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Gillette Toggle Safety Razor

Gillette Toggle
Dates in Production:1956, 1st quarter 1958, 4th Quarter 1960
Type:DE, Twist To Open, Safety Bar, Adjustable(1-9)
Weight:3.1 oz

  • Has a flip open head design, bottom tip of handle works as a lever to pull tight a metal shaft which runs up the inside of the handle and pulls the head doors closed. This lever resembles a toggle switch, hence the unofficial nickname "Toggle". The official name is Gillette Adjustable. Inside top: "PAT. NO. ON PKG.", underside: "REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. |"date code with year and quarter" (i.e. F 4 = Fourth quarter of 1960)| [Gillette diamond] MADE IN U.S.A."
Notes of Interest:
  • Basic design shown in drawings for patent US2848806 filed 1955-11-01, granted 1958-08-26.
  • Limited production in 1956.
  • National distribution began Christmas 1957, retail price $10.[1][2][3]
  • National distribution continued in 1958 and 1960.
  • The 1956 models have serial numbers rather than date codes. (Note: It was discovered in February of 2015 by B&B member Captain Murphy that serial toggles do indeed have date codes. They are partially hidden but can be seen on the bottom of the blade tray. The date codes that have been discovered so far are "A-3" raising the question as to whether the serial toggles were manufactured in 1955.) Variations included gold- and nickel-plate. While the head of the razor looks like that of the Gillette Fat Boy, the gap adjustment (common red dot version) works differently. In the Fat Boy turning the adjustment knob lifts or lowers a bar underneath the blade changing the angle of the blade in relation to a fixed gap between the razor head doors and a fixed safety bar. In the toggle the razor blade maintains a fixed angle and turning the adjustment knob raises or lowers the safety bar.
  • There are 2 versions of the toggle. A 5 dial which was serial numbered and produced during 1956, and a 9 dial which was produced during 1958 (D1) and 1960 (F4). The 5 dial cost $7.50 in 1956. It came in a unique leather case, and the toggle switch actually has 2 positions. 1 throw is longer and opens the doors. The other throw is shorter and only loosens the doors for rinsing. The 9 dial has a spring within the dial, but is thinner than those on the later adjustable razors and is not exposed. The 5 dial has an adjustment plate like the "normal" adjustable razors, and has an internal flat spring plate in the dial causing a click as the dial turns past each setting.
  • There was also a nickel version produced during the last quarter of 1960. It has a 1-9 dial, but the dial is unique in that it has mechanical "stops" at both ends of the dial. There is a spring visible, yet the height of the dial is not the same across the entire dial. Thus it is a hybrid of sorts between the dial found on the normal Toggles and those found on the Fatboy.
  • Note: There is a Gold version of the Nickel Toggle set. It seems like it was a special presentation set for either a retired Gillette employee or a consumer. This razor is the same exact version of the Nickel Toggle set but it came in Gold. There is only one known razor at this time as of 7/3/2013. and it is owned by B&B GlennConti which he bought from B&B Vendor Stan. Be advised that there is only one known Gold colored Nickel/Chrome Toggle razor at this time, we are still researching it's authenticity. On 2/22/2015 B&B Member Captain Murphy deemed this razor to be authentic.
  • Gillette Toggle B&B Reviews
  • Safety Razor Of the Week, 11/2311/29 The Gillette Toggle Adjustable - Great Toggle pics!
  • Nickel Plated Toggle from 1960

Registered Serial Numbers

Serial Numbers for "A-3" Toggles registered by B&B Members.

Date PurchasedSerial NumberLocationMember's ID (optional)
Jan 1, 20130214Sold - Mar 4, 2014
Jul 14, 20110588USA

Mar 27, 20111225Canberra, AustraliaMark1966
Jul 26, 20131339USAGlennConti
Oct 8, 20121661USAStromberg
Dec 8, 20162274 *USAGary H
May 2, 20102303USAeyeguy
Mar 16, 20152605USAGlennConti
Nov 05, 20102918USAstaxchipswell
Nov 05, 20103478 *USAstaxchipswell
Sep 19, 20163741USAmikemullin6
Jan 27, 20153805 *USAGlennConti
Jan 14, 20154039USATexLaw
Feb 5, 20104106USAcopierguy
Aug 1, 20134123USAJake
Mar 7, 20114209Berlin, GermanyMr.razor
Sep 11, 20164251USAGary H
Dec 5, 20145145USABearded Buckeye (sold 10 Dec 2015)
May 22, 20175190NetherlandsGillette62

*Nickel Plated


  1. ^National Association of Retail Druggists Journal, vol. 79 (1957), p149. "New Luxury Gillette. Retailers will have a revolutionary new razor and a colorful, unique line of Gillette "Dollar Catchers" to swell their business during the 1957 Christmas season. This Yuletide marks the national introduction of the new Gillette Adjustable Razor, which at its retail price of $10 promises to be an outstanding gift item. The Gillette Adjustable represents a completely new concept in shaving. It is a gold-plated one-piece razor with a precision dial in the handle that provides nine different adjustments of blade exposure to satisfy all types of skin and beard."
  2. ^Modern Plastics, vol. 35 (1957), p35. "The new luxury Gillette is a fine precision instrument with a micrometer collar permitting nine different settings of blade exposure for light, close or extra-close shaves. The new razor demanded a revolutionary package to match it in quality appeal. It's a rich metallic blue polystyrene case, with nameplate and crest in gold relief. The razor and blade dispenser rest on a blue polystyrene platform finished with blue flocking. For traveling, the platform is removable, the vinyl wrappers are snapped around it, providing a compact, space-saving travel kit. ERIE not only custom molds the case and platform, but also assembles the complete package with bengaline liners, puffs, and wrappers. Make your package help sell your product and get it all from one source . . . ERIE Plastics."
  3. ^Commercial Prints and Labels, Library of Congress Copyright Office carried a notice of use "New Gillette adjustable razor; a superb gift for any man. (In The New Yorker, Nov. 30, 1957, p. 66-67)". This was probably legal notice of the first use of the term "Gillette adjustable razor" in advertising.

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