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Safety Razor Of the Week, 12/7 -12/13 The Gillette Ranger Tech

The Gillette Ranger Tech



Photo courtesy of Achim (mr razor)

This week I would like to take a look at and discuss the Gillette Ranger Tech.

The Gillette Ranger Tech originally went into production for the holiday season in 1941 right behind th Gold Milord. These where the first two razors Gillette produced with the now widely used bar guard. Production of these razors were canceled due to the outbreak of WWII. At that time Gillette went into wartime production of 3 piece techs and blades for the troops.


The first (1941) model of the Ranger has a the familiar diamond textured knurling on upper and lower handle, with a wide, smooth band just above the TTO knob. This model has the non-riveted carriers on the ends of the head, has no end caps and the center bar was not notched at this time. It sported the Gillette Diamond Logo and “Made in the U.S.A. stamped on the underside of the razor however, there was no date code stamped on these razors.


The Bar guard concept was being implemented across all Gillette production lines at the beginning of WWII. These bar guards were not on considered more comfortable, durable and easier to clean, but the manufacture of razors with the bar guards simpler and considerably less expencive.



In 1946 Gillette geared up once again for civilian production and leading the way was the Aristocrat, Milord and a very small limited run of the Ranger Tech until the Super-Speed started its run in 1947. The 1946 Ranger Tech sported the same handle with the wide band however this model comes with end caps unlike the first Ranger Techs.




I have not shaved with my Ranger Tech for a very long time. I tried it out when I first received it but then put it up for show. I gave me a very nice smooth, clean comfortable shave. I will say that I found it to be a good deal more aggressive than my 40’s style Super-Speed. I think it’s about time I pull it out and give it another go.
I would have to say, if you never tried a Ranger Tech you owe it to yourself to find one and enjoy it.



Any and all information about this razor is more than welcomed.



Back to Safety Razor of the Week.
 
I had been looking for a way to spot a Ranger Tech from a distance -- the lack of endcaps isn't a guarantee -- and the smooth band appears to be a very good tell. Thanks for the info; extensive as usual :smile:
 
Certainly a classy looking superspeed predecessor. I don't have a ranger tech but will give the Milord version a thumbs up. I would only assume the ranger tech would shave quite similar.
 
I know what I'll be using this morning!

I haven't used mine in a long time, either. What an opportunity to revisit it.
 
Nice work, Ray. I'll have to look and see if I have one. I know I have a Ranger Tech box but not sure it's a Ranger Tech inside.

Actually, I didn't really know this razor until your post.

Honestly, even if people don't post many comments, I think there's a lot of interest in what you're doing. I know I appreciate it. Thank you.
 

Gruder

Moderator Emeritus
I'm quite proud to own this razor (the '41 variety, cased), and quite ashamed to say I've not used it as much as I should have. Perhaps I'll take it for a spin soon!
 
Well, waddaya know!?!

My Ranger Tech box contains a 1941 Ranger Tech! I had no idea. Thanks, Ray! (Not a collector by any stretch: some lost plating on the silo doors and some paint on the handle, but still shave worthy.)

It also appears that the silo doors fit a little different around the safety bar. Not sure. Comparing it to a Superspeed, it appears the blade edges of the silo doors are maybe just slightly closer to the blade bed. Plus there's noticeably more blade exposure on the Ranger Tech than on the Superspeed.

The short bars connecting the safety bar to the blade bed are also a little different: a slight dip/valley on the Superspeed, but just a nice smooth curve on the Ranger Tech.
 
I guess I am going to throw a blade in my neglected Milord, pretend that it is nickle plated, and join the Ranger Tech club for tomorrow's shave.
 
I used my Milord today for the first time in ages (<6th time in total) and only then noticed this thread. I'd say I've still got some learning to do with the Superspeed genre- I've got a S/S, Milord and HD Rocket, all in gd cdtn, but they haven't rocked my world. Today I used a far more agressive angle with a Feather on its 3rd shave and I have to say the results were good. I definitely believe I need to adjust my technique to get the best out of this style of head.
 
Can anyone recommend the easiest tell that a Superspeed is actually the earlier Ranger Tech? The bands at the bottom?
 

scoopster

Moderator Emeritus
Wow...Not much interest in the Ranger Tech...I'm surprised!
Ray, My gut would be that many think these are equivalent to the SuperSpeed in terms of shaving characteristics and thus the corresponding interest level. I certainly was in that camp. Now knowing that the shave is more aggressive than the SuperSpeed I'm gonna start thumbing through Ebay listings!

As always, an excellent SROTW! Thank you.
 
I like the ranger as a collector piece but it is not much of a shaver. I really prefer the 40's style SS to this razor. I guess I am in the minority on this one.
 
Good job Ray!!! This is my favorite DE beacuse i am very interested in History and looking for one of these DE's for a longtime... Thanks or some more info on the Ranger tech so it will be even easier to spot one out to purchase. thanks and i will be on a search for a really good piece of american history!!!!
 
I have an undated notched SS, and while I like it, I would prefer it to be a bit more aggressive. So maybe a Ranger Tech is a good idea ... how does the Ranger compare to the 40s SS in terms of handle length, weight and balance?
 
Near as I can tell, they are just about identical. Weight is 1.9 ounces for each one. The Ranger does feel perhaps a tad heavier, but it doesn't scale that way. Could be a difference in the balance, but again, not very noticeable. I shall be shaving mine tomorrow. So we'll see how that goes.
 
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