1) Sharpness: Fair
2) Comfort: Good
3) Value: Fair
4) Availability: Good
5) Country of Origin: Germany
6) Passes “First Shave Test?: …sort of
7) Longevity (# of shaves): ?
8) Notes: I’ve already gone through a fairly large cross section of the popular blades out there in the market. Not all of them, of course, but many, and most of the blades that receive accolades from reviewers. At this point, I’ll come across a blade here or there I haven’t tried. Having already found plenty of blades I like, testing these “bits and drabs” is just something I do for fun. Oh, and for GREAT SCIENCE, which can never rest.
One of the blades I became aware of was the Croma Diamant. They are made in Germany, and you would think that such a country of origin might bode well for the blade’s chances. Solingen steel is well lauded. I have some Boker and Puma knives made there, and they have always taken a beautiful edge. It’s the home to Dovo, Boker, and other straight razor brands. It’s where Merkurs are made. ‘Nuff said.
However, my other German DE blade experience was with the Merkur blades, and they didn’t exactly win my heart over with stellar performance. They were sort of mid-pack blades, but with a big price tag attached. Nothing I really got excited about.
Well, the Croma Diamants are…not quite as good as the Merkurs. I tried one in my ’58 Superspeed for the first shave, and it was kind of hopeless. These blades are not recommended AT ALL for mild razors. They simply don’t have the sharpness or cutting power to make a mild razor work. It’ll slow, skate, and chatter. I loaded a Polsilver Super Iridium and finished the shave, only getting through one half of my first pass with the Croma blade. The difference in the old Gillette was night and day. Chalk and cheese.
Not wanting to give the blade the out-and-out bum’s rush, I tried a second shave, this time in the PAA Bakelite Slant. This razor is an altogether different beast from the Superspeed, with a pronounced slant and an open comb design. Lots and lots of blade exposure.
The blade…did work in the PAA, but it was a long, slow, slog. I had to really shift down into granny gear to get through the stubble. It was safe enough, ending without a great deal of irritation, but it was work. Not super fun. The type of hesitation and difficulty would typically be a signal to me that a blade was ready to be replaced. When a blade’s initial sharpness has been altogether expended, this is the sort of shave you get. Not what I expect in the first shave or two on a blade.
I’m calling it. The Croma’s are not to my taste. Too dull. Unless you have a very light beard, or a wickedly aggressive razor, I don’t think I’d recommend this blade. There are way too many products out there that perform better and cost less. It’s not even in my top twenty. Sorry, Germany.
Cheers, and happy shaving.