#11

Member
Des Moines, IA
I've used a number of SE razors, both modern and vintage.

The only modern one I've kept is a Sabre Level 2. It's part of my rotation. As is a 1912 GEM.


This truly is the Golden Age of wetshaving. The options are phenomenal.

And for that, I am quite thankful.

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#12
(12-18-2018, 12:43 AM)HighSpeed Wrote:
(12-17-2018, 10:54 PM)jmudrick Wrote:
(12-17-2018, 05:03 PM)HighSpeed Wrote: I have a Sabre with both the L1 and L2 plates.  IMO it is an absolutely top-shelf product, and I use it all the time.  (I am 41 shaves in, 25 with the L1 plate and 16 with the L2.)  These are my loosely organized thoughts about the Sabre and of the some related options. ...

  • The fit and finish on my Sabre are superb, and I would expect any Blackland razor to be impeccably made.  A used razor off the bay may or may not be in first-rate condition.  For example, I have excellent examples of a Clog-Pruf and a G-Bar.  THB they shave as well as my Sabre, but I shopped carefully, paid a bit more than some probably do, and got a little lucky.  I would not worry for a second about the quality of a Blackland product (or about Shane's readiness to stand behind what he sells).  
  • I like the weight of the Sabre compared to the vintage razors and the PAA Starling.  However, people acclimate themselves to lightweight razors, as evidenced by all the folks shaving with vintage GEMS, Schicks, and Gillettes.  Nevertheless, I myself like the heavier weight.
  • The Sabre is not comfortable in my hand with the supplied handle but to me, that is a minor issue - easily and inexpensively fixed.  Just swap out the handle.
  • There is an easily noticeable contrast between the L1 and L2 plates.  FWIW wyze0ne, based on your remarks, my guess is that you would be happy with the L2.
  • I have a better experience with the Starling (V2) than wyze0ne, and I would not hesitate to buy a Starling if budget is an issue and if you can find one.  However, I just checked, and Starlings are currently sold out, so you would need a used one (a V2 hopefully).  There also is the vintage route for anyone who stumbles across this thread and needs a lower cost option.  Fine vintage GEM razors are easy to come by, even if it takes a couple of tries to get the one that is just right for you.
  • At the other end of the budget scale ...  I decided to go with the Polished Sabre over the Machined and FWIW, that was the best "splurge" I can offhand remember.  Totally unnecessary, but very satisfying to me.  I sometimes post photos of the day's rig over in the SOTD threads, and I quickly noticed that a polished Sabre looks really good.  If you use and photograph it with the supplied handle and stand, or just set it down in your den that way, it looks even better.
   

Good luck whichever way you go yohannrjm (and other shoppers).  IMO if you are shopping GEM razors, you are already ahead of the game.


EDIT:  I did not see jmudrick's remarks before posting, or I would have acknowledged them too.
One can buy any of the Micromatics, cased, in near mint condition for the price of a Starling bottom plate. Please help me understand why that's an option even worth considering in your mind??
Well, since you asked so nicely, I will do what I can.

In my mind, the Starling is an option worth considering because it shaves as fine for me.  I especially like that the Starling grip is easier for me than some MMs (not all MMs).  I don't notice the grip difference that much with all soaps, but these days I have zeroed in on a few brands of incredibly slick soaps.  What happens is that as the soap gets slicker, my baseline grip pressure goes up, and as my baseline pressure goes up, my fingers start cramping up in mid-shave.  That obviously sucks.  That's why I switch out the handle on the Sabre.  Likewise, I really enjoyed (past tense) my OneBlade Genesis at the times I wanted a quick and easy shave, but I haven't used the Genesis for quite a while because of the grip.  I also find it worky to grip my Clog-pruf.  Believe me, I continue to strive for minimal pressure with good control, but at the end of the day I have to go with what works for me, just like everyone else.

Now all that aside, I gather from the tone of your question that you (and wyze0ne ) don't think the Starling can stand up to a near-mint MM.  I get that, and FYI I could care less if people prefer MMs or dislike the Starling.  But my experience is different.  If that was not obvious before, it should be by now.
I respect we all have different experiences, was just pushing for particulars. Thanks.

HighSpeed likes this post
#13

Member
Virginia, USA
(12-18-2018, 05:11 AM)jmudrick Wrote:
(12-18-2018, 12:43 AM)HighSpeed Wrote:
(12-17-2018, 10:54 PM)jmudrick Wrote: One can buy any of the Micromatics, cased, in near mint condition for the price of a Starling bottom plate. Please help me understand why that's an option even worth considering in your mind??
Well, since you asked so nicely, I will do what I can.

In my mind, the Starling is an option worth considering because it shaves as fine for me.  I especially like that the Starling grip is easier for me than some MMs (not all MMs).  I don't notice the grip difference that much with all soaps, but these days I have zeroed in on a few brands of incredibly slick soaps.  What happens is that as the soap gets slicker, my baseline grip pressure goes up, and as my baseline pressure goes up, my fingers start cramping up in mid-shave.  That obviously sucks.  That's why I switch out the handle on the Sabre.  Likewise, I really enjoyed (past tense) my OneBlade Genesis at the times I wanted a quick and easy shave, but I haven't used the Genesis for quite a while because of the grip.  I also find it worky to grip my Clog-pruf.  Believe me, I continue to strive for minimal pressure with good control, but at the end of the day I have to go with what works for me, just like everyone else.

