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The Tech Clone Wars

I've been shaving with my Techs over the last week; I still find the Gillette Techs a little smoother than the Star safety razor or the Baili clones. All 3 (flat bottom, pre-war Canadian 1932 triangular slot, post war oblong slot) all shave closely and smoothly. I given an edge to the flat bottom as the head is heavier, which gives it better balance.
My experience is similar.

The prewar Gillette US Fat Handle triangular Tech shaves smoother and closer than the RazoRock DE1 clone. The DE1 requires more attention to deliver a nice shave. Shaves are more pleasant with the prewar FH Tech.
 
Well, the magnet doesn't tell us anything as brass is a non-magnetic compound.

The Star 100 in question is an older vintage Star.

The digital scale I use to set up phono cartridges is packed away so we'll have to wing it:

Top cap: Star is heavier than the Personna.

Base plate: Both base plates feel about the same.

Handle: Star is noticeably heavier.

Star compared to my Gillette 1956 #24 Ball End Tech (all brass and, at 63g, the heaviest of the Techs):

The Star handle is pretty close to the Ball End handle from the #24 Tech. Either the Star handle is brass or it is weighted with some other metal.

The Baseplates and Top Caps from both the Star and the #24 are also similar in weight.

Star 100 compared to a Post-war Fat Handle Tech:

The Star handle feels slightly heavier than the handle from the Post-war Fat Handle Tech.

The Baseplates and Top Caps from both the Star and the Post-war Fat Handle are also similar in weight.

So, where does this lead us:

In my opinion, the old Star 100, the Gillette #24 Tech and the Post-war Fat Handle Tech are close enough that they are more probably made from similar materials than not.

The Baseplate of the Personna British made clone of the Star 100 feels like it is close in weight to the other baseplates and probably made from similar materials.

The handle from the british made Personna 'Star 100' clone is much lighter and is probably a zamac style alloy.

The Top Cap from the british made Personna 'Star 100' clone is slightly lighter than the other top caps. I'm not sure on the cap but would not be surprised if it is also a zamac style alloy.

Finally it is very probable that late model Star 100 razors were made from a zamac style alloy. Important to know when the Star 100 was made.

Hope this helps.
Just my opinion and YMMV.
Interesting. I've always kind of wanted a star. But I was leery due to the zamak aspect. I've been burned by a couple of zamak razors that corroded away. I'll be keeping my eye out for an early Star. Thanks!
 

never-stop-learning

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Interesting. I've always kind of wanted a star. But I was leery due to the zamak aspect. I've been burned by a couple of zamak razors that corroded away. I'll be keeping my eye out for an early Star. Thanks!
The early Star 100 is definitely heavier than the later zamac version.

Definitely like the early version. :)
 

never-stop-learning

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The Ying Jili works just like a Tech for me, so just about anything I have works fine: Voskhod, BIC, Astra SP, Shark Chrome ...
As promised:

Shave 20191215

20191215_122646~2.jpg

Prep: Wash face with Noxzema
Pre-shave: Cremo
Brush: Graydog Backyard Maple Handle, 26mm "Full Moon" Synthetic
Soap: RazoRock Irish
Bowl: Timeless Blue
Razor 1: YingJili Tech Clone, Russian Ti Handle
Blade 1: Voskhod (1)
Razor 2: GEM Featherweight G Bar
Blade 2: Ted Pella GEM Personna (3)
Post-shave: Alum Stick, Thayer's Witch Hazel
Aftershave Balm: Thayer's Balm w/Aloe
Aftershave: RazoRock Irish

First up was the YingJili:

Razor 1: YingJili Tech Clone, Russian Ti Handle
Blade 1: Voskhod (1)

WTG, ATG, XTG plus lots (and lots) of buffing and touch--up.

On my face, the YingJili has an extremely narrow shaving angle - shallower than any of my Techs.

Using my normal "no pressure Tech Technique", I was only able to get to a CCS under my chin, along my jawline and on my neck.

Carefully riding the cap and applying more pressure than I should, I was able to get very close to a DFS but with two weepers and more irritation than I am used to.

Still, a definite improvement over my last shave with the YingJili. :)

After YingJili: 8/10

Used the GEM Featherweight G Bar equipped with a Ted Pella GEM Personna blade to clean things up.

Razor 2: GEM Featherweight G Bar
Blade 2: Ted Pella GEM Personna (3)

Quick ATG, XTG touch-up with a little buffing around my chin and I am at a solid, wife approved BBS with no additional weepers nicks, cuts or irritation.

I REALLY like this razor/blade combination. So comfortable and natural. One of my favorites!

After GEM Featherweight: 9++/10
 
I really love this thread.
It's interesting to read about all these cheap (and not so cheap) Tech clones which unfortunately are not so easy to find in Sweden.

The few of my razors that resemble Tech without being clones are Yuma, Record Succe and Matador, the latter two being Swedish razors.
Yuma is aggressive while Record and Matador are very gentle.

But if we break down all the posts in the thread and look at how good the various clones really are then I wonder, can any of these clones really beat a true Tech?

