on March 24, 2012
At $0.48 ea this is a great sampler pack, that I have now purchased twice.
Everyone's face is different and the ONLY way to find out what works best for you is to try them all out.
...I have a dark red beard peppered with bigger thicker dark whiskers which are wide and flat instead of round.
My beard is particularly curly, and grows right alongside my skin--so I am prone to having ingrown hairs. Also, the grain of my beard spirals and changes directions in several places.
...Electric razors cause ingrown hairs and razor bumps & disposables give me terrible razor rash.
...Since I have switched to DE razors, I can shave every day (for the first time since I was in my teens) and my skin no longer burns when I sweat.
The first time around I used each blade for one week, and switched brands frequently.
Oddly enough, my preferred make changed several times.
Some of this was due to the weather (which changes the condition of my skin)
and some of this (I hope) was due to technique changes.
The second time around I decided to use one brand at a time and learn to adapt my technique to the blade.
The end result is that I can now shave with every blade comfortably, though some are markedly better than others.
...($0.40 ea) The Feathers were my first favorite. They are sharp and do not tug at any shaving angle. This blade is too sharp for shaving against the grain. Shaving the difficult areas on my face can be trying. This is my preferred blade for shaving a full beard. (New link for $0.30 ea)
...($0.14 ea) The Blue Birds are my current favorite. They are nearly as sharp as the feathers (no tugging). They also are too sharp to attempt against the grain shaving. They are gentler on my skin than the feathers and allow for more passes with less razor burn (good for addressing those difficult areas). (Edit: For some reason the second tuck of these didn't impress me... )
...($0.08 ea) The Derbys are sure to remain in my arsenal. I hated these blades for tugging at my beard, until I learned to vary the cutting angle according to whisker length & cutting direction. Indeed, I now get the gentlest shaves from this blade, and they are inexpensive to boot!
...($0.10 ea) The Astras were the first blade I ran out of. They are a dirt cheap, versatile blade (plenty sharp and reasonably gentle), but they didn't last very long.
...($0.25 ea) The Gillette Platinums on are good blades that seem to last forever... as is reflected in their price. If I could only have one blade this might very well be it.
...($0.25 ea) The Gillette Stainless didn't seem to be as nice as the Platinums. I would rather have tried the Gillette SharpEdges.
...($0.16) The Sharks: I tried really hard to like these blades because they are the only ones that do not come glued* to the wax paper wrappers. However, they don't perform with my face/razor very well.
*for better results with glued blades, insert the blade with the glue spots facing the handle.
PS. I use these in a Merkur HD with Van Der Hagen Deluxe or Col Conk Almond Shave Soap.
PPS. To get a better feel for your shave quality apply aftershave before rinsing with cold water (as well as after).
At this point, I don't ever feel any razor burn after I have rinsed my face in cold water.
I have also discovered that a 2-pass shave morning and nightly is better than one 3-pass shave every morning (closer shaves and less irritation).
on December 17, 2012
I'm a 28 y/o caucasian, with almost sensitive skin and regular (not thin, not coarse), full (grows evenly on my face) beard. I've been shaving with an Edwin Jagger DE89L razor for the past six months or so, along with the Van der Haagen Luxury Kit, and this has been a wonderful experience. I switched over from Gillete Sensor blades, which is are no longer made. I also owned a few electric shavers that were good, but always broke down and new models show up every year. So this (shaving with double-edge safety blades), I believe, is the perfect system. It's manly, classy, reliable and affordable.
On to the blades. I went through these in various "rounds" to determine which were the best for me, considering my current kit. This is the list from worst to best:
1. Shark Super Stainless: These were, by far, the absolute worst blades I tried. I did not get a decent shave and I suffered terribly from a lot of "tug and pull". I tried two of them, thinking maybe the first blade I tried was a lemon, but I completely discarded them at round 2. I might use them to cut stuff.
2. Derby: These were the first I tried since I received 5 of them with my razor. They were comfortable to shave with, but the shave was not close at all. They were also dropped at round 2, but only because I had tried them before. I'd probably recommend these to those with sensitive skin and/or thin facial hair.
3. Gillete 7 O'clock: I was surprised at my first shave with these, better than Astra (see below), but at round 2, I felt some "tug and pull", which were also present on round 3, where they were dropped, so they may not be as consistent. I'll give these another go, just to be sure, and update this review IF NECESSARY.
4. Blue Bird: These made it to the 5th and final round and provide an awesome shave. If Feather (see below) is a 10/10 in closeness, these are easily a 9.5/10. However, I suffered from some "tug and pull".
