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A little closer look at Astra Superior Platinum and Stainless (SEM Comparison)

This is a comparison that I've gotten some requests for and I finally got around to doing. So let's start like always and look at a fresh blade directly from the package.

Fresh Astra SP:



IPA Cleaned Astra SP:







Astra SP On Edge:







Astra SP EDS Analysis:



Now on to the Superior Stainless

Fresh Astra SS:



IPA Cleaned Astra SS:







Astra SS On Edge:







Astra SS EDS Analysis:


Looking at the profiles of each blade at 1000x, it looks like the Superior Platinum has a smother edge than the Superior Stainless. Commonsense says that the smoother edge should provide a better shave, but I'm not sure how well that theory holds since at this point we've seen a lot of "good" blades have pretty ragged edges. Either way, it is a difference in the 2 blades that should be noted.

Another difference in the 2 blades is the chemical makeup. The SP blade does indeed contain platinum in the coating do the blade name isn't just window dressing, but more importantly, it appears that the SP blades used a higher grade of stainless, noted by the higher amount of chromium in the alloy. Again, I'm not sure if this helps the blade functionality, but higher grade materials is always welcome.

The Astras seem to be on the thin side as the blade thickness clocks in around 90um. This is about 10-15% thinner than the average DE bland and the actual blade edge is on the thin-side as well. This is the recipe fro a pretty sharp blade, at least on the initial pass.

All in all, the Astra blades look pretty solid. The manufacturing looks to be on-par with most of the other big brands, and the SP blades look to be made of some nice stainless to boot. If these blades work well on your face, they look well worth the investment.

Enjoy.
 
Wow that's awesome! I wonder what the two look like after 3 shaves, compared to other blades after 3 shaves. As you said, they look pretty good for an initial pass, but I wonder if they hold up or if they start to look like a wood saw.
 
That extra chromium might also involve coating. Sometimes the hardness coating is a CrPt mix, or a layer of each.
 
Would be interesting to see an Astra SP in a before and after shot. So brand new like you have just done and after it has been used enough not to give a good shave any more. I wonder what we would see?
 
Astras aren't really my blade of choice, but for the sake of science, I'll load one up and use it on my next blade change. I'll scan the blade after 3 shaves.
 
IPA = isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), lab grade, 95% pure. I place the blades in a beaker with the alcohol and put them in a sonicating bath for about 10 mins. Way overboard for home use, but it makes for better pictures.

And by the end of most days, I'm ready for the othe IPA. :)
 
Astras aren't really my blade of choice, but for the sake of science, I'll load one up and use it on my next blade change. I'll scan the blade after 3 shaves.
Nice of you too offer up your face for science but it might not be necessary. many of us hav just done " The " One Blade in February" Challenge and some folks have done a whole month on one blade!

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showth...ual-quot-One-Blade-in-February-quot-Challenge

I post this on the thread and maybe some on will offer you a very well used blade to scan :)

All in the interests of Science of course.
 
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Nice of you too offer up your face for science but it might not be necessary. many of us hav just done " The " One Blade in February" Challenge and some folks have done a whole month on one blade!

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showth...ual-quot-One-Blade-in-February-quot-Challenge

I post this on the thread and maybe some on will offer you a very well used blade to scan :)

All in the interests of Science of course.
Thanks, I've had a number of offers to send me used blades, but I have to be really careful with what I bring into my lab. I have to put any potential bio-hazard through a pretty thorough sanitation routine. It's just easier to know exactly what the blade has gone through then to receive a random blade from a random user.

Like I said, I appreciate all the help, but right now I'm a little leery to take anyone up on it.
 
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Great comparison. I get better shaves from the SS than the SP. Whenever I use an SP, I can feel stubble returning after a couple of hours. Not so with the SS.
 
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