Wet Shavers' preferred blades

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Stick

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Sound advice again Michael.

As outlined above, I think I'm pretty much there. The other blades I have that aren't Derbys are from the sampler packs I bought. Figured I may as well finish them. Once I've settled on a combo I don't see any point in dabbling anymore. My reasons for moving to DE razors were primarily the price of cartridges. If I end up with cupboards of razors, blades and brushes it kind of defeats the purpose.
 

nismo270r

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Stick":cr1lxq0o said:
Sound advice again Michael.

As outlined above, I think I'm pretty much there. The other blades I have that aren't Derbys are from the sampler packs I bought. Figured I may as well finish them. Once I've settled on a combo I don't see any point in dabbling anymore. My reasons for moving to DE razors were primarily the price of cartridges. If I end up with cupboards of razors, blades and brushes it kind of defeats the purpose.
Another one to try out if you're dead set on steering away from Gillette would be the Bluebirds. I favored them over the Derby's and they're still a very inexpensive blade.
 

Zeno Marx

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I don't have much experience, so my opinion isn't worth a whole lot.  The two criteria I seem to find are 1)  smoothness  2)  sharpness.  There's a balance in there, because super sharp comes at the cost of smoothness.  That's why many talk about how sharp Feathers are, but you rarely hear anyone talk about them giving a smooth, comfortable shave.  Is it possible?  Sure.  It is something you're going to get every day with them?  Probably not.

I was given Feathers and Astras SP before I had any outside feedback or coloring.   I've been an electric shaver all my life, but I was open to trying a blade again.  Found an old Gillette adjustable for a few bucks.  A friend who had done some research and some shopping gave me a few blades.  Then when I went about reading, my findings happened to be in line with all others.  I got some of the closest shaves with Feathers, but I also found myself with more irritation and having to be more careful on the contours.  Astras were close to being as sharp, but they offered a lot more smoothness and less irritation.  Astras are also $10-/100, including shipping.  I'd like to try Personna Blues and Perma Sharp Supers, but it probably won't happen anytime soon.

I get four complete shaves out of each Astra blade, but I've never pushed it.  I'm good with $.025/shave.

There are a couple/few very useful and trustworthy shaving enthusiasts who are on youtube. You can find a review on practically any soap, blade, brush, razor, or accessory.

I'm looking for a couple of different slant razors. I know this isn't the seller forum, but because it isn't pipe related, should I post a WTB here or there? I also know this isn't exactly a place with heavy shaving foot traffic, but I'd really like to avoid getting on another set of forums if I can.
 

Wet Dottle

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Some people are picky about their blades, others are not. I'm in the second group: after trying many brands, I found they all worked, except Merkur. The real difference for me concerned how many shaves they last. Some lasted only one or two shaves, while others lasted more than 6 or 7. I like to replace my blade every Sunday regardless, meaning they they have to last for at least 4 shaves, therefore that's my main criterion. My favorites are Persona blue box (because the wrappers have no glue dots) and Kai (because they are thicker than the others and have no lettering on the blade itself). :)
 

AlphaWarrior

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I use Feather and Astra. Keep in mind that different razors have different angles and clearances and that makes more of a difference than blade brand. I like open comb, aggressive razors because I have a tough beard. I read somewhere that single use of a Feather blade is great, but if you use blades twice it might not be a good blade for you because the edge rolls, it being so sharp and thin. I can confirm this with my experience. I can use the Astras twice though they are slightly less amazingly smooth.

My 2 cents,
AW
 

DrumsAndBeer

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I use Personna Red and Blue. I prefer the Isreali made reds over the blue medicals, but the blues are more economical. I can get 5 shaves out of one blue and the 100 packs are rediculously cheap. Reds are sharper and a bit more articulate. Honestly in all my years of shaving with a DE razor, these are the only blades I have tried, but they work for me.
 

Behike54

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RZR BLADES 101:

You can't rate a razor blade on one variable.

Aggressive razor or mild?

Days of growth, etc.

