First shave with a Feather blade...

Let's talk about single and double edged razors and the blades that they use.
User avatar
jww
Woolly Bully
Posts: 10933
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 10:49 am
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Post by jww »

What I found about a feather, is that mated with the proper razor, it shaves extremely well, and doesn't feel any sharper or harsher -- but in the wrong razor, it create irritation. My undated Gold Tech is a great match for feathers.
Wendell

Resident Wool Fat Evangelist & anglophile. Have you hugged a sheep today?
BeatlesFan
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: USA

Post by BeatlesFan »

I will agree the Feather is the sharpest thing going. For that reason it is quite capable of taking off more than just a layer of skin along with the intended whiskers. I can see where this can be a problem for folks with sensitive skin. Maybe this is where you're definition (and possibly other's) of "forgiving" comes in. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

When I hear the word "forgiving", I think, "let's you get away with sloppy technique by not cutting you." I'll stand by my statement that getting sloppy or careless with any blade will result in nicks and cuts. I don't believe any blade will forgive carelessness. I will concede to your definition of forgiveness only as it applies to "other blades do not cut as close, therefore are not as prone to take as much skin with each pass, thereby reducing the amount of razor burn and irritation." Again, please correct me and forgive me if I've assumed too much to your definition.
It's a fair point to make sure that we are using the word "forgiving" to mean the same thing. Let me parse the language a bit and explain my point.

Maybe the best thing to do is to side-step the term "forgiving," and try instead to describe my views differently, because I never meant to say that anyone should pick a blade because that blade allows them to use bad technique.

Very specifically, what I would say about Feather is this: In my own experience, as well as that of many others posting here, the Feather (1) tends to nick and even cut in a way that other blades don't, (2) the Feather generally takes off quite a lot of skin, and sort of strips and "thins" facial skin too much for many men, and (3) Feathers can often cause redness and irritation.

I'm an experienced DE shaver. I'm not saying this in an argument-closing way; I'm saying it because I want to make it clear that I don't have bad technique, certainly not due to inexperience. Week in and week out I don't nick or cut myself. I know all about DE angles and pressures -- I've been doing this since the '70s. I can use a wide variety of blades without trouble (though I generally prefer milder blades, because I have sensitive skin.)

So any problems I have with Feather are honestly not due to bad technique -- it has to do with my skin and beard characteristics. Despite all that experience and technique, even when I deliberately back off in terms of blade pressure, gentleness of razor setting, blade angle, etc. etc., the Feather routinely cuts me (not just nicks, actually cuts), and it progressively, shave after shave, makes my face more and more raw. I just can't use this blade; it beats my face like a rented mule. And, clearly I'm not alone. I've given mine away.

So, to return to the semantic point, rather than describing a blade as more or less "forgiving" perhaps more or less "mild" would describe it better for folks? To me, I would use those terms interchangeably, but I certainly won't press the point if others think of the word "forgiving" as meaning "allowing for bad technique." That's not how I'm using the word. I mean it to be synonymous with the term "mild."

My bottom line on Feathers, then, is this:

(1) They aren't a mild blade.

(2) Some folks can use the Feather; some can't.

(3) For those who use Feathers successfully and like them, I say go for it, and that's great, because you're enjoying great shaves from the sharpest thing out there. What's not to like?

(4) Many people (I can't give a percentage, but it isn't just some fringe element), however, CANNOT use Feathers, because they aren't sufficiently "mild" (as that term is described above).

(5) For those reasons, I don't think that Feathers makes a good starter blade for folks who are learning how to DE shave.

(6) I For many of us, problems with Feathers are due to the inherent characteristics of the Feather blade (perhaps, especially, when matched with certain razors) rather than deficient or sloppy shaving practices. Therefore, I think it's a mistake to ascribe problems with this blade to bad technique.

In short, Feathers certainly are not a "mild" blade; they doesn't work for lots of us; our rejection of it is not due to inexperience or lack of technique; and I wouldn't suggest that anyone start with this blade.

