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How To Get The Best Performance From A Light Weight Razor?

I tried out a new English Gillette Tech circa mid 60's yesterday. It is the one with the double swirled aluminum handle. Very clean and 'pretty' razor. Almost mint. The head is standard Tech excellent. No issues.

I was a bit underwhelmed. It gave me a good shave, don't get me wrong but it seemed to lack efficiency. The razor seems to weigh a touch over 30 grams, an ounce. I have not actually weighed it yet but it is the lightest razor I have handled. Almost all the weight is in the head. The handle is almost weightless.


Any tips on getting the best from a lightweight razor? I was using a standard Gillette W/S SS blade, first use. It is usually a reliable blade for my average/tough stubble for about 3 uses in my 63 gram short handle DE89. A bout 2 ounces that one. It was a 48 hour growth, northing crazy but it gave the razor something to do.

I was using ARKO stick, :) face lathered. A little lacking in water but I am still working on lathering. A textbook 3 pass, NS, XTG, SN. I like to think I have figured out my technique and beard map, so no technical issues. I have a variety of maybe more efficient blades that I can potentially use. I worry though that if I stick a Feather in (which I have never used) combined with the slightly more pressure is was exerting, I may end up with a hobby-ending experience. I have a good stock of IP's.

Any tips from getting the best performance from a lightweight razor?

Thanks Gents
 
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I hope somebody has some good tips other than swap the handle, but I haven't had the best luck with light weight razors. They leave me with patches no matter how many times I go over them. 65-85 grams is my sweet spot and all the razors I use regularly are in this window. Just a useless comment to hopefully get your thread noticed.
 
I hope somebody has some good tips other than swap the handle, but I haven't had the best luck with light weight razors. They leave me with patches no matter how many times I go over them. 65-85 grams is my sweet spot and all the razors I use regularly are in this window. Just a useless comment to hopefully get your thread noticed.
Not useless at all! In fact I tried in a previous shave with another Tech head to put the DE89 handle on. Hard to gauge though because I stupidly was using a blade after it had been used 3 times. (duhh). So that's useful input. Thanks @APBinNCA :)
 
I suppose the other possibility is to find some round magnets that are similar diameter to the handle and find some way to attach them to the bottom. You could keep stacking until you like the results, being on the bottom will require less weight to move the balance point. Somebody here has a brass filled aluminium handle.
 
Those aluminum handles weight almost nothing. BTW, my favorite handle on the Tech is the fat handle from the earlier models. The solid brass handle with ball end is pretty good and weighs a bit more.

You must use a blade on the sharper end of the spectrum. Feather or BIC Chrome for instance. The other thing with the Tech is you have to find the optimal shaving angle. The range is extremely narrow. Outside that range, you won't be able to get close. You are almost forced to apply pressure to widen the effective angle, which can be done with some care and practice. Just don't bear down so you get irritation from it.
 
In my 1 year journey a personal preference for lighter weight aluminum razors has emerged (Timeless, Above the Tie SB90, and Henson Al13). They all share a very high level of efficiency. Instead of adding "pressure" as one might with a cartridge that digs into the skin, I would describe my method as a slightly "firmer hold" on the handle. With heavier razors, my interpretation of "let the weight do the work," means a looser hold. When I use a "firmer hold" with a heavy razor, irritation develops. With an aluminum, the light pressure provided with my firmer hold combined with a higher efficiency razor is "just right." I have a 1947 fat handle Tech, but I cannot get it to shave at all without two shims. With the shims, it is a delightful razor to me.
 
...I have a 1947 fat handle Tech, but I cannot get it to shave at all without two shims. With the shims, it is a delightful razor to me.
Yet other people are able to get a DFS level shave without shims. The razor is designed to be mild, but it can shave reasonably close.

I'm not against shims. This is basically a technique for widening the effective shaving angle. That tells you something right there.
 
Yet other people are able to get a DFS level shave without shims. The razor is designed to be mild, but it can shave reasonably close.

I'm not against shims. This is basically a technique for widening the effective shaving angle. That tells you something right there.
I agree with you. I also shave the dome, which is mostly done blind, and for me requires a wider effective shaving angle.

If you are implying that my face shaving technique is poor, I guess I cannot disagree with the facts as presented :)
 
Well now I am going to make a damn fool of myself by asking but this is the place to learn :)

What is Shimming?
 
Cut the sharp edges of the blades off a used DE, and place it between the baseplate and the sharp blade. It increases blade gap by raising the blade the thickness of the edgeless shim blade, approximately 0.1 mm.
 
I agree with you. I also shave the dome, which is mostly done blind, and for me requires a wider effective shaving angle.

If you are implying that my face shaving technique is poor, I guess I cannot disagree with the facts as presented :)
:laugh:

Not really saying that! It's more of a preference thing that I can totally understand. I used an R41 this morning, actually, though I do have a Tech for those times when I want a really mild shave.
 
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Will scissors do it? You mean in loading order, baseplate, shimmed blade and the blade? Then lock and load. You think it may help the light handle issue?
It will change the geometry slightly into higher efficiency - some double shim and/or use a Kai blade that is a touch wider than regular ones.

If you like weight/grip get an additional handle. Razorock UFO comes to my mind - stainless steel, shaped like a ball-end on steroids.
 
Will scissors do it? You mean in loading order, baseplate, shimmed blade and the blade? Then lock and load. You think it may help the light handle issue?
You can use scissors, just ones that you don't care too much about! You are correct, one or two shims between base plate and the cutting blade.

It will help you get closer and is worth trying for sure.
 
8514E4F1-AC14-4306-A657-88A157C1B970.jpeg

First on the right side
 
Will scissors do it? You mean in loading order, baseplate, shimmed blade and the blade? Then lock and load. You think it may help the light handle issue?
As others have indicated, I just use regular scissors. It is a much cheaper way to experiment with adjusting blade gap over purchasing an adjustable razor.

It alters blade gap; it does not affect the weight of the razor in any significant way. Shims can be used in any razor regardless of weight.

In most razors, including the Tech, the posts are in the top cap. For practical assembling and having things line up properly, I turn the top cap upside down, place cutting blade in, then shim, then bottom plate. That way the posts are keeping the blade(s) aligned when the bottom plate goes on and is tightened up.
 
So you can put more than 1 'blanks' into the baseplate? Sounds like a cheap way of creating an adjustable :) And this will change the behaviour of other razors.

I need to lie down to process this info.
Shims are not a new idea, here is a vintage one that I use with a Henckels Henso razor, it is 0.7mm thick.

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You can make a shim by trimming a blade as suggested, or for a thicker shim by cutting the appropriate shape out of some plastic such as an old credit card.
 
:laugh:

Not really saying that! It's more of a preference thing that I can totally understand. I used an R41 this morning, actually, though I do have a Tech for those times when I want a really mild shave.
Also, my natural preference is for a steeper angle.
 
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