I Didn’t Know What Approach to This Post I Should Take…..
At first, I wanted to show the evolution of double edge razor blades using a historical approach. That seemed more than appropriate.
Then I got to thinking……. many wet shavers do not understand the basic differences between steel quality and blade coating technologies to be informed enough to select a blade that they have not tried just yet. So in this post we will look at some of the many of the technologies involved in finding your potentially perfect blade.
Where to Start?
First let’s see how basic double edge razor blades are manufactured.
Perhaps where we should start is to understand that, for the most part, the Chinese make three types of razor heads. Only one is unique to China and I think it is amazing!
The other thing to bare in mind is that of the 400,000,000 men who shave in China, most of them have light beards and do not shave every day. So although their are some aggressive Chinese razors most of them are on the mild side.
For those uninitiated, China is broken into “economic zones.” Textiles are in one city, clothing manufacturing is in another etc. The economic zone for razor manufacturing in China is Ningbo, a very pretty port city. There are over 200 establishments that make safety razors, some owned by Persona and Gillette!
Manufacturers sometimes share out the work. If a huge order comes in, there could be many manufacturers collaborating to share the job at hand and finish it on time. It is a concept very unique to China. Best of all, with very few exceptions, the Chinese make very good quality razors.
I know that a few of my readers may thumb their nose at me for the sentiments expressed above, but the Merkur 34C is, in my opinion, is not the best safety razor that Merkur makes. for a newbie. I have never liked mine, although I have tried, and I cannot see what all the fuss is about.
In fact there are two other Merkur models that I find bring much more satisfaction to a newbie. There are also still others in their line up that will also do better than the 34C as a first razor, but right now let’s focus on just two.
A blog is a great place for debate, and the free expression of ideas. So let me present to you what I think are Merkur’s two best beginner razors…….
In Second Place – The Merkur 33C – AKA “The Classic.”
I have several reasons to support my claim. Let’s take a look at the two razors side by side.
34C HD (Heavy Duty)
2.5 / 5 virtually identical blade gap between models.
2.5 / 5 virtually identical blade gap between models.
4 / 5
2.5 / 5
25% down the handle from the head
40% down the handle from the head.
The first comparison that comes to light is the marked efficiency between the two razors. Although the rating is subjective, simply put, efficiency refers to the ability of the razor to cut your whiskers at various different angles to your face. What it implies is that the 34C is in fact more difficult to use than the 33C. Also the 34C will use a lot more effort to shave with.
Ctually the blade gap between the two razors, though slighly different, with the 34C being infinitesmally more aggressive, you would never notice the small difference when shaving.
As far as balance is concerned, a balance point about 1/3 of the way down the handle is considered by many to be ideal. To its advantage for a newbie, the 33C Classic is head heavy in comparison to the 34C HD. Why this makes a difference is because we have found as a manufacturer, through a controlled study, that both experienced and newbie shavers will have less of a desire to press down on the head (the biggest sin of wet shaving….) on a head heavy razor.
As far as comfort goes, both razors have great knurling and won’t slide oiut of wet, soapy hands.
I have proven it to myself time and again, the Merkur 33C Classic, is a damn fine first razor. If you like to get your arms tired by shaving your face off, then choose the 34C, which incidentally is a razor that I never could get into.
But there is one that is better than the 42C.
The Merkur 42C is Perhaps Merkur’s Best and Most Affordable Beginner Razor.
34C HD (Heavy Duty)
2.25 / 5 very slightly milder than the 34C
2.5 / 5 slightly more aggressive.
5 / 5
2.5 / 5
33% down the handle from the head. (Ideal.)
40% down the handle from the head.
The Merkur 42C (and its open comb brother the 41C) are super efficient. The “angle” just sort of happens. Although the blade gap is even narrower than its two brothers, the 42C’s efficiency more than makes up for it. The 42C is perhaps the easiest razor for a beginner to use, and the fact that it is only a touch milder than the 34C, but so much more efficient, will mean better shaves, less nicks, cuts, and weepers.
Simply put, although Merkur’s 34C is perhaps Merkur’s best seller, a new shaver will have to put in a lot more effort to use it.
The 42C’s balance point is spot on! Yet it is still head heavy, which I maintain is a very good thing in the quest for a great, close shave, by a newbie wet shaver.
