The 1920s Vintage Gillette Double Edged Safety Razor

Gillette vintage razor

Pass It Forward – A Gift from A Friend

A PIF was sent to me immediately by a newly met friend in the shaving forum. I didn’t know that he would send me a 1920s vintage Gillette razor. He was so concerned about me starting wet shaving in the wrong way. I told him that I bought an MTO for my first DE. It was the only one that has good credentials that is available in my country. Other DEs are OEM razors that were made in China. Yes, MTO was also made in China but it has a brand.

PIF

I really had no expectation of what the PIF was. Even the concept of PIF was a strange thing. Why would you give a present to someone that you never met?

The Badger and Blade forum gives the full explanation about PIF that made me realize there are tons of people doing it. You may check the explanation of PIF here.

I will summarize a bit of what PIF is:

  • It is totally a gift.
  • Never ask for a PIF.
  • If you receive a PIF, you have to do a PIF in the future.

I love the last point. It is a humbling gesture. I promise that I will do a PIF. Hopefully not in the distant future.

The 1920s Vintage Gillette Double Edged Safety Razor

I almost forgot about the PIF. I just checked my notification on the forum and saw the only message from this friend that I already read. It was like a million years ago. I haven’t received another message since then. So I asked him if I replied to his message. He said I did and he already sent the PIF. He wouldn’t reveal what the PIF was, I was curious but I had to wait. shaving

And just like that, the next day I got his package. I gave him my work address. When our receptionist told me I got a package from Canada, I was ecstatic. I ran down to the lobby to receive the package. It was a small package, almost like a soap box. I thought that it was really soap.

I opened it and there it was. A 1920s Vintage Gillette double-edged safety razor. I almost jumped in happiness.

The Beauty

I was mesmerized by the beauty of it. How could you not? It is a work of art. I could not believe my eyes. A beauty that is way much older than me. Older by half a century. In my hand, I hold a newly received treasure.

Arrghh.. I have to stop. If not, I will continue to blabber about its beauty. Just feast your eyes on it and tell me, if you dare, that I am wrong. These images don’t do this 1920s Vintage Gillette double-edged safety razor justice, if you would like some clearer images where you can really see the beauty, please email me at arief@beshaved.com.

Gillette vintage razor

Gillette vintage razor

Gillette vintage razor

The Performance

I was learning to use a DE with Micro Touch One. I always afraid of using it. I was afraid that my arm will move in a fashion that will ruin my face. It cut my face once. Even though I built a longing for shaving because of MTO, I will always be afraid of it.

I never understand the term a mild or an aggressive razor. Yes, I already discussed this in my previous post. People in the shaving forum are using an aggressive razor as it will cut your hair in an instance. So sharp. But I felt the term was not correct.

I used this Gillette vintage yesterday. The first WTG pass was incredible. I felt it moved so smoothly. It cut my mustache so close without giving me a razor burn. So gentle. I even dared myself to do an ATG pass. The first time I did this with a safety razor.

I even did clean up passes.  Several passes to cut missed parts by the initial WTG, XTG and ATG passes. I never felt so clean shaven.

I felt this was not the case with MTO. I had to be so careful handling the razor. I was never confident. I was so afraid of cutting my face again. I only did 2 passes with MTO. It already gave me enough razor burns. It really felt that you have just been beaten by it. So brutal.

That’s why I think the term aggressive and mild razors are mistakenly used. But the people has already spoken. Who is this newbie that try to challenge an established society? 😀

The True Gentleman’s Gesture

Gillette vintage razor

That is the letter that came with the razor. I barely know the guy. He is such a gentleman that he reacted immediately knowing I got an MTO for my first razor.

Yes, MTO is “a wrong” that he saw. He never said it before this letter. He just read my thread in the forum and welcomed me to the traditional wet shaving community. Then I got a private message from him asking for my address. He said he had something to send me. A PIF.

