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My hot take on Gillette adjustable razors

I have never tried a Toggle, but I agree with the OP

Fatboy > Slim > Super Adjustable 109 (I have never tried the 84, I think I’d like it better)
Well this thread made me shave with my Fatboy yesterday and the Slim today. I don’t know… I may need to rectify my previous post.

The Fatboy is (maybe) slightly smoother and the Slim is (maybe) slightly more efficient. Overall, I think it’s a tie. Both are really good shavers and among my favorites

I use both at 5 on my sideburns and jawline, 4 on the rest of my face and 3 on my neck. 1 pass only with my new favorite Gillette Platinum blade , as close of a shave as I need it to be.
 
OK, I dislike "hot takes" as much as the next guy, and what I'm about to post is my actual opinion, not really a "hot take," but I think it will be viewed as such by some readers.

Here it is: When it comes to adjustable razors, Gillette got it right the first time; every iteration thereafter was a worse razor than the one that preceded it.

I have tried all four adjustables that Gillette made. For me, the Toggle is the best of them. Great weight, perfect balance, good range of aggression, superior method of opening/closing (includes the half-way for rinsing, and is closed securely whenever the handle is extended without having to fiddle with the last "quarter-turn," meant for adjusting on the fly without loosening). It's just an almost perfect razor.

Next, the Fatboy. Excellent weight, perfect length, love the girth of the handle, good grip, pretty good range of adjustability, very smooth, very good shaver.

Next, the Slim. Thinner, longer handle just messes with weight distribution and provides no positives, range of adjustability not that much different from Fatboy, thinner head is actually a drawback for shaving under the jawline, doesn't feel as comfortable in the hand or on the face as the Fatboy.

Finally, the SuperAdjustable. The worst of the lot for me; uglier, longer handle, some with plastic underneath the head, no improvement in shaving characteristics to make up for its ugliness.

So, the best is the Toggle, then the Fatboy, then the Slim, then finally the SA. So, as I said earlier, they got it right with the very first offering, and every so-called improvement thereafter was actually a devolution. Sort of like their cartridge razors, lol.
Ok. I’m new here. So my opinion doesn’t count for much. But I agree with Kingfisher. Tried one of my Toggles using a Feather blade about two weeks ago. Good shave, not as good as my 1936 Aristocrat. Tabled the Toggles. Then shaved for two weeks using a Blackland Blackbird and a Phoenix Ascension DOC, using Feathers and Astras. Got DFS shaves at best. Technique could be the problem. Let me emphasize: “Technique could be the problem”.

Put an Astra in one of my Toggles tonight and got a fantastic BBS two-pass shave. 5D1AA56F-6B0F-4BB1-A0F4-D4831374FC7E.jpegSo, I’m with kingfisher since all things are equal in my crappy technique, the Toggle gave the best shave once I gave it an Astra blade on my face.

Gillette crushed it with the Toggle. And though the current axiom here is YMMV, I’d say your mileage may vary a great deal more if you start out with a crappy engine, regardless of technique. Just my two cents. Worth less than that.

Curly
 
I have a last model N4 Slim Adjustable, winter 1968.

It's a beautiful machine, with few technical issues. However I don't enjoy the long handle, (I'm a short handle lover myself)

I seem to have problems shaving with my under chin area, also my jawline. I find myself having to choke up on the handle.

I would love a 40's Super Speed head with the same handle length on an adjustable, even if the handle is thicker.
In other words, I would like a Gillette 195 Adjustable.
The heavier weight would suit me fine too.

Basically this is a pathetic call for someone to sell me a 195 Adjustable. Being in London, the 195 is rare and horribly expensive. I got lucky with the Slim at $44.

Interestingly, the 195 in the UK was called the Mk1 Adjustable Razor. The Slim, the Mk2 Adjustable Razor.

Anyone, have pity on a poor UK colleague who needs a 195!

Do not get me wrong here. I love the look and overall performance of the Slim, I just think a beefed up adjustable 40's Super Speed would suit my preferences for short, chunky razors slightly more than the Slim. It would enhance my already tuned technique with the 40's Super Speed, which I own and gives great joy.

