Bic double edge blades

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
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retro
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Bic double edge blades

Post by retro »

Where can one buy Bic's double edge blades?
Are they good blades?

http://www.bicworld.com/inter_en/bdd/pr ... edge_blade

I have contacted bic but got no answer :-(

Thanks
Al
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Brett G
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Post by Brett G »

I got a couple of packs from one of our members in Poland. They are made in Greece and are available in parts of Europe. They remind me a lot of the American Personnas in that they are quite sharp but a little harsh. I almost always end up with a couple of nicks when I use one. Given that Personnas are widely available and quite cheap, I don't see need to go to the expense or trouble to rustle up some Bics.
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Bargepole
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Post by Bargepole »

Is that "quite sharp" as in American (= "very") or British (= "moderately")? They are the only commonly-available blade on the extremely small Ionian island where I have a small hovel (Paxos) and I tend to bring out my own blades.

I know Bic make disposable razors but somehow I don't trust anything made by a company that doesn't make the thing they're trying to sell me, if you see what I mean. Bic make ballpoints. It would be like buying Amoco after-shave balm; one's confidence would not be that high.

And, much as I love Greece and its people and culture and climate and all (that's why I spend half my time there) there's something about the words "razor blades" and "made in Greece" which don't quite sit comfortably together. :shock:
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Post by bernards66 »

Michael, Well, some of us initially became interested in the Bic DE blades because; 1) of insatible 'shavegeek' curiosity, and 2) the Bic disposibles are quite good ( for disposibles, of course ). The Bic Metal model disposibles are used by quite of few of us who travel with carry-on only luggage. And, they too are made in Greece. According to Brett, however, they were a bit of a disappointment ( see above ). At your Greek island get-away, you could certainly use them in a pinch, without too much dismay, but since you live in Britain, and can take blades with you, there's apparently really not much point. He means that they're sharp, as the German Wilkinson blades are pretty sharp, but not sharp like a UK Gillette or a Feather.
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Gordon
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Post by Bargepole »

Yes... the taking-blades-with-me business bas become irksome; one of the reasons for having a permanent bolthole is so as to be able to go there with just a briefcase. And we all know what that means now. So I may have a go at the Bics sometime soon. . .

What I should also have mentioned is that, outside Athens and Kerkyra, the average Greek man's appearance suggests that

(a) it is widely believed that any form of personal grooming will make your testicles fall off; or

(b) they are all standing in front of the mirror at dawn each morning, plying the old Bic blades manfully, but to no effect.

Incidentally, the older Paxiot men still believe that shaving yourself is both effeminate and beneath their dignity. Anyone who wants to experience an old-fashioned barbershop shave (as opposed to a re-creation of an old-fashioned barbershop shave) is recommended to pay a visit to the island's "capital" (roughly the size of Punkin, AZ) Gaios. Quite an experience.

Matters arising: you cite UK Gillettes and Feathers in the same breath, Gordon. We can't get Feathers here; have you - or anyone else - tried both, and if so, how do they compare? Is it worth my while getting a batch sent over? It would need to be a sizeable order (the collective noun, I suppose, is a fledge of Feathers) or I'd get sniffy about the relative shipping costs... All opinions gratefully received.

---
Michael
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Post by bernards66 »

Michael, Well, you'll probably get a bunch; opinions that is ( chuckle ). I mentioned those two because they are generally considered to be the 'sharpest' blades out there. And, they may well be, although I think that other factors play in as well; the angle of the grind, the coatings used, the level of quality control, etc. FWIW, I think that the UK Gillettes are, overall, the best DE blades available. For me, anyway, they cut every bit as effectively as the Feathers, but are smoother and 'nicer' to my skin. Also, they don't have that precipitous drop off in effectiveness after a few shaves, that many have noted with the Feather DEs. The Feathers have a number of rabid fans here, but personally, I not only prefer your Gillettes, but also the Tesco store brand blades, and the old, made in the UK, Wilkinsons.

Yes, I've heard that about Greek barber shops. The Greek & Turkish barbering tradition was the historical bridge between the old Near Eastern techniques, which passed to Italy and Spain, and from there to the rest of Europe. Do they ever do that 'string shave' thing in Greece? BTW, I sent you a PM, but I'm not sure it was delivered.
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Gordon
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Post by khari »

I really like the Bic DE blades. Having used blades by Feather, Astra, Merkur, Gillette (Swede), and Personna (American and Israeli), I think the Bic blades are my favorite.
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Post by Brett G »

Since I'm an American I meant "quite sharp" as in "pretty damn sharp". IMO they are not quite as hot as Feathers or Euro Gillettes but are a tad sharper than English Wilkinsons or Israeli Personnas. Sharp does not automatically mean harsh but in this case the Bic blades are just a little rough for my taste. They are decent blades and may work very well for some gents but IMO if you are going to go to the trouble of getting hard-to-find blades you are better off with English Wilkinson or Tesco.
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Post by postoumios »

First of all Greece is not in the 19th century anymore:roll:

I understand that you are a tourist that has only visited Corfu & Athens,but let me asure you that Greek men ARE well groomed & well shaved (in fact Greeks were shaving as far as 3000 B.C...) & Greece has a few large cities other than Athens (Thessaloniki population 1 million,Patras population 700.000,Volos population 400.000 & many more) so there are many urban centers outside Attika...were people must look "civilized" :roll: (cause otherwise they can't get a job.....)

There are some very old men in small villages & islands (like Paxoi) that don't shave regualarly but they are a small minority and come from a farmer/fisherman background (I am sure that nobody expects an 80 year old farmer deep in the heart of Kansas to be always clean shaven) also don't forget that these people grew up at a time that running water (& hot water) was simply put unheard of in Greece.....(things aren't the same anymore of course.