When it comes to ergonomics, the 42C’s handle is hexagonal, providing a flat surface to grip. The handle is cross hatched to further aid the grip, and has a faux “ball end.” Some people prefer the handle, some people do not. I do. The handle is actually a copy of a vintage Gillette razor of the 1930’s. Now everyone has different tastes, skin types, beard types, prep habits etc., but for me if you asked the question which Merkur razor is best for beginners, I would have to say the Merkur 1904 AKA the 42C!
We sell the Merkur 42C near cost. Only $38.00, shipping included. (For a limited time….)
THE EDWIN JAGGER DE89 versus THE MERKUR 34C. Which One Wins the Day?
Find Out Which One and Why….
This post may be a bit controversial. Remember, these are my opinions, based on my experiences with these two razors. Your mileage may vary.
Presenting the Edwin Jagger DE89.
Edwin Jagger was founded in 1988 by Neil Jagger, a silversmith from Sheffield, England. (Trivia – “Edwin” was Neil’s grandfather’s name…)
In the last 20 years they have grown to be a world leader in luxury shaving items for men and women. It is a small family run business. Choosing only the finest materials and combining cutting edge manufacturing processes with age old skills of the craftsman, Edwin Jagger produce an unrivaled collection of traditional razors. They are especially known for their DE89 safety razor that is one of the highest recommended shavers for beginners.
Edwin Jagger and Mekur couldn’t be more different. Merkur is more of a “corporation.” While Edwin Jagger is sort of a group of artisans on steroids! Edwin Jagger do what they do because they truly love to do it. They just try to perfect one tried and true product, which is available in various different models. In fact, they only make one single head design, used in all of their razor models.
So hear is my take on the Edwin Jagger DE89.
DE89 Fit and Finish – (10/10):
Rumor has it that the chrome work on the DE89 is done by the same sub contractor that does the chrome work for Rolls Royce. One thing for sure, the DE89 has the best chrome of any razor I have ever seen for under $150.00. As a manufacturer myself, I can honestly say that I am jealous.
Every part of the DE89 is subject to meticulous detail. In short, the fit and finish is top notch.
The EJ DE89 is a beautiful razor and the construction quality is well above average. The barley handle on the razor I own, is comfortable and I did not find the very fine knurling of the handle to be slick or difficult to hold, even with soapy fingers. Yet the other DE89 I own is the “cheapy” model, on that razor, the handle is smooth and has no knurling. Yet, it is surprisingly easy to grip, even when wet.
The entire razor is cast from zinc alloys. It will still last a lifetime but remember, since this razor is made of cast metal, be careful so you do not tighten the head too hard. It is rumored that the center screw can break. I have had my original DE89BL for quite a long while. I have dropped it on a tiled floor. All was well. In my long association with this razor, I have never found the center screw to be an issue. (BTW the Merkur is also cast in zinc alloys…)
One thing to note is that Edwin Jagger is a very consumer friendly company. If there is an issue with the razor, they are usually very gracious about fixing or replacing it.
DE89 Ergonomics (10/10):
The DE89 is weighty at 2.6 ounces. The handle is 3.25 inches long. The balance point is one third the way down the handle from the head, which is absolutely excellent. The razor feels comfortable to hold, and because of the balance point being where it is, the user does not have a tendency to apply pressure when shaving.
The DE89BL is a 3-piece razor. The blade alignment is spot on. Always. Blade balance is perfect.
There is a slight blade overhang at the sides of the head, but again, it is very slight indeed. Many other razors have that as well.
Changing blades is super simple. Unscrew the handle from the head. Separate the plates. Take the old blade out. Put the new blade in. Screw the handle back on.
The DE89BL is, in my experience with it, a really well designed razor. It’s ergonomics is almost perfect!
Shave quality (8/10)
Edwin Jagger razors are mild and efficient. It is easy to get a great shave without any nicks, cuts, or weepers. I use a Derby Extra, Voskhod, or Astra SP in mine, with the Voskhod giving me the best results.
Value for Money (9/10)
The EJ will last a lifetime. It can be had for around $35, which in my opinion is a hell of a deal for what you get. It comes with a 2-year warranty, and the company supports the product very well.
RECAP OF THE EDWIN JAGGER DE89 SERIES
The Edwin Jagger DE89 Series of razors is a superb choice.
