05-14-2013, 07:33 AM
#1
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After trying a few different blades in my Merkur 34c HD razor, I wondered why each blade felt and performed differently. I've seen a post where two blades were seen under a microscope. The differences were interesting.
I recently received a 100 count pack of Shark Super Chrome blades from BullGoose (Thanks Phil) and proceeded to cut my face to shreds. After a few days of adjusting my technique and razor angle, I received the best shave in my three week wet shaving adventure.
I was curious as to why I didn't cut myself so bad with the other razors I tried, and a thought entered my head that made sense. Are all blades made to the same dimensional specs? So, I got out my dial caliper and sacrificed four blades for measuring. I figured the difference in blade width would determine the angle at which to hold the razor.

in the picture below, are the four blades and the Harbor Freight dial caliper that were used in the test.
[Image: 9177543A-59F0-4D48-9095-7AE7ADCF74FD-612...49deab.jpg]


the razor blades used are a Wilkinson Sword form Walmart, a Derby Extra Stainless, A Shark Super Chrome, and a Merkur Super Stainless.
[Image: F8A2E3B7-3D95-435B-9F1F-C7917D9944B5-612...9f60d3.jpg]
[Image: 4CB33E73-3A7F-4054-B223-F9DABB5FCA46-612...cb58e4.jpg]

The blades were measured at their width while trying to get the blade as square as possible between the caliper jaws.

[Image: F24E87F8-1BC7-418C-AD1C-940935039AB5-612...8d81b8.jpg]
[Image: FCA17EB9-20A1-4B90-A37B-6DF9583E656E-619...61a5f2.jpg]
[Image: E8B2A079-21EA-4E49-8476-2B6CB74B2236-619...3ade5b.jpg]
[Image: DE542BD5-4472-4A0E-9551-94E0A100A20F-619...ed60d1.jpg]

As seen is the pictures above, they are all slightly different in width of the blades.
The measurements are as follows:

Wilkinson Sword - 0.866 inches
Shark Super Chrome - 0.864 inches
Derby Extra Stainless - 0.867 inches
Merkur Super Stainless - 0.8675 inches

Can the minute differences in blade width dictate a difference in the angle in which you hold your razor? Well, my face and I believe it can. Your experience may differ, but for me, I'm going to stick to the Shark SC blades so that I don't have to adjust to different blades.

Good luck to all in your wet shaving adventures.

Chris

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 05-14-2013, 07:51 AM
#2
  • Frans
  • Member
  • Netherlands
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(05-14-2013, 07:33 AM)Cajunboy2k Wrote: After trying a few different blades in my Merkur 34c HD razor, I wondered why each blade felt and performed differently. I've seen a post where two blades were seen under a microscope. The differences were interesting.
I recently received a 100 count pack of Shark Super Chrome blades from BullGoose (Thanks Phil) and proceeded to cut my face to shreds. After a few days of adjusting my technique and razor angle, I received the best shave in my three week wet shaving adventure.
I was curious as to why I didn't cut myself so bad with the other razors I tried, and a thought entered my head that made sense. Are all blades made to the same dimensional specs? So, I got out my dial caliper and sacrificed four blades for measuring. I figured the difference in blade width would determine the angle at which to hold the razor.

in the picture below, are the four blades and the Harbor Freight dial caliper that were used in the test.
[Image: 9177543A-59F0-4D48-9095-7AE7ADCF74FD-612...49deab.jpg]


the razor blades used are a Wilkinson Sword form Walmart, a Derby Extra Stainless, A Shark Super Chrome, and a Merkur Super Stainless.
[Image: F8A2E3B7-3D95-435B-9F1F-C7917D9944B5-612...9f60d3.jpg]
[Image: 4CB33E73-3A7F-4054-B223-F9DABB5FCA46-612...cb58e4.jpg]

The blades were measured at their width while trying to get the blade as square as possible between the caliper jaws.

[Image: F24E87F8-1BC7-418C-AD1C-940935039AB5-612...8d81b8.jpg]
[Image: FCA17EB9-20A1-4B90-A37B-6DF9583E656E-619...61a5f2.jpg]
[Image: E8B2A079-21EA-4E49-8476-2B6CB74B2236-619...3ade5b.jpg]
[Image: DE542BD5-4472-4A0E-9551-94E0A100A20F-619...ed60d1.jpg]

As seen is the pictures above, they are all slightly different in width of the blades.
The measurements are as follows:

Wilkinson Sword - 0.866 inches
Shark Super Chrome - 0.864 inches
Derby Extra Stainless - 0.867 inches
Merkur Super Stainless - 0.8675 inches

Can the minute differences in blade width dictate a difference in the angle in which you hold your razor? Well, my face and I believe it can. Your experience may differ, but for me, I'm going to stick to the Shark SC blades so that I don't have to adjust to different blades.

