I’ve just received my feather razor. I hope the razor is as fun to use as it was to open and unpack. 🙂 I will update as soon as I have had a chance to shave with it.
Attention to detail. Not a surprise with feather as I am used to their high quality blades. If I didn’t know better I would think that Steve Jobs may have been CEO of this company for a time as well. The attention to detail even in packaging is reminiscent of opening Apple product.
Here goes. I’ll let you open it with me.
I know this isn’t the most exciting photo but this is the box was in upon removing the outer sleeve. This is actually the back of the box which was facing the front of the white sleeve.
Ok. Here is the front, this is more like what I was expecting.
With every unfolding there is something to hold your interest yet heighten expectation of the product held within.
This is actually a very nice box with a tight fit, not something thrown together.
I am not a photographer and the picture doesn’t quite do justice. This was actually a very handsome presentation, more so in 3 dimensions than in this photograph, there is much depth in the actual presentation box.
This is the card that was between the box and the outer wrap.
The finish is immaculate. Has a very solid feel although a little light on top, but this may be due to the weighty feel of the handle. Don’t get me wrong though, It does feel very well balanced, just a little different than what I am used to.
I have added a feather blade here so that I could show a little perspective on the gap and spacing. I must say I am a little concerned with the distance from the edge of the safety bar to the blade and the angle needed. Also a nice feature that I observe is that the blade is entirely encased at the edges. This does however leave a small gap at the edges where there is no blade edge present, I will have to see how this works around the nose. I am curious now about all the reviews and comments on this razor, not to mention a little concerned, considering the cost. I am just hoping it is not just a lot of hype for a name.
Summary of results: I am summarizing at the beginning, because this is a very long post and you can read on if you wish. This is an amazing razor. My new favorite, to the point that I have boxed up my Edwin Jagger DE89L and put it away, probably to be PIFed in the future. This razor gives such an unbelievably smooth shave, that I wasn’t even sure what to think for the first couple days of use. There is a slight learning curve as I found the shaving angle a bit steeper than I was used to, but this in itself can apply to almost any variations found between different makes or styles of razors. I also used it with a variety of creams with consistent results. With practice I was able to get consistent BBS or DF Shaves (again due to finding the right angle). It is beautifully made combining a very modern look with a classic design. Yes, it is expensive, but I really think it has cured me of RAD and I cannot foresee myself continually searching for the perfect razor, as I cannot imagine getting a better shave.
The shave is incredibly mild, but don’t confuse mild for a less close shave. Mild here is a statement indicating that it is very mild on the skin, very forgiving, with minimal (usually no) razor burn, even with against the grain passes along the neck.
There are a few negatives for this razor. It is so smooth you often do not feel any cutting, and will actually have to check to make sure you have cut hair on a pass (I have found myself repeatedly looking at the razor to verify the cut hair mixed in with the cream on the blade following a pass). If you have many razors and enjoy rotating your razor, this may end as others may seem exceedingly aggressive or rough on your skin. The issue that I am struggling with the most is the fact that I like to test various products and this razor is very forgiving and makes up for shortcoming in many cream, pre-shaves etc., providing consistently smooth shaves. (I stopped using alum to check for burn during the test because it proved useless) The up side to this is that you can probably get my with less expensive products to shave with to offset the cost of the razor if that is a concern.
In conclusion I love this razor. My hope is that with continued use I will be able to note the subtle differences with varying grades of products so that I may continue sampling and testing. Otherwise I fear that I may have to unbox the DE89 (a great razor by the way, in no means am I berating it) and use it as my control.
Keep an eye out on forum classifieds if you want, as mentioned above, some do not like the smooth mild nature of the razor and will put them up for sale. They go quickly.
On to the actual review.
Day 1: First shave with the new razor. I have been waiting to try this razor for awhile. See my shaving routine for my standardized shaving routine that I use for new product trials. I have opted to use Truefitt & Hill 1805 shaving cream, mainly because it is up for use in my rotation and because it is one of my favorites and I was in the mood. This cream is extremely slick and smooth shaving, and even though the reviews are very good for this razor, I tend to hold a little apprehension when trying new cutting devices on my face.
I don’t think I am using this right. That was my first impression anyways, I could not feel anything but the razors head on my neck. I can’t say that it was all because of the smoothness of the razor or the cream. The ideal angle on this razor is a little bit shallower than my Edwin Jagger DE 89L, so I was using mostly the head of the razor on the first pass with occasion forays into using the blade. After taking a few minutes playing with the head angle and determining what I was looking for, I was able to get some serious shaving done. It was a bit difficult. The shave was indeed so smooth that I had to listen to the hair being cut and watch for the path of shaving cream to be erased.
