06-14-2022, 04:07 PM
#1
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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In the US, military bases have an "exchange" which is basically a store that carries a little bit of everything.  Sometimes it stocks tons of stuff at more remote military bases, and sometimes it stocks less stuff at bases closer to civilization.  Navy, AF, and Army bases all have them (NEX, BX, and PX, respectively).  When I was on a military base recently, I happened to notice the blade pack pictured below at the Exchange, priced at $1.49 for 10 blades, made in Germany.  Figured I'd try 'em out.  No idea who makes them, or if they're just a re-branded blade that's marketed elsewhere under a proprietary name.  The blades themselves have arrows on 'em, but no markings or labeling of any kind.  These are Mystery Blades.  (Insert spooky mystery music here.)
[Image: IUWXrNS.jpg]
Haven't tried them out yet.  Curious to see/feel how they perform.
Time to call out Scooby Doo and those meddling kids to figure out this mystery!
   :-)
- Bax

P.S. The package labeling is a LIE!  It does not fit "all double edge razors" because it won't fit the Segal razor.  Not even close!  Although I doubt anyone in the NEX/BX/PX world have ever even HEARD of a vintage Segal razor...

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 06-14-2022, 04:15 PM
#2
  • chazt
  • Super Moderator
  • Queens, NY
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My guess is that they’re made in the same place that makes the current Personna Platinum Chrome blades. I’m interested in your thoughts as to the shave…
[Image: 0bMEqw9.jpg]

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 06-15-2022, 02:39 PM
#3
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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Why those crooks! 
The packaging clearly says "Blades made in Germany" but they list a manufacturer address in Connecticut!?!?
Dodgy
Unless the blades come from GE and the goofy box they're in comes from CT.
Or the CT company has a factory in GE.
Or a partnership with a manufacturer in GE.
Weird.

Smoke and mirrors.  Poor labeling.
Perhaps this misinformation campaign is the first step toward invasion of Earth by alien invaders!
(Insert spooky space music here!)

- Bax

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 06-15-2022, 05:02 PM
#4
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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The blade holder looks very retro, kinda like a Gillette Spoiler or Schick Plus Platinum .. or a Persona as Charlie said.  

[Image: shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcSR7Jp3AQWoV_IQOVTiw...iPJe1CZIW7]

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 06-15-2022, 05:24 PM
#5
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
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Or these from my friendly Meijers Shifty Acres .. 'cept they are asking $4.99

[Image: 0004125066145_4_A1C1_1200.png]
[Image: 0004125066145_4_A7C1_1200.png]

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 06-15-2022, 10:16 PM
#6
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Seems like there is a manufacturer in Germany churning out OEM blades for others to label and sell... looking at the similarities of the back of the packages from the PX and Maijer, they didn't even bother to change the text much. The only difference is that the Exchange got (probably paid for) adding the words "These Exchange Select..." to the start of the blurb. Oh, and they moved the claim about fitting all double edged razors up into a corner.

The internet tells me that there is a small handful of blade manufacturers in Germany still. As long as they are not made by the same people who make the Merkur blades, I think you'll be okay Tongue

