King C. Gillette razor shave + KCG blade longevity

Discussion in 'Shower or Shave of the Day' started by ShaversRUs, Mar 13, 2023.

  1. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    Razor: The King C. Gillette
    Blade: The King C. Gillette
    Cream: La Toja (red tube, I guess this is the "regular")
    Pre-shave: a hot shower
    Aftershave: Alum block + a splash, which varies. Sometimes a balm. Sometimes Witch Hazel before the splash. Today, Aqua Velva Ice Sport.

    ("You put a balm on!? Did I tell you to put a balm on? Who told you to put a balm on? The Maestro? Who's the Maestro?!?!?!")

    Well, as I mentioned in another thread, I've been using the King C. Gillette razor for the past several days. I used a Gillette Plat in the light blue box that already had some shaves on it, for the first few shaves. I now have 3 shaves on it using a new King C. Gillette blade.

    I noticed no difference between the King C. Gillette blade on its first shave and the Gillette Plat on its 7th. I almost always use a blade for 7 shaves, and then I toss it. I shave every day.

    This is a very smooth razor, as I previously mentioned. It does allow you to vary the angle a bit, more than one would think considering it is a mild razor. To get close, this razor seems to like a shallow angle (riding the cap). I find it best, for me, to go neutral for the first pass, then ride the cap a bit more for subsequent passes, particularly for the touch-ups.

    Lately, I've been doing 2 1/2 passes, so to speak, for lack of a better term. A full WTG 1st pass. An XTG pass on my face and and upper half of my neck. Then ATG on certain areas of my face, with some touch-ups in different areas that include some WTG and XTG strokes.

    I don't really give my shaves an official rating, but what I usually go for is mostly a CCS on my face, and SAS on my neck, which is very sensitive. If I start to go crazy with touch-ups, I wind up with redness.

    Anyway, this razor gets me where I want to be in the end. Do other razors I have get me there easier? Well, sorta/kinda. Some razors remove a lot for the first pass. But many of those razors wind up leaving me with some redness when all is said and done. Maybe the end result is closer than with the King C. Gillette, but then my face suffers.

    I haven't given this razor enough love since I got it almost 3 years ago when it was first released. My current "run" with it is meant to rectify that situation. I never seem to give a razor enough of a "run" before moving on to another one.

    Some mysteries of the Universe...

    1. Is the King C. Gillette razor made by Muhle?
    2. Is the King C. Gillette razor head the same as the Muhle R89, except for the underside of the baseplate?
    3. In Gillette-speak, does "handle" mean the part that attaches to the head, or does it include the head?
    4. Do the answers to 1, 2, and 3 really matter?
    5. Is the King C. Gillette blade the same as a Gillette Plat? If so, which "version" of the Gillette Plat? (Dark blue or light blue box?)
    6. Is the Gillette Plat in the light bue box different from the one in the dark blue box?
    7. Which Gillette Plat is nicknamed the "Swede"?
    8. Why do some people consider the shade of blue on the "dark" box to be "light", and vice versa?
    9. Do the answers to 5, 6, 7, and 8 really matter?

    Some people:
    Gillette means "handle" to be the entire razor -- that which holds the blade. The box says the handle is made in China. Conclusion: the head of the razor is not made by Muhle. It is made in China. Since the underside of the baseplate is different than an R89, this is even more proof that it is not made by Muhle.

    Other people:
    The paper that comes with the razor, placed between the baseplate and the head, includes text written in German. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is made in Germany. Since it looks sorta/kinda like a Muhle head, it therefore must be manufactured by Muhle. Case closed. So what if the underside of the baseplate is different? The rest of it looks like a Muhle R89. And it shave more or less like an R89.

    I don't own, nor have ever owned, a Muhle razor. I have never shaved with a Muhle razor that wasn't owned by me, either.


    I have been pronouncing Muhle the same way as I pronounce the name of the animal called a mule. (In my mind only, since I have never said it aloud.) On youtube, I have heard it pronounced MUL-UH and MUL-AY (as if Fonzie said it.) These people also say, "I don't know if this is the correct way to pronounce it."
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2023
  2. Daywalker

    Daywalker Active Member

    Here you go.

