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Poster Info

Relax! It's just BBQ
Posts: 409
Registered: February 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY

 

Gem 1912
Reviews Views Date of last review
11 3076 Mon November 14, 2011
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $17.50 9.5

 

Description:
I must admit I was a bit apprehensive regarding the Gem razors. Aggressive appearance, simple blade holder, and that they use the same blades used by my dad building models and preparing artwork for printing did not seem like a good combination for my neck. But when an experienced wet shaver friend loaned one to me with the comments “you need to try this” and “you can handle it” how could I walk away. It being made in my home town and about the same year as my house was built further peaked my interest and felt obligation to give it a shot.

The 1912 was manufactured into the 1940’s. The design is elegantly simple, made from a few pieces of stamped metal riveted together. The blade is held in place by two small nibs on the edge and down pressure from the spring loaded top plate. I was pleasantly surprised how secure the blade is held. The handle is solid and provides a nice balance.

Gem has been producing quality blades for shaving and industrial use for 100 years and they still look the same. These blades have a single cutting edge and are significantly thicker and more rigid than double edge blades. This stiffness behaves more like a straight razor. I found the blade easily got under the tricky hair on my neck and sliced them cleanly in one pass. My double edge required more stretching and multiple passes to get the same result. After a few shaves, the blades are still in great shape for projects around the house.

The razor does have an aggressive design that requires respect and a light touch but the secret is that the razor uses a lower angle than my Superspeed or Slant. That is, you need to hold the flat head of the razor almost flat against your face. The classic sound of a good pass is very clear when you have it right and helps you to find the proper hold.

After a week’s worth of shaves I found only one drawback. The head design and low angle of cutting makes getting close while cutting away from my nose and ears a little more challenging but some more time at the sink will resolve that. The overall close shave and especially the way the blade gets under hairs and does not hop makes this classic a must for the shave den.

Gem 1912’s can be found at yard sales, antique shops, and eBay in great shape for less than $20.00 (often less than $10.00) and Gem blades are available on line at Ted Pella Inc. http://www.tedpella.com/dissect_html...#anchor1606431 and others and at several chain drug stores.



Tom
Keywords: Gem 1912

<<
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Author
eightysixCJ

Relax! It's just BBQ

Registered: February 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 409
Review Date: Mon November 16, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price: 10
Quality: 7
User Friendly: 6
Grip: 7
Ease of Blade Replacement: 10
Aggressiveness: 9
Adjustability: -1
Balance: 8

 
I must admit I was a bit apprehensive regarding the Gem razors. Aggressive appearance, simple blade holder, and that they use the same blades used by my dad building models and preparing artwork for printing did not seem like a good combination for my neck. But when an experienced wet shaver friend loaned one to me with the comments “you need to try this” and “you can handle it” how could I walk away. It being made in my home town and about the same year as my house was built further peaked my interest and felt obligation to give it a shot.

The 1912 was manufactured into the 1940’s. The design is elegantly simple, made from a few pieces of stamped metal riveted together. The blade is held in place by two small nibs on the edge and down pressure from the spring loaded top plate. I was pleasantly surprised how secure the blade is held. The handle is solid and provides a nice balance.

Gem has been producing quality blades for shaving and industrial use for 100 years and they still look the same. These blades have a single cutting edge and are significantly thicker and more rigid than double edge blades. This stiffness behaves more like a straight razor. I found the blade easily got under the tricky hair on my neck and sliced them cleanly in one pass. My double edge required more stretching and multiple passes to get the same result. After a few shaves, the blades are still in great shape for projects around the house.

The razor does have an aggressive design that requires respect and a light touch but the secret is that the razor uses a lower angle than my Superspeed or Slant. That is, you need to hold the flat head of the razor almost flat against your face. The classic sound of a good pass is very clear when you have it right and helps you to find the proper hold.

After a week’s worth of shaves I found only one drawback. The head design and low angle of cutting makes getting close while cutting away from my nose and ears a little more challenging but some more time at the sink will resolve that. The overall close shave and especially the way the blade gets under hairs and does not hop makes this classic a must for the shave den.

Gem 1912’s can be found at yard sales, antique shops, and eBay in great shape for less than $20.00 (often less than $10.00) and Gem blades are available on line at Ted Pella Inc. http://www.tedpella.com/dissect_html...#anchor1606431 and others and at several chain drug stores.



Tom

------------------------------
Barbecue is like a coquettish young woman, favoring only those suitors who ply her with considerable time and attention.

