This summer I conducted what I thought would be an incredibly easy and straight-forward experiment to find the perfect razor blade for my face. I had been jumping around so much between brands that I had no idea what even worked or didn’t work for me. I’ve always thought that the biggest challenge with traditional wet shaving is the abundance of products available. This double-edged sword provides a wonderful variety of wet shaving gear, but it also makes the foray into learning a very daunting adventure. With this in mind, I took the summer to narrow down my selection of razor blades.
I planned to try ten different blades while keeping the remainder of my shaving set-up constant to accentuate the differences between each blade. Here is a quick list of the other items included in my set-up:
Brush: Semogue 1305
Shaving Soap: Proraso “Green”
Razor: Merkur 34C
Upon starting the experiment, I had expected to discover which blade I liked the best. However, I did not realize what else I would learn about the wet shaving process. First, I underestimated the importance variety plays in my enjoyment of shaving. I love the Proraso “Green” shaving soap, but several weeks in, I began to tire of using it, and, by the time I had gone all ten weeks, I didn’t want to use it anymore. On a more practical level, I realized that stainless steel blades seem to be sharper and more durable than platinum coated blades. The platinum coated ones felt more comfortable, though. However, with the proper angle and pressure the comfortability factor was negated, and the stainless steel blades provided a better shave overall.
Concerning the results of the experiment, I’d like to highlight a few blades, then give an over-arching ranking.
Most Overrated Blade: Feather Hi-Stainless
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Feather Hi-Stainless is a very good razor blade. Unfortunately, my experience does not justify the hype this blade usually receives. While this blade is incredibly sharp, it is not forgiving at all, nor is it very durable. I felt like three shaves was the maximum number possible. Additionally, the extreme sharpness irritated some of my “trouble spots”. This was also the only blade with which I cut myself.
Best Value: Gillette “Green” Super Stainless
Not only were the Gillette “Green” Super Stainless the least expensive blade I tried, but they were also one of the best performing. They were durable, sharp, and provided great auditory feedback. Each day with this blade was better than the previous.
Best Razor Blade: Kai Stainless Steel
These blades are absolutely incredible. They gave me the closest, smoothest shaves of the experiment. Additionally, I had the least irritation in my “trouble spots” using the Kai blades. Now, these are one of the most expensive blades I tried, but, in my opinion, they are worth every penny. I was also able to push them to six days of use once the experiment ended, dropping the price per shave to more in-line with the other blades.
For the most part, as you run down the list, my shaves were not as close, with more irritation, and the blades lost their edge faster. If you would like to discuss any blade in particular, please leave a comment or connect on social media. I would be happy to respond. I’d love to hear any thoughts on this post or anything else you have on your mind.