Blade Angle - some help for newbies

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by doesnotcompute, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. I took some photos to help out someone on another (non shaving) forum, and thought that they might help out someone here too:

    The photos aren't the best, as I didn't have a tripod handy, but they should give you an idea of the amount of blade angle difference that can be achieved with a Merkur 34c/HD.

    1) Clearly, if you shave with the blade at this angle, you're going to be a long time waiting for that BBS you dreamed of:


    2) Keep dreaming but notice the difference in angle of the razor handle:


    3) Well, I guess if you have a beard an inch long, you might hack away at some of that hair, but you couldn't call it shaving:


    4) Okay, if you went a week without a shave, you might now be trimming the tips of those hairs:


    5) Now we're shaving! Notice how the angle of the blade is quite steep against the skin. This is sure to result in nicks or cuts if you apply too much pressure. Even if you don't cut yourself, you'll end up scraping the skin causing irritation:


    6) The blade angle here is much shallower than in photo 5, which means only the very point of the blade edge is going to slice through the hairs and hopefully glide over the skin:


    7) Now we're going too far the other way, just trimming the tips of the longest hairs:


    8) We're not chopping trees you know:


    The ideal angle will be somewhere between 6 and 7. Erring on the side of 7 will take more passes to achieve BBS but should give less irritation. Erring on the side of 5 will undoubtedly cause more irritation that necessary.

    I hope it helps some folks out. If I've made any errors, please let me know...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2016
  2. Great post, which has helped me get a better understanding on the importance of blade angle.

    It would probably be a bit clearer if you could rotate the images 90 degrees clockwise. I found myself turning my head to the side to picture the skin surface vertical like a face. Got a few funny looks in the office. :biggrin1:
  3. Excellent post, good candidate for a sticky :thumbup:
  4. Thanks for taking the time to post this- very interesting.
  5. Wonderful post will really help a lot of new DE shavers as well as some of us who are always searching for the right angle.:wink2:
  6. Great pix! This really helps me visualize the proper angulation thzt I have not been getting.
  7. Regarding blade angle, I find the smoothest shaves (least amount of irritation) come from my Gillette Old Type and Super Adjustable (set on 3-4) and with a sharp blade (e.g. Feather or Astra SP). These razors hold the blade "flatter" so it's more akin to #5 above.

    My HD and Slanthammer bend the blade more, and I get more irritation. In fact, Feathers or Astras are not kind to my face in these razors; for me, Red IP or Crystal blades perform better in the Merkurs.

    Can anyone speculate as to why this is?
  8. As you say, different razors position the blade at a different angle. You also need to take into account the angle of sharpness of the blade itself, something which we can't easily determine.

    FWIW, I can't use a Feather in my 34c, but I can in a borrowed Progress.
  9. Cool tutorial...I gotta say though if you're shaving like this:



  10. Bump to the top for the Saturday crowd.
  11. That's a truly useful post. Thanks for the pictures!

  12. +1

  13. Turn your monitor instead... :lol:
  14. Very interesting study here, I can see in #5 the bar is resting perfectly against the skin, maybe that is why the bar is made that way?

    Too bad we don't have a close-up visual of this angle while we shave, like those arthroscopic lenses.
  15. Very good post. Thanks!
  16. Bump for the Tuesday brigade...
  17. Great post. Very instructive. After reviewing this I see where I need to improve my technique quite a bit. Posts like these are one of the reasons B&B is such a great resource!
  18. Thanks a ton for this post; I'll just keep getting better with help here!

    (I can clearly see that #5 is my most common mistake, hence the neck irritation for me)
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  19. Bump ^

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