Am I supposed to flip my blades?

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by Gigabitz, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Gigabitz

    Gigabitz Member

    I noticed when I looked at my Derby blade that it has 1, 2, 3, and 4, on each side of the blade, top and bottom... I'm wondering if it's really there for a purpose. Am I supposed to flip my blade to get more use out of it?

    Also, when someone says that they get like 3-4 shaves out of a blade, are they talking about 3-4 each side, or 3-4 total, including both sides of the blade?
  2. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor

    3-4 total.

    Someone else will be along with an explanation. ;)
  3. Michael

    Michael Duke of Kent

    I have no explanation, I just couldn't be bothered. :)
  4. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Couldn't be bothered to flip your blades, or to provide an explanation?
  5. PalmettoB

    PalmettoB The Old Guard

    I would imagine the former, as Michael is TOO helpful to blow off a sincere question from a member like that. ;)
  6. Michael

    Michael Duke of Kent

    Hey, I said I had no explanation, didn't I? :rolleyes:
  7. tjgriffin

    tjgriffin Active Member

    I tried flipping them and found I didn't get any more shaves as a result. Whether I flipped them or not, the second shave on an edge was slightly rougher and more prone to nicks. Plus flipping another chance to cut a finger. Blades are cheap. The difference in cost between 2 and 4 shave per blade is not substantial. Now I just shave once per edge and get a new blade.
  8. Zachster

    Zachster Member

    This question about the markings on Derby blades seems to come up every so often. Its a mystery. Nobody really knows why they do it. But like any blade, don't flip it, and just use it until you don't like the feel (tugging, pulling, etc...), or even before. I get a week's worth out of my Derbys, but I generally don't shave on at least one weekend day (both if I have no social obligations), so maybe 5 or 6 shaves.
  9. Single Wedge

    Single Wedge New Member

    A razor blade, knife blade, or str8 is not really sharp, per se. The edge consists of small microserrations. These serrations, when properly aligned produce a sharp edge. When the blade begins to dull, the edges begin to misalign. When the edges significantly misalign the edge is considered dull. At this point you can strop the blade using a steel, strop, or glass sharpener. Realize the the blade will never be at its best and will eventually need resharpening.

    So you see, we are talking about an edge not a blade. So flipping the blade will do nothing except put a dull blade back into your razor.
  10. tjgriffin

    tjgriffin Active Member

    I agree. Does anyone know when the numbering first appeared on DE blades? I'd naively guess it was during WWII when resources were scarce and folks were stretching. perhaps the ritual of blade flipping was seen as a way to get more shaves per blade.
  11. Single Wedge

    Single Wedge New Member

    I would hesitate a guess at saying that they are factory marks for honing or cutting.

    Best guess, anyone else. Also note that during the war as well as other times some people used glass or ceramic hones, Lillicraps for example, to keep the edge sharp.
  12. Sunburst Six

    Sunburst Six New Member

    I've never heard of anyone flipping blades for extended life, so I'm gonna go ahead and say no.
  13. Milton

    Milton New Member

    That's what I have heard. Each side has a number corresponding to the machine sharpening each side. For quality checks, they can see if one side of one edge is not up to par, and fix or replace that one machine rather than having to search all four machines for that one faulty part.

    Not for blade flipping, but for manufacturing purposes.
  14. ktulu64

    ktulu64 New Member

    New here, but it is for quality control in the honing/sharpening process. Let's the manufacturer determine where in the process a quality or wear issue is developing.
  15. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Welcome to The Shave Den, ktulu64!
  16. oldfat1

    oldfat1 New Member

    Wow, sorry I'm so late here. I must have missed this the first time around.

    "Are you supposed to flip the blade"?

    I don't know.

    Are you supposed to face lather or use a bowl? Are you supposed to use soap or cream? Are you supposed to make a pass turn the razor over and make another pass then rinse the razor, or make a pass rinse the razor turn it over and make another pass?

    I have tried each of these. Sometimes independently, sometimes sequentially and have not noticed a dimes worth of difference. It is my opinion (please understand that my opinion and four quarters is change for a dollar and take it for what it is worth) that just working on the basics is the most important thing. I think (see above) that after you learn things like blade angle, no pressure, and the grain patterns of your beard,, the rest is up to you.

    If you want to "flip" the blade, go ahead.

    Just my thoughts,
  17. ktulu64

    ktulu64 New Member

    Thanks. I'll post a thread shortly so I can minimize hijacking this one any further.
  18. _JP_

    _JP_ Searching for a Forum title

    You are pretty much on the mark with that answer! Someone in the past few months got a direct answer from Derby on the question, and the numbers are there for production purposes. They don't mean anything else, no matter how much someone might wish that they do.

    Flipping the blade won't do diddly for your shave. A dull edge is a dull edge no matter how you slice (with) it. Turn it any way you like, it's still the same bleeding edge.

Share This Page