How to Acquire, Restore and Use a Gillette Safety Razor

 

Gillette introduced its "Safety Razor" in 1904 and for over 70 years the same style was in the marketplace. For most people, the modern style of razor works fine but for myself, I have had nothing but trouble. It wasn't until I was at antique show and sale that I purchased a safety razor. Once I had cleaned and sterilized it, I gave it shot. To my surprise, it was the best shave I ever had. Now I pass onto you, the secrets of owning and using such a device.

 

Step One: Acquire

 

For the quickest and easiest method of picking up a safety razor use eBay. Good search words: Gillette razor, Gillette brass, Gillette safety. Poor search words: oven mitts, useless remote controls, carburetor belts.

 

The average price going now for something that is in pretty good shape is between $20.00 and $50.00 US.  Make sure that the case is not too banged up and the razor is in good condition. A razor is useless if it is worn out.

Remember, you have to be safe about your safety razor.

 

Make a bid, sit back and win.

If you want to skip the restore part, look for something that is near unused shape. Ask questions before you bid. Here is one that I found on eBay, paid $12.50 US and only had to bleach and polish it up. It was practically new when I received it. It is a Gillette "Aristocrat", all brass, nice.

 

Step Two: Restore

 

This is a 1921 Gillette "Tuckaway" three piece razor. All brass pieces including blades case.

 

First, remove the velvet and silk lined metal pieces from the case.

Then remove the velvet and silk from the metal.

After that, polish the inside and outside of the case. Make sure that you remove all the glue from the inside.

This can take a little work.

Once all is polished, get out the steel wool and shine up the two metal pieces.

Using some material glue, apply and mould the silk (top of case) and velvet (bottom of case) to the metal pieces.

Please follow instructions on material glue can.

Once that is done, the two pieces should fit right in. For this project I did not use glue to mount the two metal pieces into the case.

And there you have it, a brand new Gillette safety razor. This took only a weekend to put together.

Step Three: Shave Time

 

You'll need some blades, shaving cream, brush and a styptic pen for cuts. If you don't want to get fancy, blades are all you need. For more details about the finer points of shaving, check out "The Gillette Way".

Remember, this type of shaving requires some trial and error. Don't expect to have the technique down within the first few shaves. I hope this works for you like it has for me.

Copyright © 2004 - 2015, Jason Schaub. All Rights Reserved.