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Confused by my first GEM shave

I recently acquired a beautiful GEM Micromatic Flying Wing/Bullet Tip (with the “Magic Eye”) from the ‘bay. I also bought a couple ten packs of the coated GEM blades from Razor Emporium. Just tried them out for the first time and I’m genuinely confused. I had about 30-hr stubble and I have pretty coarse and thick facial hair. After my first wtg pass, probably 95% of the stubble was still there. Tried a second pass on the neck (diagonal to the grain) and got about halfway thru and gave up since it simply wasn’t cutting the hair. Grabbed my trusty 34c with a nacet in it and made quick work of finishing the shave.

I made a point to go fairly shallow per GEM’s instructions but steepened it a bit when I noticed it wasn’t cutting and that made no difference. The blade felt very rough and given that it was not cutting did not seem particularly sharp either.

Is it possible the blade is not actually a shaving blade (despite buying from a shaving vendor)? It does say GEM on one side of the spline but the other side is blank. Maybe the blade is just a dud? Or do micromatics require a 4-5 pass shave?

Not really sure what I’m expecting for responses but I’m genuinely confused because I expected this thing to mow the hair down
 
I would definitely get some blades from a different vendor. I have used the GEM blue blades, but I am not recommending them. They aren't very sharp. With very short strokes, even they will take down any beard eventually. You can also put an injector blade in there if you have one around.
 
Bad blades do happen occasionally so that's possible. Also, GEM blades are notorious for being a bit harsh and tuggy on the first shave before smoothing out over subsequent shaves. Some people palm strop their blades for this reason.
 
I would definitely get some blades from a different vendor. I have used the GEM blue blades, but I am not recommending them. They aren't very sharp. With very short strokes, even they will take down any beard eventually. You can also put an injector blade in there if you have one around.
Hang on there cow boy......I can use an injector blade in my magic eye / flying wing gem razor? Well I never. Will try that sometime next week. Got a loose pack of personna blades lying about.
 
Hang on there cow boy......I can use an injector blade in my magic eye / flying wing gem razor? Well I never. Will try that sometime next week. Got a loose pack of personna blades lying about.
I wish I could give you a reference and not ask you to trust me, but if you already have them give it a go! You need to go edge first, drop it on to the post and tighten it while keeping the edge forward. I just hold the razor so gravity keeps the blade down.
 
I wish I could give you a reference and not ask you to trust me, but if you already have them give it a go! You need to go edge first, drop it on to the post and tighten it while keeping the edge forward. I just hold the razor so gravity keeps the blade down.
I’ve got injector blades and I’ll 100% give this a go, but I really thought GEM blades were among the sharpest and most efficient out there, no? Is it common for them to not cut stubble down at all?
 
I’ve got injector blades and I’ll 100% give this a go, but I really thought GEM blades were among the sharpest and most efficient out there, no? Is it common for them to not cut stubble down at all?
They are some of the sharpest things out there. What I was getting at was even with a blade that they would have been using in period, the GEM razor still works. Different technique, but it works. If the injector blade doesn't cut, you know you have a razor problem. Hopefully you don't and can just get blades from elsewhere. I got 100 for only $25 including shipping, compared to 20 AC blades for the same price.
 
They are some of the sharpest things out there. What I was getting at was even with a blade that they would have been using in period, the GEM razor still works. Different technique, but it works. If the injector blade doesn't cut, you know you have a razor problem. Hopefully you don't and can just get blades from elsewhere. I got 100 for only $25 including shipping, compared to 20 AC blades for the same price.
Gotcha, appreciate it. The razor actually looks like it’s never been used, no plating loss, no scuffs, etc. Operates smoothly and everything looks straight. I expected a bit of roughness and tugging on the first shave with the blade based on what I’ve read but I really expected that it would at least cut down some stubble despite some anticipated discomfort.

I found myself in a cvs today and they had one 10 pack of gem-style blades left in the shaving section so I grabbed those. I understand they’re carbon steel and different than the coated blades so I’ll give them a whirl. I’ll also try another one of the gem coated blades I got to see if the first one was just a dud.
 
