Blade Reviews Thread - read the rules before posting

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by BaylorGator, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    In another thread, one of the members here lamented that there are not enough honest discussions about the differences in blades on this forum. In trying to find blade reviews here, I agree that he may have a point. This thread is created to remedy that problem, with a few ground rules overseeing the discussion.

    First, this needs to be a reasonably educated discussion (or at least not an uneducated one) as many members here, myself included, believe that technique trumps tools. In other words if you don't have the experience to get a very consistent shave, you are reviewing your own shaving technique as much as you are reviewing the blade, which taints the review a bit. If you are commenting on a blade without the ability to get a good, consistent shave with a few different blades and a few basic DE razors or are brand new to DE shaving you are welcome to post, and ask questions, but I would suggest listening more than throwing out opinions until you get there. Also, I think it is helpful if all of us put out there a super quick summary of our shave experience on our first post, so that we all understand the context of the things said. It could be quick and easy as "not there yet", or or "20 year veteran shaver". If you could color in a few details of your DE experience that's even better."

    As a side note, If you don't feel like you can get consistent shaves with varying equipment, I would encourage you to check out the 30 day rule/focus thread on this website, which has been an invaluable source of shave knowledge for me, and a great group of guys to get to know.

    Second, please understand that blades, as with much of shaving, is a very much a YMMV thing. Therefore, posts with completely different opinions on the same blades are encouraged, as everyone's feedback contributes to our learning, as long as it remains civil.

    That's about it. If you don't like the rules, I encourage you to start a different thread with different rules and post to your heart's content. If you're OK with mine, let the discussion begin!
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  2. RyX

    RyX DoH! Staff Member

    Non Focused Shaver, here. I've gotten close to using the same set up for a month. For those Shavers that have the ability to stick to a month long regime I'm hoping to pick up Real Information.
    Categories to evaluate? Sharpness & Smoothness can happen. Many reviews have sharp and harsh tied together. What other properties or descriptions can be applied besides effective service life?
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  3. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    OK, you've got tons of shaving experience under your belt, Rick, so that is clearly a substitute for focused shaving. No disclaimer required under the rules (which are really more like guidelines around here anyway). I think those the qualities you mention are a good start. I'm hoping that as reviews are posted relevant comments or categories will start catching on.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  4. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    This is an awesome idea!! Thanks for setting the ground rules too.
    BaylorGator likes this.
  5. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    OK, this first review is not a blade review but is intended to be instructional for new D. E. Shavers who stumble across this thread looking to find their first blade in a sea of choices. Inevitably you will hear somebody say "Buy a sample pack, try out some of them and see what you like. Part of the fun is trying new things." For the love of God do not listen to this advice! Your first 30 days of D. E. shaving, each shave can vary significantly as you learn blade angle, growth pattern of your beard, muscle memory, and a host of other things you've never thought about before. You are in no position to evaluate blades yet, and changing them out will just confuse things and make you less likely to stick with it. Most guys "in the know" will tell you to get a mild razor like a Merkur 34c or a Gillette Superspeed (or whatever razor brought you to the dance), and load it with a good blade like an Astra SP. This is one of the most popular blades for beginners as it is both relatively sharp, and provides a relatively smooth shave. It also is a good enough blade that many veteran shavers use it as their "go to" blade as well. Buy 10 and change them out every three days for the first month, as it's not time to determine how many shaves you can get out of each blade yet. If the Astras don't work for you after several days, and you are tempted to quit, pick one alternative from one of the reviews that is to follow and stick with it. In 30 days you should be good enough at shaving to determine what blades you like or don't like. At 30 to 60 days in, I'd get a sample pack to try some others out. Good luck! There are lots of guys here willing to help you be successful, so don't be scared to reach out to them. Now on to the reviews which I hope will start trickling in as veteran members find this thread and use it to pass on their experience...
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  6. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    That post should be carved into a stone tablet somewhere.
  7. Shave Fu

    Shave Fu Shavette Sensei

    A! Bravo @BaylorGator ! And yes, you guessed right! The person who has been complaining for days, is none other than, Shave Fu Sensei! But, who listens to wise newbs, right? :angry019: Ok, ok, i had to fix your photographic skills, i now have to fix your forum construction too.

    Baylorgator's rules are good, however, it won't be long before it becomes a chaotic thread, with little use to newbies, who won't be able to find the blade they want unless they search some dozens of threads. The solution is obvious, elegant and simple. Go with categorization. A thread for each blade (in a blades section). Like so:

    ^ This categorization, beats even Badger and Blade's Blades section. The only better in Badger and Blade, is that being american, it has many members, while the italian one is a smaller forum. Otherwise, the italian forum trumps B&B in newb friendliness and finding info about blades.

    It's where i go to read about a blade first, because you can read shavers opinions that go back to the day that forum started. When i am done with that, i google and of course, i usually don't end up here, since here there are all the gurus that disdain blades (who would imagine that Derby has some of a difference with Astra! :rolleyes: ).

