02-01-2016, 09:52 PM
#1
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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There has been extensive discussion lately regarding the use of a GEM blade or a Feather Blade in a one Blade razor. Today I was fortunate to obtain a second One Blade razor. This acquisition allowed me to make a side by side , simultaneous comparison of the two blades in the One Blade razor.
I started the experiment by lathering my entire face. For my first pass I shaved with the grain. I used the GEm loaded blade on the right side of my face and the Feather loaded razor on my left side of my face. Next I shaved across the grain, This time I used the Feather loaded razor on the right side of my face and the GEM loaded razor on the left side of my face. Finally I shaved against the grain with the GEM blade on on the right side and the Feather on my left side..
Initial observation revealed that I could actually feel the GEM blade on my skin. The GEM blade was louder as it cut easily through my 3 day growth of beard. The Feather was much quieter and much more comfortable. I could not feel the blade at all. As a matter of fact if I hadn't gotten auditory clues about the shave I wouldn't have known I was getting a shave. Second pass. Blades and razors felt similar. My face felt a bit smoother on the Feather side. But the smoothness difference was slight. Finally, the moment of truth. Against the grain. The Feather performed this chore with no difficulty and no worry about cutting my skin. Whereas the GEM required short careful strokes in order for me to feel safe and in control with this pass. The big difference was with my upper lip. I have never been able to get a comfortabl against the grain shave on my upper lip. The GEM was no exception. I could feel the stubble stopping the razor and the hairs actually feel like they were being pulled rather than cut. Whereas the Feather loaded razor easily cut through the stubble on my upper lip when cut against the grain.
I realize this was a very personal experience and may not be others experience. I believe the differences I noticed were due to the inherent sharpness of the 2 blades. The Feather is considerably sharper than the GEM and easily cut the stubble on my upper lip. The Feathers inherent sharper edge probably dulls faster than the GEM. This finding is consistent with others reporting far fewer obtained shaves with the Feather as compared to the GEM.
My ratings for this shave:
Comfort of shave       Feather 10  GEM 8.5
Cleanliness of results  Feather  10 GEM 10 overall 9 for upper lip
skips scrapes weeper cuts. Neither razor or blade produced any of these negatives.
I would give the Feathers a slight edge over the Gems for the first shave. 
The One Blade I would rate a 10+
[Image: ErWu6CL.jpg][Image: WtYubwh.jpg]

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 02-01-2016, 10:23 PM
#2
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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Very nice review!  Though I would be curious to know if your scores would change if you stuck with Gem on the left and Feather on the right instead of switching.
This is typical for YMMV, because I had the opposite experience.
For me, the feather blades never felt like they were cutting effectively and it took effort to get a BBS, while with the Gem blades BBS just happened on its own.
Granted I have limited experience with this razor (only have one) but for me the Gem PTFE blade is superior.

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 02-01-2016, 10:48 PM
#3
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Barry, congrats on the additional OneBlade. I look forward to hearing how the shaves compare as you continue to use each blade. For ATG there isn't anything more fun than blade buffing with a GEM in the OneBlade. I am a self admitted blade-buffaholic. 

This is precisely why many DE shavers coming over to the SE world complain. With a stiffer, more robust blade you will feel the hairs being cut. This isn't a bad thing once you realize that the hairs aren't really being pulled, but rather there is just more of a response than noticed from a thinner edged blade & a different technique is required. 

If you don't want to feel the Woosah of shaving, then stick with the Feather, or DE shaving in general with their thinner blades offering less feedback. However, be prepared to follow OneBlade's recommendation of 1 shave per blade (or close there to) as it won't take long for the leading edge of the Feather to degrade. And it will degrade more like a DE blade resulting in irritation and weepers. As the GEM blade deteriorates after many more uses it simply stops cutting in my experience without any detriment to my skin. 

Bottom line as always is to shave in the way and with the kit that you enjoy most. I just hope people will be more open minded to the inherent differences between the DE & SE worlds rather than trying to place them on the same field. The Feather SE blade performs more like a DE blade and cartridge blades which possibly played a large role in OneBlade choosing them as their "one" blade. 

Please keep us updated on your continued findings Barry!

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 02-02-2016, 01:50 AM
#4
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Thanks for the detailed and excellent review, Barry! 

