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Thread: looking to try out a safety razor

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    Senior Member hcintineo's Avatar
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    Default looking to try out a safety razor

    i'm looking around to try out a safety razor. i was looking at the merkur HD, but i was hoping to get something a little cheaper. i came across this razor on ebay:
    Gillette Patent New all metal double edge razor | eBay
    they come brand new, based on an expired Gillette patent. it seems like it would be a good beginner razor, but for the price i'm a little skeptical. i figure buying a DE isn't the same as a straight since it mainly depends on what type of DE blades you use, whereas the straight razor is the blade you use.
    any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

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    Let's talk Horsehair newb's Avatar
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    There's lot's of cheap new d/e's out there that do a good job. I personally would stay away from the cheaper tto razors. Look at Lord razors (tech clones), feather popular, Wilkinson Sword Classic DE Razor, or even a vintage Gillette super speed. All of the above razors are very affordable and are Loved by many wet shavers. If your new to d/e why take a chance on a cheap Chinese d/e based on a super speed patent ? When there are plenty of affordable , well reviewed razors for around the same price or less. Just my humble opinion.
    Last edited by newb; 05-20-2011 at 11:34 PM.

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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcintineo View Post
    i'm looking around to try out a safety razor. i was looking at the merkur HD, but i was hoping to get something a little cheaper. i came across this razor on ebay:
    Gillette Patent New all metal double edge razor | eBay
    they come brand new, based on an expired Gillette patent. it seems like it would be a good beginner razor, but for the price i'm a little skeptical. i figure buying a DE isn't the same as a straight since it mainly depends on what type of DE blades you use, whereas the straight razor is the blade you use.
    any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
    Hcintineo:

    That Gillette seems to be a replica of the Gillette Superspeed slim, one of the best razors made in the Gillette pantheon. I don't know who makes this particular razor. Nor have I ever heard of such a razor.

    You say: "i figure buying a DE isn't the same as a straight since it mainly depends on what type of DE blades you use."

    I beg to differ with you, my friend. There is more to the double edge razor than what type of blade you use. If you really want a vintage Gillette, a Superspeed in particular, you can look around the various shave sites and find one for a reasonable price.

    Try one of the lower price Merkur razors, such as the 1904, which is based on the Gillette model. A Merkur razor is different from that Gillette patent thing. There are other Merkurs, such as the 33C in the $20s. Even the Chinese Weishi, priced usually at $19, is probably more reliable than the Gillette patent model razor you note.

    It's your choice, of course, but you'll do much better spending a few extra dollars for a good Merkur, which is quite reliable, or a genuine Gillette in a good shape.

    Regards,

    Obie

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    Senior Member hcintineo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newb View Post
    There's lot's of cheap new d/e's out there that do a good job. I personally would stay away from the cheaper tto razors. Look at Lord razors (tech clones), feather popular, Wilkinson Sword Classic DE Razor, or even a vintage Gillette super speed. All of the above razors are very affordable and are Loved by many wet shavers. If your new to d/e why take a chance on a cheap Chinese d/e based on a super speed patent ? When there are plenty of affordable , well reviewed razors for around the same price or less. Just my humble opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
    You say: "i figure buying a DE isn't the same as a straight since it mainly depends on what type of DE blades you use."

    I beg to differ with you, my friend. There is more to the double edge razor than what type of blade you use. If you really want a vintage Gillette, a Superspeed in particular, you can look around the various shave sites and find one for a reasonable price.
    thank you both for your responses.

    Obie, this is the information i was looking for. i know nothing about safety razors and this is good advice to begin with. i'll continue to look around and see what type of beginner razor i can get for a decent price. thanks a bunch!

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    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    There is more than meets the eye with DE's. Most think hey it's just a chunk of metal holding a blade so all I need to worry about is the blade. As Obie explained that assumption would be a grave mistake.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

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    Geriatric Gamer/Surf Fisher tonycraigo's Avatar
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    I am fortunate in that I inherited both my Father's 1960 Fatboy and my Grandfather's 1962 Gillette Adjustable. Dad used his for 25 years, but Grand-Dad's was only used for 9 of the 10 blades in the original box that came with the razor before he passed in '63 - it's like new! I will be posting images of both in the 'Family Jewels' thread shortly.

    While I'm honored to have it, Dad's has seen better days. The adjustable lifting device is worn, still works, but lifts unevenly. At lower settings it's ok.

