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Blade life

Had some irritation again after this evenings shave. Still relatively new to DE, I’ve had 7 shaves from this blade, a 7 o’clock super stainless. I’m trying to work out my optimum shave count before tossing the blade, not because of finances as blades are almost free I just don’t want to be wasteful. I’m seriously thinking about enforcing a 4 shave rule and no matter how good the blade still feels I should throw it anyway.

I have found that the longer the blade has been in the razor the more uncomfortable atg shaving becomes.

I’m honestly astonished that members here get to 100 shaves on a blade, I could understand if they only shave their neck as a full beard clean up but not a full shave like I do.

I have normal facial hair, not course or thick in my opinion and shave with a EJ DE89 which I love. I vary my creams and soaps, all of which are good quality.

Just wondering if anyone else has a shave limit for their blade or just go on feel? I’m aware some have a Monday morning rule or something similar. With blades YMMV is a huge point so that’s why I haven’t asked how many shaves do you get as there’s a million variables with hair and blade characteristics so it’s meaningless.

Cheers all, still really enjoying this forum.
 
Had some irritation again after this evenings shave. Still relatively new to DE, I’ve had 7 shaves from this blade, a 7 o’clock super stainless. I’m trying to work out my optimum shave count before tossing the blade, not because of finances as blades are almost free I just don’t want to be wasteful. I’m seriously thinking about enforcing a 4 shave rule and no matter how good the blade still feels I should throw it anyway.

I have found that the longer the blade has been in the razor the more uncomfortable atg shaving becomes.

I’m honestly astonished that members here get to 100 shaves on a blade, I could understand if they only shave their neck as a full beard clean up but not a full shave like I do.

I have normal facial hair, not course or thick in my opinion and shave with a EJ DE89 which I love. I vary my creams and soaps, all of which are good quality.

Just wondering if anyone else has a shave limit for their blade or just go on feel? I’m aware some have a Monday morning rule or something similar. With blades YMMV is a huge point so that’s why I haven’t asked how many shaves do you get as there’s a million variables with hair and blade characteristics so it’s meaningless.

Cheers all, still really enjoying this forum.
It depends what blade i use, but my regular daily blade is the ASTRA SP which imo can do about 5 shaves but usually change it on Mondays and Thursdays, after about 3 shaves. That way all of my shaves feel comifirtable and smooth. I also use my trusty Jagger 89 as my regular razor
 
I usually bin a DE blade after 3-4 shaves, because there's a good chance it will give less than satisfactory results after that, and it's just not worth taking the chance. SE and a few vintage DE blades last a lot longer, but that's another story.
 
For a year and a half or so, I'd toss them after 6-12 shaves, depending on the brand.
Now I've gotten 75 out of an Astra SP (hoping for 100), and more recently I'm up to 18 on a Derby Extra SS. I never even really liked Derby blades, but thought I'd give it another try. On the first 5 shaves I had weepers every time, then it got better.
I don't know what has changed. Even my most aggressive razors (or settings) are comfortable to use. I can add a bit more pressure than usual to make up for the decreased sharpness and still not get any irritation.

I must look up some threads about "corking" a blade, and see if that doesn't help for the first few shaves on a new blade.
 
I change blades when I no longer feel that it's working. To me, it seems a shame to get rid of something that is still functioning--but do whatever makes you happy.
 
I go by feel, but I've been doing it long enough to know what I'm feeling for. I also visually inspect the blade, and all you need to do this is a simple, but bright torch/flashlight.

If you take a blade that you know you've used to death, and it feels more like a hacksaw blade to shave with than a razor blade, if you shine it on the edge of the blade, and angle the blade just right, you'll see little pinpricks of light along the edge. These are edge damage, little flatsports, either caused by microchipping, or deformation of the edge. A truly sharp blade will have no reflection on the edge.

Once you learn how to find those with a torch, and correlate that with what it feels like, you can start getting a better indication of the edge condition by feel alone.

How long should a blade last? Well that depends on your own beard structure, how good your technique is, how good your prep is, and the quality of the blade itself. I get an average of about fourteen shaves per blade, but some really struggle to get to ten, and the one I'm using right now did it's 30th shave earlier today.

Blade life is secondary to shave quality. Don't focus on blade life, just focus on getting the best and most enjoyable shave possible. The blade count may increase a little with better prep, or better technique, but there's no point in enduring bad shaves just to get the shave count up.

I could probably get my shave count even higher, if I was prepared to endure a lower quality shave, or spend extra time in maintenance - but I'm not prepared to do that. What I get is good enough for me, both in terms of blade life and shave quality. I doubt I'll ever get to 100 shaves, or regularly get above 30 shaves, my beard won't let that happen, but that's not as important to me as getting good enjoyable shaves.
 
I use Feather blades and toss them after two shaves. I have always envied those who can get a large number of shaves from a blade. I have tried to coax up to 6 shaves on a blade, but the shaves were very uncomfortable. I can only think that my technique is lacking. I must add that my beard is like a wire brush and going ATG is difficult for me even with a new blade.
 
I think @AimlessWanderer covered most of it. A lot depends on the razor it’s in when shaving as well. Then each person’s tolerance for a shave is also widely variable.

I regularly push my Astra SPs to 15 ish, then bin them, not always because they need to be either. I try to give each blade a fair number of shaves before I make the decision.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I use Feather blades and toss them after two shaves. I have always envied those who can get a large number of shaves from a blade. I have tried to coax up to 6 shaves on a blade, but the shaves were very uncomfortable. I can only think that my technique is lacking. I must add that my beard is like a wire brush and going ATG is difficult for me even with a new blade.
If your beard is like a wire brush your technique is probably just fine.
 
