Derby Extra blades; are they any good ?

I see a lot of questions throughout the day and even throughout the years from both new shavers and veterans alike. the infamous question of “Is this blade any good” ? or, what blade should I try next is on every forum I would venture to say daily.  Truth told there is no right or, wrong answer here as every persons skin and make up is different therefore blades act differently based on every individual. I posed the question though about Derby Extra blades specifically; why because they seem to be a blade that has an odd reputation either as horrible or adequate….. there we go we are back to that individual preference thing already !!! Well here is my take on Derby Extra blades and take it for what it’s worth, YMMV and try them and come to a conclusion for your needs but lets cover at least a few basics to give you an idea of the blade overall.

Packaging

Derby like almost every manufacturer comes in a multitude of ways, 5 packs in a dispenser, 10 packs in a dispenser or 100 packs in 5 blade increments in the same plastic dispenser or, little matchbox as I call them but there are 20 in a box. Now matter how you get them each blade is individually wrapped and has the Derby logo in green ….the exception is when you buy a razor Derby is a common free blade with double edge razors. The blade than may come in a waxed paper neatly folded protecting the blade, and you from injury.  The packaging is easily on par with the likes of Astra SP, Gillette or, Wilkinson Sword to name a few. Let’s call it the industry standard.

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Construction

Derby blades are manufactured usually, but not always in Turkey. This is not in my opinion a good or, bad thing it’s just where the facility is located. To some shavers even myself to an extent like origins as some blades within the same brand can vary dramatically based on where they were made. The packaging on the box reads: Derby Extra Super Stainless; on the front it reads Chromium, Ceramic, Platinum, Tungsten and Polymer coated edges. Well I’ll be completely honest,  I don’t know if this is a mixture of metals and polymers that they use on the EDGE ( that is important ) or, If they label the box this way and there are different styles of Derby blades you can get. A prime example for comparison is the Personna 74 vintage blade that is a Tungsten steel blade. I want to say the “Extra” on the label is the mixture of everything I listed as to my knowledge there are no other Derby blades to buy so I believe they use a mix of those ingredients on the blades cutting surface to make it #1 more comfortable and #2 last longer and finally to make the blade actually cut keener than just a standard carbon steel blade, also it removes the worry to an extent as they are also stainless steel so rust is less of a concern.

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Sharpness and Comfort

This is again a huge matter of personal opinion, BUT the general consensus is that Derby falls under the mild-light medium sharp or aggressive blade scale. Ladies or Gents with sensitive skin this may be your go to blade when paired correctly with the appropriate razor. This is also a great blade for men and women that have very fine to medium thick hair follicles.  For some this blade will be too mild as one of the goals of traditional wet shaving is to minimize blade exposure and therefore have less irritation, and a more comfortable shave. Do not let anyone including me EVER tell you a blade will or, will not be “for you” only you can decide if this blade meets your personal needs…… you are a one of a kind custom you know ! Simply put usually the duller a blade is the more tugging and irritation you can have. The Sharper a blade is the more likely you are to over shave and have irritation. WHAT !!! so what does this mean ? it means there needs to be a comfortable middle of the road… this is a common theme with straight razor shavers as if the blade is to sharp as I said you will be red and too dull and your ripping hair not cutting. In the next section I talk about my personal opinion I feel that Derby’s like most blades are comfortable, actually very comfortable, but last less time than blades that cost a bit more. but again YMMV you are unique and the only way to know yourself is to try them out, read below about the price, and I think you’ll agree it’s at least worth a try.

My personal opinion

Okay here we get to the brass or, stainless steel tacks of this review or overview… I have been wet shaving since I was 14, and am now 37 years old. I started using Derby Extra’s in my rotation which is quite large about 3-4 years ago. Is it my go to blade the answer is no. Derby extra then must be my least favorite blade then ? the answer is no again. This is where it becomes complex, and individual. If you are an everyday shaver with normal growth that is not growing a full beard over night or, are a gent or lady with super thick hair Derby may be perfect as it is a milder blade also, in my opinion…. it will for most people take away a day or two worth of growth with zero irritation in most cases (If the blade is for you) remember don’t ever let anyone say this blade or any is for you…. it is a matter of trial and error.

Longevity and Price point

Here is another important factor to some, again myself included. I can without a doubt justify and recommend starting off with a 5 pack. most places sell a 5 pack for around $2….. this will let you see if this blade is even worth trying. Let’s say it is “for you”, a 100 pack cost me $9.99 and I received free shipping to boot as I combined it with other items. so that is $.09 a blade ! compared to others like Feather or Gillette Silver Blues for example which are excellent blades that are known to be sharper that are $1 per blade. The value is there without a doubt simple math solves that one.  How long will they last again this is a personal thing only using them will say how long for you personally each blade will last.  I average 2-3 shaves maybe 4 at times. This is average for most blades though for me 2 shaves and toss it for a new or, different blade is standard practice for me, you may get much longer or shorter usage.

