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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Astra Superior Stainless

Over the next few weeks I am going to keep a daily running experience of different blades. Mainly so that I can remember what they were like. Hopefully, you will find this interesting or helpful as you try different blades. Each blade will be used for 7 days unless they are a really bad blade.

Blade Name

Astra Superior Stainless
Astra Superior Stainless

Shaving conditions

Beard Type

Light beard growth, thicker on and under the chin, very sensitive on the neck. Susceptible to razor bumps on and under the chin area.

Preshave Prep:

  • Shower
  • The Well Groomed Guy Pre Shave Oil (One drop)
  • Van der Hagen Premium soap (Shave Stick)
  • Lord L6 razor
  • Soft water
  • Maggard 22mm knot synthetic brush

Post Shave:

  • Dickenson's Witch Hazel (Blue Bottle)
  • Pinaud Clubman Original
  • Nivea Balm for Sensitive Skin

The Shave Week

Day 1 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade seemed sharp but it seemed to scratch a little. Did not seem as smooth as other blades I have used, but is not uncomfortable and may smooth out on the next shave.
  • Tugging: Didn't notice any tugging, but razor feedback was much louder than I have experienced in the past. On the tougher areas of the beard, it seemed to drag as it cut. Not a sharp feeling.
  • Razor Burn: I experienced razorburn for a couple of minutes, but it was hard to tell if it was the result of the blade or not. A couple of days ago I tried a new razor and it shaved me very aggressive. I could have been recovering from that experience. However razor burn was minimal and did not last long.
  • Nicks: One weeper and one self inflicted nick because I was not watching what I was doing. Nothing serious though.
  • Closeness: Fairly close shave. Cheeks and neck were BBS but the chin area resulted in missed spots. Multiple touch ups did not help much. However, when completed, I was happy with the shave.

Day 2 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade was a little smoother on the second shave, but it seems to drag a little. After the shave my skin felt scratchy as if the blade had little ridges in it. Not uncomfortable, but not satisfying.
  • Tugging: Slight tugging on the more dense areas of the beard growth, but none on the sensitive neck areas. This may indicate that it is sharp but not sharp enough to tackle the whole beard.
  • Razor Burn: Razor burn again over the whole face area. Lasted for about a minute.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Very close shave but not quite BBS. The shave felt smooth, but the chin area was slightly rough right after the shave. An hour later, my skin had settled down and felt smooth. 10 hours later, the shave still feels pretty good with just a little roughness under the chin.

Day 3 Shave

  • Smoothness: The blade is not providing a good smooth shave. It seems that the longer I use it the faster it breaks down. The shave was not sharp and smooth, but tugged and was scratchy.
  • Tugging: Most of the tugging was from the more dense areas of the beard growth. The sensitive neck area did not suffer from tugging.
  • Razor Burn: Razor burn was present mainly on the chin area. This is most likely due to my having to buff more to get a closer shave.
  • Nicks: No nicks or weepers.
  • Closeness: Shave was not really all that close. It did feel blotchy in spots. Overall it was passable, but not one of my best.

 Concluding Thoughts and Score

I stopped after three shaves because I really didn't think that it was going to improve on it's performance and I was getting painful shaves. I really don't think that this blade is best suited for a light razor. It may perform better in a heavier razor. I may try again in the future. With that said, I would not buy these in bulk and I will not be using them in my everyday shaves. Main reason is the lack of smoothness and sharpness, the amount of razor burn, more noticeable razor bumps  and overall quality of the shave.

If I were to score this blade form 1 to 10 I would rate it an overall 5.
  • Sharpness: 5
  • Smoothness: 5
  • Tugging: 7
  • Razor Burn: 4
  • Closeness: 4
  • Overall: 5

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