|Dorco blades come ten in a pack, which has a used-blade slot|
in the back. Consider using a recycling-blade bank for used
blades instead of the plastic packaging, which ends up leaving
the blades in a landfill forever.
I've written about these blades previously, but I wanted to take a break from my weekly series with blades that are new to me. I wanted to return to a known product, to get back in touch with my formerly-regular-rotation blades for comparison purposes.
These blades are each single wrapped in a printed, unwaxed-paper wrapper, and packaged ten blades in a plastic boxes as shown. I like the single wrapper, but think the plastic boxing on the ten pack is excessive and discourages putting used blades in a blade bank for eventual recycling, which is a much better practice.
Comparing blades is a difficult task. Because of the myriad variables, which I do try to limit to a degree, blade comparisons remain challenging because even the shave-stroking process can itself vary day to day with normal, subtle stroking differences. I made the comparison more difficult this week because of my renewed trial shaves with the Gillette and Weishi TTO razors. The Dorco ST-301 has again proven itself to be a fine blade: sharp, smooth, reasonably durable, and at a great price -- a true value. With this blade and my Merkur 33C on Monday I got one of the best overall shaves ever. I also got a a very good shave on Saturday with the same razor combined with a new shave soap. The Dorco blade is as sharp, seemingly as durable or nearly so, and about as smooth (on my face) as many of the St. Petersburg blades, but less expensive.
The Gillette Slim Adjustable razor, which months ago I banished to the supply box in my closet due to harsh shaves, has been born again. I opened my mind, gave it another look, then another go, and discovered that for me on its mildest setting, one, it can provide a close, comfortable shave. The Weishi 9306-F also gives a good shave -- though not as close as other razors, all other things equal -- and a reasonably comfortable shave if I can remember to periodically ensure that the TTO mechanism is gently snugged up during the shave so that the blade remains properly clamped in the razor head.
Using a detailed beard-grain map can help to increase the closeness and comfort of one's shave by helping to get stroke directions exactly right for the with-, cross-, and against-grain passes.
Now that heating season is upon us here in the north, I have this week more regularly used a post-shave balm with a couple of drops added of vitamin E oil for moisturizing and protection. On some days, however, a final Noxzema-and-water wash has been adequate.
Next week's blade looks to be the made-in-India SuperMax Titanium -- another blade from my large-inventory, regular-rotation cache.
|Vintage Gillette Slim Adjustable|
|The Weishi 9306-F and its case: a knock off of an old|
Gillette Super Speed razor.
Back to a home-base shave using my go-to Merkur 33C with the fifth-use Dorco ST-301 blade. Prior to the shave today, my skin felt good, but leery of possible lingering irritation from yesterday, I chose to deviate from my usual minimalist beard preparation. Today, after my pre-shave beard wetting with cool water, I rubbed some Noxzema cleansing cream on my entire neck below the jawline as a pre-lather shave-butter layer. I did that for each pass, and applied SS#10C lather directly over that. I did a three-pass shave and was fussy on the third pass, which yielded a very close shave everywhere, with about three weepers. An alum rub did reveal some irritation on my lower neck and around my mouth, where I shaved more aggressively than usual. Only one weeper got a touch of styptic; the others disappeared with the first water rinse after the alum. I followed that with a Noxzema-and-water wash, dried with a towel, and topped the shave with a Nivea balm supplemented with some vitamin-E oil.
Seventh and final shave with the Dorco ST-301 blade using it in the Merkur 33 razor. Trying a new shave soap formulation and process, SS#11P1, I lathered and applied with my Tweezerman badger brush. Three passes and a minor touch up yielded the a very smooth shave -- essentially, over most of my beard, about as close as I get. Had a tiny nick and one very minor weeper, which both disappeared with the first water rinse. Additionally, an alum rub revealed little irritation -- much less than previous days. I attribute this to the combination of the Merkur razor and the new shave soap. To counteract the drying qualities of the alum, I applied an after-shave balm supplemented with a couple of drops of vitamin-E oil. In all, today's shave was an excellent one to wrap up the week.
For next week it looks to be the SuperMax Titanium blade.