04-24-2013, 04:54 PM
#1
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Hi All,

(I realized I should've posted this in the Blade forum, so here it is.)

Up until now, I've only been using the Derby Extras that came with my Edwin Jagger DE89L, and getting a handle of DE shaving.

Now, it's time to try a New Blade (style)! Smile I figure I'd ping you all to see which one I should try next (out of my Blade Sampler Pack):

So here's what I have in the Sampler:

* Personna Platinum
* Shark (Super Stainless)
* Shark (Super Chrome)
* Dorco Stainless "New Platinum" ST300
* Dorco Stainless "New Platinum" ST-301
* Gillette Nacet Stainless
* LORD Platinum
* Sharp Hi Chromium Durablade
* Bic Chrome Platinum
* Wilkinson Sword
* Gillette 7 'O Clock SharpEdge (Yellow)
* Astra Superior Platinum
* Super Max Stainless
* Merkur Super Platinum
* Feather Hi-Stainless
* Crystal Stainless Steel

Phew!

So if you can, please help me choose the next Blade (after Derby's) that I should try.

I know from the threads I've read that Feathers are super sharp, so I'll stay away from them till much later. Tongue

Are there any Blades in this pack that are just pure garbage?

And if you have ideas on which ones I should save for last, please let me know (e.g., all the sharpest ones - save for later, etc.).

Thanks!

===========

*** UPDATE (5/28/2013): Silver Lining and Progress of my Blade Journey thanks to everyone's recommendations so far...

http://shavenook.com/thread-help-me-choo...#pid247156

Thanks~

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 04-24-2013, 05:02 PM
#2
  • ben74
  • Senior Member
  • Perth, Australia
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Ken, great selection of blades.

The Gillette 7 o'clock and Nacet would be my preferred blades from your list.

I found the Dorco and Astra performed similar to the Derby. The Merkur can be hit and miss and the Bic is well liked.

The Feather is notoriously sharp and I'm not a huge fan of their DE blades, but I use their SE blades all the time.

My advice is to work your way through the entire list and see which works best for you.

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 04-24-2013, 05:04 PM
#3
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Ken, everyone has their favorites and you will get many answers, my suggestion after looking at your choices would be to try what strikes your fancy next, the only thing I would suggest is to save the Feather for last, once you have your technic down go for the Feather. If I had to choose I would pick the Crystal next, good all round blade.

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 04-24-2013, 06:01 PM
#4
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
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I think you should go with the Astra SP's. I think it's safe to say Dorco Blades fall under the garbage category Smile.

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 04-24-2013, 06:22 PM
#5
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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Gillette yellow. Smooth blade and does a good job if your beard is not coarse. If you get pulling or tugging with the Derby's I would go to the sharper blades: Shark SS, Super Max Stainless or Feather.

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 04-24-2013, 07:10 PM
#6
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Gillette Yellows
Good luck.

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 04-24-2013, 07:48 PM
#7
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Hi All,

Thanks for the great suggestions! Smile

Re: Dorco - Darn, and I have 2 packs of these! Angry I'm tempted to try them next, just to get through the worst ones, before moving on to better ones.

If I get some tugging / weepers on a 1st pass or something, I might just chuck the rest of the Dorcos then.

I'm definitely excited on a lot of the blades in this sampler. Smile

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 04-24-2013, 07:54 PM
#8
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Blades are possibly the most YMMV item in shaving. I won't lead you anywhere. OK, I'm not being mean, but I simply don't have your face and beard.

You must be getting technique down by now. Just pick any of the blades. Be sure to keep notes about sharpness, smoothness, how many shaves until it was no good (if that's important). Anything else you think would be important.

I also suggest not using any of the packs completely. Save some unless they are carbon steel, but no CS blades jumped out at me. The blades you don't use are your future test blades for other razors.

OK, YMMV be damned. Just hand the Dorcos to someone you really dislike if you have one of those in your life. I remember my notes on both of those blades without even referencing the notes. "I'd rather shave with an axe head.", was what I wrote for the Dorcos. One didn't last one stroke before I removed it, the other lasted a few strokes and then was removed. No other blade was even close to being as terrible in my testing. Yet there are some folks who like them. YMMV.

