Newbie Blade Sampler Feedback

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by RailroadMan, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. For 2 weeks, I used the Wilkinson Sword blades available at my local Wal-Mart and once the Dollar General blades. I am doing this for those of you who may be curious, although I know blades are a very personal preference.

    My first sampler came today with Astra, Crystal Blue, Dorco ST301, Derby Vertical, Red Personna, and Feather yellow from Razor Blades & More with the pack of Merkur I ordered seperately.

    Day one: Derby. Compared to what I have been using, Wow. Very smooth close shave. Looked at the blade when I opened it, and the sides are numbered. Can I turn it over after it gets dull? Is it like starting with a new blade? Like this blade much better than the cheapos I have been using. Will give more feedback and comparison when I move to the next blade.

    Also looking forward to the pack I bought today from primo.

    Edit: I should have called this "Diary of a Newbie"
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. nemo

    nemo Moderator Emeritus

    Turning the blade over won't really do anything for you. Mistakenly I used to do this (decades ago) for some reason.

    Whatever you do, don't ask about the numbers on the blades! :nono:

    FWIW, I like Derbys a lot and they are kind of a cheapo blade at 8 cents each.
  3. Welcome RailroadMan. I'm waiting on my Sampler Pack I ordered from WCS, with the ETA on 5 Mon around 4:00pm. Enjoy this great journey.
  4. You will probably like the Astra SP blades the best at first as they are a good, sharp very forgiving blade. Some of the others you may think are too harsh. Just put them away for a later date as you will find that they were really the ones you liked but you just didn't know it now.
  5. I agree, the Astra blades work great for me.
  6. About the numbers on the blade: They are used for quality control at the factory as far as i know.
  7. I will try Astra next. I had my wife pick a blade to start with, and she picked the Feather. I have learned a little so far so I said I better wait on those and the Merkur. H.S.M.Jr., when I read your post I thought, "that's a little obsessive", then I remembered that was exactly how I felt. Also, my cheap badger brush and Col. Conk soap should arrive this week, so I get to see what difference that makes. Right now I have been limited to what I could find in my small town: Williams soap and the VDH boar brush. I really don't want a huge investment yet. Also, natural shave soap is made locally here, and I am going to pick some up. I will report back on that as well.

    One last question, is there anything wrong with using the '51 black tip Super Speed I got for a dollar. Do I really need a new Merkur or more expensive right now, or can I hold out for gifts from SWMBO?
  8. Tonight: Astra on the Fat-Handle Tech. Pretty smooth, Think I'll try it in the SS next. Read some good stuff about that tech, but I think I like the TTO better. Still trying to weed out the ingrowns, so there is a little burn, but I'm pretty sure that is all it is from. Overall, I like the blade. Thanks, turtle.
  9. Unless you absolutley can't stand the blade, I would give each blade a couple (at least) shaves. As a fellow Newbie to DE shaving, I found this out the hard way. Some blades can have a "break in", which is usually the first shave. Several blades feel much different after the first shave. As well, I would recommend saving the pack of the blades you've already tried to revisit in the future. I'm still trying out several samples I have, and am on a regimen of 2 blades per pack, each blade gets 3 shaves. It will take me several months to get through all my samples, but that is part of the fun. Enjoy your shaves!

    Edit: as well, enjoy your vintage razors. I started with a merkur 180 longhandle razor, and recently acquired a Gillette Super Speed, and absolutely love it compared to my 180, a much better/smoother razor IMO :w00t:.
  10. Good call. Third Astra shave was the best so far.
  11. Tonight was a Krona with a Merkur blade. Very sharp, but gentle blade. I like the Krona handle as well. Wife is using a Lady Gillette with a Crystal Blue. She turned it over tonight and said it was as good as new. I didn't know that was an option. Pretty smooth as well.
  12. Krona/Merkur #2. Tried a different pattern. Getting smoother and better. Great blade and razor.
  13. Sounds like things are coming along nicely. Welcome to B&B!
  14. Nice post. I love my Astra in my Super Speed as well as my Tech. Good blades and good razors. Enjoy
  15. I LOVE the Merkur/Krona combo. Little different technique and 3 passes tonight got me my best/smoothest shave so far. I'm not sure if it's the combo or the learning curve, but I am getting better shaves and bleeding less. Gonna try something else soon, but I have 38 Merkurs left after a blade sampler I got here, so I can always go back.
  16. Tried the Astra (green) with the SS last night. Nice shave. Probably as good the Mrekur, and cheaper (I think that's the general consensus).
  17. Looks like you're creating you own Razor Blade Of The Day thread! Good luck finding one that works for you. Unless you have to be concerned about $$$, I wouldn't worry about the price of blades. Even the best blades are a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend on razors, brushes, and products. A 10 pack of Feathers costs about the same as 2-4 multi-blade cartridges.
  18. Omp


    Working my way through my sampler pack as well. Started off with the Astras and I'm going to give them another go tomorrow. They were probably a bit sharp for a complete novice and I got a few weepers and some burn. Let's see if a dozen shaves has given me enough improvement in technique to make them work.

    Just glad to take the Shark out of my EJde86. Gave it 2 shaves and they were both pretty bad. I've seen sharper spoons. Red personnas are winning so far but that may have just been a more skillful shave.
  19. Yeah, I'm not sure if I'm trying better blades or getting better. The Astra/Krona combo was about as good as the Merkur. I am really digging the Krona.
  20. RailroadMan:
    My humble advice is to try 2,3,4 or 5 blades (however which amount per blade brand), before moving on to the next blade (my one & only 'go-to holy grail' blade is Shark Super Chrome[​IMG]).

    Also, long ago when I received my Sampler, I started a Thread entitled "In what Order should I test these Sampler Razor Blades?", and the best advice was from member Optometrist a.k.a David who stated;

    "I say jump straight in with the Feathers [and then the KAI's]. Yes, they are sharp, but you learn very quickly to let the weight of the razor do the work for you. If you can get the feather right, then it's plain sailing with the others. A few nicks and cuts early on are nothing to worry about and stand you in good stead. Start with a lesser blade and it's a continual learning process as you step up the level of sharpness". :yesnod:

    Also, member Npsarros stated, "Keep a spreadsheet with every shave [you], have taken, rating each blade as [you], go along". My spread data ratings reads in columns as follows;

    a) Razor Blade / Country / Type

    b) Sharpness? (aggressive, moderate sharpness, mild sharpness, tugging or pulling, ect...).

    c) Closeness of Shave? (DFS, CCS, BBS, ect...).

    d) Smoothness/Roughness of Shave? (moderately smooth, very smooth, very,very smooth, ect...).

    e) Comfort of Shave? (no irratation, slight irratation, touch of burn, itching, ect...).

    f) Overall Rating? (awesome, great, passable or unpleasant).

    g) Compatible with your Razor(s)? (yes or no).

    PM me with your e-mail address and I will send you my workable spread sheet example.

    [​IMG] "A razor [blade] can't be sharpened on a piece of velvet." Author Unknown

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