I started DE shaving some months ago and bought Derby blades to begin with as many people said they were ideal for beginners. They are great blades; but I wanted something better. I tried Feather blades and they are far superior in every way to Derbys, so I use them also and really enjoy them. I tried a sample pack from another site and included 2 Astras in it to see how they performed.
Well, I found them to be super smooth and give an excellent shave in my Merkur 34c. I really like how well the pair with this razor; and they make short work of 3 days growth, leaving little to no irritation which for my sensitive skin is awesome! I highly recommend trying these blades!