Van der Hagen Ice Tempered Stainless Steel Blades

6 Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (6)
Van der Hagen Ice Tempered Stainless Steel Blades

German-made blades from a US brand, with the unique claim of being ice-tempered.

1st blade > 1st shave
Phoenix and Beau Spitfire Shaving Soap

They state they’re made in Germany, so I’m guessing Merkur blades. No problems with tugging and no nicks. Got some irritation on my top lip. The finish wasn’t great but that was probably down to a poor lather.

1st blade > 2nd shave
Dove Pro Moisture Sensitive Shave Cream

It tugged a lot on the first pass and clogged with cream and hair throughout. After the shave was finished I had to use a brush to clear the stuff I couldn’t shift with vigorous shaking. Finish was pretty good, no nicks and only some mild irritation on my top lip.

1st blade > 3rd shave
Vitos Green Shaing Soap

No tugging this time, and no clogging either. I did pick up some minor nicks, but so small they sealed themselves by the time I finished shaving. No irritation. The finish was pretty good, with no significant roughness. A good result.

1st blade > 4th shave
Edwin Jagger Aloe Vera Shaving Soap

No tugging but it did feel a little rough and I picked up quite a few nicks. Most were sealed by cold water though. Some slight irritation in places, nothing significant. A very good finish, nice and smooth though not quite BBS.

2nd blade > 1st shave
Phoenix and Beau Spitfire Shaving Soap

No tugging but I did pick up a few nicks and was left with some irritation. The finish was generally good, but it was tempered by some rough areas, mainly in the trouble-spots, but also elsewhere. Still a good shave.

2nd blade > 2nd shave
Boots Freshwood Brushless Cream

I got a bit of tugging early in the first pass, but it settled down. The cream clogged the blade quite well and I had to stop to shake it out frequently. I picked up a single nick, which survived until cold water, no irritation though. The finish was pretty good, considering I do fewer passes with brushless products. The only real roughness was in the usual trouble-spots. A good shave.

2nd blade > 3rd shave
Cremo Sandalwood Shave Cream

No problem with tugging and zero nicks, likely helped by a very slick cream. I didn’t get any irritation either. I spent a bit more time on touch-ups so even my usual trouble spots were much improved. It ended up as a very good shave.

2nd blade > 4th shave
Dove Men+Care Pro Moisture Shave Cream

I had a bit of tugging on the first pass but no nicks or irritation. I took it quite steady and the end result was pretty average, although not unusual for a brushless cream. It was an acceptable, if unspectacular, shave.

Verdict

The blades clearly state they are made in Germany and are ice-tempered. Having read up (briefly) about the process, the tempering is done because stainless steel (created by adding chromium) doesn’t hold its edge as long as regular steel. By exposing it to cold temperatures it can retain sharpness for longer. Why that’s beneficial in a product that will be used so few times (some people only use a blade once), I’m not so sure. But it sounds cool (pun not intended), which is more likely the reason.

Their product page states they’re made in Solingen, Germany’s equivalent of Sheffield. Merkur are based there so I would hazard a guess that it’s them.

Back to the blades. Looking back through my write-ups it seems to be a perfectly adequate blade. I rarely got a great shave, but teamed with the right product it seemed to perform well. On the whole I got good shaves though.

On a few I did pick up nicks and experienced irritation, but not anything significant. There weren’t any horror shows, but few grandstand moments either. So a firm middle-of-the-road performer.

Then I checked the price (I didn’t buy mine, they were bought for me). Coming in at a dollar per blade, these are well over priced (much higher than even a pack of Feathers). I had to knock off a star.

Filed under: Blades

These reviews are updated based on ongoing experience, so ratings and opinions may change.

Last updated: April 29, 2017