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Blade Life Reflection

I have been traditional shaving with a safety razor for close to fifteen years now (cost and chronic razor burn led to my transition). It wasn't until three months ago that I even bothered to search the Interweb on the subject.

B&B, what a welcome surprise!

Anyway, up until I started perusing the forums, I had shaved in my own way with my own technique; no guidance, simply trial and error.

Here's the thing. I wouldn't even THINK about changing my blade for at least the first two weeks of daily shaving, sometimes leaving it for up to a month!

I have a very tough beard and sensitive skin. As I shave daily, I usually got away with two passes.

Fast forward to today.

I now toss the blade around shave #5 (right now I'm using Feathers). BUT, each shave is a dedicated 20min, three pass experience, with touch-ups. I am definitely getting better shaves with this new approach (thank you B&B members), but I would be remiss if I didn't offer as a point of discussion that number of passes is a crucial part of the equation! If you consider my former technique, I am about par for the course when it comes to number of passes per blade.

Perhaps, that is the question that should be posed: how many passes do you get per blade? A little more accurate, iMHO.

For example, if you are tossing a blade after 3-4 shaves and only performing a two pass shave, I would suggest that you might be shortchanging yourself. Of course, YMMV.

Food for thought.
 
I have been traditional shaving with a safety razor for close to fifteen years now (cost and chronic razor burn led to my transition). It wasn't until three months ago that I even bothered to search the Interweb on the subject.

B&B, what a welcome surprise!

Anyway, up until I started perusing the forums, I had shaved in my own way with my own technique; no guidance, simply trial and error.

Here's the thing. I wouldn't even THINK about changing my blade for at least the first two weeks of daily shaving, sometimes leaving it for up to a month!

I have a very tough beard and sensitive skin. As I shave daily, I usually got away with two passes.

Fast forward to today.

I now toss the blade around shave #5 (right now I'm using Feathers). BUT, each shave is a dedicated 20min, three pass experience, with touch ups. I am definitely getting better shaves with this new approach (thank you B&B members), but I would be remiss if I didn't offer as a point of discussion that number of passes is a crucial part of the equation! If you consider my former technique, I am about par for the course when it comes to number of passes per blade.

Perhaps, that is the question that should be posed: how many passes do you get per blade? A little more accurate, iMHO.

For example, if you are tossing a blade after 3-4 shaves and only performing a two pass shave, I would suggest that you might be shortchanging yourself.

Food for thought.

Good point. There are a few members that include number of passes in evaluating blades, and I agree it's more accurate. There's always going to be variances though.
 
My razor doesn't stop until I hit BBS. Different parts of my beard requires different attention. There's a spot on my chin that takes 20+ strokes WTG and ATG to BBS, my cheeks only takes about 6 or so strokes. I don't have a set number of strokes. I apply lather twice and shave in several directions, many strokes until BBS. I'm a face and head shaver, just shaving my face, 60+ BBS shaves is about average.

I don't like Feathers and they don't last as long as other blades.
 
Perhaps, that is the question that should be posed: how many passes do you get per blade? A little more accurate, iMHO.

I've thought about this to as it relates to the comprehensive DE razor blade data table in the ShaveWiki that I started. Surveying users for ratings led to asking for the relative "longevity" of blades, which I should have been doing from the beginning of the survey process. Longevity on a relative scale is the most accurate means of relating blade life. One guy's longevity of 5 out of 10 may translate to 3 shaves or 6 passes (with 2 passes per shave) or X strokes while another guy's longevity of 5 out of 10 may translate to 20 shaves or 60 passes (with 3 passes per shave) or Y strokes. (Many or most Excalibur Club guys go even farther than that.) The number of shaves, passes, and strokes vary so much from one guy to the next. I was getting large variations in shave number that eventually didn't make much sense when comparing blade to blade. I still plan on getting an average shave number calculation relative to longevity so that I can calculate average price per face shave. Right now, the column is there in the DE razor blade table, but I don't have the data yet. I plan on getting the needed data in a separate survey in the future.
 
I've thought about this to as it relates to the comprehensive DE razor blade data table in the ShaveWiki that I started. Surveying users for ratings led to asking for the relative "longevity" of blades, which I should have been doing from the beginning of the survey process. Longevity on a relative scale is the most accurate means of relating blade life. One guy's longevity of 5 out of 10 may translate to 3 shaves or 6 passes (with 2 passes per shave) or X strokes while another guy's longevity of 5 out of 10 may translate to 20 shaves or 60 passes (with 3 passes per shave) or Y strokes. (Many or most Excalibur Club guys go even farther than that.) The number of shaves, passes, and strokes vary so much from one guy to the next. I was getting large variations in shave number that eventually didn't make much sense when comparing blade to blade. I still plan on getting an average shave number calculation relative to longevity so that I can calculate average price per face shave. Right now, the column is there in the DE razor blade table, but I don't have the data yet. I plan on getting the needed data in a separate survey in the future.

Outstanding!

PhD-level methods in the works!
 
For example, if you are tossing a blade after 3-4 shaves and only performing a two pass shave, I would suggest that you might be shortchanging yourself. Of course, YMMV.

Food for thought.