I, myself, have some GEM's, a nibbler, and a nipper (to clip the GEM in order for it to fit and lock in flat) on order for my own experiments. I will not get to try until the end of the month, however, as I will be away from home until then. I was planning to start my own thread on the topic, but you beat me to it! I look forward to submit my own report after this time.

I think most people who use the OneBlade as their daily driver wouldn't change their use of the razor itself based on either blade. The razor itself is that good and the choice of blade is secondary... But still a nice option to have...

I've heard numerous reports of the Feather in the OneBlade feeling like a blade isn't even present (my experience as well), and this is the very definition of smoothness maximized. Most safety razor users never experience this level of smoothness, and the new experience can be strange to some. Add to the sharper leading edge Feather is known for, and the top of the line engineering in the OneBlade, and many get the closest, smoothest shave they've ever had. (Number of shaves in a blade I feel is secondary. Quality over quantity always!) And I do think OneBlade wanted these characteristics, and found them, in going with the Feather.

But who knows, the GEM may be better for me, as some others report. If it is, I'll be happy to say so and make the permanent switch.

In either case, GEM or Feather, OneBlade is the "One" razor for me!

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 02-02-2016, 07:26 AM
#5
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Wow, Barry! You got an extra shaver just to conduct this experiment! Excellent! Thumbup Biggrin
Congratulations on finding a (two) fine shaver(s)!

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 02-02-2016, 09:29 AM
#6
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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(02-02-2016, 07:26 AM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Barry! You got an extra shaver just to conduct this experiment! Excellent! Thumbup Biggrin
Congratulations on finding a (two) fine shaver(s)!

Actually, I got the second razor to use with GEMs. I was afraid to void my warrenty on the razor by not using Feathers. I bought the second razor so I could use GEMS as well and change up my shaves. If I decide I definitely like one blade over the other the second razor will become my back-up. I am firmly a SE user now. I sold my PILS. I only have a Futur all my other razors are now SE.

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 02-02-2016, 09:41 AM
#7
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(02-02-2016, 09:29 AM)Barrylu Wrote:
(02-02-2016, 07:26 AM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Barry! You got an extra shaver just to conduct this experiment! Excellent! Thumbup Biggrin
Congratulations on finding a (two) fine shaver(s)!

Actually, I got the second razor to use with GEMs. I was afraid to void my warrenty on the razor by not using Feathers. I bought the second razor so I could use GEMS as well and change up my shaves. If I decide I definitely like one blade over the other the second razor will become my back-up. I am firmly a SE user now. I sold my PILS. I only have a Futur all my other razors are now SE.

Right on Barry! Do you like the vintage SEs as well? If so, which is your favorite? Have you tried a Feather SE in any of the flip-top razors?

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 02-02-2016, 09:56 AM
#8
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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(02-02-2016, 09:41 AM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(02-02-2016, 09:29 AM)Barrylu Wrote:
(02-02-2016, 07:26 AM)celestino Wrote: Wow, Barry! You got an extra shaver just to conduct this experiment! Excellent! Thumbup Biggrin
Congratulations on finding a (two) fine shaver(s)!

Actually, I got the second razor to use with GEMs. I was afraid to void my warrenty on the razor by not using Feathers. I bought the second razor so I could use GEMS as well and change up my shaves. If I decide I definitely like one blade over the other the second razor will become my back-up. I am firmly a SE user now. I sold my PILS. I only have a Futur all my other razors are now SE.

Right on Barry! Do you like the vintage SEs as well? If so, which is your favorite? Have you tried a Feather SE in any of the flip-top razors?

I have this on order and I am sure I will also buy Phils new razor when available.
http://www.getsupply.com/blogs/journal/7...=email&utm

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 02-02-2016, 10:06 AM
#9
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Very interesting. I too have difficulties getting a clean bbs shave on my upper lip; something that only SE can do right (Schick injectors and ER SE in my case).  
I agree 100% with the Feathers giving a "no shaving" experience, but to me OB with a GEM (carbon only at the moment) is a far superior shave. I have a couple of "difficult" spots on my neck (stubble grows almost parallel to skin) that needs of many more passes with OB and a Feather vs OB and a GEM. Even after more passes in different directions, with the Feather I don't know for sure if I'll get a bbs. With GEMs I know I will.

