I dont get blade life

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by bacirox, Sep 11, 2019.

    Blade longevity is dependent on beard type. Super coarse beard, heavy beard, medium beard, light beard & in the case of Jill as well as shavebusta peach fuzz. :w00t:
     
  1. Gillette has always made similar claims.
    From this 1904-06 Double Ring ad, "... each blade gives from ten to thirty perfect shaves ..."
    [​IMG]

    I aim for 20, minimum.
    Some I've taken to 100, but really should have tossed them at #80.
    I've tossed a QShave Titanium blade after only something like 4-5 shaves, but the first one on it was the best ever.
    Once I've taken a particular blade type to [big number] shaves to test it's limits, I'll relax and toss them after 20 shaves.
    Twenty shaves because a D20 die goes that high, and I don't always want to switch to Percentile (0-99) dice.
    Yes
    My strategies for blade longevity:
    1. Good prep (like a hot shower)
    2. Good, not necessarily thick, lather.
    3. Increase the pressure as the blade wears, say, after 5-10 shaves. Yes, I said "increase the pressure". The "let the weight of the razor do the work" thing is an old wives' tale as far as I'm concerned, especially given that razors can vary from 30 to 140 grams or so.
    4. If it's an adjustable razor, crank it up.
    5. Don't chase the BBS, and learn to ignore "ghost stubble".
    Yes, if talking about carts and disposables.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  2. Okay, so he got five weeks from a Fusion cartridge. That's one week per cutting edge. A platinum Gillette-branded double edge blade (new PPI GSBs or GPs, or US or Brazilian GPPs) might give me two weeks, that is, ten shaves, before I'm done with it and throw it out. So I call that close enough to even.

    I don't get as many shaves from blades that don't have an alloy edge. My current WSClassic has a ceramic edge; it is giving shave #5 next time I pick it up and then it's trash.
     
  3. I think I understand blade life, at least a little bit. A blade becomes difficult to use when the edge degrades. Edge degradation is caused by several things, but one of the biggest factors is microscopic areas of rust. Thus, the drier you keep the blade in between shaves, the longer it will last.
    I am of the opinion that most people could likely get more shaves out of a DE blade than they do. Careful beard prep, proper lather, and a shallow shaving angle go a long way toward increasing the longevity of a blade. There is a thread in the Clubs and Brotherhoods section called the Excalibur Club. It's for people who try to maximize blade life. You should check it out. There is currently a guy in there who recently had his 190th shave with the same blade!

    When I used cart razors I was always a daily one-pass shaver. I got a new cart each week. Eight days was pushing it. I have thick, coarse, fast growing stubble. I'm not like some of those guys in the Excalibur Club, but I have got up to about 25 shaves from a Polsilver. I like to palm strop between each shave starting at about the seventh shave or so. I dry the blade after every shave and store it out of the bathroom to avoid the moist air as much as possible.
     
  4. I shave 4 times a week and change blades 4 times a year.
     
  5. Looking back, I used my carts far beyond their useful life (weeks or more). This led me to develop bad habits: using pressure, variety of crazy razor angles etc. and to expect irritation and stubble and ingrown hairs.

    Since returning to DE, I aim to bin a blade a bit before it starts to fail, generally 7-10 shaves with my top-tier blades. I focus on technique. My skin has improved markedly and my shaves are DFS or better!
     
  6. And I never have to hone my DE blades
    And Stones are something landscapers
    Put in the Front yard lawns.
     
  7. So does that mean you change blades
    In the middle of the third shave.
     
  8. I replace DE and SE blades after a week's use (six shaves). They always seem to have plenty of life left in them, but it is just convenient for me to stick to this plan, and I'd rather not realize during a shave that the blade isn't cutting well. I never remember cartridges being good after six shaves, but like @MntnMan62 wrote above, they cost so much I would push them for all I could stand.
     
  9. There are many factors in how long a blade lasts you. How course your hair is, what type of prep you do, the softness or lack or softness or your water, your razor, your soap, what blade you choose and most importantly your technique.

    When I was using carts I'd generally get a few really good shaves then a few weeks or poor ones. Then again I wasn't using the soap I was using, the water was much harder and technique consisted of smashing the razor into your face. I was also making a cart last longer than I should have because I didn't really enjoy purchasing them.

    Some will bin a blade after one or two uses and at the other end of the spectrum you have the excaliber club that will use a blade to 100 shaves. Personally I've taken a Feather blade to 30 shaves before noticing a decrease in shave quality (maybe) as even then I'm not sure I wasn't just looking for any sign at all to bin it. I likely could have gone further with it. What I do now is I've purchased some 12 sided dice and I use those to track the shaves on a blade. Once the 12th shave is done I'll bin the blade even though I could likely use it twice as long or more.

    What it comes down to is that de blades are much cheaper than carts so why push them to their limits. How long they last for you will depend on several of the factors listed above but I can assure you that because a cart has five blades doesn't mean that it will last five times as long.
     
  10. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    No, I just power through the terrible two passes remaining, then deal with the irritation.
     
