Vintage razors and aggressiveness

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Gary Drainville, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Gary Drainville

    Gary Drainville Active Member

    Not sure if this has been covered elsewhere or not, but here goes. So back in the day when the first safety razor was developed, was it designed as an aggressive razor by today's standards? Was the aggressiveness of the razor not even considered due to the technique being better than today's standards? So many questions . . . lol
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  2. NoobShaver

    NoobShaver BGDAAA

    Yep. It's been covered. And the short answer to the question is no. Safety razors were developed to be less aggressive/ more safe than straight razors. From what I understand, early disposable blades were thicker and not as sharp as our modern blades. Vintage razors are sometimes more aggressive because of the thinness and sharpness of modern blades.
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  3. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    i often wonder if the guy who first purchased my prewar tech or rocket etc. got the same smooth close shaves with his blue blades as i do with my astras,gsb etc.todays soaps better too?
  4. Keithmax

    Keithmax Breeds Pet Rocks

    I have a Barbasol floating head and it is the most aggressive vintage reason I tried. They must have had that in mind when they designed it.
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  5. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    Interesting topic and I've wondered this before....

    Early safety razors, like the kampfe razor didn't have blade stops, so blade exposure was determined by the user. It could be anything from mild to wild!

    On the other hand, my 190x Gem lather catcher seems to be somewhat mild. That could be due to the thinness of modern blades. If I shim it to where a vintage blade would be, I do get a much more aggressive shave and maybe that's the way it was really designed to be.

    Coming from a straight razor, I think most men back then would have been fairly comfortable with what we would consider an aggressive razor today.
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  6. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    I don't know. The one gentleman that I spoke to that used those razors when they first came out said that he bought the 'Red Gillette' blades, because they were the cheapest. He also preferred the Stahly Live razor to the Gillette.
  7. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

    Mildness or Aggressiveness is in the eye of the beholder.
  8. jar

    jar Active Member

    I often try to pair period appropriate blades with a period appropriate razor and the answer is very much like today. With some blades all is great while in other cases not so good. And the maker often is not the only variable. For example recently I tried a 4th Quarter 1944 Gillette camouflage blade in a pre-war NEW and it was without a doubt the worst shave I have ever had. On the other hand some of the best shaves I have ever had have been with even older Gillette blades.

    Yup, that is not rust on this blade.
    but fortunately it is not mine either.​
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  9. Gary Drainville

    Gary Drainville Active Member

    I knew if I asked the question it would bring some good reading - thanks for the responses! Very enjoyable - I'm thinking of keeping an eye out for some vintage stuff at the antique stores.
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  10. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

    IMG_0097.JPG IMG_0244.JPG IMG_0306.JPG
    All fleamarket finds. Total outlay $16

    Attached Files:

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  11. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

  12. Stu929

    Stu929 Well-Known Member

  13. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

    The NEW was $5, the SA-109 $1, the Super Speed Black Tip $10.
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  14. Stu929

    Stu929 Well-Known Member

    Black beauty for a buck!!!!!!

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
  15. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

    Feels like steel to me. According to the numbers, its a 1Q 1952
  16. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

    Yup. The lady running the stall had no idea. I just knew it was a steal at a dollar. Everything worked fine, so I handed over the Washington and departed post haste!
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  17. Stu929

    Stu929 Well-Known Member

    That ranks up there with my $8 dollar fatty and brush combo!

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  18. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

  19. Bookworm

    Bookworm Well-Known Member

    Danke. Pretty sure both of mine are aluminum. I'd like to have a steel or brass handle.
  20. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly during the unpleasantness in Korea, brass was in short supply so Gillette went to steel or aluminum. I'm sure one of our resident historians will chime in in 3..2...1..

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