01-24-2017, 03:52 AM
#1
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Quote:I've been using Astras off and on as long as I've been wetshaving, which is several years. I can't seem to figure them out--I went back to them recently, and despite my much improved technique, I'm getting irritation and redness with Astras for the first few shaves; by the 5th shave, though, they're awesome. Still, I'm not pleased at all with those initial shaves. I have really worked on avoiding pressure and keeping the correct angle, but I'm still getting nicks.

Flash forward to this morning. After a rough Astra shave on Monday, I loaded an Indian Gillette Wilkinson Sword in my blue tip. These are very cheap blades, and have plenty of detractors as well as fans. I've used them plenty of times before, but the contrast with Astra was remarkable: The Wilkinsons were smooth, pretty effective, and left me with no irritation or weepers no matter what I did. I did some extra cleanup passes just to push the limit, and everything was perfect. Now, I think the Astras are sharper and maybe shave closer, but the Wilkinsons appear to be foolproof, at least for me. The only blade to perform this effortlessly for me is the Nacet, which is better, but more expensive. But those Nacets are really special.

I'm well aware of the YMMV principle. But I know plenty of guys find Astras smooth and forgiving, and I keep going back to them to see what I've missed. I guess they're just not for me. Does anyone else find the Astra rough and irritating? If so, what blades give you your best shaves?

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 01-24-2017, 09:45 AM
#2
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I've only used an Astra SP a couple of times, in my ATT S1, and wasn't a huge fan. Had some irritation and an ingrown hair. Could also have just been my technique, but I find that I have zero problems with GSBs and Polsilver SI. The Polsilvers are my favorites right now, super efficient and smooth.

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 01-24-2017, 10:42 AM
#3
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Blades are a very personal thing. I find Astras to be pretty good, but I do seem to get a little irritation on my neck from them. Feathers in a mild razor seem to be best for my tough bear and sensitive skin.

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 01-24-2017, 01:03 PM
#4
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Thanks, gentlemen. I like GSBs and Feathers too...and despite the sharpness of those blades, neither is as likely to nick me as an Astra on the first shave. Odd...

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 01-24-2017, 01:38 PM
#5
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I have heard of people palm stropping or stropping on a piece of cork, corking?, new blades that are rough on a first shave. Never tried it myself though.

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 01-25-2017, 06:54 AM
#6
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I've opened somewhere around half a dozen fresh tucks of green Astras over the years. They do not agree with me at all. Rough and irritating shaves result. It doesn't matter which razor they're in, the result is always the same. Otoh, I like GSBs just fine. Go figure...

For me the smoothest, most comfortable DE blades are IPs, in any razor.

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 01-25-2017, 11:25 AM
#7
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I got a free pack of them and was really impressed with the first few shaves.  I found them to be as sharp as the Feathers I use daily.  I liked the first couple of shaves so much that I ended up ordering a 100 pack.  After a few more shaves I started getting neck irritation so I stopped using them and went back to Feather.  I also tried the non coated version that I received as a free sample and they were terrible.

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 01-25-2017, 09:51 PM
#8
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I wouldn't try any more to see what you're missing. I'd say for something different, how about a Gillette 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellow)? Much sharper, almost Feather levels IMO.

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 01-26-2017, 02:46 AM
#9
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(01-25-2017, 09:51 PM)Gig103 Wrote: I wouldn't try any more to see what you're missing. I'd say for something different, how about a Gillette 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellow)? Much sharper, almost Feather levels IMO.

You're right on the money--I like 7 O'Clock Yellows quite a bit.

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 01-27-2017, 03:21 AM
#10
  • beamon
  • Active Member
  • Greenville, SC USA
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If you're familiar with the YMMV principle, then know ye well that it applies within individuals just as it applies amongst individuals! Search for blades that please you at the moment. When that moment passes (maybe never), do the search again until a new favorite is found. Things change!

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 01-27-2017, 04:55 PM
#11
  • DRD_3
  • Junior Member
  • Michigan
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(01-25-2017, 09:51 PM)Gig103 Wrote: I wouldn't try any more to see what you're missing. I'd say for something different, how about a Gillette 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellow)? Much sharper, almost Feather levels IMO.

How do the yellows compare with green super stainless 7 O'Clocks? I love the green, they seem sharp yet smooth. Also I find that I get alot of comfortable shaves out of one blade, maybe 5+. They work consistently in all my razors, and give little to no irritation. I noticed that they are especially smooth in any of my slants, including the PAA bakelite.

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 01-27-2017, 07:04 PM
#12
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(01-27-2017, 04:55 PM)DRD_3 Wrote:
(01-25-2017, 09:51 PM)Gig103 Wrote: I wouldn't try any more to see what you're missing. I'd say for something different, how about a Gillette 7 O'Clock SharpEdge (yellow)? Much sharper, almost Feather levels IMO.

How do the yellows compare with green super stainless 7 O'Clocks? I love the green, they seem sharp yet smooth. Also I find that I get alot of comfortable shaves out of one blade, maybe 5+. They work consistently in all my razors, and give little to no irritation. I noticed that they are especially smooth in any of my slants, including the PAA bakelite.
The green didn't work for me. I think Yellow is sharper but maybe not as smooth (but for me still smoother than Feather).

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 03-14-2017, 05:47 PM
#13
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I bought 100 Astras awhile back and didn't find them objectionable at all.  I still prefer several other blades much more than I do the Astras, but since I still have some in stock I'll rotate in the Astras now and then, np.

When gone though, I doubt I'll buy any more.  Blades are so inexpensive it just doesn't make sense to fiddle with ones that aren't right there at the top of one's list.

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 03-14-2017, 06:14 PM
#14
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Astras have been my overall go-to the last 5 years but I have ventured out with others on occasion.  I've never had any real  issues with Astras and in fact they excel with one of my workhorse DEs: Merkur Progress/Digress/Murgress.  Still, I dusted off some of my Gillette 7 O'clock Sharpedge Yellows with modern razors and had great shaves, when the Astras gave average shaves with the same razors.

In summary, I think blades and razors work as systems and my experience with Astras was positive but limited to a only a couple razors.  And of course, YMMV.

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 03-18-2017, 11:50 AM
#15
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(03-14-2017, 06:14 PM)TexBilly Wrote: Astras have been my overall go-to the last 5 years but I have ventured out with others on occasion.  I've never had any real  issues with Astras and in fact they excel with one of my workhorse DEs: Merkur Progress/Digress/Murgress.  Still, I dusted off some of my Gillette 7 O'clock Sharpedge Yellows with modern razors and had great shaves, when the Astras gave average shaves with the same razors.

In summary, I think blades and razors work as systems and my experience with Astras was positive but limited to a only a couple razors.  And of course, YMMV.

Exactly. I had, and liked astras in my ATT H1 - but GSB's were ultimately smoother and thus, my final choice. (I do use KAIs and personna reds on occasion)

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