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 06-16-2022, 04:39 AM
#7
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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I tried out the Mystery Blade yesterday.  If I had access to an electron microscope and better measuring capability, I could provide a better analysis and evaluation.  But I was stuck with the tools at hand.  
     Using a vintage Super Speed razor, Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood, and my favorite Semogue boar brush, I lathered up and started my test shave.  I've tried a boatload of blades (from "unheard of" to "Mr Fancy Pants" blades), and figure this Mystery Blade compares favorably to blades from the lower end of the spectrum.  I think it compares more closely to the Shark (Egypt) blades than any others I've tried.  The shave was not amazing, but it was not bad, either.  My normal 2-pass with a little fluff 'n' buff, and I was ready for the day.   I tried the blade again this morning, and got the same result, same conclusions.
     Folks with tough, long, wiry whiskers probably wouldn't be happy with the Mystery Blades.  But for my whiskers (halfway between "wiry" and "teenage peach fuzz" -- maybe leaning toward the "peach fuzz" end of the scale), I think they worked just fine.  
     Keeping in mind that these were blades intended for military guys, sold at an Exchange that only offered just one DE razor (a TTO Van Der Hagen) and one DE blade choice, they were fine for the intended purpose.  Cheap, daily shave blades for young "get it done and get out the door" military fellas.  The Exchange isn't a Men's Luxury Skin Care business, after all.  These razor blades were nothing to brag about, but they certainly did the job well enough to pass inspection. 
     I haven't re-used a single blade enough times yet to determine how robust they'll be (# of shaves per blade), but I suspect it'll be about like the Shark, good for maybe 4 shaves, 5 if you push it (we'll see).   
     CAVEAT:  I'm an idiot and have no idea what I'm talking about.  For all I know, these might *really* be cleverly disguised ultra sharp titanium carbon fiber laser atomic George Jetson super-futuristic awesome blades that have been cleverly re-branded for the US military... and they're the best thing since sliced bread!  But I had to compare the blades to stuff I know and give my own subjective evaluation, perhaps tainted by my own pre-conceived notions and expectations.  
  :-)
- Bax

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 06-16-2022, 01:51 PM
#8
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I just remember any kind of a rough shave being preferable to the First Sargent finding even a hint of a whisker at 5 AM standing in the glare of the lights of the company area in basic training.

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 06-16-2022, 03:22 PM
#9
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(06-16-2022, 04:39 AM)Bax Wrote: I tried out the Mystery Blade yesterday.  If I had access to an electron microscope and better measuring capability, I could provide a better analysis and evaluation.  But I was stuck with the tools at hand.  
     Using a vintage Super Speed razor, Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood, and my favorite Semogue boar brush, I lathered up and started my test shave.  I've tried a boatload of blades (from "unheard of" to "Mr Fancy Pants" blades), and figure this Mystery Blade compares favorably to blades from the lower end of the spectrum.  I think it compares more closely to the Shark (Egypt) blades than any others I've tried.  The shave was not amazing, but it was not bad, either.  My normal 2-pass with a little fluff 'n' buff, and I was ready for the day.   I tried the blade again this morning, and got the same result, same conclusions.
     Folks with tough, long, wiry whiskers probably wouldn't be happy with the Mystery Blades.  But for my whiskers (halfway between "wiry" and "teenage peach fuzz" -- maybe leaning toward the "peach fuzz" end of the scale), I think they worked just fine.  
     Keeping in mind that these were blades intended for military guys, sold at an Exchange that only offered just one DE razor (a TTO Van Der Hagen) and one DE blade choice, they were fine for the intended purpose.  Cheap, daily shave blades for young "get it done and get out the door" military fellas.  The Exchange isn't a Men's Luxury Skin Care business, after all.  These razor blades were nothing to brag about, but they certainly did the job well enough to pass inspection. 
     I haven't re-used a single blade enough times yet to determine how robust they'll be (# of shaves per blade), but I suspect it'll be about like the Shark, good for maybe 4 shaves, 5 if you push it (we'll see).   
     CAVEAT:  I'm an idiot and have no idea what I'm talking about.  For all I know, these might *really* be cleverly disguised ultra sharp titanium carbon fiber laser atomic George Jetson super-futuristic awesome blades that have been cleverly re-branded for the US military... and they're the best thing since sliced bread!  But I had to compare the blades to stuff I know and give my own subjective evaluation, perhaps tainted by my own pre-conceived notions and expectations.  
  :-)
- Bax

Sliced bread, huh? That's the best thing we got? Nothing better than sliced bread since 1928 I guess. Except maybe these blades. Hmm

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 06-16-2022, 06:43 PM
#10
  • Bax
  • Active Member
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The Mystery Blade is good for 6 shaves.  Today was #7 and it was UNSAT.  Shave #6 wasn't anything to brag about, but it was a fine "get out the door and go to work" shave.  For many of you, it's ridiculous to use a blade so many times.  For my not-so-wiry-yet-manly peach fuzz, however, I can get 5 shaves out of *most* blades.  So this blade is neither AWESOME, nor is it TERRIBLE!  It's a middle-of-the-road blade.
  :-)
- Bax

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