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My hot take on Gillette adjustable razors

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.

I think what they were trying to say is that what's good and better in the shaving in general (as some folks enjoy using electric and cartridge razors) is highly debatable and saying that one is better than the other regardless of the ''truth, facts and logic'' sparks huge debates and not only people get offended by that, but in some cases it gets much worse than that and the mighty mods have to interfere with the problems of us mortals.

I'm sure that your intentions are good and you only seek to find it our why some folks like this or that more than something else, but not everyone feels it that way, especially when you question their motives and even so if they have more experience than you.

I've been in a similar situation when I said a couple of times that (in genera) I disagree with the idea that the rare vintage razors (blades and to some degree the very expensive modern razors) provide much better shaves compared to the ''almost'' the same, but more common razors and their versions. I even bought most of the razors not only to prove my point, but because I love collecting vintage (mostly) Gillette razors and I find them to be great shavers (just not as magical as some folks claim they are) and people don't react to my posts and comments like they used to, since now (in their mind probably) I have a more solid proof than before, even though I knew what I was getting into, but I digress.

There's a reason why people are saying things like - IMO, IMHO and of course the famous - YMMV, because otherwise, we wouldn't be able to discuss anything without every thread to be under a constant watch of a mod 24/7.
 
I think what they were trying to say is that what's good and better in the shaving in general (as some folks enjoy using electric and cartridge razors) is highly debatable and saying that one is better than the other regardless of the ''truth, facts and logic'' sparks huge debates and not only people get offended by that, but in some cases it gets much worse than that and the mighty mods have to interfere with the problems of us mortals.

I'm sure that your intentions are good and you only seek to find it our why some folks like this or that more than something else, but not everyone feels it that way, especially when you question their motives and even so if they have more experience than you.

I've been in a similar situation when I said a couple of times that (in genera) I disagree with the idea that the rare vintage razors (blades and to some degree the very expensive modern razors) provide much better shaves compared to the ''almost'' the same, but more common razors and their versions. I even bought most of the razors not only to prove my point, but because I love collecting vintage (mostly) Gillette razors and I find them to be great shavers (just not as magical as some folks claim they are) and people don't react to my posts and comments like they used to, since now (in their mind probably) I have a more solid proof than before, even though I knew what I was getting into, but I digress.

There's a reason why people are saying things like - IMO, IMHO and of course the famous - YMMV, because otherwise, we wouldn't be able to discuss anything without every thread to be under a constant watch of a mod 24/7.
I feel like people, including the OP, are missing my point, but I have no desire to keep banging on a drum. I have no problems with opinions and strongly held ones, and even without a IMO/IMHO/YMMV, usually that would be presumed. As said, in this case, possibly just because it was the main opening and in bold, to state that it was the fault of Gillette, and no reference to opinion, was what seemed funny. Obviously the rest of what was said was opinion, and I had no quibble with that at all. My post was pointed at the fact that he said Gillette was to blame, and then listed things that had nothing to do with Gillette doing anything wrong. I shouldn't have bothered, I get pendantic and hung up on how language is used, and it mostly ends in grief all ways around. I'm just annoyed that now people are thinking I'm somehow saying people can't have opinions or that their opinions aren't valid, when in fact, I said the very opposite. People either take it in good faith, on both sides, or they don't.
 
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.
Got it. I guess what I meant to say, if I didn't make it clear, was that it is MY OPINION that Gillette got the adjustable razor right the first time. Others feel exactly the opposite; that each iteration was an improvement on the prior razor, and that it culminated with the SA, which was the best of them all.

I guess that's why I thought it was a pseudo-"hot take," because it is generally opposite to what most people believe. And if you go back and look at the history as to why they replaced the Toggle with the Fatboy, even, you find that it was done via market research, at least partially. People were asked to use the Toggle and compare it with the Fatboy and Gillette asked them their preferences. The Fatboy won, so I am in the minority. (I also think it is likely that the Fatboy was less expensive to make; it certainly sold for less. Probably that combination meant more profit for the company, which is always at least one of the driving factors behind change.)

