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Thread: Safety razors questions

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    Kyle Redcane's Avatar
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    Default Safety razors questions

    I have had a new 34c for a year or so... I guess. Over that span I would occasionally pick it up but always got razor burn and wouldn't touch anything but a straight for months. Well I think I semi have it figured out. It was a muscle memory thing from cartridge razors. To much pressure.


    Anyways, I want a vintage safety razor but don't know anything about them. I have looked on the bay and prices very so much I wouldn't feel safe. Advice if you have it. Thanks.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Leatherstockiings's Avatar
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    I have been able to find vintage Gillettes at antique stores on a consistent basis. They are usually priced lower than ebay. I find the Superspeeds to be mild shavers while the Adjustable can be aggressive at the higher settings.
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    Snicker Snack
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    Well, vintage safeties vary greatly, so you're going to get all sorts of advice about what to try.

    Most people suggest starting with a Gillette SuperSpeed. There are several models, but the ones made in the 40's are pretty nice. I also like the Gillette NEW models. They're a bit more aggressive, but shave really well.

    The best place to pick one up would be one of the shaving forums. If you ask around, you'll certainly get some offers of razors for sale. If you know what you're doing, an antique store or Etsy can be a good place to get one.

    Good luck.

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    Snicker Snack
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    I forgot to add that prices vary greatly. A SS can cost from $20-50. An adjustable Gillette can cost from $30-100+, and so on.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth tcrideshd's Avatar
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    ya , pressure is a sure fire way to get razor burn , and that's true for DE razors too,, you have a fine razor already in the 34c, myself I have had a Gillette fatboy in service for 40 years before starting with straights. it will go from mellow to bloodletter in a heartbeat, so it covers most ranges also the executives are nice to use , their mild,, on my fatboy with a feather blade on 9 will give as smooth a shave as anything I have ,, so when I break it out (rarely now) its a great shave good luck tc
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes, too much pressure is an enemy with a DE just as it is with a straight razor. Just use the same light/no pressure that you use with a straight razor. The other is finding the right angle, it does vary a bit DE to DE, by placing the head of the DE flat on your face with the handle parallel to the floor. Next, rotate the handle slowly downwards till you just feel the blade. That should be a good starting point.

    If you don't want to wind up with a collection of vintage DEs trying to find one you like, I would go with an adjustable Gillette. You can start off with it set to #3 and as you technique improves you can slowly go up the number settings till you get to where you want to be with shave comfort and closeness.

    I like a decent diameter handle so my go to adjustable is a Fat Boy. I can tell you that with a Feather blade and set at #9 the Fat Boy will give a Muhle R41 or a straight a run for their money in shave closeness and longevity.

    Bob

    Forgot to add that if you take your time and look around you can still get a Fat Boy in good condition for less that they usually sell for.
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    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Redcane,

    I think every wet-shaver should have a Gillette TTO (twist-to-open) razor. The SuperSpeed's are well priced, very available and shave very well.

    They are generally reckoned to be milder than your Merkur 34C.

    With DE razors, it is very wise to get a blade sampler pack (the largest you can find) as blade choice is highly personal - one person's prize blade is another's piece of crap

    WestCoastShaving do them :

    Double Edge Razor Blade Sample Packs | West Coast Shaving

    Have fun

    Best regards

    Russ
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    Redcane, you've been wet-shaving for a long time, so you'll know that virtually every user will swear by a different model (I am myself partial to single-edge razors), therefore this could go on forever. To me, the real variables about getting a vintage safety razor that you plan on using every day are as follows:

    1 - Are top-quality blades readily available? That's because some take blades that are a) hard to find, b) non-reusable and requiring sharpening or c) downright out of production.
    2 - Was it manufactured long enough that a) you can get a replacement if you break it/lose it and 2) you know that it had some success among users?
    3 - You like it and you are eager to brag about it.

    That's it. Scour ebay for something that speaks to you, buy it, keep your angle close and your pressure feather-light, and you won't have a problem.
    Last edited by Corgi; 03-14-2015 at 04:42 PM.

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    Senior Member PatrickA51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherstockiings View Post
    I have been able to find vintage Gillettes at antique stores on a consistent basis. They are usually priced lower than ebay. I find the Superspeeds to be mild shavers while the Adjustable can be aggressive at the higher settings.
    Redcane
    What he's saying is very true. Look at Goodwill or other thrift stores. The people on e-bay think they are selling gold. Way over priced. But these fools that pay up to $85 plus for a razor that is almost as old as I am are what bring the prices up. Then there are people that want a certain razor the seller knows it and they get a ringer to keep bidding it up, when they know it's not worth that money.
    Buyer beware.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth rolodave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherstockiings View Post
    I have been able to find vintage Gillettes at antique stores on a consistent basis. They are usually priced lower than ebay. I find the Superspeeds to be mild shavers while the Adjustable can be aggressive at the higher settings.
    A 3 is my limit. Tried 4 the other day and paid the price.
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