What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Personna Meds vs Labs (SEM Comparision)

I know this is one of the most debated issues in wet shaving today and we've never really gotten a clear answer, are the blades the same of not. I'm not here to tell you I definitively know the answer, but I want to add a bit more data to the debate.

Some of this info is from my other SEM thread, but most of it is new. I decided to start a new thread so this stuff isn't buried 6 pages deep.

The first set of images are of the 2 blades directly out of the package, no blade cleaning conducted.

Meds:



Labs:



In the next set I washed both blades in High Purity IPA (basically high grade rubbing alcohol) in a sonicating bath for 15 minutes. Then mounted the 2 blade with their edges facing each other and took a series of photos at different magnifications.

Meds (left) vs Labs (right):









You can see that when the blades are cleaned the surface and the edge look very similar, but the bevel area look different. Could this be the first indication that the blades are indeed different.

The next thing I did was mount the blades on edge and took photos at different magnifications. I also took some measurements of the edge features.

Meds:







Labs:







The measurements are relatively close, pretty well within my measuring error, except for the secondary bevel. It appears the secondary bevel is about 10% narrower on the Lab blade as compared to the Meds. Does this have any significance to the cutting ability or durability, I have no idea. This is just something to note.

The last thing I have is the elemental analysis for both blades.

Meds:



Labs:



The elemental analysis definitely makes it look like both blades use the same Stainless Steel alloy, which makes sense.

In the end, the side-by-side profile sure look different and makes me believe that the blades go through different grinding/sharpening regiments. This strengthens the argument that the blades are indeed different and the price difference is buying something (for better or worse).

Again, I've only sampled one blade of each, so by no means is this the end of the road on this debate. Left you face and wallet lead you to the right answer when it comes to Meds vs Labs.
 
Thanks for the thread. I've been comparing Labs and Meds myself trying to find a blade that will give me sharpness close to a Feather but being smoother. Both blades seem to perform very similarly, I would say the Meds are a bit smoother, but when I take them both ATG, I am able to get a smoother shave with the Med. I have several blades of both that I've been trying to make sure user error doesn't screw things up too much, but I still get similar results.

Since the blades seem to be made pretty much the same, just different lines, I would imagine the difference in the blades would come from the specs on the machines. Perhaps one has less room for error than the other.
 
Thanks again for your time, and willing to make and post this amazing photos.

For my type of beard and skin, along with particular DE Razor, those two razor blades are definitely different. Med Preps are much smoother, and a bit sharper.
This subjective opinion could vary, from person to person, depending from a kind of skin, beard, DE Razor, etc.
 

ackvil

Moderator
Thanks for your analysis.

My e-mails to Personna and Energizer Holdings (the parent company) about the differences in the blades have gone unanswered. Four years ago I did get a response from Personna when it was owned by ASR and they actually responded to e-mails. :001_rolle

One question: if a factory has more than one stamping machine for blades would that account for a difference in the bevel?

I have some Meds and Labs blades that were made four years ago. I wonder how these blades would compare with the blades you sampled. If you want, I can send you a blade of each for your inspection. PM me your contact info if you want to do this.
 
I can feel a difference between Meds and Labs. Wish it wasn't so, because I like the price of Labs better. One variable to ponder is the tempering of the blades. If they are ground bit differently, it stands to reason that they may be heat treated differently, too.
 

ShaverGN

Contributor
Fascinating! Would be great to see similar reviews of other blades and may be of the various bush bristles.
 
Great post ! Thahk you!!! blade different..... I tried , slightly sharper and more comfortable Med Prep.... they are similar , but...Med Prep better.
 
This is really special work. Thank you very much.

I DO feel the difference. I prefer Meds.

You have also added greatly to "Personnas of the Mysteries." Bwa-ha-ha-ha! :sneaky2:

One of our brothers used the name Pandora. So I shall call it "Pandora 's Tuck."

Special work. Thanks again. :001_tt2:
 
Thank you for posting this! I just purchased 100 of the Personna Labs for $11.90 and look forward to trying them for the first time ever. I was never able to try the Personna Meds either, and the price I've heard them going for makes me doubt the that I will anytime soon. I just have to be patient until the Labs arrive...

Can anyone compare the Labs to the Silver Blue or Black blades? Those are my two current favorites and would like to know what others that use and like them have to say. Thank you!
 
I did not buy them but did ask if are Labs in the "Customer Question & Answer" section under the picture. A person assured me they are Lab Blues. They have "Personna" printed on the blades and wrapped in blue paper with "Super" printed on them. I would have bought them but found them locally for a few bucks more.
 
I did not buy them but did ask if are Labs in the "Customer Question & Answer" section under the picture. A person assured me they are Lab Blues. They have "Personna" printed on the blades and wrapped in blue paper with "Super" printed on them. I would have bought them but found them locally for a few bucks more.
Those are the lab blue blades.
 
PM me your mailing address and I will send you 5 Meds.

Thank you for posting this! I just purchased 100 of the Personna Labs for $11.90 and look forward to trying them for the first time ever. I was never able to try the Personna Meds either, and the price I've heard them going for makes me doubt the that I will anytime soon. I just have to be patient until the Labs arrive...

Can anyone compare the Labs to the Silver Blue or Black blades? Those are my two current favorites and would like to know what others that use and like them have to say. Thank you!
 
Can anyone compare the Labs to the Silver Blue or Black blades? Those are my two current favorites and would like to know what others that use and like them have to say. Thank you!
Gillette Silver Blue blades are a way better (smoother & sharper) than Personna Labs, for me.
 
This difference in honing bevel is consistent over the years. I have 100 of each and find them incredibly similar. For my razor/face the Meds are ever so slightly smoother. The Labs are a great blade and I'm not sorry I purchased the box, but I will probably stick with just the Meds next time around. I've had a few bad edges in the Labs - none so far in the Meds.

Having said that, if I didn't notice any difference I would be happy to only purchase the Labs.
 
Thanks for the thread. I've been comparing Labs and Meds myself trying to find a blade that will give me sharpness close to a Feather but being smoother.
I just got an order of Astra Superior Stainless in and IMHO they are very much whqt you are looking for. Very sharp and very smooth. Very reasonably priced as well!
 
Thanks for your analysis.

My e-mails to Personna and Energizer Holdings (the parent company) about the differences in the blades have gone unanswered. Four years ago I did get a response from Personna when it was owned by ASR and they actually responded to e-mails. :001_rolle

One question: if a factory has more than one stamping machine for blades would that account for a difference in the bevel?

I have some Meds and Labs blades that were made four years ago. I wonder how these blades would compare with the blades you sampled. If you want, I can send you a blade of each for your inspection. PM me your contact info if you want to do this.
First, this is an excellent well done thread.

Jim,

As a component engineer, I often get involved in manufacturing process details whether I want to or not.

I have since recognized there is a definite process window that virtually all manufacturers will strive to maintain.

The blades we receive can be anywhere within this process window. A defective lot would be outside of the process window.

I would expect there would be differences between machines also.

For sure there will be variances from one manufacturing lot to the next and variances from blade to blade within the lot.

I do not have any good knowledge of the blade manufacturing steps but I do believe the grinding / polishing steps are separate from the stamping steps.

Machines may have been changed over the course of time.

The SEM shots clearly show these two blades are different.

I have read posts at B&B ASR stated the two blades are made to the same specification. There is enough difference here to say these two blades are not made to the same specification.

Hope this helps,
Gene
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom