SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

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Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:18 am

As a newcomer to traditional wet shaving, I thought it prudent to try out a wide variety of razor blades. This thread will be a story of my journey through a sample pack of the following:

Merkur
Personna - Platinum (Israeli Red)
Personna - Lab Blue
Astra - Superior Platinum
Gillette - 7 O'Clock Super Stainless
Gillette - Silver Blue
Voskhod - Teflon Coated
Rapira - Swedish Super Steel
Wilkinson Sword - Germany
Kai - Stainless Steel
Feather

I'll be using one type of blade for four days straight before moving onto the next blade. The following two messages have been copied from the 'Razor of the Day' forum, just for the sake of continuity.

Bill

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:19 am

- razor = Merkur 38C
- blade = Personna (Israeli Reds)
- soap = Tabac
- after shave = Truefitt & Hill 'Grafton'

Bill

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:20 am

Today marks the second day of shaving with the Personna Lab Blue blades. This second shave, while definitely an improvement over the first, is still not the brag-about-it-to-your-friends experience that I get with the Israeli Red blades. I did get a closer shave today than yesterday, but at the cost of some sensitivity on my neck. Live and learn, I guess.

- razor = Merkur 38C
- blade = Personna (Lab Blue)
- soap = Like Grandpa (Lime) https://likegrandpa.com/collections/sha ... shave-soap (Yesterday it was my favourite: Tabac)
- balm = Tanglewood (Man! That's the Balm!) https://tanglewoodsoap.ca/products/man- ... on-for-men (Yesterday, Truefit & Hill's "Grafton")

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:25 am

- razor = Merkur 38C
- blade = Personna (Lab Blue)
- soap = Tabac
- after shave = Truefitt & Hill 'Grafton'

Today's shave was actually quite enjoyable; for some reason, it seemed smoother - perhaps I'm paying more attention to technique. I have a wee bit of irritation, though, so the Lab Blues are still playing second fiddle to the Israeli Reds. Four hours after the shave, my face and neck feel soft.

Bill

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:29 am

In my excitement to get this thread started, I forgot about the blade that kicked it off: the Merkurs.

- razor = Merkur 38C
- blade = Merkur

They were better than the lab blues but not quite as good as the Israeli reds because I had a tiny bit more irritation. They definitely didn't pull on the first shave like the lab blues did! For that reason, the Merkurs are in #2 position, behind the Israeli Reds.

Bill

(edit: spelling)

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:56 am

April 15 and 16:

I've returned to the Astra Superior Platinum blades; they were the first ones I tried when I bought my Merkur 38C so I'm not giving that experience any weight at all. Surprisingly, they've edged out the Merkur blades; while they don't seem as sharp to me (more pulling) they are quite smooth. I couldn't get quite a close a shave as I could with the Israeli Reds, but even so, as of today they're my #2 choice out of four different blades.

I suspect a couple of factors are at play here:
1) my technique is slowly getting better all the time; and,
2) because I'm trying new blades every four days, I'm being super-careful (reinforces #1 above).

Bill

Edit: grammar

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:14 am

Apr 17 & 18:

I've tried to apply my best technique - such as it is - but I just cannot seem to like the Astra blades. They seem to pull, and I couldn't get the "Oh wow!" shave that I've had with some other blades.

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:18 am

Apr 19 - 22

Now it's time for the Gillette 7 O'clock Super Stainless blades. The first day I had a real "Oh wow!" shave, but for some reason the next three didn't measure up. I wound up with more irritation than I would like and the shave wasn't as close as it was on Day One. They weren't awful shaves, just nothing I'd brag about.

I'll use up the pack when I've cycled through the others but I probably won't be buying any more.

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:22 am

Apr 23 - 26

I've used the same Gillette Silver Blue blade for the last four days. Here are my notes:
1st shave, wow! 2nd, a bit harsh. 3rd, SIMPLY AMAZING! 4th, excellent shave.
The GSBs have given me three of the best shaves ever, and one of them was so good that I had to restrain myself from bragging about it to my colleagues. They've edged the Personna Israeli Red blades out of top place and they're definitely going into the "top three shave-off".

