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Vintage Gillette Razors Seem To Love All Blades! Thoughts And Experiences?

My razors are almost exclusively vintage Gillettes, from the US, the UK and Canada. I also have a few non-Gillette vintages.

I find them to be ideal for my beard type, technique and..just perfect really.

I have noted that they all appear to be remarkably tolerent of the blades they use. Perma Sharps, Nacets, GSB, Plats, Supermax, Indian GWS are the most notably popular blades I have run through them. They are amazingly accepting. I have a few other types of blade to run through them, but I am confident they too will readily be accepted in the modest Gillette stable that I have.

The old rule of medium sharp blades in the more efficient models or settings (in adjustables) and blades on the sharpest scale in Techs, Super Speeds, English Rockets ring so true in my experience in this subset of razors.

Actually it seems you can defy this rule, and use any blade and still get a fantastic shave in my experience.

The only exception may be Gillette OCs, although that may be a more general question with OCs in the round.

I've read on many threads that some modern razors are less tolerant and often shave demonstably more poorly with some blades. This may be a detrement in terms of long term blade availability due to global DE blade repositioning in terms of countries of production and changing blade shave characteristics.

Does anyone have have any experiences on this topic, and thoughts and ideas on why all of the above might be so, (or not)

Thoughts, experiences and observations most welcomed!
 
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I own 7 razors 4 of which are vintage gillettes (tech, superspeed, fatboy, slim). The other 3 are Schick Krona, Merkur Progress, and Shave Nation Chubby.

I prefer my gillettes. I have experience with only about 10 blades since starting DE shaving last year.

For me it's been about the blades. A blade that's not for me in my other razors are still not for me in one of my gillettes.

I will say however, my favorite blades (Astra SP, GSB, and feather) perform even better in my gillettes.
 
I have 6 vintage Gillette Super Speeds and can say without hesitation that I've never had a bad shave with 5 of them using a variety of blades, although I do tend to favor Gillette branded blades in my Super Speeds for sentimental reasons, I guess. The 6th Super Speed, a 1957 Regular Flare Tip I bought in honor of my sister's birthyear, seems to just a tad out of wack and shaves on it are a little inconsistent. But the others are flawless every single time I drop a blade into the bay. After I tried my first Super Speed, I was hooked. I think they were the apex of safety razor design and manufacturing.
 
The adjustables work with anything, although not at the same setting for all blades. Fixed razors are a different story, Polsilvers, GSB, and a few others are terrible in a Tech or Superspeed for me, they pull badly. Set a Slim or Fatboy to 7 though, and I get 100+ nice shaves from one of them.

Ditto for the Indian GWS or Israeli Personna, had to dial the Slim down to 2 for those to keep them from eating my face, but once there the razor shaves very, very nicely.

So I'd agree the adjustables will let you use any blade sharp enough to cut hair, but the fixed razors are not quite so universal. Not bad razors, but you may need to match a blade to them for perfect shaves.
 
The adjustables work with anything, although not at the same setting for all blades. Fixed razors are a different story, Polsilvers, GSB, and a few others are terrible in a Tech or Superspeed for me, they pull badly. Set a Slim or Fatboy to 7 though, and I get 100+ nice shaves from one of them.

Ditto for the Indian GWS or Israeli Personna, had to dial the Slim down to 2 for those to keep them from eating my face, but once there the razor shaves very, very nicely.

So I'd agree the adjustables will let you use any blade sharp enough to cut hair, but the fixed razors are not quite so universal. Not bad razors, but you may need to match a blade to them for perfect shaves.
Interesting observations there.

To be honest I have not experienced that with those models at all. I find GSB's to be the most potentially bitey. I slightly prefer Perma Sharps ( @lasta heresy alert)

In addition I have run Personna Israelis and Wizamets, and a couple of vintage blades through my Gillette friends without issue.

Interesting that you are able to achieve 3 figure blade usage. That you report that a very low setting on a 195 or Slim coupled with a medium sharp but usually very smooth blade gives success, but some sharper blades in razors where they may be most effective such as Super Speeds or Techs (in my experience) are a bad experience for you.

Fascinating stuff.
 