    They shave differently, imho - I had both, but gave the KCG to my nephew as a beginner's razor, because it was too mild for my taste - the Mühle R89 is more efficient.

    The answer to 4. and 9. is YES - isn't that what we're here for - to get answers to the questions that keep us up at night?
    ShaversRUs likes this.
  3. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    That's good to hear, because frankly I'm disappointed that it is too mild, and I like mild razors. It's taking lots of work to get a decent shave. I thought I figured out how to take more off on the first WTG pass, but no dice so far. My Merkur 33c is mild, but I found it efficient enough. I've heard so many good things about the Muhle R89, so I had been scratching my head, because I thought I basically had one...until your post.


    So what's the correc pronunciation of Muhle? I'd bet Mul-uh. As in the animal plus "uh".
  4. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    Oh, I didn't realize that "here" above was a link. So I guess my hunch was right.

    Well, I've been using this razor for over a week, shaving daily. The last few days I decided to not push the shave, and now it is not getting me where I want to be. I'm getting SAS, approaching CCS. It is missing too many whiskers, even ATG. I haven't felt like spending more time re-applying lather and going over the same spots again and again. It is just not worth it when I have other razors that do a better job.

    So in conclusion, I'm giving this razor 2 thumbs down. And before someone suggests it, I'm not going to buy Feather blades to make a $20 razor work, lol.
    Also, I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about the King C. Gillette blades. In this razor at least, it is nothing special, and I notice no difference between them and the Plat in the light blue box. I'm not saying that they're the same blade, however, since I do not know. BTW, I'm not a blade guru, and have only used a limited number of different brands.

    Regarding SAS: I'm not sure this is well defined anymore. For approximatley the last 15 years, and maybe more, it seems that it is "socially acceptable" to leave the house, go to a restaurant, appear on TV or in a movie, with several days of visible stubble. Over 10 years ago, a group of us went out to dinner to Peter Luger's Steakhouse in Brooklyn, and this farkakte husband of my wife's friend hadn't shaved that day. I was steamed, but kept my mouth shut. And just look here and on other forums -- it seems more people go several days without shaving than people who shave daily. Just saying...
  5. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    I also have a Maggard V3, and a Parker 3-piece of recent vintage. Which one is most like a Muhle R89? I found the Maggard more aggressive than the Parker, and both much more aggressive than the King C. Gillette.

    Is the Yaqi scalloped head that looks similar (or other AliExpress razor heads of that ilk) the same as the Maggard V3?

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
  6. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    I used the Parker straight bar 3-piece today: 69CR. What a difference! This thing got me where I want to be in 2 passes (WTG, XTG) plus touch-ups. Most of the touch-ups didn't even have to go ATG, but some did. Result was closer than all my shaves with the King C. Gillette over the last week or so. And I used the KCG blade on its 6th shave!!!

    Well, the KCG razor was designed for edging beards, so we shouldn't expect much from it, right?:duel:

    Not to beat a dead horse, but what were they thinking about with that handle? In the almost 3 years since it was released, I have not read one good comment about the handle.

    1. It's ugly.
    2. They only knurled about half of it.
    3. The knurled part still gets slippery.
    4. See #1

    I was googling again today -- lots of people say the head is the same as an R89.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2023
  7. Bax

