Sunday, September 18, 2016

Personna Lab Blue Blades and Three Razors

I won’t go as far as to say the Personna Lab Blue Blades are my go to Razor Blade, the Crystal DE’s still maintain that position for me.  Though, there are so many more blades out there that I have yet to try; so all of that that could surely change.  I really like the Personna Blue blades. They’re one that use fairly regularly and I do like the shave they provide.  While I won’t rank them in the following factors, I do like the Personna DE blades for their consistency, availability, and even cost.  Brick-and-mortar store-wise I’ve found these blades at Sally Beauty Supply and have seen them at Christmas Tree Shoppes from time to time.  Of course they’re also available at a number of online wet shaving stores as well as the bigger online shops like eBay and Amazon.
Tools of Choice: Parker 22R, iKon Short Comb, and Muhle R102 Razors
The Personna Lab Blue blades are distributed by Spilo worldwide.  A few years ago I had asked them about the “Lab” name. They had informed me that the “Lab” moniker is not an official term for these razor blades; has no origins at Personna; and that it’s likely that the name originated from within the wet shaving community in order to distinguish them from the Personna medical grade blades.  
Lab Blue Razor Blades packaged in the box are individually wrapped. The blades in the plastic dispenser are not.
The Personna Lab Blue (also referred to as Blue Labs or Labs) Double Edge are available in the 5 pack with plastic dispenser or a pack of 100 blades in a box.  The blades in the plastic dispenser are not wrapped and they are only marked with arrows to denote which direction to slide the blade out of the dispenser.  On the other hand the blades in the 100 pack box are individually wrapped and have the Personna branding printed on each of the blades.  The Lab Blue packaging has been updated since I've purchased mine.  According to the updated product photos from the Spilo website it appears that the newer Lab Blues in the plastic dispenser contain the Personna branding on the blade along with the arrows.  I haven't gotten my hands on the updated package, so I can't say for certain if the blades are printed with the name.
Redesigned blister card of the Personna Lab Blue Blade. Photo from the Spilo Website
As with our previous razor blade blog posts, I like to try the blade in three different razors that vary in degrees of aggressiveness to determine how much I like them.   In this experience I used only one soap: Viking Soap’s Tree of Life.  The razors of choice (from mild to aggressive) were: the Parker 22R, iKon Short Comb, and the Muhle R102.   My face shaves are typically two passes, with the grain/against the grain (WTG/ATG).  For my head I’ll usually a WTG pass and then a polishing pass with a head shaving razor (HeadBlade or Cobra CR1000).  
I had about two days of growth on my head and face for my first shave with the Parker 22.  I started with my head first and then the face shave. It was a very nice, close, and smooth shave with no nicks, cuts, or irritation.  The Lab Blue shaved as I’ve come to expect and I was happy with the performance of the blade. The second shave was mostly like the first.  I’ll shave my head first, then my cheeks and jaw, and my upper lip last.  As I’ve come to expect from many of my blades, they start to tug around the time I get to my upper lip.  I did experience some tugging towards the end, so I decided to bank the blade after the second use. 
First Shave with the Parker 22R
Next razor up was the iKon Short Comb razor.  I shaved my head and then face and the shave turned out just as well as my first shave with the 22R.  No nicks, gouges, cuts, or irritation.  The second shave with the iKon Short Comb pretty much mirrored the second shave with the 22R. I did start to feel the tugging once I reached my upper lip and I decided to bank the blade after the second use.

Arming the iKon Short Comb Razor with a Personna Lab Blue
The last razor I used the blade with was the Muhle “Rake” open comb razor, my R102.   At the time it may have been a while since I’ve used this razor.  I did experience some irritation on my right parietal ridge.  Also, I perceived a little tugging once I reached my upper lip, but I didn’t bank this blade.  Since I didn’t experience any irritation on the left side of my head, I chocked the irritation up to a little over exuberance and the tugging I attributed to an incorrect angle.  I think this turned out to be the case.  The second shave with the Muhle R102 and the same Blue Lab turned out a bit better.  I didn’t experience the irritation on the head.  Though once I reached my upper lip, I felt a more distinct tugging than I did with the previous razors.  The blade was banked after this shave.
Updated packaging of the Personna Lab Blue Blade box of 100. Photo from the Spilo Website
For me, I find that the Personna Labs performed pretty consistently.  For this post I used three blades and each blade gave me two quality head shaves and face shaves.  I like the Personna Blue Labs and it’s a blade that will most likely stay in the rotation.

Are you a fan of the Personna Lab Blue Razor Blades?  Leave a comment below to let us know what your experience has been with them.

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