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Macduff’s Monthly Blade Review: Gillette 7 o’clock Sharp Edge

So i'm back with another monthly review! As before, each blade will be reviewed based on a 2 pass (plus touch up) shave using a Van Der Hagen long handled razor, Long Rifle 1776 soap and a generic Fento badger brush.
I run through 2 of each blade and use each 4 times; for a total of 8 shaves per brand. I'll be grading based on sharpness, smoothness, longevity and consistency. Price will be a factor but only of it's very cheap or expensive since most DE blades are pretty cheap comparatively.

This month our subject is the Gillette 7 o’clock Sharp Edge (aka the Gillette Yellow.) The packaging on the tucks is exactly the same as the 7 o’clock Super Platinum except yellow instead of black: A white burst of light against a yellow background and “Gillette 7 o’clock” taking up much of the foreground. The difference is, the Super Platinum blade wrapper has the same artwork as the tuck, but the Sharp Edge gets plain white wax paper packaging. The blade itself says Gillette 7 o’clock on the top and “Sharp Edge” underneath. The reason for the difference in wrappers will be clear to anyone who loves blades from the PPI plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. Most blades coming out of there get the same wax paper wrappers.

As a reminder, the 7 o’clock SP’s are now made in India but previously were made in Russia. Why the switch? Who knows. Either way despite sharing the 7 o’clock name, these are two entirely different blades. Confused yet? This is Gillette not Personna! It shouldn’t be this difficult! Well like all things DE blades it does tend to get mysterious. Are these actually Polsilvers in disguise and sold at a cheaper rate?! You heard the rumor here first...

So how do they shave? Well, not a lot like Polsilvers (there goes that rumor!) The first shave felt smooth but gave me some weepers in odd places and left my skin slightly irritated. The second shave seemed to be the sweet spot and i was able to get a BBS shave with no irritation which is always a win in my book. Third and fourth shaves we both much like the first where i had some weepers and post shave irritation, but overall weren’t terrible. By the end of shave 4 i could tell the blade was starting to dull up though i think it could’ve gone another shave or two.

Blade two performed exactly the same as blade one in that the second shave was excellent but shaves 1,3 and 4 left me with a few weepers in places i normally don’t get them and post shave irritation. The second blade also felt noticeably dull near the end of the 4th shave. Overall the sharpness was good trending on very good for both blades. Shave #2 felt the sharpest and had very nice glide through my stubble, but the others seemed on the high end of average.

Smoothness was the biggest miss with this blade. For me, smoothness is judged by how well the blade glides through my whiskers (i.e. how it feels shaving) as well as how my face feels after the fact. Though none of the shaves were rough, the random weepers, mild post shave irritation and slightly ho-hum sharpness on shaves 1,3 and 4 didn’t give me much of a reason to call this blade smooth. The outlier was shave 2 on both blades which was excellent; though not enough to call it a smooth blade overall.

Longevity was about average with the 4th shave starting to show signs that the blade was almost done. I find the best blades are still very fresh at shave 4 and the worst are toast by shave two. The Sharp Edge is obviously right in the middle and this seems the be the case for the majority of blades i’ve tried.

Consistency was was one quality where this blade excelled. Each blade performed exactly alike in all aspects. I’ve found that to be the case with all the blades i’ve tried that come out of the St. Petersburg factory so to me, they get top marks for quality control.

Price is decent at 12.95 per 100 on amazon. Not shark territory but right around what you’d pay for Personna’s.

What all this boils down to is embedded right in the name: Sharp Edge. Could you possibly have a more painfully obvious name for a razor blade? Sharp Edge. It’s like calling an airplane “Jet Engine.” Or a car “4 Wheels.” It honestly sounds like a literal Chinese translation of the word razor blade. Or someone trying to tell you not so subtly “this is as basic as it gets when it comes to shaving.” The results of the Sharp Edge were only slightly better than basic. Were it not for the two great shaves i had, this would be a solid middle of the road 5. But, those two convinced me that the Sharp Edge deserves a 6 out of 10 overall.

Don’t let my tirade on the name fool you though. This blade is not bad by any means. I just feel like most people would come away neither liking nor hating it. Solid mid-pack performance and a price that puts it on par with other, better blades makes this one difficult to recommend; but equally difficult to say stay away from.

