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Extending the life of DE/SE blades.

I put to you that life is too short to miss out on the smoother shaves found after the second use.
And the potential improvements in technique that come from even relatively short long-hauls (by Excalibur standards)...

I don't imagine many will be able to take a blade to 20+ and tell me they haven't learned anything at all from the experience...


Having said that - I can respect people who have gotten 20+ from a blade or two and decided they prefer shave 1/2/3 and don't want to go the extra mile regularly... I just think anyone that hasn't tried it is missing out.

(And I say 20 only because that's as far as I've personally gone... Intending to go further in future for sure - but perhaps not this month!!)
 
Before I picked up double edge shaving again, I was curious to see just how far my Gillette Sensor Excel would go. One year and about 300 shaves, it finally started pulling. I dried the blades as the metallurgist did and found it made a huge difference in blade life.

I now use Feather blades exclusively and I dry the blade after every shave and hand stropping the blade on the palm of my hand. The results is I get Feather blades to go 30 to 40 shaves.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
I've never considered the angle except to know some directions pull a bit in certain areas of my face. I easily get over 100 shaves/blade.

Many theories sound good, but in practice, the way to get more shaves/blade is to shave more with the same blade. Eventually, our mind adapts without us knowing what changed.
I don't actually consider them much in the actual shave, I was more replying in line with the physics of slicing a hair and what I believe would give the blade the longest life.

I'm mostly after the most comfortable shave, not so much during the shave, but least irritation after, so I vary techniques all over the place to see what works best for me.

Good to hear from you!
 
I have honed blades before using a McKee glass hone similar to the photo attached (the one I have is not milk glass, but green glass). I think it works well, but with the price of blades, it's far easier to put the used blade in the bank and use a new one.
View attachment 1227449
According to some diaries from WW1, when soldiers could not procure fresh blades, they admittedly put a blade in a drinking glass and rubbed it horizontally to sharpen it. Didn't know there was a special instrument, also from glass, for this purpose.
 
I stand corrected-Sugardaddy is right. Shaves 2 and 3 can be smoother than 1. The new loadstar for Astra SPs is now 3 max.
Classy of you to say.

But most importantly, I'm so glad you found some wonderful smoothness!

And those Astra blades are some of my favorites as well.

(Sent from mobile)
 
I actually have one of those glass razor blade hones, which is what you're referring to. They were made during WW2 to help preserve the life of a DE blade, when there was a steel shortage, as it was needed for the war efforts. - Came in a Red, White, and Blue patriotic colored packaging.

I've tried it once or twice, but didn't see much of a difference, but the key might be to hone/strop the blade before or after every use, as opposed to waiting until the blade feels dull.

If I get a chance, I'll snap a picture of it tonight, complete with it's original packaging. Don't even know why I bought it, then I jumped into the deep end, returning to traditional wet shaving after 30+ years, and bought lots of stuff.
 
how do you think it is better to proceed ? Should I dry the DE blade and keep the blade immersed in paraffin oil or after I dry it I repack it in the original paper?
 
how do you think it is better to proceed ? Should I dry the DE blade and keep the blade immersed in paraffin oil or after I dry it I repack it in the original paper?
Unless it's a carbon blade, keep it in the razor. Unless you plan on saving the blade for use 6 months from now. Then I guess putting it back in the wrapper is okay.
 
I've already formed a routine. Every day, after each use, I dry the blade by packing it in a little toilet paper, blow it, put it on a magnet and then immerse it in a little paraffin oil in a rectangular box a little bigger than the DE blade, until the next use (de usually the second day). The magnet helps me easily remove the blade from the oil film.
My question is whether this paraffin oil keeps rust away from a modern stainless steel blade or can it adversely affect it?







 
From this and other threads regarding blade life extension, the most common method which seems to actually yield results is drying the blade after each use.

This totally makes sense to me!
If you read the linked study, it illustrates that when the water evaporates from the blade, it leaves behind carbonate build-up on the blade edge, which dulls the blade.


So wiping the water off the blade would prevent the carbonate build-up and extend the blade life.

I'm going to try the ethanol dip method where shaking the blade on some ethanol is supposed to remove the water from the blade edge and thereby, prevent carbonate build-up.

If this method works, it'll confirm the results of the linked study. Although I'm already convinced of the carbonate theory because I've seen the difference in blade life depending on how hard the tap water is.
 
My question is whether this paraffin oil keeps rust away from a modern stainless steel blade or can it adversely affect it?
I think soaking an SS blade in oil to prevent rusting is overkill. And handling an oily blade seems risky; a slippery razor blade increase the chances of cutting yourself. But that's my opinion. Do what works for you. Like you said, you've formed a routine.
 
Any more than 3 headshaves on a feather blade and i get bumps,i don't understand how some guys can get 10,20,30+ shaves from a single blade ay..that would be nice though.i sharpen alot of knives so I'm very familiar with stropping and the mechanics of it.I've never tried stropping a de blade though.hmmmmmm lol
 
Unless it's a carbon blade, keep it in the razor. Unless you plan on saving the blade for use 6 months from now. Then I guess putting it back in the wrapper is okay.
If the carbon steel blade is dried off, why can't you keep it in the razor?

Putting a used blade back in a wrapper for use in six months? Have you tried this?

After the first use of a blade, the clock is ticking, whether you use the blade or not. With most blades, a week unused, and they are useless.

The way to get the most uses out of a blade is to use the same blade each day. If you don't shave every day, you won't get as many shaves because the blade will deteriorate in the air, once the protective PTFE or whatever coating is worn away. This includes conventionally sputtered stainless steel blades.

