Safety razors are a great way to get a cheaper, less irritating shave. But unlike cartridge razors, there are a ton of different blades out there, and which one you like best will depend on your razor and your skin. Try a sampler pack to find the perfect blade. Photo by Scott Feldstein.
Ask ten wet shavers what their favourite blade is, and you'll get 10 different answers. So if you've been using the same blades since day one, you might be missing out. Michael Ham, author and shaving expert, explains:
Feather blades, to take another example, work extremely well for me in some razors (for me, only in the Feather premium stainless razor, the Gillette Tech, and a couple of others), but a very skilled and experienced shaver I know cannot use a Feather blade, regardless of the razor: his skin simply cannot take that particular blade. So you cannot really blame blade, razor, or shaver: the combination may work, or it may not. But to say that the problem is inherent in any one of those is a trying to make things simpler than they are.
. . . while you can change the brand of blade and/or the particular razor, you cannot change yourself -- you can change your prep and your technique, but not your skin nor your beard: you are a constant. But do understand that a blade and razor combination that works well for you may not work at all for someone else.
So, to find the best blade for your razor and your skin, grab a sampler pack with a few different brands and try them each for a couple weeks. Michael offers a number of places to buy sampler packs in his blog post, and Men's Biz and Safety Razor offer packs as well. Be sure to try each razor for at least a few shaves before writing it off, and check out Michael's full blog post below for more info.
A Disquisition on Blade Sampler Packs [Later On]