08-17-2021, 12:34 PM
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  • Bax
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What happens when there is a collapse of civilization and the Forces of Evil finally destroy the DE blade factories... and Disposable Razor Zombies (DRZs) are swarming the countryside... and you can no longer get DE blades... but your sweetie needs you to be smooth-shaven, so she can smooch your smooth face?   What's a post-apocalyptic zombie survivor to do???
Why, sharpen your DE blades and re-use them, of course! 

In another thread "Why use blades more than once?"
http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=63246&page=2
I mentioned a blade sharpening device I'd recently picked up. 
Blade sharpening is kind of "off on a tangent" and I didn't want to hijack that other thread, so I started a new one.


Here's a photo of the Blade Master DE blade sharpener:
[Image: pFSqVl5.jpg]
I have no idea about the history of this device.  Maybe it was a wartime thing when resources were scarce and folks had to reuse/recycle because metals were going toward the war effort.  I dunno.  Just guessing.  But it looked cool, so I picked it up for $10.  I've already had $10 worth of fun with it, so I guess it was a good purchase.

Here's how it works:  plunk the blade in there and pull the string.   That's it.  Easy, huh?  I tried to load a video of it in operation, but the 9MB file wouldn't upload.  Suffice it to say that when you pull the string, the little pegs that protrude through the blade spin around like offset cams, making the whole blade orbit in a little circle inside the device (sandwiched between the green sharpening stones), thus sharpening both sides of both blades at the same time.  The sharpening stones are grooved to interlock with each other when you close it, so both sides get sharpened at the same time.  The stones are free-floating and spring-loaded in there, so they apply consistent pressure on the blade, no matter how tightly you squeeze the little box shut.  It's a pretty ingenious little device!  

Today I tried it out.  You can see the battle-scarred blade I tossed in there in the pic above.  It was in the sort of gunky, dull condition that a blade would be in when I'd normally toss 'em.  This Shark blade gave me 5 shaves before I decided to sharpen it (4 shaves that were acceptable, and one that made me decide it was time to pitch it or sharpen it).

I hooked the Blade Master's loop on a cabinet knob in the bathroom and held on to the opposite end (with the red bead), pulling the string tight.  Then I zipped the closed box (with blade inside) up and down the cord 15 times, at a measured speed (I didn't zip it up and down the cord like a crazy monkey on speed... more like a lazy monkey).    Then I took the blade out and douched it off well with alcohol and wiped down the blade with a soft kleenex.  You could actually TELL it had been sharpened by the nice shiny edge on the blade!  So far, I was impressed!


[Image: 6gEvkGX.jpg]

Then I loaded the newly sharpened blade into my '40s Super Speed (the oldest and wisest of all my razors, the one from whom all the other razors seek sage advice about women, cars, and liquor). 

I lathered half of my face with a specific routine (beyond the purview of this post), then shaved with my newly-sharpened Shark.  Instantly there was a LOT of "blade feel" that I wasn't expecting!  It felt like a wide-gap aggressive monster that threatened to filet my cheek... or eat me alive!  I used EXTREME caution shaving with this one!  It took a long time to shave with it, because I was practically petrified with fear at the *feel* of it!  What the heck?  Is it SERRATED now?  YIKES!  I could tell the blade was doing its work, but the word "glide" never entered my noggin.  When I got done with my 2-pass shave, I rinsed that side of my face, thankful that I had survived unscathed.  Not the best shave in the world by a long shot, but I didn't cut myself, so I declared victory.  I didn't DARE to tackle my philtrum with this beast, so I omitted my upper lip from this test.  Did I mention it was scary?

I lathered the OTHER half of my face with the same routine, and plunked a nice, new, shiny Shark blade in my Super Speed buddy.  This time my old Super Speed pal functioned as I'd always expected... with the new blade, it glided effortlessly down my that side of my face and jaw.  I think I faintly heard my Super Speed breathe a soft sigh of relief that this blade would be easier than the last one.  (Maybe it was just my imagination and I'M the one who breathed a sigh of relief...  I DO have an active imagination, after all.) Anyway, I could run this new blade around my face negligently with the Super Speed and still not worry about cutting myself.  (If "Ability To Shave Carelessly' wasn't one of Gillette's sales pitches for the SS razor, it SHOULD have been!)  I finished up my 2-pass shave, and rinsed my face.

Then, after a Devil-May-Care glance at myself in the mirror, accompanied by a brief (but debonair) smile, I compared the two sides of my face.  Remarkably, they weren't THAT different!  I seldom get an excellent shave from a Shark blade anyway.  Both left a little bit of "not smooth" behind (as Sharks always seem to do for me), but I couldn't really tell much of a difference between the two sides of my face!  That surprised me!   After a bit of face-rubbing, rumination, and cogitation, I decided that the NEW Shark was a tad closer and smoother than the re-sharpened blade.  The re-sharpened blade really didn't do quite as good a job as the new blade, though it gave me a "fine to go to work with" shave, even if the actual shaving experience was a tad scary.  I bet a 3rd pass with the re-sharpened blade would have given me a shave as good as my 2-pass with a new blade... or if I'd done some fluffin' an buffin' with the resharpened blade.  

IN CONCLUSION, the shave I got with the re-sharpened Shark was better than the dull "bin ready" blade by far, but not as good as a brand-new blade.  Is this a device I'll use to extend blade life or squeeze a few extra shaves out of each blade?  Of course not.  Blades are so cheap -- and I value "the shave" so much -- that it's certainly worth a new blade when the old one's no longer doing its job.  Using this sharpener would be a last resort.

I'll keep this cool Blade Master oddity in my shave nook, just in case the Zombies come.. and my bride gets that look in her eye.  Yeah, I'm weak.  I would be easily beguiled by her post-apocalyptic feminine charms.  Using a scary aggressive-feeling blade might be worth it if it can still deliver an acceptable shave. 

Not to make the Blade Master sound more impressive or important than it is... but if a smooth-shaven face is necessary for pitchin' woo in a post-apocalyptic DE-deprived zombie-infested wasteland, the humble Blade Master might make the difference between extinction of our species and the continuation of the entire human race!   (Insert pregnant pause here with dramatic closing music... as the screen slowly fades to black and the house lights come on.)
  :-)
- Bax

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 08-17-2021, 11:00 PM
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Whether it really works or not, I still think it's pretty cool. If nothing else it gives an appreciation for the technology used to sharpen modern blades.

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