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Of the Revolutions of Razor Blades

Esox

I didnt know
Do you think there is more, less, or the same blade vibration in a Gem with a PTFE vs Grande with a favourite blade?

Less vibration in my MMOC. Much less in my Bullet Tip. I cant detect any flex in it. My Grande with a fresh Feather is pretty good but angle is much more critical in regards to blade flex.

Does anyone sharpen their PTFE’s?

I've tried sharpening a carbon blade but not a PTFE. I cant say I've felt the need.

Well I just tested that on my stone. I left the pics at their full resolution.

These blades are surprisingly hard with a dual bevel. I'm not so surprised they were a tuggy now.

First pic is the blade edge after I shaved with it, then on the stone, and then after. I started with 30 strokes on the stone per side, dropping by one stroke each time the blade was flipped and finished with one stroke each side for ten strokes to keep the edge even, drawing it towards me to eliminate any wire edge forming.

IMG_1749.JPG IMG_1751.JPG IMG_1753.JPG

You can see in the third pic, left side of the blade, how the edge is just starting to polish. I'll keep working on this blade just to satisfy my own possibly twisted curiosity lol, but I wont be doing this with each blade! Hopefully I'll have it honed to perfection in 48 hours for my next shave! lol

Second shave with the same blade after about 20 minutes on my whetstone.

First WTG pass, first stroke I thought to myself "ah yes, this is better". Still slightly tuggy below my jawline but finished the first pass with the only issue being the vacuum lock of the cap to my skin lol. This cap needs flutes so that doesnt happen.

Second pass XTG, tuggy again but I shaved through it. I did stop after that pass to flip the blade. Wipe and check and had considerable stubble still left. Lather up for directly ATG and very tuggy. I did finish that pass but wasnt where I had hoped to be and I didnt want to do another 3-4 passes with that blade so I switched to the SC with a Derby that had one shave on it.

Even shaving WTG the SC found uncut stubble which surprised me because I couldnt feel it with my hand. Another ATG pass and a single touch up and that was that.

For those of you that can shave with these blades, all the power to you but I sure cant. I really hope the PTFE are sharper.

I'm wondering if maybe this razor is just too mild? If I used a steeper angle it became even more tuggy and unusable to me. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, if anything. I really think these particular blades just cant do it for me.


Do you use the same speed in your stroke on both a Gem & Grande?

With a PTFE in either GEM and a Fresh Feather in my Grande yes. However, my strokes are twice as long with my MMOC than with either my Bullet Tip or Grande/Feather.

What blade do you use in the Grande?

Any for a three pass shave, really, although I have my favorites. Feather for a single shave. Derby Extra, (the evil old green packaging everyone loves to hate), Polsilver, Gillette Black, the usual suspects. Any blade will do for a three pass shave as long as its not a GSB or Graham Field.

Single pass ATG, Polsilver is King. Gillette Yellow is also good but Polsilver just has more....muscle. Derby Extra is a no go! lol
 
Less vibration in my MMOC. Much less in my Bullet Tip. I cant detect any flex in it. My Grande with a fresh Feather is pretty good but angle is much more critical in regards to blade flex.

Does the Bullet Tip clamp the blade differently than the MMOC?
I've tried sharpening a carbon blade but not a PTFE. I cant say I've felt the need.

Carbon is king on stones. Thanks for giving the PTFE a go Mike.
With a PTFE in either GEM and a Fresh Feather in my Grande yes. However, my strokes are twice as long with my MMOC than with either my Bullet Tip or Grande/Feather.

Why do use a longer stroke on the MMOC Mike?
Any for a three pass shave, really, although I have my favorites. Feather for a single shave. Derby Extra, (the evil old green packaging everyone loves to hate), Polsilver, Gillette Black, the usual suspects. Any blade will do for a three pass shave as long as its not a GSB or Graham Field.

Single pass ATG, Polsilver is King. Gillette Yellow is also good but Polsilver just has more....muscle. Derby Extra is a no go! lol
I’m not sure I understand Mike. Feather for a single shave (3-pass)?
Single pass ATG, Polsilver is King. Better than a Feather?
 

Esox

I didnt know
Does the Bullet Tip clamp the blade differently than the MMOC?
No its the same but there is significantly less blade exposure. Its as efficient as my Grande with a Feather and both give the same duration BBS finish of 12 hours but because of the thicker more stable GEM blade, its a smoother, easier and more gentle shave.

Why do use a longer stroke on the MMOC Mike?
More blade exposure of a more stable edge allows me too. I relate it to using a manual push lawnmower. When cutting longer grass, you need to backstroke to clear the blades and then push into the grass again. I do the same thing when shaving ATG its just the MMOC is a more capable mower, if you get my meaning.

I’m not sure I understand Mike. Feather for a single shave (3-pass)?
Single pass ATG, Polsilver is King. Better than a Feather?
I use Feather blades for one shave, rarely two. I dont think the sharper, more finely honed edge, holds up as well for some reason on my whiskers.