Good luck to all in your wet shaving adventures.

Chris

Hello Chris,

Thanks for this article! I think it is very interesting data!

Kind regards,

Frans

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 05-14-2013, 08:58 AM
#3
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Chris, thanks for the informative post!

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 05-14-2013, 09:14 AM
#4
  • CRAusmus
  • Senior Member
  • Going from Texas to Georgia
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That is interesting. Never considered this aspect.

Thanks for posting.

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 05-14-2013, 02:44 PM
#5
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So Chris - are you saying you think the thinnest blade does the best job?

Please note - I am not saying that bigger is better or thicker is better, just trying to understand the bottom-line message.

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 05-14-2013, 04:07 PM
#6
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I'm suggesting that, for me, the difference in blade width will have a direct impact on the angle at which you hold the razor to your face. I'm not saying that one is better than the other. I'm say that for me, sticking with one blade requires me to learn one razor angle. Muscle memory seems plausible with this approach.

Also, the blade width question just popped in my head and wouldn't leave until I answered it. I posted my results just in case anyone else was interested.

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 05-14-2013, 05:25 PM
#7
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(05-14-2013, 09:14 AM)CRAusmus Wrote: That is interesting. Never considered this aspect.

Thanks for posting.

Me neither. Wow. Great.

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 05-14-2013, 07:14 PM
#8
  • Blue line
  • Active Member
  • East Central Alabama
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I can see where a thousandth of an inch difference can make all the difference in the world. That difference in width affects blade exposure and we know how important that is. Were the casting molds for YOUR razor's head designed around a blade that was .866 or .8675 in width? It would be nice to know so you could fit your razor with a blade that is closer in size to the blade that your razor head was designed around. Aren't "manufacturing tolerances" great?

Good info, when I find a good blade for a particular razor I'll "mike" it for width and record it for future reference.

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 05-14-2013, 08:10 PM
#9
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(05-14-2013, 07:14 PM)Blue line Wrote: I can see where a thousandth of an inch difference can make all the difference in the world. That difference in width affects blade exposure and we know how important that is. Were the casting molds for YOUR razor's head designed around a blade that was .866 or .8675 in width? It would be nice to know so you could fit your razor with a blade that is closer in size to the blade that your razor head was designed around. Aren't "manufacturing tolerances" great?

Good info, when I find a good blade for a particular razor I'll "mike" it for width and record it for future reference.

That's a great point. I wonder if the razor companies would put the specs of their razor on the box to help with blade selection? Same goes for the blade makers too.

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 05-14-2013, 08:42 PM
#10
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Interesting! I've wondered about that for some time, but never was curious enough to do that. OK, another reason I didn't, the bottom line IMO is really YMMV. It's just one of the characteristics of a blade that makes it work or not. Hopefully every, for instance, Dorco 301 is the exact same width. If they were all over the place it would be the pits.

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 05-15-2013, 06:46 PM
#11
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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What about blade thickness. I can see this having a significant effect.

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 05-15-2013, 07:25 PM
#12
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(05-15-2013, 06:46 PM)matloffm Wrote: What about blade thickness. I can see this having a significant effect.

Damn it!! Now you got me wondering that too. Gotta wait till I wake up tomorrow afternoon and get the dial caliper out again. Is this considered OCD?

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 05-15-2013, 10:52 PM
#13
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While all blades should be made to the same standard measures to fit the razors, it's obviously that the tolerances built in makes them vary from factory to factory...

What could be interesting would be to measure up blades that are considered 'uneven' - would they vary even if they are made in the same factory?

Could also be interesting to measure out various razors, and see what the differences between aggressive and non-aggressive razors are.

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 05-15-2013, 11:22 PM
#14
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(05-15-2013, 10:52 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: While all blades should be made to the same standard measures to fit the razors, it's obviously that the tolerances built in makes them vary from factory to factory...

What could be interesting would be to measure up blades that are considered 'uneven' - would they vary even if they are made in the same factory?

Could also be interesting to measure out various razors, and see what the differences between aggressive and non-aggressive razors are.

Dang, everyone has such great ideas. It will be interesting to see any followups to these proposed ideas.

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 05-16-2013, 09:00 AM
#15
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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This could also explain why we find certain blades to work well in some razors and not in others. I would think that a mild razor with a slightly "wider" blade would actually provide for a balanced experience. Interesting conversation starter Cajunboy, thanks!

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