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What is the advantage of a 3 piece razor vs a TTO razor

I got the King Gillette razor for Xmas. I tighten it until it gets resistance and then just a bit more.

I'm wondering what the advantages of a 2- or 3-piece razor over the TTO razors are.
My wife tells me I have a big nose. I must humbly agree - I have difficulty getting a TTO up under my nose to get the top of my lip no matter how many faces I make or how much I can mash my nose over. a 2- or 3-piece has a much thinner head, and it's much easier to get those upper stragglers.

Also, I have very hard well water, and my TTOs regularly get difficult to, well, TTO.

On the other hand, a TTO is easier to load/swap out blades.
I own and use both three-part razors and TTOs.

With a TTO, it's faster to load a blade and clean. Obviously, not all TTOs are created equal, but a British Aristocrat, Aristocrat Junior, British Super-Speed, or Parat are exceptionally smooth shavers and super-easy to use.

I also own a few three-piece razors. For me, there's not much difference between the best TTOs and three-piece razors, per se. This is probably one of those YMMV kind of issues.... o_O
A three-piece safety razor offers these advantages: convenience, simplicity, ease of maintenance, and durability. Shave-wise one is not inherently better than the other.
Three-piece razors are simpler, with less to go wrong. The razor can be lighter, more compact and maneuverable. Three-pieces can be dissassembled and stored flat for travel. Three-pieces gives you the flexibility of mixing and matching components. You can use another handle you like better, for example.
Three-piece razors are nice because you can put the head on whatever handle you want(minus fatip), or build frankenrazors other than that probably not much difference.


Three-piece razors are simpler, with less to go wrong. The razor can be lighter, more compact and maneuverable. Three-pieces can be dissassembled and stored flat for travel. Three-pieces gives you the flexibility of mixing and matching components. You can use another handle you like better, for example.
+1 on the handle
I use both, but the 3 piece razors get much more use than the TTO. For the the big issue is the maneuverability. The three-piece have a slimmer profile and I find them easier to use around my mustache and goatee.
I have shaved with both, but kept coming back to the Super Speed for shaving comfort and performance. Taking nothing away from 3-piece, many great shavers, but for my preferences the Super Speed hit the sweet spot.
I only used three-piece razors for a long time. However, once I acquired a Schick Krona I haven't looked back. I actually find one-piece razors - both the Krona and a birth year/quarter SuperSpeed - easier to maneuver under the nose, and they give me better shaves overall. It's definitely a YMMV thing, and one of the things that make this hobby fun - trying new things!
They both have advantages and disadvantages.

TTO has easy blade change, convenience of no threads to strip, or having a screw post break off if dropped, although the doors/guard can become distorted/bent.

3 Piece models tend to hold the blade tighter, depending upon design, you can change the handle, fat/thin/heavy/light, and even mix & match caps/plates, but they're not as easy to swap blades. They are also MUCH easier to really clean well, without resorting to an ultra-sonic. - Take apart a 3 price, and you can pretty much get an old toothbrush or cloth into every nook and cranny with ease. (With a TTO/1-Piece, particularly an adjustable, it's much more difficult to clean between thee two plates, and the mechanism).

Personally, I find that non-TTO models seem more solid, for lack of a better word, and on my face, seem to shave smoother for me. Generally, I'm much more fond of using a 2/3 piece, than a 1-piece TTO, and rarely use my Fat-Boy, Slim, Super-109, and others. Just cleaned them up, anticipating to sell them off in the near future.
My comments are really going to be focused on the Gillette razors and their copies. I own very little outside of this in 3-piece form.
For what it is worth, I own both and love both. I am very dedicated DE shaver with the occasional straight razor thrown in for fun.

I gravitate towards 3-piece razors like the Tech and the NEW. I specifically look for 3-pieces on the mild side because of how I use them.

3-pieces have three things about them that TTOs really don't.

First, they can be easily adjusted up to be more aggressive than their normal setting by loosening the handle about 1/16 to 1/8 of a turn. I have a nylon washer in there as well to help with preserving the plating and helping the setting stick. This idea was first put out by Gillette (minus the washer) in the advertisements so this is how the razor was intended to be used. I also find this easier than shimming.

Second, you can change handles, this also effects the aggressiveness and overall performance.

Third, the head is smaller and easier to get into hard to reach spots.

TTOs can be had in adjustable form, can be shimmed, etc.., but they really aren't as flexible and maneuverable as the 3-piece. Don't get me wrong, I love the Super Speed, Rocket, Parat, Aristocrats Open and Closed Comb. But for my money, the Tech or NEWs are the best razors out there of the ones I own.
Interesting thread, I have both types of razors and like other's have mentioned there are advantages and disadvantages.
The Gem Micromatics where way ahead of Gillette in years in TTO razor technology and used internal gearing(rack & pinion) and stops to make a excellent razor of 3 different models that sold millions and will last many generations. Gillette finally caught up and their engineers did a nice job on the their TTO razors.
The 3 pc Gillette 118 yr old design is still usable and is a excellent razor design and so easy to clean also.
The beauty of the 3pc is the head designs that can be made, like the Blackland vector or the Razorock Wunderbar slant......., you can not design those with TTO design.
The Gem Micromatics and Gillette TTO models designs are very well built & practical for the guy who just wants a quick shave and off to work and will last under good care.
So what design is better, I fancy certain brand names myself and like the 3pc systems and will always have a few twist to open models around regardless because they are just good practical razors.

This is a little off this topic but there are a few razors with 0 pc assembly that are just as good as ones mentioned above, Gem Flip tops, Oneblade, Occums razor, AC shavettes.........

Have some great shaves! Stay and think safe in these times!
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