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How far off is a Gillette New SC from more expensive razors (Wolfman, Blackbird etc)?

Hello there!

Based on comparisons to a Wolfman in blade clamping and various favorable reviews on this forum, I picked up a Gillette New. Actually, I ended up with three- SC with SC cap and deep cut, SC with LC cap shallow cut, LC with LC cap and one extremely rusted out red top box. It seems the the SC with SC cap and deep cuts is the most well regarded. They are in pretty good shape overall with plating loss and oxidation, but no major problems AFAICT.

The SC with SC cap has been getting the most run and it has been a good shaver and given me less neck irritation as I have gotten used to it. Riding the cap seems to give me very good shaves. Treet Durasharp blades have been the training wheels it needed. Something about the carbon steel matches well with razor. I may go back to Bic CPs in the future, to see if they increase performance. The original handle has been replaced with a Baili Classic handle, so the razor looks awful- gold and corroded brass then a shiny chrome zamak handle. The balance seems better with such a handle though.

However, being on this forum activates RAD. How would you compare the New SC to a Wolfman and to a SS Lupo (which is a Wolfman clone?). I can spend $45+ dollars to replate the New SC or use the money to buy say a Lupo or something else. How far off is the shaving experience of a New SC to a $100-$500 razor? I think I spent $15 on the NEW SC/SC. If I do a basic Factory Nickel replating, it would be $60 total and Mirror Nickel would be $80 total.

Replating the razor should improve the aesthetics and probably also improve the shave I would guess. But that is most of the way to a Lupo. Replate, buy Lupo/more expensive razor, or just be happy with the News as is and let them tarnish away? What do you think is the best solution? How far off are the News from the mutli bill shaving nirvana razors that I have yet to experience?
 
I'm in vintage mode right now, so I love the old razors with their well-earned patina. I'd just forgo replating the NEW for now and experiment with something else so you can make a more informed decision. There's a big price gap between a Lupo and Wolfman, for sure! I'd probably go for the Lupo, just for that reason.

I don't have experience with any of these, though I do have a NEW on its way to me. RazoRock makes decent SS razors at good prices, based on my experience with the Game Changer. Wolfman is quite a commitment.
 
I'm interested to see what others have to say, too. I have two LCs and two SCs, one of those with the SC-only cap. Interestingly I think I like the shave of the other SC a little better. And one of the LCs is noticeably more efficient than the other, I think it has a touch more blade exposure somehow. In fact if it wasn't for the feel of the longer comb I doubt I would be able to distinguish between the better LC and the better SC blindfolded. As you say, they favor a shallow angle for sure.
 
I'm interested to see what others have to say, too. I have two LCs and two SCs, one of those with the SC-only cap. Interestingly I think I like the shave of the other SC a little better. And one of the LCs is noticeably more efficient than the other, I think it has a touch more blade exposure somehow. In fact if it wasn't for the feel of the longer comb I doubt I would be able to distinguish between the better LC and the better SC blindfolded. As you say, they favor a shallow angle for sure.
After a few recent shaves, I maybe think the LC cap on the not as deep SC is actually a little milder and less irritating.

Plus Tech caps seem to fit! This opens up some odd bedfellows with knockoff or “improved” caps such as Baili 176. Talk about Frankenstein!
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
I know so little about Vintage razors... I have a 1933? NEW Canada Regent that is a LC... and I have a Red/Black 1934 NEW SC... I didn't even know about the cap and base differences... So I don't know what SC I have. If you guys would post some photos of the various SC caps and base plates, I'd be able to let you know which one I have.

Now, to the original question. I do have a lovely Wolfman WR2 0.95 in basic polish bronze. I haven't done direct comparisons with the WR2 and the LC and SC razors, but I will say.... I have a standard for any razor that remains in my 3 razor families, as posted on my journal.... both the LC and SC razors gave me shaves that met that standard: Relaxing, Smooth, Comfortable yet Close.. with shaves lasting 12 hours before I feel the first whiskers break through on my chin.

I've only one shave each with the LC and SC. Both were better than I expected, truth be told. They shaved so well, I sent them off to Chris Spencer @ Back Roads Gold for re-plating....He did an amazing job on them both. I could have left them the way they were.... I guess I am attracted to bright and shiny objects.... Much like a raccoon...
 
Kim, it's my understanding that Gillette used as many as 5 different top caps with the News, most of them will work on any New as well as the Techs of the same era. I can't speak to the baseplates as much, while they do vary a bit I'm not sure it was intentional.

