Derby Blades, A Review

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
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Luxlover
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Post by Luxlover » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:00 pm

+1 on the Derbys.
One of my most favorite blades. I use it in my Slim-Adjustable set at #4.
Ultra comfortable, smooth, no irritation BBS shaves . I seem to get between 4 and 5 shaves out of a blade before it needs to be replaced.
Luxlover

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Flattop
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Is it just me

Post by Flattop » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:27 pm

I am the FNG, I know and I made it a point not to go out and try a new blade from a different Manufacture from the get go, however I believe the Derbys, jacked me up pretty good.
Do not know if my technique is strong enough to justify writing it off as just not for me, I when back to my Merkur blades because believe it or not they are a great deal milder with me than any blades I have tried.
Merkur- No nicks or weeping
Feather- minor weeping, but did I get some razor burn
IP- no nicks or weeping, but again with the razor burn...and bad
Dorco- two 1 inch strokes and I took it out of my razor before it could tug and pull anymore.

I hope the Derbys work out better the second time. Last time I found more ingrown hairs and razor bumps than anyother blade I have used.

Thanks for the pics
God Bless,
Stay Motivated
FT
God Bless,
FT
"Stay Motivated"


"I am the Alpha and the Omega. The begining and the end. I am what is, what was and what is to come. So say the Lord."

bubalu
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Post by bubalu » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:45 am

I am absolutely baffled by the high ratings of the Derby. Or, maybe I am just envious. About two years ago I started experimenting with different blades using a sampler. The Derby had nothing but great reviews on shaving boards and I wanted to like this blade. But, after three blades and about 6 shaves I gave up hope for this blade. I found them dull and rough. It was absolutely labor intensive to get a semi-close, irritating and multiple nick shave. Eventually I moved on to feathers as a mainstay. At the time I was using a Gillette SS. Recently I acquired a Fatboy and discovered previous mediocre blades such as the American Personna became very good. So, I revisited the Derby. The Derby did perform better in the Fatboy, but the shave was still very labor intensive due to the drag of the blade. Even though I did not get a nick or have major irritation the shave experience was very unpleasant. I used a very slick combination of Mama Bears Ginger& lime and KMF Vanilla cream to no avail. What are characteristics of those who find Derbys excellent? What equipment are you using? What is your beard type? Thick? Thin? I have been using a DE off and on for 27 years and the Derby is one of the worst blades that I have ever used.

BeatlesFan
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Post by BeatlesFan » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:28 pm

I am absolutely baffled by the high ratings of the Derby. Or, maybe I am just envious. About two years ago I started experimenting with different blades using a sampler. The Derby had nothing but great reviews on shaving boards and I wanted to like this blade. But, after three blades and about 6 shaves I gave up hope for this blade. I found them dull and rough. It was absolutely labor intensive to get a semi-close, irritating and multiple nick shave. Eventually I moved on to feathers as a mainstay. At the time I was using a Gillette SS. Recently I acquired a Fatboy and discovered previous mediocre blades such as the American Personna became very good. So, I revisited the Derby. The Derby did perform better in the Fatboy, but the shave was still very labor intensive due to the drag of the blade. Even though I did not get a nick or have major irritation the shave experience was very unpleasant. I used a very slick combination of Mama Bears Ginger& lime and KMF Vanilla cream to no avail. What are characteristics of those who find Derbys excellent? What equipment are you using? What is your beard type? Thick? Thin? I have been using a DE off and on for 27 years and the Derby is one of the worst blades that I have ever used.
Dear Bubalu --

I'll see if I can take up your challenge and answer the question of "Why I like Derby blades." (Sounds like a school essay, no?)

Like you, I am a long-time DE user. The Derby is my top-pick. I've used a bunch of different blades (various Gillettes, Israeli, Feather, Merkur, etc.)