Hope that clarifies without being pedantic!
User avatar
Ouchmychin
Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:03 pm

Post by Ouchmychin »

And I am going to add once too often: if Feathers are too aggressive using shaving soaps or creams, try using an oil and brushless cream with no water. Add more oil between passes if the razor ever gets near skin and never add any more water than needed to rinse the razor. The oil keeps the head sliding over your skin instead of digging in and cutting or scraping or nicking.
Ouchmychin (Pete)
BeatlesFan
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: USA

Post by BeatlesFan »

And I am going to add once too often: if Feathers are too aggressive using shaving soaps or creams, try using an oil and brushless cream with no water. Add more oil between passes if the razor ever gets near skin and never add any more water than needed to rinse the razor. The oil keeps the head sliding over your skin instead of digging in and cutting or scraping or nicking.
No thank you. Water, not oil, for me is the basis of a wet shave!
User avatar
swarden43
Posts: 423
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Pennsauken, NJ

Post by swarden43 »

BeatlesFan wrote:
I will agree the Feather is the sharpest thing going. For that reason it is quite capable of taking off more than just a layer of skin along with the intended whiskers. I can see where this can be a problem for folks with sensitive skin. Maybe this is where you're definition (and possibly other's) of "forgiving" comes in. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

When I hear the word "forgiving", I think, "let's you get away with sloppy technique by not cutting you." I'll stand by my statement that getting sloppy or careless with any blade will result in nicks and cuts. I don't believe any blade will forgive carelessness. I will concede to your definition of forgiveness only as it applies to "other blades do not cut as close, therefore are not as prone to take as much skin with each pass, thereby reducing the amount of razor burn and irritation." Again, please correct me and forgive me if I've assumed too much to your definition.
It's a fair point to make sure that we are using the word "forgiving" to mean the same thing. Let me parse the language a bit and explain my point.

Maybe the best thing to do is to side-step the term "forgiving," and try instead to describe my views differently, because I never meant to say that anyone should pick a blade because that blade allows them to use bad technique.

Very specifically, what I would say about Feather is this: In my own experience, as well as that of many others posting here, the Feather (1) tends to nick and even cut in a way that other blades don't, (2) the Feather generally takes off quite a lot of skin, and sort of strips and "thins" facial skin too much for many men, and (3) Feathers can often cause redness and irritation.

I'm an experienced DE shaver. I'm not saying this in an argument-closing way; I'm saying it because I want to make it clear that I don't have bad technique, certainly not due to inexperience. Week in and week out I don't nick or cut myself. I know all about DE angles and pressures -- I've been doing this since the '70s. I can use a wide variety of blades without trouble (though I generally prefer milder blades, because I have sensitive skin.)

So any problems I have with Feather are honestly not due to bad technique -- it has to do with my skin and beard characteristics. Despite all that experience and technique, even when I deliberately back off in terms of blade pressure, gentleness of razor setting, blade angle, etc. etc., the Feather routinely cuts me (not just nicks, actually cuts), and it progressively, shave after shave, makes my face more and more raw. I just can't use this blade; it beats my face like a rented mule. And, clearly I'm not alone. I've given mine away.

So, to return to the semantic point, rather than describing a blade as more or less "forgiving" perhaps more or less "mild" would describe it better for folks? To me, I would use those terms interchangeably, but I certainly won't press the point if others think of the word "forgiving" as meaning "allowing for bad technique." That's not how I'm using the word. I mean it to be synonymous with the term "mild."

My bottom line on Feathers, then, is this:

(1) They aren't a mild blade.

(2) Some folks can use the Feather; some can't.

(3) For those who use Feathers successfully and like them, I say go for it, and that's great, because you're enjoying great shaves from the sharpest thing out there. What's not to like?

(4) Many people (I can't give a percentage, but it isn't just some fringe element), however, CANNOT use Feathers, because they aren't sufficiently "mild" (as that term is described above).

(5) For those reasons, I don't think that Feathers makes a good starter blade for folks who are learning how to DE shave.

(6) I For many of us, problems with Feathers are due to the inherent characteristics of the Feather blade (perhaps, especially, when matched with certain razors) rather than deficient or sloppy shaving practices. Therefore, I think it's a mistake to ascribe problems with this blade to bad technique.

In short, Feathers certainly are not a "mild" blade; they doesn't work for lots of us; our rejection of it is not due to inexperience or lack of technique; and I wouldn't suggest that anyone start with this blade.

