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Use a blade up, or toss after a preset number of shaves?

In looking at my 132 blade data so far, I did a "what if" and re-ranked each blade with 4 shaves as the max as a rule. So, 4 shaves is rated as a 10 score, 3 as an 8, 2 as a score of 4, and 1 as a score of 2. Results are below. What surprised me is that some of the blades moved as many as 6 places in how they were ranked but the top 6 were still the top 6 (with 1 exception) and the bottom 6 were still the bottom 6. Almost all of the significant "jockeying for position, was in the middle, in the population of "average" blades. The Dorco ST-300 had a big drop but the ST-301 didn't, highlighting how different the same brand and blade can be at times. The only change of note was the Crown Super Stainless which moved down 4 places to #8, in effect penalizing the blade because it was not able to provide the longevity score it did in the previous ranking. It was replaced by the Asco Platinum which moved up 4 places.

Still, blades are cheap and this is an argument to choose what works for you and dispose of a blade after a set number of shaves without worrying about what utility you are losing. I see a number of people on B&B who simply state it's X shaves and out, without reservation. Some use a new blade every day. I used to use a blade 4 times and will likely go back to that once I establish my new stable of blades at the end of the test. It's always YMMV but the data makes those of us who are trying to max out blades ask why, especially since the goal is a good shave, not an old blade.

I am in process to evaluate blades as well. I have only been DE shaving for about 6 months. I have not tried as many blades as you, but I find that most blades that I test work ok. Sure some are better than others and I can get more shaves out of them. currently I am evaluating blades by using them a full weeks worth of shaves and most weeks that will be 6-7 shaves. Now I bin them after that week, but many that I try could probably go longer.

I have been debating with myself this question that you are bringing up. Should I go a set number of shaves or should I use it as long as the shaves are good and then bin it. Of course if I use it until it starts to not shave well may mean that I may have a bad shave before I toss it. Not sure what the answer is. However, I do find personally that I can use a blade longer than what I expected when I started this journey. For me it is pretty easy to get a full week's worth out of blades.
I typically use a blade until I notice a drop in efficiency, ballpark 8-10+/- shaves, I guess I've been lucky in that there are 3 blades that I like well enough so far (Gillette Platinum Light Blue, Bic CP and KCG) gradually losing their effectiveness instead of dropping off a cliff or becoming harsh. The KCGs seem to last the longest at 10+ shaves. I'm still looking for that wow factor blade for me and I have a large, varied sampler to work through at some point.


I smell like a Christmas pudding
I change the blade whenever I feel like it, there is no logic nor reason to it. I could decide to scrap, or to keep using a blade, regardless of its performance, simply because I did or did not enjoy breakfast, or some other totally unrelated event. I don't count shaves per blade nor do I care how many shaves I get per blade.
I typically use a blade until I notice a drop in efficiency, ballpark 8-10+/- shaves,

I replace my blade (typically an Astra SP) after 7 shaves, and they are not bad at that point, but if I forget to do it, I'll still get an acceptable shave off #8.

When I tried one of the B&B "same blade for a month" challenges, I got this profile:

Shaves 1 - 7, OK,
shaves 8 - 14, not great but still on the adequate shave plateau.

Somewhere between 15 and 21 it fell off the plateau, and it was a bad shave.

In other words, unless it is a bad blade, you could get a fortnight out of it.
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I know how many close shaves can a blade give me (with a certain cream). Yes, cream does matter.

Some blades can only give me 1 shave (Laser Ultra), Some 2 (7 o'clock Super Stainless), some 3, 4 or 5. Going beyond that number means I get unsatisfactory closeness of shave.
I have no fixed figures as far as shave count is concerned (one exception: a Feather blades gets tossed after three shaves, at the latest). I have the gut feeling that not every razor wears a blade to the same extent per shave , but I didn't do any further testing on this claim.

As an overall approach, I seek to switch blades "one shave before results get inconvenient", if you will. Might be after 3, 5, 7... but no fixed figures.

Anyway, there's just no reason for me to quench out the last bit of performance out of a well worn blade.

If I continuously use same safety razor several times in a row, I replace the blade after a week, as it is easy to remember and most blades start a marked deterioration soon after seven shaves.

If I use a particular safety razor only between shaves with other straight or safety razors, I replace the blade “on condition”.

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