Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Ron R, Nov 8, 2018.


Pick the Gem you like shaving with, multiple choices allowed for different models!

  1. Gem Lather catcher

    12 vote(s)
  2. Gem Junior

    14 vote(s)
  3. Gem 1912 Damaskeene

    20 vote(s)
  4. Gem Micro Matic clog proof

    21 vote(s)
  5. Gem Micro Matic Bullet handle (flying wing)

    16 vote(s)
  6. Gem Micro Matic Open comb

    24 vote(s)
  7. Gem Push button

    12 vote(s)
  8. Gem G- Bar

    19 vote(s)
  9. Gem Feather weight

    11 vote(s)
  10. Gem Contour

    7 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    I am lucky. I can get Treet blades local. Being one of the old timers that much prefer carbon steel blades this is a veddy good thing.
    Frijolero and Ron R like this.
  2. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    They called the push button a heavy flat top also?
    Ron R likes this.
  3. jmudrick

    jmudrick Well-Known Member

    No I don't think so. One newspaper but seems to be a mistake in the copy
    gorgo2 and Ron R like this.
  4. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    That makes more sense. Wrong picture in the ad.
    gorgo2 and Ron R like this.
  5. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    streamline razor March 14 2019 (2).jpg
    Well I had my first shave with the Streamline razor and it was a good shave, very close. Started with a brand new Gem Personna SS PTFE (1) and it delivered a BBs and it's indicating a very efficient razor also. The audio on the whiskers getting chopped is very nice to hear(scraping toast) and it indicates the little rascals are still there on the second pass ATG. I did a 2 pass with a cleanup pass and it delivered what I was expecting for a shave. I had a small weeper from a pimple it sheared off like any razor would do unless a extremely mild aggression razor.
    1st Shave with the streamline (2).jpg
    The Razor was manufactured in England and went through 2 generations and some are very rare to find like the GEM Jewel that I do not own but they do exist and this is about as close to acquiring one for now.
    Streamline variances (3).jpeg A Gem Jewel, rare and can be a little expensive if you come a cross one.
    Here is some great pictures of the differences that were made of the Everready Streamline razor models over the decades of time, Very attractive razor.
    @mdwolfie86 has a beautiful collection of Everready & Gem Jewel Streamine razor and he gave me permission to show the models over the decades they were MFG.
    Have some great shaves!
    Chuck Naill, brit and gorgo2 like this.
  6. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    This morning I had a shave with my EV Streamline which is identical to it's twin Streamline GEM Jewel that are very hard to find and of course expensive. This morning (day 4) I have started to evaluate the blade for its time era and the Corrux & Gem blades had a much thicker spine and were a surgical steel and they came with a strop bar to strop the blades usally. This indicates the razor was designed for a thicker spine so being the practical type I improvised and tested it this morning and results were great and the razor was quieter and smoother but it's to early to say hurrah! I will be testing the 1912 also with this design of elastic but the 1912 is very smooth to shave with anyways but very audible. If any one wants more information on this let me know I have lots of pictures for a different segment on this thread down the road. Still testing this great razor and finding different strengths and good habits to follow for great shaves!
    elastic band size aprrox (2).jpg This spine shim fits perfect in my Streamline. Back of shimmed spine just snug as a bug in a rug (2).jpg Safe way to handle a GEM blade pinched between to business card magnets! How to hold a Gem blade safely while handling it between to magnets. (2).jpg

