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What Is The Best Vintage Blade To Use With A Vintage Razor?

@Mouser , how many shaves, on average, do you get from vintage blued carbon steel blades in excellent condition? Thanks in advance!
Sorry to take so long Chuck. Depending on the make i get 5 to 8 or 10. The longest lasting ones also are the best, Schick Deluxe with Krona Edge. Here's a pic of the dispenser
 

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Should we be using blades that most match what was actually available and used at the time that razor was made? I would assume this will give the most authentic shaving experience with it, in how it actually performed.
I understand the concept of experiencing a razor "as it was" by using a period appropriate blade. But, in terms of practicality, there is a major technological break point to consider, and that is the transition from carbon steel blades to stainless.

I personally don't view vintage carbon steel blades as a practical shaving alternative due to the propensity of carbon steel to corrode over time. At their current age, a good share of vintage carbon steel blades have edges that have deteriorated to the point where they no longer resemble the blade that came out of the factory. Not only will this produce a bad shave, it won't accurately replicate the original experience of using this blade. I acknowledge that this is dependent on how well a particular blade is sealed, how and where it was stored, etc. Some a vintage carbon blades do survive intact, but with most available stock being of unknown provenance, it's really a crap shoot as to what you will actually get in terms of edge quality. So, you may or may not (more likely not) be actually replicating the vintage experience for, say, a Gillette NEW or Old Type.

Vintage stainless is another matter, as usually these blades are still sound and many are outstanding performers, as has been well documented by many of our members. But that limits us to blades produced after 1962 (when Wilkinson introduced the first stainless DE blade). Of course, I and, I'm sure, many of us have plenty of razors older than that, much older in some cases. The closest I'll probably get to the full razor/blade vintage experience with my '54 Flare Tip is to load it up with a Spoiler and just pretend that it is 1965.:wink2:
 
Sorry to take so long Chuck. Depending on the make i get 5 to 8 or 10. The longest lasting ones also are the best, Schick Deluxe with Krona Edge. Here's a pic of the dispenser
Wow, I can only get 3 or so from a modern blued blade!
 
Wow, I can only get 3 or so from a modern blued blade!
Do you do any post shave care? After your shave, take the blade out of the razor, rinse it, then dip it in either alcohol or mineral oil to displace any water on it. ( I use alcohol). Then place the blade on a piece of tissue paper to dry. This will stop or at least slow down the rusting or corrosive process and your blade will last longer.
 
A couple of years ago I used a WW2-era Personna blade from a mailer made for sending to troops. It was brand new in the wrapper. See below.

It was a pretty rough shave. Not because blades get duller over time, because that's impossible. It was because of the technology changes. The blades today have sharper edges, and the coating on them really help out. I use the blade a couple of times, but my face really felt it after each shave.
 

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The closest I'll probably get to the full razor/blade vintage experience with my '54 Flare Tip is to load it up with a Spoiler and just pretend that it is 1965.:wink2:

This is my best bet as well. Vintage carbon blades are tough. I don’t even like modern carbon blades. Vintage stainless blades are not old enough for razors pre 1962, etc. I have vintage blades going back to the OLD type era. But I wouldn’t dare use them. I just don’t want to. I have a ton of those wwII era Personna blades pictured above, but I don’t want to use them either. Given the durability of these razors, it is also authentic to me to use a 60’s blade in a much older razor, as that is the way my grandfather shaved his whole life. He used an old Super Speed and whatever blades he got at the market up till he passed in the mid-80’s. So that is how I treat my nostalgic shaves. Old Gillette, plus a 60’s era stainless blade. Spoilers and 74’s are always a good choice. I don’t really know when Polish blades would have become readily available in the US. Anyone know that?
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
"Vintage blades" would have lost their sharpness and efficiency by now. Or if you would permit a pun, they "would have lost their edge."

I would have no interest in shaving with a blade that is over say 25 years old, or maybe less. I have tough whiskers and blades in storage do deteriorate. Shaving with a vintage blade would not be a pleasant experience. I would rather shave with a new Derby or Dorco blade, if you get my drift.
I'd recommend a modern carbon steel blade, like one of the Treets. They are really nice.
 
A couple of years ago I used a WW2-era Personna blade from a mailer made for sending to troops. It was brand new in the wrapper. See below.

It was a pretty rough shave. Not because blades get duller over time, because that's impossible. It was because of the technology changes. The blades today have sharper edges, and the coating on them really help out. I use the blade a couple of times, but my face really felt it after each shave.
What is your reason to say that its impossible to degrade over time? Because they will. The ones I use have been kept double, triple airtight sealed otherwise they would have too. But I wouldn't use any that old anyways. In fact I had and tried those very blades myself with the same results as you but that is not what they were like when they were new or most men would have worn beards. They absolutely were able to put an edge on all sorts of things every bit as sharp as today, especially seeing how razor blade manufacturers today are not using the best technology and production processes available or they'd price themselves out of their target markets.
 
Do you do any post shave care? After your shave, take the blade out of the razor, rinse it, then dip it in either alcohol or mineral oil to displace any water on it. ( I use alcohol). Then place the blade on a piece of tissue paper to dry. This will stop or at least slow down the rusting or corrosive process and your blade will last longer.
I remove the blade from the razor, dab it dry on tissue paper, and let it dry on the tissue paper. I was not seeing rust on the blade edge, but the blade had definitely dulled.
 
