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Sharp blade in aggressive razor; the case for doubling down

Since I started DE shaving, I’ve always been careful to try to balance less aggressive blades with more aggressive razors, and vice versa. For most of this year, my technique was still evolving and I was still getting to know the different soaps and creams at my disposition so it seemed like a good precaution.

This morning I thought “let’s live a little” and loaded a Feather in my Blackland Dart (a fairly aggressive razor). I was using Arko so I knew I was covered in the soap quality department.

Well, I am here to say, it was one of my best shaves of the year. For the first time I could really appreciate how much better my technique has gotten, but I also got to really feel just how insanely sharp and efficient Feathers are (I was usually using them in a Merkur 34C).

The end results are mind blowing. Smoothest shave in a long time, and little to no blood.

It reminds me of the old saying about kitchen knives, how a blunt knife is way more dangerous than a well maintained, well sharpened one, because you don’t have to work as hard to cut your ingredients, you can focus on accuracy etc. Same thing here.

So yeah, just thought I’d share my findings.

Happy shaving Friday!
 
Second day of my little experiment taught me another important bit of information. Feathers start suuuuuuuuper sharp. But their degradation curve seems to be among the steepest. Already on the second shave it's starting to tug and pull a bit more. To be continued... (at least for one more shave)
 
I have been an almost daily wet shaver since about 2012 and have a fairly tough beard. While I fully understand the concept of aggressive blades and razors, and have used quite a few, I have never understood the benefit in terms of end results. Regardless of the blade or razor I use it takes me two passes to get baby smooth. No more no less.
 
For me the problem of aggressive razors don’t show up in one shave.

Give me a R41 for a day and I will get the best shave of my life. Make me use it consecutively for 3-4 days and I will start breaking out horribly. I think aggressive razors work well for people without any type of skin issue, and they are more permissive of technique and angle. So all you have to do is pay attention to one factor while shaving: pressure.

My experience with Feather blades mirrors yours. Even on my AS-D2, it will give me a 1-pass BBS on the first shave, but the subsequent shaves will not be amazing. That’s why I prefer other sharp, smooth and long lasting blades.
 
The one pass BBS shave is a fairy tale to me. A mild/medium razor can get me a CCS at best in a single pass. The R41 and the Wunderbar will get close to DFS in 1 pass, but a 2nd pass is necessary. With high-medium aggressive razors I need 2.5 passes to get DFS+. I can achieve true BBS only with 3 passes, which I don't chase anyway because of ingrown hairs. The R41 with 2passes plus cleanup get really close to BBS, but on the neck it will not be BBS without going ATG which I don't do.

I did a 2pass shave (no cleanup) with the R89 and Kai blade and it barely got DFS. With mild razors I need 3 passes to get DFS+ (but not real BBS). A feather is the "minimum" with the R89 for me. Anything less sharp will just not suffice.
 
I have been an almost daily wet shaver since about 2012 and have a fairly tough beard. While I fully understand the concept of aggressive blades and razors, and have used quite a few, I have never understood the benefit in terms of end results. Regardless of the blade or razor I use it takes me two passes to get baby smooth. No more no less.

I agree, for the most part. Razors are just blade holders, no difference in results. But I do notice difference in blades, in that some are more prone to causing irritation than others.
 
Well, third and last shave with the Feather in the Blackland Dart. By this time the Feather was not good. More blade exposure degraded it much faster it seems.

Next time I’ll try the same experiment with a KAI. They’re a bit thicker if I’m not mistaken.

Still, the first shave was really great and it made me want to try out more “sharp/aggressive” combos in the future.
 
Not a fan of Feathers, but I'm with you on sharp blades in efficient razors. I can get a lot of mileage from a blade in a mild razor but an efficient or aggressive razor requires a fresher blade for me or I experience a lot of tugging and irritation.

The irritation can be alleviated if I avoid ATG passes on my neck once the blade has a couple uses on it. Otherwise it's tug city.
 
Not a fan of Feathers, but I'm with you on sharp blades in efficient razors. I can get a lot of mileage from a blade in a mild razor but an efficient or aggressive razor requires a fresher blade for me or I experience a lot of tugging and irritation.

The irritation can be alleviated if I avoid ATG passes on my neck once the blade has a couple uses on it. Otherwise it's tug city.
Yep, I realize that the more “efficient” you go in terms of razor, the more important it becomes to use a fresh blade (1-2 uses max). Not the most thrifty way to go but worth it for the experience :)

That said, I’m back to a Shark Super Stainless in the old Edwin Jagger DE89 and even though the fun factor isn’t as high, my results are nice and predictable. I’m a big fan of this “good enough” approach from time to time.
 
So, I recently purchased a Muhle R41 head, and pair it with a Weber Bulldog handle. I used it Sunday morning to shave 4 days of growth with a Gillette Yellow blade on its 5th use.

That blade is super smooth for me and the combo with the razor mowed down the stubble without issues and without razor burn. That said, I cannot use it as my daily driver. I might try pairing with a Feather or Kai blade, but as I am fairly new to my "Frankenrazor", I want to get some more practice.

Cheers!
 
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