Fit & Finish
Value for Money
Total Score (Subjective)
46/50 92% favorable.
Presenting the Merkur 34C / 34G
Let me start off by saying that I do not think that the 34C is the best beginner razor that Merkur makes. That honor goes to the Merkur 33C (Classic,) or better still the the Merkur 42C which is truly a great razor at a fantastic price. But since the DE89 and the Merkur 34C are usually compared, I am limiting this revue to that razor.
Merkur was founded in 1896 by Emil Hermes who wished to become a safety razor manufacturer. His preferred company name (Hermes) was already taken, so he got clever and used the equivalent Roman messenger god, Mercury. This symbol of which can still be seen on all of Merkur’s packaging 121 years later!
The 34C is a great choice because its head design is forgiving and has just the right amount of blade exposure. It’s been reviewed on countless blogs and YouTube videos and for a good reason – it’s certainly hard to beat. (credit: Razor Emporium)
Merkur 34C Fit and Finish – (7/10):
Merkur’s fit and finish is also quite good, but nowhere near as good as many people think.
Zinc razors are plated first in nickle because nickle adheres to the zinc, and then with chrome because chrome adheres to the nickle. Merkur’s application of the nickle layer is way too thin. That said, no one I personally know has ever complained about the Merkur’s finish fading or be coming worn. But if you go to the various shaving forums online, there are numerous complaints about just that.
So in my opinion, the fit and finish of the Merkur 34C is “okay,” but not spectacular. It should be noted however that for a premium (about $20) you can get a Merkur 34G which has a superior finish. Gold is a soft metal so it usually scratches and “dings” more easily than nickle or chrome. Not here. Merkur plates this razor very well, and does not skimp on how thick and hard the coating is. It is one of the most durable gold plated razors I have ever found.
As you can see, the Merkur 34C is a 2-piece razor. It is well-made, however, being a two piece razor, there is an internal mechanism that has to be taken out and lubricated every few months. Not a big deal in practice, but still a bit more cumbersome than the Edwin Jagger.
The most serious problem with the Merkur 34C is a blade alignment issue. That is unacceptable in a razor at this price point. However if you hold the razor upright and tighten the head vertically, the blade will align properly most of the time.
Like the Edwin Jagger, the entire Merkur 34C razor is cast from zinc alloys. It will still last a lifetime but remember, since this razor is made of cast metal, be careful not to drop it, and never over tighten the head.
The Merkur 34C has an extremely short 2.75 inch handle. It is kind of feature that people either like or dislike with no in between.
However, the handle is certainly beefy. It is also pretty heavy. The EJ and the 34C actually weigh just about the same overall, but the weight distribution between the two is different so balance is completely different. Which razor is better balanced? That depends on what you find more pleasing to your style of shaving. The EJ has a balance point 1/3 of the way down the handle to the head. The Merkur 34C’s balance point is smack dab in the middle of the handle. This means that the EJ is more head heavy, which I think is advantageous because you may have less of a tendency to exert pressure as you shave.
Shave Quality (7/10)
The Merkur 34C and the Edwin Jagger DE89 series are very mild razors. It would be very difficult to get cuts and nicks from either. That is why they make for great beginner razors. But in my experience the Edwin Jagger is more efficient. It is easier to find the angle on the EJ, and because of its efficiency, you do not have to work as hard to get a good shave.
Value for Money (5/10)
Both razors are fairly affordable. However with the street price of the Edwin Jagger DE89 series of under $40.00 and the street price of the Merkur 34C being between $55.00 to $65.00 there is no contest here. A good starter razor can be a lot less expensive than either of these, but if you have narrowed down your choices to these two, The Edwin Jagger is by far the better value of the two.
Fit & Finish
Value for Money
Total Score (Subjective)
35/50 70% favorable.
While both razors will probably last the average user a lifetime and make a great family heirloom, and many Merkur fans may not like this post, I do believe that between these two razors the Edwin Jagger is a clear winner. Furthermore Merkur is a difficult company to get after sales support from. If you expect any customer service at all, stay away from Merkur.
If you are going for a Merkur as a first DE razor, look at the 33C or the 42C which are similar to shave with, but are a bit more efficient that they are in fact easier to shave with.
As for the Edwin Jagger……. it is absolutely a wonderful razor for anyone, beginner or not.
Tip 1 – Apply Your Shave Balm AFTER Your Afterashave.