What is your reason to say that its impossible to degrade over time? Because they will. The ones I use have been kept double, triple airtight sealed otherwise they would have too. But I wouldn't use any that old anyways. In fact I had and tried those very blades myself with the same results as you but that is not what they were like when they were new or most men would have worn beards. They absolutely were able to put an edge on all sorts of things every bit as sharp as today, especially seeing how razor blade manufacturers today are not using the best technology and production processes available or they'd price themselves out of their target markets.

They're steel items wrapped in a container. By what process could the edges possibly get duller? I'm assuming no rust on the blade. The edge is just sitting there, doing nothing. Not a chance that it just dulls with age. But if you can quote some scientific principle that steel edges get dull over time without any usage, I'm happy to hear it.
 

FarmerTan

FarmerStan the Man
They're steel items wrapped in a container. By what process could the edges possibly get duller? I'm assuming no rust on the blade. The edge is just sitting there, doing nothing. Not a chance that it just dulls with age. But if you can quote some scientific principle that steel edges get dull over time without any usage, I'm happy to hear it.
I ain't got a dog in this fight, but I remember hearing/reading that a piggy bank left untouched will see the heavier coins work their way to the bottom, something about barely perceptible vibrations from traffic, people walking in the house etc....

I believe this is why my favorite blades have wax dots.

Either that, or I just like to see other folks get irritated by wax dots!
 
Ok, most of you probably know I'm a vintage only blade guy. Ill keep it short and won't relate how I've acquired the info and my opinions. Back when all the world used safety razors there were different grades of blades produced for different markets, price points. Men of developed countries could afford and wanted the best made. When that market switched to multibladed razors the only blades left in production were the less expensive options. By far the biggest market for razor blades are third world men. Vintage blades even at their original list prices adjusted for inflation are more expensive than the top end current models because they were higher quality. Better blades could be made today with modern technology but shavers like us are not enough to make them profitable.

I'm by no means a vintage blade expert. But I do enjoy trying them and reading up on the history is kind of fun. But I disagree with what's left are only inferior products.

I've bought about 400 over the past few years, including Minoras, Wizamets, Personnas, Wilkinsons, old Gillettes etc. Some have come close, but none are decidedly superior to modern Gillettes.

By all means experience them, I still will. But I'm with the "blades available today are the best ever".

I've yet to try Personna 74 or mirror polished Schicks. But neither am I holding out for them the cut my beard light a light sabre.
 
They're steel items wrapped in a container. By what process could the edges possibly get duller? I'm assuming no rust on the blade. The edge is just sitting there, doing nothing. Not a chance that it just dulls with age. But if you can quote some scientific principle that steel edges get dull over time without any usage, I'm happy to hear it.
First of all, oxidation occurs unless its wrapped airtight, extremely airtight rust never sleeps and it doesn't matter if the blades been used or not. And local climate can speed up the process,, a little thing called humidity. Then there's the process of atomic migration. It has been explained to me as another cause of an edge dulling over time but my understanding is limited. You'll have to Google it. " can an unused blade dull over time and how", I'd suggest.
 
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First of all, oxidation occurs unless its wrapped airtight, extremely airtight rust never sleeps and it doesn't matter if the blades been used or not. And local climate can speed up the process,, a little thing called humidity. Then there's the process of atomic migration. It has been explained to me as another cause of an edge dulling over time but my understanding is limited. You'll have to Google it. " can an unused blade dull over time and how", I'd suggest.

I ordered some vintage blades on eBay where the wrappers look good, just to give them a try and report back. I strop all blades before using them, which should help with the "minute oxidation".
 
I realize the OP is asking about matching up the date of the blade with a razor of the same era. I’ve got a lot of 1930s era DE blades, but I’m about ten years short for a matching DE razor. (I got one in the mail though.)
Tomorrow I’ll be shaving with a matched era blade and razor. They are even made in the same country. Fifth outing for this blade…I’ll give it a good stropping before I proceed.
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I ordered some vintage blades on eBay where the wrappers look good, just to give them a try and report back. I strop all blades before using them, which should help with the "minute oxidation".
I do the same with my blades. But most carbon blades, vintage blades, are too far gone for that to help. I'm careful to ask for the provenance of carbon blades especially. Where they've been and how they've been stored all these years.
 
My brother gave me these. Has any one tried or know anything about them? I haven't tried to shave with them yet.
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They date from around the WW2 era. There is a thread discussing the razors here Vintage Military Razor ID needed - Federal Simplex brass and Bakelite razors? - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/vintage-military-razor-id-needed-federal-simplex-brass-and-bakelite-razors.443041/

Simplex also made military shaving kits. There is a good example here shown here of the complete kit Simplex military razor kit : Flight Lieutenant C C Linn, RAAF - https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL31313
 
My brother gave me these. Has any one tried or know anything about them? I haven't tried to shave with them yet.
You got a good rundown from @Alum Ladd on the provenance of these blades. I would add that, like all DE blades made before about the mid-1960s, these are carbon steel (as opposed to stainless). Carbon steel is very susceptible to corrosion so the condition of the edges of these blades, even though new and sealed, is likely not great at this point in their life. I have some of these myself, but I doubt I'll summon the courage to try them.
 
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