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 04-24-2013, 08:24 PM
#9
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(04-24-2013, 07:54 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Blades are possibly the most YMMV item in shaving. I won't lead you anywhere. OK, I'm not being mean, but I simply don't have your face and beard.

You must be getting technique down by now. Just pick any of the blades. Be sure to keep notes about sharpness, smoothness, how many shaves until it was no good (if that's important). Anything else you think would be important.

I also suggest not using any of the packs completely. Save some unless they are carbon steel, but no CS blades jumped out at me. The blades you don't use are your future test blades for other razors.

OK, YMMV be damned. Just hand the Dorcos to someone you really dislike if you have one of those in your life. I remember my notes on both of those blades without even referencing the notes. "I'd rather shave with an axe head.", was what I wrote for the Dorcos. One didn't last one stroke before I removed it, the other lasted a few strokes and then was removed. No other blade was even close to being as terrible in my testing. Yet there are some folks who like them. YMMV.

Hi Brian,

Thanks! Awesome shaving notes about the Dorcos. Laughing1 Now I'm scared.

OK, I must try these Dorcos just once. I'll have my other packs at the ready should it get rough on my 1st pass. Wink

And thanks for the tip on saving some blades. Yah, I still have some Derbys leftover, so I'll keep those to test a new razor down the line (if I get a new razor; I only need *1* razor, right? Dodgy Biggrin ).

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 04-24-2013, 08:47 PM
#10
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I wrote that about saving blades because it makes sense. But if you test enough blades you'll recognize a pattern of what you like for an everyday blade, what will work in a pinch, those you'd rather never have darken your door again, and the axe heads.

I tested blades for about 1 1/2 years and after all of that I was burnt out. But I knew I far preferred sharp and smooth and knew what filled that requirement. Once I knew that I stocked up for life. I'll never need to test blades or go on the hunt again. I might buy some more DE blades I like just for something different in the daily shave. But I'm in no hurry for them.

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 04-25-2013, 04:08 PM
#11
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Hi All,

OK, here's feedback from Day 1 of my New Blade (thanks to all of you for input).

Out of morbid curiosity, and to get my least favorite "stuff" out of the way (like eating your veggies before dessert) Tongue, I decided to try the Dorco Stainless "New Platinum" ST-301 Blade.

Here are my notes:

* "Excellent trojan horse for your enemies." Cool

I'm kidding. Smile

I started with WTG, all other variables the same as before (same soap, razor, pre-shave prep).

The Dorco glided along and so far it "seemed" OK (emphasis on "seemed"). I wiped away the extraneous bits of shaving cream and noticed it was pretty awful though (lots of areas that had very little "beard reduction"). Sad

2nd Pass, XTG. I started noticing some tugging (I never got much with my Derby). Wiped away the excess and noticed it was still lots of growth left. Ugh.

3rd Pass, ATG. I've gotten used to ATG just fine with the Derbys. I noticed LOTS of tugging, and I had a rough time. It was pretty awful. Angry (This is with as little pressure as possible.)

Did Touchups in a lot of areas (since 3 passes wasn't even close to being done). Even after that, the end result was probably one of the worst shaves I've had since switching to DE shaving. Sad

I applied Witch Hazel and let it dry and then finished with Krampert's Finest, but I was burning / stinging in many places. Ugh.

I'll give Dorco's one more try, but I think I'll be chucking them. More to come. Thanks.

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 04-26-2013, 05:13 PM
#12
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Shark SS all day baby!

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 04-27-2013, 11:32 AM
#13
  • Macko
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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Gillette Yellows.

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 04-28-2013, 02:52 PM
#14
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Hi All,

Reporting back:

2nd Attempt
* Dorco Stainless "New Platinum" ST-301

After the disappointing first try with Dorcos, I knew to be extra careful and just try to get through without eviscerating my face. Confused Tongue

I was also hoping that after 1 shave, maybe the blade would get smoother. Wrong. Angry

1st Pass WTG: Didn't really get too much beard reduction.
2nd Pass XTG: Got some tugging already (like last time). Didn't have that happen with the Derbys.
3rd Pass ATG: Lots of tugging again. Sad

After wiping up some excess lather, I noticed how much stubble was left and how inconsistent the blade was in removing beard.

