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Questions about Quality: Near-Mint Long-Toothed NEW


So I purchased this razor off B&B. I'm pretty excited, as this is my first vintage DE razor in this good a condition. However, it's also the most I've ever spent on a razor, so I'm paranoid about if it really is as nice as it looks. So, I have some questions about quality (that are sprinkled all over this post).


If you look at just the head, it looks like this is a near-mint razor. It's highly polished; the shine hurts my eyes a little. Besides the very minor scratches, there is one itty bitty scuff. However...


The shine is limited to the outside. The sides that hold the blade are matte. Is that normal?


The handle does not appear to be nearly as shiny. The only shine is at the top end of the handle ( ) ( portion), and even that doesn't shine as much as the head. The shaft and ball seem to have a matte finish. Is this normal?


There is this red gunk in the grooves above and below the ball and at the base of every tooth on one side of the head. It's seems pretty fragile, as I can pick off what I can reach. What is it? What can I use to get it off without damaging the finish?

Lastly, how do I get myself to shave with it!? I bought it to shave with, but I didn't expect it to look so nice...

Thanks in advance.
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Inside of the cap, yes I would say that's normal.

As for the "red", it might be gunk, it might be plating loss. It's a bit difficult to say with the light. However, I wouldn't worry either way. Give it a good clean-up and you will see how this ends. If it's plating loss, don't worry, it won't affect the quality of the shave.

The teeth look all right. As long as you don't drop it (like any razor) you will be fine. It looks in good condition.
 
I'm not the seller (to whom I assume you've given the courtesy of addressing these concerns first :smile:), but the shine is a function of polishing, not age or condition. It you'd like it to be shinier underneath and/or to retain that shine over time, find yourself some Maas (a polishing compound that many use with success on razors). As for the red stuff, try gently using a toothpick to see if it will flake away. This seems pretty common in hard-to-reach areas of these older razors.

Last but not least, you're holding what is, IMHO, the finest shaving razor Gillette ever made. I'd like to think that the fine folks who made it decades ago would be honored to have you use it today. Enjoy!
 
I advise against polishing this razor. It is thinly plated with gold directly over brass, then lacquered. The red you see is the lacquer changing color with age. The lacquer in the grooves around the ball is likely not worn as much as the lacquer on the rest of the razor. Even polishing with a mild polish like Maas can easily remove the lacquer and the gold plating. Procede with caution.

-Clarke
 
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I advise against polishing this razor. It is thinly plated with gold directly over brass, then lacquered. The red you see is the lacquer changing color with age. The lacquer in the grooves around the ball is likely not worn as much as the lacquer on the rest of the razor. Even polishing with a mild polish like Maas can easily remove the lacquer and the gold plating. Procede with caution.

-Clarke
Agree.
Gillette did it wrong and plated gold over brass. Thin gold at that, and as gold doesn't bond too well with brass, it's mainly the lacquer holding it on.
Polishing it will wear through the lacquer, then after that, the gold plating will wear away easily.
The red bit's you see is either discoloured lacquer or bits of polish someone has used on the razor previously.
 
Agree.
Gillette did it wrong and plated gold over brass. Thin gold at that, and as gold doesn't bond too well with brass, it's mainly the lacquer holding it on.
Polishing it will wear through the lacquer, then after that, the gold plating will wear away easily.
The red bit's you see is either discoloured lacquer or bits of polish someone has used on the razor previously.

I am of the view that polishing razors is almost always the wrong thing to do. Unless the razor is made of solid brass, with no plating, or stainless steel, polishing will do nothing more than wear the plating right off of most razors. With this model, a good polishing will take the plating right off right away, and with other types of razors, it will take longer to remove the plating.

If you want a razor to shine, give it a wipe with a soft cloth and use nothing stronger than some dishwashing detergent. From time to time I use hair shampoo on my Merkurs after a shave and that more than does the trick.
 
So I shaved with this razor today, and you guys are right - this is the smoothest shave I've gotten so far. I'm still afraid of damaging it, even more so now that I know about the lacquer.

Thanks for all the help guys. I probably won't hang on to it, as I feel it'd be better off in the hands of a collector. I'll definitely be looking out for long-toothed NEWs in the future, though.
 
So I shaved with this razor today, and you guys are right - this is the smoothest shave I've gotten so far. I'm still afraid of damaging it, even more so now that I know about the lacquer.

Thanks for all the help guys. I probably won't hang on to it, as I feel it'd be better off in the hands of a collector. I'll definitely be looking out for long-toothed NEWs in the future, though.

These razor are as common as fleas on a dog and have collector value only if in mint condition.
You have a nice shaver enjoy it.
 
Thanks for the info. I have no clue when it comes to collective razors, so I just figured it'd be worth something to someone.

In that case, should I clean off the red gunk (the aging lacquer) with a wooden toothpick, or just leave it as is?
 
Thanks for the info. I have no clue when it comes to collective razors, so I just figured it'd be worth something to someone.

In that case, should I clean off the red gunk (the aging lacquer) with a wooden toothpick, or just leave it as is?

I would leave it as it is. Chipping it away could expose the gold plate. And while the NEW sets are very common compared to other models, there are some of use that still like them because of their affordability. I might be interested in it. In fact, I may have something, or some things, that you might want in trade for it. :thumbup1: PM me if interested.
 
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