Time for another Q&A Quickie! This time, the request was born from my posting on the “6 Little Known Benefits of Traditional Wet Shaving”, and comes from a nice bloke called Kenyon. Here’s his query:
“…could you [give more] information on what [double edged] blades are the best and sharpest…”
Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to this question. There are many combinations of razors, skin types and shaving techniques to consider when making the decision of what blade to use. What works well for one person, won’t necessarily work very well for another.
The answer, of course, is to try out multiple blades, systematically eliminating ones that don’t work very well until finally, you’re left with a single winning blade. However, as LeisureGuy mentions in his “disquisition on blade sampler packs”, you need to take your time doing this:
“It would be unwise to skip from brand to brand to brand, one shave each: you would never then learn the particularities of a brand … [you] never find your groove.”
He proposes (and I readily agree) that the best way to perform the testing is using a head-to-head ‘knockout’ system where you shave with your current number one blade for a week and then try out a new brand the subsequent week. If the new brand is better, you have a new number one blade, otherwise you can discard it and return to your old number one again:
“By using this approach you’re always comparing just two brands: your best so far and a new brand. That makes the comparison easy, and by always starting the comparison with a week shaving with the “best,” you not only get a break from testing, you get a fresh reminder of what a blade that’s good for you feels like before you try the next new brand.”
By this point, you’re probably asking yourself how you can get hold of a wide selection of blades without spending a small fortune on those that won’t work. After all, who wants to spend hundreds on blades that give them a poor shave?
The solution is simple. You need to buy a small selection pack called a ‘blade sampler’. These usually consist of a range of blades taken from various manufacturers. While you spend a little more ‘per blade’ than buying in bulk, you aren’t left with tons of extra, unwanted blades afterwards.
The following online retailers all stock samplers; while I’m unable to give personal feedback on what the international shops are like, I can tell you that Connaught Shaving in the UK are particularly ‘on the ball’ when it comes to speedy service and delivery:
- BullGoose Shaving Supplies (USA)
- Connaught Shaving (UK)
- Details for Men (USA)
- Fendrihan (Canada)
- Shoebox Shaveshop (USA)
- West Coasting Shaving [First Item On List] (USA)
Well Kenyon, I hope that answers your question. As always, if you have your own “Q&A Quickie” for me, simply drop me an email or send a request via the contact page.