Hint hint. Anyone have a 195 for sale?

Signed, Desperate of London.
 
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Hint hint. Anyone have a 195 for sale?
Have you thought about a reseller? I know a couple shops in the US have started selling vintage razors, some in user grade and not jewellery. I would think you better budget 100 freedom bucks before shipping, which isn't bad to me since I almost bought one out of curiosity. 🤪
 
My unpopular take is that the Toggle is ugly. The toggle end just kind of tapering off doesn't match the solid design of the rest of the razor. It looks like maybe an electrical cord should be coming out of it. It also makes the razor look like a penny whistle.

From what I understand of the engineering, however, the looks of the Toggle are its strongest feature. They fixed both engineering and looks for the Fatboy, and made some minor improvements for the Slim (perhaps at the expense of looks).

The Toggle has scarcity and history in its favor. The adjustables that followed have to stand on their own as dependable, functional mass market tools that had some grace to them.
 
OP - you are right. As regards shave quality Gillette got it right the first time - the below is the very first adjustable, the Techmatic prototype made in 1946/1947, more than 10 years before the Toggle. And the shave is absolutely excellent. The adjustability is driven by a metal spring and is extremely advanced and well functioning. But being a closed 1-piece design it is hard to mount the blade and the razor in general is impossible to clean properly :thumbup1:

All that Gillette fixed with the later mass market razors’ TTO doors, which to me is the razor design I love the most, just like you. And the Slim is no slouch either in terms of shave quality. Near perfect actually for me, only wished it had a Fatboy shorter/thicker handle.

31A3F5DE-FD0E-41D6-A1E5-8DF41012354E.jpeg
 
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OP - you are right. As regards shave quality Gillette got it right the first time - the below is the very first adjustable, the Techmatic prototype made in 1946/1947, more than 10 years before the Toggle. And the shave is absolutely excellent. The adjustability is driven by a metal spring and is extremely advanced and well functioning. But being a closed 1-piece design it is hard to mount the blade and the razor in general is impossible to clean properly :thumbup1:

All that Gillette fixed with the later mass market razors’ TTO doors, which to me is the razor design I love the most, just like you. And the Slim is no slouch either in terms of shave quality. Near perfect actually for me, only wished it had a Fatboy shorter/thicker handle.

View attachment 1425517
Wow! How do you load a blade? Do you slide it in from the side?
 
Here it is: When it comes to adjustable razors, Gillette got it right the first time; every iteration thereafter was a worse razor than the one that preceded it.

I shouldn't dip my toes in this pond, having almost no experience with adjustables (I owned a Fat Boy, and a Blue Super Speed for a very, very short time). But, as a matter of language and meaning, here goes...

You say its your opinion, but then you make an subjective, not objective, statement. Your following text talks about works for you (opinion), not actual measurable pros and cons (with the exception of pointing out plastic). If it stated issues with plating, metals, build...then it would be based in what Gillette actually did, rather than your preferences.

As we all know, there are a wide range of people shaving, so it isn't 'worse' it is only 'worse for you'.

Some people need a mild razor, some a medium, some aggressive.
Everyone has different size hands, which will impact what length, weight, balance works for them.
Everyone has different areas that they shave, or that need special attention, which will impact head size and length.
Aesthetics is almost entirely opinion (including use of plastic).

From what I can see, the only things that would fall under pros/cons that could be considered 'worse/better' would be...
Adjustability - If there is an uneven range (1-4 mild, 5 medium, everything else aggressive, or the reverse, the top half of the positions are equally aggressive)…then that is a flaw. The whole point of an adjustable is to have range.
I don't know anything about the lock turn vs no turn, etc, so that could be maybe a 'pro/con' issue too.

I love that everyone shares what works for them, especially when they say why, and/or add in what has or hasn't worked. That is how you get a whole range of opinions on a particular razor. Partly based on that, I'm going to get my first adjustable I plan to keep, presuming it works well for me, a Slim. It's in the mail now. It is because of people sharing their opinions and recommendations (based on parameters of what I was looking for) and reading peoples reviews, that I think this is the best to go with. I may be wrong, we'll see.

