not actually a thing. Both pre-war and post-war Canadian Techs, triangle and oval slots, carry the 1932 marking which represents the Canadian patent date for the New slot and corner tabs system, nothing to do with production date or early design. Here for example a '53 Canadian Tech with the '32 patent date.

View attachment 957055
I concur. I have several Canadian Techs, 3 pre-war (triangle slot), 2 postwar (oval slot) NDC, and a Y4 (coincidentally!). They all have the same "Pat. Canada" and "1932" as the pic above.
 
Just got pre war and post war USA techs this week.

Postwar tech was very mild.
Couldn't feel the blade - difficult to find the cutting angle WTG.
AGT was smooth and comfortable.
The output didn't match the input - to my surprise the two pass shave was very smooth.

Pre-war tech felt very natural to me.
Blade feel was just right. Easy to find the angle.
1st pass WTG resulted in work shave smooth. More efficient than 1st pass on postwar tech.
2nd pass AGT was smooth yet more aggressive than the post war.
End result was very similar to the post war tech.

I like both very much. Slight preference to the pre-war tech only because it feels so familiar to me.
The pre-war tech feels like my Karve C on a diet.
 
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