There were so many stubble areas left, that I had to do a full 4th Pass ATG (which I've never had to do before Dorcos).

After that was finished, I still had some inconsistently shaved parts of my chin and one small section of my left jaw / mouth area. Ugh.

I stopped at this point. Retired the Dorco and will now proceed to chuck the rest of them.Angry

The highlight was finishing up with Krampert's Finest Bay Rum Acadian Spice After Shave. At least it brought a smile to my otherwise disappointing shave today.

I was wondering why Dorco Blades sell for ~6 to 8 cents a blade, whereas many others sell for ~18 - 30 cents a blade. Now I know why. YMMV of course. Wink

I think my face needs to heal. I need to try something nicer to my face for the next Blade test.

Thanks again everyone!

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 04-28-2013, 09:57 PM
#15
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Biggrin

I have to hand it to you Ken, you definitely have a pair. That's like putting the blindfold on yourself after placing yourself in front of the wall. But it had to be done.

Well, the good thing is that you just tested the worst blade on the planet (IMO). It's only up from there. So anything you try next is sure to be better. But blades are the most YMMV item, and there are folks who like them.

Bear in mind that if you go into a store and find blades that are "made in Korea" (the fine print on the back of the packaging) they are Dorcos.

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 04-29-2013, 07:21 PM
#16
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Thanks to you and tgutc and others,

I had to test it out at least a couple times. Dodgy Tongue Now I know.

On the positive side, I can't wait to try out a new Blade style on my next shave! Biggrin

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 05-04-2013, 10:43 AM
#17
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Hi All,

Update (May 4, 2013):

So after retiring the Dorco blades (they weren't the right fit for me at all), Confused I decided to move on to Wilkinson Sword. My first shave with it was a couple days ago:

1st & 2nd Pass (WTG, XTG) were really smooth. Smile No tugging, beard reduction seemed so-so, though. Not that sharp. But much better than the Dorco in terms of smoothness.

3rd Pass (ATG): Noticeable tugging, finished up and had a lot of touchup areas needed (stubble here or there).

Ended up needing a full 4th Pass (ATG). Sad

I chalked it up to "just learning the blade."

Today was the 2nd time using the same Wilkinson Sword in my EJ DE89L. And?

Same results: 1st and 2nd Pass (WTG, XTG) were smooth and fine, but beard reduction was pretty weak.

3rd Pass (ATG) lots of tugging again! And, by the end, still quite a few areas that had stubble, so I ended doing a full 4th Pass (ATG). Sad

And after that, I was frustrated, seeing ~3 areas that still had some stubble (I was trying to get a DFS at least), and so against better judgement (and probably frustration building up), I did a *Touchup Pass* (5th now!) on the 3 stubble areas (one was my moustache / upper lip area).

The result? A weeper, and lots of red splotches / irritation. Angry Sad Angry I know, I know, I brought that on myself this time.

But the question to you all is:

* Am I going insane, or did I just get bad luck on my last 4 shaves with Dorcos x2, Wilkinson Sword x2 having to go 4 Passes to get a decent shave? Sad

As a frame of reference, I started out with Derby Extras with my Edwin Jagger DE89L, and the most I ever had to do was 3 Passes with a couple touchups, but I never had as inconsistent shave results (and having to do a 4th Pass + Touchups after) like I am now with these 2 blades. But on the bright side, I was able to get a near-DFS today with the Wilkinson Swords (in terms of closeness), just not counting the red splotches.

Advice, thoughts, help is appreciated from you wise Blade Veterans. Bow

Thank you! Biggrin

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 05-04-2013, 07:22 PM
#18
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Hah! Blade veterans indeed! We went through exactly what you're going through. It's just trial and error and no one can predict what you'll like.

As long as your technique is good (lather, angle, no pressure) then to me it just sounds as though you have found blade #2 that doesn't agree with you. Time to move on to another. But be sure to write down your experience with the WS blade.

