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Different kinds of blade coatings.

I know this question may seem a bit off-the-wall, but I was curious as to know what kind of blade 'coating' seems to be liked the most and which one is most efficient. Such as platinum, teflon or chrome coating to name but a few. Just a thought that came into mind when researching different makes of blades.

Jason.
 
It is helpful to look at the history chronologically. I will quickly hit a few important points for you.

Gillette developed the Super Blue blade in the early 60s right before stainless took over the market. It was a polymer coated version of the Blue Blade, which is carbon steel.

Wilkinson Sword, a tool manufacturer at the time, developed the stainless blade around this same time. It was uncoated and therefor harsh and prone to deterioration. Around 65 they released their single offering that featured a polymer coating. All but an atomic scale amount of polymer is removed on the first shave. Once the polymer is fully abraded off, the blade wears out rapidly and becomes harsher.

Around this time, late to the party, the other well known coated blades came out with polymer coated stainless blades such as Gillette Spoilers and Schick Khrona. Schick briefly had a coated carbon blade also.

The next advancement was also by Wilkinson Sword with the so called "New Blade" around 69. It added a chromium deposition process to the final edge of the blade before being polymer coated. The new process created a very durable blade even after the polymer was gone, without producing harshness. These could be used until dull with little concern due to the durability of the edge.

Once again the others followed, but this time with their own processes. Platinum, Chromium, Titanium, etc. By combining different metals in this process they claimed to produce an even more durable edge than using just one metal. The marketing race had begun.

So coming forward to the present, most blades are still being manufactured on historic equipment the same way they were since the early seventies. The difference is that the equipment has moved to lower cost countries and the resultant blades are no longer marketed to developed countries. I personally maintain the position that vintage blades were manufactured better than most current offering. Not because of some vague nostalgia, but because relatively speaking blades were considerably more expensive back then. I would say that the current price of about $1 per blade on auction websites represents what a realistic inflation adjustment would show. The fact that high quality blades made in Germany and Japan can now retail for about half that shows how manufacturing efficiency has been improved to bring cost down. Blades made in Egypt, for example, cost approximately the same each now as they did without inflation adjustment back then. They may be fine, but the QC is not going to be as good considering the target market and price.

Gillette discovered back in the early seventies that shavers couldn't perceive the difference between two blades when one is only marginally sharper so they pursued the smoothest shave experience possible. Many modern blades rely on noticeably thicker polymer coatings to increase slip and produce the sensation of smoothness. Some people on here don't like them because they may need several shaves before they cut well for them. The problem with this approach is unpredictability. You may get the smoothest shave of your life, but if you try to eek out one more shave everything falls apart.

The edge treatments such as Platinum Chrome should have less direct affect on the shave quality, at least initially. They are there to prevent the premature deterioration of the edge. Some people feel they have heavy metal sensitivity to these and may only use a blade once or twice when the polymer is worn down. Others will outright avoid these blades and seek out "Stainless Steel" blades, which are all polymer coated now.

To me the most important part of a blade, and the most mysterious, is the bevel or bevels. This is where I believe the vintage blades have the upper hand. Once you start looking into microscope images of several different blades you start to see patterns in how they are designed to cut. Without going into deep detail, some blades have bevels that start higher than others. Some have secondary bevels that also may start higher or lower or not at all. Then you have the final edge, the micro bevel. These aren't really visible without a scanning electron microscope. There are some manufacturer images floating around that show this, but they are just drawings for illustrative purpose. Feather is one with their Artist Club blades.

I hope this didn't go off the rails too much for you, it took me longer to type than I was planning. The takeaway is to find the blades you like then try to learn what their characteristics are and find other blades that may be similar. The eye test posts are very helpful at some point, but so are sharpness tests that I am not allowed to link to. You will discover that some of the smoothest blades, when your technique is dialed in, are the sharpest. You will also discover that after a certain number of shaves when the raw blade underneath is revealed, they are even sharper than you can imagine and that your skin can handle. Perma Sharps are one such blade, they were made for barbers who have to bin them after one use. Around the third or fourth shave, they are as sharp as Feathers are when new. Feathers are a special case of a blade made to be as sharp as possible out of the package with durability an apparent distant concern. They can dull noticeably are just three shaves. It is believed that the final bevel angle is the cause of both the initial sharpness and the rapid falloff, not actual edge deterioration like other blades.
 