Once the platinum or chrome edge sputtering is worn off, typically after 3-6 days, you are usually on borrowed time. What's the point of trying to extend the life of a blade without the platinum? The exception is the Sharp Swiss titanium blades, which apparently have a titanium nitride edge coating that is extremely durable. I gave a five-blade tuck to a neighbor two months ago, and keep asking him if he needs more. He doesn't shave every day, and is nowhere near the end of the blades. I don't think he dries the razor or anything.

But almost none of my blades costs more than 10 cents each. I see absolutely no reason whatsoever to try to milk extra shaves from any of them, outside of curiosity. You want to get more shaves out of blade, buy a more durable, more expensive blade. But I am happy with a less expensive blade that only lasts three shaves, but three excellent shaves.
 
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I've already formed a routine. Every day, after each use, I dry the blade by packing it in a little toilet paper, blow it, put it on a magnet and then immerse it in a little paraffin oil in a rectangular box a little bigger than the DE blade, until the next use (de usually the second day). The magnet helps me easily remove the blade from the oil film.
My question is whether this paraffin oil keeps rust away from a modern stainless steel blade or can it adversely affect it?







Looks, uh, interesting. But I think it might work better with a simple modification:

pyramid sharpener.jpg

All your problems are over!

Just make your own pyramid, and put all your stuff inside it, along with the razor blade you want to sharpen.

For best results, get some three-hole Gillette carbon steel blades! They were the best razor blades ever made!! (It's been all downhill since the Double Ring.) It doesn't matter if they are new or used, the pyramid will sharpen them like new, or better!!!

Here's some instructions on how to make your own pyramid:


Or you could buy an already constructed fold-up cardboard pyramid for $24.95 from Precision Pyramids:


A pyramid works much better than my old razor blade sharpening device: I had a 2000 grit round whetstone, the dimensions of a 45rpm record, and put it on my Rek-O-Kut turntable, with a razor blade wedged to the tone arm's cartridge holder. I could adjust the amount of pressure on the blade very precisely, within a quarter-gram, with the tone arm's weight counterbalance. And I could change how fast the blade was sharpened simply by switching from 33 rpm to 45 rpm, or to 78 rpm if I were in a big hurry.

In the old days, they used wind-up gramaphones and grandpaphones. Back then, all you needed to do was wind them up, unlike today, when they wind themselves.

You will never need to buy another razor blade again!!!!!

BTW, if anyone is interested, I would be happy to share my design for an energy-saving, organic, solar powered clothes dryer!
 
Last edited:
Looks, uh, interesting. But I think it might work better with a simple modification:

View attachment 1263095

All your problems are over!

Just make your own pyramid, and put all your stuff inside it, along with the razor blade you want to sharpen.

For best results, get some three-hole Gillette carbon steel blades! They were the best razor blades ever made!! (It's been all downhill since the Double Ring.) It doesn't matter if they are new or used, the pyramid will sharpen them like new, or better!!!

Here's some instructions on how to make your own pyramid:


Or you could buy an already constructed fold-up cardboard pyramid for $24.95 from Precision Pyramids:


A pyramid works much better than my old razor blade sharpening device: I had a 2000 grit round whetstone, the dimensions of a 45rpm record, and put it on my Rek-O-Kut turntable, with a razor blade wedged to the tone arm's cartridge holder. I could adjust the amount of pressure on the blade very precisely, within a quarter-gram, with the tone arm's weight counterbalance. And I could change how fast the blade was sharpened simply by switching from 33 rpm to 45 rpm, or to 78 rpm if I were in a big hurry.

In the old days, they used wind-up gramaphones and grandpaphones. Back then, all you needed to do was wind them up, unlike today, when they wind themselves.

You will never need to buy another razor blade again!!!!!

BTW, if anyone is interested, I would be happy to share my design for an energy-saving, organic, solar powered clothes dryer!
I don't think he thinks a steel blade can be sharpened by a simple cardboard pyramid! The pyramid effect exists, it has been studied for many years in Romania by researchers, but they built in the city of MAGURELE a very large special glass pyramid with a lot of quartz and noticed that the plants grown in this pyramid grow much better and different depending on of the place where they are placed in the pyramid. But ... in order to sharpen a razor blade, a pyramid must be built that is too big to be a reliable solution. In addition, the pyramid must be built of quartz glass or basalt stone, not cardboard. But maybe I'm wrong and can a cardboard pyramid be used?
 
I don't know if keeping the blade in oil prolongs the life of a razor blade, but I do this because I don't like to keep the blade in the device after shaving and I know that oil prevents rust and prevents the formation of calcium deposits on the blade, phenomena that lead to damage premature blade. I don't use a blade hundreds of times as I see some of our colleagues doing with real success! Usually after 7-8 shaveings I replace the blade. Of course I have enough blades and I don't keep the blade in oil so I don't buy others.
 
Usually after 7-8 shaveings I replace the blade.
If you are throwing a blade away after a week of shaving, I don't know why you bother with any blade-prolonging activities. What can happen to a blade in a week that's tougher on it than shaving hair?

But our beliefs drive our choices and you believe a blade is damaged by rust and calcium deposits, exposure to air, whatever. So you do what you do.

I don't believe that. I easily get 2 or three weeks worth of shaves out of any blade I use. I've gotten over 30 a number of times and have gone as high as 50. I have left blades in razors for weeks at a time and receive good shaves from them. And as I said in my first post to this thread, I don't do anything but rinse the razor clean after a shave. Tap water. No special water, not distilled water. Municipal water. Also, no blade drying, no alcohol dips, no soaking in oil. My choices are driven by what I believe, and that is razor blades were meant to go in a razor and shave you until you are done with them.
 
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