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Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

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Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Mon May 15, 2017 11:28 am

Hi Everyone;

It seems we are all very interested in how the sharpness of different DE Razor Blades compare to one another.

I have been working on a site for a bit now which reviews shaving products with a primary focus on Razor Blade Sharpness. With the permission of the forum Admin I would like to introduce refined shave.

Testing is in progress to test all DE razor blades and publish values for new, and after 1 and 2 shaves. Please follow this link to learn more:

http://www.refinedshave.com/razor-blade ... roduction/

Do not hesitate to contact me and you can sign up for emails to be notified of new information as it is released.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby brothers » Wed May 17, 2017 6:43 am

Sounds interesting. I might sign up for the results. There are so many brands of blades current and past that I imagine it is/will be a daunting task to round them all up. Is sharpness the only criteria? Are you also looking into such inherent blade characteristics as longevity of the edge, cost per blade, availability, smoothness, harshness, rusting, country of origin, etc.?
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby BPman » Thu May 18, 2017 10:04 pm

This can only be objectively tested in a controlled laboratory setting using advanced calibrated eqpmt. Anything less is merely subjective conjecture & therefore meaningless other than a crude barometer for a neophyte.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby blantyre » Fri May 19, 2017 4:39 am

Interesting and worth a try. You might take a look at Squire's thread that shows some magnified images of the blade grind/ hone. Oddly I usually find the Feathers are at their best for shaves 2-5 then they start to dull. The first shave is rarely the best with a Feather IMO.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Sat May 20, 2017 6:18 am

brothers wrote:Sounds interesting. I might sign up for the results. There are so many brands of blades current and past that I imagine it is/will be a daunting task to round them all up. Is sharpness the only criteria? Are you also looking into such inherent blade characteristics as longevity of the edge, cost per blade, availability, smoothness, harshness, rusting, country of origin, etc.?


There certainly are a lot of blades, I have 40 for now and will go from there. Sharpness is the main criteria as it can be measured. I will also be doing a full review on each blade regarding the personal performance, however things like smoothness will be subjective to each shaver so my comments on this will be more of a for your information.

Initially the testing will all be 2 full head and face shaves per blade, but as I am going I am seeing that some of the blades will be interesting to do some endurance testing to see how long they can keep their edge, and then that is where things like monitoring oxidation (rusting) would come in.

Hope you sign up and thank you for the interest!
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Sat May 20, 2017 6:26 am

BPman wrote:This can only be objectively tested in a controlled laboratory setting using advanced calibrated eqpmt. Anything less is merely subjective conjecture & therefore meaningless other than a crude barometer for a neophyte.


Did you check out the website? I purchased calibrated equipment. The scale is designed specifically for sharpness testing and I am using calibrated test strips for each test. A jig has also been manufactured to mitigate all the other variables such as bending, angle of cutting etc.

I have a background in Materials Engineering and graduated with honors, I have my share of laboratory experience. I'm not sure how advanced you would require to meet your standards, but I am confident that the current set up will provide results that will satisfy the curiosity of the majority of wet shavers.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Sat May 20, 2017 6:30 am

blantyre wrote:Interesting and worth a try. You might take a look at Squire's thread that shows some magnified images of the blade grind/ hone. Oddly I usually find the Feathers are at their best for shaves 2-5 then they start to dull. The first shave is rarely the best with a Feather IMO.


Thanks for the tip! Your comments about Feather are interesting as they are right in line with the review. I noticed an immediate drop in sharpness for the Feather and then very consistent after the first and second shave. I shave my full head and face so I would say my 2 shaves is about 4 regular face shaves. Thanks for the interest!
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby brothers » Sat May 20, 2017 8:40 am

I have subscribed. I added a shortcut to my desktop. Your website is impressive. I hope several of the SMF gents will visit so they can get a good idea of what you are providing to the wet shaving community. Today I already learned something new, and that is that MWF makes a good hand and body lotion, even though they don't offer an "aftershave". I'm looking forward to following along as you continue the process. Thanks!
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby Squire » Thu May 25, 2017 10:49 am

Sounds ambitious, best of luck. One caveat though, you may find the same blade shaves differently in other razors.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby BPman » Thu May 25, 2017 11:52 pm

Squire wrote:Sounds ambitious, best of luck. One caveat though, you may find the same blade shaves differently in other razors.


