03-29-2018, 08:13 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
In this post, yr obdnt srvnt employs a new (nouveau, but not neuf) terminology for clarity of expression.  Apologize to those who regard the terminology as excessive or as otiose.

If you shave with a double-edge razor, for any given stroke of the razor across your beard, you will be using only one of four distinct positions of the blade within the razor to cut the whiskers.  If you are using a blade produced in the partially Gillette-owned factory in St. Petersburg, Russia, each side of your razor blade will have two numbers imprinted on diagonally opposed corners of the blade; on one side of the blade the numbers are 1 and 2; on the other side, the numbers are 3 and 4.  If you do not rotate the head of your razor during the course of your shave, then you will shave with either the side of the blade marked 2, with the 2 facing the top cap, or the number 1 (upside down) with the 1 facing the top cap; or -- if you have loaded the blade with the 1 and the 2 side lying on the baseplate, you will be shaving with either the side that has 4 or that has the (upside down) 3 facing the baseplate.  That is, there are four possible orientations of the blade within the razor, and the four positions are, looking down on the blade with the top cap off and the baseplate under the blade:  2,  upside down 1, 4, and upside down 3.  One hopes that you are following me so far.

Now, clearly, if you load the blade in only one of the four possible orientations every time you shave and you do not rotate the head during the course of a shave, then you will use only one of the two edges of the blade for all of your shaves, and when it comes time to discard the blade, one of the two edges of the blade will still be a virgin, never having sliced off a whisker.  You may post on ShaveNook that you get only X number of shaves from a specific brand of blade that others claim lasts them 2X shaves.  

Even if you flip the blade, before you tighten down the top cap, so that 3 and 4 face up for half of the shaves that you use the blade, and 1 and 2 face up the other half of the shaves, you could be using the other bevel of the same edge that you had been using for the other half of your shaves with the blade.

Ideally, it seems, if you shave four times with the one blade, you will shave once with the bevel closest to the numeral 1 facing the top cap, once with the bevel closest to the numeral 2 facing the top cap, once with the bevel closest to the numeral (inverted) 3 facing the top cap, and once with the bevel closest to the numeral (inverted) 4 facing the top cap.

Our favorite brand of blade is the KAI Stainless, which has no markings whatsoever on either side of the blade.  So even were we to observe the strict regimen suggested in the preceding paragraph, there is scant way with visual resources to determine if we are or are not using the same blade orientation within the razor that we had used for our previous shave.  

Two questions, then, for the readers of this post who use each DE blade for more than one shave before discarding:  

  1.  Do you try to distribute your blade use evenly around the four positions of the blade within your razor; and
  2.  How do you keep track of which orientation you used yesterday so that you do not repeat it today?

    We thank you for your support.

1 1,160
Reply
 03-29-2018, 09:16 PM
#2
User Info
I flip the blade over when I move it from one razor head to the next one in my 4-head rotation.  Since I use each vintage blade 12 times, each of the two sides faces up for 6 shaves.  I don't worry about changing its position in any other way.

213 12,522
Reply
 03-29-2018, 10:08 PM
#3
User Info
When using a DE, I use the opposite sides of the head for the WTG and XTG strokes. I've tried flipping the blades in the past, but since life is short and my stack of blades is large, I don't feel I have to eke out every last shave of a blade.

3 5,107
Reply
 03-29-2018, 11:06 PM
#4
User Info
This feels like a version of the ‘blade flipping’ discussion, where proponents posit that only half the blade does the cutting. Instead of trying to change minds, I’ll offer that blades are relatively cheap, and that IME stropping extends life much more than flipping - but do whatever makes you happy. Strop, flip, hand clean, soak in alcohol, or bin after 1 use.

29 1,337
Reply
 03-30-2018, 03:42 AM
#5
User Info
Huh ..... Huh .... Doubt .......Is there a film I can watch.

0 193
Reply
 03-30-2018, 05:04 AM
#6
User Info
I switch sides of the head throughout the shave, each time I rinse the razor.  I only use blades once, so what you describe is not an issue I have to think about.

