Kai razor blade review: aiming to help answer the simple question of what is the best razor blade for my DE razor?
As with so much in life, choice can often confuse things, rather than clarify them. In this series, we are reviewing plastic-free razor blades to give you a simple guide about what is best for you. Like tyres on your car and shoes on your feet, razor blades for shaving have a different feel and work better for some occasions than others.
This is a review of the Kai razor blade, made in Japan. Each time we will compare against the Astra blade, our preference and included for free with the Kairn pencil razor.
First glance: The look and feel of the Kai blade
Thin. Precise. Delicate. Contradictory. These are the words that spring to mind when first handling this razor blade. It is ultra-lightweight, and each touch with a naked finger leaves an impression. This sense of too-delicate-to-handle implies ultra-sharpness. Perhaps too sharp. Too sensitive. Like the stiletto that is just too high of the car without enough grip, the Kai blade presents a bit like a wild animal.
So too does it prove when shaving with Kai razor blade. The first few pulls are effortless. Ultra-sharp, friction-less shaving across the skin. But so too came a few light cuts; cuts in places where other razors haven’t cut before. With the same pressure, this ultra-sharp razor which is so soft on the skin, does itself become too wild a beast for the softer parts of the face and body.
And then the paradox. Then the contradiction. Whilst only partway through the shave the blade appears to slow down. To blunt fast. The draw of the razor appears. That pull of the hair rather than slicing of the hair shaft.
Even with the Blaidmat – the Kairn leather strop which can double the lifespan of a razor blade – the Kai razor was unresponsive to honing. Come the end of the shave, with several small cuts, the blade was removed and re-wrapped in the somewhat tardy casing, put for recycling and filed under the ‘single-use’ banner.
Not good enough in our opinion.
Stars that burn too bright fade quickly. We’re not into epic highs and disappointing lows. We want a blade that gives better feedback. Lasts longer. And stays sharp.
If you only have small areas to shave and are looking for an ultra-close cut, then the Kai is for you. And a quick search of shaving forums will confirm the Kai is indeed a hugely popular razor. But not for us. We want plastic-free shaving to be low on waste, and high on value.
We give the Kai 2 stars, against the Astra’s 4 stars.