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How Much Does A Blade Matter

Technique is the most important aspect of shaving, followed closely by the blade. Good technique with a sharp blade results in a great shave, poor technique with a sharp blade is ugly. At the same time, good technique with a mediocre blade results in a mediocre shave. Good technique and sharp blade with just about any razor will result in a great shave. Not even I said just about any razor. Some razors just give mediocre shaves.
I think it basically boils down to Grundi being jealous of my incredibly handsome face, and hoping that I do something to harm it!
That's just not true!! Well, not really true!! Ok, Ok, maybe it is true!! But one of these blades, one...of...these...blades...

Blades make a big different to me, although I do love trying as many blades as I can, even after finding one that works amazingly well for me.
THe blade cuts the stubble and rides the skin so it is the most important piece of hardware. However the bevel grinds and coatings vary and that has an impact on how the blade performs. Add in different blade angles and you have differing perspectives on blade performance.
I can shave with most blades but GSB seem to give the best performance closely followed by Astra SP; a good balance of sharpness and smoothness in both.
A razor is as good ,as the blade it bears .

Once good technique is developed ,there will be only few exceptions of blades ,
that will still give trouble.
Been using a safety razor for 9 months. Have 2, a Gentleman Jon and a RazoRock GC .68. I've only used 2 blades. The tuck of Astras that came with the GJ razor and I bought 100 Parker Premium Blades, which, I'm 5 tucks through. I use each blade for 6 shaves.

The Parker is MUCH sharper. Especially noticeable in the GJ razor because it's more aggressive than the .68. Technique is most important. The blade will cut the hair.


For me the keys are:
#1. Technique! I can get a DFS or better with most any set up after a bit of time to dial things in.
#2. Razor! I especially appreciate rigid designs in the ‘mild/moderate’ range. But that‘s me.
#3. Blade! I prefer sharp and smooth, but it does depend on the particular razor.

So, for me it is a combination of all three factors! :a29: :a29: :a29:
Or, if someone’s technique was perfect, could they get a decent, irritation free shave with any blade?
I'd say that is generally true, but that's not the same thing as saying that the choice of blade doesn't make a difference.

To me, blade choice absolutely does matter. As noted by others here, blade performance is a very personal thing, so finding one or more that work well for you, in your razor, is definitely a key part of assembling a balanced and effective setup. And if you experiment with enough blades, I guarantee you will find differences that substantially affect the quality of your shave. Yes, you can probably get a "good enough" shave with just about any blade, but you will get a much better result with some blades than others. And getting to that result is a lot more pleasant with a blade that works well for you.

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Seems to me that, in my experience, there are some very bad blades out there.

That aside, it also seems to me that the blade/razor/me combination has a whole lot more variation in quality of shave than I would expect based upon I guess what would be common sense or, maybe, logic. GEM singe edged seems to do amazingly well for me. But even sticking with DEs, Russian blades seems best for me. Feathers are sort of their own thing.
I don't find monumental differences between blades when fresh, the major difference I see is how long they last. Not everyone feels that way, and I suspect I'm a minority in how I actually shave -- two passes against the grain only.

Different razors hold the blade at different angles, with differences in blade exposure and blade gap too, all of which change how the blade performs for you, and skin type and hair growth differ by individual as well. I can see how blades might feel very different across brands for someone else.

This is why new shavers get the advice to try a variety of blades and razors and soaps -- not only does it change the chore of shaving into something one enjoys, the "perfect" blade/razor/soap/brush combination is likely to be unique to each shaver.
Yes! For me at least...
A good example was yesterday I used my newly received Karve Brass SB-D, I was unsure about the blade gap so I put in a 3rd used Viking Sword blade. It was good for wtg, so-so for xtg and rough for atg. The shave result was just acceptable.

That shave kinda bugs me regarding whether the D plate is too much (not suitable) for me...

This morning I use a fresh Gillette 7 O'clock Super Stainless (one of my fav & safe blade) in the Karve SB-D and WOW!!
Totally different feel especially the ATG pass. So smooth and comfortable. Sharp too. Great shave result.

Now I know for sure the D plate is suitable for me...just gotta choose the right blade.
In my mind, I think blades should not matter. A properly honed straight razor should be fine for all, right? I do not own a straight razor though. I do have safety razors.

For whatever reason, I have found A blade works wonderfully in Z razor, but B blade does not. But, B blade works wonderfully in Y razor, but A does not. At the same time, I have found that GSB (hah) blade works in all my razors. Does that mean that GSB is the best for everyone? Of course not. I just don't think there's an objective answer here. So, does a blade make that much difference to you? Well, finding out is part of the fun of this hobby. Right?


I didnt know
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?

Blades make a huge difference to me. There are a few, Treet Platinum, Trig Silver Star, Vidyut Super Platinum and GSB that are on my never again list along with Graham Field. Out of ~35 different blade types though, thats not bad.

I have a top 3 and 5 but two rule my shaves. Derby Extra and Feather. The Feather only for the first shave but I get 6 from a Derby Extra. My ~240 remaining Derby Extra are all the older pre 2016 packaging that most dont like. For me in my razors they work, very well.

Gillette Yellow, Gillette Black and Polsilver round out my top blades. All the other blades I've tried worked fine and I could get a better than decent shave with any of them. The two very clear standouts though are Derby Extra and Feather, and, if I had to pick one between them as my #1 blade, I'm not sure I could.
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