Face feeling raw.

Discussion in 'Single Edged Razors' started by snip3r, Dec 9, 2014.

    After using the GEM 1912 SE.

    Coming from someone that uses the merkur slant.

    I didnt really apply any pressure but I went through 2 passes ( WTG and ATG ) and buff some difficult locations.

    Any tips on how to tame this beast? Is this worse than a R41 ?

  1. My guess would be that your blade angle is too steep. Possibly the biggest difference between DE and SE shaving is blade angle. SE's require a very shallow angle - the cap should be almost flat against your face.

    In fact, a good way to establish blade angle is to start with the cap actually flat against your face, and raise it up just enough to cut whiskers.

    If the blade angle is too steep you are scraping your face with the blade, hence the irritation.

    The 1912 is a great razor (I used one myself this morning). As far as agressiveness, I find it to be nowhere near an R41, perhaps closer to a Mercur 34C.

    I consider a Gem Micromatic Open Comb to be in the same league as an R41. As always, YMMV

    Another possibility that just occurred to me is that if this is your first shave with the 1912 and you are using stainless steel blades, those tend to be a little harsh for the first couple of shaves. Then they mellow out.

  2. I agree that your angle is probably too steep. I find the 1912 to be a very smooth and comfortable razor.
  3. What blade did you use? You might find blades harsh for 2 shaves and then settle down into something close to ideal.
  4. I also think most GEM 1912s are the smoothest SEs out there, and are nowhere near as aggressive as the R41. Aside from the excellent advice about shallow angle, check that the blade is installed properly. Make sure the corners of the cutting edge are under BOTH little securing tangs.

    I have no problem with GEM stainless blades, and am on my 20th shave with my current blade.
  5. I've had similar experiences with the GEM Micromatic Bullet Tip and an Ever Ready 1924 (graciously offered to me by @wagstaff). I had some decent shaves with the bullet tip, then a few bad ones. My first shave with the shovel head was not good. I assumed it was likely an angle issue. I decided to set them aside for a while and then come back to them after the holidays when I can spend some real time figuring them out.
  6. The 1924 is without a doubt more aggressive than the 1912. But any SE blade is a different kind of animal from DE blades, and it takes some adjustment.
  7. what they all said plus....you are using shaving razor blades and not paint scrapers, right?
  8. I have a Featherweight, shaves like a dream but with a very steep angle. I start with the blade cover against my cheek and go from there. These are very efficient and smooth razors. I did find that with the carbon steel blades from CVS, they are one and done. The second shave was like shaving with a rake. FYI.....
  9. Thanks for all your response.

    I will try the angle approach. I will reduce the angle to the minimum with reference to my face and will report back.

    The blade that I use is GEM don't think it's a paint scraper.
  10. I haven't mastered either of my two GEMs yet either and I'm thinking it is blade angle. Compared to most DE razors I think the single edge Gem requires almost a flat angle. In fact, I think the original ads and instructions show starting with the Gem handle parallel to the floor and the head flat against the face. Then bring the handle down until the blade just contacts the face, maybe about 20 degrees.
  11. I agree about the shaving angle, but I'd also suggest that, if you're using stainless blades, try carbon steel blades - they're much gentler.
  12. +1. Also you might want to try both a GEM PTFE SS and a Carbon Steel blade. Though the GEM PTFE SS blade is the most popular among members, it was consistently tearing my face up. Fortunately I had a single carbon steel blade and though the first shave was a tad rough (I didn't realize how sharp these are), it has provided me with some very smooth and close shaves. So for me the Carbon steel works much better than the coated stainless steel one. Now I am ruing having bought 500+ coated SS blades which I may not use.
  13. +1. True for me.
  14. Thanks for that recommendation men. I hadn't even considered that. For one thing, the GEM PTFE blades are widely considered the absolute best SE blades available. For another, most of my favorite DE blades are Platinum coated, so I just assumed I probably wouldn't like the Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel versions.
  15. I find the GEM PTFE "rough" for 2 shaves, then pretty much ideal. Some people palm-strop or cork the blade and say that helps. I'm not sure I've figured that part out.
  16. Good luck it seems like the fellas have got you covered.
  17. As others before have said, work on getting the correct blade angle to your face.
    Also use lighter pressure than you would with a DE, remember the SE blades are thicker, and stiffer than DE's (one of the reasons that they typically last longer than a DE as well.
    Also until the angle and the pressure become 2nd nature to you, I would consider not doing ATG, just try WTG and XTG.
  18. OK 2nd shave tried the a very steep angle almost sticking to the face. It was OK untill I felt it's kind of like tugging my beard.
    Also the blade that I'm using is the GEM SS one.

    The portion above the lips are OK but below the lips there are about 5 or so nicks ( dots ) probably also due to the ATG.

    A day after the 2nd shave, neck area feels very RAW.

    I'd give my face a rest till Monday and go back to DE for awhile before revisiting it again..

    So in my next SE shave. What I should observe more?
    1) angle
    2) no ATG
    3) no to extremel light pressure
    4) ??

    Thanks guys.
  19. Be patient - it takes several shaves to get it right.

    Try to keep a consistent angle vs. the contour of your face. Think "beard mapping". Use the shallowest angle possible and a very light touch.

    I don't do a full ATG above my lip - I do WTG, then XTG and then a 45 degree angle XTG.

    I also was reluctant to try carbon steel blades, but I wouldn't go back to a SS blade, regardless of the coating.

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