12-15-2012, 01:11 PM
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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I recently picked up a G.E. Jones Shake Sharp razor, completely on impulse, as I had never tried one before and didn’t know much about them. Others have commented on them, and to my knowledge, virtually everyone who has shaved with one, likes it quite well. I have included some comments at the end of my review from various others regarding the Shake Sharp, so I won’t belabor what has already been said.

Total Weight: 59 grams
Total Length: 84.2 mm
Handle Diameter: 11.6 mm
Handle Length: 62.5 mm
Head Width: 41.2 mm

I received mine via B/S/T (Dave) and found out a little history from Cessnabird, who owns the twin brother to mine. It was Cessnabird who managed to pick them up as follows…
They came from a small antique shop in Olmito, TX which is a small town in south TX close to Mexican border. Mel, the shop owner picked them up as a pair at an estate sale down there some time ago and I picked them up on separate trips.

Apparently the Shake Sharp came in 3 different varieties – mine is the “gold” version. The other two are nickel and one with a Bakelite handle. I assume they all shave in a similar fashion, but the gold model is all that I have used.

The razor has a small hone/stone built into it, that when you shake the razor –or- carefully slide the cradle the hone sits in back and forth a few times by hand – you sharpen – or at least touch up, the DE blade. I’m not sure how “practical” this is, in the age of cheap, high quality DE blades, but it’s there if you wish to use it.

The razor itself looks and handles very much like a Gem 1912 SE. That’s a good thing actually, as the 1912 has long been a “standard” of excellence among SE shavers. If you didn’t know better, it would be very easy to mistake the Shake Sharp for a 1912 SE “knock-off” of sorts…which in fact, it may well be, at least in regards to appearance, shaving angles and efficiency.

Once I inserted a new Astra SP blade into the Shake Sharp, I wanted to take a look at the actual blade exposure itself (how much of the blade is actually visible – this does not mean actual blade gap – just the amount of blade extended beyond the razor cap itself).
The Shake Sharp shows quite a bit more blade than does my:

Weber DLC
Slant 39C
Muhle R89
Barbasol Floating Head
Parker 98R
Joris Palladium
Gillette Big Fellow OLD
Gillette Slim Adjustable

The Shake Sharp is very close in terms of blade exposure to my:

Muhle R41 (2012) – virtually identical
ATT Atlas R – virtually identical
ATT Atlas M – the M is just a hair less

In fact, the only razors I own that show significantly more blade exposure is the Gem OCMM and Cobra Classic.

In terms of blade gap (which generally, but not always, relates to razor aggression), the Shake Sharp has clearly more blade gap than the following when viewed under 6x and 10x magnification:

Parker 98R
Joris Palladium
Weber DLC
ATT Atlas M
ATT Altas R
Muhle R41 (2012)
Muhle R89
Gillette Big Fellow OLD

The Shake Sharp is very close in blade gap to

Gem OCMM (SS has slightly more)
Barbasol Floating Head (SS has slightly more)
Merkur Slant 39C
Gillette Slim Adjustable set at 9
Cobra Classic

The following show a blade gap significantly larger than the Shake Sharp:

Futur set at 6
Mergress set at 5+

The one thing that is considerably more difficult to measure is the actual blade angle/curvature. For example, we know that the R41 keeps the blade flat, the Slant adds a twist to firm things up and the Weber incorporates a nice “Gillette” type of curve. All of those variables enter into the final shave quality to be had; as does the weight of the razor, balance, handle length/weight, etc…

Final shave results, while subjective, are a reasonable place to start. Let me describe the shave quality of the Shake Sharp.

Face prep - normal hot towel on the face for a bit to soften and warm up my beard
Soap: Cella
Brush: Simpson Duke 3 Butterscotch 2 Band
Afterwards: Witch Hazel

Handling: I prefer longer handles on my razors. The Shake Sharp handle is considerably shorter by my standards, measuring in at just under 2 ½ inches. With that said, the razor is easy to maneuver, very good around sideburns and goatee – no real issues to speak of.

Cosmetic Value: Well, it looks like a hybrid 1912 of some sort. Not exactly a beauty queen in my eyes, but that’s truly a case of YMMV.

Angle: Angle is easy to find – if you shave with the cap fairly flat to your face, you’re going to get a fairly decent – smooth and non-interactive shave. When you change the angle to find your sweet spot, you’re going to know it. How? The Shake Sharp sings like a bird when you allow it to become a bit more aggressive by shifting your angle out a bit. I’m not sure that I have any razors that “sing” as much as the Shake Sharp – I certainly don’t own any that provide “more” feedback; of that I’m sure.