    Have some great GEM shaves!
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
    gorgo2, CrustyCat and Hembree like this.
  7. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    Shimming the spine on newer Gem blade is it worth the effort? I have been using my Gem Personna blade in a lot of my GEM razor models and for the great part no real issues because Gem engineered the base plate with bumps(two round riser shims on base plate) for the new double edge blade they introduced with the 1930's Micromatics and all models after the Micromatics have the bumps on the base other than really rare early GEM MMOC model. That leaves the Lather catchers , Damakeene 1912, GEM 1912,GEM Jr 1912, EV 1914, EV1912, EV streamline and EV shovelhead with out the modified base plates.
    When the first lather catchers were introduced they had the wedge blades that had a similar shape to a Straight razor but much larger width but shorter length. wedge blade (2).jpg
    Then MFG's started to design thinner blades with the mechanically attached thicker spine and the razors of that time were designed for the thicker spines to stiffen the blade. So for years a lot of razor blades (examples:Wedge types , EV Corrux, GEM.... )designed razors around their blade dimensions. So if you are having issues with a Vintage razor that seems aggressive you might want to consider a spine shim just to get close to that time ERA of design of those models. Most Vintage razors do not need a spine shim but engineers at that time wanted a downward angle on their blade for a reason and that was to smooth out the shave IMO .
    comparrison 2 (2).jpg comparison 4 (2).jpg elastic band size aprrox (2).jpg A safe way of holding these blades between to magnetic business cards and pinch firmly. How to hold a Gem blade safely while handling it between to magnets. (2).jpg
    You can purchase these recently available blade adapters from this site that looks interesting that I just found out about. wedge adapters for older razors (2).jpg Adapter (3).JPG Amazing what 3d printers are doing.
    Have some great shaves!
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    brit likes this.
  8. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    @Ron R and others who've used the Streamline/Jewel, which of the common Gems/Ever Readies would you say is the most comparable?
  9. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    I'm still doing testing on my EV Streamline and it is closer to the Micromatic open comb IMO, but when a spine shim is added it smooths the shave out IMO. Tomorrow test will be a brand new GEM SS PTFE blade with the elastic shim added to see how it performs on Continuous shave #8 of daily shaving.
    gorgo2 likes this.
  10. Missing Lynx

    Missing Lynx Well-Known Member

    This beautiful Gem was put out recently and I am just adding the picture because it is so sharp looking. The current asking price, not so much. Plus there is a visible tear in the strop and I am sure finding the replacement without a tear would be just as rare. Odd that these things seem to come up for sale once somebody posts about them in the forums here. :signs002:


    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
    Herm2502, brit and Frijolero like this.
  11. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    Everready(GEM) Streamline razor 2nd Generation with stropping attachment! streamline razor March 14 2019 (2).jpg

    Weight: 73 grams(2.5 oz) or 82 grams(2.9oz) with the Strop handle on razor head
    Blade gap: .015 thousands of a inch (.40mm)
    Blade exposure: Postive
    Blade: Gem Personna SS PTFE
    Material: Base material brass with chrome coating, a few models had the gold coating.
    Extra thick base plate along the the outer perimeter of base plate to give the illusion of heavy duty appearance with a hollow out smooth inner seat for the blade to rest.
    Handling feel: Razor is comfortable and has adequate grip with nice knurling.
    The 1st shave indicated to me that the razor has positive blade feel and efficient with aggression and if desired by tilting angle of razor steeper(riding the guard) will magnify aggression considerably. You have to use a shallow approach or riding the cap to have a more smoother shave with a light touch or minimal pressure.
    I found when flat against the face with the back cap spring clasp just touching your face you will be in the sweet spot for razor angle.
    - Check to make blade stops are not damaged or sharp because most will be used over the decades.
    - I would not recommend this razor to a person just learning to SE shave because it tends to have that appeal of eye candy with some aggression that might overcome a Newbe and turn him off , its more for a seasoned shaver with GEM or Everready experiences IMO.
    -shaves #2 & #3 are showing the razor has aggression with the new GEM Personna SS PTFE blade and riding the cap should be emphasized for a good shave.
    - I also modified the spine area with a elastic shim of shave #4 to see if shimming would change the shave out come & it was positive IMO.
    The razor was designed in the 1930's & 50's with thicker spine on the blade when considering tolerance for seating the blade & stropping the Corrux blade seemed normal for that time era? and because the Corrux blade has a thicker spine attached to the blade I improvised a elastic shim to mimic that blade spine thickness.
    -Shave #5 shimmed shows a quieter and much smoother shave, it could also be the blade nicely wearing in.
    -Shave #6 WTG, ATG with a clean up pass (shave routine on all passes), used the single side of the shim down on base plate and went through J hooking and GEM slide on clean up pass results with Alum block indicating no serious problems with odd tiny tingle .
    -shave #7 again a great DFS, BBS with no issues after checking with the Alum block.
    -shave # 8 with a new GEM SS PTFE blade and double shimmed and recieved a CCS,DFS,BBS and Alum block indicating no issues.
    -Shave #9 shave was reasonble with shimmed blade, I had a few tiny weepers from some skin bleamishes and the streamline models are one of the more aggressive Gems that were MFG and best shaves were after 3 shaves on the GEM SS PTFE blade which is normal. CCS,DFS,BBS were results after 2 shaves on the new blade
    -shave # 10 shave was good with the shimmed spine and had no irritation and final results CCS,DFS,BBS and that is good IMO and so after 10 continuous daily shaves I will be changing razors for the sake of change.(I get bored of a razor)
    Sunday shave March 24-2019 (2).jpg
    Conclusion: For a daily shaver it kind of pushes my outer boundary for comfort because of my beard and skin type but it is still doable after 10 consecutive days of daily shaving.
    The best approach would be to use a milder GEM razor for first 2-3 uses on a new GEM SS PTFE blade like I do on more aggressive razors and then start using the ER (GEM)Streamline razor for a more comfortable shave IMO. Shimming the blade spine is also a option that should reduce aggression if that is the desired end result YMMV.(refer to my improvised shim on earlier pages.)
    The Streamline razor was very comfortable in the hand and will deliver some great shaves following of course excellent technique.
    Gem Streamline razor review (2).jpg
    Gem instruction manual (2).jpg Gem procedure (2).jpg Blade review Revision #5 Dec14-2018.jpg

