Note: the links in this post go to Amazon.com with an affiliate code. If you purchase from these links, Amazon gives me a tiny cut of the revenue. I am otherwise uncompensated for this post.
About two years ago I switched from using a Gillette Mach 3 to a double-edged safety razor. When I first bought my razor, I just bought a pack of whatever blades seemed like a good value. When that supply began to run low, I thought it would be a good idea to shop around a bit. My friend Andy had a sampler of a variety of blades, so he traded me a few of his. Thus begin several weeks of not-at-all-scientific testing.
The blades I tested with.
I had originally purchased Personna blades, which come in a handy container that stores your used blades for safe disposal. The shave was alright, but I found it tended to irritate my neck quite a bit, especially from the second shave onward. This is what inspired my quest for a better shave.
My first new blade was the Shark. While I didn’t have the problem this guy had, I was definitely a little more nicked than normal. There was no irritation, though. Subsequent shave attempts with the Shark proved much better.
The Astra blades gave a pretty nice shave. There was nothing particularly memorable about them, but I recall liking the experience. I should have taken notes.
Durablade 7 A.M. Plus
Initially, I didn’t notice these blades since the color of the wrapper was very similar to the other Durablades (below). I discovered them after I had already ordered more blades. The shave was great: very smooth, with no irritation or nicking.
This unlabeled blade, which is known as the “Israeli Personna“is one of Andy’s favorites. There is no universal “best” blade, and this is a prime example. The blade felt like it was too short, and it took several passes to get a shave that was sufficiently smooth.
This blade was so bad that I had to force myself to use it more than once. It pulled fiercely. I hated it.
I ended up buying 100 Shark blades, which will probably end up being about a two-year supply. Had I found the 7A.M.s before I ordered the Sharks, I would have had to flip a coin or something. The Astras would have been a good choice, too. The others I probably won’t use again.
The downside to the Sharks is that they come in cardboard boxes, which left me needing some way to dispose of used blades. I found an empty Arizona tea cannister (metal) in the garage. A little bit of JB Weld to keep the lid on and a small slit cut with the Dremel and I now have many years’ worth of safe blade storage.