While some people (the Gillette factory included) did re-hone the original blades, Gillette marketed them as disposable items that did not require re-honing or stropping.
Originally Posted by GreekGuy
The thickness of the blade is not a major factor in the razor's performance. The distance between the blade edge plane and the guard tooth plane is known as the blade gap. The difference in blade gap between thick and thin blades would be one-half the difference in blade thickness . . . not enough to make a huge change in aggressiveness.
When a thinner blade is used in an Old-Type, based on the formula above, the shave should be less aggressive due to a reduced blade gap, and not more aggressive as some believe.
The real challenge in using modern (post ca. 1930) blades with OT razors has to do with the center slot and "square" holes. Gillette's plan in 1928 was to produce a razor that would only use patented "NEW" blades, but still maintain backward blade compatibility with the Old-Type razors. This design is still used by blade makers today, and results in the ability to load the OT razor with the blade slightly off "square". Improperly loaded, the razor tends to "bite", which is misinterpreted as being "too aggressive."
My last two shaves have been with a modern blade in a New Improved Bostonian . . . a great shave, but you do have to watch the blade mount!
Sandmountainslim and others are real fans of the OT, and prefer them to a NEW. I like the New Improved, which still (IMHO) shaves better than a NEW.
Even considering these stated preferences, the NEW is still a fine-performing razor, and gives many guys great pleasure on a daily basis. I own a few, and do use one occasionally. An interesting thing about the NEW is the way it changes personality with different handles, along with the fact that it was made in both short and long comb versions.
A consistent favorite on B&B is the NEW long-comb head with one of Bob's Razor Works Bulldog handles. Form and function, all in one small package!!
Brad - OGA
You must be willing to do the things today others won't do . . .
In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown