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AC Blades: packaging questions

So, I'm in the middle of a GRUME, but I am still looking at hardware, because I can't help myself. :p I'm really attracted to the idea of straights: the simplicity and the control are appealing to me. The idea of honing, etc, though practically rules them out.

The folding Artists Club razors from Feather and Kai would be obvious candidates, so I need to talk myself down. One route is the blades, like these. So I have questions...

ac-blades.jpg


Do they only come in these cartridges? Or can they be purchased (in bulk) packed,for example, in cardboard boxes?

Are the cartridges also blade banks?

They look to be a mix of tin and plastic: are they recyclable? What do people do with them when they are empty?

Thanks for any insights!
 
The Feather cartridges are solid, no loading problems. You can get them in a box from Japan with 10 cartridges for about $100. The blade disposal slot is on the bottom. I am afraid most people just bin them when they are empty.

The best deal right now, IMHO, is the Kai folder available on ebay with one pack of blades for about $80. You can get a Kai knockoff for $20 or a Feather DX for $200, but the Kai is a nice compromise. The shaping is better than on the Feather SS, base model. The Pro Guards come well recommended as a starter blade and I agree, but they are not mindless. They have wide spacing between the guards and the blades themselves are very sharp. They provide the tiniest bit of margin for error, which can be helpful at any time.

I know you have been checking the latest straight threads and one thing that comes up, and should be emphasised more, is that you don't have to do your own honing. Just get a decent strop. Maybe pasted balsa and a Gold Dollar to practice on later, but don't mess up a good razor with a good edge. I was in the same boat as you 6 months ago and decided to move from DE shavette to something better. I love my Feather, but I am moving to a vintage straight as part of my rotation. The Feather is great to have if your straight needs work done.
 
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Thanks!

The Feather cartridges are solid, no loading problems. You can get them in a box from Japan with 10 cartridges for about $100.
I didn't express myself clearly enough :p - I was wondering if it was possible to buy the blades without the cartridge? That is the blocker for me currently; I don't want more plastic in the house.

The best deal right now, IMHO, is the Kai folder available on ebay with one pack of blades for about $80. You can get a Kai knockoff for $20 or a Feather DX for $200, but the Kai is a nice compromise. The shaping is better than on the Feather SS, base model.
I'm a fan of Kai (blades and knives) so I'll check that out.

I know you have been checking the latest straight threads and one thing that comes up, and should be emphasised more, is that you don't have to do your own honing. Just get a decent strop. Maybe pasted balsa and a Gold Dollar to practice on later, but don't mess up a good razor with a good edge. I was in the same boat as you 6 months ago and decided to move from DE shavette to something better. I love my Feather, but I am moving to a vintage straight as part of my rotation. The Feather is great to have if your straight needs work done.

Good to know. But stropping will only last for X number of shaves, and at some point I'll need the edge properly honed, right? That's where I baulk...
 
Sorry. I know that's what you meant, but as far as I know that's not available. The Prolines come in an all metal cartridge though.

As far as I have heard lately, you should get a lot of shaves before needing to hone in stropped properly. I was surprised to hear that too. With pasted balsa, you only need to hone if you damage the edge supposedly. I just finally decided to give it a go since I know how to shave with it, I can work on stropping and not worry when it does need honing.
 
The Prolines come in an all metal cartridge though.

Oh dear; that does make this so much more viable! :)

As far as I have heard lately, you should get a lot of shaves before needing to hone in stropped properly. I was surprised to hear that too. With pasted balsa, you only need to hone if you damage the edge supposedly. I just finally decided to give it a go since I know how to shave with it, I can work on stropping and not worry when it does need honing.

That actually makes sense. My grandfather had a leather stop attached to the bathroom sink, and I'd often watch him shave. He stropped before every shave, but I never recall him actually sharpening the razor.

I'm still assuming though, given the thinness of the edge, at some point it will deform from use and/or stropping, and will need to be redone...
 
The only way to eventually get a seven days set is to get the first one, first! :devil:

The Prolines are nice blades, but I am finding they don't cut close enough with my beard unfortunately. I use Feather Supers now! :straight:
 
Well, @APBinNCA you were right... :p

It turns out that my biggest concern, that I wouldn't be able to maintain a straight, has been addressed. I feel confident in stropping, and I have discovered there are a couple of qualified people here in NZ that can hone razors for a reasonable sum. So it actually makes much more sense for me to pick up a shave ready vintage, a strop, and start there. If it takes, I can always send the razor out to have it resharpened, and it won't be time consuming or expensive.

Thanks for the heads up! :D
 
I tried a Shavette clone of the Kai Luffy and really liked that design because I was not sure if I was going to enjoy this new style of shaving.
It was interesting venture and have to say that the Kai Protouch blades are very nice for a Greenhorn like my self. You can get a close DFS++ with a guarded blade and they are well designed blade. Best blade for this style of shaving for myself.
Feather makes also their version of the guarded blade also called the Proguard and they excellent also.
The guarded blade prevents the blade from digging in and reduced my weepers and nicks drastically and it was more enjoyable for myself. I lost interest in this way of shaving for a while and enjoy regular shaving with SE or DE blades (less skill needed IMO).
One thing you will learn is blade feel from a naked straight edge and that will help you shave with any razor IMO, Enjoy.
Kai Luffy style folding shavette- Mfg- 2017--.jpg

YY Kai Protouch guarded blade AC blade 3.jpg
YY Kai Protouch guarded blade AC blade 2.jpg

View with the blade on my skin to show how close a shave a person can receive. Very forgiving and a excellent AC 50mm blade.
Have some great shaves!
 
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You can get a close DFS++ with a guarded blade and they are well designed blade. Best blade for this style of shaving for myself.

Thanks Ron. That was what initially attracted me to the AC razors. But now that I realize I can have a straight serviced locally, that is a more appealing option, just from an environmental perspective. Not having to buy cartridges is a real plus for me (even though I
d probably only go through one or so P30s a year).
 
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