    Bax Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the King C. Gillette has the same head as the "Gillette Heritage Collectable DE Safety Razor." I bought one of the Heritage razors and was very pleased. It's been about a year since I've used it until just a few days ago. Typically I rotate through a few Gillette classics, Wolfman Guerrilla, Rockwell 6S, straight razors and my Focus R28. Something different every day. Just for fun, I pulled my Heritage off the shelf and used it with a Shark blade. I like the Heritage best with a Wilkinson Sword (from India) blade, but had a stack of crappy Sharks to use up. I had 2-day whiskers. I was surprised at the quality of its shave. I did a quick, negligent WTG pass using poor technique, and then a very a careful ATG pass using good technique, and didn't need a 3rd pass. I was very pleased with the shave this neglected Gillette gave me! If this is the same head as the King C. Gillette, then I'm shocked it didn't do a better job for you. Before judging the razor, I'd try a different blade. Not necessarily an expensive fancy-schmancy hoity-toity blade, just a DIFFERENT one. The Wilkinson (India) is now my standard. There are sharper blades and there are more durable blades, but (for me) the best balance of sharpness and # of shaves is the Wilkie from India. They're not the cheapest, but they're far from expensive. I easily get 7 shaves with one blade (though I often skip shaving on Saturday and pitch the blade after 6 shaves anyway); it performs well in any/all of my razors (and my shavettes).

    #4: No, 1-3 don't matter.
    #9: No, 6-8 don't matter either.

    BUT -- If this is your hobby, then they are *ALL* of vital, critical importance because they're interesting questions!
    - Bax
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  8. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    I don't have the Heritage, but from what I've read, and the pics I've seen, it is not the same as the KCG. In fact, I've read that it is a Muhle R89 head. Not a copy. Not a clone. A bonafide R89 head manufactured by Muhle.

    Yep, it doesn't "matter", but we are all curious beasts.

    I bought the KCG because I got caught up in the hype of "here's your chance to walk into a drugstore and buy a Gillette safety razor for the first time in years!" So I didn't buy it because I thought I was getting a Muhle R89 head. And because I had a $10 off Walgreens coupon, I got it for $20. it really a Gillette razor? OK, the box says Gillette. The head is branded Gillette on the top cap. But the head is the most common head you can get from various sources (but probably made on the same asembly line), although all may not have the exact same geometry.

    And the handle...oh, the handle. (I'm beating a dead horse, again.) Made in China. I haven't seen it sold anywhere else on Ali, probably because no one would even think of buying it. I think someone spent all of 30 seconds coming up with its design.

    Now, in 2023, even $20 does not seem like a bargain. I can get a better razor on Ali for about $10 that more or less has the same head...and a grippier, better-looking handle.

    I also mistakenly assumed that it would disappear from the shelves of Walgreens faster than you could say "Gillette Fusion." And here we are almost 3 years later, and I still see it on the shelves of not only Walgreens, but in other stores, too. Had I not bought it, it would now be a collector's item, just so you know.
  9. Bax

    Bax Well-Known Member

    Oh thanks!
    So YOU'RE the one who kept it from being a collector's item!!!
    - Bax
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  10. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    Yep, that was me.

    I will give it yet another chance someday. I know people talk about that you should be able to get a great shave with any razor if your technique is up to snuff, so I consider it a challenge. 3 passes seems to be the gold standard average for a shave, plus some touch-ups. Can technique make a super mild razor like the KCG give you a 3-pass shave that is in CCS/DFS territory? I'm not sure. Or does technique mean more passes and/or touch-ups to get you where you want to be?

    I'm still interested in more opinions on whether the KCG gives the same shave as a Muhle R89.

  11. brit

    brit in a box

    a mild shaver if i remember,but effective enough.passed it along as i don't like pot metal razors.the heritage version at least replicated the crappy new bar handle.glad they came back on board,hell they invented DE razors,everything DE from then on owes gillette a thank you,for better or worse.while gillette is dead in the water DE wise,if you want a gillette shave,get one from the late 1920s -1960s,load a spoiler blade and have at her..;):eatdrink047:
    ShaversRUs likes this.
  12. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    Yes, to me the KCG was a swing-and-a-miss. If you are going to out-source to China, at least get a better Chinese handle, for crying out loud. Why didn't they just repackage their Heritage without the fancy-shmancy box for brick-and-mortar sales?

    Re: pot metal -- for $20, I didn't expect it to last a lifetime. But it will if it sits in my drawer, unused.