    Have some great shaves!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
    brit, CrustyCat and Frijolero like this.
  12. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    LC2 (2).jpg Finally received my GEM jr Lather catcher"New Bar" 1901 &1902 pat and it was in rough condition and because of my background as a repair Machinist...... I brought this interesting razor back to life. This is my first shave with a Gem Personna SS PTFE (1)and I have to be honest this razor is such a good shaver that if plastic did not come along I have know doubt they would still be MFG these. It's not overly aggressive(mid range) but efficient and smoothest combined. Could it be how I repaired or it's just naturally a winner I would say the later.
    I'm going to use it for over a week and do a evaluation on this "GEM".
    I have some great ads for the time from @MacDaddy at B&B that he shared and researched on another thread and they are interesting.
    Gem junior safety bar ad.jpg Gem junior safety bar ad #3.jpg
    Damaskeene borrowed (2).jpg
    Lather catcher GEMonday !st use (2).jpg
    Have some great Gem shaves!
  13. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    Here is a great time line for GEM & Everready razors that has been updated and some effort went into this by @mata_66 and we will all appreciate this reference and there could be a few changes if needed. Latest update Beta 1.1, Thanks to [​IMG]@mata_66 for his updating interesting information.

    Have some great shaves!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    pj3r and brit like this.
  14. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    GEM 1911> Junior Bar Lather catcher (my model year). LC2 (2).jpg The GEM Junior bar came out in 1907

    Weight : 44 grams (1.5 oz)
    Blade Gap: .017 thousands of a inch Averaged out- the safety bar was not perfect from over 101 years of service and bumps along it's journey to my possession.
    Blade exposure: Positive
    Blade : GEM Personna SS PTFE (8)
    Material : Base metal brass with a excellent coating of Nickel that has endured well.
    Handling: This is just a joy to use, light weight and no problems under the nose area.
    When this razor was patented in 1900 & 1901, the Wright brothers had not made their first successful solo air flight yet(1903). The workmanship of this razor for it's era was spot on.
    You can find yourself adding a touch to much pressure when first testing if no care is taken, new blade -new razor can lead to a little razor burn if technique not dialed in.
    The shaves this razor delivers is some of the best you can expect IMO.
    You have to be gentle with this old razor when installing blades because the blade stops could be weakened over time from 10's of thousands of uses. You should avoid letting the back clasp that is spring loaded slap the back of the blade, there is no need to do that and possibly prematurely damage the blade stops and your razor becomes scrap.
    -Shave #4 and this razor becomes one of my favorites of the Gem Family models with great audio feedback, results CCS,DFS,BBS.
    -Shave #6 was one of my better shaves because pre-shave with a shower and every thing just went great CCS,DFS,BBs.
    The Gem junior bar lather catcher with this skin tension bar possibly works , I thought it could be a gimmick but maybe there is merit there and more than likely lead to putting top caps on the newer razors that were to be introduced years later the 1911 & 1912 deluxe and Damaskeene razors that looked newer for eye appeal and of course you got to have the latest greatest razor for that time(some things do not change).
    The nice part with this razor you are getting minimal irritation with not a lot of aggression but with high efficiency with the Alum block indicating a nice shave most of the time.(does not get better usually IMO).
    This razor could easily be a daily driver for those who shave every day like myself.
    -Shave #7 was very outstanding and will bring a smile for folks who have some Gem experience & if possible a nice razor for a change up and experience what it was to shave back in 1907>.
    -Shave #8 just a easy going shave with no issues & that is what folks want. End results were CCS,DF
    S,BBS and that is the sweet spot for most of us.
    Conclusion: Great vintage razor that for Gem owners and Collectors & is a must, just a razor that hits my sweet spot for a irritation free shave.
    Gem Junior Bar review (2).jpg
    Here is some literature that was sent with this razor if curious.
    GEM LC 1.1 (2).jpg GEM LC 1.2 (2).jpg Stropping attachment threaded inside of handle. Stropping attachment inside of handle! (2).jpg
    I like to add these references for folks who are thinking of using a Gem or a Everready razor.
    Gem instruction manual (2).jpg Gem procedure (2).jpg Blade review Revision #5 Dec14-2018.jpg
    Have some great shaves!

