Blade longevity: misconceptions vs reality.

Discussion in 'General Shaving Talk' started by matthewoli98, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. matthewoli98

    matthewoli98 Well-Known Member

    I decided to write this post a couple of days ago after getting a bit of flack for the amount of uses i get from blades, so i decided to write a detailed post on my shaving routine, and perhaps explain how i get the amount of uses from a blade that i do, please remember this is entirely subjective and might not be the case for you.

    I believe that blades should be replaced by feel, by this i mean that a blade should be replaced by how it feels when shaving, not by the number of shaves it has been used for. If a blade tugs uncomfortably or compromises the experience at all i replace it, but if i still get a good shave i carry on using it, whether it's on shave number 3 or 15.

    There are far too many variables to just say "i get 3 shaves from a feather each and every time." A lot of it has to do with preparation. Showering or washing your face before shaving, using a pre shave paired with a slick soap goes a massive way with helping get the maximum use from a blade without compromising the experience.

    After using a blade, i dry the razor and rinse the soap residue off the blade, and dap it dry (never ever wip dry), this can cause damage to the cutting edge and remove any coating whether it be platinum or teflon.

    I also flip the blade, this does absolutely nothing with extending blade lifespan, its just an old habit and helps me keep track of the amount of shaves i get, i do this purely as a way to keep track of how well my pre shave routine has been working.

    When i started wet shaving, i was looking for a replacement for cartridge razors, as a college student, cost saving is a huge factor, so even though i have tons of blades, i see no need to prematurely replace blades still giving great shaves.

    In conclusion, id like to encourage any wetshaver reading this, just try replacing according to feel instead of a fixed number of shaves, you might be surprised by the amount of shaves you get.

    Sent from my Redmi S2 using Tapatalk
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  2. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Yup. Feel won't lie. Won't let you go past the trash point and won't let you trash a still-good blade.
  3. matthewoli98

    matthewoli98 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. If you go according to a fixed number you're setting yourself up for either using a blade past its prime, or under using an otherwise perfect blade.

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  4. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    Matthew, what you say makes sense. I swap DE blades after 3 shaves...always ensures a sharp blade, I don't mind the cost, and it has just become another part of my routine.

    Based on my limited experimentation with two pass shaves, I could probably go a week between blade changes. How many uses do you typically get per blade?
  5. wristwatchb

    wristwatchb wristwatch "danger" b

    At current costs, using Voskhods for 3 shaves each costs me $14 per year. I could save $8 per year by stretching them to a week. Not a big deal in my world, to be honest. If I put my mind to it, I could probably find better ways to save money. Just my thoughts...
  6. brit

    brit in a box

    i bin them after 3-4 as they start to leave more whiskers behind or when tuggy.i buy in bulk so no shortage.i do stretch the gillette spoilers more due to their cost..and they last that long..
  7. ischiapp

    ischiapp Well-Known Member


    IMHO, the main one is the angle.
    I see (and read) lots of people using too wide cutting angle.
    This damages quickly the edge.

    Normally, with my favs:
    • DE 7-10
    • SE 10-15 (Gem)
    • SE 15-25 (AC)
  8. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    My old rule o' thumb, TSD: when it tugs, drags or scrapes, pitch it.
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  9. Ksblazer

    Ksblazer Well-Known Member

    That's been the way I've been doing it as well.

    I usually get 4-5 shaves out of a blade before I need to pitch it.

    One time I had a blade that stayed sharp for 7 shaves. Got 8 out of it, but it was a little rougher than I like.

    If your wondering? I do a 3 pass shave with touch up's 95% of the time.
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  10. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    My belief as well. I honestly couldn't tell you on average how many times I use a blade before I toss it. More than three shaves... And less than fourteen shaves. :)
  11. matthewoli98

    matthewoli98 Well-Known Member

    It depends entirely on the blade. Voshkod i get 5 and feather i get about 12. Gillette 7 o sharp edges i can get well over 15 from, without compromising on anything.

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  12. matthewoli98

    matthewoli98 Well-Known Member

    Yep its very well documented that a shallow angle helps increase blade lifespan. I'd say another big variable is if you soften you beard before shaving and how slick your soap is.

    Sent from my Redmi S2 using Tapatalk
  13. The situational shaver

    The situational shaver Well-Known Member

    The only problem with going by feel, is that sometimes it gets ‘tuggy’ during a shave. Then, you have to stop, get
    a different pack of blades, open them up, get a blade, unwrap it, throw away the wrapper, get your razor, open it up
    take out the blade, dispose of the blade, get the new blade put it in. For the literal pennies that you pay for the blade
    it’s not worth the hassle. But, if it works for you, go for it!
  14. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    If a blade begins to tug on me during a shave, I finish the shave first and then toss it.
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  15. Jim99

    Jim99 Gold Water Shaver

    I never go by shave count, but instead I go by blade feel. I can pretty much predict how many shaves I’ll get per blade, but every now and then I get a surprise. I had two GSB blades recently that didn’t go the normal distance. One was rough right out of the wrapper, and the other was tugging by the third shave. The other blades in the package were fine. Was it me, or were they duds? I’ll never know.

    Like many had already stated, once they tug they go.
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  16. Edison Carter

    Edison Carter Goo-bloomin' Stankster


    I find it astounding that someone would be so arrogant as to give you flack over the practice of blade life extension.

    Sometimes people are dorks.

    You should continue to practice your shave liberty as you see fit.
    gorgo2, Ron R, Frijolero and 5 others like this.
  17. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    In the past, when I used DE razors, i could get over 40 comfortable shaves with a single b!ade. It all depends on techniques and the blade brand.
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  18. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    True, but in my experience a given blade will last a certain number of shaves. After using a pack of blades, that number should be known. Then the blade will get replaced before it starts tugging. I have found this to be very consistent between blades of a given brand and type, both double-edge blades and cartridges.
  19. Judoguy

    Judoguy New Member

    I don't agree sbout flipping a blade .Every time I get 4-5 shaves on one side the blade feels dull but then I flip the blade and its good for another one or two shaves and mote if I strop the blade s bit.

    Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
  20. jimjo1031

    jimjo1031 never bloomed myself

    Personally, I get 4-6 shaves per blade before I get rid of them. After that they just start tugging. Saving a few extra dollars a year for an extra shave or two on each blade isn't worth it.

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