The Treet “Black Beauty” razor blade caught my eye as soon as I started shaving with a safety razor. The novelty of the black blade combined with the incredibly low price was enough for me to go out on a limb and purchase 100.
My initial shave with the Treet Black Beauty did not go well. I had been using a safety razor long enough to know that it felt dull, but it was still early enough that I accepted the possibility is was poor technique or just not the right razor (I was using an Edwin Jagger DE86-BL).
I have been eagerly waiting for months for the Treet Black Beauty to be voted for testing. When I initially tried the Derby Extra I also did not find it very sharp in the Edwin Jagger, however I ended up getting great shaves in the Merkur 34C or Merkur 37C. I was hoping that the same thing would happen to me with the Treet Black Beauty using the 34C for the sharpness testing.
Fresh out of the pack the sharpness measured 52, which is not very sharp. This is exactly what I was expecting, although I was thinking that it might even be the least sharp yet (the Rockwell Razors still holds the least sharp out of the package title at 54). You can click this link to see a Razor Blade Sharpness Comparison Chart with the other blades tested so far.
The first shave with the Treet Black Beauty was awful.
Note that I shave my head as well as my face and have a pretty thick growth – except for the top of my head. This means that one of my shaves might equal two of someone that just shaves their face, or even more if they have a thinner beard.
I ended up getting a somewhat passable shave on my head, although it was very inefficient. It took a lot of effort to get to a point where I felt I could quit, but it was nowhere near baby smooth. By the time I got to my face I felt like I was attempting to scrape the hair off.
The first shave was unacceptable. I was not even able to get remotely close on my chin and jaw, it was like the razor blade was literally doing nothing – as if I was just dragging a spoon across my face. I could feel it moving across my chin, but it wasn’t really doing anything.
As we had plans to go out for dinner with friends, I mentioned my shave to my wife. She said she noticed already and thought that maybe I was trying something new, and didn’t want to be mean by saying anything (mainly that I looked insane). I ended up putting a Voskhod into another safety razor to clean up for dinner.
After the first shave, the sharpness decreased to 62. You will notice in the other razor blade reviews as well that most blades so far tend to sharpen up with use, however this blade took a drastic decline.
I was dreading the second shave, and was racking my brain to figure out how I could get away without performing the second shave test. Unfortunately (for me) there was no way around it. I had to do a second shave to get the results.
The second shave was truly a demonstration of commitment to the razor blade sharpness testing. The best I could do was attempt my 3 pass shave on each my head and my face, and then when my skin had enough I cleaned up with a Voskhod that was already loaded in another razor.
Using the Voskhod was actually remarkable when using immediately after the Treet Black Beauty, just how easy it worked compared to the Treet doing nothing.
I have now tested over 25 different DE razor blades to date, and the Treet Black Beauty is the first razor blade time that I actually had to use another blade to finish. There was no way I could go for dinner after the first shave or work after the second shave looking how the treet Black Beauty left me.
After the second shave the sharpness decreased again to 69, which is by far the lowest sharpness reading to date. I literally have nothing good to say about the Treet Black Beauty, I don’t even think it looks cool anymore.
Initial Sharpness = 52
Average Sharpness = 61
Edge Retention = 1.33
Smoothness = 0/5
Overall Subjective Rating = 0/5
Carbon Steel. Made in Pakistan.
The majority of the razor blades that I test will by definition be average. While there may be some interest on which side of average they fall or potential anecdotes that arise from my shaves, the true value or interest in my opinion will be the blades that are very sharp or very dull. These are the blades that may be desired or avoided depending on the individual shavers preference.
I know that your mileage may vary, but I do not see how anyone with a relatively coarse or thick beard could get a remotely reasonable shave in a mild to moderate razor using the Treet Black Beauty.
Even when I don’t like a blade I usually recommend giving it a whirl, however this is a case where I would not. Ignore the siren calls of the Treet Black Beauty with its unique look and very desirable price – fill your ears with wax and avoid the shipwreck.
Have you tried the Treet Black Beauty Razor Blades? Be sure to leave your overall rating, the community appreciates your vote!