Eight months ago, as I first began testing different kinds of razor blades, I tried Shark Super Stainless for the first time. Previously I had only ever used Derby blades, which gave me quite a good shave and which I had learned DE safety razor shaving with. Moving on to the Sharks felt like a graduation, and the shaves felt incredible. I seriously considered just ordering a pack of 100 and stopping the test right then.
I have now cycled through the rest of the sampler pack twice over (save the Feathers, which will be tested a second time over the next couple weeks), and I specifically saved the Sharks until last so I could both try them head to head with the Feathers, and so I could test them again with much more experience than the first time.
Alas, how the mighty have fallen.
For the last two weeks my shaves have been disappointing. Inconsistent. Not at all what I remembered them being. Even on the best days the shaves were only good, not great. Most days were average, and there were one or two that really weren’t good at all. At the same time the razors seemed to dull quicker than I remembered, making for a rapidly declining experience during the week.
I have several theories on why this might be:
1) User issues. It’s possible I’m just not shaving as well as I was eight months ago, and so regardless of the equipment the shaves will be worse. This might be the issue, but seems unlikely. While I might have been in a funk, I don’t think I would have gotten so noticeably worse at this.
2) Bad blades. The blades I used before might have simply been better blades, and the ones I used this time weren’t as good quality. This also seems unlikely though, as they came out of the same pack. Different packs in a big box? Sure. But to have three good blades, then two bad ones? That raises an eyebrow.
3) My expectations have changed as my experience has gone up, and the novelty of safety razor shaving has gone down. That’s not to say I’m disliking shaving like this, quite the opposite. But as I’ve grown more accustomed to it the perhaps now I’m not as willing to overlook some things, and take more notice of others. With other razors to compare it to, perhaps now they don’t seem as special.
I’m leaning toward #3, as you can probably tell from how I discounted the other two but not that one. Whatever the reason though, the Shark Stainless just didn’t do it for me this time. I’m disappointed about that, I really liked them and also happened to think the packaging was entertaining.
But that’s the way these things go. Perhaps I’ll swing back toward them in time. Maybe I love them in winter, but not in summer. Who knows? In the meanwhile I’ll keep looking, and maybe our paths will cross again.