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What Is The Best Vintage Blade To Use With A Vintage Razor?

If you are like me, and a bit of an immersive history buff, you might purchase a vintage razor for the experience of what it was like to use it 'back in the day'.

The thing is, we will almost always put in a modern blade for that 30's or 40's or 50's beauty. That is because usually that is what we have to hand.

Should we be using blades that most match what was actually available and used at the time that razor was made? I would assume this will give the most authentic shaving experience with it, in how it actually performed. A feather in a 1948 Super Speed may not actually give the results that a 48 Super Speed owner got.

Should blades from the time period be used with that specific razor, if they can be had? Or are there modern alternatives available more readily that would match the real shaving experience of a vintage razor? Any Carbon stell being made still without exotic modern coatings?

This was inspired by an exchange on a previous thread. I think there is some interesting stuff here to be discussed, for the community members who want to get the 'real' experience with a vintage, and also achieve maybe more accurate and authentic shaves.

Any thoughts?
 
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You probably won't notice too much of a difference between using your favorite "good" modern blade vs vintage. Ofc you would probably have good results with any vintage or modern razor with some well known vintage like schick platinum plus, or personna 42. You would be spending quite a bit more as well.
 
With the greatest respect Gents, my OP may be misunderstood.

I am ruling out all contemporary blades with miracle coatings or platinum tungsten or whatever for this discussion. I am trying to encourage a conversation that best reflects the blades available now, whether vintage Ebay scores or modern carbon or SS blades that are close to 30's to 60's blades in specs and performance that match a contemporary razor of that timeframe.

I am trying to encourage a discussion for those who may want to experience a shave with a vintage razor with a blade that would match the specs of blades on the market at the time of the razors' manufacture. It may be a one time only experience. You don't have to spend a fortune on a rare score of Gillette blades from the 50's-60's. I have 3 perfectly sealed English Gillette blues that came with a mid 60's Tech Spiral aluminum. I may break one out to see how it performs with the razor it was made for in the same time frame.

So, with those parameters. What is available out there? I have heard there may be carbon treets very close to a 40-50's spec for instance.

A blade that matches a vintage razor should be tried once in my opinion, just for the experience, and any insights into performance changes that that may give.

Any colleagues with comments who have tried vintage blades with razors that matched the manufacturing timeframe I would welcome. Just for historical and technical interest.

And it makes for a diverting chat :)
 
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Do check those Blues for rust, or even darkening, carefully. They have a reputation of not holding up even when sealed. Somebody will remind you that carbon blades have real risks historically.

My working theory that inspired this discussion is the principal that the duller the blade, the shorter the stroke must be. I may be completely wrong, but that is what I was advised to do and it has worked for me. If you attempt to pull a dull blade across your face, it will either skip over hair or grab, dig in and bite. They are still sharp objects, relatively speaking. One would move along in short flicks rather than trying to drag the blade in one swipe. I believe a head heavy razor might not be as affected by this technique, or provide an advantage even. It occurs to me now that one could still attempt this with a modern blade such as a Merkur or Rockwell, which are considered pretty dull. Then if this is still interesting, obtain a Treet Carbon or intact vintage blade.
 
"Vintage blades" would have lost their sharpness and efficiency by now. Or if you would permit a pun, they "would have lost their edge."

I would have no interest in shaving with a blade that is over say 25 years old, or maybe less. I have tough whiskers and blades in storage do deteriorate. Shaving with a vintage blade would not be a pleasant experience. I would rather shave with a new Derby or Dorco blade, if you get my drift.
 
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Ok, most of you probably know I'm a vintage only blade guy. Ill keep it short and won't relate how I've acquired the info and my opinions. Back when all the world used safety razors there were different grades of blades produced for different markets, price points. Men of developed countries could afford and wanted the best made. When that market switched to multibladed razors the only blades left in production were the less expensive options. By far the biggest market for razor blades are third world men. Vintage blades even at their original list prices adjusted for inflation are more expensive than the top end current models because they were higher quality. Better blades could be made today with modern technology but shavers like us are not enough to make them profitable.
 
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There is a Vintage Blade Club here have a look what people are hunting. I had lovely shaves with Gillette Super Silver Platinum and Polish Wizamet Polsilver. Personna 74, Spoilers and Light Brigade are very sought after and expensive but maybe you can find some.
 
So, with those parameters. What is available out there? I have heard there may be carbon treets very close to a 40-50's spec for instance.

I have a suspicion lower priced Treet CS blades might be very close to CS blades from yesteryear.

Something which I have read is some factories like Lord in Egypt bought up the machines when Wilkinson Sword stopped their operations in Egypt. I'd be not be a surprise if the same happened with Treet in Pakistan who bought up the machines from the big names when manufacturers stopped making CS in England and so on.

The Treet Classic is a very no frills budget CS blade, I like them a lot, again work well in my vintage Gillette razors.
 
I like a handful of vintage blades:

1. Gillette THIN (any year but I like the oldest ones)

2. LORD Platinum from the early 80s

3. Polsilver from the 60s

4. STAR (I think from the 50s/60s

I did not care much for other vintage blades, though most were just too old and even rusted, such as Marlin and GEM brands.
 

garyg

B&B membership has its percs
Hmm - I use maybe 80% of the time vintage blades - with the injectors Schick Plus Platinums are wonderful (Personna 7's as well but they aren't easy to find). Same two blades in DE, with the same unobtanium on the 74's. Gillette Spoilrs are easy to find & very good blades also, All coated never had a good shave with blue steel oldsters
 
I have many Wilkinson Super Sword Edge blades from the 1960s made in England, still airtight sealed, a bit of a jackpot really. Because I have them, they are the best for me. 50 to 60 years old is vintage enough, the same time period as Gillette Fatboy/Slim.
The condition of vintage blades is heavily influenced by how they were stored over the years.
 
You can always buy a pack of some of the vintage blades to try them and if you really have a lot of money and you wonder where to spend them you can always stock up with vintage DE blades. I need to try some of my vintage Polsilver Stainless blades to see what's the fuss all about. From what i've heard from most is that the better made vintage blades tend to retain it's sharpness and smoothness a bit longer compared to the modern ones, but the overall performance isn't that much different. Some people might disagree of course, but that's nothing new when it comes to vintage blades and razors in general.

The older gents got it a bit easy, since they've been shaving for a longer time and they've tried most of the vintage blades when they were sold everywhere and they know what to look for and many of them have stocked up when the blades were relatively cheaper. I would most definitely would like to try some of the vintage non carbon steel Gillette blades as well as some of the Personna (including the legendary 74) and also the British Wilkinson too, but spending a few $100s for a small amount of blade stock is not worth it for me even if they really are a bit better.
 
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