I thought this would be a safe topic for opening the group. Some men prefer electric ....no idea why, there are the disposable razor gentlemen , and the more old school traditionalists such as myself who prefer a safety razor or straight razor.
Just found that these GEM razors that I like are 1912 models which is a bit older than I though.
The short traveling one (the handle unscrews to fit in a small case) is like new. They are basically as comfortable and smooth as a good modern razor but for a fraction of the blade price.
They were followed closely by the GEM 1914 razors which seem to have a modest fan base still. Here is one in a WW I kit.
The VALET Autostrop may be one of the steamiest devices a man could own or at least the steamiest razor.
These actually have working miniature gears that flip the blade back and forth as you run a unique leather stropping strap through the device to sharpen the blade.
These have some some significant pros and cons. Pros include being CHEAP so far I have 9 since seller just throw them into lots with other razors. You can easily find good VALETs for under $5. on E-bay. They are steamy; you just have to handle one. Blades are "available." To my surprise, these may be one of the closest and cleanest shaves that I have ever had.
Cons include blades costing as much as a $1. each compared to $0.05 -$0.20 for a Gillette style double edged blade although it is possible to modify a GEM style blade to fit most for less than 1/2 that. The worst part is that I cannot get them to really do what they were supposed to be specially made for: sharpen their blades. I have been trying all sorts of variations but my stropping is dulling the blades not restoring them. Applying a little 3M oil to the strop (which is not in the instructions) has restored a dull blade just enough to be the worst shave that I can call a shave. My wife says that I look like a shaved but it does not feel like it to me. I tried the slightly less expensive carbon steel blades (Feather out of Japan is the only maker - and they know it $). I had slightly better success stropping the carbon steel blade so it is the 2nd worst shave that I will call a shave but these blades start out feeling dull and tugging compared to the excellent shaves from the stainless blades. IF I could master stropping these blades to get the advertised 1-4 months of good shaves this would be my favorite razor now and through the zombie apocalypse.
I would recommend than any wet shaving fan get one while they are cheap, spend twice as much on a 10 pack of Feather single edged blades (and maybe a strop) then try this razor. The exposed razor made my first shave feel like a near death experience but no nicks, smooooooth, and excellent trimming.
Patented 1904 and produced through 1947. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Jacques_Gaisman
I have used a Gillette Sensor razor for 35 years until the blades became nearly impossible to find and too expensive. My short experience with electric razors proved to me that they were mini meat grinders. I am going to return to using a safety razor just as I had when I began shaving.
I currently use a USN issue Vietnam era safety razor. It was my father's and now mine. I have always liked the feeling of a fresh straight razor shave. it also works beautifully for profiling a beard. However, I have only ever used borrowed straights during reenactments. Would anyone know a good place to get a quality straight razor?
http://jas-townsend.com/razor-p-1575.html but they aren't cheap.
Ask "Dr. Mike" since he seems to have a line of reconditioned antique straight razors:https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Mikes-Shaving-Emporium-1596890973879892...
Have you used straight razors successfully before? I have had mixed feelings about using a throat slitter.
The Art of Manliness offers quality straight razors, safety razors, and accessories https://store.artofmanliness.com/collections/grooming