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Help Please: First Vintage DE Razor.

I would like to acquire one (RAD may follow) vintage DE razor without thoroughly researching the field. (Honestly, this apparently lazy request is quite contrary to my obsessive compulsive history of endless research prior to an acquisition.) Hoping you fine folks here would lend your extensive expertise and generosity in helping to kickstart my newest shaving hobby interest.

A few parameters which I think may help:
1. Lowest profile head depth, the lower the better.
2. Mild to mild+. (I favor The Winning Razor and Karve Overlander in moderns.)
3. Heavier weight.
4. SB.
5. Condition: Pristine or revamped.
6. Could be adjustable, subject to #1, above.
7. Budget? No, but depends on meeting above criteria.
8. Have I forgotten anything?

Which brands/models come closest? Are there better and worse places to be searching? What are the hidden pitfalls?

Thanks for reading and helping if you can!
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
I think that you NEED to get a Ball End Gillette Tech. Cheap, pretty easy to find in great condition, VERY mild shave, (some say TOO mild) and really almost impossible to hurt yourself with.

I have one that was made in 1962, an H2 is the marking on it, that honestly could be used every single day. I don't believe it is possible to even get much razor burn out of it. I'd venture to guess that Gillette sold more of that razor than any other.

Let us know what you decide my friend!
 
I second the Gillette Tech although I would not say that they fall in the "heavier" category. The Gillette New is also a great razor if you're willing to go with an open comb.
 
I think maybe a Schick Krona might be a good match. That's not very heavy, though.

You could take an early 1950's Gillette Tech head and put it on a short stainless steel handle to increase the weight some. That's not exactly vintage, though.
 
I would like to acquire one (RAD may follow) vintage DE razor without thoroughly researching the field. (Honestly, this apparently lazy request is quite contrary to my obsessive compulsive history of endless research prior to an acquisition.) Hoping you fine folks here would lend your extensive expertise and generosity in helping to kickstart my newest shaving hobby interest.

A few parameters which I think may help:
1. Lowest profile head depth, the lower the better.
2. Mild to mild+. (I favor The Winning Razor and Karve Overlander in moderns.)
3. Heavier weight.
4. SB.
5. Condition: Pristine or revamped.
6. Could be adjustable, subject to #1, above.
7. Budget? No, but depends on meeting above criteria.
8. Have I forgotten anything?

Which brands/models come closest? Are there better and worse places to be searching? What are the hidden pitfalls?

Thanks for reading and helping if you can!
One of the great things about vintages is, that you can get a birth year razor very often.

I am assuming your birth year razor would be a 1949. Gillette stopped serial numbering their razors in 1931 I think, and replaced them with a date code system in 1951. That year was W, and 1,2,3,4 meant the quarter. In 1955 they started with A again.

I think any one of the 1949 TTO's would be good for you. The Super Speed, and the more expensive TTO variants, including the English examples, like the Rockets. These are much heavier. The standard Super Speed was about 55 gms. They also vary in shave, the Super Speed standard of 48-49 gives a good mild to medium shave, some of the others are more efficient. They are just so cool.

Here is a good website that gives you the full range of the TTO solid bar razors made at this period.
mr-razor solid guard bar - https://www.mr-razor.com/Rasierer/One-Piece%20solid%20guard%20bar/solid%20guard%20bar.htm
 
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A Tech is a good mild razor. The post war tech is a a bit milder than a prewar tech. The prewar Canadian tach is a notch more efficient. I like the prewar Canadian tech. Than there are the raised flat bottoms and hybrid which I haven't had a chance to acquire bit I hear are some of the best techs.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
60's Super Speed flare tip. Not heavy but a good maneuverable shaver with a low profile head.

full
 
I know vintage usually means Gillette. Go with a GIBBS, one of the French models. Try some English or German Gillette Tech. Lord L6 or Rapira Swedish Super Steel. Fat Tip Piccolo. Or honestly one of those old Merkur slant bars, I don't know if it is really vintage.

If there are pitfalls, it is broken teeth on some of the comb Gillettes. Corrosion, plating removed, mis-aligned head, warped head, stripped handle threads. Neglect. And some of the inner rings where the head meets on some of the Gillettes can rust at the top tube handle. For springs they can lose their resistance, and obviously soap scrum can build up in the handle itself. For the money I would only consider NIB NOS new old stock so you are not using someone else's problems. Start brand new.

Reconditioned I think Razor Emporium has a service for plating, aligning, might even do thread tapping, and you can get the razor completely disassembled and plated with rhodium, gold, in addition to your chrome or nickel. The drawback is you might be happier with a Zamac chrome plated $10 razor than a $200 gold plated reconditioned piece.

I currently use the Rapira. Negatives for me, I cut my nose twice, my ear lobes at least three times, which is something I would never have done with a cartridge razor. The shaves were not close at all and had to completely learn how to shave as if I were brand-new to shaving in my 30's. Now it's a rewarding use, I am more careful. Some of those tallow soaps just work better with the old razors. It's like they were designed to work together.

If you need a pro-tip try the Cremo. Did not work for me, strong chemical smell, not enough cushion though the glide was decent. Try a new soap before changing your razor. I think vintage also could be a step backwards. I really was into TTO and realized they did not get nearly as close of a shave as I was expecting.

I'm only a year into wet shaving. So I start with Tech like everyone else, and try some new things a bit later.
 
You did not state if you prefer shorter or longer handles.

The ball end Gillette Tech would be my first recommendation. Very mild and easy shave.
A slightly heavier razor would be the Gillette Aristocrat. IMHO, the best of those are the 1948-1950 Gold Aristocrats.
IMHO, mild shave. I love my re-plated 1948 Gold Aristocrat.
Link to short video of the history of the Gillette Tech:

Link to short video of the history of 1946 - 1950 Gillette Aristocrats:
 
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Gillette Tech is sound advice. So is the Schick Krona - not very glamorous, but will give you an easy, close and irritation-free shave with nearly any blade you care to use.
Once you're comfortable with either of these, the Long or Short Combs are worth having, as are the Old Type. Nearly any vintage Gillette will be a good choice. I have many in my shaving rotation & the favorite one is the one I happen to be holding at the moment.
 
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