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Reportero Tribulete
11-09-2013, 12:40
http://sharpologist.com/wp-content/uploads//razor-blade.jpg
It’s a sad sight: an empty bulk box of razor blades.* Like most everyone who gets into double edge shaving, I tried a number of blade brands (and if you haven’t, you should!) and found a favorite.* In my case they were the Israeli-made Personna “blue label” blades.* I bought a box of 100 off of the ‘Bay a few years ago and I finally ran out of them recently.* Unfortunately I discovered they were not available anymore, at least in that form.* Supposedly the Crystal brand is the same thing but I have decided that maybe it is time to revisit blades to see if I can discover a new favorite(s).* So, with the help of John at West Coast Shaving (http://www.westcoastshaving.com/) (the original “blade sampler (http://www.westcoastshaving.com/Razor-Blades_c_7.html) guy!”), I’ll be looking at how about 15 different brands of razor blades perform for me.
MethodologyI’m going to tackle finding a new blade in a new way I hope you will find interesting.* Since blades seem to perform differently with different razors (which makes sense, since razor specifications may have different blade exposures) I will be testing with three different razors: a Merkur Heavy Duty (HD/24C), because they’re so enormously popular; a Parker 92R, because it is a good entry level “value” razor; and a Merkur Progress adjustable razor, since that is my own person favorite razor and I know it’s characteristics very well.* I will put a new blade of the same brand in each razor and shave at least three days with each. *I will periodically post my observations with the blade/razor pair here on Sharpologist.
A Blade Close UpCoincidentally, I recently got access to a scanning electron microscope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanning_electron_microscope):
http://sharpologist.com/wp-content/uploads//MBxFUac.jpg
I will be looking at blades when they are new and after I have used them to see if I can correlate any visual characteristics of a blade to the shave it gives me and will include that in the evaluation post.
I had my first session with the scanning electron microscope recently. The operator and I “got our bearings” by just looking at a couple samples, one of my last* Israeli-made Personna’s and a Studio blade from Walgreens (I believe made by Dorco).* Here is a side shot of the Personna blade edge:
http://sharpologist.com/wp-content/uploads//w90Rp9Vh.jpg
And here’s a shot of the Studio blade:
http://sharpologist.com/wp-content/uploads//Ih62302h.jpg
Visually, they’re very different.* But will that correlate to the shave?* I’m going to find out.
Some of you may be wondering about variations within blades of the same brand.* I was concerned too, but after viewing this video on how blades are made I think I can be reasonably confident of the consistancy within each brand:

Brands I will be looking at:


7 o’ Clock “Yellow”
Astra “Blue”
Astra “Green”
Crystal
Derby
Feather
Merkur
Personna “Blue”
Personna “Lab Blue”
Personna “Red”
Polsilver “Super Iridium
Polsilver (Brown)
Studio
SuperMax
Wilkinson (US)


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