First SE shave

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
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Lou
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First SE shave

Post by Lou »

I took my new GEM Push Button for a spin this morning. I didn't expect it to be an easy switch from a DE, as is confirmed by the four nicks on my chin and rough spots on my neck. The razor is designed to be held flat against the face and worked great like that on my cheeks, but judgment was my only guide for the jaw and chin. I think I did better with it than I did with my first DE shave, so I'm not discouraged. It's just a matter of getting a feel for the blade angle. I'll keep at it and post an update in about a week.

SOTD:
GEM Push Button
GEM by Personna blade
Vulfix #2233
Palmolive Red
Thayers w/ Aloe
Floris Santal EdT
styptic pencil
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King-D
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Post by King-D »

I'll be venturing into my first SE shave with a newly acquired GEM Jr., just as soon as I pick up some SE blades. From what I hear, a pack of Ted Pellas from Walgreens should be just fine.
David

Shave in the shower!
CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

Lou and David, from what I've read, SE razors vary somewhat in the required angle of attack. I have a Featherweight and a G-Bar that are supposed to have similar shaving characteristics to the Pushbutton. (They're supposed to be the gentlest shavers of the GEMs.)

My experience with both GEM and Injector razors is that following the rule to hold the razor flat against the face will make you crazy. I would recommend that you approach the angle based on experienced feel. You should be able to hear and feel when the blade is cutting correctly. For me, that isn't quite flat against the face. This approach should result in fewer nicks, too.

I'm really enjoying the SE experience, so I wish you both the best.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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gil3591
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Post by gil3591 »

i disagree that the razor is designed to be held flat against the face. we have seen printed instructions previously that contradict that procedure. i have a 1912 gem and until recently an open comb micromatic. as with a str8 you should hold that razor to get a 30 degree or less blade angle.
Gil
futur/EJ357/ gillette redtip
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Peterz116
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Post by Peterz116 »

Hi,

I tried many razor/DE blade combinations in the past, slants, open combs, with and without Feathers and nothing gave me a shave as close as the Eveready + GEM (by Personna) single edge blade.
I was very impressed!
I won this one last week:

Image

Looking forward to that one!

Have fun
Peter
Lou
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Post by Lou »

gil3591 wrote:i disagree that the razor is designed to be held flat against the face. we have seen printed instructions previously that contradict that procedure. i have a 1912 gem and until recently an open comb micromatic. as with a str8 you should hold that razor to get a 30 degree or less blade angle.
The instructions that come with my razor say: "Gem Razors have a built-in close-shave angle and should be held flat against the face, as illustrated, to get the cleanest, most comfortable shave." I agree with Murray, though, that a bit more angle is needed. I didn't bother with trying to hold it flat this morning and got a better shave. No BBS just yet, but I'm getting closer and shed no blood.

SOTD:
GEM Push Button
GEM by Personna blade
Vulfix #2233
C&E SAO soap
Thayers w/ Aloe
Floris 89 EdT
no styptic pencil \:D/
CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

Lou, you'll get there as you become more comfortable with the razor.

I still can't shave on autopilot like I can with my accustomed DE; rather, I have to be very attentive to feedback to manage the angle just right. I find however that with a carbon steel blade (very noticeably sharper, but not as smooth as stainless) and a very light touch, I can get a phenomenal shave. :)

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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paperpundit
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Post by paperpundit »

Gil and Murray are both correct,

Many of the razors are designed to be held nearly flat to the face. However, a few were made to be held more DE-like. If you do a search, you'll find that numerous sets of instructions have been posted to the site.

That said, I always start at a low-degree of attack -- nearly flat -- and vary from there. Remember, this blade isn't curved, so if the angle is to straight on -- OUCH -- you've cut yourself.

All the best,
Jack

"All you need is love, love...love is all you need."
Lou
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Day 3

Post by Lou »

My third shave has me thinking that I need to sample other blades. I felt like I had a good angle today, but the shave just isn't very close. My face also feels irritated from razor tug, but I think that's because I had a bit too much tilt at some spots and was scraping. After I finished the shave, I used my DE to make a clean-up pass over a rough spot (WTG, same as I did with the SE). That pass was so noticeably closer that it made the SE results look unacceptable.

I'll pick up Treet blades today. Are Walgreens brand blades the same as the Ted Pella blades I see mentioned here, or should I order those from Ted Pella's site? Any others I should consider?
CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

Lou, the GEM blades from Walgreen's are stainless steel, but I'm quite sure they aren't coated. I find the GEM stainless from Walgreen's to be smoother than the carbon steel blades (Treets and GEM Blue Stars - I haven't tried the PALs yet), but very noticeably less sharp, and I have to apply a little pressure to get the cut from the stainless. When I shave with carbon steel blades, I use a very light touch and they just mow right through the whiskers, with less irritation.

