07-31-2013, 12:55 PM
#1
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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I've recently been disappointed in the blade life of my GEM stainless PTFE coated blades. I never got the dozen-plus shave that some have described, but 7-8 at least. Now I seem to get maybe 2 good shaves using a GEM OCMM or ER 1914
before it starts tugging.

I don't know if I've changed anything in my routine that would explain the decline. I don't see the problem with my DE razors. I get the usual lifetime from my Astra, Rapira or Perma-Sharp blades.
I thought it was a bad batch of blades from EMS, but I have the same symptom with a different batch of blades from Connaught Shaving.

Any ideas on what would cause SE blades to dull faster?

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 07-31-2013, 01:23 PM
#2
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Are they starting out dull? Do you have another batch to test them against?

If not PM me your address and I'll send you a few from a batch that gives me between 12-20 shaves, 14 on average as a conservative guess.

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 07-31-2013, 01:28 PM
#3
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Have you changed your prep or lather at all? If you are getting good lather, then I would guess that it might be bad blades. FWIW when I used those blades in the OCMM, the first shave was a little rough, followed by 4 good shaves. I would feel them start to dull and pitch them after 5 shaves.

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 07-31-2013, 01:35 PM
#4
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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Yesterday I got a great shave with a brand new blade in my OCMM. Today I tried for shave #2 and it tugged so much I switched to a DE to finish up. I've seen that pattern on the last couple of blades. One or 2 shaves, then the tugging. I'm wondering if I've lost my SE blade-angle touch by rotating in my DEs so much. Would too steep an angle dull the blade?

I have switched from mostly Godrej and L'Occitane Cade to mostly Poraso, but all of them are good performers for me in general.

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 07-31-2013, 08:07 PM
#5
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Bjorn, I'm thinking too steep of an angle simply won't cut anything and leave "raked" lather. It's been so long since my angle was off, and I'm trying to remember. There is a tiny window where it works. The angle can be increased slightly but not by a whole lot.

Going the other way, again, it won't cut and now the head would be plowing off the lather. You'd know it if either condition was happening.

But at any rate we'll figure it out with the blade swap... maybe.

Wink You watch, the blades you send me will be from another lot yet in the same box and they'll be good. In which case we learn nothing, you go back to your blades and evrything is right with your shaves again.

Just for kicks try this. Take blades from the other end of the box and see if the shave improves. I'll get some blades out anyway since it'll take time for you to determine if that works. Don't send me more than 2 blades and I want them from the end of the box you've been getting yours from.

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 08-01-2013, 10:36 AM
#6
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Safety Bar Razors, the blade never encounters any part of your face that hasn't been wiped clean.

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 08-01-2013, 11:25 AM
#7
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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(08-01-2013, 10:36 AM)olblueyez Wrote: Safety Bar Razors, the blade never encounters any part of your face that hasn't been wiped clean.

This is an Open comb SE razor.

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 08-01-2013, 06:01 PM
#8
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Well, then I would have to guess a tough beard. Mine is like that, feels more like a wire brush that hair.

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 08-01-2013, 07:08 PM
#9
  • bjorney
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  • Los Angeles
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(08-01-2013, 06:01 PM)olblueyez Wrote: Well, then I would have to guess a tough beard. Mine is like that, feels more like a wire brush that hair.
My beard is fairly tough, but the reason I started this thread is that I WAS getting 7-8 excellent shaves with GEM PTFE coated blades and now I barely get 2. I don't think my beard has changed much so I'm guessing it's either technique, prep or a bad batch of blades... Brian and I will do a swap to see if we can rule out (or confirm) the blades.

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 08-04-2013, 06:39 PM
#10
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Assuming nothing about your shave routine has changed (Radical Change).

I would assume it the blades because 7 shaves to 2 shaves is pretty steep.

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 08-05-2013, 04:24 AM
#11
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Also rough handling of the blade when inserting into a razor can dull a blade very easily. Any type of contact with the blade and a hard surface can cause problems.

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 08-05-2013, 09:17 PM
#12
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Bjorn I received your blades today and canned the one I had in use and will use the one from Connaught tomorrow and until it gets canned. Then I'll use the other blade. :-) Darn, using SE for at least a full month straight! That's going to be the pits! Biggrin

Check the SOTD for progress. After the dust settles I'll repost here.

You should be getting the blades I sent soon.

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 08-06-2013, 04:41 AM
#13
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Possibly try Treat blades and see how they compare.

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 08-06-2013, 07:05 AM
#14
  • bjorney
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  • Los Angeles
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(08-05-2013, 09:17 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Bjorn I received your blades today and canned the one I had in use and will use the one from Connaught tomorrow and until it gets canned. Then I'll use the other blade. :-) Darn, using SE for at least a full month straight! That's going to be the pits! Biggrin

Check the SOTD for progress. After the dust settles I'll repost here.

You should be getting the blades I sent soon.
Brian, Thanks I got your blades yesterday. My latest GEM blade gave me 3 good shaves before getting tuggy. I'll start with one of your blades tomorrow.

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 08-06-2013, 08:47 AM
#15
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(08-06-2013, 04:41 AM)Aimsport Wrote: Possibly try Treat blades and see how they compare.

Are the Treet SE blades any better than their horrible DE blades?

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 08-06-2013, 02:48 PM
#16
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FWIW, 12 shaves out of a blade is very high and it is worth asking the same person how many shaves he was getting from a DE blade as well... I once did (forgot who that person was, sorry) and he got a rather high number from DE blades which leads me to believe that either he has an exceptional technique or his beard is not tough on the blade... or both... I get 3 shaves out of an Astra DE blade and after 6-7 shaves out of a GEM PFTE blade (I stop at 6) and 8 out of Personna Injector blade.

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 08-06-2013, 03:03 PM
#17
  • bjorney
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  • Los Angeles
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(08-06-2013, 02:48 PM)Galhatz Wrote: FWIW, 12 shaves out of a blade is very high and it is worth asking the same person how many shaves he was getting from a DE blade as well... I once did (forgot who that person was, sorry) and he got a rather high number from DE blades which leads me to believe that either he has an exceptional technique or his beard is not tough on the blade... or both... I get 3 shaves out of an Astra DE blade and after 6-7 shaves out of a GEM PFTE blade (I stop at 6) and 8 out of Personna Injector blade.

My question is somewhat different. I WAS getting 7 or so shaves from my SE blades and now I only get 2-3 from what "should" be the same blades. I did a blade swap with Brian (ShadowsDad) who routinely gets a dozen or more shaves from GEM PTFE stainless blades. We'll see how he does with blades from my batches, and how I do with blades from his...

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 08-06-2013, 06:10 PM
#18
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Yes, 12 shaves from a GEM SS ptfe blade is about the least I've ever gotten. We'll see how it goes. It'll take time. If everything works as normal, it's going to take a month, there's simply no way to hurry it along.

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 08-07-2013, 10:44 AM
#19
  • bjorney
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First shave with the first of Brian's blades was great in my 1914.
The next few days should be interesting...

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 08-07-2013, 01:25 PM
#20
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Following this thread with interest. Thanks, Bjorn and Brian.

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