09-03-2013, 12:20 PM
#1
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Hi guys,
As a new inductee in the art of safety razor shaving I need to experiment with blades. Just about everybody has a sampler pack, or two, or three, or four.... Most are assembled in 5 packs of each variety and to me that seems too many of the same. How many shaves does one need in order to properly evaluate a blade? How many blades by one manufacturer does one have to go through for a proper evaluation? What brands should be in a sampler? Who sells the best sampler out there? Not necessarily cheapest, but most varied?
Any and all thoughts will be appreciated,
IronMike

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 09-03-2013, 12:58 PM
#2
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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1) Do you need to experiment with blades is the question.

2) Are you ready to look for "The Perfect" Blade is another?

3)Sampler pack - different makers, different materials, different countries, different quality. How many do you need depends on what you are looking for. A cheap blade that will work. A blade that will last a few shaves. A blade that will work with your particular razor. etc.

4) 5 Blades to a Pack does seem like too many. But, sometimes a blade is bad, sometimes a blade does not like one razor but, likes another.

5) Several different brand should be in the sampler and there are several vendors that offer sampler packs.

6) How many blades by one manufacturer does one have to go through for a proper evaluation.

That depends on what you are testing. See DE Blade Challenge II by GDCarrington (In the Blade Review Section) to give you an idea as to what you can be testing.

7) Assuming you have one razor you can try

a) Blade A for a week.
b) Try Blade B for a week.
c) Try Blade A for a week ... now pick the best one. Say A wins.
d) Try Blade C for a week. Can you pick another best Blade if not ...
e) Try Blade A for a week ... now pick the best one. Say A wins again.

Blade A could win each and every time for 5 weeks in a row. Or Blade A could win for 3 weeks in a row but, now you have A New Best Blade. Or you could have messed up on your Technique. Or in a year or two ... you go back to one of your crappy shaves and discover that one of the poorer blades you had was really pretty good.

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 09-03-2013, 01:40 PM
#3
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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It is also nice to have some leftover blades to try again in a year or two. Once you go through AD's, perfected your technique and lathering skills and settle into a groove..going back to certain blades can be a good idea.
Many blades I tried during my starting period were terrible (or so I thought) but once I re-visited them down the road, found they weren't really all that bad, and in some cases pretty good.

Edit: Er..yeah what Grumpy said, I didn't notice he said the same thing at the end of his post. Blush

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 09-03-2013, 02:11 PM
#4
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The thing about blades is they're not going to go bad. As long as they're stored properly they will be usable for quite some time. If you end up with some extras of blades that didn't work for you on the first try then you can always:

--Try them in a different razor (some blades work better in certain razors).
--Trade them for something else.
--PIF them to another member.
--Put together your own blade sampler and sell it.

Personally I never bothered with the sampler packs, they're more expensive than just buying a few packages of various blade brands. Even if a blade did not work for me I never minded having four unused blades sitting around waiting to become useful. I prefer to have some extras because you never know when they might be able to spice up a B/S/T deal.

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 09-03-2013, 02:20 PM
#5
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I would make your own - buy a 5-pack of some of peoples favorites (Bullgoose sells quite a few), find one that's working for you, and stick with it for a few weeks.

Many of the sampler packs I see have 1 or 2 good blades and the rest are very average.

A few of the blades that I see mentioned over and over: Astra Superior Platinum, Gillette Silver Blue, Gillette Sharp Edge, Personna Med Preps

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 09-03-2013, 02:47 PM
#6
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Best Sampler Pack Contents:

Polsilver Super Iridium
Feather

Per "The Majority"

Once you have used the two best blades on the market,,... You will know a crap blade when you use one.

Start with a sampler full of crap blades and nothing but confusion will follow.

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 09-03-2013, 03:29 PM
#7
  • Arcadies
  • Senior Member
  • Greeneville, TN
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(09-03-2013, 02:47 PM)olblueyez Wrote: Best Sampler Pack Contents:

Polsilver Super Iridium
Feather

Per "The Majority"

Once you have used the two best blades on the market,,... You will know a crap blade when you use one.

Start with a sampler full of crap blades and nothing but confusion will follow.

