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gem razors -- some questions

SE Gem razors get a lot of positive coverage; I own a couple that I would not part with. Can't help but wonder why they're not being produced anymore. But on to the questions:

1. it seems that most (all?) Gems have a spring mechanism. Are there issues with the spring failing, and what of replacement / repair?

2. Cruising thru Ebay some postings emphasize that their Gem is uncoated; some of the Gems pictured look mint, which would suggest coating. Is coating a bad thing? Is shaving efficiency diminished by coating?

Thanks all :a12:
 
SE Gem razors get a lot of positive coverage; I own a couple that I would not part with. Can't help but wonder why they're not being produced anymore. But on to the questions:

1. it seems that most (all?) Gems have a spring mechanism. Are there issues with the spring failing, and what of replacement / repair?

2. Cruising thru Ebay some postings emphasize that their Gem is uncoated; some of the Gems pictured look mint, which would suggest coating. Is coating a bad thing? Is shaving efficiency diminished by coating?

Thanks all :a12:

Someone explained that spring failure is uncommon because it is never taken beyond their elastic or plastic limit. The MMOC uses a TTO mechanism.
 
Springs can fail (or more likely weaken) on these old razors, which are up to maybe 80 years old. The fix is a new used razor, cheaper than a repair, even if there were resources for repair work. The good news is replacement Gem razors generally are inexpensive.

A coating or the absence of a coating has no effect on shaving efficiency. It's the blade that cuts, not the razor's head.
 
Springs can fail (or more likely weaken) on these old razors, which are up to maybe 80 years old. The fix is a new used razor, cheaper than a repair, even if there were resources for repair work. The good news is replacement Gem razors generally are inexpensive.

A coating or the absence of a coating has no effect on shaving efficiency. It's the blade that cuts, not the razor's head.
Have you had them fail due to overuse, Brother SMS?
 
The Gems I own may well outlast me. It appears the only choice for a springless quality SE Gem blade style is in the $150 - 200+ range (Above the Tie, Blackland, Rocnel). I suppose I could take part-time employment to finance quality shaving, but I'm not there yet.
 
The spring mechanism on my Gems are still going strong, so no issues there.

As far as the finish goes, many were plated and some were not. They are all brass regardless. Whether plated, non plated, or a worn finish, it does not change the shave.
 
Jim I was referring to re-coating. Some ebay listings appear shiny new, other vendors announce "we never coat our razors." Maybe refurbishing is a better word. My first question here would be if such modification affects performance.

Thanks for responding.
 
I have three GEM SE razors that appear to have experienced little or no use.

The sprung ones are tight. The MMOC’s TTO is much superior to the ‘38 Sheraton .
 
My first thought during my first GEM shave was how come I never heard of these razors and why isn't everyone still shaving with them? My probably 70 plus y.o. GEM junior still has plenty of snap n the spring probably asa good as new same with my G-Bar. Probably paid less than 10 bucks for both at a flea market iirc.
 
I love my Blackland Sabre, but it is by no means the cheapest good solution. (Then again, I own other excellent modern razors that are not the cheapest good solutions either.)

The only vintage GEMs I know of that I would worry about have heads attached to the handle with rivets - I forget what they are called - but I would worry about the head getting loose. Not so with a Clog-Pruf, GBar or MMOC, and there are other much loved models too (1912, 1914, 1924, ... ?).
 
Jim I was referring to re-coating. Some ebay listings appear shiny new, other vendors announce "we never coat our razors." Maybe refurbishing is a better word. My first question here would be if such modification affects performance.

Thanks for responding.
If re-coating means re-plating, then it does not change the performance of the razor. The layer is so thin that you would not notice it. Also, as the price of Gem razors is so low and re-plating a razor is not cheap, it is not cost effective to re-plate one. A replate for one razor could cost around $75. For that price you could buy several in mint condition.
I’ll speculate that what you’re seeing are some truly barely used razors. Note that Gem never had that big of a market share and some guys bought them, used them a few times and then decided it wasn’t to their liking. Grandpa’s razor got stuck in a drawer till now.
 
Hi,

Had I tried either of my Grandfathers' GEM or Schick Injector razors, I might very well not have bought my Gillette Slim when I started shaving. I think SE razors deliver a superior shave to any of the DE razors I've used, (a small sample of a dozen to be sure). I'm greedily hoping they stay under the radar!

I think that spring failure is a minor concern. Since it rests nearly untensioned when the cap is closed. Looking at my G-Bar and Featherweight, the little spring tab looks like it's integral with the base plate - all formed at stamping. It could possibly be repaired by tig welding, but it would be outrageous for cost.

The rivets holding the handle and head together could be repaired with only a bit of difficulty. Little stainless rivets are available from places like McMaster-Carr. But unless the razor holds family memories, I don't think it's worth the effort.
 
I like the TTOs better, but the springs on all my razors are still tight.

My favorites are bullet tip, MMOC, and ClogPruf, all of which are TTOs.
 
postscriptum: a little net research shows a number of services that will replate an old safety razor ( $60 and up); also DIY specifics if you have the equipment. My first post referenced Gems on Ebay -- clearly some pricier ones have been recoated, and some sellers make a point to emphasize their item has not been replated.

It would be interesting to hear from someone who has experience with replating a Gem. I can see no problem with a three piece safety razor, but would wonder about impact on the spring & hinge with a Gem.
 

Esox

I didnt know
postscriptum: a little net research shows a number of services that will replate an old safety razor ( $60 and up); also DIY specifics if you have the equipment. My first post referenced Gems on Ebay -- clearly some pricier ones have been recoated, and some sellers make a point to emphasize their item has not been replated.

It would be interesting to hear from someone who has experience with replating a Gem. I can see no problem with a three piece safety razor, but would wonder about impact on the spring & hinge with a Gem.

Delta Echo and North Shore both Cerakote GEM's and injectors. I was actually looking into this the other day. Theres a black Delta Echo MMOC on the B/S/T and @120inna55 also has a coated GEM thats very nice.

Chris at razorplate.com doesnt do chrome plated GEM's. See my post below.

This from the razorplate.com:

"No service offered for chrome-plated, single edge (SE) razors, such as GEM, Ever-Ready, etc. These razors require far too much labor and consume large amounts of plating materials."

Below are pictures I found on the net.

Chris first polished the bare Brass on a Clog Pruf.

rp7op4k-jpg.918855


Then Nickel plated it.

woudswu-jpg.918856


It was a gold razor originally. I guess Chrome, which I believe mine is, is too difficult to strip.

This thread also mentions coated GEM razors: Delta Echo
 
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