The purpose of shave balm is two fold. It’s primary purpose is to add moisture to the epidermal skin layer because it has been scraped by a blade. Your skin also needs repair after a shave. That is also accomplished by adding moisture, but also additional additives such as vitamin e, menthol, etc.
Now think of what an aftershave or witch hazel do. They dry out the skin because they are primarily astringents. Their real purpose is to treat cuts, abrasions, and weepers. But that is at cross purposes to what shave balm is supposed to do.
Does it make any sense to moisturize your skin and then use an astringent which by its very nature will dry out your skin?
Use shave balm as the last product of your shave routine and see what a difference it makes.
Tip 2 – Use COLD Water.
Cold water, you ask?? That is rediculous!
Well, it depends who you’re asking.
Ask a barber and he will explain that hot water softens your beard and opens your pores thereby producing a closer shave.
Ask my dermatologist (like many others) and you will get a completely different answer.
You do not want your pores to be open. Let’s look further as to why.
It is true that a great time to shave is right after a shower, as your skin will be warm and moist and free of excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog up your razor blade. BUT your pores are open. This causes the following problems:
Hair from your beard gets trapped in your pores. Skin is oily by nature and the combination of those oils and hairs from your beard that get left behind actually blocks your pores, attracts dirt, and increases drag on your razor. This makes for a less comfortable shave and gives rise to pimples, black heads, and other skin problems.
So start with a hot shower to soften your beard. Then use a COLD WATER RINSE all the way through the shave and especially at the end.
Try it. You will get a better and smoother shave and according to my dermatologist, healthier skin.
TIP 3 – Use SHAVE OIL, Not a PRESHAVE CREAM, & Use It BETWEEN PASSES As Well!
Simple. Oil and water don’t mix.
Shave soap, cream, and gel, get absorbed by the skin. They are lubricants, so you want lather to sit on top of the skin. Using a quality shave oil helps keep your lather on top of the skin and also further lubricates it as you shave.
Tip 4 – NEVER Store Your Razor & Blades In The BATHROOM.
Your bathroom is a warm, humid place, right?
That humidity causes microscopic rust particles on the edge of your blade which dulls the blade and destroys the coating.
Keep ypour razor(s) in a cool place. Your blades will last longer. Your shaves will be smoother and closer.
Tip 5 – For a Closer Shave Use UNCOATED Blades. They ARE Usually Sharper & Less Expensive.
Its true that uncoated blades may be slightly less comfortable to shave with, but in exchange you can get a sharper blade. Actually of note is the fact that when using a coated blade, the second and third pass is always shrper. The blade sharpens up because friction causes the coating to wear off.
Here are a few stainless steel blades that are pretty good and easy to shave with:
ASTRA BLUE– Many shavers use the popular ASTRA SP (Special Platinum) blades. Astra SPs are pretty smooth for the first shave but decline quickly from there. They really are not that sharp. ASTRA BLUE is in fact a much sharper blade. If ASTRA SP is a 2 / 5 in sharpness ASTRA BLUE is a 3.5 / 5 in sharpness, and is very consistant from shave to shave.
RAPIRA SUPER STAINLESS– These are scary sharp, I would say pretty close to Feather. They last forever. The trade off is that they are not as smooth as some other uncoated blades.
SHARK SS– Not as sharp as the two others reviewed above, but if the Astra Blues are a Corvette, the Rapira Stainless are a Ferrari, then the Shark SS blades are certainly a Jeep. They are super forgiving, pretty smooth to shave with, and I get consistent great shaves with them.
Got some do’s and dont’s to add? Well that is what comments are for. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
We have four razors that have been designed to be gentle, yet super efficient, which are both hallmarks of a good beginner razor. They each carry a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.They are very inexpensive. I am proud of each one!
Top Row: Sumatra & Espresso.
Bottom Row: Black Tiger & Americano
JAVA SUMATRA – $14.99 JAVA Espresso / Americano – $19.99 Vintage Black Tiger – $10.99
Now that our razors are out of my system,here are my 6 choices. Great beginner razors for under $20.00.
In 6th Place – Baili BD179.
AKA Rockwell R1, and many other brands.
The Baili BD179 is really an excellent and super affordable choice and has earned its place as my 6th pick overall. It is also a “butterfly” or twist to open, one piece razor. Blade loading is fast and easy because of this.
