This article will not compare the razor blades on the market nor suggest a brand. Because, as you know, everyone has a different skin and beard structure, a blade that suits one person may not be the best match for another. It is not only the skin and beard type; but also your choice of razor, your hand pressure, your face preparation, your water and even your psychology has a role on your blade preference. So you need to find your favorite blade with trial.
Then why are we writing this article? Because some people, especially beginners, may have some prejudices or standfast ideas about razor blades mostly from various internet or social media readings which create a tendancy to buy the blades in packs of 100 or more without even trying the blade. This creates a big risk of dissapointment. The basic rule to prevent this, is not to rush, to try different products and not to be prejudiced. In this article, we tried to explain the razor blades without referring to any brand to prevent any kind of misguidance.
We are sure you’re asking this question. There are razor blades
of various qualities and sharpness that come with various coatings on the market. The type of steel used, the type of coating, the steps in the honing process and the quality of honing determine the quality of a blade. A bigger price tag does not always mean the best product for you in the world of DE blades.Let's put quality aside and look, what makes a blade good?
Our priority in traditional shaving is a comfortable and pleasant shave as close as possible. Therefore, a good blade is a pleasant blade that offers close shaving with maximum comfort. It should glide over on your face smoothly, cut the whiskers without any tugging, clean the beard well without any need to shave same area over and over and should not cause any razor burn or irritation after the shave. So, our expectations are quite high.
The sharpness of razor blade
If our expectations are high, then let's just take the sharpest razor blade and have a bbs shave in two passes, right? Well, it's not that simple. As the sharpness increases, so does the blade’s ability to shave cleaner and closer; but at the same time the risk of irritation also increases. Eventually, shaving is a cycle that irritates our skin to a level. When you shave with a very sharp blade, your skin may get tired. In the case of skin wear, our skin gets thicker, harder, loses its moisture and as a result it becomes less healthy with a rough, dry appearance. That's why it is important to use sharp razor blades correctly.
When using a less sharp blade, these risks are reduced and the comfort is increased. Also, it’s easier to get comfortable shaves for beginners and the skin is generally less tired. Therefore, we can say that the moderately sharp blades are generally more comfortable for regular daily shaving. But if the sharpness is too low then the blade may not shave well. It may tug, won’t glide on the skin, will require more passes over the same area which may cause an unpleasant and perhaps uncomfortable shave and will ultimately give a shave that is not very close. Below, we briefly summarize the effects of sharpness:
Razor blades with lower sharpness
Low nick and irritation risk
Generally, more comfortable shaves
Allow faster shaves
More suitable for beginners
Better suitable for regular daily shaves
Tugging, the need to shave the same area over and over, uncomfortable shaves if the sharpness is TOO low
Razor blades with higher sharpness
Closer, comfortable and smooth shaves
No need to shave the same area over and over for close results
Need for a slower, more careful shave
Less suitable for beginners
May tire the skin more
The risk of cuts, nicks, irritation, razor burns and uncomfortable shaves especially in beginners' hands if the sharpness is TOO high.
So far, we've only touched on the sharpness. Moreover, remember that sharpness will have different effects on every skin and beard. If you have a medium or less beard, a moderately sharp blade can work for you better, but if you have a dense or coarse beard, then it may be inadequate. In such a case, you may need a sharper blade. Or let's say you have a very sparse beard. Instead of a mild blade, you can be done with a very sharp blade in just one pass.
Are you someone who has to shave daily? A very sharp blade may cause skin fatigue in the short term. Is your skin very sensitive, but your beard is dense? There is a risk of irritating your skin if you use a very sharp blade in such a difficult situation, but also if you use a mild blade, there is still a risk of skin fatigue as you won’t be able to shave your beard clean enough and will have to shave the same area many times. So, you have to try something in between; a good shaving, moderately sharp blade.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless, you should know the general characteristics above and try them on yourself to find the right blade without sticking to the idea “the sharper the blade, the better it is.”
After sharpness, there's also the matter of coating. Today, many different coatings are used on the edges of razor blades to make them more durable, smooth and rust proof. For example, we see coatings like platinum and teflon very often. They give additional features to the razor, but they also slightly increase the thickness and reduce the sharpness of the edge. In addition, after a few shaves, these coatings wear down and the blade’s performance starts to decrease. Some people's skin can show allergic reactions against teflon or platinum coating. Therefore, we do not recommend to choose a blade just by looking at the coating. Lots of coatings don’t make a blade great. Or course, coated blades, especially teflon coated models, comfortably glide over the skin and offer various advantages. But many uncoated blades can also offer very good shaves too. After all, the durability of the edge is not affected just by the coatings.
Let's talk a little bit about the durability of a razor blade. The type of steel used in the production, heat treatment, honing angle, the type of stones used in honing, the coatings on the edges determine the durability altogether. Some razor blades may give better shaves on their second and third uses after the first shave. This is due to the edge getting burnished and refined, losing its microscopic burrs and the excess coating during the first shave. But with many blades, as they are used the coatings start to disappear, their edge gets burrs, sharpness drops, and the shave becomes less and less comfortable after second or third shave. After a while it becomes so uncomfortable that you finally feel the need to replace it.
How many shaves you can get from a blade is mostly depends on you. Some people use a blade only once, then throw it away. But the truth is that almost every blade can be used more than once. The average figure is 2 to 4 shaves. But remember, this figure will vary greatly depending on the blade, the beard and the experience of the person, the razor, the soap or cream used and how the face is prepared. The same blade can give 5 to 10 good shaves to a person while becoming unpleasant in the third shave for another person. Of course, people with less dense beards are luckier to easily get more shaves from the same blade. Some blades significantly last longer than others but we won’t give you a brand name to avoid any misguidance. As we said, you should try them yourself and find the right blades.
Don’t forget though; double edge razor blades are relatively cheap and you don’t need to get so many shaves out of a blade. Avoid turning it to a competition for your shaving comfort and health.
In the end, the double edge razor blades on the market are made of different steels with different coatings. As a result, their life cycle and sharpness are also greatly variable. The best blade is not the sharpest one, but the one that suits your skin best and gives you the most comfortable shave. Depending on your beard and skin, you need to find it yourself among dozens of razor brands. We say; don’t overestimate sharp blades, but also don’t underestimate less sharp comfort blades. After all, they all exist for someone.