The New Normal

Posted: May 8, 2016 in Shaving Articles

Just a quick update. As I alluded to in one of my earlier posts, I’ve taken possession of a few new shave accouterments. Two things I’ve been making good use of lately are the Astra Superior Platinum blades and the Derby Extra blades.

I’ve found that the Derbys are aces with the Merkur 39C slant razor. It should be noted that pretty much all findings with the 39C could also be applied to the 37C. They have the same head, and the 39 just has a longer handle. The combination of the slant head, which makes it a very efficient cutter, and the very smooth Derby blades, makes it into a maintenance shaving monster. As before, I’m carrying on with my two pass shave with this combination. Once with the grain (downward), and once across (inward from the ears). This provides a serviceable shave, quickly, and with the very minimum of irritation. I will give the nod to this combination over the 39C+Personna Blue team. Not by a lot. The Derbys are just so darned easy on your skin. Now, if your beard is a fearsome thing made from bristles of steel, perhaps you’ll need a sharper blade, but for my beard, which is fairly dense, but not terribly coarse, it works like a champ.

I already knew that the Astra SPs worked wonderfully with the Feather Seki Edge AS-D2. I wouldn’t have purchased them otherwise. They have become my new go-to in regard to loading the Feather razor. For my purposes, they are at just the right point in the sharp vs. smooth matrix, being both a bit sharper and a bit smoother than the Personnas, which have served as my regular shave for some time. Don’t get me wrong. The Personna blades are still on my list, and I don’t have anything bad to say about them. They are still the blade that I’ll use first when evaluating a new razor, and they’ll be seeing rotation in, well, pretty much all the razors in my arsenal, but they’ve met their match in a few different fights here.

For a lot of razors and a lot of shavers, none of these blades would be a bad investment. I like the fact that none of them are very pricey, at less than fifteen cents per blade. At that price, there’s no need to try eking out extra shaves. If there’s a sense that they’re getting dull or rough, throw in another one. You could easily use a Derby, new with every shave, for cheaper than a lot of other blades could manage, even if doing three or more. For instance…Merkur blades. My sense is that the price on those has a lot to do with being carried at swanky shave stores that make massive profit margins from comparitively rich duffers who don’t want to do any research on their own. But then again, I might be showing more teeth here than is is warranted.

Ah, well. Sometimes, when doing psuedo-science, it comes down to some cold, hard realities (or at least, perceived ones!).

I’m coming to the end of my Proraso White supply now, as it’s been serving as my most frequent soap for the last little while. I’m going to be locked on the horns of a dillema when I run out, as I feel that, for me, the Green and the White Proraso occupy the same basic niche. I don’t have any sensitivity issues with the higher menthol jolt of the Green, and I like the soothing feeling that it brings. It’s sixes when it comes to shave comfort. It’s faintly possible that the White has a slight edge, but it would be difficult to prove that beyond the shadow of a doubt. Perhaps it’s time to try something altogether different, from a different soap maker. Then again, it may simply be time to use a few things up and simplify my gear stash. Nah. That’s no fun. Forget that. As Yngwie Malmsteen said, clearly more is more.

Cheers, all.






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