09-16-2015, 07:04 PM
#1
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Gents, I have recently come into possession of a number of vintage SE razors, and wondering which one, if any might be worth keeping.  I have lots of DE razors, and generally like them either fairly aggressive or fairly gentle.  Thick beard, skin of average sensitivity, and a face I am pretty sure only my mother loves with lots of scars.  I have used my grandfather's Schick Type E injector, and just did not care for it--too light for the aggression to have sufficient control for my taste-blood bath city, and a few more scars on top of the old ones.  Grandpa must have been tougher than me.   Rolleyes   

I have acquired two Ever Ready models, the standard older flip top head and a shovel head style with a front hinge. Then two GEM Micromatics, then three of the Valet Autostrop models.  I was surprised to learn that Feather or some similar manufacturer still makes the blades that fit the Valet models.  My natural inclination based upon aesthetics is the Valet with the cool industrial motif, but would appreciate someone's experience with one or more of these.  I can attach some pictures tomorrow, but please bear with me until then.  

I tend toward vintage razors over the modern ones, and there seems to be lots of threads on the Mongoose and the like, but not as many for the vintage models.

Cheers!

Matt

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 09-16-2015, 07:19 PM
#2
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Maybe this will help.

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...ight=valet

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...=everready

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...hlight=gem

But frankly it's not all up to the razor, there is the blade to consider also. Yes there are different SE blades that can be used. Despite the fact that a hardware store blade looks like the same type, it isn't useable. Most users of SE decide to use either the Stainless PTFE coated blades bought in bulk. I believe Walgreens has them in a dispenser of 10 blades. The other blade generally used is the GEM Carbon Steel blade, and CVS stocks those. The SS blades can require a break in period of 3-4 shaves before they get good and then one can expect anywhere from 10-30 shaves from it. The carbon steel blade life is dependent on care but the life is always shorter compared to the SS blades. The carbon blades give great shaves from the very first.

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 09-17-2015, 11:42 AM
#3
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(09-16-2015, 07:19 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Maybe this will help.

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...ight=valet

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...=everready

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...hlight=gem

But frankly it's not all up to the razor, there is the blade to consider also. Yes there are different SE blades that can be used. Despite the fact that a hardware store blade looks like the same type, it isn't useable. Most users of SE decide to use either the Stainless PTFE coated blades bought in bulk. I believe Walgreens has them in a dispenser of 10 blades. The other blade generally used is the GEM Carbon Steel blade, and CVS stocks those. The SS blades can require a break in period of 3-4 shaves before they get good and then one can expect anywhere from 10-30 shaves from it. The carbon steel blade life is dependent on care but the life is always shorter compared to the SS blades. The carbon blades give great shaves from the very first.

Wow 10-30 shaves! That's a lot. I had never used these but I usually use the Personna PTFE carbon blades. As you mentioned 4 shaves is about what I get. Sometimes 5/6. Smooth after the first shave.

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 09-17-2015, 11:55 AM
#4
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Guys, thanks for the reply. I just had a chance to read the reviews all through. Based on my personal preferences, I want to try them all. Does anyone have a cheap and easy source for the Feather blades that will fit the Valet models?

Thanks again, if anyone has done some comparison of the different types, I still welcome any and all observations.

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 09-17-2015, 12:31 PM
#5
  • garyg
  • Active Member
  • Great Lakes
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(09-17-2015, 11:55 AM)Streambrewer Wrote: Guys, thanks for the reply.  I just had a chance to read the reviews all through.  Based on my personal preferences, I want to try them all.  Does anyone have a cheap and easy source for the Feather blades that will fit the Valet models?

Thanks again, if anyone has done some comparison of the different types, I still welcome any and all observations.

I've purchased the SE Feathers here twice, https://www.razorbladesandmore.com/conte...lades-5pcs , not sure if they are widely available, though as mine get used a couple times a year at most (in my Valet) and I haven't searched in quite some time.

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 09-17-2015, 08:08 PM
#6
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That's the only source for them that I know of. But be aware, not all Valets will accept the Feather blades. It's been so long since I wrote the review that I don't know if I knew that when I wrote it. It's hit or miss and there's no predicting it that I know of.

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 09-17-2015, 08:14 PM
#7
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(09-17-2015, 11:42 AM)1SOAP Wrote:
(09-16-2015, 07:19 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Maybe this will help.

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...ight=valet

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...=everready

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...hlight=gem

But frankly it's not all up to the razor, there is the blade to consider also. Yes there are different SE blades that can be used. Despite the fact that a hardware store blade looks like the same type, it isn't useable. Most users of SE decide to use either the Stainless PTFE coated blades bought in bulk. I believe Walgreens has them in a dispenser of 10 blades. The other blade generally used is the GEM Carbon Steel blade, and CVS stocks those. The SS blades can require a break in period of 3-4 shaves before they get good and then one can expect anywhere from 10-30 shaves from it. The carbon steel blade life is dependent on care but the life is always shorter compared to the SS blades. The carbon blades give great shaves from the very first.

Wow 10-30 shaves! That's a lot. I had never used these but I usually use the Personna PTFE carbon blades. As you mentioned 4 shaves is about what I get. Sometimes 5/6. Smooth after the first shave.

It's not every blade that gives me 30 shaves, but once in awhile one does. I regularly get 20+ shaves with them though. Comfortable shaves too. When the blade begins to lose cutting efficiency I change it. The blade I'm about to can has 21 shaves on it and I made the decision after the last shave with it that it was time. SE blades don't get pissy and bite the way a DE blade will when it gets dull. They just stop being efficient.

