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I really want to like the Apollo #20 blades, after all I’ve invested close to 40 bucks for 5 packs, so cognitive dissonance tells me that I must like these blades. Despite the blades being more than 60 years old (according to Muehle-Pinsel, the vendor), I’m starting to wonder if they are carbon steel or stainless? Their shiny gold patina makes me suspect the latter, but were they even making stainless-steel blades back in the 1940’s? I’ve emailed M-P for some history on the Apollo blades.

I also received the beautiful M-P compact travel razor in the absolutely magnificent nickel-plated travel case (I didn’t even think anyone still made stuff like this!). A steal at $42.66 including the travel razor (you can even get the box alone for $30)! Inside was included one Apollo #10 blade which is marked 0.10 mm on the wrapper and is clearly a “blue” carbon blade (I think!). This raises an interesting question – are all carbon steel blades blue/black like the Gillettes or the Treet Blue Specials? Hopefully M-P will reply (they have always been an outstanding company to deal with – superb products, reasonable prices, quick shipping, Fort-Knox packaging, and responsive to queries).

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The inside of the case includes a very clever spring-loaded blade holder that keeps the razor from rattling and is also linked to the door mechanism making for a nice, smooth opening. I’ve put the fearsome Merkur Slant-bar in the contoured cutout which seems to hold most of the shorter Merkur (and Gillette?) razors.

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Today I wanted to try the Apollo #20 with the “known quantity” of an outstanding superlather drawn from the Valobra shave-stick and the Proraso red cream, that I’ve raved about in a previous post. But the day dragged on with a dozen things to do, and finally I decided on a day-off…the contest to wait until tomorrow.

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