Now all that aside, I gather from the tone of your question that you (and wyze0ne ) don't think the Starling can stand up to a near-mint MM.  I get that, and FYI I could care less if people prefer MMs or dislike the Starling.  But my experience is different.  If that was not obvious before, it should be by now.
I respect we all have different experiences, was just pushing for particulars. Thanks.

That's cool. Thank you too.
Be Cool, be Kind, and be Well
--  Mike  --


The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our razors, but in our technique.
#14
Some people prefer vintage some people prefer modern, just like some people prefer unscented soaps vs scented or tallow vs non tallow, or sharp blades vs not so sharp blades, things work differently for different people everything is personal preference and ymmv is real. If someone prefers vintage that's awesome! And same goes for modern, your shaving experience is what counts. So many variables that one can't say for another person what is best, things like water quality, curly or straight hair, thick wire hair or thin, aggression preference, closed comb vs open comb, what blades work for certain skin, if you go for bbs or dfs, how many passes, how you create your lather, cold or hot water shave. Heavy or light razor, pressure or no pressure, good technique or bad, there must be So many more variables and that's what makes wetshaving fun and unique to everyone. Ymmv happy holidays Smile

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#15
(This post was last modified: 12-18-2018, 05:08 PM by jmudrick.)
(12-18-2018, 03:47 PM)socaljay Wrote: Some people prefer vintage some people prefer modern, just like some people prefer unscented soaps vs scented or tallow vs non tallow, or sharp blades vs not so sharp blades, things work differently for different people everything is personal preference and ymmv is real. If someone prefers vintage that's awesome! And same goes for modern, your shaving experience is what counts. So many variables that one can't say for another person what is best, things like water quality, curly or straight hair, thick wire hair or thin, aggression preference, closed comb vs open comb, what blades work for certain skin, if you go for bbs or dfs, how many passes, how you create your lather, cold or hot water shave. Heavy or light razor, pressure or no pressure, good technique or bad, there must be So many more variables and that's what makes wetshaving fun and unique to everyone. Ymmv happy holidays Smile

Other than pointing out the obvious (YMMV is inferred in every opinion) you have no opinion about the subject of the thread? Have you experience with vintage and modern GEM style razors? Even if it just an opinion we'd like to hear, that's why the forum exists.

wyze0ne likes this post
#16
I have limited experience with gem razors, only vintage gem I had was a micromatic and used it for a couple months also tried out a saber lvl 1 the angle is different the micromatic is more like an injector and the blackland sabre is more like a DE, A great shave can be had with both. For me to say a modern adds more to the shave than the other would depend on the eye of the beholder and right back to ymmv and personal preference.

HighSpeed likes this post
#17
Thanks for the opinions, everyone. While I'm tempted to try one of the new GEM-type razors, I'll probably wait until the manufacturers have refined their designs a bit.

I'm really happy that people are trying to design new razors for these blades. I started on my 'traditional wetshaving' journey more than a decade ago, and we've moved from only having a few modern razors being available to having almost too many choices. They've been limited to the DE world for a long time, but it's nice to see new SE razors getting released too.
- Yohann
#18
(12-19-2018, 03:37 PM)yohannrjm Wrote: Thanks for the opinions, everyone. While I'm tempted to try one of the new GEM-type razors, I'll probably wait until the manufacturers have refined their designs a bit.

I'm really happy that people are trying to design new razors for these blades. I started on my 'traditional wetshaving' journey more than a decade ago, and we've moved from only having a few modern razors being available to having almost too many choices. They've been limited to the DE world for a long time, but it's nice to see new SE razors getting released too.
In the meantime maybe get a $15 Clog-Pruf, I didn't see one pictured. Almost as good as the MMOC.
#19

Merchant
San Francisco CA
(12-19-2018, 03:37 PM)yohannrjm Wrote: Thanks for the opinions, everyone. While I'm tempted to try one of the new GEM-type razors, I'll probably wait until the manufacturers have refined their designs a bit.

What design refinements are you looking for?
#20
Hey Shane- Since I haven't tried the Sabre, it's not possible for me to say for sure that the design is not yet optimized, so anything I say here is speculation and based on the user reviews I've read. The reason I've decided to wait is that alpha and beta hardware is not always optimized by the manufacturer. You've already made the Level 2 available after getting feedback about the original design. I was waiting for the design to 'settle' before buying something that costs as much as the Sabre does. However, based on the reviews I've read here are a couple of potential tweaks.

1) Aggressiveness: From the reviews, even the level 2 head is not as aggressive as I'd like. I like to feel the blade on my face.

2) Head angle: Also, I'd like to see a slightly sharper rake on the head angle. This is possibly never going to happen.

3) Lighter material: I know most people like heavy stainless steel razors, but I prefer to have the blade edge do most of the work. So, if an Al version was available, I'd like that. That's another thing that probably never going to happen.
- Yohann


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