Gillette 1952 'Black Tip' Super Speed-Steel Model

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Bird Lives, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Many feel the Super Speed is the Quintessential Gillette Razor, and many feel the 40's Style is the Best of the Breed. It was during 1951 and '52 that Gillette experimented with the materials they built their Super Speeds with. These were the Korean War Years, and World War II had just ended 4 years before, and since the War Dept. used Brass to make Artillery Shells there was the largest brass shortage in US history. So manufacturers implemented new ways to use Steel and Plastics. This affected practically all industries, from Plumbing, and Automobiles, to Housewares, Farm Equipment, Tools and yes, even razor manufacturing.

    Gillette with their knowledge, experiance, and manufacturing ingenuity, built their 1951 and '52 Super Speeds with Steel or Aluminum handles, Nickle plated brass, or Steel heads, and most with black plastic TTO knobs. There was no subversive scheme for cutting costs at this time, only finding a creative way to continue producing a quality product in the face of War-Time adversity. And that they did, and I'm here to say the "Black Tip" Super Speed-Steel Model is a fabulous razor that lives up to the 40's Style Super Speed Legacy in every way.

    The weight of the Steel model is 1.64 oz. compared to the reg. weight of 1.9 oz. little differance there. This razor is light and manueverable, inspiring high speed acts bordering on reckless abandon. But it always seems easy to control, and effortless. Its sliding and gliding all over my face, with no irritation, just smooth and close shaves.

    The balance is the same as the 40's style; which was just about perfect. Except with the plastic TTO knob, if anything, it distributes a little more weight to the head which only improves an already great balance.

    Blade Exposure: I would never call this a non-aggressive razor. Nonaggressive to me means you have to work hard to achieve a close shave, and thats just not the case with this razor. Rather the opposite is true, its very easy to get close, smooth shaves. If I had to pick a setting on my Slim Adjustable that comes close, I would say around the #5 or #6 setting. But there is no setting that duplicates the ease and comfort of this razor. Thats what makes these Super Speeds so unique.

    Ease of Use: Another integral part of the Super Speed Magic...Probably the easiest, most fun razor to use I have ever had the pleasure. I mean the Super Speed set a new standard for "Ease of Use" which I think is still the standard all others are judged by..While not non-aggressive in how easy it clears a face of whiskers, it's still very forgiving and user tolerant. There is no single reason why these shave so comfortably, they just do...

    Grip: Perfect. They incorperated the Diamond Knurl, they had used before with much success.

    Price: Unbelievable...The best buys on the used market...Almost always under $15 or $20...And to many, the best shave for any price...YMMV

    In 1947 when Gillette's new "Top of the Line" razor the Super Speed was unveiled, it was an over-night sensation and became an instant Classic. It set new standards in all catagories, and it was so far ahead of its time, it's still being copied today. It's design is timeless, and for many it is still the "Razor Gold Standard" to which all others are compared. It was built to last several lifetimes, which is evident by how many are still around and looking and shaving like new.

    This 'Black Tip' beauty is a 40's Style Super Speed, and therefore an example of Gillette at it's finest hour...In 1952, it was the Best A Man Could Get, and I believe it still is...
    Droo78, Angelo85, brit and 3 others like this.
  2. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    This was an old review I did in 2010...I still get asked what razors do I recommend....I usually say a Schick Injector.....But I will say this.....That I do believe, everyone who shaves should have at least one of these...or another 40's style Super Speed...Even if you only use it as a paper weight...but I bet you won'
    Droo78, 178-bplatoon and gorgo2 like this.
  3. Ryan B

    Ryan B Knight of the Soapocracy

    This was a good read Lloyd. I have a NDC Super Speed that I've used a couple of times. I should use it more often now that my technique has improved; I'm sure I'll get better results.
  4. Slipperyjoe