Here is a not very good shot of two SCs. The one on the left has the square "feet" that will only fit on the recessed SC baseplate. The one on the right is the generic version and it will fit on my LCs just fine too. Some people say that the cap makes a big difference in the way it shaves... I don't have a big enough sample size to say that for sure. The one on the right is a little more aggressive/ efficient and the "proper" cap on the left is smoother. For me.
20240529_193359.jpg
 
Kim, it's my understanding that Gillette used as many as 5 different top caps with the News, most of them will work on any New as well as the Techs of the same era. I can't speak to the baseplates as much, while they do vary a bit I'm not sure it was intentional.

Here is a not very good shot of two SCs. The one on the left has the square "feet" that will only fit on the recessed SC baseplate. The one on the right is the generic version and it will fit on my LCs just fine too. Some people say that the cap makes a big difference in the way it shaves... I don't have a big enough sample size to say that for sure. The one on the right is a little more aggressive/ efficient and the "proper" cap on the left is smoother. For me.
View attachment 1854524

Thanks, this is awesome. You can see a huge different in the blade angle, and I wonder if the one on the left clamps a little tighter.

I've got a SC on its way that should be arriving tomorrow (my first NEW), and I was wondering about this. Mine will be like the one on the left.
 
To me - Blade clamping is noticeably better with a Lupo vs a NEW. I have not done a side by side. Stock handle for a NEW is either shorter and/or lighter than say RazoRock options. Try a Lupo!
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
This is my 1934 NEW SC Red Black (the box description):

RS_SC1.jpg


RS_SC2.jpg



Just quick shots with the razor sitting on the arm of my chair.... Not the best quality.

These photos always make the finish appear to be pitted... but that is just the light reflecting... They are actually quite smooth. Chris did a magnificent job.
 
I found my uncle’s LC. Did a basic cleaning on it and stripped off the last of the lacquer on the cap. So I took some metal polish to it and the gold plating came off quickly to a copper layer. It patinas slowly, and I polish it again every once in awhile, and I’m fine with it. Takes a couple minutes maybe once a quarter/semi-annually. I’m content with it as is. A simple polish may work for you without a replate.

The ball end handle was missing some pieces, the rest were broken. I picked up a brass handle for it and like the weight of it when I do use it.
 
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WThomas0814

Ditto, ditto
The NEW Short Comb is an excellent shaver. I tend to shy away from open combs in general, but, I picked this one up for next to nothing. I haven’t used a Tech more than twice since (Pre War, Pre 1950 Post War, Flat Bottom, Post 1950 Ball End, or Canadian). For me, The NEW is a better razor than any Tech (sacrilege, right?).

I’ve never used a Wolfman of any variety, so, I can’t comment on that. What I can say is the NEW SC feels less aggressive to me that my Pre War, on par with my flat Bottom, and more efficient that the rest. It is a smooth shave, certainly could be a daily driver for me.

From my collection, it is more efficient that my Ti Blackbird Lite, less so then the OG Blackbird. I’d rate it about even with my Athena. I really don’t even notice that it is an open comb.
 
The NEW Short Comb is an excellent shaver. I tend to shy away from open combs in general, but, I picked this one up for next to nothing. I haven’t used a Tech more than twice since (Pre War, Pre 1950 Post War, Flat Bottom, Post 1950 Ball End, or Canadian). For me, The NEW is a better razor than any Tech (sacrilege, right?).

I’ve never used a Wolfman of any variety, so, I can’t comment on that. What I can say is the NEW SC feels less aggressive to me that my Pre War, on par with my flat Bottom, and more efficient that the rest. It is a smooth shave, certainly could be a daily driver for me.

From my collection, it is more efficient that my Ti Blackbird Lite, less so then the OG Blackbird. I’d rate it about even with my Athena. I really don’t even notice that it is an open comb.
Wow. Good info!
 
Kim, it's my understanding that Gillette used as many as 5 different top caps with the News, most of them will work on any New as well as the Techs of the same era. I can't speak to the baseplates as much, while they do vary a bit I'm not sure it was intentional.

