Since giving up cartridges for DE blades (followed by SE and injectors) last year, there's one blade that I keep coming back to even though it keeps disappointing me: the Astra Superior Platinum. No matter the soap or cream, I could never get a decent shave from it in my Merkur 38c. Most other blades play fine with my Barberpole, but not these (nor Super Iridiums).
Today I decided to load an Astra SP into my Fatboy. The results of a WTG on 9, XTG on 5 shave with Proraso green tube cream and an EJ Pure Badger brush: SUPERWICKEDAWESOME! The blade practically sang through my stubble. My Clubman splash was the cherry on top of this sundae - no burn, just an invigorating finish to a zero-irritation, nick-and-weeper-free BBS shave.
After a week of great shaves, and a couple of amazing firsts (first time using Tabac soap and a Pella SE), I was very happy that I finally got to feel first-hand why these blades are so highly praised among B&B members. Added bonus (and the other reason I kept giving Astra SPs a chance): these blades are crazy cheap here in the Czech Republic (100 cost around 18 USD). Now I'll just have to check for consistency. But at that price, I can afford to be impulsive. I doubt I'll give the Super Iridiums the same chance, since they're so much more expensive.
And to think I was considering blowing 100 USD on half the quantity of Gillette Swedes... Silly rabbit...