My two genuine Techs are an English Ball End with aluminum handle and base plate and an English Fat Handle which I believe is from 1946-1948.

One of my old Matador razors is quite similar to a real Tech in terms of smoothness and efficiency but I prefer a Tech if I have to choose.

The Yuma is quite aggressive but still gives a really nice shave, but no real Tech quality.

My other Matador and my Record Succe are way too mild for me, even milder than Feather Popular, and it doesn't matter how hard I try I never get any BBS and hardly any DFS either from any of them.
The good thing is that you can't hurt yourself with any of them ;)
 

never-stop-learning

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But if we break down all the posts in the thread and look at how good the various clones really are then I wonder, can any of these clones really beat a true Tech?
This is the bottom line question. :)

So far, for me, the genuine Gillette Tech razors outperform the clones in pretty much all aspects of shaving.

Used the GEM Featherweight G Bar equipped with a Ted Pella GEM Personna blade to clean things up.

Razor 2: GEM Featherweight G Bar
Blade 2: Ted Pella GEM Personna (3)

Quick ATG, XTG touch-up with a little buffing around my chin and I am at a solid, wife approved BBS with no additional weepers nicks, cuts or irritation.

I REALLY like this razor/blade combination. So comfortable and natural. One of my favorites!

After GEM Featherweight: 9++/10
It was while touching things up with my GEM Featherweight after taking the YingJili as far as I cared to that the pieces kind of fell in place:

Genuine Gillette Techs (especially from the 1930s-1940s-1950s era) are not only a wonderful combination of mild and efficient stubble whacking prowess, using a Tech just feels "right".

The Tech is comfortable in my hand, almost organic in nature. Like the GEM Featherweight referenced above, the Tech feels comfortable and natural - I don't have to fight it to get a great shave.

None of the clones I have used, to date, provide that same level of comfort and ease of use.

Nor do the clones give me the consistent and comfortable DFS/ BBS shave I get from my Tech Rotation.

Just my opinion and YMMV.
 
I found the Baili 131 to be a nice razor to use. With the stock handle or the RE replica handle, it gave a comfortable dfs. I used it with Feather, Astra SP and Personna Red blades all with good results. All that said, my 56' Tech felt better and seemed to give a better shave but the results were always very close. Trying the clones was a lot of fun. The Gillette Techs are built much better than any clone I tried but that was not really a surprise.
 
I have completed 10 shaves with the RazoRock DE1 with the last 6 similar to the last shave below:

Razorock DE1 + Rapira Platinum Lux (3)
RazoRock Plissoft Monster Synthetic Shaving Brush - 26mm
Proraso Green Refreshing and Toning Preshave with Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol
Proraso Green Refreshing and Toning Shaving Soap with eucalyptus oil and menthol
3 passes + touch ups to DFS
No nicks or cuts. No irritation.
No Aqua Velva Classic sting.
Finished with Proraso Blue Protective Aftershave Liquid Cream
Rating: 9/10

I can do better with the Pre-war US Gillette Fat Handle Triangular slot Tech. The Tech produces a smoother and closer shave than the RazoRock DE1. The Tech also requires less attention to detail.

The RazoRock DE1 is a competent shaving tool with the low price point but my preference is for the Tech.

I believe I have given the RazoRock DE1 a fair chance. I do not intend to pursue further testing of the DE1.
YMMV.
 

never-stop-learning

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I have completed 10 shaves with the RazoRock DE1 with the last 6 similar to the last shave below:

Razorock DE1 + Rapira Platinum Lux (3)
RazoRock Plissoft Monster Synthetic Shaving Brush - 26mm
Proraso Green Refreshing and Toning Preshave with Eucalyptus Oil and Menthol
Proraso Green Refreshing and Toning Shaving Soap with eucalyptus oil and menthol
3 passes + touch ups to DFS
No nicks or cuts. No irritation.
No Aqua Velva Classic sting.
Finished with Proraso Blue Protective Aftershave Liquid Cream
Rating: 9/10

I can do better with the Pre-war US Gillette Fat Handle Triangular slot Tech. The Tech produces a smoother and closer shave than the RazoRock DE1. The Tech also requires less attention to detail.

The RazoRock DE1 is a competent shaving tool with the low price point but my preference is for the Tech.

I believe I have given the RazoRock DE1 a fair chance. I do not intend to pursue further testing of the DE1.
YMMV.
Nice longer term review of the DE1. Thank you for the additional data points. :)
 
Forgive my ignorance, but is this a tech "clone"? Anyone ever heard of it or tried 1? I bought 1 (under 10 bucks why not) and I am currently using it as my daily driver. Right out of the box, with the dorco blade it came with. Super impressed. I plan to try some of the other blades I have seemed to think worked well for me with other razors, but haven't yet.
 

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Forgive my ignorance, but is this a tech "clone"? Anyone ever heard of it or tried 1? I bought 1 (under 10 bucks why not) and I am currently using it as my daily driver. Right out of the box, with the dorco blade it came with. Super impressed. I plan to try some of the other blades I have seemed to think worked well for me with other razors, but haven't yet.
That's more of an Edwin Jagger DE89 or Merkur 34C clone. Can't go wrong with that either!
 
