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Down the rabbithole of blade coatings...

This is something I never really paid attention to before. But over the past few months I've been exploring Lord assortment of blades. I thought well basically there's platinum coating and there's the stainless version, a blade is more sharp or less sharp. While browsing the RBC site filling my next order of blades, I actually saw that Lord blades have a wider range of coatings. So I kind of summed up my experiences, I will share them here, would love to hear your opinions. For reference, I have hard whiskers, sensitive skin and use the R41

PTFE coated - as far as I understand, that is teflon. For example, Voskhod and Racer blades are coated with this. I found that they tend to 'bite'. I don't feel it, the blades are fairly smooth, but they do bite, especially on the neck area. Voskhod doesn't bite much, but it's also too dull for my whiskers.

Stainless - Silver Star, ASCO reds (not the same coating as the orange ones apparently) and Rainbow - incredibly smooth shave, it glides through the whiskers like through butter, even in the R41 there is no blade feel. But harsh on the skin, it causes irritation. Rainbow blades are in my experience slightly better. Astra SS is very similar to ASCO reds.

Platinum coating - Lord and Crown platinum (but even Gillette/BIC/Astra platinum had similar results) - I noticed that on 2nd and 3rd use they tend to be harsher and cause weepiness on the neck area. Lord Platinum is the best of the bunch in my experience, I could certainly use it as my primary blade.

Chrome coating - Big Ben - seems to be the best all around performer for me, basically perfect balance of sharpness and smoothness. A bit draggy on the first use but after that it is only smooth sailing. I am thoroughly impressed, I think this is the final answer in my search for truth.

So yeah, in my opinion, I think it's a good idea to play with different coatings, I don't think it should be an afterthought. Would love to hear your experiences. Thanks for reading my blog haha.
 
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If you like Lord blades, don't pass on the Indian made blades. I turned my nose up for years, but it turns out there are some excellent blades. They also have blades with different coatings like Titanium, the only modern manufacturer to use it on double edge blades. If they really do. The one I tried felt eerily like a Kai mild AC blade, which is Ti coated.
 
Almost all blades are chrome coated, even ones sold as "stainless".

Platinum/PTFE: some are platinum coated, most are not, even ones sold as "platinum".

Read this thread:

 
Almost all blades are chrome coated, even ones sold as "stainless".

Platinum/PTFE: some are platinum coated, most are not, even ones sold as "platinum".

Read this thread:

Hmmmm interesting. Well, I heard people say that Lord blades are all the same but with different packaging. But I can tell clear differences between them. Maybe they're different, maybe they're the same but the coatings make a difference, who knows. Just a few strokes on my chin and I can tell the difference between a Silver Star, Big Ben, Racer, Shark SS or platinum and Lord platinum. I can also tell a difference between an Astra SS and Gillette/BIC platinum. I use Lord blades just as an example that blades from the same factory can be really different and maybe coatings are the reason.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Interesting thread. I don’t pay that close attention to the different coatings and how they wear but I should. I’ll note I recently tried a Big Ben blade and was very pleasantly surprised how great it is.
 
I have a coarse beard and sensitive skin, so I like my blades very sharp, yet very smooth.
In general, I like blades labeled Platinum coated with one notable exception being the Astra Superior Platinum blade. I do not consider that blade to be either sharp or smooth even though many shavers love it. I find the Astra Superior Stainless blade to be much superior to the ASP blade.

Some of my favorite blades are BIC Chrome Platinum, Personna Platinum Chrome, 7 O'Clock Super Platinum, and Dorco Prime Platinum STP301.....all supposedly platinum coated (well sputtered, actually).

However, I also like Gillette Nacets, Permasharp Super, and Wilkinson Sword Classic blades which I believe a stainless blades with a polymer coating.

One blade that is a favorite of many is the Personna Lab Blue made in USA. It is marketed as a blade with a "comfort coating", which I suspect is a thicker than normal polymer coating. Although the blade is smooth when new, it is not particularly sharp. As the coating wear off the blade becomes significantly sharper and somewhat less smooth.