51 7,162
Reply
 03-30-2018, 11:36 AM
#7
User Info
This is not of any concern for me as I have been using the Wizamet Iridium Super blades for, almost, the past seven years and I usually get 10 + shaves with them. 
I use both sides of my DE razors during my 3-pass shaves + touch-ups and I always remove the blade when done with the shave. The blade randomly goes into my razor for each shave without any conscious effort on my part to remark which side I used the previous shave, but it must wear evenly during those 10 + shaves as I have never noticed any negative effects during my shaves as the blade, almost always, feels smooth.  Shy

85 21,172
Reply
 03-30-2018, 12:28 PM
#8
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(03-29-2018, 11:06 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: This feels like a version of the ‘blade flipping’ discussion, where proponents posit that only half the blade does the cutting. Instead of trying to change minds, I’ll offer that blades are relatively cheap, and that IME stropping extends life much more than flipping - but do whatever makes you happy. Strop, flip, hand clean, soak in alcohol, or bin after 1 use.

One has not encountered, and certainly has not participated in, any “blade flipping” discussion.  Perhaps you saw that discussion in a different on-line forum?

In any event, and perhaps because of my long exposure to myriad persons who were born and raised in Japan where cleanliness is a national obsession, I am perhaps O/C about cleanliness, and in particular about the cleanliness of sharp edges that can penetrate skin.  Therefore, after Every. Single. Shave., I disassemble the DE razor and wash all four components, of which one is the blade.  By “wash,” I mean rinse under running hot water and blot dry on a clean towel.  Because I was raised by parents who had endured the Great Depression and deeply imprinted upon my conscience the maxim of “waste not want not,” I would not throw out any quality razor blade after a single use as you do, because no quality razor blade will be — can be — worn out by a single shave, unless you shave the entire surface of your body from the top of your head to your ankles.  As to stropping, unless you use a leather strop, I seriously doubt that your stropping of a DE blade accomplishes more than a psychological benefit. (When I need to straighten the edge of a sharp kitchen knife — which is often — I use a hard knife steel for the purpose; I would never think of using a cotton terry towel, a pair of Levi’s, or the palm of my hand to straighten the edge of a kitchen knife.)

But, getting back to the topic line, between shaves, I place the rinsed-off blade taken from the razor atop my special blade holder:  an inverted plastic dosing cup the likes of which is sold atop every bottle of Vick’s Nyquil cold medicine.  On days after I have used certain of my soaps — especially creams, and in particular an AoS cream — when I return to the previously used blade, I often find that the previous day’s thorough rinsing under running hot water had left three of the four edges of the blade squeaky clean, but had been inadequate to rinse off the crud on one of the four edges of the blade, that is, one side of one of the two sharpened edges of the blade.  That impresses upon my consciousness that in my shaving routine, I do not rotate the head in the course of a shave, for instance, when I rinse lather off the razor. During any given shave that results in using only one of the two sharpened edges of the blade; and, as I do not flip the blade, top-to-bottom, within the razor during the course of a shave, I have used only one side of that one edge during the previous shave.  

Except on those merely occasional days when there is dried-on crud on one of the four edge surfaces that the previous day’s rinsing had been inadequate to dislodge, I have no way to determine visually, when I am re-assembling the razor for a new shave, whether I am putting the blade into the razor in the same or in a different orientation than the way it had been oriented when I shaved the day before.  I assume that, in the several operations of assembling, grabbing the razor handle after assembling, disassembling, rinsing, blotting, and placing the blade atop the holder that I perform daily, the orientation of the blade varies from shave to shave rather randomly, not unlike the random distribution of heads or tails when flipping a coin; but, like the flipping of the coin, with a large number of tries, the distribution will be roughly 50% percent heads and 50% tails, so in the course of useful life of a blade, I probably, on average, use the edge surfaces about 25% each.  However, as I do not use a DE blade for more than five to seven shaves, undoubtedly there have been times that I have thrown out a blade when it seemed prematurely worn simply because I had used that blade in only one orientation for four or five shaves.  Conversely, when a blade surprises me with its longevity, not demanding to be changed until the eighth or ninth shave, maybe I have lucked into having used each of the four orientations evenly, so none of the edges wore our prematurely.  

The question of this thread was to ask whether anyone has devised a method to rotate the blade orientations optimally, as opposed to the “dumb luck” technique that I have employed.

