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Thread: What to look for in a DE?

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    Member Moorefield1's Avatar
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    Default What to look for in a DE?

    New to wet shaving and have been busy collecting and restoring straights. Since I'm out and about searching for treasures I'd like to expand my search to include vintage DE razors. I found LOTS of resources on what to look for in a straight but not so much on DE.
    Anyone have any suggestions as to what to look for?

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    Pithy Yet Degenerate. ryanjewell's Avatar
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    Are you looking for shaving or collecting selling purposes?

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    Member jay88's Avatar
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    I go around to antique stores and find some cheap ones and restore them. just make sure that they aren't broken. the good thing is it is just what you like and how they feel in the hand when shaving heck i bought a Gillette for 5 bux at an antique store and it is the best feeling DE that i own hope this helps some

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    Member Moorefield1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanjewell View Post
    Are you looking for shaving or collecting selling purposes?
    Shaving first.
    Collecting second.

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    Pithy Yet Degenerate. ryanjewell's Avatar
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    Basics for collecting: no plate loss, no bent teeth (open comb), know what the ballpark of what things go for so you don't spend $75 on a superspeed (eBay is a good indicator of what the market will bare)

    For what is what...this is a good place to start: http://www.mr-razor.com/

    As far as for shaving, give them all a try...everyone's face is different and every razor works differently with different blades.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    In some respects it's no different than buying vintage straights. You can look for a pristine one and pay big bucks or buy one needing a little attention for a more modest amount or buy one needing major restoration real cheap. The only difference with a DE (to me) is making sure the thing is mechanically intact because that can be very difficult to repair depending on the razor. You can always replate.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

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    Senior Member Sargon's Avatar
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    NOS, is obviously the holy grail in vintage... cased and near mint would be net ( be careful, because antique stores and ebayers wills ell razors in the wrong case...) For use... mechanically sound is what you want. a little plate loss is generally not an issue.

    In terms of vintage Gilettes....

    1940s superspeeds and techs are mild, 1950s superspeeds are medium (blue a bit milder and red a bit more aggressive, most open combs tend to be more aggressive. Adjustibles obviously go from very mild to fairly aggressive, and while there are differences, they are all *fairly* similar to each other.

    obviously there are SE razors, injector razors, other brands, modern razors, and even plenty of less common Gillettes, as well not listed, but that'll at least get you started somewhat. Keep in mind that even an aggressive DE isn't that big a deal to some one with some experience with straights or SE razors.

    Hope that helps!

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    Member Moorefield1's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the help. I'm off treasure hunting tomorrow and will post any finds.

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    Senior Member zappbrannigan's Avatar
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    One thing to look for is to make sure the parts that should move move and the ones that shouldn't don't. My first DE, which I still own and use and like, had a small hairline crack in the handle, which eventually made the head loosen and fall off. I didn't know that the handle was supposed to be firmly affixed to the head, so I bought it. Overall not a big deal, I fixed it with some glue, but had I noticed it in the first place, I probably would have shopped around a bit more.

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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Moorefield,
    In addition to the information from these gentlemen, hold the razor in your hand and see how it feels. How is the balance, the size, the handle's length, and so on. Those are important, too. Antique stores are also notorious for passing junk as "antique" and, therefore, excusable. Be careful with that. One antique store owner's antique is a shaver's junk.
    Tylerbrycen likes this.

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