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Thread: Blade advice

  1. #1

    Default Blade advice

    For a long time I used Derby blades, but then I decided that they were not sharp enough so I switched to Personna reds. Once again I decided that they were not sharp enough, so I have been using Swedish Gillettes for the past couple months. Now it seems that they have been discontinued, and I was never thrilled with the price. My question is where do I go from here? Are Feathers my only remaining option? I tried a 7 o'clock yellow, but it seemed pretty rough. Is that normal or did I just get a bad blade?

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    It's all in the trying-out. No one blade is a magic bullet for everyone: a quick browse of the blade review section here will bear that out.

    Feathers are generally regarded as the "sharpest" blades generally available. But from my experience, there's more to a good shave than absolute sharpness, and I'm among the few who didn't get on that well with Feathers. (Like you, I don't think I'm getting on that well with the yellow-label Gillette 7 O'Clock blades, either.) Up until the last two weeks my blade of choice has been the "no name" Israeli Personnas, which may or may not be identical to other Personna-brand blades often mentioned, such as the Red Pack variety. These have generally offered a good balance of sharpness and smoothness, and also tend to be at least a bit more forgiving in terms of technique than certain other "sharp" blades.

    (As for the status of the fabled Swedish Gillette? I haven't a clue, though there's plenty of scuttlebutt to go round here.)

    The blade that I currently favor is the Dorco ST-300. This blade isn't considered the sharpest in these parts, but its smoothness is uncanny, to the point where, in two and a half passes (the third simply along the neck) I get consistently BBS closeness, with little to no drama, and for at least five shaves per blade. This isn't to say you'll have the same results, but I think it's worth looking into.

    And, speaking of technique: describing your shave-prep routine might offer a little insight as to what might be happening.


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    Last edited by amateriat; 03-13-2009 at 11:43 PM.
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    The ONLY blades I can recommend are the Gillette 7 O'clock Permasharps. They are the only blade that cuts my hair smoothly and leaved no irritation. They come in a green pack and are made in india. Don't confuse them with the other 7 O'clocks in the green pack that say super stainless.

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    For your next step up in sharpness, I'd recommend the Astra-SP (Superior Platinum.) They are made in Russia, and are available at reasonable cost from a number of e-vendors.

    I've tried the Astra-SPs in a number of vintage Gillettes and Merkurs and it is a solid performer in all of them. You get a smooth, drama free shave every time, with little or no effort.

    On an arbitrary sharpness scale of 1 to 5, if Derby is a 2, Personna Red / Crystal / IP / generic ASR is a 3, and the Feather is a 5 ... the Astra-SP would come in slightly above 4.

    Currently, I load up the Astra in my 34G for those days when I need a less aggressive shave than my 39C+Feather combo.
    Last edited by dpm802; 03-12-2009 at 07:46 PM.
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    Why not try a sampler pack of blades?
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    Quote Originally Posted by amateriat View Post
    And, speaking of technique: describing your shave-prep routine might offer a little insight as to what might be happening.
    +1

    If the Swedish Gillette doesn't seem sharp enough, there may be other factors involved. (No argument that they are too expensive, but what do expect from something with the Big G brand name?)

    A change in your prep-step, lather or shaving technique may be more effective than changing to a sharper blade.
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    Thanks for all the tips.

    I probably do need to work on my prep. Right now I shower, mix my lather, rinse with hot water then lather. I have tried using a hot towel, but it seemed to be a lot of effort with no benefit.

    When I was using Derbys I noticed some slight pulling. It wasn't exactly painful, but it could be uncomfortable. Switching to a sharper blade seems to have reduced that. When I use a Swede or Feather, I don't even feel it cutting. The problem is I can't find any place that sells the Gillettes anymore, and the Feathers leave me bloody. (I probably need to improve my technique.)

    I will definitely try the Astras and Permasharps. I tried the Dorcos and they didn't work for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackskorpion View Post
    Thanks for all the tips.