Here is a not very good shot of two SCs. The one on the left has the square "feet" that will only fit on the recessed SC baseplate. The one on the right is the generic version and it will fit on my LCs just fine too. Some people say that the cap makes a big difference in the way it shaves... I don't have a big enough sample size to say that for sure. The one on the right is a little more aggressive/ efficient and the "proper" cap on the left is smoother. For me.
View attachment 1854524
I think the cap will make a difference. Probably most comfortable in the stock configuration. May be the shot angle but the right gap looks off. Also the baseplates appear different. Deeper scallop on the left and a bit thicker?
20240529_193359.jpg
 
My NEW SC was replated in nickel and shaves great (one of my personal favorites). I like the light weight and maneuverability with the original common bar handle. I've not tried a Wolfman, but I don't think you would go wrong with one of the NEWs if you had it replated. Very smooth shaver.
 
Can not compare a New or NOS Gillette SE to anything modern in production. Finding for sale a New or NOS Gillette SE for sale is tough.

Want a BlackBird, Wolfman, Rex, Karve, Carbon, etc., get on list and have money when numbrer comes up. Some high dollar Modern are available TODAY F/S.
 
My NEW SC was replated in nickel and shaves great (one of my personal favorites). I like the light weight and maneuverability with the original common bar handle. I've not tried a Wolfman, but I don't think you would go wrong with one of the NEWs if you had it replated. Very smooth shaver.
Does it shave better, worse, differently after it was replated? That is the $60 question.
 
I know so little about Vintage razors... I have a 1933? NEW Canada Regent that is a LC... and I have a Red/Black 1934 NEW SC... I didn't even know about the cap and base differences... So I don't know what SC I have. If you guys would post some photos of the various SC caps and base plates, I'd be able to let you know which one I have.

Now, to the original question. I do have a lovely Wolfman WR2 0.95 in basic polish bronze. I haven't done direct comparisons with the WR2 and the LC and SC razors, but I will say.... I have a standard for any razor that remains in my 3 razor families, as posted on my journal.... both the LC and SC razors gave me shaves that met that standard: Relaxing, Smooth, Comfortable yet Close.. with shaves lasting 12 hours before I feel the first whiskers break through on my chin.

I've only one shave each with the LC and SC. Both were better than I expected, truth be told. They shaved so well, I sent them off to Chris Spencer @ Back Roads Gold for re-plating....He did an amazing job on them both. I could have left them the way they were.... I guess I am attracted to bright and shiny objects.... Much like a raccoon...
Does they shave better, worse, differently after it was replated? That is the $60 question.
 
Kim, it's my understanding that Gillette used as many as 5 different top caps with the News, most of them will work on any New as well as the Techs of the same era. I can't speak to the baseplates as much, while they do vary a bit I'm not sure it was intentional.

Here is a not very good shot of two SCs. The one on the left has the square "feet" that will only fit on the recessed SC baseplate. The one on the right is the generic version and it will fit on my LCs just fine too. Some people say that the cap makes a big difference in the way it shaves... I don't have a big enough sample size to say that for sure. The one on the right is a little more aggressive/ efficient and the "proper" cap on the left is smoother. For me.
View attachment 1854524
I need to take a picture, but with I compared a loaded SC with SC cap and SC with LC cap this morning, the blade gap on the SC with LC cap was smaller that the other. Opposite of yours. Weird. I need to try to take some pics.
 

ERS4

My exploding razor knows secrets
I own both New SC and Wolfman WR2.
I think they are both very comfortable razors, but the properties are not quite the same, so I generally wouldn't compare them.

In my mind, New SC is a vintage engineering miracle. Its base plate is rich in functional details but very elegant. It perfectly fixes the blade, glides easily and comfortably on the face and takes away hair. Its gap setting refers to adapting to the majority of people/expanding the market, so it is relatively conservative, but this cannot be said to be a shortcoming, because it has fulfilled the task perfectly.

Wolfman WR2 is famous for its high clearance, but it also adopts a relatively gentle exposure, which improves efficiency and smoothness, and makes the shaving experience less scary than imagined. And it offers customization options so you can create it just for your skin.
Some young razor brands that are small workshops often develop towards this concept.

Going back to the New SC look that's bothering you, I would use copper polish to clean up and erase the uneven flaking plating, making it more evenly shiny, and then allowing it to gradually develop the beautiful color of oxidation with use.
(Hardware stores in Taipei sell metal polish under the brand "SUN")



Of course, it should be noted that we can indeed trace the Gillette lineage from Wolfman - because WCS gave James a baili 171 (Gillette Tec clone), so he used it as a reference, and after gradual attempts and many changes, he created Wolfman and Guerrilla razor, of course now Wolfman's shaving performance is very different from Gillette Tec.
 
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