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Capt Obvious: "Wow, blades make a big difference!"

I've been shaving for weeks on the same starter pack of blades that I began with: Merkurs.

I decided to splurge a bit and got a sample of different blades from a kind and generous forum member, and today tried the first of them, randomly picking an Israeli "no-name" blade...

WOW! :w00t:

I was not expecting that much of a difference, honestly; while the with-the-grain passes were not much different, the against-the-grain passes were very noticeably better (I could actually go "fully against the grain"--with the Merkurs I had to do "45 degrees against the grain" passes). This made a huge difference on my neck, where for the very first time I was able to get, basically, a "BBS neck" shave. The Merkurs dragged and nicked when I tried that, but the Israeli blade just erased hair; no nicks at all. My wife was muchly impressed.

Very impressive; I'm looking forward to trying other blades, but this was a major upgrade already. Eventually I'll do proper reviews, but this was pretty dramatic.

So, to state the completely obvious: yep, blades sure can make a difference...


Yep, blades sure do make the difference. My experience with Merkurs are exactly like yours. I always knicked myself or had little "weepers" on my neck or redness. I want to try the Israeli blades soon.

A sharp sharp blade makes all the difference.

thanks for sharing..
Yep, blades are one of the cheapest but most significant upgrades you can make IMO. There's a thread on here somewhere comparing several of them, but if I remember correctly the Feather, Israeli, and Derby were the top 3 for sharpness. I've tried the Israeli and the Derby and get great shaves from both. I can't say yet which I prefer; they're that close in performance (for me anyway).

One question I'm having now--how often do people change their blades?

My Monday shave from the Israeli blade was godlike--smooth, soft, clean, no nicks or scratches. A mere three days later and what I think is the same basic technique gets me a raw face with bits of stubble and 5-6 pretty good weepers. Yow! I can't tell if it's the blade or my face (my Monday shave was after two days of recovery) but maybe I should try a new blade tomorrow (Friday) and see if that's any different. I should think the blade should last more than 4 shaves, of course, so I'm guessing it's my face, but that surprises me a bit.
I can't speak to Israeli blades, but I know if I try for a fourth day from a Merkur blade I'm in for a bleeding. I have a heavy beard, and require four effective passes, so I think that's the best I'm going to do.

It looks as though I'm not going to get any better blade life with a Feather.

I've also been using the Merkurs for over a month now and I'm awaiting orders of the Israeli "Super +" (might as well print "no-name" directly on the blades), Swedish Gillette blades, and Feathers. I'm saving the Feathers for months down the line. But after a few weeks of consistent shaves with the Israelis and the Swedes, I'll post a thread of each & then compare them...

I'm very curious to see how the Israelis stack up against the Swedes and the Germans (Merkurs)... Corey swears by the Swedish Gillettes.
Like Rich, I have been using Merkurs and I've not been able to get more than 3 shaves from a blade, which was also the maximum that I could get from a M3 cartridge before switching to DE.
Every blade's performance will vary based on the razor it is used in and the gent's beard that it is shaving. I have problems with feather's in my HD after about 4-5 shaves. In the same razor, I consistently get 7 shaves from a Derby. Using a Derby in a slant bar razor only gets me about 5 great shaves. Unfortunately, personal experience with each is the only way to figure out what is best for you. The positive is that DE blades are cheap enough that you can afford to try all of the popular brands.
I get 4 great shaves from the 'israeli' blades. if i use the same blade again, the shave is ok but the afteraffects are bad( ingrowns).

Bleah. I'll keep at 'em then, probably switching for my Thursday shaves until I get a feel for them down. I'm trying lots o' different blades at the moment, so this will take some experimenting.

For the record, in my case the Israeli blades were never as good as the first day, but downright ouchy by the fourth, while the Merkurs gave the same response all week... just not a great response. Derbys, Feathers, and EuroGillettes up in the next few weeks as I try to sort this out...

(and eventually I'll get another razor and have to do the whole bleedin' (literally) thing again. Considering the slant bar at some point; using an HD now. Seems like slant bar responses are all over the map, from the famous "Satan's Razor" to "Best shave I've ever gotten"--so I'm bound to be curious).
Sometimes it's hard to notice until I drop a fresh blade in, but I think that I'm getting about 4-5 really good shaves with either the Israeli or Derby. Then the last 2-3 shaves are still OK, but not quite up to par with a fresh blade. I'm planning on just changing them 2x per week, up from once a week to keep my shaves at tip top shape.


Stjynnkii membörd dummpsjterd
Not only do blades make a difference for a particular razor, I find that they vary from razor to razor, as well. Finding a symbiotic razor/blade relationship seems to be part science, part magic, and part luck.

For me, Derby Extras have turned my super speeds from very good to terrific shavers. The same blade does nothing in my 1-9 fat boy, which does much better with a feather. My Merkur long handle gives nice, smooth shaves with an IP, but chops me up with everything else except a feather. Only my Merkur 34C HD seems to do well with everything I throw at it.

That is why man was destined to purchase blades by the 100's.
I just switched to a Derby blade in my Long Handle Classic this morning from a US Personna. I had distinctly less irritation on my neck and feel like I had a much smoother shave overall, no nicks at all!:biggrin:

I too have some different blades on order through another thread on this forum, I'm looking forward to trying them out and seeing which gives me the best shave.
Where can you get the Israeli blades? I'm using Derby's now and just got some Merkur's. I'm still in search of the perfect setup and would like to find a place I could get a few blades to try before I shell out for a large quantity.
vputz said:

One question I'm having now--how often do people change their blades?

I'm far from being an expert, but my blade life depends on the number of passes. If I am in a hurry all week and only have time for two passes my blades last an entire week, if I have more time to really try for a BBS shave the blades last maybe 4-5 days. But, I hardly ever have a week where every day is the same so I just change them when I start to get irritation and a not so smooth shave. I never go longer than a week.
There are definite differences. I just participated in a blind test of a dozen blades, tightly controlled. Each blade was used by each participant 3 times in the same razor, with the same prep and same soap or cream. Each blade was compared to the previous blade at the same shave number (i.e. Blade 4 shave 2 versus blade 3 shave 2) for sharpness, smoothness, and overall better/worse rating. When so carefully observed differences are clear.

I was was fascinated after the test and the blades were revealed that a couple of brands had been used twice and my impression of them was the same each time.

If you you go by my result,s Personna blue labs are very good. My usual blade before the test was Personna med prep. Still is, I had just bought 100.
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When I bought my first DE razor in September, a Merkur 34C HD, I used the blade that came with it, a Merkur (of course). I'd read on this forum that many found that blade to be very difficult, as did I that first morning. I threw it away after one shave, and tried the Astra SP on day two. What a difference! I have purchased 100-packs of eight different kinds of blades, but have bought 200 Astra SP blades. I like them all (GSBs, 7 O'Clock Blacks, Feathers, Voskhods, Polsilver Iridiums, Personna Med Preps and a couple of others I can't remember), but nothing beats the Astras.
Holy thread resurrection...
I first started with Feathers and Blue Birds. These, and the learning curve of new-to-wetshaving, led me to really investigating here at B&B what others preferred, I came away with a purchase of Personna Blues. Once they came in, I found my blade.
Through various exchanges with others here, I've received a load of Israeli Army issue Perma Sharps and Russian Rapira blades. Both offer at least two great shaves before being swapped out (and due to the generosity of the good gents here, I've got lots of blades). Try a third shave with these and you're playing with fire. But those two shaves are on par with the Personna's, which I get three shaves.
Blades are relatively cheap and readily available through online shopping or the generosity of B&B members. Eventually you'll find what works.​
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