So that’ll do it for this month. Next up is a special mini-review of the Gillette Platinum. Many thanks to @Atinofpeas who sent me one to try out! Until then, happy shaves!
 

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ajkel64

Moderator
Great review again. I don't mind these blades although I always seem to find the first shave a little harsh. They smooth out for me after that.
 
Great review again. I don't mind these blades although I always seem to find the first shave a little harsh. They smooth out for me after that.
Thanks @ajkel64. I didn’t dislike them so much as i just found them underwhelming. And i felt the same way you did. The first shave was kind of harsh and the second smoothed out considerably. That’s why i was surprised when the 3rd and 4th shaves were back to being harsh like the first. It was just an odd blade break in. For me, there are better brands out there.
 
One of my faves!
Do you like the 7 o’clock Black (the indian version?) It seems people either like the indian versions and aren’t crazy about the russian or vice versa. Same with the Wilkinson Sword (indian vs german.) I also forgot to note that these blades (the yellow sharp edge) are platinum coated. I’ve found that personally, most platinum coated blades don’t work for me. It’s not a rule as i’ve liked some platinum blades but it’s definitely something i’ve noticed about my blade preference.
 
I don’t believe I’ve used the Black. I have definitely used the Green. After a couple of shaves with the Yellow, though, I quickly bought 100 and they have been one of my go-to blades ever since.
 
I like the Sharp Edges quite a bit, but they are one of those blades that punish me a little more severely when I skimp on prep or technique. When I’m dialed in these blades always deliver a smooth and close shave. Very close in fact. When I’m sloppy they extract a cost usually in mild skin irritation. No nicks or cuts or weepers though.

That said I keep buying and using them and I’m contemplating picking up a 100 because they really do a good job on my face, and the price is so nice for a Gillette product.
 
The second shave for me on both blades was exactly as you described. Very close, excellent shaves. But all the others just didn’t feel great. The whole YMMV thing at play i guess. Blades are funny like that.
 
The second shave for me on both blades was exactly as you described. Very close, excellent shaves. But all the others just didn’t feel great. The whole YMMV thing at play i guess. Blades are funny like that.
I haven't quite decoded the secret on mine yet. I only get the odd shave from it where I feel a little tender after the fact. I think I just need to baby it a little more than usual, but the result otherwise is fantastic.
 
So i'm back with another monthly review! As before, each blade will be reviewed based on a 2 pass (plus touch up) shave using a Van Der Hagen long handled razor, Long Rifle 1776 soap and a generic Fento badger brush.
I run through 2 of each blade and use each 4 times; for a total of 8 shaves per brand. I'll be grading based on sharpness, smoothness, longevity and consistency. Price will be a factor but only of it's very cheap or expensive since most DE blades are pretty cheap comparatively.

This month our subject is the Gillette 7 o’clock Sharp Edge (aka the Gillette Yellow.) The packaging on the tucks is exactly the same as the 7 o’clock Super Platinum except yellow instead of black: A white burst of light against a yellow background and “Gillette 7 o’clock” taking up much of the foreground. The difference is, the Super Platinum blade wrapper has the same artwork as the tuck, but the Sharp Edge gets plain white wax paper packaging. The blade itself says Gillette 7 o’clock on the top and “Sharp Edge” underneath. The reason for the difference in wrappers will be clear to anyone who loves blades from the PPI plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. Most blades coming out of there get the same wax paper wrappers.

As a reminder, the 7 o’clock SP’s are now made in India but previously were made in Russia. Why the switch? Who knows. Either way despite sharing the 7 o’clock name, these are two entirely different blades. Confused yet? This is Gillette not Personna! It shouldn’t be this difficult! Well like all things DE blades it does tend to get mysterious. Are these actually Polsilvers in disguise and sold at a cheaper rate?! You heard the rumor here first...

So how do they shave? Well, not a lot like Polsilvers (there goes that rumor!) The first shave felt smooth but gave me some weepers in odd places and left my skin slightly irritated. The second shave seemed to be the sweet spot and i was able to get a BBS shave with no irritation which is always a win in my book. Third and fourth shaves we both much like the first where i had some weepers and post shave irritation, but overall weren’t terrible. By the end of shave 4 i could tell the blade was starting to dull up though i think it could’ve gone another shave or two.