    So, listen to the wise newbie for once and do things properly. Let me explain to you gurus, how the newbie thinks. The newbie doesn't care if 5 years from now, he can shave with any blade. He cares about today, because after 5 years, a meteorite may strike earth and kill us all (Keynes: "In the long run, we will all be dead"). Most newbies, i imagine usually find shaving forums, googling either for a razor or for a blade. Between a forum that has little info for them and one with much info for them, which one do you think it's more likely to join? The one with the gurus saying "oh, blades? I can shave with a piece of tin attached to my thumb!" or the one who has a blades or even razor section? Newb wants other newbs that understand their problems and speak their language! Imagine if you were to go to your doctor and he explained to you your condition in purely scientific terms and at the end you were left with "huh? Come again?". :D Or if he would tell you "I understand that my prescription gives you some...discomfort, but eventually, 6 months from now, you may get used to it". You 'd simply change doctor. :D I mean, if i hadn't come here just because it's an opportunity to practice english and learn the english shaving terms, objectively speaking and no malice or offense intended, as a newb, my local italian forum would have been a wiser choise for registration, simply because it answers much easier to the what the newb looks for...

    There... You can thank me later, when you will suddenly notice that the rate of newbies that register in the forum and don't disappear in 1 month increased. I have been a member in all kind of forums, as well as moderator in very tough to moderate international forums, i know what i am talking about. You are welcome! :D I may as well fix that too, before i reduce my posts here, going back to my normal hobbyist forum. No, no, you don't need to give me another honorary title, such as "Forum Shaping Pillar", the Sensei is enough already, i am a humble man. :rofl:

    EDIT: Please, remember to put @BaylorGator's motto in the top sticky of the blades section, saying:

    "Technique trumps tools, but tough beard trumps Derby in a Weishi!"! It's only a fair warning to newbies, because newbies have Weishis, not Fatips or R41s! :rofl:
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
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  8. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    Shavette Fu, you are right in that idea for the thread was hatched by something you said, but this is not a thread for newbies. It is a thread for informed blade reviews and discussion posted by reasonably experienced shavers. My follow up post was intended to keep newbies from making the mistake of seeing this thread and deciding they need to try all of these blades on day 1. Although I understand you are powering through with this approach with enthusiasm and joy, it typically results in disaster for most folks. Please refer to the "my thread, my rules" portion of the original post, as well as my advice in the follow up post which can be summarized as "If you are a newbie, don't act on anything you read in these reviews for the next 30 days". If you want to create a forum subsection requiring an organizational chart and a six sigma certification to navigate it which encourages newbies to read blade reviews and/or try as many as they can, I would encourage you to do so on your own in a different thread. Here, I am trying to start a thread with a new approach with like other like minded folks who think it has some merit. I encourage you to participate or not as you choose, but the rules or the structure of the thread are what they are, and don't need to be changed or trolled. Not trying to be rude here, but there is a reason I set the ground rules in the first post, and I want to stick with that approach.

    By the way, at the formation of this thread I only have about 3 months of DE shaving experience under my belt, so I am no guru or shave sensei by any means. However, because I listened to the advice of others around here who knew more than me, I can now put virtually any razor blade in my slim, superspeed, Merkur or whatever and get a good shave out of it. Derby, Feather, you name it. I enjoy using some more than others but I can get a good shave out of any of them now. Since they provide different experiences, and work differently in different razors, I'm interested in what others who have more experience than me have to say once again. We'll see what happens.
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
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  9. LevelupShaves

    LevelupShaves Well-Known Member

    So unfocused (kind of) review here feather blades really are as sharp as everyone says! I've stayed away from them until this week due to a little fear of the sharpness. I finally braved one from my sample pack sorry OP that's what I heard months ago so I did it. Anyway I'm really impressed with the sharpness of a feather you could almost skip a third pass with a blade that sharp.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    I had the same experience with feathers. Most folks regard them as one of (if not THE) sharpest DE blade, so they're not for learning on, for sure. Having said that, with good technique, I find them to be both sharp and smooth. This is probably a function of the fact that I have very thick coarse facial hair and so blades on the opposite, less sharp end of the spectrum, which many consider to be smooth (say a Derby, for example) actually pull my facial hair before cutting it. Therefore, I find sharp and smooth to be highly correlated for me. I have observed that others with less coarse facial hair seem to have a sharp versus smooth perspective. Maybe as I try more blades, I'll change my thinking a bit, but for now I think your type of facial hair can also be significant to the YMMV factor. Again, the "technique trumps tools" factor means I can get a good shave from either blade, but I also find the feathers to be very sharp and pretty darn smooth in the milder razors that I've tried them in while other blades generally known to be more "smooth" actually tend to give me much more uncomfortable shaves. Perhaps in more aggressive razors, that will not be the case, and I'll change my tune, as I haven't gone there yet.
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  11. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    I would suggest various Lords as starter blades. Relatively cheap. Big Ben for me. Yes, there are many sharper blades out there but for smoothness, which I want* over sharpness, it is at least equal the venerable Astra.