5. Astra: These are maybe the best blades overall since I've had really really good and comfortable shaves with them, although not as close as Blue Bird (see above) or Feather (see below). These were dropped on round 4 only because they were super consistent throughout all rounds and I was looking mostly for the closest shave.
6. Feather: What can I say? These provided the absolute best shave in both comfort and closeness. I had no nicks or cuts at all, so don't be afraid! The only drawbacks are that the sharpness doesn't seem to last as long (you get maybe three perfect shaves per blade) and the price.
Conclusion: The last three blades are all magnificent. I may stick to Astra as my main, go-to, everyday blades and Feather as my "special occasion" blade. That way, there really is no point in enduring the "tug and pull" from Blue Birds.
on August 20, 2012
I ordered these razors to get a good assortment of blades to try. I was really looking forward to trying the Bluebird razors, but imagine my suprise when they were not part of the pack. Instead I was sent Bic Chrome Platinums. I've already used these and wasn't happy with them to begin with. The picture and description listed Shark (received), Gillette 7 O'Clock (received), Astra, Derby and Feather (all received). Too bad I got screwed on the Bluebirds. Won't order these again!
UPDATE: Within a few hours of posting this comment, I was contacted by the company and not only received an apology, but they are sending the correct blades. While the mistake happened, and mistakes happen with anyone, I am seriously impressed with the customer service, and quality of care I received. After seeing as how this company puts customers first, I am changing over to 5 stars, and will continue to use this company from now on. Keep up the great work, and know that how you treat customers is sometimes more important than the product itself.
on December 29, 2012
These little razors arrived quickly and as advertised. I bought them because I'm trying out different blades in order to figure out which ones will work best for shaving my legs. I have so far only shaved with the cheapest/dullest blade in the bunch, and I am in love. Does this mean it will only get better? I can't believe it; I have never had such a close shave in my entire life. All the blades are individually wrapped in paper, which is adorable, or, as adorable as razor blades can be :)
UPDATE: After using my safety razor for the past month or so, I have mastered the technique. I now shave using the very sharp feather blades. I apply almost no pressure and let the razor/blade glide down my skin. These blades are so sharp that you really just need to let them do all the work. They are awesome and I will never go back to using a standard razor to shave my legs ever again. What a great find :)
on September 24, 2014
I bought this sampler pack because I was new to DE shaving and didn't know what I was looking for yet. Now after doing a lot more research, I know that the only really good blades in this pack are the Feathers, Silver Blue, and maybe Bluebirds - the rest are cheap filler.
Some of the blades, while cheap, are popular because they're forgiving (Astra, Derby), but if you have a thick heavy beard they probably will not be sharp enough for you. I'd recommend trying to find a "premium" pack with Feather, Wilkinson Sword, maybe some Blue Personna, Crystal, etc., or just buying small packs a la carte until you find what works for you.
Here are my reviews of each blade...
Derby and Astra - smooth blades but pretty dull... only good for daily shaving / touchups - not 2- or 3-day growth. Maybe good for light beards and/or sensitive skin... one positive - no irritation even with multiple passes
Gillette 7 o'clock - sharp but not very smooth or consistent blade
Gillette Silver Blue - improvement over the 7 o'clocks, sharp and smooth, and fairly rugged (4-5 shaves per blade)
Bluebird - smooth, sharp blade... the coating helps with irritation and how it feels on your face
Shark - cheap blade that starts off sharp but dulls after 1-2 shaves
Feathers - extremely sharp and aggressive... if you don't know what you're doing, be prepared to bleed and enjoy a couple days of irritation afterward... these blades will shave off the slightest of bumps or imperfections on your face - comparable to a freshly honed straight razor. BE CAREFUL!
on December 23, 2012
At just over $3 per pack, this DE set is a nice way to explore your blade options. It has seven packs of blades and is only missing a couple of brands that should be tried. I think it should include a pack of Gillette Platinum, but besides that the Derby, Bluebird, and Feather blades were a nice surprise, and give me options when purchasing blades.
Everyone's skin is different, so this set is a nice way to find out what works best for you. I used an Edwin Jagger razor, Art of Shaving pre-shave oil/shaving cream/aftershave, and switched blades after every three shaves. I wrote a little review and assigned a number (4 being the highest) after three shave cycle which compared each blade to the Gillette Platinum. This is how I rated them. (I have semi-sensitive, fair skin, if that helps).