I personally find that as a plus – when you cannot only “feel” when things are right, but that you can also “hear” when things are right. YMMV…but I like the sound and feedback when shaving.

Once again – shaving with the cap close to the face (or against it) results is a very smooth, not particularly aggressive shave. When you increase your angle enough to hear the substantial feedback that it can provide; you’re shaving very aggressively.

Closeness: How efficient a razor is, is a fairly good measure for a lot of guys as to how good a job the razor is actually doing. The Shake Sharp – after 3 passes (WTG, XTG and ATG), provides me a shave closer than my Muhle R89, Weber DLC, Merkur Slant 39C or even my much liked Joris OC. The end result is arguably as close as my R41 – that’s fairly high praise I suppose, as the R41 can provide you a wicked close shave…but oftentimes with a few weepers or worse. I think my Cobra is the better “all-around” razor, but the results were more than just a little bit alike. This is wonderful on one hand and a bit annoying on the other. To my mind, the Shake Sharp shouldn’t shave as closely as it does…but in fact, it does.

Harshness: This is where I was most surprised. I expected to get “whacked” at any moment when using the SS, simply due to the amount of feedback while shaving. I figured that with the amount of blade exposure and blade gap – from a razor I’ve never heard of – I was going to pay the price. As it turned out, after 3 passes (WTG, XTG and ATG), not a weeper in sight and a shave that is exceptionally close with not a hint of harshness, blood or irritation. With as much blade exposure as the Shake Sharp has, I had anticipated perhaps a bit of “blade chatter,” particular when going against the grain under my jawline. For reasons unknown to me, where there should have been problems, there were none.

Summary: The Shake Sharp has long been dead as a production razor. It can be looked at as little more than a novelty by today’s standards – the honing system in the razor is not at all practical in today’s age of “ultra-sharp” stainless and coated blades. The handle is too short for a lot of guys and you can only use one side of your DE blade at a time. Combine all of that with a razor not particularly sexy to look at and what do you have?

A little known razor that will shave you closer than a Slant or Joris with the smoothness and reckless abandon of a Weber or 89. Will it be your main razor? Probably not. But if you want to try something surprisingly fun and effective, and more than a little bit cool; try to snag one of these sometime.

Other Resources:

Shake Sharp Advertisement


G.E. Jones made three versions of this razor. A gold plated, a chrome plated, and one with a gold plated head and a plastic or Bakelite handle. These razors were produced in 1944 or 1945 and were made at least until the early 1950's.
The actual construction materials appear to be a combination of cast zinc and stamped brass, and possibly steel.

This is a single edge razor that happens to only use Gillette type double edge blades. Only one edge was exposed at any given time and the razor had to be opened and the blade flipped to expose the other edge.

Cooncat Bob:

I have one with a black bakelite handle.
It shaves more like an injector then a DE.
Out of all the self sharpening razor designs, it's the most practical and best handling.

G.D. Carrington:

One of the main reasons why this went off the market (besides the Cartridge domination) is the fact that stainless blades took over the market and this razor is really designed for the carbon steel blades that the stainless superceded.

Azarius has also posted several comments and a review on the Shake Sharp and appears to have liked it fairly well.


Shake Sharp in Gold with Case


Blade exposure and gap (Astra SP)


Slant 39C, Gillette Slim Adjustable, ATT Atlas R, Shake Sharp, Gem OCMM and Joris Palladium


Slant 39C, Shake Sharp, Atlas R and Joris


Shake Sharp and Gem OCMM


Photos showing under the hood with built-in hone:




29 466
 12-15-2012, 01:46 PM
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Nice find. Those are really nicely made razors and they do indeed give a nice shave. The honing aspect...meh

2 694
 12-15-2012, 01:56 PM
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Tom, this is a great review of the Shake Sharp, and most likely the most in depth look at a very neat and interesting razor. Subscribed!

63 2,125
 12-15-2012, 02:01 PM
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Very nice and interesting review.

88 4,233
 12-15-2012, 03:28 PM
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Tom, again, a great and informative review and a very unique razor!

74 20,795
 12-15-2012, 03:55 PM
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Very interesting! Great review as well. Thanks.

