03-02-2017, 10:33 PM
#1
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Hello,
      I'm somewhat curious about the differences in shaving with a double-edge blade and a single-edge blade. Perhaps someone with some experience in using both can elaborate some on what they've discovered. I personally have never used either yet because I'm still doing some research on both. (when I speak of a single-edge blade, I'm not talking about a straight razor, but rather like the Schick Injector and GEM G-bar). Also; how common are the single-edged blades available for these nowadays, compared to a DE blade?
Thank you

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 03-03-2017, 07:38 AM
#2
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I'm far from an expert, but I've been doing this for a while now so this is my take.  Single Edge blades, such as GEM and, well that's about it, are thicker and sturdier than DE blades.  They also have a spine which reinforces its rigidity.  They therefore can be more effective in a single pass and can last longer than DE blades. The tradeoff to having them be thicker and sturdier as that they are not as nimble and forgiving as a DE blade can be.  They are also, obviously, not double-edged so that can be a factor (and for me it is - it takes twice as long to do the same thing!). 

Injector razor blades are a middle ground between DE and GEM-type SE blades; they are sturdier and thicker than DE blades, but (in my opinion) not as a thick and sturdy as GEM-type SE blades.  They are also not double-edge so see the same caveat as above.

I reckon that Personna/American Safety Razor makes about 95% of single-edged blades.  They make the GEM and the PAL brand blades.  They are made in both stainless steel and carbon steel (carbon steel needs to be dried after every use or will rust very easily).  There are two main manufacturers of injector blades, Schick and Personna.  The Schick blades are made in China and in my opinion are pretty good.  The Personna ones are made in the USA and are often rebranded (like with Supply Provisions, Ted Pella, etc.).  You can tell them apart by the fact that they come 20 to a cartridge and come in a white plastic dispenser.  Do not get regular industrial-use single edged blades used in paint scrapers and such.

 My advice: if you're starting out, I'd pick DE blades.  Even if you ultimately want to switch to a GEM-type or an injector, they're pretty easy to find and don't cost too much.

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 03-03-2017, 06:12 PM
#3
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With SE there is not a huge choice in blades. Whichis ok because its not really needed. Cvs and walgreens sell them as well as some online stores and such. To me the blades feel the same. The different is the feel of the razors. A SE is just so much better feeling. It takes no longer for me to use a SE razor as opposed to a DE. I usually use a carbon steel blade and dry it after use. Some have issues with this. So my thought is the blades feel the same. Its the razors that are different feeling

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 03-04-2017, 06:34 PM
#4
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The difference between DE and SE is far less dramatic than the difference between multi-blade carts and any single-blade razor. The key to single-blade shaving is to find the angle(s) that work, along with zero/minimal pressure. The angle(s) may be different for DE and SE, but the process of finding them is the same: you develop an awareness of when the razor is cutting whiskers, and when it's not. Turn off the running water, and listen. A razor that "sings" can help a lot.

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 03-04-2017, 06:56 PM
#5
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(03-04-2017, 06:34 PM)Viseguy Wrote: The difference between DE and SE is far less dramatic than the difference between multi-blade carts and any single-blade razor. The key to single-blade shaving is to find the angle(s) that work, along with zero/minimal pressure. The angle(s) may be different for DE and SE, but the process of finding them is the same: you develop an awareness of when the razor is cutting whiskers, and when it's not. Turn off the running water, and listen A razor that "sings" can help a lot.

Great answer. I used a 1910 gem junior bar theother day. Sings so loud the neighbors complain. Ok maybe not really, but it sings nicely.

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 03-04-2017, 09:00 PM
#6
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My shaves take no longer if it's DE or SE. But one thing I do notice with DE blades is that when they get dull they let you know by drawing blood. A SE blade has never done that to me. With a really good DE blade I can get 7-8 shaves. With a SE blade I commonly get 20 shaves and many times over 30. These are comfortable and very close shaves. The blade doesn't feel the same on shave 30 as it did when fresh, but in no way is it uncomfortable. I change the blade when it's  loses cutting efficiency, but with DE I monitor the shave quality and feel and I NEVER go beyond 8 shaves.

