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What possible difference could a blade make, anyway?

"What possible difference could a blade make, anyway???" - was the question I asked myself when I got into DE shaving about 4-5 months ago.

I looked up the most popular and "beginner" brands, read the reviews and suggestions, and finally settled on getting a relatively inexpensive sample pack from Fendrihan. For 12 bucks (CDN), I got:

10 Astra superior platinums
10 Derby Extras
10 Dorco ST-301 Platinums
10 Precision supers

After quickly using the Merkur blade my 33c classic came with, I excitedly put in one of the Astras and got what I thought was a pretty good shave.

I went through about 5 Astras when my Super Speed arrived, and I immediately went to B&B to see which of my four blades would be best suited to my newly acquired Gillette. Apparently the Derby Extras were the way to go.

WHAT A SHAVE! The new razor/blade combination was incredible. However, after a week of shaving with the SS, and then going back to my Merkur/Astra combination, my Slim arrived in the post.

I figured the Slim and the SS, both being vintage Gillettes, would treat their blades about the same. So, in goes the Derby Extra again. HORRIBLE SHAVE in comparison to my superspeed. Well – it’s an adjustable razor, isn’t it? So, I burn through about 3 Derbies and almost all 9 settings to try and get that magical shave I had with the SS to no avail.

I have since used the Derbies, Astras and Precisions in all THREE razors, and still I cannot achieve the shaving nirvana I had found with the first Derby and my SS.

BUT WAIT! I go through my boxes, and do a little blade math. There is ONE DORCO MISSING FROM ITS BOX! There is one too many Derbies, too.

So, apparently the great shave I got those many weeks ago was actually from a SS/DORCO combination, and not with the Derby Extras like I thought. So tonight in goes the Dorco, and shaving nirvana again! I am a believer!

BLADES REALLY DO MAKE A DIFFEFRENCE. I can’t wait to try the Dorco on my other razors.

So I have a question to all of your razor blade experts, or those of you who also like the Dorco ST-301. Are there other blades out there that perform like the Dorco that you could recommend?
 
I wouldn't necessarily call myself an expert by any means but here's what I've tried.

I've tried Merkurs, Derbys, Feathers, Wilkinson Swords and Red Pack Personnas. Once I got to the Personnas, I stopped because I found my magic blade. I did flirt with the Wilks after I found the Personnas. But after two shaves, I found myself back with the Personnas. I hope they never stop making that blade.
 
I have tried dozens of blades. New ones, out of production ones, vintage new old stock, medical grade...

I can honestly say everyone needs to find their blade razor combo that suits them best.

I love KAI and Medical Personnas.

I usually use an open comb or a tattered old Aristocrat from the late 40's.

When I use an adjustable or a Tech I can't use a KAI. I can't use a feather in my EJ89L either. Doesn't work for me.

You'd think a blade is a blade is a blade right? Nahhh.

It's complicated. Every razor has it's own characteristics that combine with different blades to show different results. Whether you like the combination or not is to be seen.

Really funny for sure! :001_smile
 
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I asked the same question, I was getting decent shaves from every blade that I tried, then I found several that were not so decent for me.
 

BigFoot

I wanna be sedated!
You will love this one. I am a Crystal guy, use them exclusively. When I started shaving with my new custom from bobsrazorworks they did not perform. Tried Merkurs not great. Put in a feather (I hate Feathers) knocked it out of the park. Guess what I will be using in my custom?

So yes not only do different faces like different blades, different razors may like different blades on those faces as well.:001_huh:
 
I work out great shaves with just about everything these days in my trusty HD, but some blades are clearly better. I had just retired a palm-stropped Wal-Mart Wilkinson after a week of good service, and had planned to move on to a palm-stropped Merkur as my next experiment. But it was New Year's Day, and I remembered that it had been a couple months of trying other things since I'd used my favorite Personna Med blade, so I loaded it up. Man, it was love all over again. So sweet and smooth that I forgot how sharp it was, and gave myself a little nick on the lower lip right at the end of pass one, in my hasty excitement.
 
In my EJ89L, I predominantly use Feathers, but also get great shaves with Bolzanos and Sharks. With my recently acquired Muhle R41 however, the Bolzanos and Sharks are tolerable, but nowhere near as smooth as the Feathers.

David
 
The "right" blade is the difference between satisfaction and revulsion in some cases. It's up to the individual to find the right one.

I happen to like the Bangladeshi "7 A.M." blade. Most people here wouldn't try to use one to scrape a New Jersey inspection sticker from a vehicle's windshield. Go figure ...
 
The "right" blade is the difference between satisfaction and revulsion in some cases. It's up to the individual to find the right one.

I happen to like the Bangladeshi "7 A.M." blade. Most people here wouldn't try to use one to scrape a New Jersey inspection sticker from a vehicle's windshield. Go figure ...

I like the 7 am blades too. Dorco 301s, by contrast, have never worked for me. Right now, I'm liking a Turkish blade named Concord. Definetely YMMV
 
I like the 7 am blades too. Dorco 301s, by contrast, have never worked for me. Right now, I'm liking a Turkish blade named Concord. Definitely YMMV

Haven't tried Concord blades yet. Neither Dorco was for me. I'm thinking of calling for a convention of 7 A.M. fans. There must be a centrally located broom closet somewhere in the USA/Canada for us to rent.

