Which blade is the smoothest for you?? Not the closest or best blade - just the smoothest

Discussion in 'Safety Razor Blades' started by Jim K, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Ron R

    Ron R Contributor

    One of the smoothest blades for myself is Schick twin II injector blade in my Stick Schick L type razor and that blade has a good life range also to point of being boring to shave. I just pick it up once in a while and add another notch to the 20 + shaves already. Results are usually CCS,DFS,BBS and Alum block is indicating minimal irritation. If you are prone to ingrown hairs this might not be the right blade or shave every 5-7 days it will plug up more than likely. For a 1-2 day of daily shaving it is a great blade.
    Twin blades (2).jpg
    Have some great shaves!
  2. How did we get this far into the thread with so few votes for the 7 o'clock SharpEdge?
  3. Tried them all.. settled on the Perma-sharp.
  4. johnwick

    johnwick Contributor

    Believe it or not, Treet Classic. The carbon steel feels like I didn’t even load the blade. Unfortunately, the result is not a close shave. But it’s a smooth one!
  5. If you want empirical data, look at the edge sharpness testing done on the Refined Shave web site.

    Razor Blade Sharpness Testing » Refined Shave

    The data shows that some blades are extremely sharp, some are less sharp, and some are hardly sharp at all. I believe the empirical data as my subjective evaluations tend to parallel the test data. However, considering some people love blades that I consider to be too dull for me (and the Refined Shave data confirm that the blades are on the dull side), I realize that some people do not need a sharp blade.
  6. That's not a scientific test. I thought you had lab experience?
  7. I don't really want to get into the discussion that's happening in parallel with the original topic of this thread, but I think it's worthwhile taking a moment to consider the people on this forum (and others) who routinely use a blade way past the point where the rest of us would have binned it. Sure some are doing it just for the challenge of getting crazy high shave counts, but others insist they do it to experience truly smooth shaves. Common sense tells me those heavily used blades must be well past their best from a sharpness perspective, and yet the people using them are obviously happy with the shaves they're getting.
  8. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    What is more efficient at cutting cheese? Mediocre in sharpness teflon coated knife, or very sharp uncoated SS knife?

    Good blades start Smooth and Efficient. As the coating wears off they become Harsh, but still somewhat efficient. The edge has more staying power than coating.

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  9. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    200 video documented shaves on a single Gillette Nacet blade!

    The coating is far gone, but the edge can still keep cutting. Not smooth, but still efficient.
  10. For my face and shave I choose the Gillette Nacet and the Gillette Stainless (Red & White)
  11. My smoothest shave, and also the closest, was the original Made in England Wilkinsons. Nothing's ever come close, including the current German and Indian Wilkinsons.

  12. I agree with your diagram with one exception. On shave 1 you show the coating coming to a sharp apex. While a razor blade can be honed to a sharp apex, application of a coating will usually cause a slight rounding of that apex, even if that rounding is at a molecular level. The thicker the coating the greater the rounding. That is why most blades are not quite as sharp when new as they are after the first shave.

    One of the few exceptions to this is the Feather Hi Stainless blade which is sharper out of the package than it is on subsequent shaves. I do not know what is different about the manufacturer of Feather DE blades but they do not perform like other blades. Unfortunately, for me that is not a good thing. By the third shave, the Feather blades have become too rough for my face. They are still sharp enough to shave, but my face will no longer tolerate them. I do not find that same problem with Feather Artist Club single edge blades, however. They work well in a ATT SE1 razor for multiple shaves.
  13. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    What is still unknown to me is why sharp blades start rough on the first shave. If sharp = smooth, then performance should be linear.
  14. Also there are apparently some who think sharp = smooth, I am not one of them. I suspect a far larger group of shavers equate smooth with dull. For example Derby Extra blades are usually considered to be very smooth blades, yet they are on the lower end of the sharpness scale. They are so dull that I simply cannot use them without painful tugging. However, they work quite well for those who do not have coarse beards. However, I do not see sharpness and smoothness as directly related, but only indirectly related.