Of all possible areas of technique, if you come to blades from cartridges, pressure by the razor is probably most at fault. But no one knows that but you and I'm not saying that it's what's happening. You can see it in the mirror if you make it a point to watch for it. If the skin is deforming under the razor it's too much pressure. It can cause weepers.

I don't remember the numbers anymore; but I think I tested over 30 (36?) some odd modern blades over 1 1/2 years to find a handful of blades that I was exceptionally happy with.

Are you ready to try a sharp, smooth blade? If so, try the Gillette Yellows or the SuperMax. The yellows are one of my favorites and if I remember correctly I also gave the S'Max high marks for being sharp and smooth. BTW, just by chance I used the yellows as my #2 test blade and immediately fell into deep like with them. They're one of the 2 blades I stocked up with. But if you don't like them that means absolutely nothing to you. It's just chance if you'll like them or not.

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 05-05-2013, 09:35 PM
#19
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(05-04-2013, 07:22 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Hah! Blade veterans indeed! We went through exactly what you're going through. It's just trial and error and no one can predict what you'll like.

As long as your technique is good (lather, angle, no pressure) then to me it just sounds as though you have found blade #2 that doesn't agree with you. Time to move on to another. But be sure to write down your experience with the WS blade.

Of all possible areas of technique, if you come to blades from cartridges, pressure by the razor is probably most at fault. But no one knows that but you and I'm not saying that it's what's happening. You can see it in the mirror if you make it a point to watch for it. If the skin is deforming under the razor it's too much pressure. It can cause weepers.

I don't remember the numbers anymore; but I think I tested over 30 (36?) some odd modern blades over 1 1/2 years to find a handful of blades that I was exceptionally happy with.

Are you ready to try a sharp, smooth blade? If so, try the Gillette Yellows or the SuperMax. The yellows are one of my favorites and if I remember correctly I also gave the S'Max high marks for being sharp and smooth. BTW, just by chance I used the yellows as my #2 test blade and immediately fell into deep like with them. They're one of the 2 blades I stocked up with. But if you don't like them that means absolutely nothing to you. It's just chance if you'll like them or not.

Hi Brian,

Thanks for the advice and feedback! Smile

It definitely could be that it's time for me to move on to another blade to try out (it just might not be agreeable for me).

But it could be also user error (on my part). Thanks for the reminder, and I'll be giving the Wilkinson's one more go around, paying extra attention to technique / pressure, etc.

And thanks on the Gillette rec. I've been saving all the great recommendations that you and everyone brought up for "later," but I might move on those soon just to at least try a highly recommended blade before my face suffers any more. Wink

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 05-07-2013, 03:31 PM
#20
  • bjorney
  • Senior Member
  • Los Angeles
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I'll be a lone supporter of the Dorco blades, in the right razor, on the "right" beard... I had 90 or so ST300s that I was saving
as last ditch blades for the "shavepocalypse" when I tried it in an aggressive razor.

The Dorcos are not very sharp, but I have had great shaves from them in razors that otherwise were a bit on the aggressive side.
For me a Dorco would be terrible in a mild razor like a Tech, post-1954 SuperSpeed, Krona, EJ89 etc. In my Feather portable it was perfect! Two-pass plus touch-up BBS. I would expect it to be decent in an adjustable razor that is "dialed-up" too.

Of the blades on your list I have tried:
* Derby
* Personna Platinum
* Shark (Super Stainless)
* Shark (Super Chrome)
* Dorco Stainless "New Platinum" ST300
* Dorco Stainless "New Platinum" ST-301
* Wilkinson Sword
* Gillette 7 'O Clock SharpEdge (Yellow)
* Astra Superior Platinum
* Super Max Stainless

For DE shaving I generally like sharp blades in moderately aggressive razors. Gillette Yellow, Perma-Sharp, Rapira, Astra and Supermax in 1940s SuperSpeeds and my Gillette NEW. I would put Derbys a bit below that list in sharpness.

If you don't cut yourself at all with the Derbys, maybe it's time to try the Gillette Yellows or even (gasp) the Feathers.

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