- Bob Garner
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Disburden

Knight of the Round Lather Bowl

Registered: June 2008
Location: Carmel, NY
Posts: 1988
Review Date: Sun November 29, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price: 10
Quality: 10
User Friendly: 8
Grip: 8
Ease of Blade Replacement: 10
Aggressiveness: 10
Adjustability: -1
Balance: 10

 
The title should say it all. I could really go on for days about these razors, I am really surprised that there is only one review for these. There are many Gilette reviews and other DE reviews, but no one would tell by looking at this review that this razor trumps them all and it does!



This is the closest shave I have ever gotten from a Safety razor and is actual JUST as smooth and soft as my straight razor shaves after a nice honing session and good stroppings.



The razor looks terrifying but feels gentler than any Merkur or Gillette I have ever used. This includes Super Speeds and Gillette Techs. The razor makes a loud cutting sound when chopping off hairs, just like a straight hollow grind razor would. This really helps in letting you know where you'll need to buff or touch up on your last pass. No more noise? Than your shave is finished!

Blades replacement is simple, open the top with your finger, but the blade in so it fits under the hooks in the front, shut the top. Done.





Think you need a straight to achieve the best shave possible? You don't! Just throw your DE razors in storage and use these old GEMs. The name really does say it all.

------------------------------
Currently enrolled in Dr. Drew's HAD Rehab.
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michiganlover

official B&B washroom attendant

Registered: June 2009
Location: Michigan's Thumb
Posts: 9805
Review Date: Sun November 29, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price: 10
Quality: 10
User Friendly: 10
Grip: 10
Ease of Blade Replacement: 10
Aggressiveness: 10
Adjustability: -1
Balance: 10

 
The Gem's are the most under-rated of all Safety Razors.



Every wet shaver owes it to themselves to try out a Gem at least once, if for no other reason than the fact that the sound of hairs being sheared off is awesome!! The audio feedback that a Gem gives is just uber cool!!



Price wise, very good specimens can often be found in the $15-20 range.



Quality is top notch, the Gem 1912's were built almost 100 years ago, and they are still going very strong!!



Blades are still widely available, and of good quality.



You really have no reason to not take a Gem for a spin, find out for yourself why all of us Gemocrats, never stop raving about them.

------------------------------
~~JOHN~~*Founding member of ALPHA Team*
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ek.310

Private Plisson

Registered: November 2009
Location: Souther California
Posts: 469
Review Date: Fri December 25, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price:
Quality:
User Friendly:
Grip:
Ease of Blade Replacement:
Aggressiveness:
Adjustability:
Balance:

 
I'm a california native born with sensitive skin and coarse black tough facial hair..Easy to wield and keeping it at the same angle as it's head is shaped you have NO problems..real simple and required little technique if any..I use GEM stainless steel blades to wipe clean and they work great!...been 3yrs and I NEVER got anything else to try it with so I am sold on this beauty..Those who don't know about them will NEVER understand!

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Slivovitz

I survived RAD SSAD and ASAD

Registered: October 2009
Location: Past midway in our life's journey…
Posts: 3378
Review Date: Sat February 13, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price: 9
Quality: 10
User Friendly: 9
Grip: 8
Ease of Blade Replacement: 8
Aggressiveness: 8
Adjustability: -1
Balance: 8

 
I've got three of these with different handles, plus an EverReady and a Star which are basically the same. If you're thinking of trying a single edge razor for the first time, this may be the best one to start with. I find it very forgiving and easy to learn, while not sacrificing a close shave. They're still cheap at this writing, too. Even on eBay they don't tend to go for very much, although you may get the lowest prices there by ordering a lot of several razors.

------------------------------
"He broke and ran, not from cowardice, but from private inclination." - R.A. Lafferty - "One at a Time".
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DunEdinRanger

No woman would put up with me

Registered: April 2008
Location: NJ and Mars
Posts: 11791
Review Date: Fri April 16, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price:
Quality:
User Friendly:
Grip:
Ease of Blade Replacement:
Aggressiveness:
Adjustability:
Balance:

 
I have several of the 1912 models and all provide for excellent, close, smooth shaves.

Price: These can be had cheap with many under $10, and even the very nice minty ones not going for more than $20-$25.

Quality: The razor was built to last. It is still going strong, and in many cases the plating is solid.

User Friendly: As long as you go slow, and use no pressure, the razor will be your best friend. A nice, light touch yields an incredible shave.

Grip: Very good, and even when soap does not slip from the hands.

Blade Replacement: Once you get the hang of it, this is very simple and easy.

Aggressiveness: How do you rate an open comb razor that can almost get you to BBS in two passes, and yet doesn't irritate at all?

Adjustability: None

Balance: Near Perfect!

------------------------------
- Lou
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spinyeel

I'm an Aqua Velva Man

Registered: January 2008
Location: australia
Posts: 1642
Review Date: Sat April 17, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price:
Quality:
User Friendly:
Grip:
Ease of Blade Replacement:
Aggressiveness:
Adjustability:
Balance:

 






Quote Originally Posted by DunEdinRanger
View Post

I have several of the 1912 models and all provide for excellent, close, smooth shaves.