The thing is, you can't really say that when it comes to shaving. Feathers are utter crap to me and Super Iridium's are only so so..but Silver Blue, Personna Labs, Ladas and several others are wonderful. Another man's "crap blade" is Excalibur to another and the dreaded YMMV strikes again.

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 09-03-2013, 04:23 PM
#8
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Like I said, "Based on Majority"

And its also a recommendation that narrows it down to 2 instead of having him Learn and use 10 different blades at one time.

I would also recommend he start with the Polsilver SI or Orig Iridium only to start out with so he doesn't have any variables in his routine that he doesn't have to have.

I could be dishonest and say that I believe he will be able to disearn the differences between 10 different blades when he is learning but, why would I do that?

(09-03-2013, 03:29 PM)Arcadies Wrote:
(09-03-2013, 02:47 PM)olblueyez Wrote: Best Sampler Pack Contents:

Polsilver Super Iridium
Feather

Per "The Majority"

Once you have used the two best blades on the market,,... You will know a crap blade when you use one.

Start with a sampler full of crap blades and nothing but confusion will follow.

The thing is, you can't really say that when it comes to shaving. Feathers are utter crap to me and Super Iridium's are only so so..but Silver Blue, Personna Labs, Ladas and several others are wonderful. Another man's "crap blade" is Excalibur to another and the dreaded YMMV strikes again.

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 09-04-2013, 12:14 PM
#9
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Thanks for the thoughts! I can see that the quest for my favorite blade will be a fun and interesting journey!

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 07-02-2014, 10:54 AM
#10
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Any further thoughts on this, please? Over at Badger & Blade, there was a thread from several years ago mentioning that BullGoose Shaving had an "MVP Pack". Looking at his site, that no longer appears to be offered, but there was one called "Wise Fools" that struck me as a nice selection.

Yes, I'm duly taking the YMMV mantra into consideration! I just don't want to have too much on hand either, though.

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 07-02-2014, 12:15 PM
#11
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Make your own - Silver Blues, Sharp-edge, Personnas, Polsilvers all get alot of love. Bullgoose has a nice variety of 5 packs to chose from.

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 07-05-2014, 08:39 PM
#12
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(09-03-2013, 12:20 PM)Shellbriar Wrote: Hi guys,
As a new inductee in the art of safety razor shaving I need to experiment with blades. Just about everybody has a sampler pack, or two, or three, or four.... Most are assembled in 5 packs of each variety and to me that seems too many of the same. How many shaves does one need in order to properly evaluate a blade? How many blades by one manufacturer does one have to go through for a proper evaluation? What brands should be in a sampler? Who sells the best sampler out there? Not necessarily cheapest, but most varied?
Any and all thoughts will be appreciated,
IronMike

Here's a website I found that let's you pick exactly what you want in your sample. They have about 60 different blades. It's:
http://www.tryablade.com

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 07-05-2014, 09:30 PM
#13
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Nice find DOCTORSHAVEGOOD

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 07-06-2014, 04:04 AM
#14
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(07-05-2014, 08:39 PM)DoctorShaveGood Wrote: Here's a website I found that let's you pick exactly what you want in your sample. They have about 60 different blades. It's:
http://www.tryablade.com

Plus 1... Pick and choose your own sample pack...and how many blades you want in it.

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 07-06-2014, 05:56 AM
#15
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(07-06-2014, 04:04 AM)digitaldome Wrote:
(07-05-2014, 08:39 PM)DoctorShaveGood Wrote: Here's a website I found that let's you pick exactly what you want in your sample. They have about 60 different blades. It's:
http://www.tryablade.com

Plus 1... Pick and choose your own sample pack...and how many blades you want in it.

Thanks for finding this site! They're definitely not the cheapest, but they're the only site that let's you pick and choose the blades like that!

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 07-06-2014, 05:29 PM
#16
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(07-06-2014, 05:56 AM)Shellbriar Wrote:
(07-06-2014, 04:04 AM)digitaldome Wrote:
(07-05-2014, 08:39 PM)DoctorShaveGood Wrote: Here's a website I found that let's you pick exactly what you want in your sample. They have about 60 different blades. It's:
http://www.tryablade.com

Plus 1... Pick and choose your own sample pack...and how many blades you want in it.