The chrome on the Baili is simply dazzling. Its construction is very solid. I have a few, and have dropped mine a few times with no damage after the fall. The open / close mechanism is a bit squeaky but durable. The shave is gentle, efficient, and comfortable. A great first time razor.
You can purchase it on eBay, or Amazon for $15 to $25. Or better still, buy a Rockwell R1. It is the same razor, but backed by Rockwell – a very customer focused company. The razor can also be purchased in Baili’s store on Ali Express. It will only cost you about $5.00 or so there, but take 6 weeks to arrive.
Baili BD179 Construction: Chrome over Zamac. Country of manufacture: China.Weight: 2.5 ounces. Handle Length:3.25 inches.
Baili BD179 blades to try:
Astra SP (green)
Gillette / Wilkinson Sword (India)
Price $15 to $20.
In 5th Place – LORD L5 – AKA LORD TECH.
The LORD Tech is really a great beginner’s razor. It has slightly more aggressiveness than a Gillette Tech, after which it was designed, but not so much that the LORD Tech should be overlooked by beginners. Best of all it is dirt cheap! The LORD Tech costs about $12.00 or so on eBay or Amazon. That usually includes 1 to 3 packs of LORD manufactured blades!
The LORD Tech is a 3-piece razor.
This razor is very light. But, it is also head heavy which compensates in part for the razor’s weight. The razor is super easy to get a nick free close shave from.
LORD Tech Construction: Chrome over Zamac head, aluminum handle. Country of manufacture:Egypt. Weight: 1.2 ounces. Handle Length: 3.5 inches.
Lord L5 Tech – blades to try:
Astra SP (green)
Gillette / Wilkinson Sword (India)
In 4th Place – The Feather Popular
The feather double-edge safety razor is a efficient butterfly opening safety razor that combines affordability with performance. It is also a “butterfly” or twist to open, one piece razor. Blade loading is fast and easy because of this.
Carefully designed for easy handling and superior grip, and built with quality materials including stainless steel. The butterfly loading mechanism is highly practical when loading or cleaning the razor. A perfect shaving instrument, in the feather tradition of high quality shaving instruments. It uses any modern double-edge blade.
The Feather Popular is a very mild razor. It has been designed to work with sharp blades such as Feather’s own Stainless Steel blades, which are perhaps, the sharpest blades you can get.
Feather Popular Construction: Steel & plastic head, plastic handle.Country of manufacture:Japan. Weight: 1.2 ounces. Handle Length: 4.0 inches.
Feather Popular – blades to try:
Feather Hi Steel
Rapira Super Steel
In 3rd Place – The LORD L6 or L7 (Very similar…)
Lord Premium Safety Razor Model LP1822L (L6) or Model L125 (L7 aka as the LORD Fresh) have a gentle Merkur like Head. This Razor offers the ultimate in double edged affordability and lightweight construction.
The LORD L6 & L7 are both 3 piece razors. They both produce the same shaving experience because they use the same head. The handles are very similar, and are in fact the same length. However, the L7 has a handle that has a slightly greater diameter.
LORD L6 / L7 Construction: Chrome over Zamac head, aluminum handle. Country of manufacture:Egypt. Weight: 1.2 ounces. Handle Length: 4.33 inches.
Lord L6 / L7 – blades to try:
In Second Place – A $10 Razor That I Wish That I Made! The Mac’s 33C.
Found only on Amazon USA & Amazon Canada, the Macs 33C is a gem of a razor. Best of all, it is under $10. It even has a stainless steel handle! It also comes with 20 Derby Extra blades which are worth almost half of the price of the razor.
Its chrome is near perfect. It’s shave is smooth, comfortable and efficient. The razor’s fit and finish is top notch. It has a head that is so similar to an Edwin Jagger DE89 that the shaving experience is identical.
This razor is just a great bargain!
A well-made, easy to love 3-piece razor with a Merkur style head, for under $10 including excellent packaging and a stainless handle. Pinch me. I must be dreaming.
MACS 33C Construction: Chrome over Zamac head, stainless steel handle. Country of manufacture:India. Weight: 3.7 ounces. Handle Length: 3.75 inches.
Macs 33C – blades to try:
Derby Extra (the razor comes with 20….)
Price: $9.99 on Amazon.com or $14.99 on Amazon.ca.