That said, your soap and how well you lather is a HUGE variable.

anything more than 3 days of growth and my recipe is Feather + Muhle R41 + Mitchell's Wool Fat

If I have to shave everyday for a stretch, it's Merk 34C+ Pol Silver stainless or Supermax Tiger Super Platinum + CRSWs soap.

IMHO, regarding performance/protection and post shave feel, Cold River Soap Works is my hands-down fave. Truth be told, it's not really close...FOR ME.
 

Stick

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Well my first 100 pack was Astra SPs and I'm still working my way through them. They suit me really well and are a well balanced blade in terms of comfort vs sharpness. I get 7 days per blade and at £10 /100, that's good value.

Yup, that's me.
 

Behike54

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Stick":62oi3bsf said:
Well my first 100 pack was Astra SPs and I'm still working my way through them. They suit me really well and are a well balanced blade in terms of comfort vs sharpness. I get 7 days per blade and at £10 /100, that's good value.

Yup, that's me.
So many people go for the sharpest, forgetting comfort.

I'm Greek...would you believe I have a course beard but sensitive skin?

Finding the right "recipe," for you is have the job and fun.

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned is beard-mapping. My hair grows in all sorts of weird ways and direction and differently on each side. YIKES!

Hey, it only took me 2 years to get it right! :bball:
 

Zeno Marx

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I have a wiry, thick-haired beard and sensitive skin. I still haven't found a better blade than the Astra SP (greens). The Gillette Silver Blues are pretty nice as well, but I think I still prefer the Astra greens by just a tad. I'm presently working my way through a fairly large sampler pack, so we'll see if I can find anything better. The only blade not present in this sampler that I want to try is the Perma-Sharp Supers. I'll have to trade someone for a few of those.
 

Zeno Marx

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A little update.

1) Gillette Silver Blues are my favorite blade. They're almost as sharp as Feathers and Astras, but they're smoother right from the start than both of those.

2) This is going to be old news for some, but I've learned something new about blades in the past couple months. I used to use a blade 4-5 times and be done with it. When the sharpness gets noticeably different. After watching Michael Freedberg for so long, he finally convinced me to keep using the blades beyond that. By the way, Freedberg, for my money, is far and away the best shaving reviewer on youtube. Back to his videos...he often talks about being on a blade's 8th, 12th, 15th, and sometimes more shave. For the longest time, I just ignored that little ditty. Assumed he had such a different beard, or had very different expectations for shave, so his insane number of shaves from a single blade didn't apply to me. One day, by his subliminal urging, I kept using the blade. 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th shave. I'm done in that 7-8 range. At that point, I have to keep going over a spot to get all the hair. It's not worth the extra time, but I'm sure the blade could still provide a nice shave beyond that 8th shave.

But here's the fun and surprising part of this experiment: around that 5th or 6th shave, as I said, I do notice the blade not being as sharp, but I also notice that blade is providing a much smoother shave. I'm getting anywhere from 2-4 more shaves (usually 4 more shaves), and they're also more comfortable shaves. I might get a weeper or two on the first 1-4 shaves, but I get zero weepers on the 5-8 shaves. So, two different feels there. 1-4 = sharp against the skin. 5-8+ = smooth against the skin.

I have no good excuse as to why I didn't learn this years ago. I guess at $.10/blade, I was never curious enough to find out how a blade performed after that sharpest stage of its life. From $.025/shave to $.0125/shave.
 

Stick

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Zeno Marx":ijapm44s said:
A little update.

1)  Gillette Silver Blues are my favorite blade.  They're almost as sharp as Feathers and Astras, but they're smoother right from the start than both of those.

2)  This is going to be old news for some, but I've learned something new about blades in the past couple months.  I used to use a blade 4-5 times and be done with it.  When the sharpness gets noticeably different.  After watching Michael Freedberg for so long, he finally convinced me to keep using the blades beyond that.  By the way, Freedberg, for my money, is far and away the best shaving reviewer on youtube.  Back to his videos...he often talks about being on a blade's 8th, 12th, 15th, and sometimes more shave.  For the longest time, I just ignored that little ditty.  Assumed he had such a different beard, or had very different expectations for shave, so his insane number of shaves from a single blade didn't apply to me.  One day, by his subliminal urging, I kept using the blade.  5th, 6th, 7th, 8th shave.  I'm done in that 7-8 range.  At that point, I have to keep going over a spot to get all the hair.  It's not worth the extra time, but I'm sure the blade could still provide a nice shave beyond that 8th shave.