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 03-06-2017, 03:06 PM
#7
  • Quando
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  • A Diplomatic Immunity Zone
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Well, I have encountered two types of single edge blades:  safety style, and, injector style.  The single edge safety style ones are like the GEM's, etc.  They are a tad thicker, and, therefore, more aggressive, than their Double Edged counterparts.  The injector style blades are thinner, and, typically, sharper than the double edge blades, making them trickier to use, depending on the razor with which they are paired.  It is all about face feel.  Try all three.

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 03-15-2017, 06:30 AM
#8
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One big development in SE razors are the ones which work with blades from the Feather or Kai shavette. These are top notch, Japanese blades, stout and very sharp. Examples are OneBlade and the Asylum RX single edge from our host, Bullgoose. Some people prefer them to double edge, but I find them different, not better. The Asylum is quite an aggressive razor and very heavy; the OneBlade is on the milder side. I liked them, but returned them. Of course, I am biased, because I shave with a double edge titanium razor of my own design.  Shy

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 03-15-2017, 02:39 PM
#9
  • Quando
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(03-02-2017, 10:33 PM)punchy Wrote: Hello,
      I'm somewhat curious about the differences in shaving with a double-edge blade and a single-edge blade. Perhaps someone with some experience in using both can elaborate some on what they've discovered. I personally have never used either yet because I'm still doing some research on both. (when I speak of a single-edge blade, I'm not talking about a straight razor, but rather like the Schick Injector and GEM G-bar). Also; how common are the single-edged blades available for these nowadays, compared to a DE blade?
Thank you

Hello, Punchy

I think the GEM type razors, and, razors which use injector style blades, are totally different.  

The GEM razor blades are thicker than DE blades.  Sharpnesses vary among the varieties of blades they produce. 

The injector blades are thinner, and, almost always sharper than the DE blades.  

I have always heard:  DE for Sensitive to Normal Skin, SE for Normal to Tough Skin, Straight Razors for super tough skin, and, lining up beards.

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 03-16-2017, 03:46 PM
#10
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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I primarily shave with single edge razors.  But, any style of blade can work for your particular facial characteristics, just try them out and select what works for you.  

I shave with straights, double and single edge razors (Injectors, GEMs and Feather AC).  For my face, I need extensive prep (beard like copper wire) and the sharpest blade possible.  As is often said, the key to shaving is a very light touch and this requires blades that will cut the beard without resistance (no pulling or tugging).  When a blade is described as "forgiving" it means one of two things, either the razor has minimal gap and blade exposure or it isn't sharp enough to cut skin easily.  I believe one should always use the sharpest blade necessary to cut the beard.  Avoiding cuts and razor burn is strictly a matter of technique and a thorough knowledge of your particular skin and beard.

In summary, try stuff you may like it.

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 03-16-2017, 05:58 PM
#11
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(03-15-2017, 02:39 PM)Quando Wrote:
(03-02-2017, 10:33 PM)punchy Wrote: Hello,
      I'm somewhat curious about the differences in shaving with a double-edge blade and a single-edge blade. Perhaps someone with some experience in using both can elaborate some on what they've discovered. I personally have never used either yet because I'm still doing some research on both. (when I speak of a single-edge blade, I'm not talking about a straight razor, but rather like the Schick Injector and GEM G-bar). Also; how common are the single-edged blades available for these nowadays, compared to a DE blade?
Thank you

Hello, Punchy

I think the GEM type razors, and, razors which use injector style blades, are totally different.  

The GEM razor blades are thicker than DE blades.  Sharpnesses vary among the varieties of blades they produce. 

The injector blades are thinner, and, almost always sharper than the DE blades.  

I have always heard:  DE for Sensitive to Normal Skin, SE for Normal to Tough Skin, Straight Razors for super tough skin, and, lining up beards.
The last bit is certainly not true at all. If one were to generalize the stability of thick SE and especially injector blades would make them less likely to irritate sensitive skin. But of course that depends on a million variables. But, for example the Eversharp Fashion Razor aka Schick H model injector was marketed as being so mild that no shave soap was required for the lady using it. A fine razor by the way.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

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 03-17-2017, 03:27 AM
#12
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(03-16-2017, 03:46 PM)matloffm Wrote: In summary, try stuff you may like it.

Best advice I heard all day Smile

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 04-24-2017, 06:23 AM
#13
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Great info as I had the same questions.  Thanks for the input, guys.  Excellent crash course.

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