    Grand-Dad's is perfect.

    Buying these types of razors from Ebay is going to be a bit of crap-shoot IMO. You'll never know how much they've been used. The vintage non-adjustables might not be so sensitive to wear - I'll defer to my more learned members on this point.

    A 'new' DE will perform as advertised, of course.

    Food for thought.

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    Senior Member hcintineo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigspendur View Post
    There is more than meets the eye with DE's. Most think hey it's just a chunk of metal holding a blade so all I need to worry about is the blade. As Obie explained that assumption would be a grave mistake.
    haha yeah good thing i ran it past people here before wasting my money. i figure with these hobbies you get what you pay for.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonycraigo View Post
    I am fortunate in that I inherited both my Father's 1960 Fatboy and my Grandfather's 1962 Gillette Adjustable. Dad used his for 25 years, but Grand-Dad's was only used for 9 of the 10 blades in the original box that came with the razor before he passed in '63 - it's like new! I will be posting images of both in the 'Family Jewels' thread shortly.
    that's awesome. too bad no one in my family was never into wet shaving.
    did you begin to shave with a safety razor using an adjustable? i think i read somewhere that as a beginner razor it is tough to start of without a fixed razor.

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    Senior Member LAsoxfan's Avatar
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    When I decided to add a DE to my rotation, I went with the Merkur 1904 Classic. Pair that with a fairly gentle blade, such as the Derby, and you'll have a great starter DE.

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    Senior Member tfrod's Avatar
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    For a first DE I would suggest the Merkur 33C (Merkur Classic). Its a bit cheaper than the Merkur HD but still gives an amazing shave. It was my first DE and after trying maybe 10-12 others it is still up there towards the top of the list.
    Last edited by tfrod; 05-21-2011 at 11:51 PM.

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    Geriatric Gamer/Surf Fisher tonycraigo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcintineo View Post
    haha yeah good thing i ran it past people here before wasting my money. i figure with these hobbies you get what you pay for.

    that's awesome. too bad no one in my family was never into wet shaving.
    did you begin to shave with a safety razor using an adjustable? i think i read somewhere that as a beginner razor it is tough to start of without a fixed razor.
    Yes, but I was really a late bloomer in that regard.

    I am now 55, but as I recall (if I can recall) I started shaving with Dad's Fatboy around 1970. He had gone to an electric - an awful monstrosity I couldn't use (darn thing would take off more skin than a motorcycle accident). He gave that up and went for the disposables. I was setting the world on fire, shaving once a month (even if I didn't need it) and digging nice sized divots out of my face if I dared go past '2' or '3' on the settings. At that time I didn't have a clue. I remember squirting canned goo into his brush, just like he did and it wasn't nice.

    My 'goat' and 'mo' came in nicely, and I always kept it 'clipped' close, but basically grew in gray then turned white soon after.

    There was a span of time there between '74 and '84 I went au naturel with some handlebars around '78, but those chrome/gray things kept touching my cheeks and drove me absolutely crazy! By '85 I thought I might need a shave... lol

    I got a "barber's" shave around '87 I think in Radford, VA... you know... hot towel, brush in a cup, hot towel, strop, straight razor, ect... I think I paid the guy 2 dollars and didn't want to get out of the chair. It was like riding the best coaster on the planet and I was ready to give him another 2 bucks for another ride!

    I'm oldish now... The trimmed 'mo' and 'goat' remains... all white, as it has been for years. If an eyebrow gets out of place and touches my face I hunt it down and nip it. Those 'wild hairs' that grow out of my right ear and left nostril also get attention as soon as they send a message to the home base.

    I shave twice a week. Saturday (tonight-weeeeeee!) and Wednesday. Tonight's shave will be with a Regeldso straight I've recently retored (providing I get that bevel set on my Norton 4000) and on Wednesday I use Grand-Dad's '62 adjustable. Setting 3 seems to be 'me'. Dad's Fatboy sits clean and ready. I'll use it occasionally.

    Sorry for blathering on, but I type rather fast and used to write surf fishing reports so when I get started it sorta pours out of me like a sickness... LOL!

    Recap: Yes, I started with an adjustable... it wasn't all that great. I have a great adjustable now and it's great! My best shaves are with a straight, but Wednesday night isn't bad... not bad at all.

    I hope you get a nice DE. It will never replace your straight, but you'll enjoy it just the same.

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