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Confused by my first GEM shave

Somewhat of an update here. First off, the coated blades I was pif'd arrived today, so I'll be trying them out either tomorrow morning or Saturday.

I got a bit impatient earlier this week, and tried out a fresh blade (from my Emporium order batch) on Tuesday thinking that, perhaps, the first one I tried was a dud. I actually ended up getting a pretty nice shave. Minimal alum feedback with no weepers or nicks, though not a real close shave by any stretch of the imagination. I was psyched up so Wednesday morning I decided to give it another shot with the same blade I used fresh Tuesday. Nope, terrible shave, tug city. Literally felt like I was dragging a cleaver over my face. Only got about a pass and a half in and decided to finish up with the 34c with a fresh feather.

After both of these shaves I removed the blade, rinsed it and stuck on a magnet, using the cardboard sheath as, I guess, a protective layer between the magnet and blade. I took a peek at the blade Wednesday evening and where it was contacting the cardboard a bit of rust had developed. Now I have not dried the blades at all, and assumed that they were probably not carbon steel but likely uncoated stainless since there were no signs of rust after previous shaves. But now I'm second guessing that. I know stainless will rust under the right conditions, and maybe that's all that happened, but is it possible that the blades are actually carbon? I'd expect more rust than just what contacted the cardboard since I left it wet after both uses, but maybe that could help explain the terrible second shave if there were micro rust spots on the edge.

Enough rambling for now, will report back after I try out the ptfe stainless blades.
 
Glad the blades made it to you fairly quickly! Fingers are crossed for your next shave with the Flying Wing (aka the bullet tip). You mentioned in the first post this is the guiding eye, I think. When I read up on it, the "eye" is a circle on the head that you try to keep against your skin. This supposedly to help the shaver learn the correct angle for the head. If this is misinformation, I hope others will correct my post!

Starting Sunday I plan to do a couple weeks of GEM shaves, starting with a GEM Jr and a Damaskeene recently gifted to me. Waiting impatiently in the wings are the Flying Wing, the Micromatic OC, the Contour, and the young pup, the Sabre. I have been getting some of the best shaves ever with the GEM razors. Hope your experiences are the same!
 
Glad the blades made it to you fairly quickly! Fingers are crossed for your next shave with the Flying Wing (aka the bullet tip). You mentioned in the first post this is the guiding eye, I think. When I read up on it, the "eye" is a circle on the head that you try to keep against your skin. This supposedly to help the shaver learn the correct angle for the head. If this is misinformation, I hope others will correct my post!

Starting Sunday I plan to do a couple weeks of GEM shaves, starting with a GEM Jr and a Damaskeene recently gifted to me. Waiting impatiently in the wings are the Flying Wing, the Micromatic OC, the Contour, and the young pup, the Sabre. I have been getting some of the best shaves ever with the GEM razors. Hope your experiences are the same!
That’s the one! For the shave that ended up working well for me, I actually steepened up the angle a touch and that definitely helped. Not real steep but a few degrees off the cap.

Enjoy all the gem shaves! Hoping I get the hang of it because I think the gem format has some of the coolest razors out there.
 
Went for a shave with the ptfe blades this morning, and all I can say is wow. It was everything I expected based on all the positive things I read about shaving gem-style. I know a lot of people say these blades can be rough on the first go but honestly I thought it was nice and smooth. I also like feathers so I think super sharp blades just work for me.

To recap, the blades I bought from Razor Emporium were sold to me as ptfe coated stainless blades, but whatever they are, they are not anywhere close to what @MaineYooper so generously sent my way, so they'll be moved down to the paint shelf in the basement where they belong. I ordered a 100 pack of the coated blades from connaught and am patiently awaiting their arrival from across the pond.

Also just picked up a 1912 on the 'bay, look forward to giving that a go when it comes in.
 
I've shaved every morning this week with the Flying Wing/Bullet Tip with ptfe blades and overall have had great experiences. Perhaps a bit more irritation overall than what I was getting with DE but I think that is mostly just me getting used to the slightly different mechanics of GEM shaving.

I used a new cream this morning (proraso red) and while I like the smell and slickness, about an hour post-shave now and my entire face is stinging. That was the only change from my normal routine this morning so I'm assuming that is the culprit.
 
I've shaved every morning this week with the Flying Wing/Bullet Tip with ptfe blades and overall have had great experiences. Perhaps a bit more irritation overall than what I was getting with DE but I think that is mostly just me getting used to the slightly different mechanics of GEM shaving.