For now, I'm using up the sampler blades I didn't care for. I have three unopened cartons of Astra, Shark SC, and Israeli Blues I know I like. I'm going to finish my Wally Wilks (no-go) and Zorriks (I like 'em and will try other Vidyut brands). Then I can try my latest sampler of Kais, Feathers, and a pack of Blue Birds that was comped to me by NTGUYS. I have used one Feather, my first DE shave actually. Now, with many other types used I can fairly assess them for myself.
 

Haven't tried Concord blades yet. Neither Dorco was for me. I'm thinking of calling for a convention of 7 A.M. fans. There must be a centrally located broom closet somewhere in the USA/Canada for us to rent.

For now, I'm using up the sampler blades I didn't care for. I have three unopened cartons of Astra, Shark SC, and Israeli Blues I know I like. I'm going to finish my Wally Wilks (no-go) and Zorriks (I like 'em and will try other Vidyut brands). Then I can try my latest sampler of Kais, Feathers, and a pack of Blue Birds that was comped to me by NTGUYS. I have used one Feather, my first DE shave actually. Now, with many other types used I can fairly assess them for myself.

If you like the Bluebirds (I do) you would also likely like the Concords, they seem very similar to me.
 
If you like the Bluebirds (I do) you would also likely like the Concords, they seem very similar to me.

What with all the posts concerning these (Bluebirds, i.e.), my curiosity is absolutely piqued. I can obtain the current NATO order-of-battle plans more easily than find who makes what when it comes to certain brands of DE blades! :blink:
 
Wow. Can't stand the 7 AMs or the Dorcos. Yikes. Terrible blades for me. The Dorcos pull out each hair individually like pulling them with tweezers.

For me, it's Kai, Feather, Timor, medical Personnas, Astra SPs, and Bics.
 
I haven't tried the Dorco ST301, but know it by reputation as a smooth and milder blade. I also don't have your razors; I only use my Merkur HD. But I share your opinion of the Astra SP and Derby exactly, so here's what I have to say: the smoothest blade in my arsenal is the Medical Prep Personna, though I believe it to be a tad sharper than the Dorco from my readings. Lungho recommends the Red Personna that I haven't yet tried, but its fans compare it favorably to the Medical version. From my own experience with smoother blades, I'd also recommend the Gillette 7 O'Clock Super Platinum black package from India, and the NOS Gillette Bleue Extra. The GBEs are going to be rare soon, but can still be had at bargain prices from the rareup e-bay vendor, and are reasonable in smaller quantities from West Coast Shaving too. The 7-Blacks and the Med blades are significantly pricier than your Dorcos, but the Reds can be gotten pretty inexpensively (although there was a recent thread bitterly complaining about price increases on them). There you go! Get a pack of each, say I, and see for yourself....
 
I have tried both Dorco blades, the 300 and 301 and like them both. I get great shaves from both. Now since you asked, I would recommend the Wilkinson Sword blades from Wal-Mart. I get great shaves with those.
 
I use the Dorco 301s and like them a lot. My other go to blade is Shark Super Chromes. I mainly use a Merkur HD and slant but have other razors I use too and these two blades work the best for me in all of them. I just revisited some of the other blades I didn't like out of my initial sampler and still had the same results as the first go around. Blades fall into 3 categories for me: great (301s and Shark SC, Lord SS) okay (IPs, Walmart WS, American Personna), and don't work for me (Derby, Astra, Merkur).

Just got a sampler of a variety of blades produced by Lord to try out next as 2 of my 3 favorites are produced by them. As you can see you need to experiment and find what works for you. There are blades that I hate that are someone elses favorite and vice versa.
 
I haven't tried the Dorco ST301, but know it by reputation as a smooth and milder blade. I also don't have your razors; I only use my Merkur HD. But I share your opinion of the Astra SP and Derby exactly, so here's what I have to say: the smoothest blade in my arsenal is the Medical Prep Personna, though I believe it to be a tad sharper than the Dorco from my readings. Lungho recommends the Red Personna that I haven't yet tried, but its fans compare it favorably to the Medical version. From my own experience with smoother blades, I'd also recommend the Gillette 7 O'Clock Super Platinum black package from India, and the NOS Gillette Bleue Extra. The GBEs are going to be rare soon, but can still be had at bargain prices from the rareup e-bay vendor, and are reasonable in smaller quantities from West Coast Shaving too. The 7-Blacks and the Med blades are significantly pricier than your Dorcos, but the Reds can be gotten pretty inexpensively (although there was a recent thread bitterly complaining about price increases on them). There you go! Get a pack of each, say I, and see for yourself....

That's a good start - THANKS! Now all I need to know is where I can get those, shipped to Canada. Little help?

7 O'clock SP black (India)
Medical and Red Personna

I don't think I'm going to bother with a blade that's not going to be available in quantity anymore.
 
I use the Dorco 301s and like them a lot. My other go to blade is Shark Super Chromes. I mainly use a Merkur HD and slant but have other razors I use too and these two blades work the best for me in all of them. I just revisited some of the other blades I didn't like out of my initial sampler and still had the same results as the first go around. Blades fall into 3 categories for me: great (301s and Shark SC, Lord SS) okay (IPs, Walmart WS, American Personna), and don't work for me (Derby, Astra, Merkur).

Thanks!

I think I can get Lords from a local supplier in Canada. Where would I go to get the Shark Super Chromes?
 
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