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"