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
    brit likes this.
  15. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    Damaskkene  Haul 2 (2).jpg
    Gem 1912>1915 Damaskeene Open comb (Dammy OC)
    First shave with this Oldie Goldie and I would say I lucked out finding this one on Ebay among a needle in a hay stack.
    The shave was very irritation free(Alum block test) and took off a days growth with no issues and was very enjoyable to shave with this over 100 yr old razor that IMO was combination of previous razors design strengths with the new modern touch of the future that was coming. (the GEM deluxe 1911-1912 was before the 1912 Damaskeene but very rare to find & look similar.)
    First impressions after a preshave shower and following with preshave Aloe vera gel is indicating a mid-range on the milder side with excellent efficiency & also with a brand new GEM Personna SS PTFE blade(1) and it performed great and also a bonus of indicating a very nice daily shaver but it's to early for a 1 day shave of testing results CCS,DFS,BBS with a 1st pass WTG and 2nd ATG with a clean up pass.(Standard unless very mild razor for myself)
    The handle is light & hollowed to allow the stropping attachment to seat inside with no issues and is very comfortable in my hands, I prefer the stropping attachment in the handle for comfort reasons and it also protects the bottom of the handle somewhat, that arrangement could change later.
    Will have to use it for at least 8 days> of daily use to see how it works for myself.
    !st shave with Dammy (2).jpg
    Old damasakeene ad (2).jpg
    Have some great shaves!
    Gem instruction manual (2).jpg Gem procedure (2).jpg Blade review Revision #5 Dec14-2018.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    brit and Hembree like this.
  16. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    Here is some great research that one of the fellows did on a similar thread on a different forum & it's worth noting for GEM,EVEREADY & STAR(Kampfe brothers) Brand affectionados!
    Some early history (unbearable wall of text!):

    At the end of the 19th Century, in the lower Manhattan area east of Broadway, there were many cutlery shops, mainly owned and operated by German immigrants and their families. The Kampfe brothers owned one of these shops. In those times barbers and the so-called “self-shavers” were using straight razors; by the ’70s of the 19th century the Kampfe brothers had the idea to produce another kind of razor. In 1875 they founded the “Star Company” and a few years later, in 1880, they produced a hoe-type razor with a protection before the wedge blade. They baptized it the “Safety Razor”, the first ever produced in the US, preceding Gillette by more than twenty years.

    Many years and many models after, in a day of 1898 Jeremiah “Jerry” Reichard, a former employee of the Kampfe, founded his own company: the “Gem Cutlery Company” with the company headquarters just a few doors down the Kampfe Bros Cutlery Shop in Reade Street.

    In those days everybody knew everybody, more if they were of the same German heritage and if they shared the same profession. The Kampfe, Reichard, the Zinn family and another actor of this old tale, August W. Scheuber.

    Scheuber filed seven patents between June 1898 and June 1901 and all these patents were assigned to Mary Zinn. Also, Reichard’s first two safety razor patents were filed to Mary Zinn. Zinn was a wealthy German lady in her fifties, the widow of the recently passed away Simon Zinn. She inherited a successful metal goods manufacturing enterprise in Manhattan so she had the money and she had the tools.

    The Zinn family stood in the shadows although a couple of razors, the “Zinn Gem” and the “Z” were named after them. Everything suggests they financed the start-up of Reichard’s Gem Cutlery Co and probably they were the real stockholders of the company.

    I imagine them meeting along Reade St: “Guten tag Herr Kampfe”, “Guten tag Frau Zinn, wie sind sie?” Maybe they were discussing their projects and their sales numbers sitting at a table, sharing some German delikatessen and drinking Bavarian beer.
    It is plausible that after all the small talk and the laughs, in the back of their respective shops they were studying and trying to copy their rivals in business products.

    In 1903 Jerry Reichard and August Scheuber decided to join forces and founded the R&S Manufacturing Co. R&S first acted as a contract manufacturer. Reichard 1898 patent appears on many razors: the “Daisy”, the “Wanamaker”, the “Wilbert” (sold by Sears in 1904), the “Winchester”.