I used a new cream this morning (proraso red) and while I like the smell and slickness, about an hour post-shave now and my entire face is stinging. That was the only change from my normal routine this morning so I'm assuming that is the culprit.
My GEM Bullet Tip and GEM razors generally are my favorites. While, as always, YMMV, here's a tip, Use the absolute least pressure when you shave with a GEM. GEM razors and their heavier SE blades are heavy razors. Let the weight of the razor and blade do the work. Continued good shaves!
 
I've shaved every morning this week with the Flying Wing/Bullet Tip with ptfe blades and overall have had great experiences. Perhaps a bit more irritation overall than what I was getting with DE but I think that is mostly just me getting used to the slightly different mechanics of GEM shaving.

I used a new cream this morning (proraso red) and while I like the smell and slickness, about an hour post-shave now and my entire face is stinging. That was the only change from my normal routine this morning so I'm assuming that is the culprit.

Good morning, Shawn. Sorry to hear about the skin stinging this morning. I think you are correct in who the culprit is! I bet we all have had a soap or two that did made our skin turn red and irritated. I have used only unscented soaps since January of 2016 and have had that experience. Often it is the stuff used to get the scent, but as I found out, other ingredients can also cause a reaction.

I used my Flying Wing this morning as well, and also had a bit more irritation than I expected. I am hoping to chalk it up to an older blade (7th 3-pass shave this on this one) and user error! I thought I'd shaved with it before, but my notes journal/log says today was the first use. I found it very audible, and just a tad harsh or too much blade feel. Not really sure how to describe it, but I will use it again tomorrow with a new blade, and probably Sunday as well, just to make sure the blade is good. I had a rougher shave, in that it felt harsher and definitely more blade feel with the 12-nib Clog Pruf.

You are right, the mechanics of the GEM razors is different than the DE, more in line with injectors. What I am trying to master is getting a great shave in the moustache area. The heads on GEMs make me use a different approach and sometimes I wonder if we can actually train our whiskers. By that I mean, I typically only shave WTG and XTG one way with DEs and injectors. Going XTG in the other direction or ATG doesn't feel good so I haven't done it. But with the GEM head, I have to come in at an angle and have to go East-West. The hairs are getting used to it, I assume, as it doesn't feel as uncomfortable as when I started my GEM journey.

What I do know is that most single edge razors that I have give me a better shave and are much more comfortable than the DEs that I love. In fact, one DE, the Karve Christopher Bradley razor, became The One, and I sold off most DEs except the Karve, a Slim, and a Tech. But injectors, The General and The Hawk (AC style blade), and most GEMS give me even better shaves and with more comfort, most of the time!

Sorry for the wall of text! After shaving this morning I read this and thought, wow, I had something very similar happen.

Hope your day is better and the weekend relaxing!
 
Good morning, Shawn. Sorry to hear about the skin stinging this morning. I think you are correct in who the culprit is! I bet we all have had a soap or two that did made our skin turn red and irritated. I have used only unscented soaps since January of 2016 and have had that experience. Often it is the stuff used to get the scent, but as I found out, other ingredients can also cause a reaction.

I used my Flying Wing this morning as well, and also had a bit more irritation than I expected. I am hoping to chalk it up to an older blade (7th 3-pass shave this on this one) and user error! I thought I'd shaved with it before, but my notes journal/log says today was the first use. I found it very audible, and just a tad harsh or too much blade feel. Not really sure how to describe it, but I will use it again tomorrow with a new blade, and probably Sunday as well, just to make sure the blade is good. I had a rougher shave, in that it felt harsher and definitely more blade feel with the 12-nib Clog Pruf.

You are right, the mechanics of the GEM razors is different than the DE, more in line with injectors. What I am trying to master is getting a great shave in the moustache area. The heads on GEMs make me use a different approach and sometimes I wonder if we can actually train our whiskers. By that I mean, I typically only shave WTG and XTG one way with DEs and injectors. Going XTG in the other direction or ATG doesn't feel good so I haven't done it. But with the GEM head, I have to come in at an angle and have to go East-West. The hairs are getting used to it, I assume, as it doesn't feel as uncomfortable as when I started my GEM journey.

What I do know is that most single edge razors that I have give me a better shave and are much more comfortable than the DEs that I love. In fact, one DE, the Karve Christopher Bradley razor, became The One, and I sold off most DEs except the Karve, a Slim, and a Tech. But injectors, The General and The Hawk (AC style blade), and most GEMS give me even better shaves and with more comfort, most of the time!

Sorry for the wall of text! After shaving this morning I read this and thought, wow, I had something very similar happen.

Hope your day is better and the weekend relaxing!
Thanks for the thoughts, Eric! I've had issues with sandalwood scented soaps in the past, so I wasn't too terribly surprised when the stinging started a few minutes after finishing up. As much as I love the scent, I guess it just isn't for me. Everything settled down by around 8 o'clock.

