Question on GEM razors (Featherweight, etc)

Discussion in 'Single Edged Razors' started by mrdoug, Jul 26, 2019.

    I recently received a GEM bullet tip as a PIF. I had the chance to shave with it last night and was floored by the quality of the shave. I immediately ordered 100 Gem PTFE blades for this razor.

    It struck me that, since I've decided to take on this whole new world, and jumped in with both feel (or 100 PTFE coated 'feet'), I should probably have a second razor... That and the aquisition disorder is kicking in. Lol.

    After reading a bit, it seems the Featherweight is a suitable option for an equally smooth, mild and efficient shave as the bullet tip.

    As I struggle to find a fw in excellent condition online that won't break the bank, I thought I would ask the proverbial experts... Am I heading in the right direction? Is the Featherweight a good option? Also, since it's possible I can't find what I'm looking for, is there another SE using GEM blades that is an equal to my needs (I'm very much a low agression shaver)?

    Thanks everyone. As always, your help is greatly appreciated.
  1. Ah! The SE rabbit hole!

    Gems are great razors and can be quite addictive. The featherweight is certainly a good choice for a comfortable and mild shave. I feel it provides a significantly different feel and shave than the bullet tip. If you’re looking for a similar weight and leaning towards a mild shave, I’ll recommend the G-bar/heavy flat top. More aggressive? Then go with the clog pruf or the micromatic open comb. You can always go with a 1912 as that’s a clear winner and works for most anyone.
  2. Awesome, thanks for the info Jim99!

    A quick search through Google shows even less of a chance to find a g-bar, lol. Yikes.

    It is a sweet looking razor, though.
  3. Congratulations on joining the SE club. Most of them can still be found easily and mostly dirt cheap on the auction site. I have most of the models (at least in the broader sense) and find the later models a bit on the mild side, which may be the ticket for you. I'd recommend a 1912 though, should be able to find one easily enough, millions were made over a span of several decades
  4. As someone who also recently fell into this hole, I know your situation. I bought a open comb micromatic, loved it, and a couple days later I bought a 1912. Now I have a Gem Jr lather catcher coming my way and am contemplating purchasing a Damaskeene open comb (just not sure of the price).
  5. shave/brush

    shave/brush Contributor

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  6. I agree with Jim,too. G bar and Featherweight is closest. However I prefer G bar and Micromatic bullet tip. Featherweight is great but feels cheap compared to them.
  7. They are readily available on eBay and are inexpensive. Try to pay less than $10.
  8. Thanks. Must be a lull in sales right now, only a few expensive ones thus far.

    I'll keep a lookout for it, or just pull the trigger on a Featherweight instead... Those seems a dime a dozen, though it's harder to find a shiny new looking one.
  9. Just saw one for $12. Don't search on G Bar. Search on GEM razor.
  10. My vote definitely goes with the 1912. Love the style and the 3 I have shave rather nicely. I managed to grab one for a little over 6 bucks on ebay the other day. I have had mixed results with the open comb micromatic. One of them I have is super aggressive and when Im not careful gave me some burn. The other is quite nice. Featherweights are good. A little less aggressive, but definitely a nice shave. Probably one of the cheaper options too.
  11. You should be able to get a 1912 or a featherweight at good price. I find them regularly at antique malls, so they are common.
  12. I really wanted to weigh-in, but just about everybody I know and respect on this topic has already given you stellar advice. There's a few more veterans of the vintage SE rabbit hole, and I'm sure they'll be along as well; but I think you've got the idea. Be patient, (most) GEMs are not expensive, and they can often be "cheaper by the dozen" -- folks often find groups of them at estate sales and then put them up as a "lot" -- when you do the math (and factor in shipping) they can be even more inexpensive than buying them as singles. And I'll be surprised if you just stop at 1 or 2 more; although maybe you've got more self-control than me....I hope so, for your sake :lol1:. Offhand I can't think of a GEM model that I don't have yet. I think you'd like the Featherweight -- they come in a handful of colors: Featherweight deluxe (white handle with gold wash head and a gold GEM emblem on the bottom), FW with a white handle (typically with gold washed head but no gold emblem on the bottom), FW with a dark gray/blackish handle (nickle-colored head). I assume they shave the same, but I seem to recall someone pointing out differences in the head in another thread between older vs younger Featherweights. By the way, welcome to the 9th circle of RAD!!!
  13. I love the Featherweight, but I don't think it is most people's favorite GEM razor. It is small, light, and has the balance point very near the head. I own two Featherweights, and they are the lightest GEM razors I own at 33g each. Also, the different GEM razors have different handle shapes, and the handle differences may be important to you. (They are to me.) At any rate, keeping the weight and balance in mind may help you adjust to whatever next GEM razor you choose.

    I would stay away from the the MMOC, since you are a "low aggression" shaver. The GEM Contour models, at the time I was looking, were typically cheap because the heads are not as sturdily attached to the handles as on other GEM razors. However, the Contour I have is a very mild shaver, and mild seems to be an important requirement for you. The Contour is also the second lightest vintage GEM I own, although it is much larger than the Featherweight. The Clog-Pruf and G-Bar, which others have mentioned, strike me as reasonable choices. (I can't comment on the widely popular 1912s.)

    If you ever spring for a modern GEM, the Blackland Sabre with the L1 plate is impeccably made and very mild. It is also heavier than any vintage GEM I have run across, and far more expensive. You will certainly save a great deal of money if you go the vintage route and can bide your time.

    Welcome to the rabbit hole, and good luck.
  14. Welcome to the zoo! Lots of information easily accessible here about where various Gem-type razors fit on the mildness scale. You've got an exciting adventure ahead.

    Which reminds me. I need to PIF a couple 1912s and put one or two newer Gems on the BST. I need to clean out the ones that I find a bit too mild, in order to make room.

  15. Found one!

    Ended up going with one of the two I was watching. A little bit of paint spatter on the handle, but otherwise appears in good condition. We'll see for sure when it arrives.

    Thanks folks. Appreciate all of the info and support. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  16. Congrats! Enjoy.
  17. The Gems, with the exception of the Jewel/Streamline razors, can all be had fairly reasonably, so no need to limit yourself - go for them all! The only iffy one in the bunch is the Contour II, the last one in production. Some folks like it; I think it's a dog.
  18. Yep, biggest bow wow of all the GEMs. Made cheaply and I'd not hit a dog in the arse with that
  19. Ron R

    Ron R Contributor

    Good choice, One of my favorites for starting a new GEM SS PTFE blade and I really enjoy it regardless.
    Gem Razor Models
    Have some great shaves!

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