    Slipperyjoe Rusty Metal Tetanus

    Though the speeds are generally fine razors, there was a thread on BB recently by none other than Onotoman. He seemed to have some concerns about those few years of which you speak, when Gillette was forced to use alternative metals. Noto goes on to caution about in particular, the blue tip, whose aluminum hybrid nature can create a nasty corrosion situation. At this point, I'm a little unclear about the metal the speeds of those years were fashioned out of. I have a forties style Brit and swear the head looks like it's steel...
    gorgo2 likes this.
  5. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    Get the magnet out...if its steel you'll know it....My base plate and handle are steel with a nickle plating...I have some friends with the aluminum Black tips and have never seen a problem...actually the ones I've seen really looked new...The Blue Tip was made after the period I'm talking about...The Red tip and Blue Tip were made from '54 to '59....The Blue Tip was Aluminum...they weren't forced to use aluminum in this case...the war had been over since '52. It was a decision to make the Blue Tip a milder shaver so it was made lighter and with a smaller blade gap...The Red Tip, Reg. Flair Tip and Blue Tip razors a a different design than the Black Tip. The Black Tip is a 40's style and the Blue Tip is the mid 50's Flair Tip...

    Heres more SS info if you like... :
    Slipperyjoe likes this.
  6. Alan

    Alan Well-Known Member

    LLoyd my man, could there be any other reason you like the 52??

  7. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    ALAN !!! Hey man....I cannot tell a lie....Because it's YOUR Birth year razor.......:eek::happy102:

    PS......and mine too.....:cool:

    All-Time Favs:
    DE-mild: 52 Black-Tip
    medium aggressive: 38 Senator
    Desert Island Razor: Schick Injector.....:happy102:....The good Col. did invent a better mouse trap.
  8. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    After getting this yesterday at the fleamarket I had to revive this thread.
    1952 2Q Super Speed Black Tip.
    brit likes this.
  9. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives Future Root Beer King of Turkey

    2020 and this guy still gives a fantastic shave...I still stand behind everything I said in my review above, many years ago!
    In two years from now, I'm gonna celebrate like crazy, this razor's 70th birthday

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Aztecmike, Droo78, brit and 1 other person like this.
  10. Angelo85

    Angelo85 Well-Known Member

    I love using my 1951 black tip Super Speed. I bought it off of eBay a few months ago for $12 if I’m not mistaken. It delivers an awesome shave every time I use it.
    Bird Lives, Droo78 and brit like this.
  11. brit

    brit in a box

    fine shave with my newly owned x-2 all steel black tip.. 20200227_194247_edited.jpg
    Aztecmike, Bird Lives, gorgo2 and 3 others like this.
  12. Angelo85

    Angelo85 Well-Known Member

    Just ordered a 1952 Black Tip X1 with the case for $23.50; about $30 after shipping and taxes.
    Bird Lives, brit and Enrico like this.
  13. Angelo85

    Angelo85 Well-Known Member

    Just got my 1952 Gillette Black Tip Super Speed in the mail this morning. 9525257E-4338-45F9-A4E3-53A9D9CBD68F.jpeg
    brit, Edison Carter and Aztecmike like this.
  14. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    Aluminum handled W3 (1951) and steel handled X2 (1952) Black Tip Superspeeds...


    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  15. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    I have a Black Tip with code W-2 (1952?), with case and blades. Put a magnet to it and it has a steel handle and ??? head. It was in a box that I bought last year for $10 that had nice goodies in it including a Fatboy, some SE razors, a scuttle a few old soaps.
    brit likes this.
  16. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    W-2 would be second quarter of 1951.

    There were quite a few variations of these Korean War-era black tips even though Gillette only produced them for a couple of years, and some came with steel baseplates.
    Angelo85 and brit like this.
  17. Tallships

    Tallships Well-Known Member

    Shaved with my Black Tip this morning. It is definitely setting 6 on a Gillette Slim. Lathered up with Dr Harris Marlborough, put in a Astra SP blade did my usual 2 pass shaven with touch up and got a BBS. The same shave as if with my Slim except the Slim has the thicker handle that I prefer or am just used to, but the plus side is that the Black Tip has less maintenance and easier to keep clean. Think I'll use this razor for the next few shaves and probably hang it next to my Slim.
    EDC, Angelo85 and brit like this.
  18. jwr3265

    jwr3265 Well-Known Member

    After reading this, I pulled out my black tip and loaded it with a fresh Wizamet.

    3 days of growth, synthetic brush, Mystic Water Bay Rum.

    Nice shave, a bit more aggressive - very much like a red tip. The skinny handle is not my preference.

    Good shave though.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Angelo85, dmshaver and brit like this.

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