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Macduff’s Monthly Blade Review: Rapira Super Stainless

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, Van Der Hagen Luxury shave 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.

Up this month is Rapira Super Stainless. Having had a good experience with the only Russian blade i’ve tried (Voskhod,) I had high hopes for the Rapira line. The Swedish Supersteel is priced as Rapira’s midgrade blade; between super stainless and platinum lux. They seem to be the same blade as the Super Stainless though, so if anyone knows the difference feel free to comment. These blades are Teflon coated and will currently run you 9.98 per 100 on amazon. This is about a $1 markup vs the Super Stainless but again, i’m not clear on the difference. The packaging is straightforward white with a blue bottom stripe and the Rapira name in both English and Russian. Either way, they’re a great price per 100 so the only question is whether they’re from Russia with love or some kind of dolled up FSB front (Anna Chapman anyone?) So yeah...on to the review.

My first shave with the RSS was a bit rough. The blade tugged a fair bit and didn’t really cut like i assumed it would given the Russian pedigree. Sadly, each shave thereafter only got worse as far as sharpness is concerned. By shave 4 i was ready to throw in the towel and trash the thing, but i completed my obligatory 4 shaves and was happy to see it fall into the blade bank never to return.

It wasn’t the dullest blade ever but i’ve been on a run of sub-par blades and i was thoroughly dissappointed that the Rapira continued the trend. That is, until I unwrapped the second blade...This truly was a tale of two blades (i know, not a russian reference but Dostoevsky wasn’t big on second chances.) The second blade was markedly shaper than the first and held it’s edge right up until the third shave where it started to dull a bit. By the end of shave 4, the second blade still had good life left in it and unlike it’s predecessor, i was sad to see it go.

Smoothness, unlike sharpness, was universally good. I managed a few weepers over the 8 shaves but only in areas where it was most likely user error over blade manufacture. The RSS isn’t the smoothest blade ever but it’s good enough that only about 2 of the 8 shaves left me feeling a little raw.

Longevity is mixed because the first blade was totally toast by shave 4, but the second easily could’ve gone 8 shaves. It’s hard to give marks on two of the same blades that performed so differently but i’d class longevity as “good.”

Consistency is the worst of any blade yet. I’ve tried truly great and truly terrible and everything (ok maybe that’s a stretch) in between, and no two blades of the same make have performed so differently. After my first shave with the second blade, i dug the packaging out of the trash to check if i had accidentally opened the Rapira Platinum Lux (my next blade to review) because it was that different. All i can say is that these blades are totally hit or miss; and consistancy is NOT their strong suit.

I almost felt like giving two scores for this one but that would be disingenuous. It’s the same blade so i have to score based on it’s overall performance. The first blade was perhaps the current FSB. Living off past KGB glory and while competent, not the force to be reckoned with it once was. The second blade was old school KGB. Sharp, professional and efficient. Blend the two and you get a mediocre offering worthy of it’s 9.98 price tag. Overall, this blade rates a mid pack 5 out of 10. It’s just too inconsistent for me to give it higher marks.

Next up their high end comrade, the Rapira Platinum Lux. Until next time, happy shaving!
 

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Hopefully you will find the Plat Lux more to your liking!. I think they are a good blade, very smooth and forgiving and plenty sharp for me in a mid aggressive razor Muhle Rocca.
 
Excellent review (as always)! :a14::a14:

This really illustrates why you need to try multiple blades before drawing conclusions.
 
Excellent review (as always)! :a14::a14:

This really illustrates why you need to try multiple blades before drawing conclusions.


Thanks! I took many people’s recommendations on trying two blades per brand to make sure i didn’t hit a dud. This is the first time it’s happened and it was indeed a weird experience. It was like using two totally different blades. Glad i stuck it out for the second one though.
 

ajkel64

The Aussie Basshole
Thanks for the review, enlightening as always. It certainly pays to give the blade a couple of tries to give it an honest review.
 
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