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 09-17-2015, 09:19 PM
#8
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OK, Razor Blades and More was out of stock.  Found some on the eBay and ordered away.  Believe they are the same type.  We'll give it a go.

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 09-18-2015, 03:06 AM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Just shaved this morning with an Eveready 1912 with a stainless steel PTFE coated blade. That is a great combination and gives a smooth close shave. I would not waste my time with any other blade than the SS PFTE coated blades after trying other carbon blades. Enjoy your SEs.

Bob

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 09-18-2015, 04:53 AM
#10
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Is the Ted Pella website a good source for blades as well? What to look for? Guessing PTFE. I don't want to accidentally buy workshop blades.

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 09-18-2015, 01:29 PM
#11
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(09-18-2015, 04:53 AM)Streambrewer Wrote: Is the Ted Pella website a good source for blades as well?  What to look for?  Guessing PTFE.  I don't want to accidentally buy workshop blades.

These are the ones I bought http://www.connaughtshaving.com/gemss.html . You should be able to find them on the Ted Pella site.

Bob

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 09-19-2015, 07:26 AM
#12
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I agree Bob. The only plus that I found with carbon steel blades, and only the GEM version, is that they are 100% at their prime right out of the cardboard wrapper. But that's where the benefits end.

Ted Pella has them, as does EMS, but the last time I checked, and it's been awhile, Connaught had a better price. Even after shipping from the UK the price was better.

Wherever you find them the want a coated, triple facet blade.

Steam, if you like the shave from the Valet there are Valets that make use of a despined GEM blade. The Feathers cost $1 per last I bought any, and the GEMs sell for $.20- $.25 each. I can get LOTS of shaves from a GEM and only 10-12 from a Feather. I don't see much of a difference between the resulting shaves from either blade. So doing the bean counting, the Feathers are anywhere from 8 to 12 times more expensive per shave. That's for me; as always, YMMV. It might be worth getting a Valet that takes GEM blades is my point, if you like it and intend to use it. For just a few shaves it's not worth the hassle.

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 09-19-2015, 05:19 PM
#13
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I also get my blades from Connaught and I get a good 12- 15 shaves per blade. They just seem to last. I don't even flip them. I believe the right lather makes all the difference regarding blade longevity.

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 09-19-2015, 05:25 PM
#14
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(09-19-2015, 05:19 PM)Charlie NEPA Wrote: I also get my blades from Connaught and I get a good 12- 15 shaves per blade. They just seem to last. I don't even flip them. I believe the right lather makes all the difference regarding blade longevity.
Just got in from working outside and saw this pop up. Piqued my interest: how does the lather make all the difference? Through slickness?

Admittedly, I had not thought of lather quality as having much to do with blade life.

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 09-19-2015, 06:43 PM
#15
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Lather is a lubricant as well as performing other functions, but the lubricant function would make them last longer.

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 09-19-2015, 07:41 PM
#16
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(09-19-2015, 05:19 PM)Charlie NEPA Wrote: I also get my blades from Connaught and I get a good 12- 15 shaves per blade. They just seem to last. I don't even flip them. I believe the right lather makes all the difference regarding blade longevity.

Charlie which blades give you 12 shaves?

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 09-28-2015, 06:10 PM
#17
  • savagejoerude
  • If you ain't a LOSER, you ain't livin'!!
  • New Orleans USA
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I once bought a razor lot that had 3 Valets in it. 2 required the special Feather blade. 1 will take a standard single edge blade with the spine removed. You simply hold the blade in a pair of pliers and grab the spine with another and just work it off..... I have since PIF'ed the 2 that require the Feather. I have shaved with the one I have left several times. I found it to be just a bit too aggressive for me.... It looks super cool though so I think I'll keep it !! lol I also have both of the Eveready models the OP has. I like the 1912 much more than the flip top. The 1912 is one of my top 3 shavers. The other 2 are the 1912 Damaskene and my old GEM Jr. Bar 1901 wooden handled lather catcher (THANKS AGAIN BRIAN K.!!! By far the best bit of shaving kit in my entire collection!!!). That razor is 110+ years old and STILL shaves GREAT !!! Alas though as usual YMMV. What works on the Savage may not work for everyone else....
                                                                    HAPPY SHAVES !!!

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 09-29-2015, 03:15 PM
#18
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Glad you're still liking it. I never could get along with it.

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 10-01-2015, 07:32 AM
#19
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OK, just a quick update. I've done about five shaves with the GEM Micromatic.

An acceptable shave to be sure, similar in feel to most of my Super Speeds with a good bit more aggression.

I bought the wrong blades first, tried to save money and a seller had some mislabeled. Blades just pulled, not really sharp enough to cut. To the trash, out $2.50. Bought some GEM PTFE blades from a reliable vendor, much better.

Still getting more irritation than with my double edge blades. The SE models just don't seem as sharp. Going to try stropping to see if makes any difference. Never done it before for shaving, but we'll see.

One thing I noticed: the blade seems to rust in near real time. Photo attached. Second blade after its third shave. [Image: 8e7a30e337c3e0bf4f84d5f58fe5b116.jpg]

Thanks again, looking forward to trying out the autostrop.

Matt

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 10-01-2015, 07:42 AM
#20
  • garyg
  • Active Member
  • Great Lakes
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I've found that a hand strop (twice a side) and alcohol dip helps immeasurably with the rust.

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