Yes most of the Bic disposables are made in a factory 10 miles outside of Athens.The double edge blades though are another story though..BIC has bought an old Greek company called "ASTOR" that for many years has produced double edge blades (in fact from 1928 until very recently).These blades were great & I have been using them since I was 14 years old.. :oops:
In fact I still have my grandfather's military issue shaving kit from WWII & there is a pack of ASTOR shaving blades in it.....

Since the market for double edge blades in very small in Greece due to the advent of the disposable razor (that almost everybody is using) the company must have shrinked & finally sold out to BIC.

In fact if you ever got a shave from a traditional Greek barber this shave was done w/ an ASTOR (now BIC) blade.. :wink:
retro
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Bic double edge blade

Post by retro »

I have actually tried most disposable Bic's and my impression if rather not good -except for one: the twin disposable (orange handle, no aloe strip) that is made in Greece and that I recommend. I think other triple-blade disposables might be made in Greece. The single blage disposable (the first on the market) is now made in France but I think they are also/were produced in Greece.
I have seen Astor DE blades in Athens supermarkets and islands (they are sold by 3 in paper packs). The 'blue pack' Gillettes DE blades are also available (platinum hardened) in Greece:
Also seen Wilkinson sword DE blades.
Actually, they have a bigger choice than in most parts of the USA where one can often only fall on more expensive solutions.

Al
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Post by bernards66 »

Ah, Postoumios, I was wondering if you might not respond to this thread. I thought of you the other day, when I bought those Bic Metals, and saw the 'Made in Greece' on the package. I remembered how you said that these were standard govt. issue for the Greek Army. Kind of made me smile, as I tucked them into my shopping cart.
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Gordon
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Post by Bargepole »

postoumios wrote:First of all Greece is not in the 19th century anymore:roll:

I understand that you are a tourist that has only visited Corfu & Athens,but let me asure you that Greek men ARE well groomed & well shaved (in fact Greeks were shaving as far as 3000 B.C...) & Greece has a few large cities other than Athens (Thessaloniki population 1 million,Patras population 700.000,Volos population 400.000 & many more) so there are many urban centers outside Attika...were people must look "civilized" :roll: (cause otherwise they can't get a job.....)

There are some very old men in small villages & islands (like Paxoi) that don't shave regualarly but they are a small minority and come from a farmer/fisherman background (I am sure that nobody expects an 80 year old farmer deep in the heart of Kansas to be always clean shaven) also don't forget that these people grew up at a time that running water (& hot water) was simply put unheard of in Greece.....(things aren't the same anymore of course.

Yes most of the Bic disposables are made in a factory 10 miles outside of Athens.The double edge blades though are another story though..BIC has bought an old Greek company called "ASTOR" that for many years has produced double edge blades (in fact from 1928 until very recently).These blades were great & I have been using them since I was 14 years old.. :oops:
In fact I still have my grandfather's military issue shaving kit from WWII & there is a pack of ASTOR shaving blades in it.....

Since the market for double edge blades in very small in Greece due to the advent of the disposable razor (that almost everybody is using) the company must have shrinked & finally sold out to BIC.

In fact if you ever got a shave from a traditional Greek barber this shave was done w/ an ASTOR (now BIC) blade.. :wink:
Timeo Agglikos et dona ferentes... Issues of national pride first: I have spent a lot of time in Greece, and still do - not as a "tourist". I've a fairly big investment (personal and professional) in Greece, which is why I felt able to make the joke. I've never been to Kansas so I haven't a clue what they do there, but I do know, from having lived there, that you don't see unshaven guys in Thissio or walking along Ermou - or, at least, if you DO see them, they're tourists. I could equally well have mentioned Patras or Thessaloniki or indeed Vathi or Igoumenitsa or plenty of other towns, but I figured that, given the very sad ignorance of most people, European and America, about Greece, only Athens and Kerkyra would ring any bells.

Outside the towns/cities, it's a different story. And a very pleasant one.

Now, the thing about old Attic shaving policies is interesting. The Emperor Hadrian (2nd Century CE) was a notable Hellenophile and he caused a stir by wearing a beard in order to display his Greek sympathies. He was the first emperor of Rome to do so. For Romans, shaving = manly valour, while bearded = Greek, i.e. intellectual and cultured. (They obviously chose to forget the military history of the Athenians...) It's curious, and interesting, what cultures take of other cultures and how they interpret it. (Also interesting the market for postcards of toothless gnarled old Greek peasants and "picturesque" tiny old yayas who lived through the famine and are bent double with osteoporosis -- but for rich tourists, they are "authentic". I find that pretty distasteful.)

As you say: things are changing. But I was got by an old guy at the kafenion just a few weeks ago who prodded at my tube of Kolynos shave cream and said "So you're another smart-ass who thinks he can Do It Himself, then".

---
Michael
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Post by crackstar »

Postoumios, hi! When I left Israel to come live in Canada, where I am now, we stayed for a year in Thessaloniki. I remember Kolynos shaving cream. In fact, I still have a tube of it, that a friend of mine over there sent me last year. I think it's a pretty good cream. I still visit Greece every chance I get, it's my favorite country in Europe.
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Post by jk47 »

I recently started using Bic DE blades. They work wonderfully for me, very smooth and sharp. I've tried Feather, IP's, Astra, Sputnik, Dorco, Treat platinum, and Euro Gillette's.

The Dorco and Astra were my previous smoothest blades, with the Astra being sharper. The Bic's remind me a lot of the Astra's. A nice compromise between smoothness and sharpness. Not as sharp as the Euro's or Feathers, but not too far off.

My beard is not dense, but the whiskers are tough as steel.
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