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Mild blades - why?

Before I begin I'd just like to make clear I am in no way knocking anyone else's choices and am fully aware and accepting of YMMV.

Ok, with that out of the way - I've been pondering for a little while why anyone would actively prefer to use a milder blade, by which I define it here as, a less sharp one?

Surely if the purpose is to cut the hair cleanly then the logical conclusion is the sharper the better?

I see threads where people say that a certain blade is too sharp for their skin but then is that not a technique issue (again no criticism intended, I have no delusions of grandeur about my own skill level)?

I also realise that not everyone needs a super sharp blade to deal with their stubble but in that case it makes no difference whether you choose a milder or sharper blade?

Genuinely interested to get other peoples opinions and experiences on this.
 
I'm one who needs a pretty sharp blade but I think you're right that a really sharp blade requires better technique. A less sharp blade is probably a viable alternative if you don't need the extra sharp edge and don't want to work that hard on technique. Whatever gets you the result you want is the right answer and we're all different in our needs and expectations.
 

Tirvine

ancient grey sweatophile
Whether a shaver calls the blade mild or not, what they are after is a shave that does not involve nicking them, making weepers, or being a painful process. There are a few blades out there that a lot of folks provide such a shaving experience (Astras, Israeli Personna, and GSB to name a few). They are all pretty sharp but seem smoother than some others. I think of mlld as more of a code word than an actual descriptor.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
I have always wondered this myself, @Al Bundy ....

It was ALWAYS banged into my head that it is the dull edge that cuts you, be it a chainsaw, a knife, chisel....

You just tend to PUSH a dull edge HARDER than a sharp one to get the job done. You push hard enough, you make a mistake, and you end up making a doctor's car payment for her or him.
 
I guess I just adjust to the blade I am using. But a midrange (not super dull) blade is preferable to me than a Feather or a KAI in a very aggressive razor. For example, I dont use a Feather in my Game Changer Jaws OC 0.84, but I definitely will use one in most vintage Gillettes or my Rockwell 6S.

I find Feathers, Kai and BIC noticeably sharper than the other blades I have tried, but have no issues using Derby, Lords, GSBs, Polsilvers, etc. Feathers, KAI and BIC also don’t always work well in every razor IME.

Unless a blade is super dull (Merkur and Rockwell come to mind and I just toss or PIF them), I can make it work.
 
I honestly doubt to a large extent that what we feel in using 'sharper' and milder blades have anything to do with the actual sharpness. They are razor blades after all. Its probably things like the actual bevel and edge. Some blades are coated with different things. Some blades are thicker, wider etc. I find that feather blades almost feel 'sticky or grippy' on my face but do shave closer. Smoother shaves are preferable since I do multiple passes. Don't need to laser everything off on the first or even second pass. Hence I use the significantly cheaper Astra Greens. Kinda like how people swear by straight razors but the mildest DE blade is probably sharper than most SRs. Can't beat an industrially machined edge yet they prefer them. There's more to it than raw sharpness.
 
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I like to try to match the blade to the razor. I also like to use a range of blades in each razor depending on my mood, and on which blades I have way too many of. I like Feathers (and other similar blades) in my Timeless .68 and my Tatara Masamune, but GSBs (and the like) in my ATT Windsor. For some reason, I like Wilkinsons etc. in my Merkur 34-C (which I use for travel these days, but almost never at home).

Does it make sense? Maybe...maybe only to me.
 
I have always wondered this myself, @Al Bundy ....

It was ALWAYS banged into my head that it is the dull edge that cuts you, be it a chainsaw, a knife, chisel....

You just tend to PUSH a dull edge HARDER than a sharp one to get the job done. You push hard enough, you make a mistake, and you end up making a doctor's car payment for her or him.
I think its not the case with razor blades. Feathers have cut up way more faces than Dorcos going by the posts I've read over the years.
 
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must be more to it, as mentioned, than just pure sharpness.
I'm not an engineer nor do I play one on TV, but I'd guess:
1) razor plays quite a role
2) then the blade itself - angles on edge
3) blade stiffness
4) blade flex
5) water
6) soap if used
7) more but I'm not aware yet...
 
When I use the term 'mild' I'm really talking about comfort. To me, 'sharp' isn't the opposite of 'mild'. 'Harsh' is the opposite of 'mild' and doesn't necessarily have a relationship to sharpness.

Exactly right. Gillette studies decades ago established that shavers were not reliably able to distinguish sharpness between blades, the finding leading Gillette to focus on coatings (the Super Blue first) to improve shaver's perception of smoothness.
 
