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Breaking out the Star 1912 and Pal blue carbon steel blade

This was a shave I was looking forward to all week. Not a shave for someone like me as I'm trying to get out the door on a workday. I know this is going to sound ridiculous but it is possible to get bored of the routine flawlessness of other razor/blade combos and seek out something that might be perceived as more of a "challenge". Such was the case this a.m. with my Star 1912 using a Pal blue carbon steel blade.

Carbon steel blades bring me back to a simpler era, long before high tech stainless steels and space age edge coatings existed. If lacking a preservative coating and especially if improperly stored, they can rust right in their packaging, making for an extremely uncomfortable shave. Fortunately, these Pal carbon steel blades seem to have been reasonably well stored, and since I've had them they have stayed well away from the high humidity environment of the bathroom.


These blades are not nearly as smooth as a stainless steel, coated blade, but their efficiency can be dramatically increased by being cognizant of your blade angle at all times. Keep that top cap flat against the face and only lower the handle enough to engage the blade. If you feel even the slightest tugging, recheck your blade angle...it makes a huge difference.

This was my first start to finish SE carbon blade shave on 24 hour stubble, and while it was not as flawless as I'm accustomed to with other razors, it would easily be one I could adapt to if it was my only option. After two passes and some touch-up, I have a remarkably close, smooth shave.

The Star 1912 is perfectly designed to permit the fingers to rest just under the head and control angle with high precision. Post shave I gently wiped off the blade and gave it a light film coat of mineral oil and dropped it back in the razor. Stored as such it will be ready for the next shave which I will look forward to as eagerly as I did this one!

Lane, are these current production Pal blades? I haven't been too fond of the GEM carbon steel blades but might need to give these a try.

I would say I've had them for a little less than a year and got them as a 5 blade sampler from Tryablade.

Prior to this I tried some Gem carbon blades and had a rough go with them (did not complete the shave!). At some point I want to revisit those as well, mainly because my first attempt was in a MMCP and now I want to try in the 1912.
Finally got a chance to try out the PAL blue blade in my MMOC. Like @Highspeedlane said they are a little rough. I thought maybe they were better than the drugstore variety carbon SE blades but this morning's shave was difficult. I'll try it again tomorrow just to see if today was an anomaly.
I did a second shave with the OCMM and Gem Blue Carbon blade. This time the results were better. I ended up with an almost totally clean shave, but the blade still tugged. I stropped on an old belt, but honestly I don't think that made a lot of difference. I paid more attention to blade angle keeping the cap almost completely flat on the face. These are certainly usable blades but there are better options out there. Its too bad really. Blue blades are so cool looking!
I saw photos of the PAL edge through a microscope which were pretty convincing that finishing and QC on these blades is rather awful.

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