A Hard Sell

I considered newspaper-stropping my 10/$3 supermarket SE blade to see if it could be improved. Some combination of search errors led me to an article on jeans stropping, where one perceptive modern shaver commented, "My face is so effective, that by shaving I'm sharpening the blades of the razor." LOL.. but that is exactly the strategy I went with for my second shave with the Clog-Pruf.

It seems that what our Korean friends and Hannaford Bros. have done is to champion a two-bevel blade contour, in a world that can only tolerate three. My blades got the pooh-pooh treatment at Badger and Blade as long ago as 2009. How on earth are they still selling them?

According to Ted Pella, Inc., it is a compromise intended to improve durability. Honestly, I didn't get it, either, because the angles depicted are narrower, but these are the actual science guys. From this information, I could at least reasonably project that with wear, the cross section should come to resemble the three-facet edge, and ironically become "sharper." Thus, my expectant treatment of today's shave.

I'll be damned if that cartridge shaver wasn't right: my face DID improve the blade! It's still tugging like a third-week DE, and I also shaved less fearfully than yesterday, which may account for the somewhat closer result. But this was a considerably smoother shave. That spot at the bottom of my buttresses, I realized, is the spot where I have to pitch the blade down especially steep. We're only just approaching DFS on my cheeks, but the trend is positive. I'm in for the long haul.

In retrospect, I can now begin to imagine how a more acute edge can be less sharp. It's like an axe that sticks deep in wet, green wood, unable to throw chips from the cut. There's not enough wedge action. I expect that my shaves will get closer, as the blade starts to sink into hair closer to the skin, and more comfortable, as that will in turn decrease the tension alignment error.

To help things along, I cleaned the back of my neck. And folks, I'm sorry to report, this razor isn't really clog-proof.

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