Mantic59’s Razor Blade Search Update: Crystal


As I have previously written, my favorite brand of razor blade appears to be out of production and now that I am almost out I have been trying other brands. I had been told that the Crystal brand was the same blade as my beloved blue label “Israeli Personna” blades so they were the first I tried.  I used three different razors with this brand so I could see a variety of performance.

Crystal Blades

Unlike my beloved “Israeli Personnal Blue” (IP) blades, Crystal blades were less forgiving and a bit more harsh in most environments.  My first few shaves with the Merkur Progress and Parker 92R resulted in a number of small nicks.  Interestingly, shaves using Crystal blades in my Merkur HD were much closer to what I experienced with IP blades.  This may be why some people say they are equivalent products.

Viewing IP and Crystal blades under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) shows the dramatically different manufacturing (the blade edge is near the top of these pictures):

Unused IP:

personna blade


Unused Crystal:

unused crystal blade

The SEM operator and I puzzled over this image for a while until we realized the cloud-like look coming in and out of focus was an exceptionally thick non-stick coating.  By the fourth shave this coating was largely worn away:

used crystal blade

Interestingly, the edge still looks in pretty good shape!  I could have easily gotten a few more shaves out of it.

Thanks to John at West Coast Shaving for his help obtaining the blades for this series of posts.  Special thanks to Omkar at for providing additional samples of the Crystal brand.

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  1. says

    I’ve been using Crystals for years, but recently, I’ve noticed that about 1 out of every package of 10 has one side of the blade that is dull as a butter knife. I have to toss it after the shave and grab another.

    Still a superb value and a great shave.

  2. Boge says

    I have some of the newer “black” label Crystal blades and IMO they are far rougher than the Israeli “Reds”. I don’t like them at all.

    Mantic, IMO for the money there is no smoother/sharper blade for the money than the Bluebird blades. It’s like the accountants let a metallurgist alone with the Derby blade to tweak/perfect it!!

  3. Astrobufff says

    I would like you to try some of the Indian Supermax range. They are not quite Feather class but are capable of giving you a pleasant surprise.
    Try out the Platinum Plus, Stainless Plus and the low budget Zorrik Platinum (darling of the saloons).

  4. Eddie says

    This just goes to show that YMMV. Still a relative newbie, Crystals are the front runners for me from a group that includes Bic, Feather, Astra, Red Personna, Derby and Shark. Feathers provide me the most effortless BBS shave, but leave my skin more tender than the others. Crystal, for me are very smooth, and along with the Bics, are sharper than the others I’ve tried. I read somewhere that the Crystals are teflon coated. And lastly, in my experience they can go a long way. My currently blade hs clocked well over 5 shaves, not including shaving the back of my neck inbetween haircuts, and it is still smooth and sharp enough.

    • Larry says

      I found each razor works best with certain blades. Sharper and less forgiving blades than Astra, like Feather, Red IP and Crystal head to the Weishi. Blades wimpier than Astra like Derby or Merkur head to the EJ.
      The Weber eats only Astra. I have given up on finding the one right blade. There’s no one blade for all razors (I think).Wonder what the Parker’s head will prefer?

  5. rand says

    I’m confused. Are you saying that these two blades are NOT the same …. that crystal and the IP blades are different? They (crystals) look the same as the original IP blades many of us discovered from that superb little shave shop in Austin. We paid handsomely for them for years before better internet suppliers came along. Are you saying they are different now? I did stop using blue super plus p crystals because of irritation, but assumed it was my mug changing (seasons/age/soap) and not the blades. Hmmmm.

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