My personal shaving situation is that I have an extremely thick, tough beard and wildly, ridiculously sensitive skin. Many (probably most) shaving lathers make my face red. A lot of blades leave my face red. The Feather not only leaves my face red, it cuts me every time. Feathers have recently become a total "no go" situation (I'm going to give my remaining supply to my brother when I see him next week).

I like the Derby because it hits my exact sweet spot: i.e., it is:

1. Sharp enough to cut beard hair, for me, quite comfortably, and without any tugging -- (whereas, I do get tugging from both the Israeli blades and from Merkurs, but NOT from Derby); but

2. Smooth and kind enough that it never irritates my face or cuts me.

Add to that (a) reasonable price, (b) wide availability, and (c) good packaging, and it's a winner for me.

I certainly agree that the Derby isn't as super-sharp as a Feather, but for my situation that's a GOOD thing, as my skin quite simply can't stand up to the Feather, which is pretty clearly not a function of inexperience or poor technique.

I look forward to my daily shave with the Derby. I'm not telling anyone else they ought to use them, but I think they are, quite simply, the best "all 'rounder" -- i.e., factoring in sharpness, smoothness, comfort, price, etc.

That said, if you don't like them, and the Feathers do work well for you, why even bother with anything else? Just use Feathers every day, and enjoy them, in the certain knowledge that you are able to enjoy a successful daily shave with the sharpest thing on the market?

(And if you do decide to keep experimenting with the Derby blades, you might try a "wetter" lather -- I find Derbys really like WATER, and don't need an unbelievably protective, thick, slick lather to do a great job. Just a thought.)

sparkster123
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Post by sparkster123 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:15 pm

bubalu wrote:I am absolutely baffled by the high ratings of the Derby. Or, maybe I am just envious. About two years ago I started experimenting with different blades using a sampler. The Derby had nothing but great reviews on shaving boards and I wanted to like this blade. But, after three blades and about 6 shaves I gave up hope for this blade. I found them dull and rough. It was absolutely labor intensive to get a semi-close, irritating and multiple nick shave. Eventually I moved on to feathers as a mainstay. At the time I was using a Gillette SS. Recently I acquired a Fatboy and discovered previous mediocre blades such as the American Personna became very good. So, I revisited the Derby. The Derby did perform better in the Fatboy, but the shave was still very labor intensive due to the drag of the blade. Even though I did not get a nick or have major irritation the shave experience was very unpleasant. I used a very slick combination of Mama Bears Ginger& lime and KMF Vanilla cream to no avail. What are characteristics of those who find Derbys excellent? What equipment are you using? What is your beard type? Thick? Thin? I have been using a DE off and on for 27 years and the Derby is one of the worst blades that I have ever used.
it works just great for me.i cant say i have a blade that i just totally dislike but some just aren't as sharp as others. they still work fine but i have only used the blades squire reviewed. i could be very happy just using derby.ill always keep them stocked up.they are a 5 shave day for me

randy

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Vern
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Post by Vern » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:04 pm

The Derbys work great for me in my Futur set on 3. I use mostly TOBS creams, Trumper creams and soaps, Tabac and yes, occassionally, Mitchell's Wool Fat. Just an all around close comfortable shave.

Vern
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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desertbadger
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Post by desertbadger » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:41 am

I found that the Derbys work great for me in my Merkur 38C Barber Pole, and I have a medium thick beard. I want to try a few other baldes as well, but so far the Derby is the best one in that razor for me.
Best,
David
Last edited by desertbadger on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
David
Gotta have the "Fat"!

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desertbadger
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Post by desertbadger » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:43 am

Hey, Squire;
If it's not too much trouble, you think you could do the same "picture taking" with the Red Personnas?
Best,
David
Regards,
David
Gotta have the "Fat"!

