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Monday, March 19, 2012

Fat Boy

Go on any wet shaving forum, and browse the buy/sell/trade section.  There will be all manner of razors, blades, soaps, creams, brushes, etc etc etc. Do a simple search in said section of the forum for a Fatboy.

What you will see is Gillette's highly prized Fatboy adjustable double edge safety razor. And you will see that it has been sold.

The Fatboy, you see, is perhaps one of the most popular and sought after Safety Razors I have seen. If you catch one on sale for a price you can afford, buy it. I assure you, if you don't like it, you will find a buyer. Quickly.

It's a very nice design, as DE Safety Razors go. Beefy yet sleek, simple but complex. The thick handle is topped with a twist to adjust dial, crisply numbered from one to nine. The bottom of the handle is a twist to open knob, which, at the other end, opens the top butterfly doors like a missle silo. It is here that the blade is placed.

Generally it sports a chrome finish, but can also be found in brass and rhodium. Mind you, rhodium plated razors are stunningly beautiful, as well as the most costly of the lot. If I aquire one, I don't know that I'd actually shave with it so much as admire it from a modest distance.

It is beautiful, markedly masculine in a category of manly items.

They are prized razors, usually selling within hours of a posting, fetching $35 to $300 or more, depending on the finish and condition. With its dedicated following, I knew I couldn't go wrong with one. A garden variety "user grade" model will go for about $50 on Ebay, which is about what I paid for mine. I couldn't wait to try it.

So I went through the regular routine, using my boar brush and C.O. Bigelow shave cream (which has yet to fail me). I dropped in a brand new 7 O'clock blade, battened down the hatches, and went to work.

The first pass at setting 4 knocked a little of my stubble down, but there was still quite a bit to go. No problem, I still had a few passes to go per my normal routine.

Next pass, not much better. I turned the knob to five. That didn't help. Not at six, not at seven. Or nine. Or one. No setting on my newly acquired Fatboy was doing the job. My whiskers were winning.

I had now spent over twenty minutes just on the shaving portion of my routine, when usually the whole process, start to finish, takes that long. And I still had very noticable stubble. Something was wrong here.

I was now running late to work. I had to get this shave over. So I reached for my trusty 40's vintage Gillette Super Speed, and the job was over in one pass.

I don't yet know what went wrong. I am investigating this curious set of circumstances, but have been limited by time and availability of a decent digital camera. For all its wild popularity, the Fatboy can't just be another pretty face. I am going to find out why I'm not getting a shave with mine, and post the solution (and pics) here.

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