Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Week's Derby-Extra Test-Sample Blade

I have several sample packs of Derby Extra double-edge razor blades. (I bought one, and a few others were included with other shaving purchases.) Manufactured in Turkey, they have a reputation for being of mild character; that is, they are said to not be the sharpest blade -- good for some users, inadequate for others -- but they also are known for being not very irritating to the skin.

The aspect that is most intriguing about the Derby Extra blade is its coating, which is said to include chromium, ceramic, platinum, tungsten, and a polymer (presumably PTFE, a.k.a. Teflon).

As you may already know, I only shave with coated blades because my sensitive skin is so easily irritated, and I've found that coated blades can increase the comfort factor a great deal.

After last week's shaves with the Personna-brand red-label blades made in Israel, I was very interested in how the red-label blades might compare to the Derby Extra. The red-label Personna was sufficiently sharp, but more importantly, was an extremely comfortable blade on my skin. It was the best matched blade for my beard that I have yet to find. However, when one compares the current cost of the red-label to, say, the Derby Extras in bulk quantities of 100 blades, the Derby is about half the cost.

So as tempted as I was to order 100 red-label blades (which I don't really need for the foreseeable future), I thought I should give the Derby Extra brand another go to see if it is suitable for my face as well.

There are still two lingering questions about the Derby Extra brand, however.... sharpness and quality control.

Recent reviews on Amazon have suggested that a minority of Derby-brand users have had problems with inconsistent blade quality and performance, which to me is a significant issue. I expect one hundred percent uniformity and consistency. Other Derby-brand users have complained that the blade isn't sharp enough to comfortably cut their beard.

My one-blade week-long trial of the Derby Extra blade will be published on Saturday. In the mean time, what is your experience with this blade? In particular, I would want to know about perceived sharpness as well as blade-to-blade consistency related to manufacturing and packaging quality control. Please feel free to add your comment to this article.

Happy shaving!

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