    I find Feather blades to be quite sharp, but somewhat harsh. I can use them for two shaves before they become start becoming too rough for my face.

    There are blades that work quite well for me. They are both sharp enough to slice efficiently through my beard and are smooth enough not to irritate my face. Those blades fall into the "Heaven" quadrant of your chart. Because smoothness and sharpness are not totally separate variables that can be controlled individually in the manufacturing process, there are some trade-offs between them. Applying a coating to a blade make the blade more smooth, but also makes it less sharp. I find this most noticeable in two blades made by Personna. The Personna Lab Blue and Personna Israeli Reds are both coated. I find the Israeli Reds to be both sharp and smooth. The Lab Blue blades have a "comfort coating" that makes the blades very smooth on the first shave, but somewhat less sharp. I much prefer the israeli Reds on the first shave as they are sharper, even though they are not quite as smooth. By the second shave, much of the comfort coating has worn off the Lab Blues and they become similar in sharpness and smoothness to the Israeli Reds. If my beard were less coarse, the Lab Blues would work great. However, because they tug on the first shave with my coarse beard, I prefer Israeli Reds, even if they do not feel quite as smooth. They are still smooth enough not to irritate my face.
  15. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    I agree that there has to be a third thing to the equation sharp = smooth. Coating obviously increases smoothness by reducing drag (metal edge going through hair protein), but if you have a dull edge to begin with, you won't get an efficient shave, just smooth.

    Keen edge + good coating = lasting smooth and efficient shave. Once the coating on the secondary edge (the very tip) is removed on first shave, the metal fine edge is revealed, while the rest is kept lubricated to minimize drag (proportional to edge surface area that contacts hair protein).

  16. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

    I have the same experience with Feather blades. I used them on and off for a year and never got along with them. The first shave was good but subsequent shaves went rapidly downhill. During the FFFMM two years ago I used them in my Gillette Regent with Tabac soap. The most shaves from a single blade through that month was 5. I used a full tuck of 10 blades for that month and all shaves had some harshness. I think I only had two blades in that entire month that went to 5 shaves.

    Since then I've changed soaps and found soaps that better agree with my skin and all the harshness I felt from Feather blades is gone, completely. I still only get 2 or 3 shaves per blade however. The only blade that competes with shave numbers like that is Derby Extra. I can get 4 shaves routinely but the most I've had with one is 6.

    Polsilver on the other hand, went to 20 shaves easily and had more in it when I tossed it. That blade improved for me with use. Polsilvers are pretty smooth out of the wrapper, but for me, they really smooth out on shave 4. On shave 20 the one I used was a smooth, if not smoother, than a fresh Gillette Yellow and just as sharp. The Gillette Yellow I tossed that Polsilver to test, went 9 shaves but it started to tug on shave 7. The smoothness however, never changed from shaves 1 through 9.

    Perma-Sharp Super was another really nice blade for me. In my Gillette Regent a single blade went over 20 shaves. It was always ultra smooth, never harsh and it never tugged.

    With Feather blades, I think the edge is so finely ground that if you have coarse, dense and hard to cut stubble, the edge takes so much wear so quickly it becomes damaged.
  17. For the sake of the thread, smooth should be interpreted as comfortable, which again can be very subjective.

    By construction, all blade edges are smooth, in the sense that nothing protrudes or appears indented, they do not resemble broken glass for instance. Then again instead of viewing the edge of a broken glass as a whole, you can view it as an uneven edge of many smooth edges.

    I guess sharpness is determined by the materials used, the thickness of the blade, how rounded its edge is, how fast and in what way it wears out, and many other properties.
  18. naughtilus

    naughtilus Contributor

    I just noticed the primary and secondary edge should be flipped in this drawing.
  19. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    For the first shave, Voskhod. For repeated shaves Personna Lab and Personna Medical Prep.
  20. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

    Yeah they're a really nice blade the first shave. If you can work through the harshness on shaves 2-4, they're even nicer after.

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