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Thread: Gillette Superspeed-what to look for

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    Question Gillette Superspeed-what to look for

    Gents, I plan on going back to the antique mall to purchas a Gillette Super Speed I saw last week. Is there anything I need to look out for when considering a DE? When I looked at this razor previously it opened smoothly and there was no obvious damage to the finish.
    Thanks for any tips or insights.

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    Senior Member MattCB's Avatar
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    Wheb cycling the doors open and closed make sure and check that the blade gap is evenon both ends and both sides. I have even used thickness gages to take a measurement. They don't need to be dead nuts equal, but they need to be pretty close. What type is it? Flair tip, Red tip (more aggressive), Blue tip (Milder), black tip (never owned one, no idea )? It's a neat rabbit hole to fall into for a bit. Lots of interesting bits and bobs.
    The older I get the more I realize how little I actually know.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    The tip of the handle is metal and the same silver as the rest of the razor so flare-tip? I wouldn't have thought to compare the gap spacing. Thanks for the tip.

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    Senior Member MattCB's Avatar
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    The flair tip started later... don't have my notebook on me for dates. The earliest superspeeds were made in the 40s. Off hand I'm pretty sure the 40s and 50s were just a continuation of the handle shape/texture. I think some time in 60s the flair tip was introduced. It's pretty obvious when you see it. when I get home tonight I'll take a picture or two and find a few dates. If you can get the date code off of the bottom of the head I could nail it down pretty well for you.
    The older I get the more I realize how little I actually know.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    The early ones '47 to 53 or thereabouts will have the twist to open (TTO) knob the same diameter as the handle. The 'flair tip' is larger on the very end so it is easily discerned. Both are nice mild shavers IME. When you get into the colored TTO knobs, somewhere around '56 or '57 IIRC, the red is the most aggressive and the blue is very mild. These predated the adjustable models that came shortly thereafter. I have no experience with the black plastic covered handle models which came later. From what I hear a lot of guys like those too. The red tip is my favorite. If the doors operate smoothly and lock down tight it ought to be a good shaver.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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    Senior Member HaiKarate's Avatar
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    On the bottom of razor there will be 4 things engraved...
    'REGS.U.S.'..
    'PATT.OFF'...
    '(a diamond shaped gillette logo)'..
    'Made IN USA'... and then there is also a letter and a number engraved in same area.
    This is the year code and the quarter code.
    For example, the Flare tip Super Speed I'm looking at now is as above, with Z 2 code. This is a 1954 made in the second quarter.
    Make sure the end caps are still attached as they would break off when people would beat the razor against the sink to 'clean it' while shaving. You get the idea. These old timers clean up great with a little polish as they are plated. '47, 48, and 49 SS's didnt have the date code. Heres a link to check what your going to get and dates...

    http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/US_Gi...ng_Information

    sorry about B&B site but this page is full of Gillette DE info.

    Good luck!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tintin's Avatar
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    here's a good date code sheet that will tell you more. http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/US_Gi...ng_Information
    some time in the early sixty's ( i forget the actual year) the shape of the head changed shape slightly to a slightly lower radius and they were also a little lighter in weight.

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    Senior Member HaiKarate's Avatar
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    Heres the '54 Flare tip Super Speed relaxing with a Genco.

    Name:  flairTip.jpg
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    With the handle you described you are looking at a post war to 1950s model super speed. Check it out as per MattCB's advice. They are a nice shaver, love mine, which is the same model you are looking at. They appear to be very solidly built.

    Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by tintin View Post
    here's a good date code sheet that will tell you more. http://wiki.badgerandblade.com/US_Gi...ng_Information
    some time in the early sixty's ( i forget the actual year) the shape of the head changed shape slightly to a slightly lower radius and they were also a little lighter in weight.
    If these were made in the UK then there will be no date code on the base of the razor. Having said that the flair tip is a nice shaver +1 on the doors closing equally and tightly. If you have an ultrasonic cleaner I've found that these do a really great job on DE razors. After this I usually give a quick squirt of WD40 down into the mechanism to keep it smooth.

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