    I probably do need to work on my prep. ...

    ... Feathers leave me bloody. (I probably need to improve my technique.)

    You may want to consider the info I gave on another thread: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthr...36#post1052836

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slartibartfast View Post
    Why not try a sampler pack of blades?
    Hmm, I have to agree here, you would be better served by a sampler pack IMHO. I ran the gambit of the usual suspects, Merkers to Feathers. I think all will agree that the Merkers are, well, crap(?!?) and that Feathers are so damn sharp that you need to allow an extra 10 minutes for your shave just to save ye olde skin! Personally, I ended up with Wilkinson Swords as my favorite blade. I use a Merker 38C and love it, I want to try a 39C and beyond that would go to a straight. Would I use the Wilkinson in a 39C, might try it but would also try a lot of other blades to make sure I was where I needed to be. Short nswer, you just gotta try um, we can tell you our personal favorites all day long the cows came home and the barn door was shut hours ago, but until you apply them to your face, you'll just never know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottydoint View Post
    The ONLY blades I can recommend are the Gillette 7 O'clock Permasharps. They are the only blade that cuts my hair smoothly and leaved no irritation. They come in a green pack and are made in india. Don't confuse them with the other 7 O'clocks in the green pack that say super stainless.
    Thanks for that, I tried the green russians ones and did not like them, the yellow sharpedge are ok, but not smooth enough for me. So that's another blade for me to try :D
    I've only got good results with feathers, but looking for a cheaper blade.

    You know what would be a good idea? Instead of reviews my different people all liking a certain blade sharpness , is some sort of database. For example if someone told me they liked 'x' blade, but I didn't know they liked derbys, I might try that blade 'x' and probably hate it like I hate derbys.
    So something like "I use xyz razors, my favourite other blades are abcd, and I find this 'e' blade works with those razors and is similar abcd" So some kind of indicator on whether you had the same beard/skin type, razor and blade preferences.

    In my case I need an agressive razor, anything less means I can run a razor across my face all day and still have stubble left.
    I find the blunter blades just drag with an agressive razor (or adjustable set above 5), so I need a sharp blade that gets the job done fast. I don't get cut up by sharp blades, I get irritation with blunter blades.
    I can not get a smooth shave unless I go ATG, in fact a WTG does nothing for me, I only shave XTG and ATG
    So the feather is the best blade for me, the job is done with less passes, I use quick very short no pressure strokes that don't dig or cut into the skin.
    I've tried other blades such as the gillette yellow perma sharps, and while they match the feather XTG, they have a lot of trouble ATG with my beard. This is using a gillette slim adjustable set to 7.
    end example.


    On another note, I got cut up today. I'm trying to find how to get all these 100s of blades I bought to somehow work for me. I got cut twice and a few weepers trying to make a derby, red personna and the mentioned gillette yellow work for me. I was using the slim and kept changing the blade after every pass because they weren't feeling right and I got the cuts/weepers.
    After the 3rdpass I gave up and got out the 5 shave old feather blade, and that still shaved smoother than the new derby, personna and gillette yellow. And that feather blade was toast, way past how good it was when it was new, but somehow still better and I didn't get cuts from the feather, just the blunter ones that 'dug in' because they couldn't slice through the beard as good.
    Last edited by pablo_h; 03-14-2009 at 03:46 AM.

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    I would give the Feathers a shot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpm802 View Post
    For your next step up in sharpness, I'd recommend the Astra-SP (Superior Platinum.) They are made in Russia, and are available at reasonable cost from a number of e-vendors.

    I've tried the Astra-SPs in a number of vintage Gillettes and Merkurs and it is a solid performer in all of them. You get a smooth, drama free shave every time, with little or no effort.

    On an arbitrary sharpness scale of 1 to 5, if Derby is a 2, Personna Red / Crystal / IP / generic ASR is a 3, and the Feather is a 5 ... the Astra-SP would come in slightly above 4.