I have plenty of Gillette razors, too and like the way they shave with "good blades"; I haven't tried w mediocre blades....well, I don't remember......a while back decided life was too short to try cheap stuff.....

Only ONE blade, Gillette Super Thin from Thailand.....that one butchered my face w a Long Comb (which has never happened w the other blades)......and that day I had a "party to attend"....it was ALL the blades fault.....as I tried it in another razor and same stuff happened.....will never use them again..... (those were just weepers (many), no cuts).
 

lasta

Blade Biter
Interesting observations there.

To be honest I have not experienced that with those models at all. I find GSB's to be the most potentially bitey. I slightly prefer Perma Sharps ( @lasta heresy alert)

In addition I have run Personna Israelis and Wizamets, and a couple of vintage blades through my Gillette friends without issue.

Interesting that you are able to achieve 3 figure blade usage. That you report that a very low setting on a 195 or Slim coupled with a medium sharp but usually very smooth blade gives success, but some sharper blades in razors where they may be most effective such as Super Speeds or Techs (in my experience) are a bad experience for you.

Fascinating stuff.
Your soul is beyond shaving!

GSBs work in everything. I've chewed through more than 100 different blade models, GSBs are the apex mix of sharpness and smoothness. Best blade of all time.

As for razors, I have to agree with this heretic. I'd wager more market and technical insight is weaved into each Gillette model than any other razor. They aimed for and reached the sweet spot for the majority!
 
Your soul is beyond shaving!

GSBs work in everything. I've chewed through more than 100 different blade models, GSBs are the apex mix of sharpness and smoothness. Best blade of all time.

As for razors, I have to agree with this heretic. I'd wager more market and technical insight is weaved into each Gillette model than any other razor. They aimed for and reached the sweet spot for the majority!
See this is my great burden.

The Mongolian Secret Service as is well known, is trying to discredit me since the Yako! debacle. I told them it needed more research (Yak milk is unstable) and they are bitter over my honest scientific findings.

The Mongolian AI supercomputer Ghengis III has been hacking my posts again. It came out with this atrocity.

To be honest I have not experienced that with those models at all. I find GSB's to be the most potentially bitey. I slightly prefer Perma Sharps
In fact I said

"To be honest I have not experienced that with these models at all. I find Perma Sharps to be the most potentially bitey. I slightly prefer GSB's"

The persecution I am enduring is endless.
 

lasta

Blade Biter
We are about 120 years into the history of double edge razors, and as members such as @Ron R have noticed in his sharing of Gillette market studies, painstaking research has gone into identifying the "95% sweet-spot" of consumer demands, and each model (up until the 60's) reflect a certain degree of optimization.

(DE razor geometry. A system for measuring aggressive razors. - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/de-razor-geometry-a-system-for-measuring-aggressive-razors.608111/post-11323156)

From what I notice, most Gillette models exhibit modest positive exposure combined with relatively small gaps and shallow angles. IMO, Techs, Super Speeds, Aristocrats, News, New Improveds and even the OG Old Type are concentrated between 3-7 on the adjustable scale. These razors are safe and efficient, and also happens to be exactly where the peak of the normal curve lands!

I guess I'm a normal person. After trying about 40-ish razors, Techs/Super Speeds remain my comfort zone. Every time I step out of the zone, I can't help but feel like I'm giving up something.

Within this range, "most" blades work!

Past that range, I find myself having to "use mild blades to temper the aggression" or "only a Feather can give me a close shave with this one".

FYI, I'm a late Tech convert, but ever since getting my first one, I've been Teching every other day!
 
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Lol, King Gillette got it right on the first one, everything else has been improvements I think. Gillette spend a huge amount of money on research to improve their products back in the day, everyone today benefits from that essentially for free!

There is some variation in modern blade width, by design or not, and I suspect differences in width make for different shaving experiences. Adjustables make it easy to use any blade as lowering the bottom plate both increases blade exposure and gap.

I don't notice much difference in sharpness between blades, but wider blades "feel" sharper and need less pressure to cut, hence my heavy handed propensity toward weepers with new blades. Biggest differences I see in blades is actually pulling sensation (texture and coatings on the ground portion of the blade the hair interacts with) and longevity. Never get more weepers as blades dull, just can't get a long lasting smooth shave and eventually can't get a BBS no matter what I do.

