Anyone use a Genco razor?

Use a straight. You know it makes sense.
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Bill_K
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Bill_K » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:29 am

I've decided to dip my toes into the sacred waters of straight razor shaving.

Rather than lay out hundreds for a new razor I bought one from an antique store; it's a Genco "Gold Seal". It seems to be in decent enough shape; the edge seems to be straight and flat (according to my eye when I laid it on the glass of the display case). There's some discolouration but nothing near the edge that would preclude some sharpening. It looks like it had gold plating at some point in time, as you can see in a close-up of the shoulder, tang, and tail. I paid $65CDN for it (approximately $50USD).

I see some references here - mostly positive - and I'm wondering what current SMF members think of it.

Bill

edit: I forgot to mention that when I send it out for honing, I'm going to ask that the point be rounded just a little. I realise that the square point isn't the safest for a newbie.
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Pointer
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:57 pm

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Pointer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:19 am

Genco's are a great razor. They were the number one producer of straights in the US (3000/day) up until the late 30's. They had their own foundry and forge. Great shavers, great grinds and easy to hone. Only issue is they used a lot of cracked ice and candy stripe celluloid which was more prone to cell rot

Bill_K
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Bill_K » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:52 pm

Good to know - thanks, Pointer! If I really fall in love with it then I'll look at custom scales. Or, I could just take the plunge and buy a new one.

Bill

EL Alamein
Posts: 2702
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by EL Alamein » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:52 pm

I've honed many a Genco for customers and I've never come across a bad one.

Chris

Bill_K
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Bill_K » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:36 am

EL Alamein wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:52 pm
I've honed many a Genco for customers and I've never come across a bad one.

Chris
Thanks Chris. I'm sending it out for honing in the next week or so.

EL Alamein
Posts: 2702
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by EL Alamein » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:58 pm

Bill, enjoy!

Let us know how you like it once you've had a chance to shave with it.

Chris

Bill_K
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Bill_K » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:39 am

I got the Genco back from honing last week and I'm happy to report that I've used it without slicing off chunks of my face or ears. As recommended by Lynn Abrams in his video[1], I shaved just my cheeks for 4-5 days before I dared shave my neck. I did have a couple of minor mishaps: I nicked the front of my left ear in a moment of inattention - the Genco has a square point - and my sideburns looked somewhat ragged after Day One so I had to shorten them up a bit. #-o

I was surprised/dismayed to discover the following:
- I need to use a little more pressure with the straight than the safety razor. Until I figured that out, I wound up with a lot of tugging before I essentially scraped just the soap off my cheeks.
- Stretching my face upward at the beginning of the shave, pulls the top of my cheek under the arms of my glasses. It's just one of the many benefits of aging, I suppose.
- Pre-shave preparation is far more critical with a straight than with a safety razor.
- Pimples don't stand a snowball's chance against my Genco.
- I am utterly hopeless with my left hand.

I did try a full shave a couple of days ago, and while I didn't come anywhere close to an acceptable shave, I did walk away with all of my body fluids in place.

Ah well, I have a lifetime to learn.

Bill

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDq-2ZRVYXA

brothers
Posts: 19136
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by brothers » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:21 pm

I wish you well on your straight razor journey Bill. Looking forward to periodic updates. It's definitely a learning process.
Gary

Pointer
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:57 pm

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Pointer » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:13 pm

Bill_K wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:39 am

I was surprised/dismayed to discover the following:
- I need to use a little more pressure with the straight than the safety razor. Until I figured that out, I wound up with a lot of tugging before I essentially scraped just the soap off my cheeks.
More pressure is not needed. It feels different since with a DE the force is centered on a smaller, heavier (due to top cap) blade and you are pulling. With a straight you are push cutting from a fulcrum point 2 inches from blade center. if you shave with just the heel end of the straight razor in a small spot you won't fell this increased "pressure" as much. Your muscle memory will develop and this feeling should subside.
- Stretching my face upward at the beginning of the shave, pulls the top of my cheek under the arms of my glasses. It's just one of the many benefits of aging, I suppose.
When my Father got much older (70's) he would snap the earpieces off an old pair of glasses and pinch down the nose pieces to shave with. Poor man's prince-nez.
- Pre-shave preparation is far more critical with a straight than with a safety razor.
Absolutely. Faster you learn that the better your shaves will be. Try lathering up before stropping to give the soap more time to work. Freshen the lather up just before shaving by rehydrating it with your brush
- I am utterly hopeless with my left hand.
Everyone is when they start. Some get it quicker but it will eventually come to you if not there are ways to use just one hand. My uncle straight shaved for 60+ years only using his right hand

Good luck and stay patient

Bill_K
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: Anyone use a Genco razor?

Post by Bill_K » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:08 am

Wise words - thanks!

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