Abnormal life of an Astra SP blade

Discussion in 'Safety Razor Blades' started by zornedingshaver, May 16, 2019.

    Hello All,

    So my go-to razor is the Merkur 34c. I always combine it with an Astra SP blade. I usually change my blades once I begin to develop small nicks and cuts during the shave or some razor burn. This usually happens after about 6-7 shaves as I have a very coarse and thick beard.
    About two months ago I noticed that this one blade just wasn't wearing out and was continuing to give me great shaves after at least two weeks of use, so I started counting the shaves.
    As of today I am currently at shave number 67 with this blade(after beginning to count, so realistically, at least 77) and it is still as smooth and sharp as the day I put it in.
    Has anyone ever had a similar experience?

    Best Regards,

  1. For the life of me I can't figure out how people get this type of life out of a blade. Any more than 3 shaves for me and it starts tugging and nicking. My record is 6 shaves out of a Med Prep.
  2. I believe the Croma video of how blades are made posted a few days ago indicated that blades are supposed to last about 6 shaves, give or take.

    That seems reasonable for most blades and consistent with my experience. I usually only use a blade 3-4 time to ensure it's always at max efficiency. The extra few dollars a year, if that much, in blade cost is worth it.

    However, I'm similarly astounded at people who claim to get weeks of shaves from a single blade, and assume they have a very light beard and tough skin. I have a razor wire beard, very sensitive skin, and shave every day. I have no intention of even experimenting with how long a can make a single blade last. YMMV
  3. Well that was basically the whole idea of this post.

    As I said, I've never really gotten more than 6-7 shaves out of a blade before it starts tugging and giving me razor burn. That is why i find this to be so unusual and was wondering if someone else has ever experienced something similar.
  4. It's quite a revelation when you get the blade angle and shaving direction right, along with proper preparation and good lather. A razor than clamps the blade close to the edge helps too I've found.

    I suspect you will find that every Astra SP from now on will shave like the current one, and that most blades won't be all that much different.

    I always got quite a few shaves on a blade or cartridge, but now I seem to get 60-70 out of mediocre blades and 100 plus out of good ones. Not as comfortable at the end, but until they start leaving stubble I keep shaving.

    Keep at it -- I know several people who got a year's shaves out of a tuck of blades back in the day, and at least one of them has a dense, coarse beard. Within reason, technique trumps all....
  5. Claudel Xerxes

    Claudel Xerxes Moderator

    Perhaps, you just dialed in a solid technique? I'll be curious to see how far your next Astra blade lasts.
  6. Claudel Xerxes

    Claudel Xerxes Moderator

    Looks like we were thinking the same thing.
  7. Razor burn and nicks/weepers are usually a result of using too much pressure at the wrong blade angle. When the PTFE wears off the edge, it feels different because the hair drags more as it's cut. It's not dull, it just feels different, and the feeling of drag can prompt me to use more pressure, resulting in trouble.

    Keep the pressure on your face light and use more "push" along the path of the razor and you get the result you got.

    Only problem with very long lived blades is the lack of variety, although I'm finding there isn't that much difference between brands now, either. Some just last longer.
  8. That's because you are then tearing and not cutting.
  9. That's pretty amazing Alex as I find Astras some of the least usable blades for me. I just find them rough compared to my other blades like BICs, Nacets and Feathers.

    The max I've gotten is around 30 or so shaves so it's amazing to hear of guys getting 100 or more shaves out of a 10ยข blade.
  10. Congratulations!! Looks like you belong in the Excalibur club! :a29:
  11. Finally after 4 shaves I've worn away the lousy coating and the blade is finally sharp enough that it passes for as a fairly sharp blade.

    With the English flat bottom its finally given me an irritation free BBS.

    The ASPs are still at the bottom of the heap but at least now I have a way to get them to work.
    It's just a pain to have to rotate it back n forth with other blades till its sharp enough that I can just use it regularly.
  12. Cal

    Cal Contributor

    +1 (link) :wink2:
  13. My last Astra SP got retired at 100 shaves, but really it started going downhill around 85-90.

    I generally don't like any blade for the first 4-5 shaves.
  14. I had a GSB go for 63 shaves and a couple of Astra SP for 30+ shaves; the odd blade does work well beyond the average.
    The Merkur 34C and GSB or Astra combination works well for me.
  15. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    The best that I have done is 14 shaves from a Feather and 14 shaves from an Indian Wilkinson Sword. Hey, if it still works keep on going. See how far you can go.
  16. I really wonder if water quality also plays a major role in this?
    My water at the 2 places I shave is HARD...you can see salt deposits in the faucets.
    Blades like Astra/Necet after 3 uses seem to show some rust/color changes...unlike some that I have seen w 50+ uses.
    Now I use filtered water for shaving and hardware rinse... still not sure it makes a difference....
  17. I'm pretty sure it does, my dive knife gets really dull even when I don't do anything to it. Any kind of corrosion can affect the edge on a blade. Worse hard water might make weaker lather which, would could dull and edge faster due to lack of lubrication.
  18. This actually makes a lot of sense.
    Until three months ago i was located in Munich, where the water had an extremely high mineral content, to the pint where I was forced to use bottled water for my espresso machine, as the tap water just clogged the system. I am now in the Netherlands, where the water is very soft and I have subsequently noticed vastly different results in the lather that all of my soaps create.
  19. Roy


    I live in a hard water area and do Get a really good lather, usually getting a max of 4 shaves per blade.GSB blade and SV soap.

    Recently I went on holuday to a soft water area, and the lather was noticeably better by a good margin. I used the same blade for ten shaves with no feeling it needed changing.
    I wonder if ,in a hard water area, a minute layer of limescale builds on the blade making it less effective. Maybe if you washed and dried the blade after each shave , it would last considerable longer.

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