Derby Extra: 4
Feather Hi-Stainless: 3.75
Shark Super Chrome: 3.5
Blue Bird: 3.5
Gillette Silver Blue: 3.25
Gillette 7 o'clock: 3
Astra Superior Platinum: 3
I'm sure your results will be different, but if you're new to DE shaving, definitely try out some blades before settling on one. This set will start you off nicely!
on December 24, 2012
When I first got into DE shaving, I used a couple blades from a friend but couldn't find one that seemed right, so based off the other reviews, bought this pack. This is by far the best idea for anyone getting into DE shaving. Everyone's face is different and the only way to find out the best combo for your face and razor is to buy a sampler pack like this.
Astra - Tried these first based on forums and a friend's recommendation as a good starter blade. This was not a winner for my face/razor. By the end of the first shave, it started tugging a little and trying it a second shave was bad news bears for my mug. Perhaps it was inexperience as I was learning, but I can't forget the bad memories.
Derby & Shark - Similar experience to the Astra with an OK (but not super close) first shave, but bad bad irritation/bumps/ingrown hairs with any subsequent shaves.
Gillette 7 o'clock - These blades worked pretty well with a nice close first shave and a perfectly acceptable 2nd shave. The third shave was not as good, but depending on exactly how long between shaves (24 vs 36 vs 48), sometimes the third shave was fine too. I used a couple of these blades and thought they would be my go-to blade for a while.
Feather - Once I started using these, I didn't even go on with testing the others. (Although from other reviews, maybe I should try the bluebirds). These were far and away the best blades for me. Unfortunately they're also the most expensive (but still way cheaper than cartridges). I could consistently get 3 shaves from each blade without my face and neck looking like I was back in high school with acne. After using a couple blades, I was sold and bought a bulk pack which I use as my everyday blade now.
I still have the remaining blades and perhaps I'll revisit them if I'm feeling adventurous or I run out of my Feathers. But for anyone starting out with DE shaving, do yourself a favor and buy a sampler pack. Although your face may dislike you for a time and you may look like you got in a fight with a badger, it's worth it in the end to find that one blade.
on December 19, 2014
This is the best way to get into DE shaving. Purchasing a full box of blades without knowing if they will "match" your face is a risky and possibly damaging move. Kit's like these allow you to test which blade type works well with your face.
If this is your first attempt at DE shaving, leave the Feathers for last. They are amazingly sharp blades and require you to know what you are doing, otherwise you can really cut yourself.
My recommendation is to pick any blade, and try to get at least 2 shaves from it before switching to another blade. My progression took me through four of the seven options, until I found the right one for me. After about 6 weeks shaving I tried the fifth pack (Feathers), and loved it.
I took off one star because the only thing that would have made this kit perfect is if it included the Personna Lab Blue blades. I think then it would have truly covered all the major brands of blades; and for me, my favorites.
They are quite pricey for only 35 blades ($18.50 when I bought them) but a very good way to see what suits your needs and face..
One more note, don't buy the one blade sample packs, as you need to try them more than once to really appreciate if they work or not...especially fi you are new to DE as your technique will improve and so will the results.
I highly recommend starting this way, and then figuring out what you want to use going forward.
on February 8, 2014
Purchased this sampler when I decided to switch from the cartridge ripoff scam and begin REAL shaving with a DE razor. The advice you get on many message boards is correct: buy a sampler pack and try different blades to find what works best for you.
Four of the brands in this sampler are good and gave me close, comfortable shaves. The Astra's were the best, followed by the Gillette Silver Blues and Feathers, with the Bluebirds performing well but not as good as the Astra's.
The Derby's came with my Edwin Jagger razor, and while they're ok they do not shave as well as the ones mentioned above. The 7O'Clock greens and the Sharks were not comfortable for me, and I have some left which I'll probably never use (on my face at least).
Overall, a good sampler pack that helped me find my favorite blade (Astra) and introduced me to how well the Feather, Silver Blue and Bluebird shave as well.
on January 20, 2014
I bought this and went through every single brand, and found that Feather and the Blue Bird were my favorite with Feather on top by quite a lot. The Sharks were in third with Astra, then Derby, then the Gilletes coming in last. To summarize:
2) Blue Bird
6) Gillete Silver Blue
7) Gillete 7 O'Clock
I was about to buy a 100 pack of Feather blades, but I stumbled on some reviewers for the Feather blades who recommended Crystal Platinums over the Feathers. I took the gamble and bought the Crystal Platinums and was glad I did. I wish that this pack included the Crystal Platinums, but this is still a good pack to start with as most likely you'll find a favorite in here. But I would recommend finding a sample pack with the Crystals in them.