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Mild blades - why?

The blade is soft because it is sharp and requires less pressure on the skin. In my experience, the sharper the blade the softer it is and technique is more important than the razor.
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.
Good point! I have hard beard growth and that is probably why it works best with a sharp blade.
Milder blades can last longer and when they degrade, they do it more gracefully. Some blades, of course, are just useless and deserve to be trashed. But others, like the famous (and now unobtainable) Polsilver, can actually get better with age. After a while they need more touch up. But even when the touch up stops working the blade can still give a very comfortable shave for a long time. I've shaved for three months with a Polsilver. That was just a one-time stunt of course, but try that with a Feather!

It's the difference between the edge on a cold chisel and the edge on a wood chisel.
I find the Muhle R41 works fine with duller blades like Derby Extra and Astra SP. If you aren't shaving daily, sharper blades in an R41 work too. While Muhle R89 works better with sharper blades like Astra SS and Personna. Duller blades in Muhle R89 and Edwinn Jagger DE89 give ineffective shaves, with noticeable stubble.
I value smooth as much or a little more in a blade as sharpness. That I get both and to a higher degree in vintage blades is why I use them exclusively. Although I doubt I would have if I wasn't retired.
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