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"It's all a matter of blade life ..."
12-10-2012,00:42
Post: #1
"It's all a matter of blade life ..."
After sending off packages and blade samples to some mates (and to a few it will blow their socks off), after settling back into home life drinking our Chinese Green Tea (we’ve went native), after getting the yard chores done after 12 days in China, time for blade talk.

I decided to start a new thread because I didn’t want to distract what’s going on there but I read the Chinese blade thread only up to 17 September and just a very quick look when I returned 28 September. So, that is how I started my journey. I bought no jade but I did buy blades.

I can’t stop thinking about that Wall Street Journal article, Thursday, April 12, 2012, B8-side bar. Accompanying a front page article by Emily Glazer titled “A David and Gillette Story, Technology and a viral video are arming the tiny ‘Dollar Shave Club’ for battle in the razor wars”
From the side bar is the title "Shavings True Cost? It's All a Matter of Blade Life":

“Ultimately, the decision comes down to the user. Gillette observed more than one million shaves last year, watching men through a two-way mirror at its research centers in Boston and Reading, U.K. (Note: I was careful to type that sentence as printed – Reading, PA?). Its researchers examined whether men shaved up or down and how many strokes they used. Gillette found the average number of blade strokes a man takes per shave is between 180 and 200, but the count can be as low as 20 or as high as 700.”

Dollar Club blades are made in China and South Korea. In China I would bet they are made in Shanghai; fits the business model of zones. You can stand on the promenade, near the Russian Consulate of Old Shanghai and look across the river to the New Shanghai. You must constantly remind yourself that beautiful city with all the lights and modern buildings - was not there 15 years ago …. Out in the burbs, or manufacturing zones or near canals for water Xportation of natural resources all the way to Beijing – somewhere there they are set up and making razor blades. All three I mention are manufactured in Shanghai.

At the Shanghai Museum on 22/09/2012 the rate of exchange for $100 to Yuan (Y) was: US 624.15 GBP 987.66 EUR 789.23.
Here goes per 5 pack if 6.24 is a buck then 3.12 is 50 cents and 1.66 is 2 bits:

6.50Y Super Market below Renaissance Hotel, downtown Shanghai, packaged on cardboard under plastic.
5.90Y Super Gillette Blue Blades, individual packs, Super Market in Suzhou (dates back to 514 BC), marked 1.49 per blade on packet or 7.45.
3.50Y Jianyu 98757501. Marked 0.89 per blade on packet or 4.45.
2.50Y Flying Eagle 98757799. Marked 0.55 per blade or 2.75.

So I can see why 3 tour guides recommended buying in Super Markets outside the big 26 million populated international cities – they’re cheaper there than downtown! There is a recommended price and then a cost for the people. They save you money by charging you less – imagine that.

Most persons (#5 asked who used them) selected the Jianyu first and Gillette 2nd; all agreed these were the top three. A few men heard of the other types but shook their head no and pointed to either the Swordfish or GBlue or FE. I didn’t see any other of the named blades anywhere else and we shopped a very large SM in Xi’an near the East Gate. Plenty of Gillette razors of two blades, Mach 3s and the Goop in a bottle or can.

Even the DE blade papers are advertizing for the 2 blade Vector Plus. These are the packaged razors hanging in hotel shops. No DE blades in the smoke stands or corner markets – Not even on the outskirts of Beijing way past the 6 Ring nor in Xi’an which I would have bet they had the rest of the lessor blades, total of 7, first listed on the blades post. I have not looked on the internet for these blades and it was just a random chance to run into a SM that had the top 3.

Back to the article, and it may have been discussed, but at 190 strokes per shave, just sayin, that has got to be, uh, 2 or 3 passes?

You see, you are now hooked on wondering how many strokes it takes for your morning shave. I refuse to count. However I did make an observation with these Chinese blades. The Jianyu (Swordfish) gave me 6 great shaves, the Gillette Blue gave me shaves like a Feather of 6 and the Flying Eagle was like a Personna Red for a good 4 shaves. I only do 2 pass shaves anymore and these blades were quite surprising. If the Chinese become the world’s producer of the sharpest blades – so be it.

All shaves were with the same ++ Red Tip - C4 as I used that in my travel kit this trip. Nanny’s Arabian Nights, Arlington and Trumper’s Violet with a Commodore X2 and an Omega travel brush; horse and badger mix. Sharon I will send you a Photo CD of our trip with a discussion of green tea we tasted.

First person to email me with their snail mail address will be sent 1 blade of each to try and let the Gang know how you compare them.

This is your TSR Pacific Field Rep Otten - Out
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12-10-2012,02:46
Post: #2
"It's all a matter of blade life ..."
Great write up! It reminded me of Alexander's "52 Loaves..." Book. All you need to do is change the heading to: "one man's relentless pursuit for the perfect Blade". Sound like you had quite an adventure! Thanks for sharing!
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12-10-2012,06:45
Post: #3
RE: "It's all a matter of blade life ..."
(12-10-2012 02:46 )Johnus Wrote:  Great write up! It reminded me of Alexander's "52 Loaves..." Book. All you need to do is change the heading to: "one man's relentless pursuit for the perfect Blade". Sound like you had quite an adventure! Thanks for sharing!

I got your address from Dodgy and I sent you one of each in a letter today. Enjoy!
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12-10-2012,07:00
Post: #4
"It's all a matter of blade life ..."
Reading, Berkshire UK (my home town until I moved to north England) has a major Gillette factory.
Just to reassure you that the quoted article is correct. Smile
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12-10-2012,07:28
Post: #5
RE: "It's all a matter of blade life ..."
(12-10-2012 07:00 )cruciate Wrote:  Reading, Berkshire UK (my home town until I moved to north England) has a major Gillette factory.
Just to reassure you that the quoted article is correct. Smile

Good one, Thanks
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