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What 5 blade pack do you wish you had received if you first bought a razor and blades in a beginner pack??

Set aside the Derby Extras and any other blade you aren't happy with, but don't discard them. You're still early on the learning curve. Your technique is changing shave-by-shave at this point. Try those blades again a year from now, and you may find your opinion of them has changed. I know that happened to me with Merkur blades. Also, the best blade for you in one razor may not be the best in a different razor.

BTW, what was the orientation of the type on the tuck label for your Derbys?
Good question. It is in this orientation. That is a fairly good approximation, although the italic slant I give as an example may be slightly more prominent than the Derby printing. I have 2 unused blades left, so yes they may be revisited. Or it just could be a bad box.

Simon
 
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Pre-2016 blades. Many of us get good shaves from these. Many more do not, particularly with tough beards and mild razors.

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Post-2016 blades. These blades are sharper and thinner.

The possibility of simply hitting a bad tuck is valid. Also, there are too many variables for anyone to predict what will work best for any individual. These include razor, blade, lather, technique, whiskers, skin condition, and sensitivity. So go with what works for you. Just know that a few weeks or months from now it may be different.
 
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Pre-2016 blades. Many of us get good shaves from these. Many more do not, particularly with tough beards and mild razors.

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Post-2016 blades. These blades are sharper and thinner.

The possibility of simply hitting a bad tuck is valid. Also, there are too many variables for anyone to predict what will work best for any individual. These include razor, blade, lather, technique, whiskers, skin condition, and sensitivity. So go with what works for you. Just know that a few weeks or months from now it may be different.
 
Wise and measured advice @lancre I will take all you say onboard. I really do not like disparaging products, and I have 2 unused blades left. The many variables you mention are very pertinent. I will revisit them in a few months certainly. Regards

Simon

Edit: Looking at your pics, I certainly had a 5 tuck example of pre-16 blades. Very old stock with a razor I purchased in July. That explains a lot.

Simon
 
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Great suggestions above!

I would add the Personna reds (preferably the old Israeli) to the list; great forgiving blades IME! :a29:
I have 2 10 tucks of the IP's but I am hoarding them. A UK shaving supply company will be emailing me when they have Reds back in stock.

Simon
 
My first DE also came with those Derby's. It was similar to just using tweezers.

Lots of choices, but for me a pack of PolSilver SI would have been ideal. But that was back when they were readily available. A mix pack of all the Gillette blades would be nice.
 
You must remember that starter razor kits are sold with the assumption that the prospective user may never have used a DE razor previously, This might be a younger shaver whose beard is still relatively easy to shave. In any case, the shaver probably has not yet mastered shaving technique, so avoiding cuts and nicks is paramount. If the shaver gets cut on his first shave, the razor may never get used again.

For this reason, most starter razors are sold with blades of limited sharpness. That includes Derby Extra, Rockwell, Sharp Super Stainless, Merkur (I believe Van der Hagen blades are the same as Merkur) and Astra SP. These are blades that are less likely to produce cuts and nicks if the shaving technique is not quite good enough.

I purchased a Muhle R89 razor (which is too expensive to be called a starter razor). It came with some Muhle blades which seemed to be quite similar to Israeli Personnas/Crystals or Wilkinson Sword blades. They were a big step up from the usual "starter" blades. They were a good match for the R89.

Personally, I love super sharp blades like BIC Chrome Platinum, Nacets, 7 O'Clock Black, PermaSharp Super, Dorco Prime Platinum, and Personna Platinum. However, I would not recommend them to a new shaver, lest there be blood.
 
Astra SP seems like a good and cheap choice to me! My first "real" DE razor was a Rockwell 6C which ships with some truly terrible blades IMO. Luckily the vendor I bought it from threw in a tuck of Astra SP's which are still one of my favourite blades.
I want to like these but I’ve tried SPs on everything from my Merkur 34, to my SS, and every setting on my Fatboy and it’s a bloodbath every time.
 
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