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Macduff’s Monthly Blade Review: Polsilver Super Iridium

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; but like all good things, my Van Der Hagen Luxury shave soap has come to an end. Unfortunately i made the mistake of buying some “artisan” soap from a vendor at the Newport Folk Festival (New Englanders might know about this one) as a replacement. The vendor was selling shave brushes and asssured me that “lots of people use our soap for shaving.” Needless to say “lots of people” must be pretty disappointed. The soap has good silckness but you can literally watch the lather disappear on your face. For those interested, it’s called “Peace” soap and the flavor is “Twilight.” As they say, fool me once...

I’m still using my generic Fento badger brush for consistency and 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.

With that out of the way, this month i review a blade that is seldom spoken of: The Polsilver Super Iridium. Truly a blade that flown under the radar and is hardly ever reviewed here on B&B...

Ok well maybe it IS the most overhyped and overreviewed blade of all time but hey, at least it’s not another Gamechanger or Tabac review right?

So lets go over some basics first on the off chance someone reading this has never read a Polsilver review: They’re made in the vaunted St. Petersburg Factory in St. Petersburg, Russia. The factory is operated by Gillette so technically the Polsilver is a P&G product if what i’ve read is to be believed.

There has been continuing controversy that Polsilvers were discontinued back in August of 2016 and that once available stocks are depleted, the much loved Polsilver will be gone forever. After some serious (read 5 minutes) internet sleuthing, I was able to find out that this is most definitely a rumor manufactured by shady vendors to drive up price and demand. It appears to still be circulating because there are a number of sites selling these blades that are still pedaling this myth. Rest assured friends, Polsilver is alive and well and churning out sharp rectangles of stainless steel as we speak.

The packaging for the tucks is quite destinctive in an understated way. It’s blue and black with the “POL” portion if Polsilver against a red background. The blade packaging is just a lackluster piece of waxed paper and the blade itself is equally bland: Black lettering that says “Super Iridium” and “Extra Stainless.”

I did come across something that might be of interest though: The “Extra” in Extra Stainless may be referring to extra low carbon stainless steel. What is extra low carbon stainless steel you ask? Well from what i could gather, it’s simply a very corrosion resistant form of steel. But for a razor blade, that’s most definitely a good idea. Perhaps some metal experts here at B&B can weigh in.

So that’s all the cool info i could drag up on the Polsilver to make this review more palatable. If you’ve read this far congratulations! You now get to listen to my ramblings about “sharp and smooth” and other such things.

With so many glowing reviews on the shapness of this blade, my initial shave was a pretty massive letdown. The blade tugged more than a little and while the shave was close, it was hardly what i’d call sharp. After some preshave grumbling i loaded up the Polsilver for shave # 2 and was truly surprised at how much sharper it was the second time. As in i actually managed some weepers just by shaving without the proper respect for the newfound sharpness. Of all blades i’ve tried, none have had such an improvement in sharpness from the initial shave. Shaves 3 and 4 were also nearly identical to shave 2. The blade stayed very sharp and i had to remain focused to avoid the red stuff. Based on shaves 2-4, i’d rate this at the higher end of the sharpness scale.

Smoothness was another story. Though i was able to get a near BBS every time, i did get the dreaded “tight face” feeling post shave. Basically my face felt a little raw. Not enough for me to say the blade is harsh, but enough for me to say it isn’t exactly the smoothest blade i’ve ever used.

Longevity is where this blade truly lived up to it’s reputation. I was blown away by how sharp it stayed after the initial shave. By shave 4 it literally felt no different than shave 2. I actually threw it both my gillette tuckaway AND my Tech and still didn’t notice much degradation in sharpness. Simply put, the Polsilver is far and away the longest lasting DE blade i’ve tried.

Consistancy was excellent as well. Both blades had the dull first shave them sharpened up and stayed sharp from shave #2 onward. Nuff said.

Price on these blades is frankly all over the place. Amazon has them for $30 per 100, but ebay has them going for $15-21 per 100. It’s best to shop around. But if you buy in the $15-20 range it’s a pretty standard price for DE blades.

So how would i rate them overall? This was a tough one. They’re sharp and incredibly long lasting, but left my face feeling just a bit raw after all but the first shave. This may have been a bit of user error but a result is a result. In balancing all these factors and having time to reflect, i’ve decided that the Polsilver’s are an 8 out of 10. Next to the Viking’s Sword blades (which i still slightly prefer), these are the best blades i’ve used thus far. God help me for agreeing with the general consensus but it’s hard to deny the quality of these blades. Perhaps i was a little overzealous in my opening. Over reviewed? Yes. Overhyped? Not at all.

Well that’s all for now folks. Up next another B&B favorite: the Personna “Israeli Red.” Until then, happy shaving!
 

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Informative and interesting review, and I agree with the consensus too. Polsilver SI is one of my favorite blades. I always enjoy reading your monthly blade reviews. Keep up the good work!
 
Informative and interesting review, and I agree with the consensus too. Polsilver SI is one of my favorite blades. I always enjoy reading your monthly blade reviews. Keep up the good work!

Thanks i appreciate it! Still looking for that 10 out of 10 blade but in the event i don’t find it, i now have a few really good blades to choose from; this being one of them.
 
I am new to Polsilver blades. I am still using my first Iridium blade, but I agree with the OP's comments. The first shave was pretty rough as the OP indiciated. Shaves 2-4 were quite good, also ageeing with the OP. I have a tough beard and sensitive skin, so I rarely use a blade for more than three shaves. I still have the blade in the razor to try for shave 5. Thus, I agree with the long-lasting comment as well. I just wish the first shave had been better.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
The Polsilvers are a big fail for me. They perform much like your first shave, but then continue to disappoint. I think I endured 13 disappointing shaves the first time I tried one, waiting for the mythical self sharpening phenomenon... but it didn't happen.