Thus, I do pay a lot of attention to the type of coating on the blade. I have tried blades with various types of coating.; some are good; some are not. The quality of a blade depends upon the overall manufacturing process: blade material, grinding, honing, sputtering, and coating and ultimately on the quality control process. Ultimately, you will need to pick the blades that work for you in your razors. That is why I always recommend that people try a sampler pack containing a dozen or more 5-blade tucks. I am not convinced that you can tell the true quality of a blade by testing only one or two samples.
 
Interesting thread. I don’t pay that close attention to the different coatings and how they wear but I should. I’ll note I recently tried a Big Ben blade and was very pleasantly surprised how great it is.
Yeah in my experience it really shines with use, it gets better and better.
Be sure to try all three Shark options which also differ in their coatings!!
I didn't try Shark Chrome. I can say that Shark super stainless is an incredibly mild blade, really you won't feel it at all, it's just a bit too mild for my beard. Shark platinum also, drags on my whiskers too much. If you have a softer beard, then the Sharks are absolutely great.
e Astra Superior Platinum blade. I do not consider that blade to be either sharp or smooth even though many shavers love it. I find the Astra Superior Stainless blade to be much superior to the ASP blade.
I agree with you about the Astras. I didn't try the Personna's and various Gillette blades, only Gilette platinum. The Wilkinsons are great blades. Generally, the stainless blades are the sharpest, but also the harshest. So I guess also everyone should see where the golden middle for them is. For me, taking the coatings into account has been really helpful, I know what to expect from a blade.
 
This is a really interesting thread.
Thanks for the info, I'm going to have to give some of these blades a try and see how the results are for me.
 
I always gravitated towards platinum coated blades. Then tried some stainless steel Astra SS, Lord stainless, and others and like them as well. I guess for me, it just matters how they perform instead of the particular coating.
 
This is something I never really paid attention to before. But over the past few months I've been exploring Lord assortment of blades. I thought well basically there's platinum coating and there's the stainless version, a blade is more sharp or less sharp. While browsing the RBC site filling my next order of blades, I actually saw that Lord blades have a wider range of coatings. So I kind of summed up my experiences, I will share them here, would love to hear your opinions. For reference, I have hard whiskers, sensitive skin and use the R41

PTFE coated - as far as I understand, that is teflon. For example, Voskhod and Racer blades are coated with this. I found that they tend to 'bite'. I don't feel it, the blades are fairly smooth, but they do bite, especially on the neck area. Voskhod doesn't bite much, but it's also too dull for my whiskers.

Stainless - Silver Star, ASCO reds (not the same coating as the orange ones apparently) and Rainbow - incredibly smooth shave, it glides through the whiskers like through butter, even in the R41 there is no blade feel. But harsh on the skin, it causes irritation. Rainbow blades are in my experience slightly better. Astra SS is very similar to ASCO reds.

Platinum coating - Lord and Crown platinum (but even Gillette/BIC/Astra platinum had similar results) - I noticed that on 2nd and 3rd use they tend to be harsher and cause weepiness on the neck area. Lord Platinum is the best of the bunch in my experience, I could certainly use it as my primary blade.

Chrome coating - Big Ben - seems to be the best all around performer for me, basically perfect balance of sharpness and smoothness. A bit draggy on the first use but after that it is only smooth sailing. I am thoroughly impressed, I think this is the final answer in my search for truth.

So yeah, in my opinion, I think it's a good idea to play with different coatings, I don't think it should be an afterthought. Would love to hear your experiences. Thanks for reading my blog haha.
Actually you got it all mostly wrong, but that is not your fault. It is what marketing departments are trying to push to users. Of course the Razor Blades Club reflects those marketing things manufacturers write on the blades packagings.

I have been reading on the topic for quite many years. Especially valuable information is in the Gillette coatings patents. But who would want to read those, right? They are sometimes 3-4 pages.

Let's start with some history. I actually will begin with the early 60s, when stainless steel blades went into mass production.

Around 1960 Wilkinson Sword made the first mass production stainless steel blade. In a year or so they even managed to start selling it in the US. That was quite some blow to Gillette, who didn't sell stainless steel blades at that time. They have been working on such a blade even before Wilkinson, but didn't manufacture it. So, in 1963 Gillette released their Stainless Steel blades. A couple of years later they were improved and the name changed to Super Stainless Steel. In Europe it was first called Silver blade, then the newer improved version - Super Silver. Both these blades had PTFE coating. It was marketed as the miracle coating.

