Do some blades give "better" shaves after a couple of uses?

Discussion in 'Safety Razor Blades' started by wellnowwhat, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Call me crazy, but I'm kind of put off by the idea of using a blade more than once or twice before I toss it out (mostly because my skin is sensitive and tends to break out at the sign of any dirt/bacteria near it). Some (most?) people seem to keep a single blade much longer, however. I'm guessing that's mostly for economical reasons, but I figure that spending ~$.40 every two or three days is an okay price for shaving with a DE safety razor when compared to the much more expensive multi-blade cartridges.

    My question, however, is this: Do some blades actually give better shaves if you use them more than once or twice? So far, I've only used two blades (A Merkur and a Red Personna) and found both of them to be less than enjoyable, but I've only used them for one shave a piece. If I give the blade a second chance, will I have a better experience the second time around?
     
  2. Depends on the blade and your skin. Some blades that are very sharp might be just right after a couple shaves. As for only using it once and tossing em, seems like a waste when you can get a couple more good shaves out of a blade. If its for a legit health reason thats another thing.
     
  3. My experience of breaking out comes from my shaving with 4-5 blade Gillette cartridges and shaving gels two or three times, so I'm not entirely sure how my skin might react to shaving more than once with a standard DE blade. However, I'm getting married in approximately three weeks, so at this point I'm not taking too many chances. Maybe after the wedding is over I'll try shaving more than once with a blade and see what I can get out of it. Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. Several blades improve after shave #1 for me, including Merkur, Feather, Derby, Astra, Lord Platinum, and to a lesser extent Shark SC. They take a back-seat to my first-shave winner blades (Personna Meds, NOS Gillete Bleue Extras, Gillette 7 O'Clock Super Platinums (black and blue), Nacet Platinums, and Shark SS).
     
  5. Some guys will "cork" blades before using them. It involves drawing the edges lightly through a cork before use to remove any burs or rough spots.

    Many report smoother shaves on the second or third use vs. the first on some blades.
     
  6. I think shave number 2 and 3 is better from the very sharp blades like Gillette yellows, feathers and perma-sharps.

    On the other hand I think the first shave is better from blades like personna red's, derbys etc.
     
  7. I always prefer the second shave on my blade.
     
  8. I have experienced better shaves on days 2,3 from both Gillette yellows and feathers. I usually get 5-6 shaves per blade, depending on the brand. If you are worried about bacteria, simply place your razor head in a small cup of rubbing alcohol while you build your lather.
     
  9. I had a very nice smooth first shave from a supermarket personna yesterday. Thats weird because at first I didn't like these blades. But generally when using Derby', Feathers or Astra SP's they feel smoother on the second shave.
     
  10. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator Contributor

    I find that SE blades give me a better shave after I use them the first time.
     
  11. I often will completely remove my blade and give it a good rinse. I've read that some folks who use carbon steel blades such as Treet Durasharps will drop the blade in a small jar of rubbing alcohol to push the water away from the blade. For your purposes, it would assure you of a germ free blade. IMHO, one or two shaves with a good blade is not getting the full life of the blades edge.

    For what it's worth, Merkur blades are widely reported to not be very sharp. Perhaps a good blade sample pack would help you find blades that work better for you.
     
  12. Some users also dip their razor in and alcohol solution after use. I think the main purpose is drying but that would also help disinfect.
     
  13. Two & toss for me. I prefer a fresh blade. Early on I tried going 3-4 on various blades, even tried hand-stropping the blade, but it was always downhill after the second shave.
     
  14. I dunno if it makes a difference or not.... But I always spray my razor with Thayer's witch hazel with aloe. I do it to remove the soap scum on my razor.
    I spray, then swipe my finger across the head then down over the blade, rinse it off with hot water and now it shines again.
     
  15. Blades are not sterile when new. If you rinse them and dip in alcohol between uses, they may be better sanitized than when you bought them.
    It sounds like you'd benefit from sanitizing the razor between shaves, so why not do the blades too, in the same action?
    And I do find the 2nd/3rd shaves are the best.
     
  16. Two shaves per blade works best for me.

    A few blades I no longer use did seem to be smoother on the second shave, but I don't think my technique was good enough at that point to make that judgment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  17. I've been considering doing a quick dip in 70% isopropyl alcohol after and before each shave, just to keep the razor clean and to keep germs down. However, I've heard that it can sometimes damage the finish on certain razors. I have a chrome-plated Merkur 33c, so I'm not sure how that would affect it.
     
  18. I usually get 4-7 shaves out of a DE and I just finished shave 11 from a Schick Injector blade. The whole corking and palm stropping process seems highly subjective. Some blades seem smoother after the first shave because the factory edge has become slightly dulled. Purposefully pre-dulling your blade seems counter productive to me. I also believe that the entire sanitizing issue is a tempest in a tea pot. If you rinse your razor after each use, let it dry and do not use someone else's razor, your chance of getting some sort of infection from shaving is nil.
     
  19. The issue of your skin breaking out after a shave may have less to do with bacteria, than the sharpness of the blade. I've often found that if a blade cuts too close I break out a bit. I agree with others that you should sample some other blades.
     
  20. My post-shave ritual includes removing the blade from the razor, rinsing the razor and blade under warm water, patting them dry, and reassembling. After you rinse it, the blade is good as new, cosmetically speaking, and may even last one or two shaves longer than if you didn't wash off any lather residue. You may (or may not) find that shave #2 or #3 with a blade is better than #1. I rarely push a blade past 3 shaves as it's usually diminishing returns for me by then.
     

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