That's more of an Edwin Jagger DE89 or Merkur 34C clone. Can't go wrong with that either!
With my VERY limited viewing experience, I thought it maybe looked like a "fat handle" LOL. I bought one of the Kekailu razors, which said Rimie or something like that on the box when I got it. $3.85 BTW. I did some research and found some others experience with them. Mine was similar to others that said "not usable". I took it to the garage, bent on the bottom plate a bit and made it considerably better. But still, for me anyway, no where near as clean and comfortable a shave as the CSB.
 
Hey clone troopers,

this is a really cool thread here. I'm big fan of milder razors in general and particularly of the Gillette Tech and clones (but also Super Speed and Weishi).
I own a '78 gold tone Tech (US - Y-2, my year and quarter of birth), my absolute favorite razor and an English Tech (not sure about the year - no date code - it said 1982 when I bought it?).
I also own the Baili heads and the Chinese Gillette Blue (YingJili made?) Tech razor.

What I found confusing is the model numbers used for the Baili razors in this thread here. I'm aware that they were not consistently used, especially on the bailishaver.com website itself - it's a mess. So I thought I chime in to avoid confusion for those new to the clone wars.

I think it would be better if we refer to those Baili razors in terms of "old" or even better "Classic" and "Upgrade" head.

In the "Baili official store" on AliExpress, the 171/172 never-stop-learning is referring to is actually sold as the BD176 (or "Upgrade").
The BD191 (also available in rose gold as BD193G with stand) has the same Upgrade head but a longer handle and is the same razor as the RazorRock Teck II and seems to be nearly the same like the Vikings Blade Godfather. I wonder if Vikings Blade designed this head given the controversy over the Chieftain / Baili BD179 TTO razors - but Baili seems to have patented it?

The Upgrade head is also sold as Maggard V3M and as well by Yaqi simply as the "Yaqi Chrome Color Safety Razor Head" (maybe it's where Maggard got some of their heads from, given the Black&White knots are Yaqi Tuxedos? - they're probably all Chinese made).

The BD171 on the other hand is the old or "Classic" Tech style head and the same as the BT131 in a blister pack, but with a plastic travel box.

So in short:

Baili Classic head -> BT131 = BD171 (+travel Box, BD173 = rose gold).

Baili Upgrade head -> BD176 (BD178? = rose gold) = RazoRock DE1 and BD191 (long handle) = RazoRock Teck II = Vikings Blade Godfather.

Bailis are all Zamak razors including the handle (at least that's what they told me).

There's also a nice (and I think very interesting) post by Sheldon Cwinn of globalshaveclub.com about inexpensive Chinese razors.

May the lather be with you!
 
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Forgot to add (editing time expired) I also own a Rime A2003 which I found to be right in the middle of my gold tone and English Tech.
I read the A2003 description and it gave the usual BS/ignorant/ misleading/lie/Chinese Description of "Stainless Steel". Besides the free blade, is there any evidence of stainless steel anywhere in the actual razor?
>> OK, after reading Sheldon Cwinn's article, he mentions the stainless steel descripton is bogus.

Also, he mentions the Ying Jili has a steel head ... Actually it's the bottom plate that's stainless steel & the head is poo metal - but who cares, it shaves great & so far mine is holding up just like new.
 
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I read the A2003 description and it gave the usual BS/ignorant/ misleading/lie/Chinese Description of "Stainless Steel". Besides the free blade, is there any evidence of stainless steel anywhere in the actual razor?
There is none. You can tell by the shape of the handle and the other parts they were die cast and then plated. It is all zamak, all the time, which is what you would expect for the price you pay. Either the sellers don't know what the material really is or there is no truth in advertising in China and they are lying.

:chinese: "Just tell them it is stainless steel. Too hard to explain."
 
Funny indeed. I'm an ex smoker who now vapes. A lot of vape stuff is stainless now but a few years back a lot of it was chromed brass. Advertised by Chinese manufacturers as stainless of course.
 
The whole Baili confusion is what caused me to start experimenting with other razors. I had 1 as my first DE razor. It was metal, in a black plastic box, seemed somewhat "aggressive" (not real fluent in shave language LOL), flat/straight handle. Just a real clean simple razor. When I went to order another after I dropped it on the floor and broke threaded stem off cap GRRRR...… I got the "it may be this razor or may be upgraded razor". I wanted the one I had and was not sure what I had read about the "upgraded" sounded better to me. In my frustration of trying to find the right 1 and just general aggravation, I found this forum and developed a desire to have EVERY razor out there LOL. So now I still want another like I had, but am sidetracked with experimenting.
 
There is none. You can tell by the shape of the handle and the other parts they were die cast and then plated. It is all zamak, all the time, which is what you would expect for the price you pay. Either the sellers don't know what the material really is or there is no truth in advertising in China and they are lying.

:chinese: "Just tell them it is stainless steel. Too hard to explain."
Figgered as much
 
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