Gem Question Vintage or New?

Discussion in 'Single Edged Razors' started by NoScrubs, May 11, 2019.

    Getting ready to invest in Gem type razor. Any input comparing the ATT Gem vs Blackland Sabre vs. others including Vintage would be appreciated.

    I own a Vector, and it was my intro to SE and I enjoy the blade feedback from the SE. So the goal is a razor other than a DE with less width than the Vector. I am keeping the Vector for the quick shave.
     
  1. You don't need to look far beyond a Micromatic Open Comb or Clog Pruf. Or a 1912 where you can fit a heavier modern handle. Always with GEM Personna PTFE blades.
     
  2. You'll get a lot of answers to this question, but to me, the first one you got is the way to go:
    Spend $20 -- probably less -- on a Micromatic first (either an Open Comb or Clog Pruf.....I slightly prefer the Open Comb over the Clog Pruf), and then if you want to spend 5 times as much -- probably more -- on something new, you should.
     
  3. If you want something truly beautiful, but expensive, look for a Streamline on eBay. It is built like a tank and chromed like a Harley, but shaves like a dream.
     
  4. troy

    troy Ambassador

    I say get a 1912. There's a reason they kept the same basic design for nearly half a century! :thumbsup:
     
  5. Whatever GEM you get, check the blade stops on either side. They need to look like proper hooks, not worn down or absent.
     
  6. How does a vintage gem compare to the Blackland or ATT gem?
     
  7. If you want to look at it from strictly a $ standpoint if you buy new and don't like it you are going to take a beating on the resale afterwards depending if the vendor gives you 30 day return/refund period. In this case Blackland I know does so that is a low risk/high reward decision from the do I like it and want to keep using it viewpoint. So in this case you are out $185 which is about what the retail price is.

    Will that $185 get you a better shave than vintage, the answer is probably not.

    If you get a Blackland you want to also pick up a Gem razor preferably a Micromatic open comb to use a baseline comparison. They are cheap and can be found easily in very good to mint condition. As long as you have the pressure and angle down for both you'll be able to come to your own conclusions based upon how the razors actually work using the same type of blade in each not based upon deficiency of technique.

    If you don't like the Micromatic you can offload and break even afterwards but it may take a little bit to sell the razor, as long as the one you have is in good condition you'll sell it sooner or later.

    If you do then and don't like the Blackland you can return that and if you really like that micromatic then you can invest in replate and even with the replate that Micromatic should still be less $ outlay than buying the Blackland Sabre new or even used.
     
  8. The other thing to consider also from a $ standpoint for the price of either the Blackland or ATT you can get a Gem Damaskeene, Gem Jr, Gem Micromatic open comb, Micromatic flying wing bullet tip, Micromatic Clog Pruf, Gem G-bar, Gem Featherweight, Gem Contour and Contour II and probably a few more vintage SE razors that take the Gem SE blades.

    Those razors run the gamut from mild to wild and if you can't find one that suites your shaving preferences amongst those you sure as well won't find one in the modern offerings either.
     
  9. Guys thank you for a ton of input. I like the vintage advice and I think that I will start there.
    How would you grade these as shavers top to bottom? Which one or 2 would you buy?
    Thanks again
     
  10. American Safety Razor Dating Chart - Gem, Ever Ready, Kampfe Star

    The chart there would be a good starting point to know which razors are out there. In the main the earlier the Gem razor was made the more aggressive it will. A good starting point is Micromatic open comb which I think is only moderately aggressive and if that isn't to your liking the milder razors will be the ones sold afterwards and more aggressive before as a rule of thumb.

    The other thing about the Micromatics and not just the open comb is the angle is built into the cap. Before putzing around with different angles and such just lay the razor cap flat on the face and tilt the razor downwards with the handle going towards the face until the bend on the front of the cap is flat with your face and that is about the optimal angle to use them just use light pressure and keep that angle on every pass regardless of direction. I am not overly familiar with the others but the angle should be about the same. Best bet is to also find some original instructions online which will have the manufacturer's recommend way to use the razors. Follow those when you start out.
     
  11. troy

    troy Ambassador

    IME the '12 is the best middle of the road moderate shaver. The '14, '24, MMOC, and to a lesser degree the MMCP are more aggressive. The MMBT, Gbar, Featherweight, and push button are more mild.
     
  12. Love my 1912 , I ended up with a Gem, star and Eveready . One is made in England. They stand close with my karve and Rockwell. My mmoc are good still getting used to the angles. New and heavy duty has it's benefits but cool old and cheaper has it's also.
     
  13. The only thing I'd argue about this is that it's generally not worth buying a tired vintage Gem Micromatic with designs on replating it. Micromatics are so common, and so cheap, that if you're looking for one to use you might as well hold out for a NOS or near-NOS one, because it won't cost much more. Especially true of the chrome razors, which some of the replaters won't even do because the razors can't be easily disassembled and it's extra time and expense to re-chrome them.
     
  14. Great Chart, thank you.
     
  15. The MMOC is undoubtedly the star of the show. You could add a Clog-Pruf and a 1912 with upgraded modern handle, but you'd just be collecting for the sake of collecting, since you'd probably reach for your MMOC first. A modern handle on the 1912 does allow you to have a heavier razor - up to 100g or whatever depending on the handle. The MMOC is what it is - 63g total.
     
  16. If you like chrome then yes but if you really like shaving with these razors and want some bling to your daily use razor or buying it as a gift for someone else then buying a functionally fine one that is missing it's plating and having it redone in something like rhodium or 24k gold is the next step from a $ standpoint after buying a mint one. In either case you would still be ahead $ wise since in either case you should be spending under $100 for either than buying a new Blackland or ATT Gem style SE razor.
     
  17. Interesting option - replating. Obviously has its fans. I guess many of us like the history of using a razor as it comes to us through the ages, though I must confess I'm guilty of putting titanium handles on anything they'll fit on, historic or otherwise.
     
  18. 71E52422-AC5D-4974-ADE6-A25E1E96E7A8.jpeg I got this yesterday in the mail, purchased on eBay for $16. Have another coming that was listed near mint and still in the box for $10. So these are good razors and can get NOS or near mint. Also have a 1912
     

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