Are the old GEM razors any good?
I see the blades are still made. Anyone use one?
I've personally never used one as I'm more a straight razor guy. But the company is one of the original US brands to mass produce safety razors at the turn of the 20th century. Although, what I've read about them indicates that they were more into the early single-egde safety razors at the time.
That being said, they did have several DE models around and during WW1 and after. What exactly were you considering?
Here is what BadgerandBlade.com has to say about them:
"The Kampfe brothers, who patented the first safety razor in the US, formed a manufacturing company in 1875. They make the "Star" razor. It was the first safety razor made in the United States. The Star Razor's revolutionary design won national and international awards for design and craftsmanship. In 1898, after working for the Kampfe Brothers for 23 years, an employee, Jerry Reichard, leaves to form the Gem Cutlery company, later renamed the Gem Safety Razor Company. Its first product, the Gem Safety Razor, borrows heavily from the Star Razor in design but soon outpaces the Star and becomes one of the world's most famous razor and blades ever made. Reichard, the founder of Gem -- leaves again to form the Yankee company, which is soon renamed the Ever-Ready Company. Ever-Ready and Gem quickly re-merge as the American Safety Razor Company, in 1906. In 1919, they absorb the Star brand as well. The company purchases the PAL blade company in 1953. Philip Morris purchases the company in 1960. Philip Morris purchases Burma-Vita company in 1968. ASR bought the Burma-Shave brand from Philip Morris in 1979, after a management buyout of ASR from Philip Morris in 1976."
One last word, I promise. I just came across this link with some additional info you might want to know about if you are thinking of buying a GEM:
Holy Cow Charlie, thanks for the info...
Lookin' into them now Rick...If I see something I will holler...
I will soon be using one, as my mom got me one as a gift. She paid $5 at an antique store in town and I am excited to try it out once some blades arrive.
Let me know how you like it.
Will do, and I will also be using the blog feature of the site to go really in depth about it.
OK, I'm new to this format...blog feature?
On a persons profile there should be a link to the blog entries they have made. It's in the left column, under the twitter link.
I have to say, if you are starting out in SE shaving, do not get a GEM. As much as I love mine, it cuts me up something awful. I know that it will get easier with better technique, but that's the point. If you are starting out, go with a milder razor that that, but definitely use the GEM blades, they are sharp and great. One caveat : DRY THE BLADE THOROUGHLY. They WILL rust in between shaves otherwise. I have heard dipping the entire head of the razor in 90+% rubbing alcohol will dry it without even having to open the head. I haven't tried that, since I only have 70% in the house.