Made of Swedish steel and manufactured in Israeli, perhaps it’s fitting that during the Olympics I’d get to try out the Personna Platinum Chrome blades (in my British razor, no less!).
First things first, these things take an effort to track down. For the sake of this review (and the blog) I’ll just call them Personnas or Personna Reds, but you’ve got to be careful when looking around online. Personna is the brand, and they seem to be related to the brand Crystal, I think it’s sort of a Chevy/GMC thing. And different Personna blades are sold under very similar names, depending on what country they are made and/or sold in.
And boy, these things are sharp. Even with a couple days growth they cut clean with minimal effort. About the only time I noticed any pulling or catching was around the front edge of my chin, and that was quickly resolved with a touch of extra shaving cream. Otherwise it cut nice and smooth, especially with the mustache and side-burn areas.
Not only are they sharp, they are fun to shave with. After the rough two weeks that the Astra blades gave me I was feeling a bit burned out on shaving, but these guys got me back in the spirit. I found myself quickly looking forward to shaving again, though I did find myself wanting to get an extra day’s growth every so often just so I’d have more to do in the morning.
There was however a downside. It felt like the Personna blades seemed to either dull more quickly than other blades, or that they didn’t quite perform as well with daily shaving as what other blades have. While a two day scruff seemed to shave off smooth and easily, a day to day shave seemed to have spots that were a little rough or scratchy. And they did give me my first significant bleeder, though that might have just been my nerves since it was a big day. I don’t know if this was a result of bad blades, poor technique, observer bias, or just how they are, but I’ll be looking closely at it when I revisit them later.
Price wise they are a bit more expensive than the other blades I’ve been using. But the difference when spread out over the weeks amounts to a difference of dimes, so nothing that’s going to be breaking the bank. While they can be difficult to track down they can be bought in bulk from Bullgoose, who I’m already a fan of, so availability and supply shouldn’t be an issue.
So how do they stack up? Right now they are sitting second in my personal ranking, just behind Shark Super Stainless. I liked substantially more than Astra, and while I enjoyed Derby quite a bit and perhaps felt a touch better, the Personna shaved closer and more even. But Sharks still seem to have given me a shave that was as close or closer, and my face just felt fresher and smoother afterward.
I’ve still got eight Personna blades though so I’ll definitely be revisiting them later in the year. I look forward to comparing them more directly with Shark and any other rising challengers. I haven’t worked out exactly how that’ll be done, but I suspect that Personna will be a strong competitor.
While there was a couple of issues, these blades are slick, sharp, and smooth.