Lessons from an L-Plater

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by ChrisB, Dec 11, 2022.

  1. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    In all my time collecting, I've only run across one razor that had so much wear it was near unusable. Very few razors are old enough to have that much wear, and 99% of them are three piece razors made before 1920. The vintage twist-to-open razors can have their own issues, but 99% of those come from being dropped, and can usually be fixed with a pair of pliers.

    The average bloke doesn't need to worry if a used vintage razor works. If that is a concern, you can always buy from the forums.
  2. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member


    That's all reassuring thanks. I will have a snoop around the antique/thrift shops here (just for fun of course;)) and see what there is out there, but doubt there is much here in Oz though. The market is much larger in the USA. There is always on line shopping, but shipping costs can be a bit of a pain.
    macaronus, PLANofMAN and brit like this.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    Here's some resources you might find useful.

    There is also an Australian specific shaving forum called Paste and Cut.

    Edit: you are correct about there not being much, but on the upside, what you do have is mostly vintage British made razors, which are better quality than American made.

    I've always thought it was a crying shame the Brits never made a Gillette Adjustable.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
    macaronus, ChrisB and brit like this.
  4. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member

    macaronus, brit and PLANofMAN like this.
  5. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Nice resources, only know about some of them, but will certainly be making use of those, thank you.

    Went around a cluster of antique/shops on the E-sheds at Fremantle this morning. Comment from them: there is not much of a market for DE razors. But there were a number of SE cut-throats there, I am not interested in those and moved on.

    But I did bring this home, likely a travel razor, these are pics before any clean up, not sure it has been used much. What do I call this little one? Ball end Tech?
    G1.jpg G4.jpg G5.jpg G8.jpg

    Back of the plastic box says Made in England. No other marks. Smaller than my R89 and somewhat lighter. Blade reveal is nice even, the cap is very thin, will be good for under the nose I reckon! Thread feels good and smooth, tightens nicely.

    Might give this a whirl tomorrow.
  6. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Yes, Ball End Tech. Nice score with the case.
    No, not a travel razor, per se.
    The travel razor is smaller.
    Here's mine...
    Personally, I've never really understood the need for a smaller razor just for traveling. I mean, really, how much space and weight are you saving going with the smaller razor?
    My requirement for a travel razor is one that won't break my heart if lost with my luggage or confiscated by TSA for some foolish reason.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2023
    macaronus, PLANofMAN and ChrisB like this.
  7. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Hi Steve! OK this is my 4th (and 1st non-new) razor, at least I know what to call it now! Seems like there were tons produced, so no big deal, but rather fun all the same.

    I guess the box being in good nick means it wasn't used much or is just a later model.

    Yep, having had Qantas nick a Swiss Army knife from me on an internal domestic flight I know the feeling! My wife has had nail scissors removed. Oh dear! A sharp 4H pencil could do more damage in the right hands.

    I think I am on the slippery slope to RAD, well, at least my wife is happy that I seem to have a new hobby, that helps, God bless her.

    Is there a different feel between the regular and the travel version, or just a different technique?
    macaronus likes this.
  8. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Travel version is just a shorter handle, heads are the same, so you don't have to worry about special blades.
    Technique is the same. If you want to get a feel for a travel razor, just hold the razor you have right under the head.
    macaronus and ChrisB like this.
  9. brit

    brit in a box

    cool aluminum tech,nice score.fine shaver.mid 1950s..
    heres the brass/nickel version.
    PLANofMAN and ChrisB like this.
  10. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Thanks Gary, that puts me in the ball park of actually knowing what I bought! I have also noticed the plethora of threads about the Techs...more to read and enjoy!

    May I ask how did you know this was made of Al? Certainly very light and not magnetic.
    brit likes this.
  11. brit

    brit in a box

    they are never magnetic unless they are made of steel like some war era versions.the color of the baseplate and handle have a dull hue, different than the nickel plated brass version showed in the pic i posted.the brass/nickel plate version is heavier as well at 63 g. gillette england was really experimenting with aluminum parts during the early 50's compared to the western world.
    macaronus likes this.
  12. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    8 Jan 2023

    Two days growth.

