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A short comparison of four blades

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I have been shaving with a DE exclusively for about three months now. I use a Merkur HD normally and a cheap Wilkinson Sword when travelling. So far I have tried four brands of blade and this is my opinion so far. I have a rough fast growing beard and need to shave twice a day if I am going out on an evening. I use a variety of soaps including Taylor's sandlewood, Erasmic and Palmolive soap stick.

Wilkinson Sword

Bought in the UK but made in Germany. I can't find any of the English ones. Got a pack of these with my Wilkinson. Can't really complain about these. OK shave with not much nicking. Would be happy to sue them long term if I hadn't tried anything else. Available everywhere in the UK at a reasonable price. Can get about four shaves out of them. If you run out of blades these are a safe stopgap whilst you order up some more of your favourites.

7/10

Merkur

I had high hopes for these after reading the reviews but I hate them. Scratchy and always end up with loads of nicks and cuts. At best I can get two shaves before they start slicing me to pieces. Pricey too.

5/10

Derby Extra

Took a punt and bought 100 of eBay for about £8.00. I wasn't expecting much after the Merkur experience but at that price it was worth a go. What a revelation. Smooth shave with no nicks. Consistent too, I use these most and haven't had a bad one yet. I tend to swap them out after 4 days since they are so cheap but could get 5 days out of a blade I am sure if I wanted to. I would pay more for this blade if I had to. The one I use every day.

8/10

Tesco

These are an own brand UK supermarket blade. Cheap compared to Wilkinson Sword or Merkur but not as cheap as Derby. A very plane blade with no markings on the blade itself or even on the packaging to indicate where it is manufactured. This is even better than the Derby blades. Very sharp and very very smooth. A great shaving experience. The problem here as I think someone else has mentioned is that Tesco are a huge company and will probably shift manufacturer as soon as they find a cheaper one to make blades for them so if you buy some next moth they may be completely different and the packaging gives no indication. I am very tempted to buy in supply of these now whilst they are so good and keep them for special occasions.

9/10 (I would give them 10 but then what would I do if I ran across something better).

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I have been wet shaving for 25 years and have used a DE for about eighth months. I made a different test a few monts ago. I tested seven brands Merkur, Derby Extra, "Swedes", Fether, "Crystals", Dorco and "Reds".

I used an Gillette "Knack" and C&E Nomad in all tests and used each of the blades for six days. I always had saved the beard for 48 ours before starting whith a new blade.

I "blind tested" the blades and made notes to every blade. After the test i ranked the blades from my notes and got these results. Merkur 4/10 (I never liked them), Dorco 4,5/10, Derby Extra 5/10, Crystal 6/10, Reds 6,5/10, Feather 9/10 and Gillette 9,5/10.

The reason for doing the test was that i noticed that most of the blades in the tests here att B&B got over five points when tested and it was hard for me to se any difference betwen the blades tested...

If there is an interest i can try to translate my notes to english?
Funny how this YMMV thing works. Don't know the Tesco's either but for the rest you have my list (of the other 3 blades) upside down; Merkur on top, Derby deep down and the Wilkies somewhere in the middle.
I haven't used the Tesco or Wilkenson, but I can agree with the ratings on the Merkur and Derby. Something about the Merkur blades doesn't agree with my face. I get more irritation with Merkurs on WTG and XTG passes than with Derbys on ATG. IMHO, Derby blades are the best compromise between being sharp and forgiving out there. Once my technique improves I'm hoping to make the switch to Feather, but so far I've found Derby blades are the ones to beat.

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