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Found My Go-to Blade

Hey guys!

So I've been testing out some different DE blades over the last month or so to find one that would be both sharp and smooth. I've only been DE shaving for about 6 months and hadn't really tried many blades. When I first started I ordered a 100 pack of Shark SS, which were smooth for me, but they weren't that sharp. I wanted to find something that was a little sharper but also very smooth. I have sensitive skin and I didn't want to something too harsh. I ended up buy a few 5 packs to test out a some different blades. The blades were as follows - Gillette Silver Blue, Personna Lab Blue, Astra SP, and Gillette 7 O'clock Yellow. Going into testing them I thought the Personna and the Astra would be the best for me, based on what I had been reading on the forums, but I soon found out that blades are the ultimate YMMV. I found the GSB to be the harshest on my face. After a 2 pass shave - 1 WTG and 1 XTG - my face was burning. The Lab Blues and the Astra were similar...not as harsh but not smooth enough for what I was looking for. That leads to the Gillette Yellows, the winner among those I tried. I found it to be more than sharp enough for my beard, but it's also the smoothest of the four new ones I tried and pairs great with my DE89. I don't get any of the post shave burn like I did from the other 3. I would say, for me, it's as smooth as the Shark SS but much sharper too. I have one Yellow left that I'm going to use next, just to make sure they are as good as I think they are, and if all continues to go well I'll order quite a few of them.

To any other new DE shaver out there, listen when everyone says that blades are the ultimate YMMV - they are exactly right. If I would have just ordered 100 GSB because lots of people on here like them, I'd be regreting it. Grab a few and test them out to find what works for you. I'm glad I did!

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If you like the Russian Yellows try the India Blacks....

When I started DE shaving about a year ago, I got a sampler of about a dozen blades. After weeks of testing my final 2 were Astra SP and Gillette 7 o'clock Grn SS. The latter won in the end. I also tried the other Russian 7o'clocks, but the greens were by far the most to my liking. Like timplu notes, blades are the ultimate proof that YMMV!
I did the same thing initially buying 100 pack of Persona Lab Blue , because of the high praise. I hate the things. I bought a razor off the BST and the seller threw in some 7oclock greens. They were soo much better. I heard the blacks were the best of the 7oclock and, for me, it is true. They are my favorites. Also try the Rapira platinum Lux, they are similar to the blacks.
I'm about to embark on the same sort of journey...so far I've only gotten through two blades, and I've learned that I'll take Personna reds over Astra SPs any and all days....It's the alum and sheer amount of balm I have to apply that tells me. Next I'll compare those to feathers/crystals/whatever else was in my sample pack that I can't remember.
I find that it is different depending on the razor I'm using. In my Merkur 1904 a Wilkinson Sword is so great but in the Gillette NEW a WS was torture. Congrats on finding your blade, I need to try those too.
Yellows & Greens were both fairly average for me.
Like several others have said, the Indian Blacks are the only ones I stock up on. Far smoother & also noticeably sharper than the Russian 7 o'clocks.
I never understand why people keep recommending blades to others, when they should know everyone is different.

Good that you listened to your face instead!
I am just now starting down the path of finding the right blades for me. So far I have only tried the Merkur blades and Derby. Merkur blades basically because it they came with the razor, but turned out to be an OK blade that I can use. The Derby blades were horrendous for me, absolutely crap. I can't wait to try some different ones, I would like to find something a bit better than the Merkur blades. I bought one of the sampler packs off of amazon, so I have a ton to try out now.....once the irritation / razor burn from the Derby blade heals...
I never understand why people keep recommending blades to others, when they should know everyone is different.

It's not just that people are different, so much also depends on technique, the razor, prep, software, comfort level, etc. What works best for you today may not be the best if you use a different soap, for example. Pick the hardware and software that you like then narrow down your choice of blade.
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