Razor Blade Review: Polsilver Super Iridium

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Shaving Articles
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Polsilver Super Iridium

1) Sharpness: Very Good
2) Comfort: Very Good (verging on Amazing, considering the sharpness)
3) Value: Fair
4) Availability: Good
5) Country of Origin: Russia
6) Passes “First Shave Test?: Yes
7) Longevity (# of shaves): An easy four, perhaps even more!
8) Notes: Just a quick administrative note before we start. I’ll continue to do the first, and “definitive” shave with the AS-D2 razor. If it’s terrible, the blade will be given the bum’s rush and not continue to be evaluated. I have no time for a blade that shaves poorly in a fine instrument like the Feather. If, on the other hand, it passes the first shave test, I’ll be trying the blade in other razors. The ones I will use will depend upon my mood and fancy. I will attempt to give you the best wisdom I can in terms of how the blades in question work with those alternate razors, and what that might mean to you.

Okay, on to the test.

The Polsilver blade comes highly touted. It’s a bit more expensive – okay, a lot more expensive than some other blades. Let’s say about three times the cost of an Astra. Thus, it has to be pretty darned good to justify that cost. Let me point out that even the most expensive blades, provided you get them from dealers who are not gouging your eyes out, are far less than a dollar a blade. Some are less than ten cents when purchased in bulk. Even “expensive” blades like this are usually in the neighborhood of 30-40 cents per blade (American money, as of 2016).

The first shave was put together using Palmolive Classic shave cream, Escali badger brush, and the aforementioned AS-D2 razor. I got a comfortable shave, very close, with no cuts, nicks, or undue irritation. I would say that the result was very close to the best I can achieve with the razor in question. When I applied the Aqua Velva after the shave, there was a slight sting, a slight feel of having been exfoliated. The feeling when you shave to the edge of what you can do without hurting yourself.

I would say that the sharpness felt right up there with the best, and the smoothness was quite good, too. I would say as sharp as an Astra, similar in smoothness, though I wouldn’t say better at this time. Early evidence, for me, is that this is a really nice option, but perhaps not the most value-conscious. We’ll see if that bears out, or if new things will be brought to light in the subsequent shaves.

The second shave was done with the Polsilver in my Gillette “Old” open comb razor from 1918. The blade did very well in this, a much, much different razor. The 98 year-old razor performed admirably with the Polsilver loaded. Not too aggressive, but very efficient. I got a superb shave without injuring myself. Injury is a possibility with a razor of this vintage and type.

The shave consisted of Palmolive Classic over Proraso White pre-shave, with the lather built using the Omega “Beehive” classic synthetic brush. I finished with Aqua Velva. There was a bit of sting, but not much. What does this tell me? It tells me that the Polsilver, while sharp, is plenty smooth for a fairly aggressive razor. Still very pleased at this point in the test.

The third shave was done with a 1967 Gillette Superspeed. This is a very mild razor, featuring a resin handle that makes it light. It isn’t necessarily the razor that I’d choose to cut the closest, the fastest. But it’s gentle, a sweetheart. But let’s not get hung up on the razor. I used the wonderful Cella shave cream to add slickness to the party.

Three passes. Near-perfect smoothness. No nicks, cuts, or weepers. A little irritation, but that’s my fault, for overshaving this last little while. I can’t seem to stay away. I know that it’s not a good idea for me to shave every day, especially not full three pass shaves. That said, still doing great. Just relying upon the healing powers of Aqua Velva a bit more.

The Polsilver blade is good. Really good, and in multiple different razors. I don’t feel like it’s falling on its face in terms of sharpness after three shaves, either. In fact, I’m going to push to a fourth shave and document it, though whatever happens on shave four can’t hurt the rating of this blade. It’s already taken its place in the upper echelons of the blades I’ve tested. If it knocks it out of the park on the upcoming shave, hey. Bonus round.

Overtime: Fourth shave. The Polsilver loaded into the Merkur 39c “Sledgehammer” razor. Yikes. If it went bad, the Merkur would surely tear my face into tiny, bloody shreds of meat. Lucky for me, that didn’t happen. Spoiler Alert.

With Palmolive cream, bowl lathered, I launched into a rare three-pass shave with the big Merkur slant head. Generally, I only do two passes with this razor, as any miscalculation or lazy technique on my part can lead to, well, what I mentioned earlier.

The Polsilver blade proved to work beautifully, shaving so smoothly that I was emboldened to shave more thoroughly than I typically do. It was still cutting, still gliding across the skin, still being polite, right to the end. Though the Polsilver is a somewhat pricey blade, I have to admit that it may be worth the money, especially for some face/technique/razor combinations. After doing what I never do, which is a full, three pass shave on four consecutive days, I’m not a mass of razor burn, and I only had two tiny weepers during the whole test. Neither of those required any coagulant, nor did they leave any evidence. They were both from overshaving, clearly. Four days, four shaves, four razors, from very mild to fairly aggressive. Closed and open comb. Slant and straight bar. I presented the Polsilver with the most variegated test I’ve ever subjected a test blade to. It aced every test. Very impressed. If you’re not finding “your” blade that just feels great in all your razors, I’d give the Polsilver a try. If you can get a few extra shaves out of each blade, that might well take the sting out of the elevated price.

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