Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
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mantic
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Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by mantic » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:25 am

I'm working on a future article for Sharpologist about vintage DE's. However vintage items are not really "my thing" so I'm doing some research. What do you consider the most popular, "reliable" vintage DE's that might be reasonably easy to find. Gillette Superspeed's (particularly of the late '50's) and Schick Krona's are a given. What else?

--Mark

(Edit: If you would like to write such an article I'd love to hear from you, feel free to PM me.)

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Rufust445
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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by Rufust445 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:41 am

My 1963 Gillette Slim was still quite reliable until I dropped it. Fortunately another member here took it off my hands for a nominal sum, and was able to rehabilitate it. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I took out a Lord Smart Razor that I had put away, and discovered I liked it better. The blade angle is better,
and changing blades may be a bit fussier, but it's not as susceptible to damage when dropped.

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by Squire » Mon Dec 21, 2015 11:23 am

Gillette Super (long handle) Slim as they were one of the best. Late production enough to still be around in good numbers and still in reasonable shape.
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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by ShadowsDad » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:03 pm

It doesn't get much more reliable than a Gillette 3 piece, the single ring being one example of them. There is little to go wrong since the only moving part(s) use a machine thread and the bulk of the razor is plated brass. It gives a decent shave too. My preference is for the pre '21 thin cap versions. The problem is that I don't know how plentiful they are. I'm not much into vintage DE razors these days having bought what I have, and all that I need, quite a few years ago. Maybe someone else can chime in about how easy they are to find today and if they're popular.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by ShavenWookie » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:59 pm

The most common vintage razors I see up for auction are Gillette. In order of average price (the closest analog I know of to availability) that would be:

Old Type - These guys apparently don't get much love because they often go for dirt cheap, which is understandable. It's a fine razor but I'd say the general consensus is that the NEW is an improvement. As far as durability, most often I see bent teeth on the corners from drops (I'd assume). This is more of a cosmetic flaw as far as I know.

Post-war Tech - There are lots of fans of this razor and it's a simple, effective design. It's easy and inexpensive to pick one of these up. The pre-war Tech is a different story, it commands a higher price point and takes some searching. There's not much to go wrong with this guy, so definitely a very durable razor.

Superspeed - Some variants command a higher price than others, but it doesn't take much looking to pick one up on the cheap. I've seen these guys mangled, and with more moving parts to go wrong they're not quite as durable as the Old, New, or Tech.

NEW Type - These are common, but command a slightly higher price point than the others mentioned so far. This is one of my personal favorite razors. As long as you aren't looking for a British RFB (raised flat bottom) you'll have no trouble grabbing one. They have the same issue as the Old for durability, bent teeth.

Slim adjustable - I don't really know much about these guys except they tend to be more expensive than New types. All the adjustables have even more that can go wrong with them than the super speed, including a spring that's eventually going to break.

The Fatboy - Topping out the list of easily available vintage DE razors, these guys command the highest prices on the list. Most people I have talked to don't even think they shave particularly well, so I suppose the popularity is driven by a cool name and nostalgia. I'd imagine they're as durable as any other adjustable. I also don't know much about these.

So that's my experience, which is pretty recent as I have gotten into wet shaving within the last several months and sought out different vintage razors to try. I'm not by any means an expert, but I saw this thread and as Mantic's vids have been a huge help, I thought I'd contribute what I know.

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by CMur12 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:21 pm

ShavenWookie, that's an excellent first post. Welcome to SMF!

Mark, your efforts are much appreciated and highly valued!

I agree with Brian and ShavenWookie about the Gillette three-piece razors, my favorite being the post-war Tech. These are much more rugged than the TTO models, which can suffer mechanical failures from a fall, from accumulation of gunk within the mechanism, and such. The TTO razors can still be considered reliable, but one needs to be more conscious of potential damage when making a purchase.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by Straight Arrow » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:08 pm

In my experience the Gillette DE razors that I own and use are all remarkably reliable. They are built so well out of such high quality materials that I don't think they will fail for my lifetime nor for several future lifetimes should anyone happen upon them after I depart. I have three=piece models, several different Supersedes, Fatboys, and Slims of both the short and long handled variety. They are all great.
Rich

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mantic
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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by mantic » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:35 am

Interesting comments, thanks. I think vintage Injector's deserve a spot in my article too. Not sure about the adjustable (Fat Boy, Slim) though--the additional mechanics concern me.

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by ShadowsDad » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Well, injectors are SE razors and you specified DE. If you had written safety razors that would have included both SE and DE.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by mantic » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:20 pm

ShadowsDad wrote:Well, injectors are SE razors and you specified DE. If you had written safety razors that would have included both SE and DE.
It originally was DE only but some comments on other fora have gotten me to think about adding the Injector as well. 8)

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by ShadowsDad » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:04 pm

I can't help at all with injectors, but I can help with SE razors. Lots of us think they're better than DE. I think they're better than injectors also. The problem is that they're all pretty reliable... not much to 'em, same as injectors in that.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by rsp1202 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:49 am

If you're now including injectors, late-model Schicks, especially the L- and N-types, have no moving parts like earlier models (except the hard spring that keeps the blade secured in its slot -- but I've never heard of it failing). OTOH, the injector body itself can jam when feeding the blade into the razor, more likely when it's plastic rather than metal. So, shoot the delivery system, not the razor itself.

Consider this a Gordon memorial nomination.
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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by brothers » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:20 pm

mantic wrote:Interesting comments, thanks. I think vintage Injector's deserve a spot in my article too. Not sure about the adjustable (Fat Boy, Slim) though--the additional mechanics concern me.
Adjustables Slim and FatBoy shouldn't be excluded, and considering those additional mechanics shouldn't give you concern. Razors of that design are nearly 60 years old now. They definitely deserve a place in your article. The fact that most of the survivors are still functioning perfectly after all this time is a remarkable testament to the design and construction of these trusty razors.
Gary

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Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by mantic » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:24 pm

brothers wrote:The fact that most of the survivors are still functioning perfectly after all this time is a remarkable testament to the design and construction of these trusty razors.
Good point. :!:

nicodemus38

Re: Most "Reliable" Vintage DE's?

Post by nicodemus38 » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:50 pm

its easy to do, in numerical order.

any 2 and 3 piece razors. very little to go wrong. however the use of zamak creates issues just like it does today.
the main issue is that to many have to much hype as it is. No need to rush out and put a 50 dollar max bid on a rusted out 3 piece from 1912.

regular non adjustable tto razors. Second best choice. less to go wrong with the bars and mechanism in general.

adjustable ttos the last choice in vintage. all reliability and repair. THe adjustables have the slight issue of being easy to damage. and most of them like the slim changed with every decade of production. The techniques of one decade to repair wont work on the other decades.
screws, fittings, methods of construction changed. As a result the EASY job of removing the internal parts of a 1948 super speed can easily mean the complete destruction of a 1961 super speed. And as a result only a few people are actually competent enough to do repair work. And even then it can mean a long wait to get your razor back.
Sometimes a simple take apart and clean can destroy how the TTO knob attaches on later models. As a result you can end up having to spend a lot of money on the purchase of a second identical razor just to get the part you need.. or to wait less time and end up with a frankenstien razor.

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