Carbon steel blades deteriorate very quickly and are only good for a couple of shaves. I can get a third, very good shave out of a carbon steel blade, but it tugs like the dickens and it feels very rough during the shave.

Ted Pella offers GEM carbon steel blades, PAL carbon steel blades, GEM stainless steel uncoated blades, and GEM stainless steel blades with PTFE coating. When people refer to the "Ted Pella blades," they almost invariably mean the PTFE -coated stainless blades. (I plan to order a large quantity of carbon steel blades from Ted Pella.)

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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gil3591
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Post by gil3591 »

i think there may be a big difference between gem razor styles. i had a tough experince with the micromatic open comb but a very nice experince with the 1912. using the same type blade, i might add.
Gil
futur/EJ357/ gillette redtip
iridium ,blue IP
thater, shavemac.anchorset/tgn,sr3226
dirty bird
and a prayer
Lou
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Post by Lou »

gil3591 wrote:i think there may be a big difference between gem razor styles. i had a tough experince with the micromatic open comb but a very nice experince with the 1912. using the same type blade, i might add.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Some of us love Merkurs, and others find them too aggressive. I'm sure SE razors have a good deal of variation too. I thought the Push-Button would be a safe choice because it's often described as one of the gentler GEM's, but I might want to try a couple of others to compare. I haven't given up on my Push-Button though.
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Racso_MS
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Post by Racso_MS »

Of the 10 or 15 SE razors I have, the G-Bar is by far my favorite. I've used various blades as have we all and of course we all have our preferencecs, but as with the DE, learning the correct Technique is important. Once you have it down pat, experimentation with the various SE blades availble should give you the right combination.

Good luck to you all.

Yes on occasion I do use a razor other than a Merkur... But just occassionally... :wink:
Best Regards From the Deep South...
Remember; It's Not A Race, It's Your Face...
And As Always, Enjoy Your Shave...
(Racso) Oscar...
CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

Racso_MS wrote:Of the 10 or 15 SE razors I have, the G-Bar is by far my favorite. I've used various blades as have we all and of course we all have our preferencecs, but as with the DE, learning the correct Technique is important. Once you have it down pat, experimentation with the various SE blades availble should give you the right combination.

Good luck to you all.

Yes on occasion I do use a razor other than a Merkur... But just occassionally... :wink:
:shock:


- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
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King-D
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Post by King-D »

I had my first SE shave this morning with this Gem Jr. I got the blades from Walgreens. I played around with the blade angle, but never really kept it flat against my face. In the end, it was a smooth shave, but my styptic was kept busy. Back at it tomorrow!

Image

Image
David

Shave in the shower!
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King-D
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Post by King-D »

Learning to shave with an SE requires two hands: One for the razor, and the other for the styptic.
David

Shave in the shower!
Lou
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Post by Lou »

I'm happy to report that I've gotten the hang of my GEM. The approach that worked best was making one WTG pass with the new razor and a clean-up WTG pass with my DE. For the past three days, the GEM shave was good enough to not need the DE pass. It's still not as close or comfortable as my DE is, but that's probably because I know the DE better.

Keeping the razor head flat against the face doesn't necessarily get you to the ideal blade angle, because the play in the skin (even without pressing) allows for flat to have a lot of range. As with any razor, it's just a matter of developing familiarity.
Last edited by Lou on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CMur12
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Post by CMur12 »

Lou wrote: ... Keeping the razor head flat against the face doesn't necessarily get you to the ideal blade angle, because the play in the skin (even without pressing) allows for flat to have a lot of range. As with any razor, it's just a matter of developing familiarity.
That's my experience, exactly!

I find that razors with a stiffer blade, such as a GEM or a Schick Injector, have a special advantage in the ATG pass. The ideal for me would be to use my Tech for the WTG and XTG passes, followed up by an ATG pass by the GEM.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!
Lou
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Post by Lou »

CMur12 wrote:I find that razors with a stiffer blade, such as a GEM or a Schick Injector, have a special advantage in the ATG pass. The ideal for me would be to use my Tech for the WTG and XTG passes, followed up by an ATG pass by the GEM.
I seldom do an ATG pass, but I'll try that when I next do one.
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adrian
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Post by adrian »

I'm expecting an Ever-Ready 1912 in the mail....
What about elephants?
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