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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Razor Blades: Platninum, Stainless, Teflon, "Oh My!"

Are DE Razor Blades Even Available?

A lot of time can be spent in finding just the right blade to give you the best shave possible. DE razor blades are not easily found in the U.S. in fact, there is only one blade manufacturer left in the states that continues to produce DE blades. That company is Personna. However, overseas in Europe and the Middle Eastern and Asian countries, DE manufacturing is in full swing. At last count, you can possible find close to 100 different DE blades on the market. You just have to know where to look.

I have purchased blades from several places. One of the first places was I was able to select single blades without having to purchase a whole box at one time. It is a great place to get started and one I highly recommend using to find blades. One thing I did do is select blades that I knew I could find elsewhere in bulk in the case I hit on a great blade that was a winner. But at the same time I could not pass up trying the blades from exotic places from around the world.

Some things to look for in a blade

Not all DE razor blades are the same. After you try a few you will see what I mean. I gauge a blade by four things. How sharp is it, how smooth is it, did It give me any weepers and finally how much did it cost.

Lets face it. No body likes to spend money when we don't have to. So why spend two dollars on a blade that you can get for 20 cents that will produce equally good results. I've never been able to get more than a week out of a good blade. Besides, at 20 cents why suffer with a rough shave just to get an extra week out of a blade? It's not worth it.

All razor blades are sharp. They will cut you. However, cutting and shaving are two different things. For me, finding one that is smooth is worth not having the sharpest blade in the world. A smooth blade will shave with a lot of comfort. For those of us with tender necks, sharpness along with the highest degree of smoothness can sometimes be what you need, but hard to find. So it becomes a hunt for the perfect blade.

Manufacturers and Materials

There are several DE razor blade manufacturers around the world. Located in The United States, Russia, Germany, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, China, South Korea, Viet Nam, and Japan, there is no shortage of suppliers. I'm sure I left someone off the list. And then there is a variety of materials used in the blades and coatings on the blades. You can easily find stainless steel, platinum, and Teflon blades. Carbon steel is not easily found and a material I wouldn't recommend for obvious reasons. I'm just not sure how long they will last before they start rusting. However please try them if you wish! You might just find your perfect blade!

Stainless steel blades are very sharp but sometimes the do not rank high in the smoothness category. The Platinum coated blades seek to add a higher degree of smoothness to the blades and do a great at it. Teflon coatings attempt the same thing and raise the degree of smoothness even higher in my opinion. But this coating seems to reduce the sharpness of the blade. I find these blades valuable when I want a quick shave and I am being careless, or just wanting my face to heal from a really bad shave.

When I stated DE shaving I tried a lot of different blades. What I found, was that Russian blade manufactures produced the best blades for my skin type. Sharp and smooth, I am able to get some really great shaves with these. Ironically, one of those blades produced in Russia is made by Gillette! Another great blade for me is the Personna Red made in Israel.

"The Fab Four"

I made it a point to identify four blades that were the best fit for me. With blades coming from overseas, I never new when there may be a supply problem. After identify them, I bought a hundred blade packs of each. I literally have enough blades to get me through the next five years! Each 100 blade pack cost me between 15 and 20 dollars. For me, that was cheap insurance. So what are my four best blades?

The Persona Reds made in Israel are considered my best blade. Sharp and somewhat smooth, I tend to get the best shave from these blades. Besides a good shave, There have been times when I have gotten about 14 shaves with this blade before it got changed out.
The Gillette Silver Blue blades are my second best blades. Made in Russia, they are sharp but not quite as smooth as the Personna Reds. They do however give me great shaves with very little tugging with ATG shaves on my sensitive neck.
The two smoothest blades I have are both made in Russia and I would be willing to bet by the same manufacturer. The Rapira Platinum Lux is one blade that consistently gives me comfortable shaves without weepers. It feels dull when shaving with it, but the results are wonderful!
Finally, the Voskhod is a Teflon blade that ranks high in smoothness with a good comfortable shave. It's a blade I can get a good seven days shaving out of and hardly ever get a weeper!

A final thought

As you begin to research razors, I would suggest such website as and or one of the other vendors I have listed on the right panel. All provide excellent customer service and options. Some of these websites will allow you to build a blade sample kit for a reduced price. Just remember when shopping for blades read the user reviews. They can be very helpful!


  1. There is a whole 'nother, fun side of the blade world to explore in China, where one faces the question, "How dull can a blade be, and I can still shave with it?" on the very first shave! Yet there is interesting variety, even within that range. I feel especially multi-cultural when they don't translate the characters of the brand printed on the blade. More self-respect than in Russia.

    1. Chinese I haven't tried. I do have a box that came with my Rimei razor that I haven't tried yet. Not really a big fan of Vietnamese blades though.

      Ill have to research what's out there!