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Why do people want more aggressive razors than the 40s to 60s Gillettes?

There is nothing toxic about a well honed, well stropped straight razor used by someone who knows how to use one. Besides, there is no need to be sexist, there are women who use straight razors as well.
I think my Lewis Stegner with carved bone scales was for the female user.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Moderator Emeritus
It's common for members here to shave with several days growth. That's been given as a reason for needing an aggressive razor.
Yes, I see this often here. So my question is, why do some members strive so hard for the closest shave possible, using the gnarliest of razors, and then go three days before shaving again? Just seems weird to me ... a nice mild and easy shave everyday keeps one looking better overall than two day's worth of stubble half the time.

Maybe it's recovery time. :001_huh:
 
Are the Tech and NEW SC same with exceptions to solid bar vs open comb, or is there difference in geometry?
No, I wouldn't even say it's close either. The shift from an open comb to a safety bar happened with the NEW and the Pre-war Tech. The Tech line became progressively milder over time. The Tech with the triangular slots will be the most efficient of the Tech line.

Did you shave your beard?
Nope, still wearing it, but shave just about every day to keep from looking unkept or scruffy. A beard might take more time and does take more precision than keeping everything clean-shaved. I appreciated it this morning on my run for sure! If it stays cold, I might let it migrate a bit higher on my cheeks too.
 
I was thinking about why there is a fad today for ever newer and generally more aggressive or mid aggressive razors. Yet the big sellers of the 1940s and 1950s when almost all men shaved with DEs tended to be mild Super Speeds or Tech equivalents. Many now find even the Fatboy and Slim insufficiently aggressive at the top numbers.

My best guess for this is that today men are less likely to want or need to shave everyday. They are more likely to alternate between carrying heavy growths or beards and then shaving. And for some there is less practice doing regular shaving with mild razors. They want efficiency and the ability to deal with rough, heavy beards. In contrast men in the 40s and 50s not only would shave everyday but do an evening shave or risk looking indecent at an evening public event if five o'clock shadow was too severe. Today's socially acceptable shave -- usually visible stubble -- would have gotten you kicked out of most good houses.

People also point to the earlier Gillettes as having more blade gap. But I think the older blades didn't cut as well or got dull more quickly. Certainly that's what an older professor who passed away in his nineties told me. He claimed that in the 30s the blades would dull too easily and all were amazed at how much sharper the Wilkinsons and Gillette stainless steels of the 1960s were. So on average the two systems cut equivalently. In contrast, today many like the most aggressive early razors with some of the best of today's blades like the Feather and GSB.

This is all just shooting the breeze. So any opinions welcome.
I've been curious about this myself. I thought it was a cult of masculinity thing, but you make great points.
 
Yes, I see this often here. So my question is, why do some members strive so hard for the closest shave possible, using the gnarliest of razors, and then go three days before shaving again? Just seems weird to me ... a nice mild and easy shave everyday keeps one looking better overall than two day's worth of stubble half the time. Maybe it's recovery time. :001_huh:
I wouldn't say very efficient razors are gnarly at all. They're very pleasant to use once you tune in to them. A BBS shave might be good for 2 days but not 3 days. I see your drift, but fans of efficient razors wouldn't call mild razors "nice and easy" - they'd probably use a word more like "frustrating".....
 
I don’t want an aggressive razor.
A genuine Tech or a Super Speed is OK .
I don't like aggressive either. I have a '59 Tech and a couple of 50s SuperSpeeds that were great early on but I haven't used them in years. I went from them to a 34G for 5 years, but currently find a GC .68 a better balance between mild and aggressive.
 
Well, when I wore facial hair and wanted to remove it, I clogged up which ever razor I was using. A SR or Shavette would have worked much better.
 
I wouldn't say very efficient razors are gnarly at all. They're very pleasant to use once you tune in to them. A BBS shave might be good for 2 days but not 3 days. I see your drift, but fans of efficient razors wouldn't call mild razors "nice and easy" - they'd probably use a word more like "frustrating".....
+1
I shave five days a week with a pretty aggressive razor. I don't care to make time to hold a razor to my face for 15 minutes and my elbow doesn't tolerate it. I have two passes plus cleanup to cut whatever I can, and half of that work is with my other hand. At my age and with my wiry beard it takes a pretty aggressive razor to get me to an all-day BBS in two passes, and unless I'm using unfamiliar equipment (as I am this month) I can do that pain-free with such a razor. A mild one just doesn't get it done.

That doesn't mean I'm a masochist. It means that a Super Speed or a post war Tech just doesn't do what I need it to do, and that was just as much of a problem for people in the '50s and '60s as it is now. It wasn't an accident that when Gillette introduced the adjustable razor to wide distribution in 1958 that it had settings in both directions far beyond where any of its previous fixed razors had ever gone.
 
I wouldn't say very efficient razors are gnarly at all. They're very pleasant to use once you tune in to them. A BBS shave might be good for 2 days but not 3 days. I see your drift, but fans of efficient razors wouldn't call mild razors "nice and easy" - they'd probably use a word more like "frustrating".....
Two days???? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:a14::a14::a14::a14:
 
Right now a 1966 Tech head with a maggard 3inch stainless steel handle is my favorite razor. the head comes from a NOS travel razor set with a red zippered case. i am waiting for a Rockwell 6C to modernize my collection.
 
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