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Discussion in 'Safety Razor Blades' started by Jim K, Aug 28, 2019.
Shark SS is very smooth for me from shave number 2 all up to 30
The newly packaged Gillette platinum, followed closely by the same blade in the older packaging, Personna med preps, Gillette blacks, Russian permasharps, Polsilvers, GSBs, Shark SS -in that order.
Smoothest for me is Treet Durasharp Carbons. By far the most comfortable blade I've ever used.
The old Blue Russian made Super Platinums were smooth as well. Whatever happened to those?
IME, the answer depends a lot on whether you are discussing ‘smoothness’ with the first shave out of the wrapper or over the life of the blade.
For example, I find Personna reds very smooth out of the wrapper. In contrast, Personna labs become much smoother after the first shave or two, then remain smooth after that. YMMV for sure!
Shark SS (1st shave)
Shark SC (2nd shave)
BIC Chrome Platinum (2nd and 3rd shave)
Crystal (1st shave)
Well first of all, smoothness is useless unless the blade actually cuts my whiskers. If there's tugging, that's a "no from me dawg."
So, out of the blades that cut my hair with no issues, I like
Supermax Diamond Edge
Trig silver edge
As above, the blade has to be as sharp as possible first of all. Smoothness is a bonus, but sharp is not negotiable. For instance Personna Red is smooth but not sharp enough, and same with Polsilver. So no go there. Sharp and smooth for me in my R41 are Astra SP and GSB.
I hate to beat the same drum, but smooth is sharp. The grind of the blade is far less important than the quality of the coating/sputtering. They are not independent of each other. What one feels is the same sentient reaction.
Hogwash! I know you have swallowed this pig slop. I have read the patent application used to justify a patent on blade coatings, but I do not believe it.
I have worked in a research laboratory and I understand how researchers sometimes design experiments to achieve the results they are looking for. I think that is exactly what was done in this case. I am not saying that coating have not played an important role in producing better blade. I would much rather use a coated blade than the uncoated blades I used when I first started shaving. However, as one who also hones straight razors, I know that my face can tell the difference between sharp, smooth and sharp and smooth and I think many men can as well, no matter what the patent application states about men being unable to determine differences in sharpness. All the testing proves is that some men cannot tell the difference in sharpness.
In order for a blade to be sharp, the bevel needs to come together at an apex that is no more than a micron thick. Then thinner the blade at the apex, the sharper the blade. The problem is that the thinner the edge the less structural integrity the blade has. Thus, a very thin edge, the greater the tendency to form tiny microchips. Although the blade may be quite sharp, it will feel rough due to the chips. By applying a coating to the blade, the manufacturer is trying to cover up the microchips and make the blade feel smooth, but the coating also makes the blade thicker and thus less sharp. Yes, the coatings are only sub-micron thick, but they still affect the sharpness of the blade.
For me, one of the smoothest blades out of the box is Personna Comfort Coated lab blues. The first shave feels amazingly smooth on my face due to the thickness of the coating. However, the blade tugs trying to cut through my coarse beard. Once the coating wears down, the blade may not be quite as smooth, but it is far sharper and I get a better shave overall. However, I do not like using lab blues because the first shave tugs in spite of the coating. I am not the only one who has had a similar experience with these blades. I am not saying that I am a typical shaver. I can rarely get more than three good shaves out of any DE blade before it becomes either too dull or not smooth enough.
Ironically, Derby Premium and Feather for me...
I definitely believe there's sharp and sharper. I use a R41 and a Karve OC E plate. Same top caps and handles. The Karve is slightly less efficient, so I load it with a Nacet rather than an Astra SP. This gives me the same shave as the R41 with an Astra. The R41 with a Nacet is going to cut the closest, but it can work with Astra or GSB. I've never used Feathers, and from what I read they're slightly sharper than Nacets. Unless your razor is highly efficient, the sharper the better - more done in the first pass, after which you really only need cleanups.
Sharpness results with clean efficient cutting of the stubble, which manifests as smoothness. However, some blades tend to flex more than others and feel harsh, particularly in razors that don't have good blade support. These are the mayors of weeper city.
I believe this is why people report SE blades being thicker, stiffer and sharper result in smoother shaving experience.
I know you're thinking of going SE, but my experience isn't that the blades are sharper. I get closer shaves with my R41 than I used to with my ATT SE1 with Prolines. May be razor dependent, but I wasn't blown away by Prolines. GEM PTFE blades are certainly sharp and much more rigid, but again I don't find them better than a R41 with a Nacet. My SE experiment brought me back to DEs in the end. I know rigidity is highly prized by some, but I don't find my R41 tugs with the right blade and I don't experience problems with rigidity. Yintal top cap, though.
I'm with you. Gillette understood this a long time ago.
I dont think sharpness and smoothness is the same thing, but I think it can be mistaken as being the same thing. A blade can be very sharp, but still feel harsh on the skin. A blade may also be very sharp and yet feel invisible on the skin. If a very smooth feeling blade tugs as it cuts, I believe that tugging to be the result of the wrong blade coatings for an individuals particular hair composition. At the same time, that tugging could be from a lack of sharpness.
This is where razor design can play a role. My experience using Derby Extra in my R41 vs using them in my Fatip Grande. The difference is astonishing and the only real difference is the razors themselves. In my R41 the Derby Extra blade had more in common with a Graham Field than any other blade I'd used. In my Grande however, its a top 3 blade.
Finding our own best blades, that are both smooth and tug free, can be a challenge. We all have different skin and different hair compositions. Blades need to be matched to both. This is why we all have different preferences. We're all individuals.
Thats exactly why I have closer, smoother and more comfortable shaves from the GEM PTFE blades than I have from any DE blade.
I'm curious how long the Prolines lasted for you? Did you notice much difference from the first shave to the last?
I could be wrong. I've read that AC blades are sharper than DE, but haven't compared them directly. But as previously mentioned coating is key to efficiency, not just the edge.
The only way to find out is to try. 1912 razors are very cheap, and I can give you one with some blades if you PM me. AC razors are going to be more of an investment.
1912, MMOC, Kai Captain etc. are all affordable and the blades are not that expensive when you consider the number of shaves on them. Something I may venture in during the winter to amuse myself.
200 Feather Pro AC blades shipped from Japan go for $82. If I get twice the shaves per blade, it comes out as equivalent $20 per 100 DE blades. But I'll first try stuff out before thinking of stocking particular blade type. Something to look forward to.
I use a Voshkod with my NEW SC and I consider that my smoothest shave.
What you choose to believe does not qualify as nor trump empirical science.