Blade two performed exactly the same as blade one in that the second shave was excellent but shaves 1,3 and 4 left me with a few weepers in places i normally don’t get them and post shave irritation. The second blade also felt noticeably dull near the end of the 4th shave. Overall the sharpness was good trending on very good for both blades. Shave #2 felt the sharpest and had very nice glide through my stubble, but the others seemed on the high end of average.

Smoothness was the biggest miss with this blade. For me, smoothness is judged by how well the blade glides through my whiskers (i.e. how it feels shaving) as well as how my face feels after the fact. Though none of the shaves were rough, the random weepers, mild post shave irritation and slightly ho-hum sharpness on shaves 1,3 and 4 didn’t give me much of a reason to call this blade smooth. The outlier was shave 2 on both blades which was excellent; though not enough to call it a smooth blade overall.

Longevity was about average with the 4th shave starting to show signs that the blade was almost done. I find the best blades are still very fresh at shave 4 and the worst are toast by shave two. The Sharp Edge is obviously right in the middle and this seems the be the case for the majority of blades i’ve tried.

Consistency was was one quality where this blade excelled. Each blade performed exactly alike in all aspects. I’ve found that to be the case with all the blades i’ve tried that come out of the St. Petersburg factory so to me, they get top marks for quality control.

Price is decent at 12.95 per 100 on amazon. Not shark territory but right around what you’d pay for Personna’s.

What all this boils down to is embedded right in the name: Sharp Edge. Could you possibly have a more painfully obvious name for a razor blade? Sharp Edge. It’s like calling an airplane “Jet Engine.” Or a car “4 Wheels.” It honestly sounds like a literal Chinese translation of the word razor blade. Or someone trying to tell you not so subtly “this is as basic as it gets when it comes to shaving.” The results of the Sharp Edge were only slightly better than basic. Were it not for the two great shaves i had, this would be a solid middle of the road 5. But, those two convinced me that the Sharp Edge deserves a 6 out of 10 overall.

Don’t let my tirade on the name fool you though. This blade is not bad by any means. I just feel like most people would come away neither liking nor hating it. Solid mid-pack performance and a price that puts it on par with other, better blades makes this one difficult to recommend; but equally difficult to say stay away from.

So that’ll do it for this month. Next up is a special mini-review of the Gillette Platinum. Many thanks to @Atinofpeas who sent me one to try out! Until then, happy shaves!
I
 
I read your reviews all the time and and I enjoy them but..........I really wish you would get a better razor as the one you use is mediocre and I'm sure it affects your shaving.Just a suggestion.
Funny you mention it but i actually did! Picked up a Homelike START that i’ll be using for all future blade reviews. I still have 10 blades left to write reviews for (i’ve been seriously slacking) that i used the Van Der Hagen for but after that i’ll be reviewing them with the START. I bought a MASSIVE blade sampler with two of each blade from both tryablade and razorbladesclub so when i begin in on those, all of them will be reviewed with the Homelike.
 
@Macduff I agree with your review for the whole length but I will add that this kind of performance seems to be new phenomenon. I have used them in past occasionally and they worked well for 3 shaves very smoothly. As an almost exclusive Blacks and Polsilver when I saw the greens running under a promotion I bought about 500 and regretted. Tried many blades from various pucks and found them under performing. I found them so dull for my hard beard that I piffed whole lot to my Barber.
 
@Macduff I agree with your review for the whole length but I will add that this kind of performance seems to be new phenomenon. I have used them in past occasionally and they worked well for 3 shaves very smoothly. As an almost exclusive Blacks and Polsilver when I saw the greens running under a promotion I bought about 500 and regretted. Tried many blades from various pucks and found them under performing. I found them so dull for my hard beard that I piffed whole lot to my Barber.
Interesting! So you’re saying the older, printed blades performed much better for you than the new laser etched ones?
 
I find the 7 O'Clock Yellows to be decent mid-sharp blades. If I put them in the very mild VDH razor, they would not be sharp enough to shave my beard. However, they are one of my favorite blades in an aggressive R41 where sharper blades would be too aggressive.

I find the 7 O'Clock Indian Blacks to be great blades in the mild VDH razor. Like Personna Lab Blues, the first shave is not all that great, but after the coating wears off the blades become super sharp and work quite well in a mild razor.
 
Great review! I've read somewhere that with very sharp blades like the these 7 O'Clocks, Feather you should makes a few passes on each side of the blade on an old pair of denim jeans. They say it will take out the harshness of that first shave.
 
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