The Gillette Toggle - Replating Facts & Issues

This article is for informational purposes only.

Effective 1/14/17, RazorPlate will no longer offer plating service for the Gillette Toggle razor.

I would consider the Gillette Toggle to be the most difficult and problematic razor to replate. 

Although it is a unique and beautiful razor, it is fraught with issues.  To begin with, it is a relatively flawed, mechanical design.  Second, certain parts of the razor are highly subject to excessive brass corrosion.  Further discussion of these facts will be described below.

If you are thinking about replating a Toggle, please consider the following comments:

1) I do not recommend rhodium plating for a Toggle that is to be used regularly
  • The toggle mechanism essentially acts as a latch and causes great wear to plating on the surface where the toggle mechanism contacts the handle of the razor.
  • Rhodium is a hard and brittle plating material as compared to other finishes.
  • Correctly-plated rhodium is very thin.
  • Rhodium that is thickly-plated is even more brittle and subject to crack, so heavy plating does not rectify this intrinsic, physical quality of the material.
  • Rhodium plating is exceedingly likely to fail where the toggle mechanism contacts the handle.  It will crack and flake - probably sooner rather than later.
  • Rhodium requires a nickel foundation-plating and is tightly bound to it.  Because of this, the flaking-away of the rhodium, at this contact point, is likely to lift the nickel underlayment as well.

2) For some unknown reason, the brass components of a Toggle exhibit more significant corrosion issues when compared to other Gillette razors. 
  • Most Toggles will have some degree of an etched and granular surface of the brass.  Many will have overt pitting of the brass.
  • Locations of these brass surface irregularities are most common on the doors, the bottom surface of the base plate - and especially on the toggle mechanism.
  • While these brass flaws can certainly be reduced to a great degree, they are very difficult to completely remove, if one wants to avoid the risk of further razor damage that can be caused by employing heavy-handed corrective measures.
  • It is highly likely that the pre-existing damage will be, at least, slightly visible after a replate.

I believe that Gillette plated most Toggles razors in gold due to the above-described reasons and the next two statements:
  • Gold is a softer and more malleable metal than rhodium.
  • Due to the excessive wear imparted by the lever action and direct contact of the toggle mechanism to the handle, gold plating will eventually wear, but is not likely to fracture and flake-off as rhodium can.
If a Toggle is to be regularly used, I highly suggest 24K gold or basic bright nickel plating.

If a Toggle is for display-only, rhodium is a beautiful finish..