It just hit me odd, that it would count against Gillette to bring out a wider range of adjustable razors. No one razor is going to give a perfect shave for everyone, so having a small range seems like a good idea. And it isn't overly repetitive... long handle, medium handle, different girths, different materials, different balance... if they had ten different long handles it would be silly, but not to have at least one long handle adjustable is missing part of a market.

*undips toe from pond*
I hope I didn't offend anyone since I'm not speaking from the experience of using all these razors. I just don't see 'differences' as automatically meaning 'flaws'.
 
OP - you are right. As regards shave quality Gillette got it right the first time - the below is the very first adjustable, the Techmatic prototype made in 1946/1947, more than 10 years before the Toggle. And the shave is absolutely excellent. The adjustability is driven by a metal spring and is extremely advanced and well functioning. But being a closed 1-piece design it is hard to mount the blade and the razor in general is impossible to clean properly :thumbup1:

All that Gillette fixed with the later mass market razors’ TTO doors, which to me is the razor design I love the most, just like you. And the Slim is no slouch either in terms of shave quality. Near perfect actually for me, only wished it had a Fatboy shorter/thicker handle.

View attachment 1425517
I did a rather lengthy post (when does desrgrl not do a long post), about how it is opinion, not actually Gillette doing something wrong, most the time. One thing I left out, that you hit on, is sometimes there are trade offs. This razor is hard to clean, which can be considered a 'flaw', but at the same time it has things that aren't opinion, that are considered good, the spring mechanism. So, opinion/statement of fact can be applied at the same time, which many of us do, when we say, want a certain handle, plating, etc from one razor, to be applied to another (hence many Frankensteins being born).

I just liked that you brought up opinion, along with statement of fact, and how sometimes there can be an iteration of a razor that fixes one thing, but gets rid of another, or makes it worse.
 
I shouldn't dip my toes in this pond, having almost no experience with adjustables (I owned a Fat Boy, and a Blue Super Speed for a very, very short time). But, as a matter of language and meaning, here goes...

You say its your opinion, but then you make an subjective, not objective, statement. Your following text talks about works for you (opinion), not actual measurable pros and cons (with the exception of pointing out plastic). If it stated issues with plating, metals, build...then it would be based in what Gillette actually did, rather than your preferences.

As we all know, there are a wide range of people shaving, so it isn't 'worse' it is only 'worse for you'.

Some people need a mild razor, some a medium, some aggressive.
Everyone has different size hands, which will impact what length, weight, balance works for them.
Everyone has different areas that they shave, or that need special attention, which will impact head size and length.
Aesthetics is almost entirely opinion (including use of plastic).

From what I can see, the only things that would fall under pros/cons that could be considered 'worse/better' would be...
Adjustability - If there is an uneven range (1-4 mild, 5 medium, everything else aggressive, or the reverse, the top half of the positions are equally aggressive)…then that is a flaw. The whole point of an adjustable is to have range.
I don't know anything about the lock turn vs no turn, etc, so that could be maybe a 'pro/con' issue too.

I love that everyone shares what works for them, especially when they say why, and/or add in what has or hasn't worked. That is how you get a whole range of opinions on a particular razor. Partly based on that, I'm going to get my first adjustable I plan to keep, presuming it works well for me, a Slim. It's in the mail now. It is because of people sharing their opinions and recommendations (based on parameters of what I was looking for) and reading peoples reviews, that I think this is the best to go with. I may be wrong, we'll see.

It just hit me odd, that it would count against Gillette to bring out a wider range of adjustable razors. No one razor is going to give a perfect shave for everyone, so having a small range seems like a good idea. And it isn't overly repetitive... long handle, medium handle, different girths, different materials, different balance... if they had ten different long handles it would be silly, but not to have at least one long handle adjustable is missing part of a market.

*undips toe from pond*
I hope I didn't offend anyone since I'm not speaking from the experience of using all these razors. I just don't see 'differences' as automatically meaning 'flaws'.
Opinions are all subjective. That what an opinion is.
 