    Currently, I load up the Astra in my 34G for those days when I need a less aggressive shave than my 39C+Feather combo.
    Summed up nicely. The astra's are a good blade.

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    Default Blade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by tblech View Post
    ...I ran the gambit of the usual suspects, Merkers to Feathers. I think all will agree that the Merkers are, well, crap(?!?) ...
    YMMV. I likewise have tried 8 different blades so far and prefer the Merkurs hands down. Enough to quit trying new ones and just order 100 of them (about 2 years worth)

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackskorpion View Post
    For a long time I used Derby blades, but then I decided that they were not sharp enough so I switched to Personna reds. Once again I decided that they were not sharp enough, so I have been using Swedish Gillettes for the past couple months. Now it seems that they have been discontinued, and I was never thrilled with the price. My question is where do I go from here? Are Feathers my only remaining option? I tried a 7 o'clock yellow, but it seemed pretty rough. Is that normal or did I just get a bad blade?
    It's not normal for 7 O'Clock Sharp Edges to be rough. My guess is that you got a bad blade.
    A flute with no holes is not a flute, and a doughnut without a hole is a Danish. . . The Zen philosopher, Basha.

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    I doubt blackscorpion only tried 1 blade before coming to that opinion, after all you need to buy 5 as a minimum, and you wouldn't write off a type without trying the rest in the packet.
    I think it's normal to consider a 7 o'clock sharpedge 'rough' if you are used to gillette 'swedes' or feathers as they aren't as smooth as either of them. I feel the same way about sharpedge, they may be sharp, but they definitely aren't smooth.
    I can happily use a feather on an agressive razor, but nothing else works it seems.
    I've been trying all sorts of blades which are cheaper and almost as good, but nothing seems even half decent for a close shave. I haven't been able to find astras locally or from a seller that ships to AU cheap though. But the question I wasnt to ask is, if astras come from russia, are they the same blade as the gillette yellow sharpedge anyway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo_h View Post
    I doubt blackscorpion only tried 1 blade before coming to that opinion, after all you need to buy 5 as a minimum, and you wouldn't write off a type without trying the rest in the packet.
    I think it's normal to consider a 7 o'clock sharpedge 'rough' if you are used to gillette 'swedes' or feathers as they aren't as smooth as either of them. I feel the same way about sharpedge, they may be sharp, but they definitely aren't smooth.
    I can happily use a feather on an agressive razor, but nothing else works it seems.
    I've been trying all sorts of blades which are cheaper and almost as good, but nothing seems even half decent for a close shave. I haven't been able to find astras locally or from a seller that ships to AU cheap though. But the question I wasnt to ask is, if astras come from russia, are they the same blade as the gillette yellow sharpedge anyway?
    All I can say is that after a period of trial and error (I am a new DE shaver) I have found the 7 O'Clock Sharp Edge to be by far the smoothest, and sharpest I have tried. I love the shave I get with it. Maybe the Feathers are even better, but I have been scared off by all the Feather horror stories I've read on B&B of Bloody faces caused by the very sharp blade. And Yes, your last question about Astras and Yellow 7 O'clock Sharp Edge is a good one. I've asked it, and most responses seem the think they both come from the same Gillette plant in St. Petersburg Russia . . Much like General Motors puts out several different cars named Chevrolet, Buick, etc. If there is a difference between the Yellow 7 O'clock and the Astra blades, I'll be interested in following this thread to find out what it is.
    A flute with no holes is not a flute, and a doughnut without a hole is a Danish. . . The Zen philosopher, Basha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by al7jj View Post
    YMMV. I likewise have tried 8 different blades so far and prefer the Merkurs hands down. Enough to quit trying new ones and just order 100 of them (about 2 years worth)

    +1 on the Merkurs; too expensive to become #1 but I certainly do like them too.

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