Thursday, July 24, 2014

Derby Extra Wrap Up -- For Now -- and SS#8 . . .

Today I put a slightly-used Personna Blue blade into my stock (factory handle) Merkur 33C Classic razor just to compare to yesterday's Derby-Extra shave. I used three passes (all oblique strokes) and the SS#6 soap formulation. The shave was similar to yesterday's -- perhaps a touch closer; but if I wanted to go for BBS everywhere, I would still need to do a bit of final touch up. To avoid unnecessary irritation, I stopped there at three passes: good enough for a generic daily shave.
The tools of today's shave -- most notably SS#6, the Merkur 33C Classic, and a Personna Blue blade.

As has become the norm with SS#6, no special prep was done; nor any after-shave treatment beyond the alum block and a cool-water splash. And regarding the soap formulation, I will be further experimenting with ingredient tuning. I am interested in pushing the formula to various ingredient extremes to achieve the very best in shave-soap performance. This means that there will definitely be SS#8 (#7 was not superior to #6) coming down the pike. Stay tuned for more information.

My summary thoughts after my first-blade trial with the Derby Extra brand is that I now understand their appeal to new wet shavers. I sense that the coating on the blade is effective in combination with their edge grind giving comfortable shaves.

To be honest, I am having a hard time discriminating between the Derbys and other moderately-priced, high-quality blades such as the Personna Blues or the Dorco ST-301s. Here's what I do know: to get a really close shave in minimum passes, I would put any of these blades in my Merkur 37C slant razor. If I use them in the Classic straight-bar razor, I will still get a good shave, but may require just a few additional finishing strokes.

That's it for today. Happy shaving!

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