Is the Iridium really dead?

In October last year the supply of Iridium razor blades, made by Petersburg Products International (PPI), suddenly dried up, retailers world wide could not get any more from anywhere. Once the word was out existing stocks sold out in less than a day. And now individuals with hoards of these blades are selling them for a handsome premium on eBay and on the shaving forums. Buyers are happy to pay this premium because the Iridium was almost universally perceived as being a bit special, combining extreme sharpness with supreme smoothness and great durability. To many they were the best blade in the world.

Now, in an interesting development, a member of the Pogonotomy forum has received this correspondence directly from Petersburg Products International:

Dear Jody,

thank you for your message to P&G and your interest in our products.

Judging by the structure of your Russian phrase, English should be more natural to you:), therefore replying in English to your question ( if I understodd it correctly).

The PPI company still produces Super Iridium double edge blades and has no intention to stop the manufacture of this product.

However, we have no information as to where to find these blades in retail in your particular country.

Galina Petrenko

Procter & Gamble,

Consumer Relations Russia&Belarus

The immediate question that springs to mind is that if  “The PPI company still produces Super Iridium double edge blades” then where are they? Not a single blade has been seen in the normal retail channels for three months. If a batch were to suddenly appear it would sell out pretty quickly as traditional shavers world wide insured against the shavepocalypse by building up their stashes. And the next batch, and the batch after that.

In the meantime there has been much debate about which PPI blades are the same as the Iridium. Over a dozen brands come out of that factory and it makes sense that often the only difference is the packaging, so which of them is manufactured identically to the Iridium but branded differently? Some think one could be the Permasharp blade, sold in Turkey. But the reality is that only PPI really know.

So, like many reading this, I am waiting to see what happens. If the Iridiums do appear, if they are the same as before and if they are priced sensibly then my stash could experience a sudden large expansion. Better safe than sorry.


  1. IMHO, this communication means absolutely nothing. It’s just a email from a low-level drone at P&G givin their “party line.” P&G is not going to share their strategy with some unknown person on the internet. A bit of a story… Recently got an email from a person in Moscow asking if I could find any Iridiums for him here in the US. So, if he can’t find them in Moscow I really can’t see how they are still making and distributing them. But, who knows?

  2. If in fact they were still making them, they would pop up somewhere in the world to be sold. Nothing is more powerful than a product in demand searching for a buyer with money.

  3. Permasharps are nowhere as good as crystals. Also I still cant believe most of you like derby’s this much. To us its one of the worst blades(even trig is better) and little Turkish people use it. Its so inadequate and harsh on the skin. Not sharp enough. I’m not sure but either you foreigners facial hairs are much softer or derby makes better quality blades for exporting.

    We generally use permasharp or rapira here as either of them are better than the derbies here. I personally use crystals for daily use. They are sharp enough for a good shave, gentle and very smooth. One better upgrade to them was blue gillette’s but, sadly they are discontinued now.

    cheers from Turkey.

  4. The Polsilver and Super Iridium brands are quite well known here in Poland still back from the vintage era. I personally own this kind of razor blades my dad bought in the 70s. So I guess this is one of the markets PPI produced blades are intended for. Actually I checked yesterday some kiosks with the conclusion the Polsilver SI are widely available. Personally I prefer Wilkys and Derbys thou.

  5. I was in Marrakech in December. I did not think I could have put razor blades inside my carry-on luggage so I thought I’d just buy some when I got there. After a couple of days I got desperate and I asked a guy if he knew where I could get some razor blades. He could not understand what I wanted so I drew him a picture of a DE blade with the cut-out. He smiled big and walked me over to a little hardware type of stall and asked the guy behind the counter. He brought out a package of 10 blades and I asked if I could buy just one as my stay was short and I assumed I would have to throw the rest away before re-boarding a plane. He said no and told me and that I would have to pay him the approximately $1 US for the package. He handed me the tiny box and I was on my way. I was able to drop the box into my luggage and get on the plane. I now have 9 new and authentic Iridium blades in my medicine cabinet, almost free! 😀

  6. I will be in St.Petersburg this Summer. I will search the markets and see if I can find these legendary blades (at Russian prices, of course ;-).

  7. Super Iridiums are still being made, now they’re packaged as “Polsilver Super Iridium”. I bought some from a Badger&Blade vendor:

  8. Are they the same blades sold here?

  9. I have left several comments about super iridium blades now being available again,but for some reason these comments are not being excepted,am I being out of order?I am curious,

  10. Hi
    Anybody can provide me with the address of the company which produces iridum super

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