To misquoted House MD, "My unicorn was just a donkey with a sink plunger on its face"

On the flip side, I'm currently getting to the end of a soap very similar to yours. The incredible disappearing lather just needs a teeny bit more water, and a bit more face lathering time to stay visible throughout the shave. As you say, it's certainly slick enough to do the job, but it just looks different than normal.

Ignore the looks of the lather, and don't be too concerned by the horror stories on the forumabout that soap type only being any good as bath soap, I've had many many great shaves with it since I started in in June (?), and have three more local craft soaps lined up to follow when this one is finished. It takes a while to hit the right ratio, but when you get it, great shaves lie ahead.
 
The Polsilvers are a big fail for me. They perform much like your first shave, but then continue to disappoint. I think I endured 13 disappointing shaves the first time I tried one, waiting for the mythical self sharpening phenomenon... but it didn't happen.

To misquoted House MD, "My unicorn was just a donkey with a sink plunger on its face"

On the flip side, I'm currently getting to the end of a soap very similar to yours. The incredible disappearing lather just needs a teeny bit more water, and a bit more face lathering time to stay visible throughout the shave. As you say, it's certainly slick enough to do the job, but it just looks different than normal.

Ignore the looks of the lather, and don't be too concerned by the horror stories on the forumabout that soap type only being any good as bath soap, I've had many many great shaves with it since I started in in June (?), and have three more local craft soaps lined up to follow when this one is finished. It takes a while to hit the right ratio, but when you get it, great shaves lie ahead.

Yeah i’ve had blades like that before. The shark super chrome is almost universally loved and i hated it. I try to stay away from reviews prior to using a blade so i draw my own conclusions. For the polsilver, i was shocked how many people experienced the same “wear pattern” of the blade and how the longevity was as impressive as the hype made it out to be. But the ymmv thing is very true. Some blades just don’t agree with some people. Until coming onto this site, i never would have guessed people would be having different experiences with the same blade. But it really is true!
 
Also the more water thing with the artisan soap is true. I’ve got it so it’s workable now but it’s still not a great shave soap.
 
YMMV is alive and well. I just did a 1941 shave with a 41' Ranger Tech using Stirling Coconut and a new Polsilver SI blade for a zero weeper, zero irritation near BBS shave on a 5 day old growth. Just a barely there stubble on the jawbone beneath each ear, BBS every where else. There was no tugging and the razor sang as I did the first pass, great audible response as it was cutting.

Maybe using different razor and a good soap will bump up your rating, I'm giving mine a solid 9, no one is perfect.

Looking forward to your Personna Red review.
 
I’ve had experience similar to Macduff’s with Polsilvers in a variety of DEs, but I think of it as the blade getting smoother after the first shave—not sharper. To address this “problem,” I tried corking a blade once. (I don’t remember if it was a Polsilver.) It totally destroyed the edge.

Anyway, I agree with Macduff overall. The Polsilver is tied for 1st place in my den. The other one is Silver Blue.
 
Yeah i’ve had blades like that before. The shark super chrome is almost universally loved and i hated it. I try to stay away from reviews prior to using a blade so i draw my own conclusions. For the polsilver, i was shocked how many people experienced the same “wear pattern” of the blade and how the longevity was as impressive as the hype made it out to be. But the ymmv thing is very true. Some blades just don’t agree with some people. Until coming onto this site, i never would have guessed people would be having different experiences with the same blade. But it really is true!

I don't know about Shark blades being "universally loved". Although smooth, it is one of a few blades that are not sharp enough to slice through my tough beard. The other "dull" blades are Derby Extra, Merkur and VDH, although there may be other I have not yet tried, and hope not to try.
 
I think on occasion, people tend to discount how personal differences can affect blade performance. Some people have beards that are VERY hard to cut. Literally like wire, as in copper wire. Other people have very soft hair that is easily cut. Some of which is age related, while others is regional/ race related.

Add in skin "toughness" or lack thereof, and its easy to see how a guy in his 60's from southern Italy might have a different experience from a guy in his 20's from Japan.

Obviously goes to explain the whole YMMV, but it is easy to slip into the thought that what works for one, or doesn't work for someone else, will work for you.
 
I took another pass at the Polsilver. I was able to get to BBS level with lots of work. I expected more from this blade. The smoothness of the shave was the best, The closeness left much to be desired. I had to do a three pass with a clean up. Many blades do a better job at clean up, including Derby Extra. I'm wondering if the Polsilver is too smooth?
MM879
 
I'm wondering if the Polsilver is too smooth?
They are very sharp and very much in line with what OP has said. As my go to blades they just work for me. My order for 2016 made Iridium is placed and I am looking forward for them. They are said to be a notch smoother than present Polsilver.
 
They are very sharp and very much in line with what OP has said. As my go to blades they just work for me. My order for 2016 made Iridium is placed and I am looking forward for them. They are said to be a notch smoother than present Polsilver.

I'm still trying to figure out how the Polsilver works well on the first passes and struggles on the cleanup. This is not an option I want when I can avoid it at halve the cost. The Astra comes to mind when I think of a close cleanup pass, actually most all blades work well on cleanup passes. After 3 tries on the Polsilver my opinion is solidifying. Something needs to change in my setup to keep these blades in top tier status.
I hope that the Polsilver lives up to your expectations.
MM879
 
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