1 1,160
Reply
 03-30-2018, 12:54 PM
#9
User Info
Suggestion. Take a permanent marker, place a dot on one side. Day one, dot up.....Day two, dot down.......etc, etc, Shy

0 193
Reply
 03-30-2018, 06:36 PM
#10
User Info
(03-30-2018, 12:28 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
The question of this thread was to ask whether anyone has devised a method to rotate the blade orientations optimally, as opposed to the “dumb luck” technique that I have employed.

How about using a permanent marker to imprint consecutive numbers on both sides/edges of the blade, top and bottom, then you can keep track of which side/edge and face/surface of the blade you are using each day? 
Best of luck to you.

85 21,172
Reply
 03-31-2018, 04:56 AM
#11
User Info
(03-29-2018, 10:08 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: When using a DE, I use the opposite sides of the head for the WTG and XTG strokes. I've tried flipping the blades in the past, but since life is short and my stack of blades is large, I don't feel I have to eke out every last shave of a blade.

This approximates my philosophy and practice as well, except I use the two sides of a DE razor during every pass, just randomly rotating it a few times throughout the shave, usually when I move to the other side of my face.  And because I almost always use a DE blade for 7 shaves, I feel confident that each side gets used about the same amount over that period.  But I don't flip the blade.  I'm already reliably getting 7 good shaves from each blade, and the blades are cheap, so I don't bother.

It's the same reason I don't save chewing gum at the end of the day, even if there's still a bit more life in it.

9 140
Reply
 03-31-2018, 09:59 AM
#12
User Info
Guy's the numbers are for quality control for checking the grind quality of the stones on the blade edge grinder. You don't have two edges on each side of a DE blade. You basically end up with a knife blade after both sides are ground. I get a weeks worth of shaves out of most blades so I don't flip em. I don't think the edge quality is much better even if you do flip em.

Clayton

6 720
Reply
 03-31-2018, 11:34 AM
#13
User Info
(03-31-2018, 09:59 AM)chevyguy Wrote: Guy's the numbers are for quality control for checking the grind quality of the stones on the blade edge grinder. You don't have two edges on each side of a DE blade. You basically end up with a knife blade after both sides are ground. I get a weeks worth of shaves out of most blades so I don't flip em. I don't think the edge quality is much better even if you do flip em.

Clayton

Cheers This sounds logical.

0 193
Reply
 04-01-2018, 01:18 PM
#14
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(03-30-2018, 06:36 PM)celestino Wrote: How about using a permanent marker to imprint consecutive numbers on both sides/edges of the blade, top and bottom, then you can keep track of which side/edge and face/surface of the blade you are using each day? 
Best of luck to you.

Now, if one were to use Occam’s Razor (the original philosophical concept, not a piece of hardware with a copycat name), one should need only one dot on one side of the blade, as a single dot can uniquely identify whether the blade is facing the baseplate or the top cap, and — because all DE blades have a hole smack dab in the center, necessitating that the dot must be off-center —  that dot also would identify which of the two possible orientations was currently used for the dot-facing-baseplate side and again for the dot-facing-top cap side.  

However, yr obdnt srvnt would find it distasteful to put any alien markings upon the razor blade, so the permanent marker idea is off the table.  

For the Feather blades that account for slightly less than half of my DE shaves, the feat could be accomplished by eradicating just one of the two wax dots that affix the blade to its paper wrapper on one side only.  The problem with that would be in the holding the blade down to rub off the wax (necessitating that the non-wax side face down):  those blades are wickedly sharp, and I have mental images of slicing into the thumb of my holding-down hand.  

For the KAI blades that account for slightly more than half of my DE shaves, there would be no wax dots to eradicate (KAI eschews wax dots), and the blade comes with no markings whatsoever on the blade.  

1 1,160
Reply
 04-01-2018, 01:49 PM
#15
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(03-31-2018, 09:59 AM)chevyguy Wrote: You basically end up with a knife blade after both sides are ground.

I have not examined under a microscope the Feather or the KAI blades that comprise my entire DE inventory at this point; but both are Japanese blades, and the majority of Japanese-made kitchen knives are beveled and ground on one side only.  Intuitively, a blade in a DE razor that is beveled and ground on a single side only might shave differently depending on which side, the flat or the beveled, is facing “up,” but I imagine that the difference — if any — would be very slight.