    Have you tried an R89?
    brit likes this.
  13. brit

    brit in a box

    no,not tried parkers for that matter.happy with my relics.:):eatdrink047:
    ShaversRUs likes this.
  14. Bax

    Bax Well-Known Member

    I'm partial to the classic gillettes from the 40s through the 60s. They are cheap and plentiful, no need to buy a new razor.
    - Bax
  15. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    No one "needs" to buy a new razor. But we do anyway.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2023
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  16. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member


    I decided to use the KCG again, with the KCG blade with 8 shaves on it. I switched out the handle for a Maggard Mr11.
    What a difference! It transformed the razor. I got where I wanted to be, around a CCS, with the same effort as my best razors.
    I spent more time concentrating on shaving rather than continuously rinsing the handle of shaving cream and drying my hands as I worried about dropping the razor.

    I don't mind longer handles, like the KCG is supplied with, but don't force me to grip it so high in order to touch the knurling. And the knurling gets slippery anyway.

    Since the handle of the KCG is more than half the whole razor, I'm still giving the KCG a swing-and-a-miss and 2 thumbs down since as supplied it didn't work for me, and I had to add a $19 handle to make it work.

    I'm liking the KCG blade more now, too, since it works well in a few other razors I've tried and is still going strong at 9 shaves. I've never used any DE blade for more than 7 shaves before, but none have started to conk out on the 7th shave. I've used maybe 5 different blades in my DE life and I haven't had any that seemed better or worse than the others. I'm just not a chapter and verse guy when it comes to DE blades.
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  17. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm gobsmacked now. Another shave today with the KCG razor and a KCG blade on its 10th shave, and I couldn't have asked for a better shave. I still can't believe the handle could make that much of a difference, but it did. The KCG blade is still going strong and there's no hint on whether or not it's near its end-of-life.
    Herm2502 likes this.
  18. Herm2502

    Herm2502 off to elf practice

    We don't? I always thought...
    ShaversRUs likes this.
  19. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    I have updated the title of this thread to include the KCG blade longevity.

    I won't update every day necessarily, but let's see how long this blade lasts -- for me and the way I shave.

    11 shaves so far and still going strong. I have a few shaves on this blade on various Parker razors, as well.

    I will also try to compare this blade with the Gillette Platinum Light Blue, which some say is the same blade. I have never pushed a Plat passed 7 shaves, so once I decide to bin the KCG blade, I will try to push the Plat to its limits. When I started re-introducing myself to the KCG razor a few weeks ago, I was using a Plat that already had several shaves on it. I didn't notice any diffence between the Plat and the KCG -- though I'm not saying it is the same blade or that it shaves exactly the same way.

    For reference: I shave every day. For this blade, I was doing 2+ passes, now for the last few I have been doing 3 full passes + touch-ups. Why? I'm finding this razor/blade combo to be very smooth, and I'm able to go ATG on my neck with no irritation or weepers.

    I haven't been riding the cap for the past few shaves. I've pretty much been going right to neutral, with perhaps a little bias towards shaving steep.

    To further address the Elephant In The Room: what do you think regarding the KCG blade in terms of:

    1. Is it the same blade as the Gillette Light Blue Platinum, but in new clothing?
    2. Is it the same blade as the Gillette Dark Blue Platinum, but in new clothing? (In the box that resembles the Gillette Silver Blue)?
    3. What blade do you think the KCG really is?
    4. Do you think that the KCG is a unique blade and not a repackage?
    5. How would you compare the KCG to a vintage Spoiler? (I've heard that the latter is the bees knees, the greatest thing since sliced bread, the Holy Grail of razor blades, the longest lasting blade ever made from superior stainless steel than is no longer used for any current blade, aka the Willy Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper of blades, etc.)

    Also, regardless of whether or not the KCG razor is made by Muhle, has it been confirmed that the post on the cap is made of brass? The reason I ask is that I've heard that there could be an issue screwing a stainless steel handle (like I'm doing) onto a brass post. That, however, could be pure internet speculation. I doubt that my razor will self-destruct.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2023
  20. ShaversRUs

    ShaversRUs Well-Known Member

    When you used the KCG, did you use the stock handle?

    What handle do you use with the R89? I have heard that the stock handle for that razor isn't very grippy, either.


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