Tom, did you try the shake sharp concept at all? Back then the idea of a sharp blade was different than ours of today. When the blade begins to lose it's edge could you? Don't turn your face to hamburger for the sake of this. I'm just curious if it does anything at all.

32 6,301
 12-15-2012, 05:11 PM
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Tom, well done and thank you! After one week of SE shaving after years of DE, I might want to find one of these to "bridge the gap." Sounds more like an SE shave to me, a plus.

47 1,270
 12-15-2012, 05:12 PM
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Tom, an excellent and through review.

I have purchased the same version of the Shake Sharp that you have from a member of another forum and hopefully early next year I will be able to give this a "fair shake."

My plan to test the sharpener for carbon blades is as follows:

I have at my disposal modern day Treet Classics which will allow me to test the sharpener with an up to date carbon blade. I will use the blade in the same Slim I used on the DE blade challenge. I got about 4 shaves with the Treet Classic before it gave up. I will hopefully be able to use the same setting patterns that I had in the original test.

I will then put the used blade into the Shake Sharp and give the sharpening section enough shakes to sharpen the blade. Then I will place the blade back in the Slim and go back to the original setting and begin to shave with it as if it were a brand new blade and see if it is able to go the same number of shaves with equal results or will the results change. That will test the sharpening feature in a stand alone mode.

Then I will take a brand new Treet Classic blade and put it in the shake sharp and see how far it can reasonably go, until I get tired of testing or until the blade becomes useless on both sides. That should test both the razor and the sharpener as a unit.

Hopefully that should allow for some more objective (not absolute) data against the blade, the sharpener and the razor itself.

1 2,827
 12-15-2012, 05:26 PM
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Looking forward to your contributions to this already excellent thread, Gary.

47 1,270
 12-15-2012, 06:45 PM
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That was an excellent write up Tom.

I thoroughly enjoyed using the Shake-Sharp that was on tour. I found it to be a very enjoyable and smooth razor.

5 833
 12-15-2012, 06:52 PM
  • Samjax
  • Active Member
  • Clearwater, Florida
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Hey Gary - looking forward to your findings!

This particular razor is a "diamond" in the rough I guess...or at least, a very well kept secret. I had no clue it even existed until Shave Nook's Dave posted this for sale a while back. I bought it not having a clue as to what it was - only wanting it because I had never owned one before.

As it turned out, it's probably the best $33 I have ever spent on a razor. I will be doing some followup testing - more angle experimentation and will go to a Super Iridium or Med Prep blade to see what effect the extra sharpness might have. I will post my results accordingly.

Biggest problems with the Shake Sharp?

1. hard to find
2. uses only one side of a DE blade - no issue though if you don't mind changing blades fairly regularly.
3. short handle and a fairly light overall weight (on the other hand, if you like the 1912 SE, you'll love this razor and have a ton more blades to choose from).
4. the "original selling point" of the razor, the sharpening hone, is really not needed today for most people.
5. cannot change handles as it's a one piece design

Hey Azarius - feel free to repost your review highlights here if you don't mind...and any updated thoughts you may have have concerning the razor.

29 466
 02-25-2013, 02:05 PM
  • jayaruh
  • Ex-Lurker
  • Hendersonville, NC
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I've never seen one of these in real life, but they are intriguing. The concept is cool. As I understand it those vintage blades didn't last long at all, and being able to extend the life of your blades would be attractive to cheapskates like me.

0 9
 02-25-2013, 02:46 PM
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SJ, I'm currently trying to use up a pack of Treet Classic carbon steel blades before they micro rust into uselessness.

If you'd like to have them to use in your SS, they're yours. I just need an address (PMed of course).

32 6,301
 12-18-2015, 07:01 AM
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I'm the proud owner of a SS for a couple of weeks now so here is my feelings :

I always prefer SE razors much more than DE because these feel more easy to use for me, head shape, easy to get the right angle.
But, I always have problems with GEM SE blades and new SE razors are way too expensive and does not worth the cost in terms of shaving imho, also the blades these modern razors used are not my favourites and are expensives.
finally I come back to DE because of blades.

Then, I find the SS, simply the best of the 2 worlds for me, the razor is well build, strong and very smooth and efficient, quicly become my favourite shaver even if the hone inside is useless with modern blades.

I get 6 awesome shaves with each blade, iritations, nicks and cuts free.

I wonder why today's maker don't build a SE like this ...

[Image: GQsrUgN.jpg]

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