Numbers on the DE Blade


This page is part of the Interactive Guide to DE Razor Shaving.

What is it?

Astra Superior Platinum Numbers

Every Safety Razor user saw those mysterious numbers on the corner of their DE blades at one stage or another. Many users already asked the question[1] and many more will.[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]

Most of us are always asking themselves, what are they? Why do the manufacture print them? Is there a message, instructions or a guide for the user to put those numbers to good use? [19]

What are those numbers?

Merkur Blade
Rubie Platinum Plus
Sharp Stainless
This is a query that is frequently asked on the forum and the majority of answers point to Quality Control when the company manufacture the Safety Razor blade. Those numbers are sometimes Roman numbering and other time, plain numbers. The numbers could appear like on the Merkur Blade as 'I', 'II', 'III' and 'IV' or, like on the Sharp Stainless as '1', '2', '3' and '4'.

Some would also say they indicate edges have been honed. Again, this would be a reference for the manufacturer.[20]

Not all blades have numbers, why?

Shark Blade
Not all companies use numbers for their quality control. Those companies are doing their tests differently.

So, how do we interpret them?

There are no real message or instructions for the user on how those should be used at home. Disregard the numbers and use the blade as you wish. The numbers do not influence the shave and do not distinguish a "top side" versus a "bottom side"[21] [22]. There are no right or wrong way to use them with the shave. As long as your blade is securely and properly installed in the razor, there won't be any issues.


  1. ^Numbers on blades
  2. ^Blade Numbers?
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  4. ^Hey does anyone know what those numbers on the blades mean?
  5. ^Numbers on Astra blades
  6. ^Blade Numbers
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  8. ^Numbers on a Gillette Blade
  9. ^ What do the little numbers signify?
  10. ^What are the numbers for?
  11. ^Blade markings
  12. ^Probably a very STUPID question ... (Note, there are no stupid questions)
  13. ^Question about the Derby blades
  14. ^What do the numbers on the blade mean?
  15. ^what do the number on Derby blades mead?
  16. ^Derby Factoids
  17. ^The little numbers on the end of the blades
  18. ^Gillette Platinum blades
  19. ^Please S'plain....
  20. ^Question? Purpose of numbers 1, 2, 3, & 4 on Blades
  21. ^DE blades: top or bottom?
  22. ^Flipping a DE blade to reuse?

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