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Thread: Gillette NEW and Gillette Old Type

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    Default Gillette NEW and Gillette Old Type

    Im looking to buy one of these razors or possibly both. However, I dont know much about them. I have noticed that some have a silver color plating on them, and some of them are gold. Did Gillette offer both types of plating, or were some of these re-plated along the line at some point? Is there anything I should keep my eye out for when looking at these? I'll admit that these razors probably wont get a lot of use, but just owning a razor thats nearly 100 years old is appealing to me.

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    Both the old and new types came in both silver and gold plating. Silver generally holds better in my opinion, or maybe I've just seen better examples of silver razors in my collecting. The single and double rings were only silver, however.

    The old types were designed for use with old style blades that were thicker and could be re-honed. The new types are designed for modern, thinner blades. I PERSONALLY find the old types to relatively unusable. I mean, its kind of cool shaving with something that is nearly 100 years old, but I just haven't had good experiences with them. YMMV of course. The new types, on the other hand, are excellent instruments and you should have no problem with these. Assuming you are looking at shaver-grade pieces and not collectors items, replating should not really be a concern of yours. The vast majority of old and new types are not valuable enough to justify replating.

    Hope this helps. And anyone feel free to add anything or correct me if I'm wrong on some of this.

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    I learned to shave with a tech,a mild razor.
    I love the old types,to shave well with these I have had to develop my
    light handed technique, and with that I get a great shave.
    Oh yea and my face is now tougher than the bottom of a gorillas foot.
    Last edited by surftile; 12-25-2010 at 05:18 PM.

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    Thanks for the help. I think I will look for a Gillette NEW in relatively nice condition. Do these pop up often on the BST?

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    I have one of each razor and I am one of the folks who prefers the Old Type to the NEW. The thin head design of the Old is perfect for shaving under your nose and it is a well made razor. The NEW is ok but I see it as a "Tech with Teeth" whereas the Old Type is the true original.

    In fact Old Type and 40's Super Speed are my go to razors.
    Wp
    Old Type Gillette, NEW and 40's Superspeed

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreekGuy View Post
    . . . The old types were designed for use with old style blades that were thicker and could be re-honed. The new types are designed for modern, thinner blades . . .

    Hope this helps. And anyone feel free to add anything or correct me if I'm wrong on some of this.
    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.

    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

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    I agree with Brad in that my favorite open combs are those with the New Improved head. My closest shaving razors are a Tuckaway and New Standard. There are other Gillettes with this head including the Bostonian. They are all worth seeking out.
    "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying" .... Woody Allen
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    Which razors have the New improved head? And what is the difference between the head on the NEW and the New Improved head? After taking a look at these on the Wiki, it appears that the New improved head preceded the NEW razor. It also appears to be more like the old type head than the NEW. How does the head on the New Improved differ from the head on the old type?
    Last edited by candt; 12-26-2010 at 11:15 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by candt View Post
    Which razors have the New improved head? And what is the difference between the head on the NEW and the New Improved head? After taking a look at these on the Wiki, it appears that the New improved head preceded the NEW razor. It also appears to be more like the old type head than the NEW. How does the head on the New Improved differ from the head on the old type?
    New Improved came before the NEW and was built during the final production years of the Old Type.
    It is a 3 hole design like the Old and the base is built up similarly to the NEW.
    I see it as a mixture between the two razors and by most accounts it is a fine piece of shaving equip.
    Wp
    Old Type Gillette, NEW and 40's Superspeed

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    Quote Originally Posted by candt View Post
    Which razors have the New improved head? And what is the difference between the head on the NEW and the New Improved head?

    For reference, here is a picture I took of some open comb Gillette heads:

    -Chris-
    "Fear is the mindkiller"

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    The NEW Improved is really the second generation single ring (not including the short lived double ring). The Old Type is the Hoi Polloi of the Gillette world, with millions and millions made. Both are three piece razors, but the Single Ring and NEW Improved have the handle attached to the blade holder.

    I like the styling of the NEW Improved, the weight and feel. In terms of the thickness of the blade, since in either type the blade is held tight by how tight you screw the handle down, that is what controls agressiveness.

    The NEW Improved is rarer, and was produced for a shorter time, thus it does command a bit of a premium compared to the Old Type.

    The Old Type does have lots of collectability in things like advertising razors, property of US Army marked, part of the service kit, and one could even consider the ABC razors as Old Type. If you want the 100 year old shave, only the Old Type will fit the bill, as the NEW Improved was introduced in 1919. (See the thread shaving with 100 year old razor (Dec 23rd 1909 marked box)

    Both are eminently affordable, though the Old Type is certainly far more available in the $10 range.

    Or, as the say, "Collect them ALL !!"

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    Thanks for that excellent picture. I think I will continue to keep my eyes peeled on the BST for a NEW. All this talk of vintage razors got me wanting to shave with one, so I used my Slim today for the second time since Ive owned it. Been using the Merkur bakelite for so long, almost forgot about it. What a great shave!

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    Quote Originally Posted by candt View Post
    I used my Slim today for the second time since Ive owned it ... What a great shave!
    It's a great piece of tooling, for sure.
    -- Chet
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