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It is helpful to look at the history chronologically. I will quickly hit a few important points for you.

Gillette developed the Super Blue blade in the early 60s right before stainless took over the market. It was a polymer coated version of the Blue Blade, which is carbon steel.

Wilkinson Sword, a tool manufacturer at the time, developed the stainless blade around this same time. It was uncoated and therefor harsh and prone to deterioration. Around 65 they released their single offering that featured a polymer coating. All but an atomic scale amount of polymer is removed on the first shave. Once the polymer is fully abraded off, the blade wears out rapidly and becomes harsher.

Around this time, late to the party, the other well known coated blades came out with polymer coated stainless blades such as Gillette Spoilers and Schick Khrona. Schick briefly had a coated carbon blade also.

The next advancement was also by Wilkinson Sword with the so called "New Blade" around 69. It added a chromium deposition process to the final edge of the blade before being polymer coated. The new process created a very durable blade even after the polymer was gone, without producing harshness. These could be used until dull with little concern due to the durability of the edge.

Once again the others followed, but this time with their own processes. Platinum, Chromium, Titanium, etc. By combining different metals in this process they claimed to produce an even more durable edge than using just one metal. The marketing race had begun.

So coming forward to the present, most blades are still being manufactured on historic equipment the same way they were since the early seventies. The difference is that the equipment has moved to lower cost countries and the resultant blades are no longer marketed to developed countries. I personally maintain the position that vintage blades were manufactured better than most current offering. Not because of some vague nostalgia, but because relatively speaking blades were considerably more expensive back then. I would say that the current price of about $1 per blade on auction websites represents what a realistic inflation adjustment would show. The fact that high quality blades made in Germany and Japan can now retail for about half that shows how manufacturing efficiency has been improved to bring cost down. Blades made in Egypt, for example, cost approximately the same each now as they did without inflation adjustment back then. They may be fine, but the QC is not going to be as good considering the target market and price.

Gillette discovered back in the early seventies that shavers couldn't perceive the difference between two blades when one is only marginally sharper so they pursued the smoothest shave experience possible. Many modern blades rely on noticeably thicker polymer coatings to increase slip and produce the sensation of smoothness. Some people on here don't like them because they may need several shaves before they cut well for them. The problem with this approach is unpredictability. You may get the smoothest shave of your life, but if you try to eek out one more shave everything falls apart.

The edge treatments such as Platinum Chrome should have less direct affect on the shave quality, at least initially. They are there to prevent the premature deterioration of the edge. Some people feel they have heavy metal sensitivity to these and may only use a blade once or twice when the polymer is worn down. Others will outright avoid these blades and seek out "Stainless Steel" blades, which are all polymer coated now.

To me the most important part of a blade, and the most mysterious, is the bevel or bevels. This is where I believe the vintage blades have the upper hand. Once you start looking into microscope images of several different blades you start to see patterns in how they are designed to cut. Without going into deep detail, some blades have bevels that start higher than others. Some have secondary bevels that also may start higher or lower or not at all. Then you have the final edge, the micro bevel. These aren't really visible without a scanning electron microscope. There are some manufacturer images floating around that show this, but they are just drawings for illustrative purpose. Feather is one with their Artist Club blades.