I fall into that category. I never go more than 2 passes, one because a DFS is good enough for me, and 2 because wiry curly facial hair means going against the grain results in instant ingrown hairs. However, despite that, I never take a blade beyond 3 shaves. For me, shave 4 is just a big gamble, and I'd rather shave with a fresh sharp blade than one of indeterminate sharpness. If you do the math, considering my daily blade costs about 15 cents per blade, 3 shaves and toss yields a yearly useage of about 122 blades, while 4 shaves and toss yields 92 blades a year, assuming you shave every day. 30 blades difference between the two times 15 cents per blade equals $4.50 a year. 5 shaves and toss equals $9.00 in saving a year. Granted, that's almost enough money to snag another soap, but I think I'm worth the extra expense.

Number of passes, number of shaves, best cream, best blades, best razor, best brand of Sasquatch flatus, all of it is the ultimate YMMV.
 
Sorry, that was some poor math I did there. By shaving four times with a blade instead of three, I'd save $4.50 a year. Five shaves brings the savings up to $7.35, and six shaves makes $9.15
 
I shave my head, and cleanup around the beard lines. I rarely hit BBS, but usually get a DFS. I get around 30 2 pass shaves from an Astra SP or A GSB. For one blade February I used a Feather. I pushed it to 28, but wasn't very happy with it. There were around 15 really good shaves in the middle of the run, but it started and ended rough.
 
I can get away with two passes plus touch up by going ATG on the second pass. A little touch up for trouble spots and I just can't get any closer. I change blades weekly on average but am going to stretch my 7oclock SS a bit farther this run.
 
I do a 3 pass shave with a clean-up. I had been tossing my blades every three days, but have lengthened that to 4-5 depending on the which one. For example, I can get 6 days from a Kai blade. I have a small stash of vintage Schick Platinum Plus blades and have used one. It was good for 12 days.

The rule of thumb I have read on this forum is to toss blades when they start tugging. I don't wait that long.
 
Good point
It depends on what I'm doing and how many days I go between shaves
I usually get up at 7am and make time to shave daily, however I had a total hip replacement on my right hip 4 weeks ago (they did my left hip 2 years back), and although I'm recovering well at home, my new bionic hip is still not strong enough to stand around for too long - if I stood at the sink shaving every day of the week I'd be in agony !!
I also tend to sleep until around 8am, I'm getting up a few minutes earlier so hopefully I'll get back to my old routine.

Currently I tend to shave at around 2pm every 2 or 3 days

I'm still smitten by my recently acquired Mingshi 2000S Adjustable - it will be my go to razor for the foreseeable

If I'm just spending all day in front of the TV.....
1st pass - WTG - #4
2nd pass - ATG - #5

If I'm going anywhere in the daytime.....
1st pass - WTG - #4
2nd pass - XTG - #5
3rd pass - ATG - #6 (jawline/neck only)

If I'm going out at night.....
1st pass - WTG - #4
2nd pass - XTG - #5
3rd pass - ATG - #5.5
4th pass - WTG - #6 (jawline/neck area only)

The final ATG on the neck/jawline makes all the difference !!

I tend to get 3 good shaves from my regular blades, 4 good shaves per blade from my best blades - I could make any of my blades last for a few more shaves, but every time I've tried to I didn't enjoy it
 
Interesting how things change with experience and knowledge! I typically do a 3-pass shave (WTG, XTG, ATG) every day. That works well for me! Blades generally last around a week for me, often more.
 
I shave 6 days/week with a DE - 3 passes plus touch-ups. I typically change the blade at that point...mainly because I'm still working through samples. I use my SE on Sunday. So, 18-20 passes per blade, but could probably do more.
 
I've never tried or even thought about keeping track of how long a blade lasts or number of shaves. Generally I rotate through a half dozen or so razors and tend to forget what blade is in any particular razor. But if I notice drag then I change blades, right then and there. Sometimes it is to another of whatever blade is getting tossed but I'll admit often it is to whatever is on the top of the stake of open blades. But I also have a bunch of blades that got put away with a razor when my Dad switched to something new so it's not too out of line to load up a blade that's over a half century old. And many of those are really nice blades.

I'm getting up their myself so I don't feel bad at all dropping a 65 year old blade into a 60-65 year old razor to shave this near 75 year old face.

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Did anybody ever think about of making some kind of statistics out of this thread?
Which blade did you toss today? After how many uses?
I think blade life would probably be the most difficult aspect of shaving to actually quantify statistically. There are so many variables that go into it; blade angle, beard thickness, coarseness, salt and mineral content of your water, whether the Russian who polished your blades before packaging had 3 vodkas with lunch or 5, and that's not to even broach the subjective aspects of blade life, I.E., when a blade reaches the end of its usable life for you doesn't necessarily equal when it reaches the end of its usable life for me. There will undoubtedly be some clustering of data but there will be outliers everywhere that skew the data wildly, and being that everything in shaving is YMMV, the more data points you collect in an attempt to strengthen your data, the more outliers you'll uncover. Like the guy above who used a Feather for a month, when for the majority of opinions I've seen a Feather is worthless beyond a week of shaves, if not less.
 
You are probably right, I was just thinking that with all the different users and their different beards, skins and theirMMV there would be enough data to ease those factors out. i.e. 100 Voshkhod blades used by 100 different users may tell us something about average blade life of a Voshkhod etc. Or let's say this would be more like the big data approach vs the scientific single use approach.
 
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