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Thread: New VS Vintage DE razors

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    Senior Member RedGladiator's Avatar
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    Default New VS Vintage DE razors

    Which do you use and why?
    I've never understood the appeal of vintage DE razors. Don't modern DE razors shave equally as well? Vintage especially with butterfly openings seem like they would be difficult to keep clean and maintain and look like they can get damaged easier too. Am I missing out? Help me understand?

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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    When I started shaving long about 1963 I used a Gillette TTO. Probably a super speed, I don't remember. So maybe it is somewhat nostalgia, but it is also that they are great razors. Go back further to the pre and post war Aristocrats, the British Gillettes ..... great razors. Even further to the Gillette 3 piece razors, Bostonian, Big Fellow, great razors. I don't know that I could say they are 'better' than what is made today, but every bit as good, and maybe better. IMHO.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    All four of the DE razors I have bought were vintage Gillettes and all were TTO. I bought them because they are available at antique stores for a fraction of the price I would pay for a quality new DE. Cleaning really doesn't seem to be an issue. My razors are all older than me and I figure if they have made it this long without damage the design is pretty robust.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Hirlau's Avatar
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    Find an old vintage Gillette in good shape, clean it & use it,,,,then you will understand more than what this thread will tell you.

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    Senior Member RedGladiator's Avatar
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    Do you guys own both vintage and new? Am I correct in assuming you all prefer vintage?
    Searching for example vintage gillette fat boy on ebay, it doesn't appear very cheap.

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    Senior Member sheajohnw's Avatar
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    My new DE razors shave well, but are made of plated base metal that is not long-lasting like vintage plated brass razors. New stainless DEs are durable, but costly. Many vintage DEs can be acquired in good shape at a cost that enables users to try many different models when searching for a blade/DE combo that is a good match for the users face. My vintage DEs are as old or older than I am and should be good for decades more use. I rinse them under hot water, remove the blade, wipe clean/dry, blow air into the cracks, then wipe and reinstall the blade. This takes about 1 minute to accomplish.I would like a stainless DE, but would not want to spend well over $100 to discover that it cannot equal the shave from an alloy new DE or vintage DE.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I use both vintage and new DEs. Vintage are still cheap to buy over here at yard/garage sales, even the Gillette Fat Boys. The Fat Boys have been talked up like some brands of straight razors so they can be pricey on the bay though. I get good shaves from either vintage or new but I like to use vintage stuff. Haven't had any trouble cleaning and maintaining vintage DEs either even the TTOs and adjustable TTOs. If you don't "get" the idea of liking to use vintage gear and are happy with the new DEs then you are not missing out on anything imho.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    The older razors (in general) are made better but that doesn't mean they shave better. Many do however the best performing DE's (IMHO) are new ones. I know of no vintage piece that can shave as close as the R41 OC. Also there are new pieces like the Pils and feather AS series that are better made than any vintage razor.

    To me it's just a preference thing like vintage straights and new straights.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    For those of us old enough to remember, Gillette came up with a blade dispenser for their TTOs (twist to open) that made changing blades a breeze. The dispenser was metal, maybe later plastic, but you just pushed the blade with your thumbpad, hooked it over the raised portion in the center of the bottom plate, and pulled, Wallah ! The blade was loaded, no fuss, no fooling with a sharp blade between your fingers.

    My main gripe with DE shaving now is fooling with the blades to load the razor. Next gripe is the propensity for companies to come out with three piece razors. It is true that we get to mix and match heads and handles, and I do like that, but having to manipulate all of these pieces is a PITA ...... AFAIC.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    For those of us old enough to remember, Gillette came up with a blade dispenser for their TTOs (twist to open) that made changing blades a breeze. The dispenser was metal, maybe later plastic, but you just pushed the blade with your thumbpad, hooked it over the raised portion in the center of the bottom plate, and pulled, Wallah ! The blade was loaded, no fuss, no fooling with a sharp blade between your fingers.
    Is that why there are notches on the bar? I bought some blades at the dollar store, Dorco I think, that came in a dispenser like that. It does make inserting a new blade a breeze.

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