As I increase my abilities as a skilled shaves-men, I often find myself second guessing my earlier opinions of products. This is especially true when it comes to blades. Now for the ceremonial uttering of the holly disclaimer "YMMV YMMV YMMV." Having typed it three times I feel free to state my opinion of Astra Keramik russian made blades. I reevaluated these blades after shaving with Feathers and Swedes for a few months. The Astra blades are truly awful, almost as bad as Merkurs. I believe I would have gotten a closer shave and less irritation with a belt sander. I went 3 passes with this butter-knife in my razor and still had fully uncut stubble. Ok so I did put in a new Astra after the second pass thinking maybe the first was a dud. No dice, I would have been better off going back to the mock three.