I hope this didn't go off the rails too much for you, it took me longer to type than I was planning. The takeaway is to find the blades you like then try to learn what their characteristics are and find other blades that may be similar. The eye test posts are very helpful at some point, but so are sharpness tests that I am not allowed to link to. You will discover that some of the smoothest blades, when your technique is dialed in, are the sharpest. You will also discover that after a certain number of shaves when the raw blade underneath is revealed, they are even sharper than you can imagine and that your skin can handle. Perma Sharps are one such blade, they were made for barbers who have to bin them after one use. Around the third or fourth shave, they are as sharp as Feathers are when new. Feathers are a special case of a blade made to be as sharp as possible out of the package with durability an apparent distant concern. They can dull noticeably are just three shaves. It is believed that the final bevel angle is the cause of both the initial sharpness and the rapid falloff, not actual edge deterioration like other blades.
Good stuff. Thank you.
 
I know this question may seem a bit off-the-wall, but I was curious as to know what kind of blade 'coating' seems to be liked the most and which one is most efficient. Such as platinum, teflon or chrome coating to name but a few. Just a thought that came into mind when researching different makes of blades.

Jason.
Interesting question, my jest from it all is Platinum and Iridium are put through a process called sputtering where the edge is bombarded with tiny globulars of metal coating misting to strengthen the edge. Teflon solution is still put through a sputtering machine to give blade edge smoothness mainly.
 
Interesting stuff the blade I’ve been considering to try next is a Kai razor blade. Not coated but supposedly made with medical grade stainless steel.
 
I suggest all the coatings have their fans and their detractors. YMMV. Personally I like the platinum-coated stainless steel blades, but I can't really give you a compelling reason.
 
It is helpful to look at the history chronologically. I will quickly hit a few important points for you.

Gillette developed the Super Blue blade in the early 60s right before stainless took over the market. It was a polymer coated version of the Blue Blade, which is carbon steel.

Wilkinson Sword, a tool manufacturer at the time, developed the stainless blade around this same time. It was uncoated and therefor harsh and prone to deterioration. Around 65 they released their single offering that featured a polymer coating. All but an atomic scale amount of polymer is removed on the first shave. Once the polymer is fully abraded off, the blade wears out rapidly and becomes harsher.

Around this time, late to the party, the other well known coated blades came out with polymer coated stainless blades such as Gillette Spoilers and Schick Khrona. Schick briefly had a coated carbon blade also.

The next advancement was also by Wilkinson Sword with the so called "New Blade" around 69. It added a chromium deposition process to the final edge of the blade before being polymer coated. The new process created a very durable blade even after the polymer was gone, without producing harshness. These could be used until dull with little concern due to the durability of the edge.

Once again the others followed, but this time with their own processes. Platinum, Chromium, Titanium, etc. By combining different metals in this process they claimed to produce an even more durable edge than using just one metal. The marketing race had begun.

So coming forward to the present, most blades are still being manufactured on historic equipment the same way they were since the early seventies. The difference is that the equipment has moved to lower cost countries and the resultant blades are no longer marketed to developed countries. I personally maintain the position that vintage blades were manufactured better than most current offering. Not because of some vague nostalgia, but because relatively speaking blades were considerably more expensive back then. I would say that the current price of about $1 per blade on auction websites represents what a realistic inflation adjustment would show. The fact that high quality blades made in Germany and Japan can now retail for about half that shows how manufacturing efficiency has been improved to bring cost down. Blades made in Egypt, for example, cost approximately the same each now as they did without inflation adjustment back then. They may be fine, but the QC is not going to be as good considering the target market and price.

Gillette discovered back in the early seventies that shavers couldn't perceive the difference between two blades when one is only marginally sharper so they pursued the smoothest shave experience possible. Many modern blades rely on noticeably thicker polymer coatings to increase slip and produce the sensation of smoothness. Some people on here don't like them because they may need several shaves before they cut well for them. The problem with this approach is unpredictability. You may get the smoothest shave of your life, but if you try to eek out one more shave everything falls apart.

The edge treatments such as Platinum Chrome should have less direct affect on the shave quality, at least initially. They are there to prevent the premature deterioration of the edge. Some people feel they have heavy metal sensitivity to these and may only use a blade once or twice when the polymer is worn down. Others will outright avoid these blades and seek out "Stainless Steel" blades, which are all polymer coated now.