(03-31-2018, 09:59 AM)chevyguy Wrote: I get a weeks worth of shaves out of most blades so I don't flip em.

I get about five or six shaves from each Feather blade and about six or seven shaves from each KAI blade.  I suspect that, by random chance in the handling of the blade over a series of disassemblies and reassemblies of the razor, the deviation from even distribution of a blade’s orientation within the razor over the useful life of the blade is not great; BUT I have noticed that from time to time, between two same-brand blades from the same package, one will provide me with as much as double the number of good shaves as another does; and it was contemplation of that phenomenon that impelled me to ask the question of the topic line of this thread.

1 1,160
Reply
 04-01-2018, 02:23 PM
#16
User Info
(03-30-2018, 12:28 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(03-29-2018, 11:06 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: This feels like a version of the ‘blade flipping’ discussion, where proponents posit that only half the blade does the cutting. Instead of trying to change minds, I’ll offer that blades are relatively cheap, and that IME stropping extends life much more than flipping - but do whatever makes you happy. Strop, flip, hand clean, soak in alcohol, or bin after 1 use.


The question of this thread was to ask whether anyone has devised a method to rotate the blade orientations optimally, as opposed to the “dumb luck” technique that I have employed.

Pardon, I re-read your original post (which, to be clear does include comments on blade flipping). Moving past that, is non-optimal rotation even an issue? When I used a DE, I rotated orientation whenever one side was full of soap/stubble. There are many such rotations during a standard 4-pass shave, too many to count or care about. If either side showed signs of decreased performance, I binned the blade at the conclusion of the shave. Call it dumb luck - but it reliably produced 5-7 shaves per blade. That said, why not forego rotation altogether and use one orientation for each pass/shave/set number of shaves before cycling to the next?

Feels unnecessary, but if you enjoy the ride - who am I to critique the vehicle.

29 1,337
Reply
 04-01-2018, 04:07 PM
#17
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(04-01-2018, 02:23 PM)mike_the_kraken Wrote: When I used a DE, I rotated orientation whenever one side was full of soap/stubble. There are many such rotations during a standard 4-pass shave, t

Biggrin  Filling sides with soap and stubble never arises when I am shaving, because (it appears) that I am less interested with the architectural aspect of the lather than the majority of the cohort here.  The only part of lather that actually has functional utility is the fraction of a millimeter closest to the skin where the stubble emerges; the rest of the later is there merely for the entertainment value, like the cheerleaders at an athletic contest.  My preferred lather being decidedly on the runny side, it is generally resistant to clogging.  (As noted above, however, something in AoS shaving cream causes it to form a deposit on the underside (baseplate side) of the blade, a deposit that does not rinse off with hot water at the end of the shave and shows up as a dried-on crud when I reassemble the razor for the next shave.)

1 1,160
Reply
 04-01-2018, 04:35 PM
#18
User Info
I peeled a bushel of apples with one side of the blade when making applesauce. it wasn't any sharper when I switched hands and used the other side...bummer

3 797
Reply
 04-01-2018, 08:53 PM
#19
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(04-01-2018, 04:35 PM)SteelTown Wrote: I peeled a bushel of apples with one side of the blade when making applesauce. it wasn't any sharper when I switched hands and used the other side...bummer

One could pop across at any time of the day or night and trap the then young G. E. Moore into a logical falsehood by means of a cunning semantic subterfuge. I recall one occasion with particular vividness.  I had popped across and had I knocked upon his door. “Come in,” he said.

I decided to wait awhile in order to test the validity of his proposition.
“Come in,” he said once again.  “Very well,” I replied, “if that is in fact truly what you wish.”

I opened the door accordingly and went in, and there was Moore seated by the fire with a basket upon his knees.  

“Moore,” I said, “do you have any apples in that basket?”  “No,” he replied, and smiled seraphically, as was his wont.

I decided to try a different logical tack.  “Moore,” I said, “do you then have some apples in that basket?”  “No,” he replied, leaving me in a logical cleft stick from which I had but one way out.  

“Moore,” I said, “do you then have apples in that basket?”  “Yes,” he replied.  And from that day forth, we remained the very closest of friends.

1 1,160
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)