The first time I shaved with a Valet Autostrop, it was an adjustable VB1 with a modified GEM blade in it and it was a disappointingly mild and ineffectual experience. So I dismissed the VAS as a razor that didn't suit me... ...but with all the success of stropping Rolls, Wilkinson and GEM blades on pasted strops, I wondered how the Valet would perform using its proprietary blades and stropping mechanism.
I was very lucky to obtain a sealed box of NOS Valet blades and they are absolutely amazing. They are blued up to the cutting edge and have a "VALET" cutout and the same profile (of course) as the Feather SE blades.
Stropping a new blade in the razor 50 laps on a feox pasted strop, the VC2 was transformed into a very aggressive razor indeed, way fiercer than the OCMM. The height and grind of the blade is different from the GEMs and it is the geometry that this razor was designed for. Also the razor has a guiding ridge at the top of the head which forms the upper stropping roller - rest this against your face and it gives the perfect shaving angle for those Valet blades.
And those blades WOW! They are unquestionably the sharpest carbon blade I've ever experienced and a lot sharper than most DE blades too.
I shaved effortlessly ATG on my top lip, something I have never before been able to with any other razor or blade. Perfect true BBS.
So if you can get some NOS Valet blades you are in for an amazing experience. In their advertising Valet claim a 40-50 shave blade life. The ferric oxide on the strop could extend that even further. If anything, and like some of the results I've beem getting from honing on lapping film, the new Valet blade is just too sharp but I'm sure it will settle down after a few shaves
Yes indeed! I'm quite shocked at how aggressive the VAS is with that blade in it. And how sharp those blades are! Two hours on from the shave, I think they might be as sharp as the Feather DE blades, and they certainly out perform all the other SE blades by a very long way.
You have just sparked my interest in vintage Valet blades. I had a similar experience as yours with my VC1 which was a standard performer at best. The original Valet blades might bring my Valet razor to life. If these blades are sharper then Feathers they must be brutal. Now you can also use every Valet razor model made without having blade incompatibility issues.
Post by norfolkdick on Jun 11, 2014 0:34:24 GMT -6
Strops seem to be like buses one minute there are none and then several come along together! Last night my daughters partner presented me with a Valet Autostrop razor that he bought at a car boot sale for £3.00 it is the last model made, with the Runner Guard (safety bar) it is in a box all complete and virtually mint.
The item that interested me most was the strop, it is absolutely unused not a single mark or nick on it, it is the first time I have possessed such a strop I have half a dozen Valet original strops and they are all in poor order. The strop was bone dry and still folded in the card sleeve. I took it out and was afraid to straighten it without first soaking it in baby oil(mineral oil) which I did. After a couple of hours I straightened it out and rubbed it down with many sheets of kitchen paper every piece became fiery orange in colour supporting the theory that these strops were indeed treated from new with Feox.
This morning the strop is still not properly straight and where the folds were in the leather there are wrinkles, it will never be a perfect strop. I think we have to remember that these strops were probably made to only remain folded up until they were sold, perhaps a couple of years at most. When the original owner took his new razor home I guess he would take out the strop and hang it on a hook where it would probably remain.
It is impossible to 'make a silk purse from a sows ear' any strop that has been folded this way for 60 plus years I would suggest will be nearly impossible to completely rejuvenate to it's original condition, though this is the best original Valet strop I possess by a mile.
It looks like Gaisman (who was an amazing man) invented the self stropping razor early on, and all the other manufacturers had to work round him, which might explain why the Durham, ASR and Rolls stropping systems are nowhere near as elegant and convenient as his Autostrop. The Wilkinson Empire comes close (perhaps the patent had expired by then) but involves slightly more work and lacks the one-touch convenience of the Valet.
And those Feather blades were made for a Japanese version of the Autostrop. Does anybody have more information on this razor, photos etc? Was it licensed from Valet?
Stropped the blade and put it in a VC1. The shave was just as aggressive as the VC2 but not as smooth. For me, the VC2 is an improvement all round. Aggressive but smoother and the blade loading is better.
Using a modified GEM blade I'd found a VB1 to be unsatisfactorily mild and inefficient, but with a proprietary Valet blade this VC1 was very aggressive and quite harsh. The result was another great carbon steel BBS but I definitely prefer the VC2. I've got a VC3 to pick up on Monday, and I wonder what prompted Valet to change the design of the VC2 to the VC3 around 1934. Was it a makeover to coincide with Gillette's first TTO razor?
That makes sense Paul. So it's a proper evolution with the blade loading mechanism becoming progressively better. I'm so intetested to see how the VC3 shaves in comparison to the VC2 which, with a NOS Valet blade, has shown me shaving nirvana.
wchnu: I would sue if they did not use a proper razor.
Sept 15, 2017 18:51:35 GMT -6
GarnerPW: I was not conscious when I was shave. They slipped me a mickey.
Sept 16, 2017 10:46:48 GMT -6
birdlives: They probably did that because they had a ninja shaver armed with an unmentionable contracted from B&B to make the shave....get your attorney to get full disclosure and video of the shave. If you were touched by a unmentionable, 'sic Fuzzy on them!!
Sept 16, 2017 14:02:47 GMT -6
RocketMan: My wife is a nurse at a local hospital and brought me home a razor they use for such fun - it is an UM style (unmentionable!) made of plastic and dull as a a Derby blade run over some sandpaper - maybe one of those was used???????
Sept 17, 2017 18:28:54 GMT -6
wchnu: Yup Ibet your right. Prolly gave him koodies too.
Sept 17, 2017 18:39:39 GMT -6
wchnu: If I liked him more I might actually feel bad about that.
Sept 17, 2017 18:54:02 GMT -6
wchnu: Did I type...THAT... Outloud???? Oops
Sept 17, 2017 18:54:28 GMT -6
birdlives: I hear nothing....I see nothing.....Hospital Koodies.......Yeaagh!!!! A DE with a Derby!!! NOPE!!! I hear nothing...I see nothing...If I go under the anesthesia, I'm taking someone I can trust to WATCH all that business....I can trust you guys, RIGHT ?
Sept 17, 2017 19:18:03 GMT -6
wchnu: Why yessss you can...uhhuh,..sure can...most the time anyway.
Sept 17, 2017 19:35:00 GMT -6
birdlives: What about that Canadian Rocket Dood? Can I trust him too?
Sept 17, 2017 19:38:22 GMT -6
wchnu: Hard to say....but prolly so.
Sept 17, 2017 22:40:17 GMT -6
GarnerPW: I just read what you wrote there Fuzz or should I say Mr. Fuzz. And all this time I thought you liked me.
Sept 18, 2017 4:38:29 GMT -6
GarnerPW: Don't trust him there Bird. You know what they say, "You can't trust the Man/Fuzz". The Canuck, is alright though.
Sept 18, 2017 4:43:20 GMT -6
birdlives: I don't know......Have you seen what that crazy Canuck does in a bath tub?
Sept 18, 2017 13:31:26 GMT -6
GarnerPW: No what???
Sept 18, 2017 13:33:24 GMT -6