Price: These can be had cheap with many under $10, and even the very nice minty ones not going for more than $20-$25.



Quality: The razor was built to last. It is still going strong, and in many cases the plating is solid.



User Friendly: As long as you go slow, and use no pressure, the razor will be your best friend. A nice, light touch yields an incredible shave.



Grip: Very good, and even when soap does not slip from the hands.



Blade Replacement: Once you get the hang of it, this is very simple and easy.



Aggressiveness: How do you rate an open comb razor that can almost get you to BBS in two passes, and yet doesn't irritate at all?



Adjustability: None



Balance: Near Perfect!




I totally agree with you. This Gem is an automatic Hall of Fame no brainer.
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Jaymo

Gillette Tech-nician

Registered: March 2010
Location: In exile
Posts: 563
Review Date: Mon April 19, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price: 10
Quality: 10
User Friendly: 10
Grip: 8
Ease of Blade Replacement: 10
Aggressiveness: 10
Adjustability: -1
Balance: 9

 
I like it a lot more than I thought I would. With a sharp blade and good prep, it gives me as good a shave as I could hope for. I can't believe they quit making these. BBS shaves don't take long at all with it. Everyone should have one of these.

------------------------------
Some people play hard to get. I play hard to like.
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Zumkopf

I'm in the Hall of Fame!

Registered: August 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 247
Review Date: Sat July 24, 2010 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros):
Cons:
Price: 10
Quality: 9
User Friendly: 9
Grip: 9
Ease of Blade Replacement: 9
Aggressiveness: 10
Adjustability: -1
Balance: 9

 
The 1912 GEM is about the best razor I've ever used, and shaves as close as a slant. Couple that to the fact that they're cheap as dirt, as are their blades, and you have a winner.



Price: They're practically free, for Pete's sake. $5 including shipping is typical.

Quality: They look a little cheaply made; then again, they're a century old, and they still work perfectly.

User friendly: Spring-loaded door to place and remove the blade; what could be easier? I give it a 9 instead of 10 only because of the danger of cutting yourself with the blade while unwrapping it.

Grip: Just fine. Simple knurled handle. Some are fancier. All are easy to grasp, and are just about the perfect size for normal hands.

Ease of blade replacement: See User Friendly.

Aggressiveness: Perfect. It's aggressive, can go BBS in two or three passes, yet is difficult to cut yourself with (unlike the Micromatic, but that's another review).

Adjustability: there isn't any.

Balance: seems great to me. The handle is heavyish compared to the light head, making it easier to control the head.



If you don't own and use a GEM, it is your loss. At the low price, there is little excuse for not having one.

------------------------------
Zumkopf -- "You rook mah-velus! And you KNOW what I am saying to you."
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dilly-b

Surreptitious Brush Sniffer

Registered: January 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 308
Review Date: Wed July 13, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): price, quality, availability
Cons: blade choices are limited, but honed/stropped carbon blades work GREAT!
Price: 10
Quality: 10
User Friendly: 10
Grip: 10
Ease of Blade Replacement: 10
Aggressiveness: 10
Adjustability: 10
Balance: 10

 
The 1912 is possibly the greatest safety razor design EVER - its 'comb'/guard is damned near perfect - it's both quite 'aggressive' and SAFE. The 1912 is the one razor that I really can cut loose with, with little or no danger or drama, even more so than my flare tip SS. They are also, for me at least, the most fun to drive. Built like tanks, 1912s will be going strong in another 100 years. The throw a blade in and go convenience is exemplary - no guesswork. Excellent audible feedback. Readily available in mint condition. I could go on and on but I really believe that everybody needs to at least try one of these.
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santamariasteve
Wetshaving is going to save me money ...right?

Registered: September 2011
Location: Santa Maria, California
Posts: 1073
Review Date: Mon November 14, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Positive aspects of the product (pros): Close shaves
Cons: Hard to clean the back of the head
Price: 10
Quality: 10
User Friendly: 6
Grip: 9
Ease of Blade Replacement: 8
Aggressiveness: 8
Adjustability: 5
Balance: 10

 
The original GEM 1912 SE razor was manufactured between 1912 and about 1929.



The hexagon handle for me is not as comfortable as a round handle. The GEM 1912 shaves similar to the 1912 Ever-Ready and Star models. I believe they all came out of the same factory. It is somewhat aggressive. If one shaves slowly and lightly, the cutting whiskers ability is outstanding. It really mows 'em down!



The only thing I don't like is that it is difficult to clean the back of the razor because of the presence of the "lather catcher" hood.
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