Fact isn't opinion.
Plating flakes compared to all previous models - fact.
It is too heavy and long - opinion.
Yep. We totally agree. Still doesn't make any sense at all that you complained that I followed "this is my opinion" with subjective observations, since that's literally the definition of an opinion.

Bottom line is this: the original post was nothing more nor less than me expressing my own personal opinion that I prefer the Toggle to the Fatboy, the Fatboy to the Slim, and the Slim to the Super Adjustable. I thought it was worth posting because the majority of wetshavers prefer the Fatboy to the Toggle and prefer the Slim to the Fatboy. The Super Adjustable has a lot of rabid fans, too, but if I had to guess, I'd say a slightly higher percentage of people who have tried both the Slim and the SA prefer the Slim (but I don't know that for sure).

So, in short, my personal ranking of the Gillette Adjustables is almost precisely the opposite of the general opinion about said razors. Therefore I thought it might provoke some interesting conversation.

You can't be saying that I couldn't possibly prefer the adjustables in that order, right? I mean, you can't decide my preferences for me, can you? I'm still not sure what the point of your original post was. And to be clear, I don't really care if you or anybody else likes the SA best, or the Slim best, or even if you or anybody else only uses modern razors. I'm inclined to let people have their own opinions.
 
You're right about the most comfortable of the mass produced lot is the Fat-Boy, and each rendition have a bit more blade feel, and were made to match the new price-point. That said, the slim shaves a bit closer than the Fat-Boy, but not much, and the SA shaves even a bit closer, when opened up. - A slim on around 7 seems to shave like a Fat-Boy on 9, and a SA on 5-6. While the SA yields the closes shave, or does so more quickly, it also has the most blade feel, and can feel almost as though its scraping your face. I tend to run them pretty much wide open, to get what I consider a reasonably close shave.

In all truthfulness, I think the NEW SC & LC actually yield a better (closer) shave than their adjustables, with my preference being the SC. Their original OLD Type was also a darn good shaver, although the NEW SC/LC shaves better for me.
 
Yep. We totally agree. Still doesn't make any sense at all that you complained that I followed "this is my opinion" with subjective observations, since that's literally the definition of an opinion.

Bottom line is this: the original post was nothing more nor less than me expressing my own personal opinion that I prefer the Toggle to the Fatboy, the Fatboy to the Slim, and the Slim to the Super Adjustable. I thought it was worth posting because the majority of wetshavers prefer the Fatboy to the Toggle and prefer the Slim to the Fatboy. The Super Adjustable has a lot of rabid fans, too, but if I had to guess, I'd say a slightly higher percentage of people who have tried both the Slim and the SA prefer the Slim (but I don't know that for sure).

So, in short, my personal ranking of the Gillette Adjustables is almost precisely the opposite of the general opinion about said razors. Therefore I thought it might provoke some interesting conversation.

You can't be saying that I couldn't possibly prefer the adjustables in that order, right? I mean, you can't decide my preferences for me, can you? I'm still not sure what the point of your original post was. And to be clear, I don't really care if you or anybody else likes the SA best, or the Slim best, or even if you or anybody else only uses modern razors. I'm inclined to let people have their own opinions.
I think it was the statement, in bold type: Gillette got it right the first time; every iteration thereafter was a worse razor than the one that preceded it. followed by mostly opinion, mixed in with a bit of fact, that got my attention.

I should have let it go, but it seemed odd to call out a company for their products, and then basically make it mostly about opinion. I thought I had made it clear in my post that that was why I had responded. I also made it clear, that everyone, including you, will have your own opinions on shaving equipment based on each persons own needs. Making something a 'worse razor', not based on your opinion, but a statement of fact that Gillette's quality/usability has gone down, doesn't really stand unless it is fact backing it up. I don't think I can explain better without going in circles, but if you are saying your opinion, just say it, "I liked the earlier models because reason X".

It has nothing to do with 'fandom', just the use of language I guess.

I wasn't saying anything other than that, and I apologize if my tone came through negatively. I think you are right, it did provide interesting conversation. Personally I think some of the points I made do as well. The differences here are part of what makes this place great as much as the similarities.
 
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