Just to lay it out there at the outset: I have no idea what the difference is between the Shark Super Stainless razor blades I tried a couple months ago and the Shark Super Chrome that I tried this week.
That’s not hyperbole, I honestly don’t. I’ve looked around online, and there doesn’t seem to be any real consensus. About half the people out there think there’s no difference at all, and about half think that the Super Stainless are a touch Sharper while the Chrome are a touch smoother.
For comparison, here’s the packaging that the two came in:
And here they are with their individual wrappers:
The blades themselves look absolutely identical, and both say “Shark Super Stainless” on them. As far as I can tell the only difference is that the Stainless come in a paper box, and have two simple paper wrappers on them, while the Chrome comes in a plastic box, and has one nicely printed wrapper on it.
While they seem to be virtually identical, I find myself leaning toward the group that thinks there’s a slight difference between the two. Shaving the last two weeks has been incredibly smooth. Not in the result on my face (though that wasn’t bad), I feel like other razors like the 7 O’clock, Personna, and the Super Stainless were better in that regard, but rather the Chrome seems to be incredibly forgiving, allowing for very forgiving shaving that just goes smoothly.
The blades being forgiving turned out to be an especially good thing as the blades seemed to lose their sharpness pretty quick. The first several shaves were excellent, but by the end of the week the shave quality seemed to drop noticeably. The result as my taking an increasingly aggressive approach with the blade, and while that is normally a recipe for disaster I hardly got so much as a spot of bleeding.
Which raises the question again: are these the same blades? I remember the Super Stainless being an excellent razor blade, and I don’t recall a noticeable dip in quality. This leads to several theories:
1) They are the same blade, just packaged and marketed differently, and whatever differences I’m noticing are because my experience and expectations have changed.
2) They are the same blade, and any differences are simply a result of production variations.
3) They actually are different, and I’m noticing it.
This up coming week I’ll be shaving with a Super Stainless blade so I can compare the two more directly, and will report back next week. While it’s a deviation from the normal experiment timeline of two weeks a brand, I think that it’ll be worth it for the sake of clarifying any differences between the two.
As for the Chrome itself, I enjoyed shaving with it. Is it the sharpest I’ve tried? Doesn’t feel like it. But it does a solid job, gives a good shave, and is a breeze to use. A very good razor, but one that raises some questions that’ll need more examination to answer.