I took a Gillette 7o'clock Super Stainless to 43 shaves in a Merkur Progress. Each shave was two passes, WTG/ATG and touch up. Everything was going great until shave #43 when I managed to nick myself in a place I never, ever get nicks. At that point I decided blade longevity tests make for interesting conversation but don't really benefit me in real terms. Now I limit my blade use to one week or 7 shaves, whichever comes first. I know it most likely can go farther but now I really prefer the feel of a blade when it is sharper.
 

ajkel64

Moderator
I go for 7 shaves per blade. I change razors and blades every Monday morning. Some blades seem that they can go for a few shaves more but some feel done after around 4 shaves. I always do a 3 pass shave. My father and his father who was a barber both never shaved against the grain and they used to get weeks out of a blade.
 
I'm still learning the ropes here, and I haven't really counted the number of shaves I get before replacing. I go strictly by feel. If it starts getting uncomfortable and feels like the blade is dragging, it's time to replace. Some blades seem to last quite a bit longer than others. I tried a feather, and it seemed uncomfortable after a couple of shaves. But my GSB's are feeling great even after a week of shaving (I shave about every other day). I'm going to try a feather again in a mild razor, like my super speed and see if it's any better. At no time do I think I can ever make a blade last for 30 or more shaves.
 
ATG will lead to irritation for most people. If you insist on using ATG passes, use short light strokes. I now use across the grain Gillette Slide Technique & its close to ATG IMO. I toss blades after about 5-7 shaves on average but, YMMV.
 
Cheers guys, I was trying not to waste really as sometimes the blade still feels good after 5 shaves, I’ve had other blades that are shot after 2. I’ve just woken up and my face is still bbs smooth and the irritation is long gone. My main objective is an irritation free smooth shave so I’ll throw each blade after 4 shaves unless it feels rough before that point. I feel I’ll benefit from the consistency. Also I had a sample pack of EJ lime and pomegranate which I used last night, very good scent, obviously can’t comment about the feel as I was stretching the blade. I’ll use the menthol sampler tonight and report back.
 
Had some irritation again after this evenings shave. Still relatively new to DE, I’ve had 7 shaves from this blade, a 7 o’clock super stainless. I’m trying to work out my optimum shave count before tossing the blade, not because of finances as blades are almost free I just don’t want to be wasteful. I’m seriously thinking about enforcing a 4 shave rule and no matter how good the blade still feels I should throw it anyway.

I have found that the longer the blade has been in the razor the more uncomfortable atg shaving becomes.

I’m honestly astonished that members here get to 100 shaves on a blade, I could understand if they only shave their neck as a full beard clean up but not a full shave like I do.

I have normal facial hair, not course or thick in my opinion and shave with a EJ DE89 which I love. I vary my creams and soaps, all of which are good quality.

Just wondering if anyone else has a shave limit for their blade or just go on feel? I’m aware some have a Monday morning rule or something similar. With blades YMMV is a huge point so that’s why I haven’t asked how many shaves do you get as there’s a million variables with hair and blade characteristics so it’s meaningless.

Cheers all, still really enjoying this forum.
Used blades perform differently depending on the razor in my experience.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Some people change the blade every day. Some go until the shave becomes uncomfortable - but I seem to have a built-in aversion to discomfort, so this is not a great plan for me.

It depends on the blade and on your face. If you have a beard like a 12 year old boy you can probably get a ton of shaves. Some guys have a beard like wire and can only get one.

I'm in the middle. I formerly got 7 shaves from a Med Prep, but the last day was always a little iffy. Now I keep track with a die, and I found that weepers would virtually only arrive on the third pass of day 5. If I were more frugal I suppose I could change the blade after day 5 pass 2 - but I can't be bothered. I change after 4 days using a PolSilver SI.

At the price of blades I find it madness to go long enough to find discomfort.
 
Some people change the blade every day. Some go until the shave becomes uncomfortable - but I seem to have a built-in aversion to discomfort, so this is not a great plan for me.

It depends on the blade and on your face. If you have a beard like a 12 year old boy you can probably get a ton of shaves. Some guys have a beard like wire and can only get one.

I'm in the middle. I formerly got 7 shaves from a Med Prep, but the last day was always a little iffy. Now I keep track with a die, and I found that weepers would virtually only arrive on the third pass of day 5. If I were more frugal I suppose I could change the blade after day 5 pass 2 - but I can't be bothered. I change after 4 days using a PolSilver SI.

At the price of blades I find it madness to go long enough to find discomfort.
You seem to have found a lot more consistency than me, Keith. Even if I stick with the same brand, in fact even within the same pack, I find some blades might last (for me) twice as long as others. I agree blades are too cheap to suffer discomfort, but I loathe chucking away stuff that still works. However, if I kept getting the same deterioration at the same time, I'd probably do the same as you.
 
I shave with a blade until it starts to feel "off", then out it goes.

I've stopped using a dozen different blades at a time so no longer have a numbering system to track shaves on a blade.

Recently I just shave with a single blade at a time until it is toast then grab a fresh one

 
Everyone is different but I pitch a blade after 3 uses. I find at that point, its cutting power has diminished and its time to replace it.
I think that a lot of those people who get 100 shaves out of a blade simply do a WTG pass and call it a day.
 
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