I don't have a good explanation for why I get so many shaves other than I always have. I think my Dad did too, but he's been gone for almost 50 years now so I don't know for sure. He used a Schick injector.
 
Perma Sharps, Nacets, GSB, Plats, Supermax, Indian GWS are the most notably popular blades I have run through them.

I would say though, that most of these are what I would consider "sharp" blades. How do you get on with something like a Derby Extra or a Treet Black Beauty? I was hugely surprised when a Shark Platinum, which was my leading contender for the title of "Worst Blade Ever" based on it's performance in more aggressive razors, gave me a great shave in a Tech.

I only use various Tech variants and have also owned and enjoyed Old and NEW OC razors. I didn't get on with a Superspeed I bought and the adjustables are just too expensive for me to consider trying. With that said, my experience of the razors I have tried and liked, would lead me to conclude that one reason these old razors are more blade tolerant is because they have better blade clamping and lower blade exposure than some modern, aggressive razors. That leads to a more stable edge, and a more stable edge is a more comfortable edge, even if the blade isn't the sharpest. The less stable the edge is (e.g. in a modern, high exposure razor) the more important the qualities of the blade itself.

We discussed this a little in a thread about Treets a couple of weeks back. That's my theory at least.
 
My razors are almost exclusively vintage Gillettes, from the US, the UK and Canada. I also have a few non-Gillette vintages.

I find them to be ideal for my beard type, technique and..just perfect really.

I have noted that they all appear to be remarkably tolerent of the blades they use. Perma Sharps, Nacets, GSB, Plats, Supermax, Indian GWS are the most notably popular blades I have run through them. They are amazingly accepting. I have a few other types of blade to run through them, but I am confident they too will readily be accepted in the modest Gillette stable that I have.

The old rule of medium sharp blades in the more efficient models or settings (in adjustables) and blades on the sharpest scale in Techs, Super Speeds, English Rockets ring so true in my experience in this subset of razors.

Actually it seems you can defy this rule, and use any blade and still get a fantastic shave in my experience.

The only exception may be Gillette OCs, although that may be a more general question with OCs in the round.

I've read on many threads that some modern razors are less tolerant and often shave demonstably more poorly with some blades. This may be a detrement in terms of long term blade availability due to global DE blade repositioning in terms of countries of production and changing blade shave characteristics.

Does anyone have have any experiences on this topic, and thoughts and ideas on why all of the above might be so, (or not)

Thoughts, experiences and observations most welcomed!

Great observations!

I learned to shave with a hand-me-down Slim in the 1960s. I should have stopped right there!!:a29:

I could have saved a ton of time and $$.
 
I sort of disagree, which is funny because I'm pretty much a vintage Gillette guy. I don't find the vintage Gillettes to be that tolerant of different blades. They're all pretty picky and in slightly different ways.
I think a lot of the limitation is that these are all "safety" razors first and foremost. They're designed to give you the closest cut possible while ensuring you don't cut yourself badly. Because I aim for BBS, I'm willing to accept getting cut for a close shave. But something like my Red Tip, with most blades, doesn't get me close enough, so I have to apply pressure to get as close as I'd like (which has consequences). Adjustables are similar for me, in that there's a sweet spot around 7 where they cut pretty well and limit the weepers (although they give more than the average amount of those). Turning them up to 9 takes them outside that sweet spot and increases aggression much more than efficiency. I'm not sure if it's the angle of the blade or what.
I had terrible experiences with my Tech until I discovered the 3-D printed baseplate that makes it a sort of Old Type-Tech hybrid. That's been a great razor for me; better than the Tech, clearly, but also better than my Old Type.
I guess it's hard to generalize with old Gillettes, not least because their two main lines (the bulky beast-headed TTOs and the thin, nimble three-pieces) are so wildly different from each other. I do have blades that tend to work or not work in all of them, but I suspect that's more to the blade and my own shaving style and expectations than the razor.
Sorry, that's more words than average for not coming to a solid point.
 
Let me make a BLUNT OBSERVATION about Vintage Gillette Razors.

They can be had at fraction of Cost of modern in Vogue Supper Razors.

