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Gem blade modification for Oneblade razor

Discussion in 'Single Edge Blades' started by Acer89, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Acer89

    Acer89 James

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Many of you know the Oneblade razor was solely designed for the Feather FHS-10 Hi-Stainless Single Edge blade The Gem SE blade will also fit the Oneblade but it doesn't lock into place. Whilst some users who prefer the Gem have mentioned this not a problem others have reported blade shift during the shave.

    Recently, I've been following a few tutorials on how to modify the gem blade to fit the Oneblade so it locks firmly into place with an audible click. Having purchased copious amounts of both blades from Counnaught's I'd thought why not give it a whirl to see just how easy it was.

    My results are at the bottom of the page.

    Some may wonder why would you bother? Well given the huge price differential between the gems and the feathers, cost consideration comes into play here. Some Oneblade users have reported the feather is only good for two shaves max whilst the gem keeps it's edge for much longer. Some users also report the ultra sharp edge of the feather causes irritation whilst the gem doesn't.

    Tools :
    Any pliers or pincers for removing the spine from the gem blade
    A hand nibbler: Inexpensive but must be the type which cuts tiny bites from the metal rather than the shear metal cutting type.

    Step 1: Removing the spine:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4exDJXACHg

    Step 2: Nibbling the edge - Len's tutorial for using the hand nibbler
    http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=40618

    Here's my results: The modified gem blade now locks into the Oneblade with an audible click.
    I found it took only a matter of a few seconds using the right tools.
    2016-07-23 23.45.21.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
  2. Gordy

    Gordy Über Member

    Location:
    Here, obviously
    Wouldn't mind something similar for my VC3 and VB4 Autostrops.
     
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  3. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie Veteran

    Nice One..I Experienced the Gem Blade Moving in the OneBlade..:cool:

    Billy
     
    Acer89 likes this.
  4. Len

    Len Senior Member

    @Acer89 , I'm glad you got some use out of my GEM modification tutorial. I've ultimately found that I prefer using the Feather blade, but it was very fun teaching myself how to modify the GEM for the OneBlade. My instructions may seem long or complicated, but this was done mainly for precision and detail. In practice, the full modification from despining to clipping takes a matter of seconds, and will make a lot of vintage SE users happy that their favorite blade can finally be used in a modern razor, and with very little effort. With this mod, the GEM will lock in exactly as the Feather does, and there will be no shift. (My purpose in the mod was never concern of blade shift, but rather concern over long term potential damage that a bending blade could put on the razor. I paid a lot for it, and I wanted to make sure that any blade I used should be fitted to the razor design.)

    It is also important to have options. If the Feather SE ever gets discontinued you can use the GEM, and vice-versa. Prefer the Feather, but the GEM is a damn good blade, and I've stocked up on both types to last a lifetime for this razor.

    The Valets would need a different type of mod, namely punching precise holes in the middle of the blade to match up with the center teeth that lock them in. Use a NOS Valet blade or modern Feather SE blade for reference. You will also need a different type of metal puncher/nibbler.
     
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  5. Gordy

    Gordy Über Member

    Location:
    Here, obviously
    Hence why I said similar. I have done the mod with a Dremel but it's quite difficult given the hardness of the metal. The Feathers aren't a great blade, certainly not as durable as the GEM's, which are fantastic in my VC1. They don't even palm strop well, something that I find doubles the life of the GEM. Why they are used in the OneBlade is beyond me, even if Feather are in on it, as commonly suspected.
     
    Billyfergie likes this.
  6. Acer89

    Acer89 James

    Location:
    United Kingdom
     
  7. Acer89

    Acer89 James

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks Len.... Following your tutorial was easy peasy and yes it took only a matter of second for a full gem modification. Thanks also for taking the time to share it with us.

    I haven't yet decided which blade I prefer as I'm still adjusting to the oneblade. I was particularly impressed at the speed you can build up using the Oneblade v DE. It's most definitely my 'to go' razor if in a hurry. Almost a week in and not one nick or weeper.

    I experienced a great shave last night using the Gem especially after a quick palm strop. It seemed smooth and less aggressive than the feather. I purchased 240 feathers and 100 gems from Paul at Connault's so I have plenty to play with.

    May I ask .... How many shaves do you get from a feather before switching and do you palm strop both types of blades?

    I accept my skin will need to adapt to this different way of shaving. However, I still reach for my much loved ATT slant especially at weekends or for an evening shave.
     
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  8. Acer89

    Acer89 James

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Me too... scared me a bit but didn't shift after the mod.
     
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  9. Len

    Len Senior Member

    I can stretch a Feather blade to 3-4 shaves, but don't. They are at their peak performance in the first 2 shaves for me, and now, always bin them after 2 shaves. With a GEM, 4 shaves and bin.

    As to palm stropping, I don't do it with the Feather, and find it unnecessary. With the GEM, I palm strop it before first use, and not after. With stainless steel blades, palm stropping really does nothing for sharpness, in my experience, but it does smooth out the blade... take the roughness out. A fresh GEM is more rough than a camel's a*seh*le, and do find stropping it makes a world of difference smoothing it out. It is still a bit rough for the first shave or two, and then really smooths out nicely.

    According to OneBlade, the reason they chose the Feather for their SE blade was that it was both smoother and sharper. This would explain why you get less shaves out of a Feather... a sharper, thinner edge will blunt faster. And I think OneBlade could not afford to make their razor using a GEM natively, as their core, target market was/is cart users who may never have used a safety razor. That rough 1st shave or two with the GEM, especially not stropped, would have lots of new users returning their razor and heading back to the carts, something OneBlade could not afford with their target audience.

    The expense of either blade doesn't bother me... its pennies, and both are cheaper than carts by a wide margin. I just prefer the Feather cause its smoother, mainly... and it really is sharper. There is a patch on one part of my neck that is really tough to get BBS. Can do so with the Feather, but not the GEM.
     
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  10. Acer89

    Acer89 James

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Thanks Len four days in and I did notice a bit of neck irritation using the ultra sharp feather so today I used my ATT slant with pol-silver blade. I'll go back to the feather tomorrow and take your advice and switch to a new blade every second shave. Appreciate your advice. Thank you
     
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  11. Boojum1

    Boojum1 Cosmic Member

    Location:
    Arizona
    I can get 8-10 good shaves with GEM PTFE blades in my OneBlade razor. With the Feather FHS-10 blades I only get 1 or 2 shaves.
     
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  12. Acer89

    Acer89 James

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
    Len likes this.
  13. N_Architect

    N_Architect Über Member

    Location:
    ATH
    Great - thanks for sharing.
     
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