    R&S produced quite a few “wedge blade hoe type” safety razors under its own brand, notably the “Mohican”, the “Winner”, the “Yankee” and, in 1904, the “Ever Ready”. The company briefly changed its name in “Yankee Razor Co.” and finally, in 1905 the company became the “Ever-Ready Co.”

    I still haven’t discovered if Reichard held his feet in two shoes owning Gem and Ever-Ready at the same time or if Gem Cutlery Co. had a new owner by 1903.

    1906 was quite a pivotal year in the history of SE razors. Two main events made it such an important year: the introduction by Ever-Ready of the first single edge “rib-back” (spine) blade and Joseph Kaufmann (yet another German descendant) became the first president of the newly-founded American Safety Razor Company (ASR) According to some faded information, Reichard stayed with ASR while Scheuber returned to the Gem Cutlery Co.

    ASR was first located in 34, Reade Street, Manhattan. 34, Reade St. was also the address of the Zinn Building. It all suggests that Ever-Ready Co. and Gem Cutlery Co. converged in American Safety Razor Co. still maintaining separated brand identities.

    In March 1906 Reichard filed his first new patent in years regarding a “thin strip of sheet steel the opposite embraced by a substantially U-shaped metal strip which forms a stiffener and back of the blade”. The first single edge spined blade that we still use today.

    Ever-Ready abandoned the wedge blade and started producing two new razors that made use of the new just patented “rib-backed” blade: the “ASR” and the “ER” (or at least this is how are known by modern collectors). They were practically identical razors that only differed by the letters pierced on the top lid. They came with either a two-piece tubular metal or black wood (“Ebonoid”) handle.

    The Gem Cutlery Co. did the same and started producing the new style of blades and a new line of razors, the “Junior”. The Gem Junior was very similar to the Ever-Ready razor maybe because both were modeled after a 1901 patent filed by August Scheuber.
    Have some great shaves!
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    brit likes this.
  17. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    GEM Damaskeene Open Comb 1912-1915 (Dammy OC) Damaskeene OC (2).jpg
    46 grams (1.6 oz)
    Blade Gap: .017 thousands of a inch(.44 mm)
    Blade exposure: Positive
    Blade: GEM Personna SS PTFE (8)
    Material: Base metal Brass, Nickel coating was used , it was Hard to find information on the coating for this razor model.
    Handling: Very nice razor in the hand for feel with this narrower handle, installing blades & removing was done easily.
    Shave # 2 went well with just wet the face and also with a warm wet face cloth applied for 40 seconds X 2. The shave went flawless and ended with a great final result CCS,DFS,BBS & Alum block indicated nothing.
    Shave #4 and the razor & blade are performing well, I had to use a small diamond hone to knock down some small burrs from years of placing the razor on it's side from previous owners handling a little roughly when their shave were completed.
    This over looked razor is user grade quality & very happy with the results it can reward a person with a reasonable technique. Because the razor is in good shape I did the GEM slide technique with buffing short strokes and results were excellent, and alum block confirmed good results.
    Shave #5 , I showered & preshaved with Aloe Vera Gel. Soap I used Razorock Lavender and my beard type medium type with skin not that sensitive & knocked off a CCS,DFS,BBS, Alum block indicated no problems, Just a smooth irritation free shave.
    Shave #8 and razor with Gem coated blade still giving excellent results. CCS,DFS,BBS.
    Conclusion: The Gem Damaskeene open comb is a excellent razor that will deliver quality shaves. My results indicated a milder mid range side & highly efficient with a reasonable forgiving characteristic that most folks like in a razor.
    Also the GEM Damaskeene OC is a excellent daily driver after 8 consecutive days of daily use with results usually CCS,DFS,BBS and that is my sweet spot for my desired shave with my medium beard type growth and not so sensitive skin.
    Gem Damaskeene open comb review (2).jpg
    Gem instruction manual (2).jpg Gem procedure (2).jpg Blade review Revision #5 Dec14-2018.jpg A lot of GEM razors bought second hand do not have information on Technique so I provided some.
    Have some great shaves!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
    brit and jmudrick like this.
  18. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    cool review sir..
    Ron R likes this.
  19. Ron R

    Ron R Well-Known Member

    I,m glade you are enjoying the GEM brand of razors reviews, lots of interesting information for GEM Fans.
    brit likes this.
  20. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    yes sir,while i don't shave with them at present and my brit eveready 1924 is out on loan ,they are cool razors .love learning about them and admiring the pics..thank you for the great reviews..

Share This Page