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After the notched 40s came a black tip. For me the was a step down from the regular notched 40s style. I just didn't appreciate the way it felt in my hand. Again, nothing wrong with the way it shaves. Three passes and I was good to go. It simply suffered by comparison to some of the others. Even though it is a razor from 70 years ago it felt like a newer cheaper model.

Score of 3.0 and I can't fathom while these seem to draw a premium over the regular notched 40s style. Given the choice I'd take the regular one any day of the week and twice on Sunday.


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At this point I felt like I was in a rut and was considering abandoning the process and settling on the red, but the razors were in my possession so I picked up the next one, a no-code, un-notched 47. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it was a material improvement over the previous couple of entrants.

The only thing I can say to describe it is that it felt more "stable" and "substantial". Three passes gave me a great shave and I was happy that I hadn't quit. This one gets a 4.25 to put it in second place overall so far.

Gillette 50s flare red tip SS: 5.0
Gillette 47 SS: 4.25
Gillette 50s flare nickel tip SS: 4.0
Gillette 60s flare tip SS: 3.75
Gillette 40s notched SS: 3.75
Gillette 40s black tip SS: 3.0
Gillette 50s flare blue tip SS: 2.0


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That's it for the evening. I have two more to add tomorrow, one of which will wind up in second place in the final tally. One thing I have found interesting is that for me at least, acquisition price has been seemingly unrelated to shaving experience. The red cost me the most and was the best for my face, but after that the next costliest was the blue which is the only razor I didn't like at all. Frankly, for maximum cost to benefit I'd say the 50s nickel flare is a great option. They are ubiquitous on eBay and can often be grabbed as a "add on" in a package with a more desirable razor.
Second to last on the tested list is the 70s style black handle. This is what my dad used for many years so I was hoping it would perform well. It was right in the middle with the 60s flare, dated 40s style, and 50s nickel flare. Nothing remarkable, but nothing to complain about either. A good three pass shave, neither over- over under- whelming. Call it a run-of-the-mill Super Speed, which is a compliment.

Score 3.75


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And finally, the surprise of the bunch. The 58 TV special. After all the razors I had compared to this point I full expected this one to do nothing to distinguish itself. I was nearly certain it would fall right in the middle with most of the others. Good, but not as good as the red. Well above the blue tip and the cheap feeling black tip. One stroke down the cheek and I realized it was different. Effortless is the best term I can use to describe it. Great feel with the knurling and solid in the hand. Two passes and I was almost done. The third left nothing behind. Perhaps it is something about this individual razor, it might just be the one where all the tolerances were as tight as can be. Nevertheless, this one gets a 4.25 and wins the tie breaker with the 47.

Gillette 50s flare red tip SS: 5.0
Gillette 58 TV SS: 4.25
Gillette 47 SS: 4.25
Gillette 50s flare nickel tip SS: 4.0
Gillette 60s flare tip SS: 3.75
Gillette 40s notched SS: 3.75
Gillette 70s black handle SS: 3.75
Gillette 40s black tip SS: 3.0
Gillette 50s flare blue tip SS: 2.0

There are a few of variants that I have that I did not list here either because I don't have them or I do and they didn't differentiate themselves enough for mention. The black tip comes in a few handle styles, aluminum being one. There is also a no-code 40s style with a notch. At this point I don't know that either of them would really alter my view of Super Speeds as a whole.


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These are great little razors readily available in user grade for a reasonable price. They clean up very well with warm water and dish soap, and look good when you knock the gunk off them. As I mentioned before, the pricing is somewhat disconnected from the quality that I experienced, and I've looked at a ton of these on eBay. Reds are the spendiest with blues and black tips on the second tier. A 47 will also cost a little more, but from time to time you see them listed as regular SS razors and are then priced accordingly. The middle tier models are level with respect to price and performance. Black handle can be had for cheap.

If I were to make recommendations, I would start with the red. It's going to cost you north of $25 to get one in good shape, but it's the clear winner. Going down the list, if you can find a 58 or 47, particularly ones in a lot or labeled as a plain SS, then jump on it. I got each of these for $15. The 50s nickel is all over the place and can be had for $10-$12 if you are patient. Finally, if you are on a budget the black handle is inexpensive and shaves well. The only ones I would recommend steering away from are the blue tip and black tip. They were pricier than the 50s and 60s nickel and gave a worse shave.

Again, this is all my opinion, formed using my face, Parker blades, Conk soap, and my prep and technique. The blue may be great for someone else.

If you want to figure out which of these works best for you and have no idea where to start, get a 50s nickel flare and see how it performs. It's a great middle-of-the-road SS and inexpensive to boot. It will give you a good baseline to work from.
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