Razor Blade Sharpness – Introduction

Razor Blade Sharpness – Introduction

I am pleased to present the first post of many to introduce refined shave. Refined shave is a website dedicated to the review and testing of different shaving products with a primary focus on razor blades and razor blade sharpness. For a detailed description of how the testing is set up, please check out Razor Blade Sharpness Testing.

What do I hope to accomplish with Razor Blade Sharpness Testing?

There seems to be overwhelming interest in the safety razor / wet shaving community regarding the sharpness of different double edge safety razor blades, and how they compare to one another. There are two main areas to compare razor blade sharpness: A brand new razor blade, and a razor blade after a shave or two.

All razor blades will receive the first test fresh out of the wrapper. I have 40 different razor blades in my den that I will be testing, and initially I was going to take all the initial sharpness readings at the same time to release a baseline. I decided to keep as many variables as controlled as possible and that it would make more sense to keep the razor blades sealed in their wrapper right up until I use it to keep them protected. Because of this, a comprehensive list of all the razor blades will be developed as I go.

For a detailed explanation of the testing philosophy, please check out Razor Blade Sharpness Testing. A quick summary of how it works is: A digital scale is purposed to measure the weight/force required for a blade edge (razor blade) to sever a pre-tensioned piece of string (the test media). The razor blade is affixed in a jig on rails to control the angle, and brass strips are used to keep it straight so it does not bend. The weight in grams required to sever the test media becomes the sharpness value, and a lower number means a sharper blade (less force required to sever test media).

To remain consistent, the shaving tests will all be done after 2 days of growth and I will use a Merkur 34C for all of these specific tests. Readings will be taken right out of the wrapper for new, and about 12 hours after shaving so that the blade can dry as I cannot wipe it.

Each razor blade will receive a comprehensive review on the Razor Blade Reviews page. Both the raw data and a data summary of different blades will be published on the Razor Blade Sharpness Testing page. Any posts comparing different blades or the wear comparison of different razors (34C vs 37C coming soon) will be posted on the Articles page.

While I was hoping to have a lot of data to release right off the start, I think people will appreciate the updates as the tests are completed. I will continue to try new blades and post the results as I go, which should be about one new razor blade a week. If you would like to be notified when a new review or article is posted, you can be notified of new information here:

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Vote for the Razor Blade that you want to see next! Completed tests are located on the Razor Blade Reviews Page.

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