    *Much sharper blades are naturally more efficient but, just as naturally, require more care. Irritation can result on the first pass, given a moment's inattention or undeveloped technique. But a less sharp but comfortable blade allows an extra pass or two to catch the baby with little if any irritation.

    IOW, a blade like the B.B. allows for some slop in one's developing technique that sharper blades won't tolerate.

    Your findings may well differ from mine.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  12. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles

    Alright, I guess I'll take a whack at this. Call this Unfocused I guess. I started wet shaving in April of 2016 with a VDH razor, brush, C O Bigelow shave cream and a tuck of Wilkinson Sword Classic blades. I lurked around the Rodent forum and then joined. Moved on from the VDH gear to a EJ DE89bl and a Parker Silvertip brush. Bought some TOBS & GFT creams. Bought various brands of blades to try and find what worked in the EJ. After trying Astra, Bolzano, Derby, Feather, GSB, Shark and the aforementioned Wilkinson, I settled on the Shark Super Chrome.
    Got bounced from the Rodent forum and washed up on these shores. Signed up in November of 2016 and here we are, many soaps and creams later as well as a NEW SC, SA-109, Super Speed Black Tip and a GEM Featherweight. Right from the start I was in the 30 Day Crew Focusing on Blades for my babies. Adding Voskhod, 7 o'clock Green & Black to the mix as well as GEM SE blades. I found that my face and NEW liked GSB, my SA-109 liked Voskhod, my Super Speed is TBD and my GEM is currently in Focus.
    Each blade got a week audition(Sunday to Friday). If it couldn't handle shaving every day it usually flunked out.
    My technique is a thousand percent better than it was this time last year. But blades that didn't work then still don't work now(I'm looking at you Astra, Derby & Bolzano).
    So there you have it. I hope it helps move the FNG's education forward.
    Enjoy your shaves!!
  13. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    I find that feathers are sharp but end up dull faster then most other blades. This is also true with their SE blades that work in the valet auto strops. Very smooth blades when they are sharp though.

    If noone objects I plan to do some SE blade reviews soon.
  14. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Smoothness over sharpness. That might very well be a newbe catch phrase. Very well put.
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  15. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    I think when I set up this thread, I think I made it sound like you had to be a blade guru to post. This is far from the truth. I guess I just felt that if you just started DE shaving last week, and you're posting a blade review because you switched out blades 7 times in your first week and want to share your insights, we all need to understand that's where the review is coming from and take it with a grain of salt. Everyone who has posted so far certainly has posted valuable comments, and I'd love to encourage more of that discussion. Sure we'd all blade gurus like @NCoxSTL to chime in with scientific reviews now and then, but there aren't a lot of those guys out there. I think there's a great deal we can learn from each other in this thread, and would encourage others to share. I'm going to go back and edit the earlier post to clarify this. And thanks @LevelupShaves for taking the first step in getting the discussion started.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  16. NCoxSTL


    I'll be catching up more here tomorrow. I'm glad you started this thread but, obviously, blades are kind of a passion with me. Mine are all still high and dry after the week we've had. Happy face.
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  17. BaylorGator

    BaylorGator Well-Known Member

    No sweat Neal. First of all we know you have your hands full this week. Secondly don't feel any obligation to post. If you have time and feel led,there are a lot of guys, myself included, who would be thrilled to learn a small fraction of what you know about blades. Having said that, I'd just be happy with guys sharing their experience and learning from each other.

    To other folks following the thread, I changed the ground rules to sound a little less like a Catholic school teacher ready to rap her students knuckles with a ruler. Not sure if it improves things, or made them worse. If anybody is bored enough to go back and reread it I'm open for input, as I'd like to encourage others to participate, yet avoid flaming posts of stupidity that blade discussions can often elicit.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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  18. RaZorBurn123

    RaZorBurn123 waiting hardily...............

    The best thing any wet shaver can do when It comes to blades is buy a sample pack, keep a short tally of likes and dislikes and bin it after two shaves.
    Blades are probably the most subjective part of anyone's shave. What works for me will probably not work for you
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  19. '65 G-Slim

    '65 G-Slim Well-Known Member

    One more thing to consider: You *will* eventually get that one "bad blade". Manufacturing defect or whatever, it will happen. Don't let that one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. Toss it & try the next.

    Personal suggestion? Teflon-coated blades. Voskhods are my favorite. Smooth *and* sharp. They work (for me, anyway) in Super Speeds, adjustables, and Techs.
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  20. RetLEO-07

    RetLEO-07 likes his penguin deep fried, with pink sparkles


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