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Conclusion

So are Derby Extra blades for you …… I don’t know ! Are they a beginners blade ? they are a great place to start as a baseline; yes they can be used for that. Better to start mild and get more aggressive than to start with a Feather and slice yourself  to pieces ! My final take on Derby Extra is they work for me, and I really feel for $9.99 even if you use them once that is 100 shaves for $9.99 ! the price alone is a motivator, and who knows it may just be a blade you really enjoy, I know I do for 2-3 shaves, and NEVER be ashamed to say they work for you not everyone needs to use a Feather or Voskhod blade. A sharper blade doesn’t mean a better shave, the correct blade and razor combination makes you a smarter shaver.  – Aaron

 

 

11 comments

  1. I enjoyed your review. Derby Extra blades are the first blades I have tried in my DE Wet Shaving experience. My girlfriend bought me my first DE razor and a 100 pack of Derby blades last Christmas. However, after talking to others on The Wet Shaving Society I have purchased samples of several different blades on tryablade.com. They haven’t arrived yet but I am eagerly awaiting my mail call. I am also considering purchasing a new DE razor, I’m interested in a butterfly design. Thanks again for your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. J.C. thanks for taking the time to reply. I would venture to say most start out with Derby blades. Which is a double edged bladed LOL ! As the perception is then it is only a starter blade. I agree 110% try as many blades as you can and tryablade.com is a great site. They are a featured vendor and the owner is a member of the WSR and is active and available. Good luck on your hunt for that “perfect” blade ! I let you know when I fid mine too its only been 23 years of searching LOL !

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  2. I never had a bad experience with the Derbys. I actually use the Derby Professional half blades in my shavettes at the barbershop and they work great. And at $7.00 for 100 blades , they are a bargain.

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    1. JIM !!!! Hey thank you for the comment I’m finally using the WSR website a bit more. I agree ! in a shavette my 2 go to blades are Sharks and Derby. For the value it is almost impossible to beat. Couple that with working in a barbershop where margins are tight and Derby is an obvious winner on a lot of different levels.

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  3. I really agree Derby Extra blades are not as bad as the reputation they have, of course it my own personal experience because I also managed to get good shaves with it.

    However in the price value ratio I would say there are better blades you can get for the same price, the only thing is that Derby Extra blades are marketed by many vendors as the budget blades and so they as a little less.

    I would say take a look at the Gillette Wilkinson Sword blades, they offer way more value then Derby blades and you have 200 off them for $16,99 with free world wide shipping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Wesley ! Great to see your reply from a fellow reviewer ! anytime you want to post or, write a review let me know ! I agree there are a lot of great blades in this price range including the Wilkinson Sword classic……awesome blade. Astra SP is another IMHO….. I chose to talk about Derby as the reputation as a beginner only blade or, being a “bad” blade is uncalled for. I have a habit of fighting for the underdog ( this is an expression for the one that gets beat up the most ). Truth told my go to blades are usually Russian made Gillette or Voskhod and Sputnik blades…. Rapira in the Ladas branding as well as the Swedish Supersteel are also high on my personal list….. but the price point here in the USA is triple that of the Derby so it becomes a cost issue. Again thanks for the reply !

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  4. I’ve been using Derby blades for a couple of months. I picked up a pack of 100 for $8. I get one head shave and face shave per blade. I get the same with Voskhod, but at a higher price. Voskhod are smoother but not by much and for the Derby price point you can’t beat them for my ‘one and done’

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  5. I like the Derby Extras. I think they work well for ‘everyday’ shavers with fine hair. I don’t think they work too well for people with coarse hair or people with fine hair who have significant growth.

    I’ve found that the Derby Extras fit pretty well with a Merkur 34C double edge razor. A single blade lasts me a couple of shaves.

    There are better blades out there. Gillette Silver Blues immediately come to mind. But I think if you fit the profile, Derby Extras wlll give you the best bang for your buck. For 20 bucks you’re pretty much set for the year.

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    1. Spliffy I completely agree ! for a lot of people Derby is over looked as it gets a bad reputation. I almost guarantee that Derby blades would work for 75% of people, Now I also agree there are sharper blades….I tend to use those ie. Personna Med Preps, Feather, Gillette Silver Blue, or 7 O’clock series blades. For $10 on Amazon you can’t beat a Derby or, and Astra SP.

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  6. Derbys may not be the sharpest blade around, but it does its job. As for others, this was my starter blade and I keep it in rotation. Interestinly, while in Istanbul I tried to get these blades from local barbers but they were quite disapproving about them. Their choice seems to be Astra green.

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