09-30-2015, 05:43 PM
#1
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Just can't seem to open this Gem. I've let it soak in hot soapy water with no success. What else can I try? 

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 09-30-2015, 06:20 PM
#2
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Not sure if you realize this is opened by turning the bottom 'knob" not by lifting the top cap........this is a TTO...."turn to open" style...you can also sometimes press the small part on the top of the handle...put a few drops of oil in the area between the bottom knob and the rest of the handle.

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 09-30-2015, 06:20 PM
#3
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Dumb question  is that a tto model or like the other gems just spring loaded?

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 09-30-2015, 06:23 PM
#4
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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The Micromatics are all TTO,s and they have one push button model....this one is definitely a TTO...!!!!!!!

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 09-30-2015, 06:24 PM
#5
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(09-30-2015, 06:23 PM)Harvey Wrote: The Micromatics are all TTO,s and they have one push button model....this one is definitely a TTO...!!!!!!!

I don't know much about gems except how to open mine...which is spring loaded.

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 09-30-2015, 06:31 PM
#6
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Actually the spring is there to close the head and keep pressure on the blade not to help in opening the top cap....they are considered "lift" caps and all the same except for the EverReady which opens from the back and the Henkel Rapide and the Push button model....another model is the Gem 1901 which loads from the back with a lever and a couple push clips..(I think they call this the lather catcher)

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 09-30-2015, 07:07 PM
#7
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Thanks, Harvey. I didn't know it was a tto. It was REAL tight, but another soak and some elbow grease, and voila!

Thanks!!!

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 09-30-2015, 07:49 PM
#8
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I've been "planning" to use mine recently but for some reason tend to forget ... 
Those are very nice shavers. Quite sturdy and nice (and elusive) opening mechanism. 
Enjoy!

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 09-30-2015, 11:05 PM
#9
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I am glad you got it to open up, now you can enjoy a stellar shaver.

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 10-01-2015, 02:24 AM
#10
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
Thanks, all for your help and good thoughts. Will get it cleaned and sterilized over the weekend. I'm thinking I'll use stainless steel blades rather than carbon steel. Will post an update after I've taken a shave or two. Thanks again!

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 10-01-2015, 09:24 AM
#11
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Just in case you have never used a SE...the angle of cutting is almost flat against your face....the top cap should glide across the skin...try it on your arm or leg to get the feel...use stainless coated blades if possible

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 10-01-2015, 11:59 AM
#12
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Thanks, Harvey. I tried once before and now I'm ready to try again. This razor is really quite clean - found it in an antique shop while on vacation in Delaware... I'll have free time this weekend to clean and sterilize it. Good blades (SS) are a must as I don't want to deal with rust issues. Thanks again for the wisdom Smile

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 10-01-2015, 04:19 PM
#13
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I used mine today and got a very nice shave. Like mentioned, the angle is quite different and it felt a bit odd going XTG but no complaints. 
Where do you get your SS blades? I don't use SE blades all that much but don't have many left.

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 10-01-2015, 04:38 PM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I bought 25 Ted Pellas from Techichi Shave. With shipping it came to $15. I don't know where other folks buy them, but am interested for future reference. When Don's shipped razors in the past from TX to NY it took a few days so I'll probably use this sweet Gem next week some time.

edit: right after this post, I got an email from Don telling me that the price dropped. The total bill came to $12.56.

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 10-04-2015, 12:59 PM
#15
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Most of us buy them in bulk by the 100 or 200.

There are a few outlets for them.

Connaught Shaving in the UK, yes, even with shipping they have the best prices; or did.
Ted Pella ( their #121-3 blades)
EMS - look for their coated triple facet SS SE blades.
Blades and More has them in smaller quantities.

At one time the Ted Pella blades came in packaging that didn't set them apart from a similar appearing industrial blade from the hardware store. I'm just mentioning that; the blades were of excellent shave quality. It was the packaging that they came in that gave the appearance but absolutely nothing was wrong with the blade.

FWIW carbon steel blades do have an advantage. Right out of the wrapper they are good to go. A SS blade may need to work in and after 3-4 shaves gets really good. Or it can be stropped to make it good without the 3-4 shaves in a milder razor to make it so. As mentioned the big disadvantage for a CS blade is the rust issue and the extra care that involves.

The last blades I bought from Ted Pella  cost me $50/200 shipped (2-3  years ago?). Connaught did better than that just recently, but I don't remember the price. Maybe it was $75/400. I seem to remember something like that.

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 10-05-2015, 08:12 PM
#16
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Currently Ted Pella sells the SS blades (#121-3) for $34.95 per 200 plus shipping (and sales tax if you live in CA like I do). They only charge actual shipping, but they ship FedEx ground instead of USPS. FedEx is more reliable and sometimes faster, but more expensive. Ted Pella ships fast and is a pleasure to do business with. I recently ordered 400 blades for a total of $82.37 including shipping and tax. 

Here is the current packaging:

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Of course this assumes that you've decided that single edge razors are your thing and are willing to commit to 200 blades (or multiples of 200). 

A bit of trivia: The Gem Micromatic Open Comb was the first TTO razor, pre-dating Gillette by several years.

--Bob

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 10-10-2015, 06:00 AM
#17
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
Gents, thank you for all the wisdom. I took my first GEM shave this morning. To quote Frank Zappa, "GREAT GOOGALY MOOGALY!!!" I was not expecting such a close and comfortable shave. A guy could easily get hooked on this. I may have to start hanging around the SE section more. There's more shaving fun to explore! Biggrin

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