  11. That's the whole thing right there. I once tried getting a month out of blade. Let's just say I'm not repeating that experiment. After a few shaves I have to start using more pressure with the razor to get it to cut. That's a Bad Thing, because not only does that add irritation but when the blade finally gets thrown out, using the same pressure with a new sharp blade turns that shave into a blood spiller. I just don't need that in my life. Blades are cheap and they make new ones all the time. The most expensive ones I have cost me fifty cents apiece and most of the others were a third of that or less. Not enough to create myself any misery trying to overcome muscle memory by changing my technique. If it doesn't glide around my face and give me a fast and easy BBS, it's gone.
     
  12. The one thing carts have going for them in terms of blade life is that they will present the blade to the face in a more consistent manner ensuring the blade, it’s angle, and curing surface interact with the hair the same way most if not all of the time. That consistency can lead at least to a more predictable time table as to the useful length of cart blade life. With a DE it’s all up to the user, and since different razors have different exposure as well as effective cutting angle there’s more of a variable of how well and how long a blade may last since the microscopic wear can be less linear. I really don’t use carts anymore but they seemed to be more predictable on when they had their natural time of death. With DE ( even using the same blade in multiple heads) I’ve noticed there still is some variation that I have to assume some responsibility for. When I stick with the same head/blade combo for an extended period of time I can get more predictable results with longevity. Just my observations.
     
  13. Remember that Gillette's target market is young men, those younger than 40. They hope to get these men hooked on Gillette products for the rest of their lives. For some young men, especially those in their teens, it might be possible to get 25 shaves from a single cartridge. However, as we age, our beards become tougher to shave. This can drastically shorten the useful life of blades. Some DE blades are too dull to even give one good shave. The same can be said from some cartridge razors. I can get about 3-4 shaves from most DE blades. I might be able to use most cartridge razors for a twice that. However, I know some older men might be able to get a month or more from a DE blade. Those men could easily use a cartridge for 25 days. Thus, the only blade life that counts is the life of your blades.
     
  14. Doc4

    Doc4 Moderator Emeritus

    [​IMG]

    Those blades have gone well past their useful lives.

    I never count the number of shaves I get with a blade ... I shave with it until it's had "enough" and the shaves have gotten rough "enough" ... and I toss the blade. But I'd guess I am far closer to 30 shaves than 5-10.
     
  15. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    Since I started using a more shallow angle I get less shaves per blade, but they are more efficient and smooth.
     
  16. Blade life is completely dependent on several factors. The most important being how you clean and store them between shaves.
    Most dullness comes from the mineral content in the water you clean them with and leave on them. This water evaporates and leaves behind crystal minerals and salts. These then combine with humidity to create a mild acid or base depending on the content in your water.
    And those in turn etch and corrode the surface.

    Simply dunking your blades in Alcohol after cleaning to displace and remove the water does wonders for how long the blade will last.

    Another factor is the angle at which you use the blade to shave. This is probably the second most important factor in blade life. Using a steep angle will cut the life of the blade to the extreme. The shallow angle extends the life of the blade by a large margin.
    Shallow shaving is also dependent somewhat on the head design of your razor. And the blade exposure has to be adequate to achieve the best of shallow angles.

    The next factor that makes the most improvement in blade life is developing the right face prep and shaving technique for your face. Getting consistent shaves and consistent prep go hand-in-hand. They also result in much improved blade life.

    There are a whole lot of other factors that either help or hinder the blade life; such as your own body chemistry, water quality, chemical components in the soap/cream/balms you use, etc...

    I started experimenting with extending blade life not long after I started DE shaving. And I read the stories from those who are in the Excalibur group here and thought to myself that these guy and gals are nuts!
    But after a few weeks of experiments I had gone from 3-4 shaves per blade to over 20. Within another month I was using the same blade at shave 30. That blade and Astra SP ended up giving me 87 days straight of great shaves.
    And that was it I had become one of the nuts!

    I change about two blades or at most three blades per year in my daily rotation of razors. I get routinely over 100 perfect shaves. And I am a stickler for BBS. It's BBS or blood shed for me. I accept nothing less than perfection.
    And if a blade is done it will not cut at all. And oddly that is how I know a blade is done. I goes from a good shave to not cutting the whiskers.
     
  17. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    @dionesius3 interesting info.

    I must be born on backwards day. The alcohol trick hasn't extended blade life, and going shallow (riding the cap) if anything lowers the number of shaves per blade for me.

    People don't do anything special to blades yet get 10+ shaves per blade. Some go shallow yet still get 10+. Not sure what to think.
     
  18. It is a learning process. It's not a "magic" recipe or trick. Beard and face prep, combined with consistent and effective technique, combined with proper and consistent blade care, combined with the right razor head geometry, will result in the longest blade life for you.

    Someone else mentioned getting older and whiskers getting tougher, that is true to a point, but it still has not made an appreciable difference in the number of shaves I can get. As I have aged my number has increased more than it has decreased.
    But as with all things shaving, YMMV! And it may vary by a whole bunch!
    But to Naughtilus; It is a process and mainly a learning process that involves several factors and nuances of shaving that most folks just don't have the time or inclination to work on.
     
  19. Never had a cartridge last me longer than 7 shaves (I have started using cartidges and disposable razors very late in my life and only when traveling due to the ridiculous TSA rules).In fact they tug like crazy after 4 shaves.

    I have been DE shaving daily from the get go , almost forty years ago and I change my blade every Saturday morning.

    That's what dad used to do so I do the same.

    They are so cheap anyways that trying to get more shaves out of them doesn't really make sense.
     

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