Absolutely, and then also with different soaps/creams.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:52 am

Squire wrote:Sounds ambitious, best of luck. One caveat though, you may find the same blade shaves differently in other razors.


Thanks Squire. I agree the blades shave differently in different razors. The main purpose of these tests is to create an initial baseline of how all the DE razor blades compare to each other in regards to sharpness. This includes the new blades before they see a safety razor, and then after one and two shaves to see how they wear relative to one another. All testing is done in the Merkur 34C to keep it consistent.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby Sam » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:17 am

Well, I used to think that sharpness was the end-all and be-all of a blade, but sometimes, I feel that has no correlation to how it will shave. Sure, the first couple of shaves on a super sharp blade may be great, but it seems as though they may degrade faster and be done by shave 4, whereas a middle of the road blade as far as sharpness won't be a super close shave on shave one, but shave five could be so much more enjoyable than the 5th shave of the super sharp blade.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:29 am

Sam wrote:Well, I used to think that sharpness was the end-all and be-all of a blade, but sometimes, I feel that has no correlation to how it will shave. Sure, the first couple of shaves on a super sharp blade may be great, but it seems as though they may degrade faster and be done by shave 4, whereas a middle of the road blade as far as sharpness won't be a super close shave on shave one, but shave five could be so much more enjoyable than the 5th shave of the super sharp blade.


I agree, and I definitely do not advocate that sharper is better. So far on the scale blades have measured from 32 to 53, with the lower number being sharper. I have found that I like blades to be in the low 40's.

What I have found very interesting is how the sharpness of a blade changes during use. Note I shave my head and face so one of my shaves may be 2 or more for someone else. Blades like Voskhod or Gillette 7 O'clock SharpEdge (Yellow) are extremely consistent which I find enjoyable, they start sharp enough and don't really change. I don't enjoy drastic changes in sharpness during use.

I'm also finding that most blades actually get sharper as they're used, so that may have some insight on why you feel some less blades are better after a few shaves. A sharp blade like feather is so sharp to start that it has nowhere to go but dull.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby BPman » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:07 pm

refinedshave wrote:...I'm also finding that most blades actually get sharper as they're used, so that may have some insight on why you feel some less blades are better after a few shaves. A sharp blade like feather is so sharp to start that it has nowhere to go but dull.


What you are feeling is the coating(s) wearing away. The coatings are what impart smoothness & not sharpness.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:21 am

What you are feeling is the coating(s) wearing away. The coatings are what impart smoothness & not sharpness.[/quote]

This is true however un-coated blades can have this effect as well. For example, the Kai DE blade significantly increased in Sharpness with use and I confirmed with the Kai group that it has no coating.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby BPman » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:07 am

refinedshave wrote:...This is true however un-coated blades can have this effect as well. For example, the Kai DE blade significantly increased in Sharpness with use and I confirmed with the Kai group that it has no coating.


Which is why IMO it is one of the worst modern blades I have ever used. There simply isn't enough mass in a DE blade to impart much smoothness. The coatings/sputtering are what gives the smoothness. A straight razor gets is smoothness from the mass behind it combined with the sharpness. Think of a Bowie knife cutting a free hanging rope with a swinging motion and then the same act with a pen knife.
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby brothers » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:25 pm

I've had good performance from Kai blades. This is another clear example of different experiences for different users. YMMV! :)
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby refinedshave » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:36 pm

brothers wrote:I've had good performance from Kai blades. This is another clear example of different experiences for different users. YMMV! :)


I also enjoyed the Kai blades. I hope to be able to find a 100 pack for a good deal soon!
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby Sam » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:03 pm

How are Kai compared to feather or personna med prep? Or polsilver or Iridium silver?
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Re: Razor Blade Sharpness Testing

Postby jar » Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:26 am

Successful sharpness test?
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