Hope that clarifies without being pedantic!
Agreed! I like it!! Now, if only others will stop using the term "forgiving" when describing a blade and use the same terms we use with razors - mild and/or aggressive. Most would not recommend an SE Open Comb such as the MicroMatic to newbies because it is a much more aggressive razor than the Tech or Weishi, razors known for being very mild. This is the same reason the Derby (for example) is recommended before the Feather. I really would like to see the Feather loose it's reputation as a decapitator and become to be known as a blade that really is just an aggressive blade. It's a good blade, just not for every one.
Take care and God bless,
Steve
BeatlesFan
Posts: 935
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:07 pm
Location: USA

Post by BeatlesFan »

It's a good blade, just not for every one.
+1. Although it is NOT for me, it IS an amazing blade -- the gold standard of sharpness.
User avatar
JarmoP
Posts: 617
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:27 am
Location: Finland

Post by JarmoP »

The Feather blade is not my fave either. I have one sitting on my Progress and since it is a gentle shaver it works quite well at 2 level. The new merkur prductions of progress seem more aggressive from what I have read, so this only goes to the older ones.

There is always the irritation issue with red bumbs under my jaw for continuity. Works well for the first day, but not so well next days. Feather takes too much skin away. I have had no trouble with nicks or cuts though.

There was a thread on the other forum about corking Feathers and I think it worked well when I did. I dont do it anymore and have like 90 Feather blades left. Only in my Progress and sure would not use them in my other razors.

Jarmo
Jarmo
User avatar
danreeves1973
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:35 am
Location: East Texas
Contact:

Post by danreeves1973 »

Got two packs of Feather blades the other day from friend who is a barber two weeks ago. So far they have cut incredibly smooth, retained the edge all week. I think the issue as far as aggressiveness is solved by what razor you put them in.

First three shaves I used a '57 Gillette Blue Tip, cut very smooth, no irritation. Last night I dropped a new blade in a '63 Gillette adjustable set at 9. Got some irritation under my chin and on the neck, blade seemed much more aggressive.
You came here with nothing, you will leave with less
kpf1979
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Michigan

Post by kpf1979 »

I tend to use feathers when I have multiple days’ growth, and they do a fantastic job. The combination of my HD, and a feather cut through my beard like nothing else. However, I’ve found I don’t really like them as an everyday blade. They’re just too sharp, or too harsh, or too something for me to use daily. They’re great when I need them, but I’m glad I have other quality blades to choose from.

-Kevin
bernards66
Duke of Silvertip!
Posts: 27393
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:02 pm

Post by bernards66 »

Steve, Agreed. The term 'forgiving', applied to blades or razors, has never been a favourite of mine, as it can be misinterpreted. I've always tended to use 'aggressive' and 'less aggressive' or 'milder'. I also agree almost entirely with BeatlesFan's in depth posts on the Feathers themselves. I've been DE shaving for over 45 years and I can't use them comfortably. And I might add that I've tried them in quite a number of different razors, both Gillettes and Merkurs. Personally, I don't recall cutting or nicking myself with them, but I do get the irritation and skin thinning affect which worsens if I persist ( which I have done in the past ). As others have said, they are a specialty blade...for those with the skin to handle them, and who don't mind their short life span. And I think that most of us are in agreement on the inadviseability of newcomers choosing them to try to learn with.
Regards,
Gordon
alcx77
Posts: 708
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:25 pm

Post by alcx77 »

Squire,

What do you suppose accounts for the Feathers lack of durability?
I was looking at your review and you mentioned something about the
final hone...


Alan
[Currently]
Futur
Derby blade
Syntex bush
VDH SS
User avatar
Squire
Squadron Leader
Posts: 18932
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: North East, MS

Post by Squire »

Alan I think it is the unique final hone Feather uses. It creates a very sharp edge but is also very short. Some shavers get a weeks worth of shaves out of them but I get only three and that seems to be the consensus of the Board members. Having said that they remain my preferred choice of blade.
Regards,
Squire
alcx77
Posts: 708
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:25 pm

Post by alcx77 »

Being your preferred choice of blade says alot here...last time I used
one it tore me up yet this time I have the equalizer!


..


Futur
Post Reply