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The Tech Clone Wars

I have a few questions for the tech gurus,... i found a black contract tech handle at a thrift shop that's missing most of the paint. So here we go, please answer any or as many as you can - Questions 3 & 4 are the most important to me a the moment, the rest are just for a history lesson.

1. Why was it called the "contract" tech? What year range was it made? I'm assuming it was a war contract, but does that mean it was only meant for the military or was it made for everyone at that time?

2. Were all of them completely black? like - black handle with black baseplate & black top?

3. What's the best type of paint to repaint the handle with? and also- What's the best way to remove the little bits of remaining old peeling paint.

4. What was it made from? It appears to be a dark gray metal, not brass. If it's zamak should i use a primer before painting and/or a a clear sealer after painting?

5. Unrelated question, just curious - What is a hybrid tech?/why is it called that?
 
5. Unrelated question, just curious - What is a hybrid tech?/why is it called that?
I am not the resident Contract Tech expert but am able to provide some info on your Q5.

The Hybrid Tech is a hybrid between the English Flat Bottom (FB) Tech (also a VERY good razor) and the English Raised Flat Bottom (RFB) NEW (another VERY good razor):

1939 Tech Hybrid England from Richard Snyder.jpg

JPEG from the mr-razor site: mr-razor Tech razors - https://mr-razor.com/Rasierer/Tech/Tech.htm

The Hybrid Tech is, in my opinion, one of the best shaving razors out there.

YMMV.
 
The Hybrid Tech is a rhodium-plated, fantastic shaving little piece of unobtanium that is one of my prized possessions.

It's basically a Raised Flat Bottom (RFB) New but instead of open combs it has a safety bar. I have an RFB New, as well, and it's a great shaver, but the Hybrid Tech is better (IMO).
 
The Hybrid Tech is a rhodium-plated, fantastic shaving little piece of unobtanium that is one of my prized possessions.

It's basically a Raised Flat Bottom (RFB) New but instead of open combs it has a safety bar. I have an RFB New, as well, and it's a great shaver, but the Hybrid Tech is better (IMO).
I have two versions of the RFB NEW plus the Hybrid Tech and I agree - the Hybrid Tech is the better shaver. :)
 
I shaved with a post war Tech today; felt like a nicer/smoother shave than my Baili. I may try to shave with both on the same day, just to be able to give a better comparison. I also ordered a hybrid Tech from England (it's on my desk as we speak!) - will be cleaning it and giving it a spin later this week or weekend.
 
In preparation for my first shave with the Baili 131 tomorrow morning I decided to clean the razor and disinfect it just in case, and I took the time to take some side by side pictures of it against the Sumatra from Global Shave Club. I can confirm everything that @never-stop-learning has said. It looks to be that the Sumatra is simply a better platted Baili 131.
Here are the two razors apart:
Karatsu_TFAshaverbailiVSumatra-1.JPG

Here are the two head, which appear to be identical, just different plating:
Karatsu_TFAshaverbailiVSumatra-2.JPG

Here are the base plates with the safety bars, I did find that the plating on the Baili wasn't quite as nice and that the ridges on the Baili tend to grab as the fibers of the towel I was using to dry things off, the Sumatra did not grab at the fibers, but I attribute this to extra buffing or work needed to do the rose gold plating on the Sumatra. I also note the 23 on the Sumatra head and the 21 on the Baili:
Karatsu_TFAshaverbailiVSumatra-3.JPG

Here are the two handles side by side and the have the exact same pattern and are the same length:
Karatsu_TFAshaverbailiVSumatra-4.JPG

Finally, here is an image of the plating on the ends of the handles, and this is where I find the quality of the Sumatra superior, the plating isn't great on the Baili. There is something under the chrome that will in time cause the Baili's plating to fail most likely. The Sumatra has better plating on the handle, base plate, and head. That's why IMHO the Sumatra is worth the extra money at $10:
Karatsu_TFAshaverbailiVSumatra-5.JPG

Hope you all are getting some great shaves and I hope this is at least helpful to others that are contemplating any of the razors being discussed here.
 
In preparation for my first shave with the Baili 131 tomorrow morning I decided to clean the razor and disinfect it just in case, and I took the time to take some side by side pictures of it against the Sumatra from Global Shave Club. I can confirm everything that @never-stop-learning has said. It looks to be that the Sumatra is simply a better platted Baili 131.
Here are the two razors apart:
View attachment 1032018

Here are the two head, which appear to be identical, just different plating:
View attachment 1032019

Here are the base plates with the safety bars, I did find that the plating on the Baili wasn't quite as nice and that the ridges on the Baili tend to grab as the fibers of the towel I was using to dry things off, the Sumatra did not grab at the fibers, but I attribute this to extra buffing or work needed to do the rose gold plating on the Sumatra. I also note the 23 on the Sumatra head and the 21 on the Baili:
View attachment 1032020

Here are the two handles side by side and the have the exact same pattern and are the same length:
View attachment 1032021

Finally, here is an image of the plating on the ends of the handles, and this is where I find the quality of the Sumatra superior, the plating isn't great on the Baili. There is something under the chrome that will in time cause the Baili's plating to fail most likely. The Sumatra has better plating on the handle, base plate, and head. That's why IMHO the Sumatra is worth the extra money at $10:
View attachment 1032022

Hope you all are getting some great shaves and I hope this is at least helpful to others that are contemplating any of the razors being discussed here.
Thank you for taking the time to compare these two razors so thoroughly.
 