I guess I just adjust to the blade I am using. But a midrange (not super dull) blade is preferable to me than a Feather or a KAI in a very aggressive razor. For example, I dont use a Feather in my Game Changer Jaws OC 0.84, but I definitely will use one in most vintage Gillettes or my Rockwell 6S.

I find Feathers, Kai and BIC noticeably sharper than the other blades I have tried, but have no issues using Derby, Lords, GSBs, Polsilvers, etc. Feathers, KAI and BIC also don’t always work well in every razor IME.

Unless a blade is super dull (Merkur and Rockwell come to mind and I just toss or PIF them), I can make it work.
This!
For decades I have used the sharpest blades in mild razors and the duller blades in very aggressive razors with some rare exceptions.
There are very few blade models that don't work with me. And I have tried a huge number of them.
 
For me, sharpness is important but not ALL important.

Feather blades out of the wrapper are too sharp, utterly unforgiving and not especially smooth or long-lasting. My preferred blades are a bit less sharp but offer more comfort and durability (GSB, Nacet, Astra SP, Personna lab and Personna red). YMMV for sure!

In sum, my ideal blades offer a combination of sharpness, smoothness and durability!

:a21: :a21:
 
This!
For decades I have used the sharpest blades in mild razors and the duller blades in very aggressive razors with some rare exceptions.
There are very few blade models that don't work with me. And I have tried a huge number of them.

Same here. BIC to Treet, Feather to Derby, they all work fine. I take user reviews of blades with huge truckloads of salt. Actually I ignore them pretty much.

ASR famously packaged the same blades in different wrappers yet customers swore by one blade or another. I don't believe anything has changed regarding user subjectivity even if company practice has.

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
 
Mild blades - why?
In my experience, sharp is Feather and 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellows), mild (less sharp) is Astra SP, 7 O'Clock Super Stainless and many others.
I choose a mild blade because I shave every day and, in my experience, I noticed that if I used a sharper blade my skin becomes sensitive after a month or two. Shaving with a mild blade allowed me to comfortably shave every day for years. If I would shave every other day I would definitely choose a sharper blade. That being said, the blade is not the only factor in my technique. Quality of lather is paramount (lousy lather gives me instant unpleasant shave), fewer strokes during each pass, light pressure and good control of the angle, all contribute to a good shave.
 
I don't know if I have found a dull blade out of the wrapper, but the pre 2016 Derbys might be an exception. So since they all cut my beard fine, comfort is my biggest criteria for a blade. Some of the sharpest blades just don't feel comfortable to me. I am thinking blades like the Bic Chrome Platinum, 7 O'Clock Platinum blacks and Nacets are just not comfortable for everyday shaving for me. These blades have a "bitey" feel, like they are about to bite me if my concentration slips. I don't care for that feeling. If I had really tough stubble my feelings might be different. I also suspect that what shavers describe as sharp is really a rougher edged blade and smoother blades are often felt to be mild or dull. I believe everyone experiences blades differently.
 
My experience with sharp vs mild is that it is easier for me to work with the technique with sharper blades. If I shave every day, I have to be more careful, but then I choose a milder razor or an adjustable razor with a smaller gap.

My conclusion and experience is that a sharp blade will always give me a more comfortable shave and the best result.
 
I prefer mild razors with sharp blades.
Now I am strongly convinced by experience that the blade is the matching interface between razor, soap and your skin. And somehow that quartet can be extremely picky.

if a blade is dull it usually gives me more issues as a sharp one. But I know enough sharp blades which do not jive with my razors and others which do or blades witch I had to read they are considered to be sharp but found them comfy easy in that razor biting me in an other.

so bottom line it is not about a dull mild blade but imho all about a comfy easy combination with that specific razor. And that could be a gsb, nacet, Kai
 
It all depends on your beard really. If you don't have a hard beard and a mild blade can do the job, there's no point in risking cuts with sharper blades. I use only the R41 and sharp blades such as BIC, Silver Star, ASCO and German Wilkies. Mild blades like Voskhod and Astra SP tug and there's no reason to use them. With even milder blades such as Sharks/Lord Cool, they are good blades and I can shave with them, but I have to work real hard and go over the same spots many times which increases irritation. For example, with Shark Platinum I had to stop after shaving one half of my face because my hair was being ripped off instead of cut.

But if I had a softer beard, I'd gladly use Shark SS over a BIC.
 
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