Polsilver is much better single pass ATG than Feather. Feather is a bit too sharp for that and my skin pays a price. Polsilver, while slightly less sharp, is much more forgiving and, for me, the smoother blade ATG. In a 3 pass shave, I'm very nearly BBS after two passes and only need to clean up my swirls. A Polsilver shaves just as closely ATG first pass as a Feather in 3 passes but its constant buffing with ~2" strokes. A Feather can just be too much blade for that kind of shave, as can a fresh PTFE but I find GEM's easier to use, and maintain a proper angle with, than a DE. You dont need to search for the proper angle, its built into the cap. With an MMOC, there are two angles built into the cap, unlike the Bullet Tip but, once you learn it, the angles of use are wide.

Below from almost exactly two years ago. My technique with it has evolved a great deal since then.

When I start a fresh blade I ride the very back (the three red lines towards the bottom) of the cap and shave gently with just enough pressure to make my skin rise to meet the edge.

MMOC_Fresh_Blade.jpg


I keep riding the back of the cap through shave 3. By shave 4 on a PTFE its starting to mellow and my angle steepens slightly. Shaves 4-7 are done with the center of the cap flat against my skin. Shaves 8-10 the angle steepens again to the flat closest to the comb and steeper.

steep.jpg

I use it steeper than that now and by shave 6, I'm using a more neutral angle and using as much blade as I can. Shaves 7-10 are done at the same angle but with slightly increasing pressure as the blade wears.

Its not an easy razor to learn but, you will learn to respect it lol. It is highly unforgiving if switching from a DE. A Bullet Tip is a much friendlier place to start.
 
No its the same but there is significantly less blade exposure. Its as efficient as my Grande with a Feather and both give the same duration BBS finish of 12 hours but because of the thicker more stable GEM blade, its a smoother, easier and more gentle shave.


More blade exposure of a more stable edge allows me too. I relate it to using a manual push lawnmower. When cutting longer grass, you need to backstroke to clear the blades and then push into the grass again. I do the same thing when shaving ATG its just the MMOC is a more capable mower, if you get my meaning.


I use Feather blades for one shave, rarely two. I dont think the sharper, more finely honed edge, holds up as well for some reason on my whiskers.

Polsilver is much better single pass ATG than Feather. Feather is a bit too sharp for that and my skin pays a price. Polsilver, while slightly less sharp, is much more forgiving and, for me, the smoother blade ATG. In a 3 pass shave, I'm very nearly BBS after two passes and only need to clean up my swirls. A Polsilver shaves just as closely ATG first pass as a Feather in 3 passes but its constant buffing with ~2" strokes. A Feather can just be too much blade for that kind of shave, as can a fresh PTFE but I find GEM's easier to use, and maintain a proper angle with, than a DE. You dont need to search for the proper angle, its built into the cap. With an MMOC, there are two angles built into the cap, unlike the Bullet Tip but, once you learn it, the angles of use are wide.

Below from almost exactly two years ago. My technique with it has evolved a great deal since then.



I use it steeper than that now and by shave 6, I'm using a more neutral angle and using as much blade as I can. Shaves 7-10 are done at the same angle but with slightly increasing pressure as the blade wears.

Its not an easy razor to learn but, you will learn to respect it lol. It is highly unforgiving if switching from a DE. A Bullet Tip is a much friendlier place to start.
Thank you Mike. You cleared out a few foggy patches in my thinking. I will be very curious if you can sharpen the PTFE to a finer edge than a new blade. I understand the challenge of campaigning blades. The little that I had done was enlightening to say the least. Single use/ Single pass requires fewer adjustments and that would be an understatement. My inherent laziness can be a benefit at times.
 

Esox

I didnt know
Thank you Mike. You cleared out a few foggy patches in my thinking. I will be very curious if you can sharpen the PTFE to a finer edge than a new blade. I understand the challenge of campaigning blades. The little that I had done was enlightening to say the least. Single use/ Single pass requires fewer adjustments and that would be an understatement. My inherent laziness can be a benefit at times.
PTFE's are sharp enough as is for me. Carbon blades, not so much. They do have a dual bevel and are very hard. I worked on that carbon blade quite a while. It would have taken me hours and I just couldnt be bothered. If you look at the pics of the edge at full size, you can see after 40 minutes I had just barely started to polish the edge.

Before.
IMG_1749.JPG

After.
IMG_1753.JPG
 
PTFE's are sharp enough as is for me. Carbon blades, not so much. They do have a dual bevel and are very hard. I worked on that carbon blade quite a while. It would have taken me hours and I just couldnt be bothered. If you look at the pics of the edge at full size, you can see after 40 minutes I had just barely started to polish the edge.

