Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Voskhod Blade, a Pre-War Tech, and Two-Pass Shaves

This has been an interesting shaving week. This week's blade was the Teflon-coated Voskhod blade, which like most Russian-made blades (in my experience) is sharp and durable. After a full seven days of use (and my usual obsessive drying after the shave), it remained sharp with some life left.

Every week I feel a little guilty putting a not-fully-used-up blade in the recycle bank, but, as I've written many times, trying to extract the last good use from a blade after seven shaves makes the usage bookkeeping too difficult, so I call it good after seven and move on.

This coming week's blade is a German-made Wilkinson Sword blade.

A generous reader was kind enough to send me a pre-war (presumably; there are no date codes on this one) Gillette Tech razor to try. Unfortunately, it arrived with its bubble-wrap-lined paper envelope torn, and through which the handle was apparently lost in the mail. The good news is that the two-piece razor head was still enclosed. When I return it, I will use packaging more bullet proof to ensure the safe return of what remains.

I plan to alternate shaves between the Tech and my other favored razor heads, the Merkur Classic (33C), the Lord L.6, and the Rimei RM2003. So every other day I'll be using the Tech. Eyeballing the Tech razor head with blade installed and comparing it to my just-mentioned favorites, I would estimate that, compared to the 33 and the L.6, the blade exposure and span are slightly more aggressive on the Tech, and, not surprisingly, I would also characterize its shaves as slightly more aggressive than both. (Correction: I think the span on the L.6 might be bigger and the Tech, but because the exposure on the L.6 is less, this accounts for the slightly-milder shave of the L.6 -- though both are mild when compared to many other razors.)

I've only had two shaves with the Tech, and both were close, producing a couple of weepers -- even on the first pass, which is unusual for me -- and even with a final-use blade. I haven't yet done back-to-back-day comparison shaves with the Tech and the Rimei, but I expect their shave characters to be similar; they certainly seem to have similar blade-edge positioning when I eyeball them side by side.

Tomorrow, with the fresh Wilkinson blade, I'll be using the Merkur. Then the Tech, of course, on Monday, and likely the Rimei on Tuesday. I'll be sure to report on this, so stay tuned.

This week I've been again experimenting with shave-pass sequence; that is, either a two-pass (with grain, then against grain) pre-work shave, when I'm pressed for time, or a three-pass shave, with grain, then against grain, then across grain. This has been working well for me and I plan to continue this pattern for a while.

Well, I guess that's it for now. I've got to get a good breakfast before my 8:45 tennis match. Happy shaving!

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