The Adjustable Razor is Universal!
How will your shave differ depending on the Adjustable Razor Type you choose?
Use the following Blade Gap Sizes Chart. It will help you "guesstimate" which type of Gillette Adjustable razor will shave you better. My takeaways and conclusions are as follows:
1) The Standard Slim (or the Aristocrat Slim)*is closest razor to the "Average" adjustable razor.
2) The Bottom Dial 1-5 Prototype was the mildest of the bunch.
3) The most aggressive commonly available adjustable razor is the "Black Beauty".
4) The Bottom Dial 1-9 was the most aggressive of the bunch.
5) All the adjustable razors are great!
6) Fatboys are cool!
7) Everyone should try a vintage Gillette Adjustable razor.
* Standard Slims are built using the same physical parts as the Aristocrat Slim - only the plating metal (nickel or gold) is different.
How to use this Blade Gap Table:
1) Finding an equivalent gap on another adjustable razor type.
For example, If you have a Standard Fatboy razor and shave with it at a "7" and want to know how another Gillette Adjustable will behave, simply look at the column for the other razor and match up the gap numbers. So, a Standard Fatboy at "7" is a ".033". That is roughly equivalent to a Standard Toggle at a "5" (".032").
2) Finding if an adjustable razor type is not aggressive enough or too aggressive.
For example, if you have tried Slim at "9" and it is just not provide a close enough shave, look at the blade gap amount for the Slim at "9". It is ".039". Now, find another adjustable razor type that has a higher gap amout than ".039". The "Super-84" fits the bill. It is a ".045". So, a "Black Beauty" will give you more range. A Super Adjustable at "9" is like a Fatboy at "12" or "13" (if there was such a thing).
Also note Gillette has designed each and every one of the razors to provide about a ".003" difference from one setting to the next. That is the difference between a razor at any given setting and the setting above or below it will be about ".003". This is true for all of the Gillette Adjustable models.If you don't exactly see that in the Blade Gap Table, it is due to a slight measurement error. For those who care, the average standard deviation is .0072" so considering the "Average Razor" and an average +/- 1 STDev as a significance threshold, only the Bottom Dials are significantly different than the rest of the adjustables.
A Feeler gauge was used to measure "Blade Gap" on various types of "new" Gillette Adjustable razors. Important differences between types of razors were found.
NDC - No Date Code Prototype
N&G - Nickel Plated and Gold Plated Versions
N&B - Nickel Plated Dial and Black Painted Dial Versions
Exec - Executive
FB - Fatboy
Std - Standard
5P- 5 Position Maximum Adjuster Dial
9P - 9 Position Maximum Adjuster Dial
Arist - Aristocrat
SA - Super Adjustable
Blk - Black Plastic Bottom Plate
Vert - Vertical Knurling Handle
Diam - Diamond Knurling Handle
|9|| .034 ||.034||.038||.037||.037||,039||.039||.041||.044||.045||.043||.059|
(Measurements are in inches - Table Updated 4-14-17).
See how "Blade Gap" changes based on Adjustment Dial position. A higher dial setting equals more Blade Gap equals greater blade Exposure equals closer shave.
Gillette Adjustable Razor Blade Gap By Razor Type
"Blade Gap" is the dimension in red on this Gillette diagram.
The following is a graphic from an internal Gillette marketing document in the 1950's showing how the range of settings of the adjustable razor satisfies the shaving desires of 99.7% of all consumers. Also, the average consumer will prefer a setting of "5" and 68% of all consumers will be satisfied with an adjustable between the settings of "4" and "6". The marketing document went on to explain how a consumer can use the adjustability of the razor to compensate for conditions such as balancing skin comfort versus closeness, shaving different area such as the face and the neck; needing a lighter shave in the evening; getting the best performance out of a new blade; and special face conditions such as sunburn.
A Reference Resource and Historical Archive.
Gillette Adjustable Razors
See the following chart for reference to discover how a normal distribution of customers in a population will behave.
|D||1958||Fatboy||Exec FB||Red Dot FB|| Std Toggle|
|F||1960||Fatboy||Exec FB||Red Dot FB||Std Toggle||Chrome Tog(N&G)||Bottom Dial(9P)|
|G||1961||Fatboy||Exec FB||Slim||Arist Slim|
|X||1977||SA Blk Vert|
|Y||1978||SA Blk Vert|
|Z||1979||SA Blk Vert|
|A||1980||SA Blk Vert||SA Blk Diam|
|B||1981||SA Blk Vert||SA Blk Diam|
|C||1982||SA Blk Diam|
|D||1983||SA Blk Diam|
|E||1984||SA Blk Diam|
|F||1985||SA Blk Diam|
|G||1986||SA Blk Diam|
|H||1987||SA Blk Diam|
|I||1988||SA Blk Diam|