Trying various razor blades

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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.

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.

“Israeli Personna”

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.

Durablade Sharp

This blade was so bad that I had to force myself to use it more than once. It pulled fiercely. I hated it.

The verdict

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.

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