Tech

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.

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.

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:

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:

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:

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:



B&B Review

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:

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:

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