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How Much Does A Blade Matter

So, my question is, does a blade make that much difference?

By that, I mean that a lot of people will say that a blade “isn’t right for some people but is for others.”

How true is that? Or, if someone’s technique was perfect, could they get a decent, irritation free shave with any blade?

Thoughts?
 
Since we are human and imperfect, our technique will always have some amount of imperfection, and different types of blades will emphasize different imperfections. However, I have not used any blade on a second shave and come away thinking it was simply not possible for me to get a great shave from it. I say second, because I have encountered quite a few that were somewhat rough, tugging during the first shave. Some blades show their persnickety tendencies more (or less) in different razors.
 
A sharp blade will slice through thick, heavy hair better. It might also be less forgiving, with more nicks and cuts.

A mild razor with little blade exposure, or negative blade exposure, might be easy to shave with but the same blade in an aggressive razor might cut your face up without a very careful technique.

Or a mild blade like Derby Extra in a shavette might feel scary-sharp but the same blade in a very mild DE razor might not even cut your hair without a struggle.

I think you have to experiment with blades of across a range of different sharpnesses to find the best combination for your own hair type and razor.

Sharp blade plus mild razor is a sweet spot for many. Eg my own preferred set up is a Nacet in a Merkur open-comb.
 
It definitely does for me, but it also depends on the razor i'm using. While I can get good shave with most blades in most razors, some combos are way better than others and the shaving experience is on a whole new level. It all comes down to the type of beard and skin a person had and for people with soft whiskers, very sharp blades are not really as necessary as they would be for someone with coarse whiskers.

If a blade doesn't suit your skin and beard, no amount of skill are going to change that fact. You might just do a one pass shave or avoid over shaving your neck to avoid irritation, but if the blade isn't for you, there's not much you can do about it.
 
Yes it does!
Some blades work better in certain razors, some don't. Some don't work in any razor. Some are smooth and some aren't. Some last 3 shaves, some last 8 or 9. Some people can get hundreds of shaves from a single blade.
 
So, my question is, does a blade make that much difference?

By that, I mean that a lot of people will say that a blade “isn’t right for some people but is for others.”

Or, if someone’s technique was perfect, could they get a decent, irritation free shave with any blade?
I think there are several significant variables at play with the blade definitely being one of them. Speaking for myself, I have one razor, one brush and one soap. I believe my technique is at least relatively consistent, if far from perfect. From this vantage point I've found switching blades to have a significant impact on the overall shave. If I were to try the same blade in a different razor I anticipate I might very well have a different experience because I think the razor, just like the blade, is a significant variable. I don't think it's possible to quantify most of these variables. You learn from personal experience.

By way of example, I gave a Kai Stainless blade five consecutive shaves and determined it's just not the blade for me, though there are many people on these forums that really like the Kai. This morning I replaced the Kai with a brand new Nacet and got right back to comfortable shaving. Not to be trite, but the difference was night and day. I don't really have any reason to believe my technique was to blame when using one blade, the Kai, and was immediately rectified when using the Nacet.
 
Yes, I think blade is one of the most important factor of the shave. I've had completely different shaves just because of switching out the blade. Now that I found couple blades that work, I'm thinking of passing on the rest. I can rotate through razors, brushes, and soaps, but rotating through blades is a lot more challenging, because they determine the result of the shave quite drastically.
 
I personally believe blades are more important for some faces/beards, not so much for others. If my face was less sensitive and I had softer hairs, I could probably shave with any blade out there. With a good prep, lather, and technique however, I can still get away using any blade, but some make for a truly effortless shave, while others are just more work and aggravation than necessary.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
It's almost all the blade for me. I have NEVER received a poor shave in any of my razors from a Gillette Silver Blue blade. Never.

Oh, I've stretched them. (I have one with 52 uses on it that is better than almost all the rest of my blades on their first or second use.)

So why do I use other blades? Because of people like @Grundi and @tbhoff and others over the years that have challenged me!

I think it basically boils down to Grundi being jealous of my incredibly handsome face, and hoping that I do something to harm it!
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
It's almost all the blade for me. I have NEVER received a poor shave in any of my razors from a Gillette Silver Blue blade. Never.

Oh, I've stretched them. (I have one with 52 uses on it that is better than almost all the rest of my blades on their first or second use.)

So why do I use other blades? Because of people like @Grundi and @tbhoff and others over the years that have challenged me!

I think it basically boils down to Grundi being jealous of my incredibly handsome face, and hoping that I do something to harm it!
I'm pretty sure that @BudgetShaverGuy is also one of those folks that have tried to undermine my incredibly handsome face...
 
After 40+ years of DE shaving I say that after proper technique it is the most important factor.
Find the blade YOU like and stick to it.
Blades are the most YMMV and one man's nightmare WILL be another man's dream.
That's why I never read or take seriously any ''blade review".
It's such a personal thing and a blade that I might find "sharp" can be "bland" for someone else while a blade I find ''smooth" can be harsh for someone else.
Same thing about how long a blade can "last".....(although why keep a 5 cent blade for 100 shaves eludes me..)
Good news is that blades are dirt cheap so experimenting until you find the one YOU like won't cost a bundle.

Btw for ME after trying every blade under the sun during the decades of wet shaving there's only ONE blade I use anymore: Shark SS.
I bought a thousand 3 years ago for a ridiculously low amount and I am set for life.
 
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FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
After 40+ years of DE shaving I say that after proper technique it is the most important factor.
Find the blade YOU like and stick to it.
Blades are the most YMMV and one man's nightmare WILL be another man's dream.
That's why I never read or take seriously any ''blade review".
It's such a personal thing and a blade that I might find "sharp" can be "bland" for someone else while a blade I find ''smooth" can be harsh for someone else.
Good news is that blades are dirt cheap so experimenting until you find the one YOU like won't cost a bundle.
Well said my friend.
 
After 40+ years of DE shaving I say that after proper technique it is the most important factor.
Find the blade YOU like and stick to it.
Blades are the most YMMV and one man's nightmare WILL be another man's dream.
That's why I never read or take seriously any ''blade review".
It's such a personal thing and a blade that I might find "sharp" can be "bland" for someone else while a blade I find ''smooth" can be harsh for someone else.
Same thing about how long a blade can "last".....(although why keep a 5 cent blade for 100 shaves eludes me..)
Good news is that blades are dirt cheap so experimenting until you find the one YOU like won't cost a bundle.

Btw for ME after trying every blade under the sun during the decades of wet shaving there's only ONE blade I use anymore: Shark SS.
I bought a thousand 3 years ago for a ridiculously low amount and I am set for life.
I couldn’t agree more. For me, using a Rockwell 6S the Personna Israeli Reds were a night and day difference after trying like seven different blades. I bought a 200 pack of blades a few weeks ago. I just ordered another 200 pack yesterday. I found a good price and I don’t want to run out lol.
 

ackvil

Moderator
For me, blades have different longevity, sharpness, and smoothness. Also, certain blades for me work better in certain razors. For example, in milder razors, Feather blades work better for me (e.g., Feather in a Feather AS-D2). In more aggressive razors I can only get a few shaves with a Feather. However, in the AS-D2 I can more than 8 shaves.
 
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