Schick Happens

Today I went back to using a stock Schick blade in my Injector, as an experiment. I wanted to see if the Feather disposable straight razor blades I’ve been getting such amazing shaves with for the past several weeks really were so much better than the standard blades this razor takes, or whether the improvement I was seeing was simply due to becoming more adept at shaving with the Injector after using a DE for so long.

So rather than replace the expired Feather Pro Super blade in my razor with another one, I chunked in a stock Schick from a new 7-pack. It was a pleasure to simply chunk a blade into the Injector from the blade magazine instead of clipping one of the Feathers, manually inserting it into the Schick magazine, and then fiddling with the magazine and razor till the Feather slid into the Injector and locked into place. Not that I mind going through this rigmarole every week if it means world-class, straight razor quality shaves every day, but it sure is nice just chunking a Schick blade into the Injector like the good Colonel intended.

Now, I never had a problem with the stock Schick blades at all. From the very first shave, they delivered a closer and more comfortable cut than any DE rig I’ve ever shaved with, and the Schick blades are plenty smooth and forgiving despite the seriously close shave.

It’s just that when I tried AndySam’s trick of modifying a Feather disposable straight razor blade (first a Pro Guard, then a Professional Super), the shaves suddenly shot up to the moon and resembled nothing so much as a professional straight razor shave.

The thought’s been nagging me that maybe I just became more comfortable with the Injector as time went on, and it wasn’t really the Feather blades after all. Maybe if I put a Schick blade back in, I’d get just as good a shave as with the Feathers.

Along with the Schick-loaded Injector, I used Taylor’s Lemon&Lime shaving cream with my Vulfix #2235 badger brush, and for pre-shave prep I had to sub mowing and edging my lawn (the ultimate shave?) in the hot August sun for climbing a machine to nowhere at the Y and sharing a schvitz with a naked guy who looked like Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton doing situps in the steam room like I did yesterday.

The all-Schick shave was nice and close — these blades are really excellent, and sharp as the day is long. But I have to say that the Schick didn’t glide quite as smoothly over my skin as the Feather Pro Super blade. And where one stroke of the Feather would’ve been all that was needed over a given patch of skin, the Schick needed a few extra passes to get everything.

Mainly, though, the shave itself wasn’t quite as awe-inspiring as it’s been with the Feather blades. It was closer than what I can achieve with any DE loaded with any blade, but now that I’ve been spoiled by straight razor quality shaves every day with the Feather/Injector combo, anything short of this paradigm is, I have to admit, a let-down.

I could happily live with the Schick blades and never complain about them. After shaving with a DE, the Schick blades were a revelation — along with the Injector razor, they give me a shave that’s closer, more comfortable, and far easier than anything I was ever able to get from even my best Merkur. I’ll keep buying Schick blades as long as they keep making them, because they’re excellent, excellent blades. Perfect for my dop kit when I travel.

That said, as long as I’ve got fresh Feather Pro Super blades (or the Pro Guards, which shave nearly as well) on hand, that’s what I plan on using in all my Injectors. It wasn’t my improved technique after all — I don’t know that you can improve your technique with an Injector. You just pick it up and shave with it. It’s the most geek-free shavegeek razor I’ve come across yet. But when you fit a Feather disposable straight razor blade into it, that’s when the magic happens.