Ok folks here it is… In absolute first place!
The Wet Shaving Products (wetshavingproducts.com) “El Grande.”
Measuring 14mm (about half an inch) in diameter, the El Grande just feels great in your hand. The 85mm long handle (3.35 inches) is lathe turned and a deep knurl pattern is carved into the metal keeping it from slipping when wet.
The 3-piece Edwin Jagger DE89 style head is molded from high quality Zamac. The same as higher priced German & English brands. The head & handle are then polished by hand on a buffing wheel. Plated with copper. Then nickel. Then chrome.
Blade alignment and balance are absolutely spot on!
The razor comes in an attractive, quality, magnetic closure storage box.
You can’t find a better quality razor at a better price. Just a joy to use and a joy to own.
WSP El Grande Construction: Chrome over Zamac head and handle. Country of manufacture:Pakistan Weight:2.75 ounces. Handle Length:3.35 inches.
about 5 years ago I found a shaving method that won’t irritate my skin and is also ecologically friendly, affordable, and natural. It revolves around a shiny jewel-like safety razor, a blade, a bowl, and a brush. You won’t have to buy aerosol cans of petroleum-based shaving cream, plastic shavers that you keep throwing out, or overpriced multi-blade razors anymore.
If this blade could sing it would probably sing “Don’t Make Me Feel Misunderstood….” (Carlos Santana.)
In fact I had watched various reviews and no reviewer was enthusiastic about it. So in the end I debated whether I should purchase any or not. But curiosity got the better of me.
I have 100+ razors, as you might imagine, being in the wet shaving business I do try out lots of razors and blades. To date some of the blades that I have tried are:
Dorco Prime ST-302
Gillette Silver Blue
Gillette 7 o’ clock (green)
Gillette 7 o’clock (black)
Gillette Wilk1nson Sword (India)
Topaz (big mistake….)
Super Max Platinum
Ming Shi (Chinese)
etc. (they make the best blades of all!)
That is a ton of blades. That is at least 30! That’s 3,000 blade / razor combinations.
I was never fully satisfied with any. But I finally found the best blade for me. Ready? The winner is……
LORD Platinum Class…
After a really great couple of shaves, I decided that we should do a full review. Was I crazy? Were the Lord Platinum Class blades as good as I thought?
We have a really cool new way to test blades. So I had my posse of testers ready to torture the blades and test their mettle. (Pun Intended.)
Disclaimer: Men have found more ways to shave than you can shake a stick at. The safety razor, and the myriad of blades that go with it, have stood the test of time. But with an infinite variety of head types, razor blade types, skin types and beard types, your mileage may vary from the opinions expressed here. Your opinion is also important. Have a comment?? Leave a comment.
How we test blades.
We use a Merkur 33C as our baseline. Three of us test the same blade and razor combination for 5 days to start. The same blade is used for all 5 days. Then we change razors to a razor of each member of the testing panel’s choosing. Again we change blades every 4 – 5 shaves. Then the razor is changed again. Each complete test runs 15 days. We then compile the results as printed below. All three of us have different beard types. Mine is a quick growing wiry beard and very sensitive skin. Mark – Shaves every second day. Fair beard. Normal skin. George – A daily shaver like me. George also has a fast growing curly beard.
Why do I love these blades:
Note: Lord makes two different blades that have similar names. LORD PLATINUM and LORD PLATINUM CLASS. They are not the same.
What did I like?
Very smooth to shave with
Sharp but not too sharp
Inexpensive $.12 to $.20 (depending where you get them.)
Really nicely packaged. Cool wrapping.
Easy to find on Amazon and eBay
What did I not Didn’t like?
The blade could be a bit sharper.
The blade should be marked to distinguish between sides so that if you turn it over, you know what side you are on.
My quote: “I have finally found a blade that works well in 3 very different test razors. The Merkur 33C. The Parker 96r. Muhle R41.”
What did Mark like?
The blade lifespan. In fact Mark could easily get 7 – 8 shaves out of 1 blade.
What Mark did Mark not like?
Mark claims to have found 1 dud blade. George and I never did.
He didn’t think that the blade was as sharp as the Dorco ST-302 that he usually shaves with.
Razors used: Merkur 33C, Gillette New, Parker Variant set on 4.
Mark’s Quote: “Very good blade that is also extremely forgiving. Lasts for 7 – 8 shaves.”
