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Theory: razor + blade pairing matters

Perhaps some blade manufacturers document the height of the bevel somewhere. If not, how could this be measured? Maybe a USB microscope and measure the distance in pixels once you get the image on a computer screen?

About the vibration/chatter, I was leaning toward the blade stiffness being a noteworthy factor. Not necessarily thickness, but how easily it bends. I have some ideas on how I can measure this with low precision, without requiring any special equipment, but I just haven't got around to it yet.
I'm sure manufacturers know exactly what the angle of the bevel is on their blades.

Allow me to nerd-out here.

In the knife world experiments have shown, (Dr. Larrin Thomas, knifesteelnerds.com,) that a knife with a more acute primary bevel, say 15° per side, (30° inclusive,) will cut easier. But the edge won't stay as sharp as long compared to an edge with a more obtuse primary bevel, say 20° per side. (40° inclusive) Maybe in the razor blade world this is why we can find a blade that is "smoother," without tugging, or more efficient-but it doesn't last for as many shaves. Or for some, a blade that will give a months worth of shaves. I'm sure razor blade makers are on to this, too. That's why everyone with different whiskers can find a favorite blade.

One trick you can do when sharpening knives is to sharpen a primary bevel on a blade to say, 30° inclusive, then put a 40° micro-bevel right on the edge. It kinda approaches the best of both worlds, smooth cutting with a lasting edge. Another trick is to use a smooth acute primary bevel (pick your angle) then dust off the edge with a more "toothy" obtuse micro-bevel. Maybe razor blade makers do this on different models giving the different blades different names, or use different colored packaging. All to please different people.

There is an instrument that's used that can tell what the bevel/bevels are on blades. I forget the name of it, but the blade is clamped in the middle of a semi-circular scale and a laser is squirted head-on at the edge of the blade. The laser reflects off the bevel and shines on the scale showing the angle of the bevel.

Maybe depending on what steel is used in razor blades it would give a different stiffness. Two that come to mind are AEB-L and Sandvik 13C26. I don't know if stiffness was a concern, though reading the history of these two on knifesteelnerds.com I seem to recall the makers were looking for a corrosion resistant stainless steel that's very tough for making razor blades. Blindfolded, most people can't tell the difference in the real world when they're used as knife blades. Whiskers can really tear up the edge of a blade. AEB-L and 13C26 are known as "tough" steels.
 
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Glad I ran into this thread. Most blades I've tried have worked well in most of my razors. But a few days ago I tried a Gillette Platinum for the first time. It works incredibly well on my ATT Windsor. Yesterday I put one in my Lupo .72 when I was traveling. It was disappointing!
I guess the razor top cap/bottom plate/clamping design etc.. is to blame. Bottom line is that some blades work and some don't on different razor combinations.
 
Great thread Eben!

When one's prep, lather and technique are dialled in and consistent, the razor/blade pairing matters a lot. In fact it's really the only variable that remains...
 
There is no definitive answer to this issue. Yes, certain brands of blades seem to work better is certain razors for some of us, but that can vary from shaver to shaver.

YMMV is alive and well, and it will never die.
I partially agree. I mean YMMV applies to everything, so the same "no difinitive answer" could be said for almost every thread in these forums. I already mentioned that I expect everyone to have different results. Regardless, I think it's useful for us to share what works, and doesn't work, for us individually. How everyone else uses that information is up to them. If this discussion ends up only helping one person solve their unexplained irritation then I will consider the entire time I spent testing my shaves well spent.
 
I also have only one data point, but I agree that Feathers do not work well with every razor; however, when paired with my Gillette Flare Tip SS, I get excellent results.
I learned long ago that a Feather paired with a Lady Gillette provided me with BBS shaves effortlessly- but where was the fun in that! In fact, I haven't even used that combo once this year so far...

marty
 
Trying a bunch of blades, currently my Holy Trinity are Nacet, Voshkod and Astra.
Great shaves in all my razors.

One day I may convert to something different but I have over 3 years of stock with those three and love using them.
 