Objectively the only thing about the Toggle that is clearly different from the Fatboy is the mechanism of opening and closing the doors. Both the Toggle and the Fatboy have an open position, a fully closed position, and a "rinse" position. For the Toggle, with the toggle straight the doors are fully closed. Flip the toggle halfway and you reach a the partially open "rinse position." Flip the toggle all the way so that it points straight sideways and the doors are fully open.

The Fatboy uses a screwing mechanism. Loosen it completely and the doors are fully open. Close to the first part of where it feels like it gets harder to turn, and you have the "rinse position." Tighten another quarter-turn for fully locked and closed.

Both mechanisms work really well. Rinsing is easier with the Toggle in rinse position because the doors are looser. Changing from closed to rinse position, from rinse to open, from open to closed, etc., is extremely simple with the toggle. It's not hard to twist the Fatboy to accomplish the same thing, but it's not as easy as the Toggle.

During the shave with the Fatboy, I find myself checking to make sure that the doors are all the way closed at least once and sometimes more often. With the Toggle there is no need; if the lever is pointing down, the doors are locked. A quick flip leads to extremely easy rinsing when the shave is finished.

I suspect that mechanically the Fatboy's twisting mechanism is simpler to manufacture, and also probably less likely to fail. So from the company's standpoint, the Fatboy's mechanism is probably considered an improvement. But from a usage standpoint, the Toggle mechanism is poetry in motion.
 
I got a Fatboy at the right price, since, at the time all reviews said that it was all that. It wasn't. I found it awkward, clunky and not nearly the great shave as my Aristocrat Adjustable or Slim Adjustable.
Of all vintage Gillettes, I get the best shaves with my 3 piece Old Type, Goodwills, and any of the Long Combs & short combs. The Techs are no slouch, either.
 
For me the lower profile head of the Slim and SA is definitely better. The Fatboy's high profile head is not my favourite. Same applies for the high and low profile heads on the non-adjustables. I prefer the low profile that has been introduced after 1962.

The fact the later years of Super Adjustables use a plastic bottom plate doesn't change anything for me.
 
I got a Fatboy at the right price, since, at the time all reviews said that it was all that. It wasn't. I found it awkward, clunky and not nearly the great shave as my Aristocrat Adjustable or Slim Adjustable.
Of all vintage Gillettes, I get the best shaves with my 3 piece Old Type, Goodwills, and any of the Long Combs & short combs. The Techs are no slouch, either.

For whatever reason, the Fatboy is the most desirable and wanted Gillette razor. You can go on Ebay anytime you want and you won't find a single Fatboy that isn't watched by at least 10 people. I've recently got one and I find it a decent shaver, but it's milder than my Slim and Super Adjustable 109 on setting 9, which isn't aggresive or super efficient, but still very good by the Gillette standards.
 
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.
Well, if you don't want your other adjustables, I'll take them :)
 
There are an awful lot of fatboys, slims, and black beauties listed every day. I have one of each, and I do not find much difference among them, but I havent really done a close comparison on consecutive shaves. To me, they all shave great.
 
I recently got an M1 (1967) Slim and have tried to like it. I started on setting 2 and it was way too mild. So I switched to 5, and it shaved, but roughly. 7 worked better but still irritating. Don't think it's my technique as I use a Merkur 34C, a DE89, a Maggard V3, and some others and don't get irritation. Maybe there's something wrong with my Slim or I'm just not using it properly, but I just can't seem to get a comfortable shave from it.
 
I recently got an M1 (1967) Slim and have tried to like it. I started on setting 2 and it was way too mild. So I switched to 5, and it shaved, but roughly. 7 worked better but still irritating. Don't think it's my technique as I use a Merkur 34C, a DE89, a Maggard V3, and some others and don't get irritation. Maybe there's something wrong with my Slim or I'm just not using it properly, but I just can't seem to get a comfortable shave from it.
Some say that certain blades do not work well for some razors, but I have never experienced it. I like the Merkur 33c, but did not like the Maggard V3 in my one shave with it.
I have used both the Astra SP and Gillette Plat (Swede) in my gillette adjustables.
 
