The Same Ted Pella Blade?

Discussion in 'Safety Razor Blades' started by Im_leary, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Several weeks ago I cleaned up one of my trusty GEM 1912s' and placed it in the razor stand for daily duty. It was only then that I realized my stock of Ted Pella GEM PTFE-Coated stainless steel blades was down to only two. I stopped by my local CVS and picked up some Treet blades to tied me over, but these neither shave as well nor last as long as the GEM blades for me. I had almost resigned myself to place an order for another 200-blade package from Ted Pella, when I recalled seeing these blades available on eBay.

    The vendor mentioned in the text of his advertisement that his product is "USUALLY CALLED TED PELLA BLADES", although they are not sold in the normal GEM carton (which specifies all the product details on the top cover). I bought a lot of 50 and I have tried them... and there is something amiss here. These blades are GEM stainless (and are so marked), but they do not feel the same as the Ted Pella blades I have been using. I went so far as to put one of the eBay blades in my other GEM 1912 and conduct a short head-to-head comparison (right side, left side shave) between these eBay blades and one that was indeed purchased from Ted Pella, Inc. I found, to my dismay, they are not the same. The Ted Pella blade was smoother, shaved effortlessly, and was completely free of irritation. The eBay blade, however, was apparently not as sharp. The distinctive feel of each whisker being cut was quite noticeable. This became more problematic around my chin... ouch! I finished this shave with the genuine Ted Pella...

    Clearly, there is a difference. The outward appearance of the blades, however, are identical. Are Pella blades manufactured to a different standard than those sold by other outlets... or are these eBay blades something else completely? Perhaps seconds?
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  2. garyg

    garyg Contributor

  3. brianw

    brianw Moderator Emeritus

    The two group buys on SE blades that I was involved with were not TP blades although they were bought from a distributor that receives his stock from the same source as TP... I believe that the blade you need are PTFE coated,,, these are the smooth ones
  4. The Ted Pella name gets thrown around a lot, it seems. So far, of all the "Same as Uncle Ted" blades I've had the chance to try, the ones from the group buy organized by Brian are the only ones that seem to be the same in every way.
    That's not saying that other blades don't perform well, for example the Gem blades sold at Walgreens have a very different grind angle, but work just fine.
  5. Shortly after I wrote the original post this morning I ordered a 200-lot of GEM PTFE-Coated Stainless blades from Ted Pella, Inc. I was then off to my local CVS for another ten-pack of Treet blades (at a horrendous $4.95+tax for ten blades). The only pleasant respect of the trip to CVS was the chance meeting of Jim the pharmacist... the same fellow who made me aware of the Badger & Blade web site. Although he is a straight razor adherent, he is well versed in most variations of wet shaving. His advice was, "... get your blades in the factory box, which is marked with the complete specifications of the blades you are looking for". He informed me that Persona (the company which manufacturers these blades) has many manufacturing facilities around the world. And, no doubt, there is as much quality variation as there are manufacturing facilities. Jim told me that CVS sets quality parameters and a price point, which the manufacturers that CVS represents must meet. Ted Pella, like many other specialty distributers, has researched the offerings of many manufacturers and has selected the products they feel best represents the quality level, which best suits their market... it is simply a matter of good business.

    Amongst all of the good information I was given, I was able to glean several points, which I shall adhere to when I next purchase blades: First, just because a blade is marked "GEM STAINLESS", does not mean it is, in fact, the same blade sold by Ted Pella. Second, many variations of GEM blades are also marked "GEM Stainless". Jim doubts very much if these eBay blades are indeed PTFE coated. And finally, never, ever, purchase "bulk" products from a vendor not known to you personally... especially if that vendor is found on eBay.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  6. On topic about these!

    Depends on who has the blades on eBay. Just as long that they are ptfe coated, those are the ones you need.

    Hope you do find the ones you are looking for!

  7. garyg

    garyg Contributor

    Not sure that the box has the same bacon, in the thread referenced all had the same code#s/Mfg# etc.

    I think iM has the right track, different factories for different retailers, but likely not made in the USA
  8. I believe the ones I purchased from Amazon are might have been uncoated Gem Stainless Steel. I have no proof of this since the order I placed through Amazon came in small plastic bags, but they shaved rougher than authentic coated Gem SS blades that came out of a box. I know that the uncoated SS blades are available from Ted Pella, or EMS, but not sure why anyone would want them.

    I recently bought three 100ct boxes of the Gem coated SS blades from
    Price was comporable to Ted Pella, ends up at about 18cents a blade.
  9. Precisely the same experience I had with my eBay blades. And, since my last post, I have been able to determine, definitively, that these eBay blades are indeed not PTFE coated (as advertised). I placed a dab of Caswell 370 Stainless Steel Blackening Solution on both an eBay blade and my last original Ted Pella. The edge of the eBay blade immediately turned a dark black color. That was several hours ago. The Ted Pella is still a nice shiny silver color. Caveat Emptor!
  10. It would be difficult to determine which blades are which without specific factory codes. ASR/Personna lists a fairly wide variety of SE blades in their specialty blades catalog (2.9 MB pdf), SS, carbon, coated, uncoated, two and three "facet" grind, aluminum, steel spines, spineless, and so on. To the naked eye, of course, they all appear the same.
  11. This is great to hear. I'll have to snag some Blackening Solution from my nephew and check these Amazon blades. Great Idea! :thumbup:

    Thanks for posting this. :thumbup1:

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