View Full Version : Theory about DE blades.....

09-27-2010, 01:00 PM
After trying a number of blades, I am gradually developing a theory. Specifically, that sharpness + smoothness = a constant.

In other words, the sharper a blade is, it seems to be proportionally rougher; conversely, the smoother a blade is, the duller it seems to be (to a certain point; butter knife dull is not smooth at all).

Anybody else think this? I'd like a very sharp blade, but I'd prefer the shaves to not be too rough. I can't seem to find a happy medium. :cursing:

09-27-2010, 01:12 PM
If you define smoothness as dullness... voila!

It sounds like you're trying to find the right blade(s). I've taken to using more than one. It's something that started with straights, and after that, I just continued playing around with different razors and blades. Dull is okay for one pass, but irritates me more for more than one pass. Sharp requires a little slower work with heavy growth. It works best for me (currently) to use a duller blade or an injector for the first pass, and switch to something sharper for later passes, for example a feather in a slant, or just the feather in a tech for a gentler, if not BBS shave.

Nope! I can't find one blade to fit them all.

09-27-2010, 01:19 PM
If you define smoothness as dullness... voila!


No, this is not quite it.

I mean that a really sharp blade usually feels slightly uncomfortable, especially on the first pass of its first shave. Or maybe the shave seems to be going OK but then afterwards I notice some areas that got a little irritated or maybe a small cut I didn't even notice.

Whereas a "smoother" blade might not cut quite as close or might require extra touch-up, but the face feels good afterwards, with no signs of irritation. But sometimes with this type of blade I have to clean-up with a cartridge razor because I just can't get the shave I want.

What I'm looking for is a blade that is sharp enough to give me the shave I want and yet doesn't have a tendency to be rough.

Does that make sense?

09-27-2010, 01:31 PM

Have you tried the 7 o'clocks?

You might also want to check the online spreadsheet (http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Anjekho6QUx-dDlqZmV4YWlKZUIzSmsyWDZOcTZBQkE&hl=en), although I never figured out what those numbers mean.

You just have to keep looking, and like I said, there may not be one blade that does everything you want. It could be a factor in why some folks find a good straight razor and learn to hone it themselves. Most of my straights are less irritating than most of the commercially available blades.

09-27-2010, 01:34 PM
I think you're probably onto something.

Several times after the 2nd or even 3rd shave with a disposable, I've thought that the shave was better. It was just as close as the first shave but was gentler to my skin.

Shavely Manden
09-27-2010, 06:42 PM
I dunno...what about, say, Iridiums, which are known for being both sharp & smooth? Comparing Iridiums to, say, Shark Super Stainless, the latter is definitely rougher (at least, by my understanding of "rough") without being noticeably sharper (actually, maybe a bit less sharp).

DE Shaver
09-27-2010, 06:57 PM
A blade can be sharp but be rough due to inadequate or non-existent coatings. A smooth blade will have good coatings but may be not a sharp because of the coatings or honing. Is there an inverse relationship? I don't think so as there are some blades that are both sharp and smooth (e.g. Super Iridiums, 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge) and some blades that are dull and rough (e.g. Shogun, Sputnik). Many blades do have a break-in period though, which may account for their "mellowing" as they shave.

What I'm looking for is a blade that is sharp enough to give me the shave I want and yet doesn't have a tendency to be rough. Does that make sense?