[top]Introduction


The Gillette Tech was notable as the first Gillette razor sold with a solid safety bar rather than an open comb guard. From a manufacturing standpoint, the Tech was the first safety razor made with a guard plate stamped from sheet metal. Previously guard plates had been machined or swaged (die-forged) from stock. This technique was patented as US 2,270,388, filed 9 Aug 1938 and issued 20 Jan 1942, and gave the Tech its characteristic diamond-indented guard plate. This depression stiffens the plate. Some UK variants do not have this feature, and may have been stamped from thicker sheet-metal, or may have been machined or swaged.

Gillette claimed the Tech made advancements in 4 "points" of Technology, all of which were widely advertised, including "The ridgid blade support speeds shaving", "Non-skid tread protects face", "Cleans quickly - never clogs" and "Solid bar guard assures comfort". Throughout the razor's production, Gillette positioned the Tech as a low-cost model of it's razor lineup, selling for years for 49 cents for the nickel version, and 98 cents for the gold-plated version.

The Gillette Tech was also a common gift to American soldiers from WWII through Vietnam from the American Red Cross in care packages.

[top]Spotting Guide

Since there are so many different types of Tech, it can be hard to figure out which variant is which - and when each was made. Achim's spotting guide to Techs can be useful. Tech razors before 1950/51 do not have a serial numbering stamping, therefore, determining the exact date is practically impossible, although certain features may indicate a certain range.

[top]Ball-End Tech

Ball-End TechBall-End Tech
Manufacturer:Gillette
Dates in Production:1939-1979
Type:DE, 3-piece
Weight:60-62 g
Height:83-mm



Description: Three piece design, top blade holder has one threaded prong (for handle). Inside: "PAT. NOS. ON PACKAGE", underside: "REG. U.S. PT. OFF. | [Gillette diamond] MADE IN U.S.A." Available in silver or gold color. Models before 1962 are brass handle/stamped steel cap & guard, while models 1962 and later are aluminum handle/stamped steel cap & guard.

Notes of Interest: Mild shaver.

Photos:
Gillette Tech

[top]Black Ball End/Contract Tech


Manufacturer: Gillette

Dates in Production: 1941-1945

Type: DE, 3 piece

Description: Similar to Ball End Tech, but barrel has several fullers. No Gillette logo on the guard.

Notes of Interest: Made under contract for WWII. The stock number refers to the War Department's predecessor to the National Stock Number system. The stock number also included Tech models with a bakelite handle. The Jersey City Quartermaster Depot was the cognizant contracting office for all soldier hygiene products.

Photos:
Gillette Tech

[top]Heavy Tech


Manufacturer: Gillette

Dates in Production: 1939-1973

Type: DE, 3 piece

Weight: 2.1oz / 59.5g

Description: Three piece design, top blade holder has one threaded prong (for handle). Inside: "PAT. NOS. ON PACKAGE", underside: "REG. U.S. PT. OFF. | [Gillette diamond] MADE IN U.S.A."

Notes of Interest: Mild shaver.

Photos:
Gillette Tech Heavy

[top]Travel Tech


Manufacturer: Gillette

Dates in Production: Early to Late 1960's

Type: DE, 3 piece

Description: Similar to Tech Ball End, but has a much shorter and lighter handle with the regular Tech three-piece head. Handles were made from both aluminum and steel. A rare four piece "heavy" travel design was available at one time.

Notes of Interest: Came in a wide variety of cases, including metal boxes, leather zipper cases, vinyl zipper and folding / snap cases.

Photos:
Gillette Travel Tech



B&B Review

[top]Early Tech

Manufacturer: Gillette

Dates in Production: 1938-1941 (nickel plated)

Type: DE, 3 piece

Description: Three piece design, top blade holder has one threaded prong (for handle). Inside: underside: "REG. U.S. PT. OFF. | [Gillette diamond] MADE IN U.S.A." Civilian models from before WWII show nickel plate.

Notes of Interest: Slightly more aggressive than later, more common Techs, but still a mild shaver on the whole. Look for Triangular holes in the safety guard. Prewar Civilian models often appear with "fat" handle type.

Photos:
Gillette Early Tech (1938-41 commercial model shown)

[top]Ball End Tech 1946-1950


Manufacturer: Gillette

Dates in Production: 1946-1950

Type: DE, 3 piece

Weight: 2.10oz, 60g

Description: Three piece design, top blade holder has one threaded prong (for handle). Inside: "PAT. NOS. ON PACKAGE", underside: "REG. U.S. PT. OFF. | [Gillette diamond] MADE IN U.S.A." Available in silver or gold color.

Notes of Interest: While this era of Tech razor is undated, you can discern its date range from the base plate. Note that the slots on the '46-'50 Techs are oblong. Techs from the '38-'45 have slots that are slightly triangular.

Photos:
Gillette Tech 1946-1950

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