Before.
View attachment 1346837

After.
View attachment 1346838
Honing is both time consuming and can be frustrating. A dedication to task not always available.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
Very interesting read. Not sure how I missed this thread. I wonder if there really is a whistleblower here. I think we’ve dispensed with the idea that all blades are the same. There are slight differences whatever it might be. I’m familiar with marketing and the idea of multiple brands to take up shelf space but it’s safe to assume that they bake in slight differences in the various products. Bud and Busch beer don’t taste the same ditto for Michelob. All this swill is churned out at the same plant though. Now as for Gillette, hmmm I’m sure I trust them 1000%. What do they say about all of this? Or the st Pete plant folks? I’m sure they’ll be happy to talk with us. I’d ask the whistleblower but I don’t think he has internet service in Siberia. ⚫️
 
I'm not buying into the psychological explanation for why people think there are differences. For example, Astra Platinum = Gillette Silver Blue??? GSB is definitely sharper and smoother.
 
I'm not buying into the psychological explanation for why people think there are differences. For example, Astra Platinum = Gillette Silver Blue??? GSB is definitely sharper and smoother.

I would think the only way a person wouldn’t be able to tell them apart if if they’re shaving baby-soft hair. My dense stubble gives in when met with a Silver Blue, but an Astra SP has a way bigger fight.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I'm not buying into the psychological explanation for why people think there are differences. For example, Astra Platinum = Gillette Silver Blue??? GSB is definitely sharper and smoother.
I would think the only way a person wouldn’t be able to tell them apart if if they’re shaving baby-soft hair. My dense stubble gives in when met with a Silver Blue, but an Astra SP has a way bigger fight.

On my face, Astra Platinum is sharp and smooth, whereas Silver Blue blades feel like shaving with a broken hacksaw blade.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Very interesting, while not as extreme as your analogy, switch the blades around, and that’s my experience.

Just curious, what’s your main razor? Favorite lather?

Main razor:
Edwin Jagger DE3D14

Lather:
Thin and wet and slick. No Santa beards here.

Soaps and creams used:
Phoenix and Beau, Wickham 1912, Mitchell's Wool Fat, assorted mug soaps, St James of London cream and Erasmic cream.

Other favourite blades:
Wilkinson Sword (German), Feather, Gillette Sharpedge (yellows), Derby Premium, SuperMax Super Stainless.

Other blades which are bad for me:
Nacet, Polsilver, there's a couple more but names aren't coming to mind
 
Main razor:
Edwin Jagger DE3D14

Lather:
Thin and wet and slick. No Santa beards here.

Soaps and creams used:
Phoenix and Beau, Wickham 1912, Mitchell's Wool Fat, assorted mug soaps, St James of London cream and Erasmic cream.

Other favourite blades:
Wilkinson Sword (German), Feather, Gillette Sharpedge (yellows), Derby Premium, SuperMax Super Stainless.

Other blades which are bad for me:
Nacet, Polsilver, there's a couple more but names aren't coming to mind


Maybe it's the coating of the blades which aren't working well for you is what is causing the problem. I know a lot of people who find both Polsilver, Nacet and GSB very good or great, but they prefer other brands a bit more, but I don't think i've seen anyone else beside you saying that they are terrible and stuff like that, especially the Polsilver and Nacet. Those two blades in particular are probably in the top 5 favorite blades of most shavers on this forum and in general. It's quite odd indeed and there must be some sort of explanation for this and my guess is the coating of the blades.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
Maybe it's the coating of the blades which aren't working well for you is what is causing the problem. I know a lot of people who find both Polsilver, Nacet and GSB very good or great, but they prefer other brands a bit more, but I don't think i've seen anyone else beside you saying that they are terrible and stuff like that, especially the Polsilver and Nacet. Those two blades in particular are probably in the top 5 favorite blades of most shavers on this forum and in general. It's quite odd indeed and there must be some sort of explanation for this and my guess is the coating of the blades.

It could be coatings, geometry, hair composition...

The Polsilver worked when I tried it in an aggressive razor, but not in my preferred mild one. It felt like it was trying to rip hair out at the root. I think there's only Nacet and Silver Blue which consistently had that scratchy, micro-serration feel. Who knows, they may have worked better for me in a different razor? Or with different lather?

Ultimately, I believe that the combos are more important than individual elements. It's not just the blade, or how that pairs with a razor, but also lather preferences, established technique, water, hair and skin types... they're only right or wrong for the individual in question, with no guarantees of working the same for the next guy.
 
It could be coatings, geometry, hair composition...

The Polsilver worked when I tried it in an aggressive razor, but not in my preferred mild one. It felt like it was trying to rip hair out at the root. I think there's only Nacet and Silver Blue which consistently had that scratchy, micro-serration feel. Who knows, they may have worked better for me in a different razor? Or with different lather?

Ultimately, I believe that the combos are more important than individual elements. It's not just the blade, or how that pairs with a razor, but also lather preferences, established technique, water, hair and skin types... they're only right or wrong for the individual in question, with no guarantees of working the same for the next guy.

There's a reason why we have the YMMV thing and yes, pretty much everyone is at least slightly different. For me, a blade it's either working for me or not regardless of the razor. I do agree that some razor-blade combos are much better than others, but in general all of my favorite blades work in my favorite razors with some minimal difference.
 
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