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:19 pm

Hey David, I already have, look up my review on the Red Personna.
Regards,
Squire

bubalu
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Not bad after honing

Post by bubalu » Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:48 pm

Thanks for your responses. I meant my question to be not why one likes Derby's , but what equipment, prep, or beard characteristics one has. But, anyway, I took the blade that I used in my fatboy that dragged as if it were being pulled across asphalt and honed it on the inside of a drinking glass. Lo and behold, the shave after the honing was Ok - no drag - and somewhat comfortable. Still not a sharp blade, but not too bad. I think that I may have had a bad batch blades that just need some honing.

Yeah, I am not sure why I am obsessed with Derby's other than the fact the everyone else loves these and I couldn't get a comfortable shave with them. I could probably live happily ever after with my Fatboy, Feathers( or even Amer. Personnas) and any KMF shave cream. BUT, for some reason I need to try everything.

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:42 pm

Hey bubalu, I am a fan of the Derbys but found they do not work equally well in different razors.
Regards,
Squire

bernards66
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Post by bernards66 » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:03 pm

bubalu, Although it may seem that way, you are not really alone. Myself and a number of other experianced shavers I communicate with don't care for the Derby blades either. Their opinions range from 'they're usable, but hardly one of my favourites', to experiances like yours. Personally, I too wish that they worked better for me as they are inexpensive, and these days, relatively easy to get. But they don't. I have a medium heavy beard and somewhat 'sensitive' skin and have been shaving with a DE for 44 years.
Regards,
Gordon

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Post by a-cut-above » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:42 pm

bubalu,
We have all experienced this. It happened to me with Derby's so I found this thread interesting. The Derby's were excellent with my Gillette Super Speeds but rough and even scratchy with a Merkur HD. They are also rough but not as bad in my Merkur Travel Razor. In the Merkur Classic and LHC, they are passable. If I were Squire, I would have given them a 7+ if I ony had a Super Speed. If the HD were my only razor, I would have given them a 5 and said to stay away! It's some inscrutable combination of skin, technique, razor, lather, expections, planetary alignment, and previous experience. Welcome to wetshaving geekdom.
Dave

"Sanity is a madness put to good use." - George Santayana (…like a wet shaver with an acquisition disorder.)

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:13 pm

Same here Dave, Derbys don't work for me in any of my fixed head Merkurs but they sing in the Futur.
Regards,
Squire

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glassmtn
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Post by glassmtn » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:40 pm

Squire,

Don't all your >= 7 ratings sing in the Futur? I have limited most of my blade purchases based upon your ratings, and I have yet to run into a blade that didn't work great in my Futur. Although I must admit that even though I consider the KAI to be very sharp, it hasn't given me the most comfortable of shaves in the Futur. I am assuming it is my technique, and I plan to go back to them.

eric.

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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:56 pm

Yes they do eric, it's a very good general use razor.
Regards,
Squire

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Rocky_Marciano
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Post by Rocky_Marciano » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:04 pm

These are great mild blades, I like them for my quick 2 pass shaves, but I can't go ATG too well. They last a long time for me as I'm able to use them much longer when they are dull without getting knicked like some sharper blades do.
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Squire
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Post by Squire » Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:07 pm

eric, as much as I like my Futur, and it works well with most any blade, there is no guarantee any razor will do it's best work with any specific blade. I have put a new Derby in a Futur, shaved half my face, then put the same blade in another razor and got slightly better results.
Regards,
Squire

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jvan
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Post by jvan » Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:36 am

I have become very fond of the Derby blades and have had similar experiences to those already reported here. I get better performance from them in my black long Gillette adjustable than I do in my Tech.

I have a beard that has been described my wife as being akin to a Brillo pad. I use mostly TOB creams and get perfect shaves in three passes with a minor T&C pass.

I would try a couple other razors before giving up on them.

My experience with them has pretty much mirrored Squires' review.
John V
"What one relishes, nourishes"

Benjamin Franklin

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Seamaster
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Post by Seamaster » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:14 am

I really need to give these another go. I formed an unfavourable impression of them early on in my DE career, probably unfairly as my technique wasn't great back then.

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