I must chime in here too. I started with an HD and the Merkur blades. I endured two weeks of bleeding and red rash.
After week one I ordered a sample pack of blades. But it took another week to get to me - hence the two weeks of suffereing.
I tried a different brand of blade and it was a whole new ball game. Much better. Those Merkurs were not giving me a chance to improve. I might be an extreme case as I am sure my tough beard and sensitive skin puts me to one side of the bell curve.
What worked for me was to try a new blade even as I was working on my technique. It did throw another variable into the equation but I'm so glad I didn't wait for my "technique to improve"!
The Merkurs were garbage, for me, just horrible. If I had waited for technique to improve I'd still be waiting for a shave that did not KILL me.
Go ahead and see if a switch to one of the more popular blades gives you immediately better results. It did for me. If it doesn't within a few shave then maybe watching some of mantic's videos and a re-reading of what proper technique is may be in order.
And yes, I still have a long way to go on my technique,.. a long way. But I'm not hacking my face up every day no matter what I do which is how it was with those devil blades.
- Nicholas using Straights, Feather DE razor, Feather blades and Cella shave soap.