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 02-02-2016, 04:12 PM
#10
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(02-02-2016, 09:56 AM)Barrylu Wrote: I have [Supply injector] on order and I am sure I will also buy Phil's new razor when available. . .

This is the path I'm following also. I'd been seriously considering switching back to DE by committing to the Wolfman wait list, but decided instead to stay the course after reading Phil's announcement.

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 02-03-2016, 01:12 PM
#11
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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Second Shave
I remain very impressed with the One Blade Razor. It is two days after my first shave. My 2 day growth of beard is barely visible but there for the touch. The first shave was unbelievably close and after two days it feels as though my beard is only one day old.
For this shave I took Sharp Spine's advice and used one blade on one side of my face for the entire shave. I used the GEM blade on the right side of my face and the Feather blade on the left side of my face. It should be noted that the right side of my face (GEM side) is the more difficult side of my face to shave. The right side of my face has growth in all different directions and alway requires some polishing at the end of the shave.
This shave started out quite different than the first shave. On the first shave I was definitely aware of the GEM blade and unaware of the Feather Blade. This shave there was only a slight difference in feel between the two blades. I could barely feel both the Feather blade and the GEM blade. The Feather was still the smoother blade of the two but the GEM is definately catching up. 
This finding is consistent with other list members reports. Mainly that the Feather blade is sharper than the GEM blade but the Feather blade dulls much faster than does the GEM blade. However, the GEM blade did not do as good a job at cleaning up my problem areas as did the Feather Blade. The acid test will probably come on the third and fourth shaves.
The shave again was excellent from both blades.
 Comfort of shave Feather 9.5  Gem 9.0
Cleanliness of shave Feather 10  Gem 9 (note GEM used on hard to shave side of face)
Again no cuts scrapes or weepers from either blade
The One Blade continues to amaze.

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 02-03-2016, 02:09 PM
#12
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Thanks again for the report Barry. I don't remember suggesting any changes to your testing regimen or variables, but I do hope that you keep reporting your findings to us.

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 02-03-2016, 03:50 PM
#13
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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(02-03-2016, 02:09 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Thanks again for the report Barry. I don't remember suggesting any changes to your testing regimen or variables, but I do hope that you keep reporting your findings to us.

Sorry it was Mr Smartpants

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 02-03-2016, 10:27 PM
#14
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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(02-03-2016, 03:50 PM)Barrylu Wrote:
(02-03-2016, 02:09 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Thanks again for the report Barry. I don't remember suggesting any changes to your testing regimen or variables, but I do hope that you keep reporting your findings to us.

Sorry it was Mr Smartpants

[Image: keep-calm-it-is-all-my-fault.png]

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 02-04-2016, 06:54 AM
#15
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LOL, nice Erik!

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 02-04-2016, 07:14 AM
#16
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Barry, sounds like you are enjoying both of those One Blades. Thumbsup

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 02-04-2016, 09:53 AM
#17
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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(02-04-2016, 07:14 AM)celestino Wrote: Barry, sounds like you are enjoying both of those One Blades. Thumbsup

Yes Down to 2 Mongoose, 2 One Blades, 1 Futur and 1 R41 (in a drawer someplace) Thinking of reducing my razor stash further. I can't see myself using too much more than my One blades. I bought a box of 240 Feathers for them. I guess I am in for the long haul

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 02-04-2016, 11:08 AM
#18
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Great to hear you have found the 'One'. Biggrin
Enjoy your shaves.

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 02-04-2016, 03:12 PM
#19
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fellow Oregonian with similar results. now have a ton of both blades.  not a lot of difference between blades.  love this razor and I also have a se from supply provisions coming  like minds and all ....

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 02-05-2016, 12:35 PM
#20
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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Shave #3
Realize that although the title of this submission is Shave 3 in actuality it is only 1 and 1/2 shaves per blade.Today Feather blade was used on the right side of my face. The GEM was used to shave the left side of my face. Similar results were obtained. I could still feel the GEM but not the Feather blade. I was able to shave my upper lip with the Feather ATG but not with the GEM. However, some drag and discomfort was noted with the Feather ATG on my upper lip. I might be getting to the end point where I can use the Feather ATG on my upper lip. The blades are starting to produce an equal shave. However, I still have to give a slight edge to the performance of the Feathers (no pun intended).
I will be out of town for the next week and I am not taking either razor with me. I will not be able to add to this journal for a week or so.

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