@bluesparkuk I know you're probably not even 1/4 of the way through testing all possible combinations of razor + blades as mentioned in your great thread:


You are probably the most dedicated member here that I know of for testing these parings. I am curious if you have any noteworthy best and/or worst combinations you've discovered so far that you can share here.
sorry for not answering sooner as i was on holiday/vacation for a month and only had a gillette power razor the one with the disposable heads and a tube of Gillette shaving gel with me, but I'm back and ready to continue my thread now👍🏼😁
 
AEB-L and 13C26 are known as "tough" steels.
From Sandvik's website:

Sandvik 13C26 is a martensitic stainless chromium steel. After heat treatment, the grade is characterized by:

  • Very high hardness
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Very good wear resistance
Sandvik 13C26 is mainly used for razor blades, but is also the standard grade for surgical knives. It is also used for different types of industrial knives for food processing such as bacon and derider blades.
The strips can be supplied either in coils or as straightened lengths of 0.5 - 4.0 meter (1.6 - 13.1 feet). The coil weight is max 5 kg/mm (280 lbs/in.) of strip width.

Hardening and tempering of the strip steel is needed to achieve the correct finish and to meet the properties required by the end user.

The following figures show the importance of using the right hardening conditions to optimize the microstructure and properties.

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Too high hardening temperature gives coarse structure, high austenite content (30%), few carbides. Consequence: low hardness and bad wear resistance.

proxy.php
Too low cooling rate after austenitizing gives carbide precipitations in the grain boundaries. Consequence: brittleness and reduced corrosion resistance.

proxy.php
Optimized hardening conditions give optimal austenite content (15%), many uniformly distributed carbides. Consequence: optimal combination of hardness, wear resistance, ductility and corrosion resistance.

As can be seen by the pictures above, it is easy to see the probable reason that razor blades made from the same material vary from manufacturer, and have vastly different wear characteristics.

~doug~
 
I’ve been wet shaving coming on 10 years now, and having tried a good deal of popular equipment and disposables I’ve come to this simple conclusion:

Assuming you’re using tools of al least decent quality, the differences between them in yielding a great shaving result is too trivial to care about. 90% of the result is due to the preparation of your whiskers, understanding your own growth pattern, and your care in technique. Shaving is about using your head and your hands, not your metal and soaps.

Don’t blame that mattress for your performance last night, and don’t blame the blade for nick under your ear in the morning…
 
That has not been my experience. Ex: shaves from a RazoRock Old Type are not comparable to shaves from an iKon Tek. Shaves using a Derby Extra are not comparable to shaves using a Feather.
My typical experience—again, with at least decent equipment: Any razor, any blade, any time, any place—BBS.

It’s the man, not his tools.
 
t’s the man, not his tools
I would agree if we were talking about photography.

My typical experience—again, with at least decent equipment: Any razor, any blade, any time, any place—BBS.
Any beard? You forgot to say any beard. Unless of course you've only shaved your own beard. That's not impressive. The same results you are bragging about are also achievable by women and children.

I can't achieve a BBS using any shave gear.
 
You seem to be an mettulargist
Good knowledge about heat treatment of strip steel
From Sandvik's website:

Sandvik 13C26 is a martensitic stainless chromium steel. After heat treatment, the grade is characterized by:

  • Very high hardness
  • Good corrosion resistance
  • Very good wear resistance
Sandvik 13C26 is mainly used for razor blades, but is also the standard grade for surgical knives. It is also used for different types of industrial knives for food processing such as bacon and derider blades.
The strips can be supplied either in coils or as straightened lengths of 0.5 - 4.0 meter (1.6 - 13.1 feet). The coil weight is max 5 kg/mm (280 lbs/in.) of strip width.

Hardening and tempering of the strip steel is needed to achieve the correct finish and to meet the properties required by the end user.

The following figures show the importance of using the right hardening conditions to optimize the microstructure and properties.

proxy.php
Too high hardening temperature gives coarse structure, high austenite content (30%), few carbides. Consequence: low hardness and bad wear resistance.

proxy.php
Too low cooling rate after austenitizing gives carbide precipitations in the grain boundaries. Consequence: brittleness and reduced corrosion resistance.

proxy.php
Optimized hardening conditions give optimal austenite content (15%), many uniformly distributed carbides. Consequence: optimal combination of hardness, wear resistance, ductility and corrosion resistance.

As can be seen by the pictures above, it is easy to see the probable reason that razor blades made from the same material vary from manufacturer, and have vastly different wear characteristics.

~doug~
 
I would agree if we were talking about photography.


Any beard? You forgot to say any beard. Unless of course you've only shaved your own beard. That's not impressive. The same results you are bragging about are also achievable by women and children.

I can't achieve a BBS using any shave gear.
You and your friends shave each other? Cool. I have no idea where you’re going with your “women and children” remark. Sounds silly, but whatever.

I can’t get BBS using any shave gear either. That’s why I prefaced my comments by saying gear of decent quality.

What’s your point anyway?
 
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