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How long have you been using your (oldest) razor?

What is the age of your (oldest) safety razor?


  • Total voters
    58
Hi,

Well, I violated your rules. My 1921 Old Type was my Grandfather's from new and it passed to me in 1979. Still Going. I use it at least once a week these days. Usually two or three. I just used it yesterday.

So, it isn't currently in production. It used to be silver plated, but it's worn off save on the inside of the cap and plate. There is a slight crack in the handle, but that happens to all the Old Type handles with their brass sheet rolled into a tube. Otherwise, it's the same as it was originally.

Here it is on the sink along with my Fasan DoubleSlant and my wife's Lady Gillette.



Stan
 
Damn your no vintage rule. Gillette is manufacturing the Heritage 3 piece DE razor again ($35 on Amazon with a crummy Zamak head)...
Therefore I'm going with my 1911 triple silver plated model 501 (OC Shell razor in a basket weave case). It will out last any new Zamak razor by 1,000+years lol.
16175435397617061174029100812122.jpg

Here's a R41 zamak head, already eating itself from the inside out after 2 years:
16175437897076478568045145942467.jpg
If you've got a handle you love with a Zamak head my recommendation is you replace it with a vintage brass Gillette Old Type or Tech head if you're thinking heirloom razor...
 
Maybe some members have an operable Mergress (which I still consider non-vintage)? Other than that, I would consider an AS-D1 to be "current" albeit succeeded by D2. Looking at the responses so far, some folks regularly use vintages, which is also fine as it fits rule (3) even if (1) is left out.

I agree that DE razors which have been manufactured for 50 years without interruption would be as easy to find as a honest politician, but I consider vintages OK. The point of the thread is answering the question: "If you use razor X at least monthly, how many years do you get out of the razor" using experience. If you still keep your 50s Superspeed, perfect - ignore (1). OTOH, cheating would be buying a 100-year-old razor for which nobody can know how frequent it has been used. Maybe it was used once and then put on display until your purchase?

Another interesting bit of info is the lifespan of some Zamak razors. Some folks keep theirs for several years; I have personally never had this much luck with Zamak. Once my guarantee was over, I would start experiencing issues. Compared to other materials, so far I would conclude that Zamak loses to brass in practice, which is also consistent with opinions in this thread. Another interesting aspect would be brass vs SS, but I know of very few vintage SS DE safety razors and obviously nobody on B&B who owns one uses their frequently.

I expect the history of "vintage" SS safety razors would be fairly short (excluding the Darwin's "cobalt steel" in 1925). I believe the Weber (2012) was the first SS safety in the US. Interesting, because true "modern" stainless steel (higher chromium content) was first poured out of a smelter in 1913, and was widely available as a construction material by 1929. SS knives became available soon after the turn of the century, and most razor blades were SS in the early 60's. Seems like such an ideal material for a safety razor, although there was a cost differential between SS and brass, and it didn't lend itself to the stamping process commonly used for fabricating safety razors. Might be some history buffs on B&B who could elaborate.
 
I expect the history of "vintage" SS safety razors would be fairly short (excluding the Darwin's "cobalt steel" in 1925). I believe the Weber (2012) was the first SS safety in the US. Interesting, because true "modern" stainless steel (higher chromium content) was first poured out of a smelter in 1913, and was widely available as a construction material by 1929. SS knives became available soon after the turn of the century, and most razor blades were SS in the early 60's. Seems like such an ideal material for a safety razor, although there was a cost differential between SS and brass, and it didn't lend itself to the stamping process commonly used for fabricating safety razors. Might be some history buffs on B&B who could elaborate.

There is the Heljestrand and Watts for vintage stainless. Imho steel is much harder to work with and is an overkill for safety razors. If you look at the most copied Gillette design (ball end and single ring) I think these would have been much harder to reproduce in steel.
 
There is the Heljestrand and Watts for vintage stainless. Imho steel is much harder to work with and is an overkill for safety razors. If you look at the most copied Gillette design (ball end and single ring) I think these would have been much harder to reproduce in steel.

That's a rare bird - thanks! And there's actually (not surprising!) a B&B thread on the topic:

 
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