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.
Trying to compare the shave of older adjustable razors depends solely on their condition. They may be out of alignment, inaccurate adjustments, or the inability to close properly. These conditions do not need to be major or even visible, they could be very minor and still have an impact on how they shave. I would bet that someone has an adjustable that is out of sync and they believe that the razor provides a great shave. If we had those 4 razors serviced to their original specs we may have a different opinion. Much easier to compare an adjustable and decide based on weight, head size, and feel. The mechanics are important and obviously the shave but only if properly calibrated. However, someone said that the Toggle is "cool" looking, absolutely. I need one.
 

luvmysuper

My Elbows Leak
Adjustable razors are probably wasted on me.
Adjustables, IMHO were the first of the Gillette "gimmicks", like vibrating heated handle razors later.
BUT! If I ever find a Toggle in the Wild I will snatch it up and give it a try for Science.
Alas, the days of seeing herds of wild Toggles thundering across the tundra are no more!
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
Adjustables, IMHO were the first of the Gillette "gimmicks", like vibrating heated handle razors later.
I must confess: yesterday was my first use of a Gillette "Slim" and I ........ oops! SECOND use, of a Slim...... and it mowed through something like a weeks werth of stubble. AND was much lighter than I expected it to be.

But honestly, I put it on 4 and never moved it. I may try it on 5 later today before church.... Good thing my Pastor is on vacation, because if he saw me clean shaven on a Wednesday night he'd probably faint!
 
I'd take the thinner head of a good piece over any adjustable. The TTO heads just don't work for me for some reason. Most people just set their adjustable on one setting and leave it there anyways.
 
I've read some reviews on the Gillette Toggle that were not particularly favorable. Part of their mystique may be based on curiosity. I've never used a Toggle or even seen one. My view on the Toggle is neutral. I do wonder, though, if the Gillette Toggle is such a wonderful razor, why was it discontinued after such a short run?
Negative reviews of Gillette Toggles are from people who don't actually own one. :) It's a sexy razor. It was complicated and expensive to make vs. later models and supposedly could jam when allowed to get dirty. I don't allow mine to get dirty so they have operated flawlessly for years.

Since you haven't seen one here is a pic of Gold and Nickel Gillette Toggles, and 2 modern remakes, Janus New Toggle prototype and Limited Edition:
Gold and Nickel Gillette Toggles.jpg
IMG_1964.jpeg
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
Negative reviews of Gillette Toggles are from people who don't actually own one. :) It's a sexy razor. It was complicated and expensive to make vs. later models and supposedly could jam when allowed to get dirty. I don't allow mine to get dirty so they have operated flawlessly for years.

Since you haven't seen one here is a pic of Gold and Nickel Gillette Toggles, and 2 modern remakes, Janus New Toggle prototype and Limited Edition:View attachment 1473491View attachment 1473492
All beautiful my friend! Thank you for showing us these.
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
I prefer the Slim because I find it more nimble around the schnoz. However it's the "195" hands down for the cool factor. A classic in my view. I still break it out several times a years just because....View attachment 1473649
It's not the SIZE of my schnoz as much as it's resemblance to a ski jump that causes me my problem!

I had to have my arms stretched in order to blow my own nose! True story doggone...

Those are BEAUTIFUL examples my friend.
 
Negative reviews of Gillette Toggles are from people who don't actually own one. :) It's a sexy razor. It was complicated and expensive to make vs. later models and supposedly could jam when allowed to get dirty. I don't allow mine to get dirty so they have operated flawlessly for years.

Since you haven't seen one here is a pic of Gold and Nickel Gillette Toggles, and 2 modern remakes, Janus New Toggle prototype and Limited Edition:View attachment 1473491View attachment 1473492
Great post!

Is it true what "they" say, that the Janus prototype is the best razor of them all? Inquiring minds want to know.
 
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