To me the most important part of a blade, and the most mysterious, is the bevel or bevels. This is where I believe the vintage blades have the upper hand. Once you start looking into microscope images of several different blades you start to see patterns in how they are designed to cut. Without going into deep detail, some blades have bevels that start higher than others. Some have secondary bevels that also may start higher or lower or not at all. Then you have the final edge, the micro bevel. These aren't really visible without a scanning electron microscope. There are some manufacturer images floating around that show this, but they are just drawings for illustrative purpose. Feather is one with their Artist Club blades.

I hope this didn't go off the rails too much for you, it took me longer to type than I was planning. The takeaway is to find the blades you like then try to learn what their characteristics are and find other blades that may be similar. The eye test posts are very helpful at some point, but so are sharpness tests that I am not allowed to link to. You will discover that some of the smoothest blades, when your technique is dialed in, are the sharpest. You will also discover that after a certain number of shaves when the raw blade underneath is revealed, they are even sharper than you can imagine and that your skin can handle. Perma Sharps are one such blade, they were made for barbers who have to bin them after one use. Around the third or fourth shave, they are as sharp as Feathers are when new. Feathers are a special case of a blade made to be as sharp as possible out of the package with durability an apparent distant concern. They can dull noticeably are just three shaves. It is believed that the final bevel angle is the cause of both the initial sharpness and the rapid falloff, not actual edge deterioration like other blades.

Great discussion!! Thanks!
:a29::a29:
 
I have noticed, and it's probably just me being my weird self, that the coated blades on the first shave are rough and not very close. The second and subsequent shaves are excellent for about 6 shaves and then start to go downhill. I am experimenting with a couple brands of plain stainless blades. First shave is good but they don't seem to hold up at all, 2 or 3 decent shaves at most.

I know it probably makes no sense but neither do most things with me.
Thanks for the education.
 
I have noticed, and it's probably just me being my weird self, that the coated blades on the first shave are rough and not very close. The second and subsequent shaves are excellent for about 6 shaves and then start to go downhill. I am experimenting with a couple brands of plain stainless blades. First shave is good but they don't seem to hold up at all, 2 or 3 decent shaves at most.

I know it probably makes no sense but neither do most things with me.
Thanks for the education.
You are fairly accurate in your blade use observation of 1st shave, I only have 2 blades of many that this seems not to occur as significant and they are Gillette silver blue and Gillette 7oClock SP(black)are Sharp & smooth excellent blades. I have come to much your conclusion also.
 
A good comparison can be made by obtaining a sample of the Crystal and Made in Israel Personna platinum. They are both made in the same factory to slightly different specs. Crystal is one of the most notorious for having a thick polymer coating. If you can't feel a difference on the first shave then you are not as sensitive as you might think. I love both, but that might be because I have a tough beard that reduces the coatings to equal quicker. The Personnas are still sharper and I bin the Crystals 1 shave sooner to add confusion.
 
All modern Stainless steel blades (no matter if they are designated Platinum, Chrome, Stainless or Teflon) have PTFE (trademarked as TEFLON). It is applied in the end of the process. Most platinum blades have platinum+chrome and finally the PTFE applied. Some blades that say "Stainless" or "Super Stainless" are actually chromium coated + PTFE.
No Stainless steel blade is "uncoated". They have all at least PTFE.
Carbon steel is another thing.
 
I know this question may seem a bit off-the-wall, but I was curious as to know what kind of blade 'coating' seems to be liked the most and which one is most efficient. Such as platinum, teflon or chrome coating to name but a few...
The names on the package are primarily for marketing purposes. Just a hint, really. The best thing is to try the blades for yourself. They each have their fans. Remember, you can get a great shave without necessarily chasing after "the best" in some sort of quest for perfection.
 
The names on the package are primarily for marketing purposes. Just a hint, really. The best thing is to try the blades for yourself. They each have their fans. Remember, you can get a great shave without necessarily chasing after "the best" in some sort of quest for perfection.
This!
 
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