I shaved with a post war Tech today; felt like a nicer/smoother shave than my Baili. I may try to shave with both on the same day, just to be able to give a better comparison. I also ordered a hybrid Tech from England (it's on my desk as we speak!) - will be cleaning it and giving it a spin later this week or weekend.
Welcome to the Hybrid Tech Club. :)

Also appreciate your comparison between the Post-war Tech and the Baili Clone.
 
OK, So the Baili BT-131 was up to bat today.

Razor: BT-131
Blade: Baili Platinum Super Stainless (was in the packaging)
Brush: Omega 10049 Boar
Pre: Proraso Green
Soap: Williams Mug Shaving Soap
After: Aqua Velva Classic Ice Blue

Rating: 9.5/10 - Almost BBS and one of the most confusing shaves of my life! I think I hate that Baili blade. It made the shave feel kind of rough, but it didn't nick me at all. No irritation post shave either. But I hated using the combo today while I was shaving. I kept thinking I was going to have to stop the shave and switch either blades or razors, but I decided to take the risk head on and kept in it until I had done three passes (WTG, XTG, ATG) and a cleanup.

After the Aqua velva I had a wonderful near BBS shave. It didn't burn anymore than regular, and there is no irritation now. But I don't want to use that blade again. Like I said a great and confusing shave for me.

The BT-131 handled like the Sumatra. It was a good razor and I will be trying again tomorrow with a blade I know, and then I will do a side-by-side in two days time with the Sumatra.

Karatsu_TFAshaverbaili-1.JPG
 
OK, So the Baili BT-131 was up to bat today.

Razor: BT-131
Blade: Baili Platinum Super Stainless (was in the packaging)
Brush: Omega 10049 Boar
Pre: Proraso Green
Soap: Williams Mug Shaving Soap
After: Aqua Velva Classic Ice Blue

Rating: 9.5/10 - Almost BBS and one of the most confusing shaves of my life! I think I hate that Baili blade. It made the shave feel kind of rough, but it didn't nick me at all. No irritation post shave either. But I hated using the combo today while I was shaving. I kept thinking I was going to have to stop the shave and switch either blades or razors, but I decided to take the risk head on and kept in it until I had done three passes (WTG, XTG, ATG) and a cleanup.

After the Aqua velva I had a wonderful near BBS shave. It didn't burn anymore than regular, and there is no irritation now. But I don't want to use that blade again. Like I said a great and confusing shave for me.

The BT-131 handled like the Sumatra. It was a good razor and I will be trying again tomorrow with a blade I know, and then I will do a side-by-side in two days time with the Sumatra.

View attachment 1032190
Nicely done! Thank you for contributing your experiences to the Clone Wars.
 
I received my second Baili yesterday. No packaging but came with 20 blades. It is the new style that covers the blade tabs. The finish is great for a razor that cost less than $5. Blade alignment is spot on. Looks like it should shave well.
 
I received my second Baili yesterday. No packaging but came with 20 blades. It is the new style that covers the blade tabs. The finish is great for a razor that cost less than $5. Blade alignment is spot on. Looks like it should shave well.
Looking forward to your shaving impressions.
 
I gave a Black Tiger to my dad, I'm awaiting his opinion on the razor.

I also gave him a Chinese Merkur 34C clone, he really liked that.
 
OK, so today was back to the BT-131

Razor: BT-131
Blade: MenSmell Stainless Steel Blade (4)
Brush: Omega 10049 Boar
Pre: Proraso Green
Soap: Williams Mug Shaving Soap
Post: Aqua Velva Classic Ice Blue

Rating: 9/10 - DFS. I found that the blade was much smoother even on it's fourth and final shave. I like the blades way more than the Baili Blade that came with the BT-131. Overall it was a good shave and felt very similar to the Global Shave Sumatra. I will get to the Shave off between the two razors in about two days. I have another tech clone I want to try first, but I don't want to have so many blades just laying around, so two days until I get two more MenSmell blades out load them into the Baili and the Sumatra and see which one is the best to me.

Karatsu_TFAshaver131MenSmell-1.JPG
 
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