On deck: Voskhod (Teflon coated)

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:45 am

Apr 27 - 30

I've been looking forward to using the Voskhod blades for quite some time, and they did not disappoint. The first shave was so buttery smooth that I had to check and see if I'd forgotten to load a blade into my Merkur 38C!

Wow.

The three subsequent shaves were excellent. The Voskhod, GSBs, and Israeli Reds are easily the best of the blades that I've tried so far. Next are the Wilkinsons (Germany).

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Fri May 04, 2018 9:56 am

May 1 - 4

I've been using the Wilkinson Sword blades for the last four days (the ones made in Germany).

Just. Wow.

I've been getting really close shaves with virtually no irritation, and the only blood loss was due to my mediocre - but improving - technique. I've been rotating through my soaps as well: Tabac, Midnight and Two, Like Grandpa, and Mitchell's Wool Fat (MWF). Not surprisingly, Tabac and MWF have consistently proven to be my favourites; not coincidentally, they're both tallow-based soaps.

Next up: Rapira (Swedish Steel)

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Tue May 08, 2018 9:26 am

May 5 - 8

I give the Rapira Swedish Super Steel blades a mixed review; note that as with all the other blade reviews, I used the same blade for four consecutive days:
  • 1st shave: Meh. The blade seemed to pull a bit, yet I did wind up with a decent shave with some irritation, but not a lot. Some leftover stubble after my usual three-passes-plus-a-clean-up-pass routine.
  • 2nd shave: Better than the first; no noticeable tugging and a nice BBS outcome.
  • 3rd shave: Even better than the second! Things are looking up.
  • 4th shave: Meh. The blade is definitely getting duller; I got the same results as Day One.
Overall assessment: Mediocre, but I'll use them in a pinch.

Next up: Kai

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Mon May 14, 2018 7:28 am

May 9 - 12

The Kai blades are sharp... perhaps too sharp for my tender hide. I get really good shaves from them, but at the cost of redness and irritation on my neck. One thing is for sure, though: the fearsome reputation of the Kai and Feather blades has really made me concentrate on my technique!

Overall assessment: I'll use them once in a while if I need to, but so far the Wilkinsons (made in Germany) are my runaway favourite.

I think I'll pick the top 3 or 5 blades and do another comparison.

Next up: Feather. <slight shudder of fear>

edit: speling. :wink:
Last edited by Bill_K on Mon May 14, 2018 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Mon May 14, 2018 7:40 am

May 13 - 14: Feather blades

I've confirmed my earlier suspicion that the blades' reputation for sharpness have made me really concentrate on my technique, which is always a good thing. Like the Kais, I get great shaves but I pay for it with redness and irritation.

However, the shaves are so good that I'll continue to use them for the remainder of the four-shaves-in-a-row test. I suspect that tomorrow and Wednesday won't do anything to change my initial thoughts.

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Re: SOTD: Cycling through my sample pack of blades

Post by Bill_K » Wed May 16, 2018 9:35 am

May 15 - 16

The Feather blades give me a pretty good shave, but at the cost of some irritation (very much like the Kais in that respect). I can use them, but they're not my first choice.

Bill_K
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:40 pm
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

The Winner is...

Post by Bill_K » Wed May 16, 2018 9:42 am

...the Wilkinson (German-made) blade. Here are the blades in descending order of preference:

Wilkinson Sword - Germany
Gillette - Silver Blue
Voskhod - Teflon Coated
Personna - Platinum (Israeli Red)
Feather
Gillette - 7 O'Clock Super Stainless
Rapira - Swedish Super Steel
Kai - Stainless Steel
Merkur
Astra - Superior Platinum
Personna - Lab Blue

I learned a bunch of things; namely:
1) You cannot use too light a touch when shaving. Yes it's common knowledge, but it's quite another thing to internalise.
2) You cannot take too much time when shaving.
3) Someone new to DE shaving should spend at LEAST 4 months working on technique before evaluating a blade.
4) Skin preparation makes a huge difference!

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