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Now I'm just curious, that bendin' of da blade, is it that what's cutting folks?

Hey gents, I got a question for you. Being a DE user I have used TTO razors like the Parker 99r and Weishi clones of the Super Speed. Whenever I loaded a blade in one of these razors, I inevitably noticed that the blade flexed at a bent angle (not a slant) as it was closed. Sure enough, I'm trying to figure out if this bending had a contribution to my negative experiences with DE, besides the usual suspects. I'm also wanting to know if two and three piece razors also do this flexing, and if so, to what extent.
 
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All DE razors put curvature across the blade to varying degrees. Your negative experience may be due to technique although clamp distance may affect your shave, see attached. For most shavers it doesn't. Some of the single edge razors may suit you better as they have stiffer blades.
Safety_Razor_Parameters_around_Blade_Cutting_Edge.jpg
 
All DE razors put curvature across the blade to varying degrees. Your negative experience may be due to technique although clamp distance may affect your shave, see attached. For most shavers it doesn't. Some of the single edge razors may suit you better as they have stiffer blades.
View attachment 929235
Oh believe me, I already know that much, as I used a SE injector for the first time. Hoo Boy, did that shave feel a hell of a lot better than any DE I've ever used!
 

BigJ

Ambassador
All DE razors put curvature across the blade to varying degrees. Your negative experience may be due to technique although clamp distance may affect your shave, see attached. For most shavers it doesn't. Some of the single edge razors may suit you better as they have stiffer blades.
View attachment 929235
+2! Rigidity is a big factor for me also: the more the better IMO!
 
Oh believe me, I already know that much, as I used a SE injector for the first time. Hoo Boy, did that shave feel a hell of a lot better than any DE I've ever used!
One of many reasons I like GEM razors is the loud acoustic feedback. The head of my 1912 ER is a real sound-box and I can hear every little hair being cut - as somebody said "like spreading butter on fresh toast".

In a DE razor the compression and flexing of the blade also damps it quite noticeably in a 3-piece, so we get much less acoustic feedback. I like my sounds!
 

Esox

I didnt know
Ambassador
Sure enough, I'm trying to figure out if this bending had a contribution to my negative experiences with DE, besides the usual suspects. I'm also wanting to know if two and three piece razors also do this flexing, and if so, to what extent.
You just jumped into the deep end my friend lol.

Blade angle matters, but how, and where, the blade is clamped matters much more.

All DE blades can and will flex if enough resistance is met at a less than optimal angle.

There is much to read around the forum of what constitutes a rigid design and rigidly held blades. A good starting point is here;

Charcoal Goods - Is it a "rigid blade" design?

Also see this thread: The Great Rigid Blade Experiment

Thats exactly why I used that analogy. If the blade can vibrate or flex it will, given enough resistance against it. Even with my Fatip Grande, which is a very rigid design but also has generous blade exposure. The thinness and flexibility of DE blades will allow the very edge to flex, dig in, lift and tug the hair then cut it under force of tension instead of cleanly slicing. The result of that over the swirls on my neck is, at best, irritation. At worst, weepers. If I shave slowly enough I can even hear a tiny 'ping' as the edge springs back into shape.

Because it is such a rigid design I can stop that with a shallow enough angle. This is why I use it extremely shallow, pushing the cap into my skin. The red line in the picture below being the level of my skin.



Used at that angle, the blade doesnt flex, it just cleanly cuts the hairs.

My made in Canada Gillette Old Type, below with a blade loaded, has zero blade gap and is the most rigid DE I've used.



When the handle is tightened, the cap forces the blade against the teeth of the comb. The tops of those teeth in the comb are flat. Because it has literally no blade gap and so rigidly holds the blade, its a very unforgiving razor that gives no warning, at all, of blood appearing if I make a simple mistake.

By contrast, an EJ/Merkur below showing where and how the blade can and will flex if enough resistance is met. I've had it happen with my Gillette NEW LC, which is a considerably more rigid design than the EJ/Merkur.



If enough resistance is met at the edge, something has to give. With unsupported designs, its the blade that will finally flex and 'give' resulting in irritation or worse. I believe this a reason why so many have issues shaving ATG. Its simply not a rigid enough design.

That most likely wont be the case for everyone and the only place thats an issue for me is over my swirls. My NEW LC was great everywhere else, but as soon as it hit my swirls, it just skipped right over them. My R41 does the same and if I miss the angle, just a tiny bit even WTG on my cheeks, it will flex and skip. I use it just slightly shallower than the design angle and its okay WTG, XTG and ATG its difficult.

Again, the red line being the level of my skin.



Because it lacks so much baseplate support, I need to go over my swirls in five different directions to whittle them down slowly enough so the blade doesnt flex. With my NEW SC, Old Types, Grande and MMOC, its two directions. The difference being baseplate support stopping the flex where the squiggly green line is.
Oh believe me, I already know that much, as I used a SE injector for the first time. Hoo Boy, did that shave feel a hell of a lot better than any DE I've ever used!
SE blades, as you've already discovered, are far more rigid. DE blades are ~.004" thick. SE blades are .009" thick. Thats a considerable difference.

I have coarse, dense growth. Once I understood what I needed, my DE shaves became very good, great even. My best DE shave cannot match my typical SE shave. The main difference being, the more rigid SE blade is simply smoother and easier on my skin.

My Fatip Grande is a very rigid design and is, by far, the most efficient DE I've used. A typical shave with it and a Polsilver blade is directly ATG buffing at ~48 hours growth. Shaving like that with that blade and the very shallow angle I use, I hear very little and feel no blade at all. Post shave feel is like I havent even shaved.

My SE GEM MMOC and a PTFE blade and a shave the same way at the same ~48 hours growth with roughly the same angle of blade to skin is easily twice as efficient and even more gentle on my skin.
 
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