    Two sided shave again today! Two different razors each with their own new Astra SP blade.

    Left Side of face: Merkur Progress, pass # set on 2, pass #2 set on 2, pass #3 back down to number 1.

    Right side of face: the above Gillette Tech.

    Adding some more ATG and light buffing in areas I can tolerate.

    Same prep, lather, post-shave etc.

    Results: pretty close to BBS both sides.
    Nicks: none
    Slight tingling left lower neck with warm water wash, but not with Alum.

    Lessons of the day:
    a) I think a 2 day growth shaves better somehow, maybe just gives the face time to rest?
    b) despite the two razors being so different, focusing on where the blade is and what it is doing helps.
    c) I think the cap of the Tech slides better against the dry skin than the Progress, but no different when lathered up.
    d) getting around and under the chin seems better with a new blade, once I get to day 4 or 5 I need too many passes here.

    I like and prefer the weight of the Progress
    The Tech is much lighter, but is easier to manoeuvre around the face and tricky bits.
    I felt I could dip into the stubble in the scar on my chin more easily with the Tech.
    Thought I did better with the Tech under my nose, but still found some leftover stubble there, :angry017:

    Leftover stubble was only discovered after I was finished. Disappointed I didn't find this during the shave.
    1. Below the nose, despite tentative XTG and ATG here with the Tech: more practise needed here.
    2. Bottom left lower lip: I hate the feeling of leftover stubble around the mouth.
    PLANofMAN and brit like this.
  13. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Got it thanks! Mine weighs in at 30 grams exactly.
    brit likes this.
  14. brit

    brit in a box

    i will also add that aluminum was abundant in the french and german made gillettes of this era where brass was abundant on the western continent.
  15. brit

    brit in a box

    then it's definitely aluminum.:).nice score.a bit of daily use and it will charm you over.techs require consistent technique for the first bit due to their narrow sweet spot.but you will get there.you should need no other..fine daily shavers..:):eatdrink047:.generations of shavers proved it..
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    Yeah, like Gary said, the Tech is a nice mild shaver and was designed to work for most people. It had an 80+ year production run in various incarnations (U.S. and British), and a version of it is still produced in India today.

    A lot of the modern 3 piece stainless razors are just gussied up Tech copies. Wolfman razors being the most well known example. (It's basically a raised flat bottom tech).
    Most Wolfman owners would probably disagree with me on that. They don't like it when their $500+ razor gets compared to a cheap mass produced razor.
    ChrisB, macaronus and brit like this.
  17. brit

    brit in a box

  18. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    FYI, As for why aluminum razors were so prevalent during the the 50's, it was less to do with experimentation and more to do with the massive shortage of brass. Almost all brass production was being diverted to the American military to be used for artillery shell production during the Korean War.
    brit likes this.
  19. brit

    brit in a box

    the euro's loved aluminum.merc's and many others used aluminum for cylinder heads,brakes and other components during the 50's and up,well before anyone else.aluminum was an exotic metal in the western world until well into the 70's,at least on domestic automobiles and other components.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  20. ChrisB

    ChrisB Active Member

    Thumbs up! this Forum is a wealth of information.

    Still trying to plough through PLANofMAN's 2018 thread on the Techs...and others...fascinating history.

    Even after using it only once, I do like the razor, will still keep using it. Only have 4 razors atm, the problem looms, which one tomorrow! Nope I will stick to Progress for January, and maybe use the Tech for the touch ups. Will keep a lookout for a heavier version.

    The bigger 1st world problem is, having got a really good shave with the Tech this morning, what to do with the impulse to: Buy Big, Buy Better! Buy More $$!

    Next Question (#10 I think)
    The Tech came with one or two Gillette Blue blades in the pack, after that my wife dug out some 30+ year Minora old blades (still in the paper) that her mom had in her sewing box many years ago. Worth using for shaving or relegate to the Shed/garage?
    PLANofMAN and brit like this.

Share This Page