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Thread: Stropping DE blades...really?

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Vintage DE blades were thicker and better quality metal which is why they can be sharpened. Modern blades are thinner and depend on coatings to do the job. Once the coatings go you can pitch them. Sharpening DE blades just exposes the rough garbage edge.
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  2. #12
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    I have played around with sharpening double edge blades. It was not so I could shave forever with one blade but to see if I could. I have a lot of old devices for such. I have only found a few to be of any practical use. I did have fun trying.

  3. #13
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    I palm strop my DE blades, it works for me. It won't get you 20 or 30 shaves from a blade but it will allow a couple more comfortable shaves after you reach the point where you'd normally toss the blade.
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    Senior Member DennisBarberShop's Avatar
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    I dont recommend wrist stropping! Figured id add this for safety reasons

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Substance's Avatar
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    As splendor said my understanding is the vintage blades can be resharpened but the new ones just don't work
    I have a Lillycraps hone and some vintage Gillette blue blades I got for my inherited DE but the new feathers work much better when I used them.
    But I will stick to the Str8s I think as I cut myself less for some reason
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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Gentlemen,
    I really don't see the merit in sharpening double edge razor blades for a few more shaves as if we were in the early days of double edge razors. The double edge blade is not exactly a glorious Puma straight blade. With the huge variety of blades at reasonable cost, why bother with something that may or may not prove beneficial?

  7. #17
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Substance View Post
    As splendor said my understanding is the vintage blades can be resharpened but the new ones just don't work
    I have a Lillycraps hone and some vintage Gillette blue blades I got for my inherited DE but the new feathers work much better when I used them.
    But I will stick to the Str8s I think as I cut myself less for some reason
    + 1. I don't know why it is, but I have to pay strict attention with a DE or I'm more likely to suffer the consequences. Also more likely to get the 'weepers'.

    As far as stropping a DE, makes me think of the first Gillette blades that they advertised to go with the "double ring" shavers they put out in 1905. You would shave with the blade until it needed resharpening and send it back to the factory for that service. I've had double rings and blades for same. Much heavier stock than what a modern blade is.

    I have a W&B DE with the advertised 'cleverly curved blades.' They are the heavy stock like the first Gillettes and I tried honing one on a coticule but no cigar. I've also tried the water glass method but no luck with that either. Old guys like me and spendur can tell you about the blue blades and the later coated blades. I started shaving with the blues and they were appropriately named. Gave me the blues with the rough edges they had.

    When Gillette came along with the Super Stainless and Platinum Plus, even though they were significantly more expensive, they were worth every penny. Nowadays I use Feathers if I'm DE shaving and they give me an extraordinary number for shaves. Here is one of the aforementioned W&B blades.

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    Senior Member PaulKidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    Old guys like me and spendur can tell you about the blue blades and the later coated blades. I started shaving with the blues and they were appropriately named. Gave me the blues with the rough edges they had.
    I'm an old guy, and I started with the infamous blue blades, too...back when all medicine cabinets
    had a blade disposal slot on the back wall.

    I recently bought a DE razor, mostly out of curiosity, but I don't like it much. The sample pack
    of blades I bought with it will probably last me the rest of my life, because after trying DE
    shaving for awhile, I'll stick with a SR, thank you very much.

    The whole idea of stropping a DE blade on one's hand sounds just plain dangerous to me,
    so thanks for all the info, gents.

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    I will palm strop DE and SE blades, before an alcohol dip, as I switch razors out quite often (though now spending most time learning the art of straights). I have found that the quick palm strop followed by a dip reduces the edge degradation, even on stainless blades, when I might not get back to that edge for a week or more. It absolutely does work on carbon steel SE blades, which will go bad almost overnight without it. Instinct says if a straight edge benefits from a strop then other blades will as well, but as pointed out they are cheap enough that some only use them once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obie View Post
    I really don't see the merit in sharpening double edge razor blades for a few more shaves.....With the huge variety of blades at reasonable cost, why bother with something that may or may not prove beneficial?
    I can't speak for anyone else but my main motivation is to be slightly less wasteful. As well, a few extra shaves means saving a bit more money and also means I have to venture out a little less often to buy extra blades

    I'm sure there are those who also enjoy the challenge of it all, though I'm not among that group.
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