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10 year's later blade sampler

I recently realized I just hit my 10 year anniversary of traditional wet shaving. In that time, I've accumulated close to 50 razors, a half dozen brushes, and gone through tons of different soaps. Anyway, for this 10-year anniversary, I decided to try a bunch of popular blades that either I haven't tried before, or I tried them and didn't like them at the time. I'm curious if my technique has improved enough over the years that I find I may have misjudged some blades. My preferred blades are Gillette 7 o'clock yellow, Persona lab blue, and Derby Premium. The list I'm trying is below--popular blades not on this list (i.e. Astra) are blades I know I've tried multiple times, didn't love, and moved on. My list was developed by going to try a blade, sorting based on most popular, and worked my way down the list until I reached 12 to try. For SE blades, I use the Feather Pro and Pro Guard. I've tried the Schick P-30 before, but am giving it another shot. I'll report back from time to time on how things are going.

For the DE blades, I plan to use the Mamba 70 to try them all out. For the Artist Club blades, I'll use the Above the Tie SE1 (aluminum version).

DE blade sampler
Feather Hi-stainless
Gillette Silver Blue
Perma-Sharp Super
Wizamet Super-Iridium
Rapira Platinum Lux
Kai Stainless Steel
Bic Chrome Platinum
Bic Astor Stainless
Lord Platinum

Artist Club Sampler
Kai Captain Sharpblade
Kai Captain Pro Touch
Schick Proline P30
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First sample--Feather Hi-Stainless.

I was terrified of this blade 10 years ago. I'd read about how deathly sharp it was and figured it would kill me. Heck--Derby's were giving me plenty of weepers at the time. I know I've used it once or twice before, but it's been too long to remember the results (so they must not have been spectacular).

Yesterday I loaded it up and used WSP barbershop shaving soap (I'm trying to 3017 it, so I'll probably use it for most testing). I've read that a lot of people find the first shave a little harsh, but the blade settles down and is more comfortable the second shave. I kind of (but not completely) concur with that. I found the first shave to be quite comfortable and extremely close. I did have a small weeper, but it closed up with some cold water.

Today I used the same blade and it was very comfortable. I think the blade may have calmed down a tad, but I didn't have any discomfort or irritation on the first use. No weepers on day 2.

I'll see how many days I can use this blade--if I remember correctly I only got 3 or 4 shaves out of a blade when I previously tried them, but I was pretty much tossing everything after 3 days back then. Now, I don't keep track and just toss a blade when I feel it losing its edge (usually I use a blade for a week, give or take).
I tossed the Feather after I think 5 shaves. It was a good blade--but, at least in the Mamba 70, not great. The only thing I can complain about is it was nothing special so I'd struggle justifying the cost. Maybe in a different razor needs to be tried.

That brings me to sample #2 this morning. Gillette Silver Blue--holy cow! Why have I never tried this blade?! I used the same razor, and halfway through the first pass, my boss sent an IM asking if several of us could join a quick video conference call, so I said I needed 2 minutes. I rapidly lathered up for a second pass and raced the razor across my face like a madman. The results are nothing short of shocking. The blade was extremely comfortable, there was zero irritation despite the rapid movements, and the result is BBS. I'm excited to see how many shaves a blade will last. I may also have to do a side-by-side comparison with the 7 o'clock yellow.
So quick update as I've gone through a handful of blades since the last post.

1 - The Gillette Silver Blue is (IMO) an excellent blade. It's one of those blades that I hardly realize it's there--I just wipe the razor across my face and with no hint of tugging or irritation for several shaves. It's definitely one I would add to my rotation.

2 - Bic Chrome Platinum. This is a blade I've wanted to like it in the past, but never quite got there with it. Maybe the one I got was a bad blade that shouldn't have gotten through quality control, but shave one just wasn't enjoyable. I almost tossed it, but decided to try a second shave thinking maybe it has a coating that gets better on day 2. Nope--it was tuggy and rough so I tossed it halfway through the first pass.

3 - Voskhod - This is a nice little blade. The shave is comfortable and the results are BBS with just two passes. Not quite as smooth as GSB or 7 o'clock yellow for me, so I don't think I'll add it to my rotation but it's easy for me to see why this is a popular blade.
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