But here's the fun and surprising part of this experiment:  around that 5th or 6th shave, as I said, I do notice the blade not being as sharp, but I also notice that blade is providing a much smoother shave.  I'm getting anywhere from 2-4 more shaves (usually 4 more shaves), and they're also more comfortable shaves.  I might get a weeper or two on the first 1-4 shaves, but I get zero weepers on the 5-8 shaves.  So, two different feels there.  1-4 = sharp against the skin.  5-8+ = smooth against the skin.

I have no good excuse as to why I didn't learn this years ago.  I guess at $.10/blade, I was never curious enough to find out how a blade performed after that sharpest stage of its life.  From $.025/shave to $.0125/shave.
Looks like you and I have trod a similar path Zeno.

Partly as a means of an update, here's my thoughts...

I've been using a DE razor for about 5 years now, shaving daily but sometimes relaxing the Mess rules on a Sunday. As per my comments in a post above, for the past 3 years or so I've been using Astra SPs as they give me a nice balance between comfort and sharpness.

After 5 years I would say I'm completely 'in the zone' now. I have a mental beard map and use to get the best shave. I only do one lather and will do one pass and a few tidy ups off this and this is always against the grain. This gives me a really tight super smooth shave that I like to think is akin to Jennifer Connelley's butt cheek. At weekends when I'm not against the clock I might take more time, enjoy the moment more and have 2 or 3 passes.

Similar to you Zeno, I used to toss blades after 4 - 5 shaves but, partly because I lost track and probably because I was being bone idle, I discovered that I was actually running this out to 2 sometimes 3 weeks with no real significant decline in shaving performance. What I will do though is regularly drop the blade out to give it a clean.

Doing some quick math (never my strong point), if I run each blade out to 2 weeks which is pretty much standard for me, a 100 pack of Astra SPs will last just short of 4 years and each shave costs ~ £0.007 (just shy of 1 pence); a quantum leap from how much I was paying for Gillette cartridges.

Going forward, with the performance and economy outlined above I can't see me changing this routine too much at all, apart from an occasional foray into trying a new blade just for the hell of it; a still have a neglected sample pack that I'm a way off finishing.
 

Zeno Marx

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That's cool to hear. I think I'm in my maybe fourth year of wet shaving. I'm still always learning. The learning curve is crazy...or I'm a dense dunce, embarrassingly slow to learn. Just learning all that about the blade life. Still honing my soap building, which, if I'm completely honest about it, frustrates me quite a bit. Our water is so hard that it beats me 50% of the time. Maybe more. The only thing I haven't tried is adding a couple of grains of citric acid to the water. My technique is finally becoming second nature, though I do seem to get distracted enough to occasionally lose it.

I'm envious of your two-pass satisfaction. I've ADDED a pass. I'm now at four passes because each side of my face grows in a diagonal, from chin towards the ears. First pass is down across the whole face. Second pass is right to left. Third pass is left to right. Fourth pass is against the grain for that baby smooth feel. I've tried the two-pass thing. I'm OK with the results right then, but a few hours later, when finally relaxing, touching my face for an itch or resting my head on my palm etc, I feel all the places that aren't baby smooth. That's when it bugs me. It's that perfectionist in me that I've tried so hard to squash in my personality, but can't seem to dominate when it comes to shaving. I DO NOT like to stand in front of the mirror for as long as it takes to do four passes. It's ridiculous. I'm ridiculous.
 

RetLEO-07

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Gillette Silver Blue, Shark & Voskhod. I use the Voskhod in my Gillette Super Adjustable & Slim Adjustable. The GSB’s for my other Gillettes. He Shark’s work best in my Gillette Black Tip.
That is all...
 
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