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Worst Shave Yet

This sort of thing always happens to me.

Shave day starts amazingly, water boils in the hot pot and I pre-heat my brush and mug. I take a shower and my beard is as soft as can be. I fill up my brush with Classicshaving.com bay rum and the brush explodes with rich creamy lather which I brush on to my face and let sit to further soften my beard. I take care of a few other things and then throw a hot towel over the beard to finish the pre-shave prep. I re-lather and pop a new Astra into my '63 Gillette Slim Adjustable on 4 and start my WTG pass...

Dragging, pulling, irritation and general unpleasantness, even with the lightest of touches. "That's odd" I think, so I pop the blade out and pass it gently over the wine cork I keep in my medicine cabinet. I place the blade back in the razor and try again. Less dragging then before so I decide to finish up the WTG, no luck, it's still dragging. I pop the Astra out of the Slim, but this time it goes straight into the blade bank.

I put in a New Sharp Stainless, good but not long-lasting for me, and try to finish up but the damage is already done. No weepers, but my face is red and pissed. I decide to call it a morning and finish up. Cold water stops the irritation, but I throw some Neutrogena post-shave lotion to make sure. It's a cold morning and I need all the help I can get as I head into work. My face is rough and still a bit raw, and here I was looking forward to being smooth-faced...oh well.
Sorry to hear about this! How long have you been shaving with a DE? Sounds like a minor correction in blade angle (and perhaps some better blades) and you'd have better luck slicing through the hairs instead of tugging at them. Your prep is more extensive than my own and I've never had these problems.
I've been at it about a month and a half and have gotten quite a few very nice shaves. Blade angle didn't seem to be the issue, I tried a few different angles and it just wasn't playing nice, it was cutting like a fourth shave blade (and I usually get three out of a blade). I'm beginning to think I may have just gotten a bad blade, I've got a few more so I may give it a go a bit later this week.
Could be. Maybe there was a bur or something like that on your blade. Personally I've only corked two blades in my life and both had imperfections or residue on them. I'd never cork one of my Derby's or Feathers. Realistically all corking is doing is dulling a blade. I find the sharper the better. As long as my technique is on a sharp blade slices right through and leaves me with no irritation. It is very possible that you just got a bad blade.
Sounds like my first few attempts with a derby blade on a merkur classic long.
The next day I tried a 1956 gillette and all is good with the derby blade. It seems maybe my style, prep or whatever with the merkur only a feather blade is good, it hates the derby but a gillette works fine with a derby.

Got any other razors to try with the astra blade? Got any other blades to try with the gillette? How many razors or blades have your tried and is this the first time you've had trouble with the razor and that blade combo?

I've only been wet shaving for a very short time, but I've already stopped buying razors, and started buying a lot of different blades instead, as the merkur hated derbys and liked feathers, the redtip like derbys etc etc. That's just first impressions without trying a lot of blades, there may be better matches which are possibly soon to be found.
Sounds like it was probably a bad blade ... I had a similar experience with a German Wilkinson. The first Wilkinson I had used was wonderfully smooth, but the 2nd or 3rd was pretty bad. That said, sometimes it just be "one of those days" when the shave stars don't align.

I've never had the same experience with an Astra, though I'm sure you could get a bad blade from any manufacturer. Currently the Astra is competing with Feather for my go-to blade.
The slim is my only DE. I'm going to give another Astra a go on the chance that I got a messed up one somehow. If not, I've got a decent handful of other blades to play with. Honestly, the more blades I try the more I want to go back to the Red Pack Personnas I started with, not a bad shave in the 5-pack. On the other hand, I'd like to go through some of the other blades I got when I bought my razor (on here) before settling on something.
A follow-up.

I guess I did get a bad blade. I popped a new one in and it shaved quite nicely. Still did all the prep, I was very stubbly and the above mentioned does a nice job softening up everything.
I would have bet on a bad blade too. On several occasions I've had one bad apple out of a pack. The first three blades work wonderfully, but the fourth just turns my face into hamburger. Straight to the dumpster it goes!
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