Gotcha, appreciate it. The razor actually looks like it’s never been used, no plating loss, no scuffs, etc. Operates smoothly and everything looks straight. I expected a bit of roughness and tugging on the first shave with the blade based on what I’ve read but I really expected that it would at least cut down some stubble despite some anticipated discomfort.

I found myself in a cvs today and they had one 10 pack of gem-style blades left in the shaving section so I grabbed those. I understand they’re carbon steel and different than the coated blades so I’ll give them a whirl. I’ll also try another one of the gem coated blades I got to see if the first one was just a dud.
The carbon blades are good for learning the razor, you might find it frustrating. You need to take very short strokes, but don't get frustrated and apply pressure. Play with the angle, start flat and tip in until you hear it cutting. I have to go safety bar first on my neck then back over low angle. If you do that wrong, you will get a new understanding of irritation. I only use my GEM once a week because despite how long it takes, I never can get a close enough shave. The open comb version is supposed to solve that, but I daily an AC razor. Best of luck with your new razor.
 
Carbon blades give me the smoothest of shaves in my gem razors. Just remember to dry them after use as they do start to darken shall we say. Let us know how you get on.
 
I never got a good shave from a Bullet Tip. Don’t know why. Maybe I have a bad one. Clog Pruf, Featherweight, 1912, all give me great shaves. Especially the Featherweight believe it or not. Love that razor. I also started with Carbon Steel blades. Terrible for me. I use the Personna Stainless. Much better.
 
I have a handful of Gem razors--from 1912 to some of the last ones made that have a plastic handle. I find the shave of the 1912 to be the closest, most comfortable. The rest of my Gems are either too harsh and irritating or so protective I get a poor shave. I know others have different experiences--but of the 5 or 6 Gems I own, only one the 1912 ever gets used.
 
I’m pretty sure they sent you carbon steel GEMs. I have some GEM carbons and they also say GEM on one side and are blank on the other.
I think you should hold all judgements until you get some proper GEM (Personna) PTFE blades.
You may be right, I just looked over at tryablade and the GEM carbons have the same stamping mine have, with what looks like an arrow thru the letters whereas the stainless ones have the plain GEM stamp. I’ll track down some coated stainless and give them a go.
 
I recently acquired a beautiful GEM Micromatic Flying Wing/Bullet Tip (with the “Magic Eye”) from the ‘bay. I also bought a couple ten packs of the coated GEM blades from Razor Emporium. Just tried them out for the first time and I’m genuinely confused. I had about 30-hr stubble and I have pretty coarse and thick facial hair. After my first wtg pass, probably 95% of the stubble was still there. Tried a second pass on the neck (diagonal to the grain) and got about halfway thru and gave up since it simply wasn’t cutting the hair. Grabbed my trusty 34c with a nacet in it and made quick work of finishing the shave.

I made a point to go fairly shallow per GEM’s instructions but steepened it a bit when I noticed it wasn’t cutting and that made no difference. The blade felt very rough and given that it was not cutting did not seem particularly sharp either.

Is it possible the blade is not actually a shaving blade (despite buying from a shaving vendor)? It does say GEM on one side of the spline but the other side is blank. Maybe the blade is just a dud? Or do micromatics require a 4-5 pass shave?

Not really sure what I’m expecting for responses but I’m genuinely confused because I expected this thing to mow the hair down
I also have a Gem MM Flying Wing and it cuts efficiently and safely through my coarse beard using modern GEM blades. It's one of my favorite razors. Since YMMV, it's hard to generalize and offer suggestions, but here are a few anyway. I always "hand strop" my GEM blades before using for the 1st time, so try this. Also, GEM razors need to be held at a totally different angle than DE razors. I hold mine at approx. a 90 degree angle rather than a 30 degree angle for DE razors. GEM razors give you a lot of sound feedback, so if it sounds right, you know you have the right angle. Good luck and don't give up on the GEM.
 
Gem Persona PTFE blades are the only blade that will shave anything more than peach fuzz comfortably It's not like DE where you have hundreds of choices...or even half a dozen for AC type. Connaught, PAA and Ted Pella all carry them.

Or you could rig an injector
 
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