What did George like?
The price. The blade costs between $0.12 and $0.15.
The sharpness. George found the blades to be quite sharp giving him a DFS after only two passes.
The smooth shave that these blades provide.
What did George Not like?
This has become George’s “go to” blade.
The plastic blade packaging did not have place to dispose of used blades.
Razors Used: Merkur 33C, Merkur Progress, Gillette Fat Boy
George’s quote: “I really had a great experience with these blades. They are sharp and smooth. I love ’em!
Please Note: Lord makes two different blades with similar names. Lord Platinum and Lord Platinum Class (reviewed here.)
Summary and Conclusions:
The Lord Platinum Class blades come singly wrapped in a plastic box that does not have an area to dispose of used blades. The wrapping paper is colorful and strong.
Shaves most like: Derby Premium except sharper, Shark SS except smoother.
(Each category is rated on a scale of 1 (the poorest result) to 10 (the best result.)
5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING SAFETY RAZOR BLADES.
Let’s take a few minutes to discuss some things you should consider before you choose a razor blade After all, like any other product, there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly – although most men who use safety razors are pleased with the kind of shave they get on a daily basis.
You’ll also want to keep in mind a very important point, i.e., every man’s skin and whiskers are different. Just because a brand of blades works perfectly for another man doesn’t mean it’s going to work just as well for you.
Here are some things to think about:
1. IS SHARPER BETTER?
It’s easy to get hung up on a blade’s sharpness because a sharp blade usually means a closer shave, right? In theory perhaps, but sharper also raises your risk of nicks and cuts – especially if you don’t have much experience with a safety razor. It is true, however, that a sharp blade allows you to make fewer passes over your skin during the shave.
However, you’ll also want to consider a blade’s smoothness. By “smooth,” we mean that the cutting angle isn’t as extreme and that you’ll have to apply a bit more pressure during your shave than you would with a sharper blade. There’s less chance of nicks and cuts, but an increased chance of skin irritation – which may spell trouble for men with sensitive skin.
2. WHAT’S YOUR HAIR TYPE?
Your facial hair type is all-important regarding your choice of safety razor blades. Again, everyone’s hair is a bit different – although similarities certainly exist – so what works for one guy may not work for you.
The good news is that double edge safety razor blades make it easier to customize your shave to fit your facial hair type thanks to the number of blade choices that are available.
Generally speaking, the coarser your facial hair, the more aggressive the blade. By “aggressive” we mean the sharpness of the blade. A blade that’s not as sharp will have harder time shaving through coarse hair (with the result being lots of pulling and tugging).
The length of your facial hair is important to your buying consideration, as well. If your hair is longer, then a more aggressive blade is best.
Also, if you have rough, sensitive skin, you’re best served by a less aggressive, smoother blade.
3. SKILL LEVEL
While the learning curve for becoming adept with a safety razor isn’t as steep as with a straight razor, it still takes some getting used to if you’re used to shaving with a cartridge razor, or are new to shaving altogether.
That said, it’s best to start with less aggressive blades while you’re getting the hang of safety razor shaving. It takes time to learn how much pressure you can apply on the razor head without nicking, cutting, or irritating your skin.
4. GO FOR VARIETY
Like most men, you’ll eventually decide to stick with one brand of safety razor blade for one simple reason: it works for you. In the beginning, however, there’s no crime in trying a variety of blades, and you can even find them in variety packs . That way, you’re not spending money on several blades of a certain brand (you can even purchase many blades in packs of 100) that you’ve quickly discovered don’t suit your shaving needs.
5. COST PER SHAVE
This should be the last consideration in your evaluation process, but a good blade should give you 4 – 5 really comfortable and efficient shaves. Some men use one side of the blade and then flip it over for each shave. This can help increase both blade life and shaving comfort. Another tip is to gently tap the blade dry with a soft cloth. Never wipe the blade though. This prevents small rust particles from forming and helps to preserve the blade’s sharpness.
Did you know???
Most often a blade gets sharper the second time it is used, and often the third shave as well. This is because excess coating has worn off of the blade. Its still there, just not in over abundance.
Many people who dispose of their blades after a single shave, really miss out on the second shave, which is usually even better!
In my next post, I will review some popular blade choices and give you my opinions on each one. Stay tuned!
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