This thread is meant to be my personal quest to find a handful of blades that work well for me as a new DE shaver. I've been at DE shaving for a little over 2 weeks now. My technique is still evolving, but I've already found that I can tell the basic differences between blades and whether they work well for me or not with my current technique. This is going to be a newbie's version of "Feather, measure of all blades", but will have a distinct learning element to it as well.
I'm starting my testing today, using the Gillette 7 o'Clock SharpEdge (Yellow, Russia) as my benchmark "Good" blade and the Derby Extra (Vertical) as my benchmark "Bad" blade. Even with those two as baselines, I'm going to re-test them as they come up in alphabetical order, mainly to confirm my initial thoughts and see if my technique is changing enough to invalidate my results.
Razor will be Gillette Super Adjustable set to 3. Pre will be a hot shower. Creme will be bowl-lathered Proraso (C. O. Bigelow). Post will be WH, Proraso AS Splash, and Nivea Sensitive Balm. The only thing likely to change will be the brush... starting today will be a Shaving Factory XS Boar (Jaguar 236) but Tuesday or Wednesday will be a Parker Deluxe Handle 24mm Pure (untrimmed tips, closer to Best).
Each blade type will get a 2 shaves. I will make a single post outlining my thoughts on each shave and of the blade in general, along with packaging details, package price, and bulk price. Package price will come from the better of West Coast Shaving, Razor Blades and More, and Amazon. Bulk price will come from the best of the preceding, plus eBay. I don't want to put a number rating to different properties as that would infer a level of precision and accuracy I'm probably not capable of obtaining. Instead, I'm going to stick with ratings of "Bad", "Mediocre", "Average", and "Good". The top 4 or 5 blades at the end of testing will then be re-tested for durability, pushing each razor to its limit before it becomes uncomfortable or otherwise deteriorates in performance beyond acceptable limits.
Again, this is intended for me to find the blades that work for me. As such, I'm not going to try too hard to make the results digestible or applicable to others, but I'm sharing them any way. Take them for what they are and, as with every thing else around here, YMMV.