Medical Prep and Lab Blues?

Discussion in 'Safety Razor Blades' started by Nils, May 6, 2012.

  1. While looking for the much lauded Personna Medical Prep blades, I discovered similar looking 'Lab Blues'. Could anyone enlighten me what the difference is is between them (if there is any)?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. franz

    franz Moderator Emeritus

    As I understand, they're made on the same equipment to the same specifications. They're also packaged in the same blue wrapper.

    Reputedly, the Med Preps undergo additional washing to make them suitable for use in hospital settings.

    The only discernible difference is that the lettering on the Med Preps reads "For Hospital Use," while the Labs are simply stamped "Personna Super."

    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  3. Save$$ and go for the lab blue. Smooth, sharp and affordable.
  4. After very inconsistent results with both Meds & Labs over the last year, my last 6 shaves with a Lab and my shave this morning with a Med have been very good. My last 7 shaves have proven the blade to be pretty forgiving and reasonably sharp. I don't, however, get the "Feather Sharp" experience that others enjoy. I've also had several rough, unsatisfying shaves with this blade that could possibly be attributed to Personna quality control.

    The Lab is priced right. It can be purchased on eBay for $13 per 100. The Med is at least twice or even three times that cost from various suppliers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2012
  5. I can use them interchangeably and not tell a difference in performance with either.

    I have a couple hundred of both types and don't care which one I use.

    They are a good blade and rank in my top 4 list.
  6. West Coast Shaving has 100 med preps for $26.99 plus shipping as part of their deal of the day today. My favorite blade
  7. Funny you should mention this, as I picked some up, gave one shave a shot, and was thinking "they are not for me". I sold them on the BST, and that member, that has used them before, was unhappy as well. We are currently trying to figure out what is going on with this batch of blades, but it would be interesting if we could talk via PM, if you are open to that. Would love to see where you sourced yours.
  8. I have a few suspicions about the Med and Lab blades.

    1- I don't believe that Personna peforms any extra cleansing to the Meds. I think that is an excuse by Personna to more than double the price to health care buyers that think they are getting a product that is specialized for hospital use. Can someone explain what would make the "Lab" unacceptable for hospital use? BTW - there is no labeling that claims the blades are sterile. I point that out because periodically a B&B'r will incorreclty infer that the "extra cleansing" equals sterilization.

    2- Their quality control is loose. Even if I'm simply imagining the wild variances in performance from these blades, recently there were B&B posts from users who purchased the "Meds" from medical supply companies, received the blades packaged in their correct white box for bulk quantities, but found the blades WERE NOT labled "For Hospital Use". The suppliers of the blades stated that they spoke with the Personna factory and were assured that the blades were in fact the "Med" variety despite being labeled like the "Lab" variety. So I find it hard to believe that these Meds actually made it through the "extra cleansing" phase only to be mislabled as Labs.

    Despite all this speculation, clearly many love either variety of the blade.
  9. What about what Sally sells, the white wrapper? That one confuses me too, how is that rated against the Labs/Meds?
  10. I pretty much agree with your assessment here, but ESPECIALLY the loose QC issue.

    I had purchased 10 each Lab and Med from Razor Blades and More. Both performed very well, jumping right to the top of my favorite blades, right along Feathers. On another order from RBAM I ordered an additional 50 Med Preps (Would have ordered Labs, but he was out at that time.) These blades performed just as well as the first batch.

    I then ordered a box of 100 labs from ebay for $13 (I have absolutely no suspicion that these are "counterfeit", everything is spot-on same in packaging, labeling, no weird spellings on the box or anything else.) This particular "batch" of lab blades were "Horrible" - Derby/Astra/Merkur level of bad. I know Persona *can* make a very good blade in the Lab/Med Preps but they also allow blades to leave the factory that shouldn't have been allowed to leave.

    Before anyone says a bad blade can happen, I've tried 5 different blades from this pack, from various "areas" in the box, not just the first 5 to come out, and they have been consistently poor performers. I will use up the remaining blades from the stock I got from RBAM, but the remaining 95 or so blades in that pack of 100 won't be used on my face.

    I will definitely *never* be purchasing any more.
  11. I don't know what you guys are purchasing but from seeing the Sally's distributor's mag, I can say the pictures of blue Personna's from Ebay look the same...
  12. Those are probably the Personna Barber Blades.
  13. I've used about 20 Lab blades from two different Ebay 100 packs, and of those, one was really bad. The rest have been excellent. Now I'm tempted to try a couple from each box (I have four 100-count boxes)
  14. How do you know you're not getting barbers? They look the same in the pictures...
  15. Couple reasons..

    Barbers have white wrappers no writing - only arrows, but more importantly, the labs are packed 100 to a box, so when you purchase a pack of 100 from Ebay, they are going to show up in the 100 count factory sealed box.
  16. My Feathers are consistent, day in and day out, one great shave after another. I have ~250 Meds that I use periodically, occasionally hit a dud but overall very good...they're not Feathers though.
  17. The link I provided shows the Barbers in a plain white wrapper. The photo above shows the Labs & Meds in a blue wrapper with graphics and text.

    The link I provided show the Barbers having just some arrows and "Made in U.S.A." on the blade. The photo above shows the Labs & Meds with no large arrows on the blade and "Personna" written on them. Meds also have "For Hospital Use" written on them.

    You really can't mix up Barbers with the Labs or the Meds.
  18. All of these blades are made at the American Razor Safety manufacturing plant in Knoxville, TN. It is a small plant with a little over 100 employees.
  19. I used a Lab last week for 3 shaves that was one of the best, smoothest blades I've ever used in my R41, and I was 100% ready to come back to the blue after months of fiddling with Perma Sharps, Gillette Blues and Yellows, Feathers, Astras, etc, then this morning, on a fresh blade, felt like it was duller than an Astra after 3 shaves. Hoping its a dud as it's going straight into the trash and loading a new one for Wednesday.
  20. +1 on the Feathers

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