Thanks for finding this site! They're definitely not the cheapest, but they're the only site that let's you pick and choose the blades like that!

Right, the cost is more. The idea is to pick a few blades that you like and try before you make a bulk purchase. The shipping cost is low. My initial purchase was a pair of about 13 different blades including shipping at about 8 dollars. Some I loved, some I didn't love. But, now I know. Shipping was fast and I had a nice hand written note from the owner.

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 09-19-2014, 06:34 PM
#17
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Forget the sampler pack. Forget buying 5 packs of several brands. Buy a 100 pack of a highly regarded blade. This will cost you between 10 and 30 dollars. Learn your technique with these. If you decide you want to experiment once you have your technique down, you should have no problem swapping tucks wjth others on this or one of the other boards. I bought 100 Astra SPs when I bought my razor. It cost me ten bucks. I wasn't crazy about them at first bit that was because my technique was terrible. I now really like these blades and intend on keeping and using everyone. I am going to buy 100 pk of Silver Blues next and maybe trade for a couple other blades I'm interested in trying.

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 09-20-2014, 02:12 PM
#18
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When I wanted a sample pack I ordered the biggest sampler pack I could find and added a few brands I heard mentioned in the SOTD section. I tested well over 40 types/brands with some that were sent to me as I posted my results. I didn't tabulate the results to count how many actually made the cut, but I know it was more than 6 and fewer than 10. You do the math regarding what worked for me. Far more failed than passed, even fewer passed with flying colors (6-10). Of those I have possibly 4 in inventory. Those should last me for many years. If I need to buy more (doubtful) I'll try the current production of those 6-10 before buying in bulk again. If they even exist at that time.

So my suggestion, since you have no idea what you will like or what you won't like, and you may want to retest at some time in the near future, is to just go nuts ordering blades or order one huge sampler. If there are blades not included in the sampler that you must try buy them separately. It will take you quite some time to work your way through them. It took me about 1 1/2 years and I didn't use all of them by any means. If I found blades that really were the pits I trashed them immediately. If their QC was that bad I didn't want to order them in bulk. But by the end of that I knew exactly what I liked in blades as described by other gents reviews. Too, I knew what was being produced at that time that I liked and I stocked up on those.

What did I do with the failed blades? The wife shaves so she inherited some and I PIFed some to noobs when one indicated they needed some blades. But before that I retested some of the promising but failed blades. As ones technique matures ones taste in blades could change. Mine hasn't so far, but it is possible.

DO NOT blindly buy in bulk until you know what you like. I simply can't agree with that. That would give you a large amount of blades to get rid of if they don't click with you. Those packs of 10 blades? Pick one and use it to get technique down; don't so many that you have less than 5 remaining before you get technique nailed down; you'll need to test them again. Your technique as a noob will suck anyway and you won't know good from bad, but it will get you started. Hopefully if you employ scientific method and move slowly (one change at a time, no chaos with simultaneous changes) you'll narrow in on what works for you.

Too, to hurry the metamorphosis into a blade shaver along you can practice other techniques without shaving. Lather comes to mind. One can hand lather and gauge the result without shaving. Making lather is a critical skill.

Keep us informed and feel free to ask questions. That's why we're here. We can help.

Notice I didn't mention brands/names? Your face is yours. It makes absolutely no difference what the mass of shavers likes. They don't have your face. It's your trip and yours alone. It's not a popularity contest, it's your face and what you like that matters to you. Soon you'll recognize those folks who have similar tastes in blades if you spend time in the SOTD and blade forums. That will help down the road a bit once you gain blade experience.

Oh, don't forget to keep notes. If you don't you'll forget the nuances of different blades. If you want the WordPerfect form that I used PM me.

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 09-20-2014, 05:18 PM
#19
  • tti
  • Member
  • NY,US
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west coast shaving has the best sampler packs IMO

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 09-21-2014, 12:02 AM
#20
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10 pack of Feathers and a 10 pack of Polsilver. Oh, sorry that is a sampler of the best blades.

Sent from my ME173X using Tapatalk

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