Because the cream of crop Vintages Restored & Tuned can be had under $250.00 for a Fatboy, and under $150.00 for a Slim, Flair, Super Speed, or Tech.

Think some people think the high priced Moderns are superior.

No they just cost more to make, as Vintages were made when minimum wage was 25 cent to 1.25/hr.

Recall back in 1960 doing Tool & Die apprenticeship making $2.50/hr.

Today the cost of Mills, CNC Machine’s is way up. Machinist to run such machines labor rate are over $75.00/hr.

So the cost of build 2023 Super Razor is high. The Italian Barber Razor are most under $100.00.

Don’t know how they build em so reasonable, but think they are priced very fair.

What the best Razor today, that is million dollar question.

Everyone has an answer, and opinion.

Maybe the answer is what you personally like.

But there is a group of B and B Member who love the Old Vintages older then many of their owners.
 
I have been DE shaving from the start of my shaving career. Still have the first two razors I used back then (and still use now). I never really thought about expanding my razor/blade horizon until about 15 years ago when I discovered B&B, et al. Curious, even though happy with what I had, I started picking up good examples of old Gillette(s). They were more abundant and less expensive then. I tried them all as I acquired them and now have a 5 razor rotation one, of which is my only "modern" razor. I find most vintage Gillette razors to have a very similar and consistent blade exposure and blade gap, with a couple of exceptions. My early 70's Super 84 has a very aggressive blade gap and dialing to 4 is enough for me where as I can dial all the way up on a Slim or Fat Boy. Second I have a 30's "New" Long Comb that gives the most efficient and closest shave you could ask for. To me blades, faces are all different but most Gillette razors are very consistent. Respectfully, YMMV applies
 
My razors are almost exclusively vintage Gillettes, from the US, the UK and Canada. I also have a few non-Gillette vintages.

I find them to be ideal for my beard type, technique and..just perfect really.

I have noted that they all appear to be remarkably tolerent of the blades they use. Perma Sharps, Nacets, GSB, Plats, Supermax, Indian GWS are the most notably popular blades I have run through them. They are amazingly accepting. I have a few other types of blade to run through them, but I am confident they too will readily be accepted in the modest Gillette stable that I have.

The old rule of medium sharp blades in the more efficient models or settings (in adjustables) and blades on the sharpest scale in Techs, Super Speeds, English Rockets ring so true in my experience in this subset of razors.

Actually it seems you can defy this rule, and use any blade and still get a fantastic shave in my experience.

The only exception may be Gillette OCs, although that may be a more general question with OCs in the round.

I've read on many threads that some modern razors are less tolerant and often shave demonstably more poorly with some blades. This may be a detrement in terms of long term blade availability due to global DE blade repositioning in terms of countries of production and changing blade shave characteristics.

Does anyone have have any experiences on this topic, and thoughts and ideas on why all of the above might be so, (or not)

Thoughts, experiences and observations most welcomed!
I haven't had many blade problems over the years using my vintage Gillettes. I have most of the modern models as do you, and funny thing, even though I have a relatively new Rex Ambassador, I seem to be stuck on using my collection of Super Adjustables. Since I have given up chasing the daily BBS, my routine using the Supers, with less passes and now no irritations or weepers, the Supers just seem to give such a pleasant result. I've gone from chasing the daily BBS to now just getting a nice, DFS and settling for that. Just about any blade works for me and I'm even going to try some Dollar Store blades from Vietnam, maybe re-branded Dorcos. I think vintage Gillette's are maybe razor Nirvana!
 
I've just started using a Canadian Tech so very interested to hear what blades work best for others. A common theme I've read here is that sharp blades work well with the Tech so I started with a Feather. First shave went well and second shave will be tonight.
 
I would tend to agree but i have limited experience outside of Gillette's. All that i collect and use are straight bar Gillette's. All of my vintage ( numerous super speeds, rockets, techs, adjustable's) seem to be very tolerant of just about any blade i choose. The 2 newest modern Gillettes, Heritage and KCG seem to be much pickier of my blade choice. Pickier at least with what i have currently in stock, so the variety is semi limited. That stock would be PPI Gillette's, Lord blades, German, and Indian made Wilkies, and Voskhods.
 
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