SharpSpine's OneBlade Journal (now w/ CORE) Dec 26, 2015 15:34:10 GMT -6 via mobile RocketMan likes this
Post by SharpSpine on Dec 26, 2015 15:34:10 GMT -6
December 26, 2015 -- A GEM Experiment
Until OneBlade hit the market the Feather spineless blades were practically unheard of here in the USA. Only the most passionate SE enthusiasts would track them down to use in their Valet AutoStrop razors. Others who found the price of these blades off putting decided to make do with what they already had plenty of for their other SE razors; GEM SS PTFE blades. With a simple pair of pliers or nippers one can easily remove the spine of the blade. A little more effort is needed to cut down the blade in order for it to fit in one of the Valet versions.
Now with OneBlade coming onto the scene in the last year with their entire platform built around these blades we are seeing more people carrying them. However, their price is still about 3x that of their GEM cousin when bought in bulk (more on this in a little while). So this now begs the question if the cheaper GEM blade (which also seems to have many more fans in the SE universe compared to Feather) can be used without a spine in the OneBlade razor. I showed in a video the other day how easily the de-spined GEM fits into the head of the OneBlade. While the blade went in easily, it does not fit around the nubs which are machined into the head to lock the Feather blade in. The GEM blade does have some cutouts, but they are not the same size, nor are they quite in the same place as the Feather spineless blade.
It then became decision time. Is it worth the risk to try shaving with a blade that doesn't completely fit as designed? I was initially hesitant as I am very vulnerable to a moving blade. Cobra razors never shaved me safely due to the moving blade bed. So would this blade be too unstable for me resting on top of the blade nubs rather than being secured by them? I figured that my risk was low given the inherent rigidity of the blade and that if the blade were to move, then it would move back & away from my skin.
View showing GEM blade installed
The shave this morning was fantastic. I had zero issues during the shave & never once felt nor noticed the blade move away from the stops. I achieved a 2-pass BBS result with no nicks, weepers, or irritation. The audible feedback was much louder & I suspect that is due to the blade being less locked down than the Feather. For all other purposes it was a typical OneBlade shave; mild & efficient. I can't rightly compare this shave to my Feather as my memory of that first shave a week ago isn't clear. My initial thought is that these blades will shave & feel pretty similar when both are fresh, but that the GEM blades are capable of delivering many more quality shaves before a new blade is needed.
In the SE universe the GEM blades are more beloved and deliver more shaves per blade for most (nearly all) people. Most SE aficionados are quick to dismiss the OneBlade based on the use of the Feather blade alone. So,this experiment was unavoidable to me when you consider a possibly better performing blade, with much better longevity, & at a third of the cost. Let's now evaluate the blade options and their costs from the vendors that I'm aware of, outside of OneBlade themselves.
$6.50 for 10 (65¢ each)
$128.50 for 240 (54¢ each)
$5.75 for 10 (58¢ each)
Razor Blades & More:
Unable to get pricing as website was unavailable when I was researching earlier today.
Connaught: Today's £:$ exchange rate 1.48:1
£5.00 for 10 (£0.50 each) $7.42 (74¢ each)
£24 for 60 (£0.40 each) $35.61 (59¢ each)
£42 for 120 (£0.35 each) $62.32 (52¢ each)
£72 for 240 (£0.30 each) $106.83 (45¢ each)
£2.50 for 10 (£0.25 each) $3.71 (37¢ each)
£4.00 for 20 (£0.20 each) $5.94 (30¢ each)
£5.40 for 30 (£0.18 each) $8.01 (27¢ each)
£8.50 for 50 (£0.17 each) $12.61 (25¢ each)
£12 for 100 (£0.12 each) $17.81 (18¢ each)
£20 for 200 (£0.10 each) $29.68 (15¢ each)
I will be returning back to the Feather blade and riding it out to see how many quality shaves I can get from it. From there I plan on using another Feather blade, but this time without sabotaging my own technique and without interruption like this current blade has been through. The result of today's experiment will definitely find me performing more de-spined GEM shaves down the road.
Disclaimer: I do not advise others to do this as it is not how the razor was designed to function.