In 1969 Gillette released a new generation blade, with platinum coating (which was actually Platinum + Chrome + PTFE on top, that was "baked"). These were longer lasting, because of the combination of chrome and platinum. Nevertheless they had the PTFE on top all the same.
From 1969 on after the Gillette two "tiers" - Stainless (or Super Stainless) and the higher Platinum almost every other manufacturer started more or less to grade the blades as at least one of these "classes".

All modern stainless blades marked as Stainless or Super Stainless or Platinum or whatever have PTFE. So your first classes are actually the same. Some of the Stainless Steel class blades have chrome and most of the Platinum branded also. So, the 4th class in your classification is also redundant. It is all a marketing lie to attract your attention, or to make you think "Chrome blades work for me, or Platinum blades only work for me, etc., etc."
 
Actually you got it all mostly wrong, but that is not your fault. It is what marketing departments are trying to push to users. Of course the Razor Blades Club reflects those marketing things manufacturers write on the blades packagings.
Well, sure, things might be as you say, so I let's rephrase and say ''blades marked with chrome feel like this, blades marked with PTFE feel like this...''. There is a distinct difference between those blades, you feel it quite easily. Are those differences caused by differences in production or by coating? I think if you compare basically any kind of blade that is marked with ''super stainless' and ''platinum'', you will know the difference by how much drag there is and how your skin feels afterwards. Maybe for people who have light growth and every and each blade cuts through it won't notice the difference.

I gave an example of Lord blades because they're all produced in one factory and people say they're all the same, but they're clearly not. It's possible that they are manufactured the same but coated differently, that would possibly explain why they feel different.
 
Maybe for people who have light growth and every and each blade cuts through it won't notice the difference.
This!

I gave an example of Lord blades because they're all produced in one factory and people say they're all the same, but they're clearly not. It's possible that they are manufactured the same but coated differently, that would possibly explain why they feel different.
Of course Lord brands and blades are not the same. But you are also missing one important element of it all. Blades don't differ only by coatings. They also differ by grinding / honing angles of the edge.
 
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If you like Lord blades, don't pass on the Indian made blades. I turned my nose up for years, but it turns out there are some excellent blades. They also have blades with different coatings like Titanium, the only modern manufacturer to use it on double edge blades. If they really do. The one I tried felt eerily like a Kai mild AC blade, which is Ti coated.
Have you tried Parker Platinums, which are made in India, just like the razors. Not a bad blade at all. I put it right up with the German Wilkies I've been using. I get 5-6 shaves out of them. Noticeably audible though, as compared to the Wilkie. Good sharpness, smooth shaving.
 
Have you tried Parker Platinums, which are made in India, just like the razors. Not a bad blade at all. I put it right up with the German Wilkies I've been using. I get 5-6 shaves out of them. Noticeably audible though, as compared to the Wilkie. Good sharpness, smooth shaving.
I haven't, but I thought we settled that they are made by Derby and are likely branded Premiums. I have used Derby Premiums. I made a post about that in one of your threads, but then you found the Wilkis at an agreeable price so I figured you were done with the Parkers. 🤷‍♂️
 
I haven't, but I thought we settled that they are made by Derby and are likely branded Premiums. I have used Derby Premiums. I made a post about that in one of your threads, but then you found the Wilkis at an agreeable price so I figured you were done with the Parkers. 🤷‍♂️
As long as the Wilkies are available, I will use them. But it is nice to know I have a blade to fall back on if that changes.
 
This is yet another highly subjective topic that I personally never paid much attention to. Some blades are sharper than other blades, some are smoother etc. That's the only thing that matters to me. What's the use of a specific coating if the blade is still dull? Or if the coating is inferior yet the blade is sharper than the blade with the better coating? In a nutshell: ymmv.
 
Have you tried Parker Platinums, which are made in India, just like the razors. Not a bad blade at all. I put it right up with the German Wilkies I've been using. I get 5-6 shaves out of them. Noticeably audible though, as compared to the Wilkie. Good sharpness, smooth shaving.

Both Tryablade.com, and RazorBladesClub.com list the Parkers as being made in Turkey, not India. There's only one blade manufacturer in Turkey - Azmusebat, best known for their Derby blades and soaps.
 
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