I hear you on the moustache area. I can get pretty close to the nose with a downward pass, albeit at a pretty steep blade angle but those last few whiskers need some follow up. I go xtg towards the center in that area typically anyway, but still struggle with the last few with the bigger GEM head.

I got my 1912 in the mail earlier in the week, I will finish cleaning it up and give it a whirl this weekend if I have time (read: energy) for a shave after all the chores are done around the house.
 
I jumped with both feet into GEMs, as they are so inexpensive on that auction site, although I think your chances of a better razor are when they come up on the BSTs. I bought a 1912 and after receiving it, found that one of the blade blocks was missing! It was in the listing photo, but not pointed out, so I have learned to look closely at the photos.
20211016_193913.jpg
It’s on the left side. I am not brave enough to try shaving with it! A great friend on another forum gifted me the GEM Jr, which is very closely related to the 1912 (I think. GEM history confuses me at times!).
 
@MaineYooper
Why don't you set the blade in and see where the little notches on the blade land? If they are over the base plate, you should be able to drill and tap for a screw that can be set loose enough to slot the blade in. If not, then maybe some kind of improvised clamp along the side?
 
@MaineYooper
Why don't you set the blade in and see where the little notches on the blade land? If they are over the base plate, you should be able to drill and tap for a screw that can be set loose enough to slot the blade in. If not, then maybe some kind of improvised clamp along the side?
Thanks for the good idea!

I am all thumbs in the modification department, and lack the tools. All other razors work as is, so I don't want to fiddle around with this one. I do have it listed as a freebie in another forum's BST, if anything else is bought. I will most likely do the same here, but have to wait to post in the BST again.
 
Hey guys...random question.i just got my 1st 1912 gem razor,she's all cleaned and polished up.but i can't source any gem blades here in nz.so i snapped a de feather in half and it fits nice and snug.yes it will move back if you try to force it.my question is...do i dare try a head shave?(aslong as the blade is snug in there)🙄
 
Reporting back for @Razorburns benefit! I put a new blade in the Flying Wing and had a much better shave. Only issue I had was some irritation on my face, but I believe this is due to rosacea problems I have and not the blade. The irritated areas are the same ones as my trouble spots for rosacea. Other areas for the shave were comfortable, quieter (don't know how to explain that, given the same razor used!) and close. So I think I may have pushed the blade too far for my preferences. Similar to DE blade reporting, number of shaves on a GEM are all over the number line! You see guys posting 3-5, and others say 2 weeks or even longer. Given I have most of the case of 100 I bought, I don't care right now if I get 6 or 10! I want comfortable. In my Sabre, I think I went as long as 14 days. In any event, hope it continues to improve for you!
 
Reporting back for @Razorburns benefit! I put a new blade in the Flying Wing and had a much better shave. Only issue I had was some irritation on my face, but I believe this is due to rosacea problems I have and not the blade. The irritated areas are the same ones as my trouble spots for rosacea. Other areas for the shave were comfortable, quieter (don't know how to explain that, given the same razor used!) and close. So I think I may have pushed the blade too far for my preferences. Similar to DE blade reporting, number of shaves on a GEM are all over the number line! You see guys posting 3-5, and others say 2 weeks or even longer. Given I have most of the case of 100 I bought, I don't care right now if I get 6 or 10! I want comfortable. In my Sabre, I think I went as long as 14 days. In any event, hope it continues to improve for you!
I’ve found that I do much better with the first two shaves on a blade in the flying wing. After that I end up needing to do too many touch up passes and buffing which don’t agree with my skin.

On another note, I just finished up my inaugural shave with my 1912. Blade had two previous shaves in the flying wing. Noticeably more efficient than the flying wing and quite smooth. Really great shaver!
 
I’ve found that I do much better with the first two shaves on a blade in the flying wing. After that I end up needing to do too many touch up passes and buffing which don’t agree with my skin.

On another note, I just finished up my inaugural shave with my 1912. Blade had two previous shaves in the flying wing. Noticeably more efficient than the flying wing and quite smooth. Really great shaver!
I agree, the GEM Jr (which has an almost identical head if not just a different name!) and the Damaskeene are amazingly smooth shavers. And audible! I shut the bathroom door, because I am positive my still sleeping wife could hear me shaving!
 
My question is do you have anything to shim it with to make up thickness? I don't have a 1912, but the one I have would not hold a DE tightly enough. I use injector blades often.
After i posted that,i couldn't help myself lol.i gave it a few light strokes against my head,and i think i answered my own question.there was waaaaay too much blade chatter!!...so my next mission is to restore the 1 original gem blade i have from rusty,back to razor sharp😎.10,000 grit should do it hehe
 
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