Month: March 2015

Review: Treet Classic

Totally not taken on the sleeve of my hoodie!

Totally not taken on the sleeve of my hoodie!

When I was a boy and we’d go to get fast food I got in the habit of making a point that I wanted a “Coke Classic.”  While this was in the height of the cola wars of the early nineties, it was well after the great debacle that was New Coke, a product I was around for but which I have no memory of.  All I knew was that the sign listed it as “Coke Classic,” and while I didn’t know what was “classic” about it that was what I wanted (my dad, being a Pepsi guy himself, patiently waited for me to outgrow my youthful silliness.)

I have no idea what makes the Treet Classic “classic.”  Perhaps it is because it is made of carbon steel like the Treet Durasharp, which remains a niche portion of an already niche market.  With most double-edge shavers using stainless steel blades, the Treet Classic does stand as a traditional material in an already traditional field, but if there’s a reason for the name beyond that I’m not aware of it.

The Durasharp is one of my favorite blades, so I was excited to give the Classic a try.  Having now tried them both, I find the comparison between them to be similar to the Shark Stainless and the Shark Chrome:  I’m not sure there is one.

That’s not to say I didn’t perceive a difference, I did.  The Classic seemed to be just slightly less sharp, slightly less smooth, slightly more rusty at the end of the week, and slightly less long lasting.  It gave me great shaves, both in the experience and the result, but I found myself feeling several times like it was almost where I wanted it to be, but not quite.

It’s close enough however that it’s entirely possible the differences I noticed were entirely perception rather than actual.  Whatever difference there is, they are darn close.  While I like the Durasharps slightly more I’d pick the Classic over most stainless blades any day.  There’s something about carbon steel that just feels good, and while blades like the Feather give excellent, enjoyable shaves I’m finding myself more and more in the carbon steel camp.

And sometimes I’m not.  When given the choice I still will sometimes pick Coke, other times Pepsi.  One weird summer RC Cola even caught my eye (I grew out of it quickly).  I’m happy to have a foot in both camps, and the same will go for razor blades.

While the Durasharp might be slightly better in my mind, I’m glad that I now have another great carbon steel option to choose from.  If part of the reason to switch from cartridge blades to double-edge is because of the increase in variety of products, and unique tailoring of experience to the individual, there’s no reason to close any door that you don’t have to.  I suspect that the Treet Classic will have a safe place in my shaving supply for quite a while…unless I use them all first.

Reevaluating Personna Razor Blades

When I was a boy I once asked for roast beef on my sandwich, entirely because that’s what one of pigs in the popular nursery rhyme had. I hated it, refused to eat it, and wouldn’t touch the stuff for a couple decades. It’s now one if my favorites.

That tastes change is no secret, everyone knows it happens with time. What I didn’t expect was to get a lesson in how rapidly that can happen.

Personna Platinum Chrome blades were not well received the last two times I tried them, and I had written them off as not for me. But being a penny pincher, when faced with either throwing out blades I didn’t like or using them up I went with the latter and so I found myself using them for a third try.

To my surprise I found myself enjoying every shave with them. The shave were close, smooth, and consistent, and each morning I found myself increasingly satisfied. By the end of the week a blade I had little regard for had earned itself new found respect.

What changed? Was it my technique? Lather? Skill? I don’t know, but I like the results.

Book- The Year of Shaving Dangerously

I’m happy to announce that my first book just went on sale.  Titled “The Year of Shaving Dangerously,” it is an edited compilation of writings I’ve made throughout the year on the fine art of double-edge razor shaving.

The back page synopsis:

What you are holding is a primer to a lost skill. A beginner’s guide to old fashioned wet shaving with a double-edge razor. Written for beginners, by a beginner. 

Tired of paying a fortune for a mediocre shave and a boring experience I embarked on a year long experiment to find something better.

Packed with how-to instructions and over two dozen reviews, this book chronicles my mistakes, my successes, and most importantly, what works. The information I wish I knew when I started, and what I wish I knew years ago. 

There are three options for purchase:

1) Paperback through create space ($9.99)- Here

2) Paperback through Amazon ($9.99)- Here

3) Kindle book ($1.99)- Here

Buy ten copies!

My Top 3 Blades

For as much fun as trying out a host of razor blades has been, the underlying purpose hasn’t been to experiment for experimentation’s sake, but to find what blades worked best for me before I bought anything in bulk. While numerous brands remain untested, with over a dozen now under my belt I’m prepared to make a few determinations.  My favorite blades:

1) Treet Dura-Sharp- Made of Carbon Steel, I absolutely love these blades.  They have a lot going for them.  They are sharp, long lasting, and though they aren’t stainless steel I’ve had no problems with rust.  While I don’t think they are quite as sharp or smooth as Feather blades, for reasons I have a hard time describing I simply enjoy shaving with them more.  The best way I can describe it is that the tool that does the job best is not always the most fun to use, and with the results so close the difference for me, while noticeable, is negligible.  When I want an enjoyable shave, they have become my go to blade.

2) Feather- You will not see a list of best or favorite blades on the internet without someone bringing up Feather, I have not seen any other blade with so many advocates.  When you try it out, it’s easy to see why.  The shaves are sharp, smooth, and consistent.  I’ve never had irritation with them, and whether it’s a job interview or wedding they have become my choice for my closest, best looking shave.  While I found the Durasharps more enjoyable, the Feathers are a close second and give a superior result.

3a) Now I’m going to cheat a bit, while the post is titled my three favorite blades the #3 spot is actually a tie between two.  First, the Gillette Silver Blue.  Nearly as sharp, smooth feeling, and irritation free as the Feather, and nearly as fun to shave with as the Durasharp, they are an excellent blade that falls just short of being the best.  It’s what’s in my razor right now, and I’ve been enjoying it all week.  The blade doesn’t do anything wrong, it just falls slightly short of others.  If I only had them from here on out, I would be in great shape.

3b) Derby- Perhaps it’s because they are what I learned to use a double-edge razor with, but Derbys remain one of my favorite blades.  They waned some once I branched out, but the more I try other razor blades the more I’ve come to appreciate the great job these guys do.  While not nearly as sharp as the other blades on this list, they give me a close and enjoyable shave that feels great all day long.

The only bad thing about any of these blades is that so long as they’re in stock my other razor blades just don’t get used.