I was skeptical at first. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. I replied with my address. I even forget this conversation ever happened.

But like I said, the package arrived and I am truly grateful. This was a razor just like my late father used. This really brings back the memory of him.

Where Do You Get One?

No. You can not ask me to PIF this. Remember the rule up there? Besides, I think I will keep this baby and inherit it to my daughter. She is 15 months old now. So you will understand how long that I intend to keep this vintage razor.

This will also be a reminder to me. As I am using it or just looking at it, I will be reminded to be a gentleman. A gentleman that will do at least one PIF. But since PIF is a great thing to do, I might do PIFs.

So, where do you find vintage razors?

I have to say shaving forums, such as BadgerandBlade, and eBay.

I don’t know about eBay. It has so many sellers that you might end up meeting a bogus one. You have to exercise your wisdom and care to find the right deal. There are many good deals, though.

I love the forum’s shop. Vendors or sellers there have been scrutinized by the forum’s people. Usually, they are safe to do business with. I am now crawling around shaving forums to satisfy my newly grown RAD (Razor Acquisition Disorder).

If you prefer to buy a new modern safety razor, I will recommend:

Or you can view my opinions on safety razors for beginners.

Do you have an experience with a vintage safety razor? Please share it with me in the comments section below.

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Arief Wibowo

I am a wet shaving enthusiast that is on a journey to find a better shaving experience. Never received any training on the subject. That's why you may read that the journey may be colored with some blood. Ouch.

18 Comments

  1. I do not have any experience myself with a vintage razor. But this was definitely and interesting article. Also touching as well when it brings you back to memories.

  2. I did not know that something like a PIF exists – which is something I heard first time. And it amazing that a vintage shaver actually exists. Is it still effective when you used it? Wouldn’t it be better to use it as a souvenir?

    • So did I, Uwais. I never thought that there is such a generous gesture from people of nowadays.

      To just put it in a display would be a crime, I think. So, No. I would not make it a souvenir for display.
      The razor still does an amazing job. I love it very much.

  3. Great information I’m jealous i want that razor. Your writing style is awesome i love how you write in your voice its so friendly funny and inviting. Thank you for sharing your passions with us it truly is wonderful to see. Best wishes

  4. I was curious, how did you manage not to cut yourself. These are sharp as hell. I’m not an expert so there might be like really sharp one compare to this one but still seems to be aggressive.
    After I read some of your post, I’m getting to the point that I like to try one.
    One thing I was wondering was, how do they remain so sharp after these many years?

    • Razors are timeless. They are still producing new blades. So they are sharp.

      Practices make perfect. I still cut myself. There are times when I have good shaves and bloody shaves.

  5. Hi Arief,
    This is a really touching article, my dad has a lot of vintage stuff that keeps I his study, I think a really cool present for his next birthday would be something like a vintage razor collection.

    Where would you suggest to be the best place to track down such a thing?

  6. I don’t shave but I’m pretty happy for you for managing to get hold of such a vintage razor! Take good care of it. 🙂

  7. I laugh so much reading your stuff sometimes! (LOL I think your 15 month old daughter will someday appreciate the beauty of it too when your ready to pass it down!)

    I have never seen a beautifully crafted shaver like this, it’s all plastic now strips of shaving cream that last for about 3 shaves. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to have a shave with this thing without some champagne in one hand. So fancy! Haha

    It’s too bad they don’t sell them in shapes like these anymore, it’ll make great gifts and give shaving a more class and elegant feel to it I think. Congratulations on receiving something so beautiful, and thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

    • Actually, they still do make this kind of razors. Just like I posted above, I gave several links to a new safety razor. But you have to hunt for vintage ones.

  8. Do you think vintage razors can still be used today? if yes, would they be as safe as the new models? Do they still use the same blade type or they evolved it into something better? Thanks

    • They are still performing at an excellent rate, even better than new models.
      They still use the same blade. Manufacturers still produce blades for this model.

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