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My experience testing blades with a 95Ti

Alright, things are finally coming together in a predictable manner. I had that wonderful shave with the Henson yesterday and I am back with the 95Ti today loaded with the Silver Blue on it's second shave. I will update the spreadsheet later, in about a week. I don't normally use this razor enough to be updating more than once a week. Up next will be the return to a vintage blade after everything I have learned the last couple weeks.

So yesterday I managed to get a nice shave with a slightly dull for my beard blade by using a hacking technique with the Henson. Today I used a blade that is only slightly sharper, but was able to glide across my face much faster. This is how the Timeless has always worked with my usual blades and confirms that my problems previously were blades that weren't sharp enough and a face that was too irritated for the amount of blade exposure on the 95Ti. The one major adjustment that I made to my technique was to stop stretching my skin so much. Strangely, this allows the Timeless to glide quickly and exfoliate my skin less. This is directly related to the sharpness of the blade. If I have to do any hacking, I have to have stretched skin so the blade doesn't catch something soft. If I can glide, I can control the razor and avoid injury that way. As I said previously, the results with most blades are nearly the same. It's just how fast I can get there and what technique I need to use. When you get to the sharpest blades, they do provide a closer shave. This shave left slight patches like last nights with the Henson. I essentially traded a slightly sharper blade for a less aggressive technique. What I am hoping to find out in the future is how much sharper do I need to go to eliminate the patches so I hopefully can avoid the absolute sharpest blades which irritate my cheeks and cut too close.
Thanks for reading my rambling nonsense! You may be on to something that I never would have thought of, the boar brush. I use very high end soaps, but have been participating in DecemBoar. It is possible that I am irritating myself, if not from the boar itself, but because I am still breaking them in!
Here's what helped me achieve a close, weeperless shave with my very strong whiskers and sensitive skin:

Proraso Red - it says on the package it is meant to be used on strong whiskers, it's inexpensive, I recommend it
Synthetic brush - you said maybe you get irritation out of your boar because you didn't break it in. I used a boar for 10 months, a boar is never as soft as a synthetic and it whips your face literally, especially if the loft is high, it's like slapping your face with a mop
Blade angle - I use the Muhle R41. The 'razor at 30 degree angle' recommendation doesn't work for it because of how the blade is bent in the razor, if I put it at 30 degrees, it doesn't cut the hair, it literally pulls on it so I found out that I should put the blade at an angle where it is sliding along my skin, which means raising the razor handle up. As far as I know about Hensons, it's hard to mess up the angle, but study it a bit, see at which angle the blade hits the skin.

Mapping your hair growth directions - don't just pull your razor up and down your face. On first pass, shave down the grain in each place, for example, down on your cheeks, right to left on one half of the neck, left to right on right on side of your neck. Then do an across grain pass and then, if you're up to it, the against the grain pass at the end. Do not go against or across the grain unless you have previously gone over the area with the grain.

As for the blade itself, I didn't notice much difference between German Wilkinson and BIC Platinum and Lord blades. I know that Astras and Sharks are too dull, but all beyond that should be fine. I think what I wrote above is more important than the blade itself.
I am going to update my thread a bit earlier than expected. Just a reminder that this is a bit of a personal diary, but if you choose to read it great. If it annoys you how verbose I am, refer to the chart. Several things collided this week that resulted in me shaving with my Ti95 three days in a row, all of which are the result of things posted on this forum. For one, a thread on the slim baseplate got me thinking. Two, I was making some errors that I am blaming on the less than sharp blades. Three, a mention of the Rapira Platinum Lux blade that a I forgot I have a pack of.

The odd thing about the Timeless slim that I hadn't realised previously is that it is only a baseplate and not a cap as well. The reason this is odd is because most blade forward, low gap razors have little blade bend compared to the Timeless. With all the Timeless plates using the same cap, they all bend the blade a lot. This is the reason I bought the razor, I found this reduces the feel of the blade edge and keeps the blade from chattering. The strange discovery is that if you shave with a Timeless shallow (ride the cap), the plate doesn't matter because you aren't engaging it. The real benefit of the Timeless, and the reason I bought it, is only realised if you shave steep.

This gets to where I messed up, I was shaving shallow by accident. This really dials up the blade feel because as you are tipping the blade in, the whole bevel is against the skin like a devette and you are having to lift the razor to keep the pressure low. The blade projection, not exposure, is more than I realised before purchase and up until now was a major concern for me. When I made sure I was shaving guard first, the blade feel is significantly less. Part of this no doubt is due to gravity tending to pull the blade away from the skin. This allows completely weightless skimming of the face. The low profile cap, when used this way, allows a scooping motion to clear troublesome spots with a roll of the wrist.

Even though I had planned to switch back to a vintage blade this week, the mere mention from a trusted poster of the Rapira Platinum Lux made me remember that I had not tested them yet in spite of having them for a year. The first shave went pretty good, but these are too sharp for me to shave against the grain which I did anyway. I also went ahead and tried shaving shallow after discovering that I had been doing so for most of the previous weeks' shaves. Initially, these things have some resistance when shaving with the grain. I wouldn't be able to tell many of the Gillette blades apart from each other as well these. Being the first shave, there is plenty of smoothness and by the time I got to my neck, I had enough sharpness to avoid an excessive number of passes. The second shave was one of those magical moments that only stand out because of their lack of problems. I paid particular attention to keeping the safety bar leading and the smoothness was finally the equal of my Henson. However the whole experience is so different, you have to figure out how each razor wants to work. I switched to two across the grain passes and tried not to push my luck. I am actually happy that I left some light patches similar to what I got out of the Silver Blue. The third shave was mostly the same as second, but much faster. I had the angle figured out and the blade was up to it's maximum sharpness. I did a modified version of the previous shave that included an extra pass on certain spots and managed to clear the trouble spots. Not without some soreness, but no redness. By the time I got to my neck, the blade was feeling a little rough though still very sharp. It cleared the hairs without trouble and warned me against using the blade again. I am sure it could go six or eight shaves, but for me this is going to be a two use blade. I value feel out of the wrapper and this is why the Silver Blue is not my preferred blade. They feel great and are long lived, but the first two shaves just aren't getting up to full sharpness quickly enough. Relatively speaking, they are pricier than the Rapira and others for only using them twice. This might lead others to keep using them and endure a less than perfect first two shaves. This was what I always read about the Astra Superior Platinum when I first started, like this was a good thing that they lasted so long. Maybe most people haven't seen what a blade looks like under magnification after only a few shaves? For me, no thanks. I will only push vintage blades for cost reasons.


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