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Thread: A question for Gillette collectors and users

  1. #1
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    Default A question for Gillette collectors and users

    To all of you who have knowledge about vintage Gillette razors I have a couple of questions. First I will say that in the past four weeks I have been wet shaving with several vintage Gillette razors the last two being a late model Fat Boy set at number 9 and it did a good job even with the cheap Walgreen blades. I got to thinking about the adjustable factor on the Fat Boy and was wondering when you did turn the blade up to 9 does both sides of the blade move in an equal way or do you have one side that is more agressive than the other. With that thought I remembered that I had a less than perfect Red Tip that works great and looks like it had splotches on the head. This razor was in a group of 7 that I purchased for $10 dollars. To make a long story short the Red Tip gives as good, if not better, shaves than the Fat Boy. Yes you do need to go a little slow and be careful with pressure, however, it does give a very plesent shave with no razor burn. My last question is does anybody know how much more agressive is a Red Tip than a Fat Boy on #9.

    I think I have found my favorite Gillette in the Red Tip and now will look for another as I love redundancy to help with that screw up that I often do.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Try the fatboy on 5 or maximum 7 and see how it feels. Some guys do a pass at 3 and then 5, or maybe it was the other way around ..... Anyway, I tried one on 9 forty five or so years ago and never did again. I'd estimate a red tip is the equivalent of 5 or 6.

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    In theory both sides should be equal as you increase or decrease the setting. In practice we are dealing with razors that are decades old, and previously used, so some variation can be expected.

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    Hirlau (02-14-2013)

  6. #4
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    I have found with my Fatboy that 9 is way to aggressive, even more aggressive then my Futura. I would guess that a red tip would run 4 to 6 on the adjustment scale, or that is about how it feels. I have noticed that with my Fatboys(I own 4 of them) that they do seem to be different on opposite sides (blade depth) on three of them.I think this is do to age and how they were treated. I will also state that I own at least one of every kind when it comes to the old Gillette's and will say that IMO that the Fatboys is over rated and that the Red/Blue/Black tips are much better razors that are the easier to find not to mention the cheaper. Another thing I noticed is that the Red tip seems to be more forgiving of what blade you use. I use Feathers, Astra, Wilkinson sword to name just a few and they all seem to work well for me in the Red tip or super speed type of Gillette. I think this is from the mild blade aggressiveness that allow for multiple passes without irritation.

  7. #5
    Some kind of Zombie BigJim's Avatar
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    For what it's worth...Unless somebody really jacked with your fatboy, the blade should adjust equally on each side. If the lift plate is still square to the handle, then it will adjust equally. That said, nothing can absolutely guarantee that the blades themselves are the same on both sides.

    I haven't used a red tip, but I've used flare tips, Old type, new type, SS, fat's and slims. They all require a light touch and careful handling...though I find my grandfather's old slim to be the best...but then again I'm probably biased on that one.


  8. #6
    Senior Member WillN's Avatar
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    If you are shaving on 9 and don't find it REALLY aggressive, then I would say that the chances are good that your razor is stuck / bent. The red tip is just about a 7 or so for the ones that I have and that is several.

    Adjustable razors are great, but if they have been adjusted without loosening the doors, they can be damaged and not adjust properly. With the doors open, the adjustment ring should turn freely and click into each position. If you look closely you can see the two bars in the floorplate of the razor move just slightly up and down. If the mechanism is gummed up, try boiling it for about 10 to 15 minutes. You might be surprised to see how much gunk willl come to the top of the water.

    Non adjustable razors such as your red tip are much less prone to damage unless they are dropped. The heavy handle on the red tip is also a big plus for me. Gives it a feel like a "poor man's" Aristocrat, which by the way is my favorite DE.

    Will N.
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  9. #7
    Senior Member Sargon's Avatar
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    Red Tips are really popular, and are one of the few Gillettes of that vintage that I haven't tried yet. As others have stated a slim set to 5 or 6 will be similar, although it wont' be *identical*, and will likely cost more.

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