The Safety bar (visible in the last picture above) did give me some concern regarding it size, but this turned out to be an unwarranted concern. On the other hand, a surprising benefit is the ease to which the razor washes out soap and hair. There is no clogging happening here. I will try some more cloying creams in upcoming days to see how well this statement holds up.
All in all it was an excellent BBS shave. I made my usual 3 passes, but ended up doing 3 touch up passes instead of my usual 1. This was not a fault of the razor or the blade but more me playing with angles to achieve the closest, most comfortable shave I could. The Results were zero nicks. The conservative guard while allowing for a very mild but close shave is very protective. Even the depression between chin and lower lip that always proves difficult for me was a accomplished with ease. My neck as well went extremely close with no nicks. It was actually one of my closest neck shaves in recent memory. The real joy came with the wash and alum, not only did I get an extraordinary shave from this razor, but there was no razor burn. I felt as though the alum was a wasted step in my routine.
I am impressed by this razor. Feather has definitely went above and beyond in the design and construction of this razor. I will continue to review the razor through the week as I try and work through the learning curve. I will also use some different creams to see how it goes. As stated earlier the Truefitt & Hill is a great cream and can be forgiving of razors in its own regard.
Day 2: Same feather blade and same procedure used on day one. The only change was the Geo F Trumpers coconut shaving cream. First, let me note I was in error in my reporting day on day one regarding the angle. It appears the feather razor requires a greater angle not shallower angle.
I started on my neck. I still could not feel the cutting on my neck, and if it wasn’t for all the hair I could see being washed out into the sink I would have thought I was missing blade contact. On the rest of my face I did get a little feedback (mostly through sound) that I was cutting hair. In today’s shave I would say the most noticeable element was the fact that my neck did get an amazingly close shave. My cheeks and Jawline on the other hand seemed to require a little more attention that I am used to giving. Again the shave ended up being amazing, very smooth, I would probably say DFS as opposed to a BBS shave but I do believe the areas of my difficulty have more to do with my learning this razors sweet spot than from any actual deficiency in the razor.
The design of the safety bars is amazing. I shaved much more aggressively today to see how it would do. Again no nicks and was amazed at the smooth cut without irritation in my usual areas of sensitivity, Those being the area above my lip, between lip and chin and along the trachea of the neck. In fact, I actually bypassed the alum phase of the shave, because I could already tell there was no razor burn. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow. I have read in other postings that it is important in using this razor to use it long enough to learn the sweet spot. So far even without feeling I have the hang of this razor, I think it provides an amazing shave. More tomorrow.
Day 3: Today I opted to go with Taylor of Bonds Street avocado shaving cream. I have only used this once before, and must admit that it was not one of my favorite TOBS creams. I found it to be a bit rough with my EJ DE89. Well then, why not give it a try with the feather. First, I will say that I did get a little burning with this shaving cream, I believe this was actually the cream though. I visited Badger and Blade and found reference to others having this issue with certain TOBS flavors. The common remedy was to use less. In all fairness to TOBS I did use a bit more then usual, as in my testing of this razor I have been making a few extra passes, and when testing I don’t like to run out of lather. But enough of that more will come when I write up my review for that particular shaving cream.
I again began the shave on my neck, and once again I found no noticeable resistance. I did notice the razor leaving a cleaner path on my neck, so I believe I am getting the angle of use down a bit better. Along the cheeks I am still fiddling with the angle to get it just right. I also this is do to the fact my cheeks are the thinnest part of my beard, and often I simply do not hear it cutting. Three passes and 2 cleanup passes later I have a DFS smooth face. I still need a little work on getting the jawline, this is what prevents BBS smooth shave at this time, but again I believe this is due to my use of the razor as I seem to be getting slightly closer with each consecutive shave, even while doing less tough ups.
After the shave, I decided to go with the alum. As I mentioned above I was feeling some mild burning and wanted to check it out. I did have some mild razor burn along jaw where I was trying to dial in and smooth out the remnants. The other burn was high cheeks, this may have been due to the shaving cream issue mentioned above. I’ll have to watch for this with the other creams. I must admit as well that I have been adding a little more ATG passes that I usually never make, again the razor moves so smoothly that ATG does not seem to be as much an issue as with other razors I have used.
I will see how my face is doing tomorrow, I may take a day off so that there is no residual sensitivity that would affect results from future shaving. Even though this razor is regarded as being very mild, I have been shaving very aggressively with it. This is something I need to take into account when summarizing my overall evaluation. So far, I must say I really love this razor.
Day 4 Shaving cream of the day was the D. R. Harris Rose. This was best shave yet. I would say learning curve completed today. Started out at the right angle and had a quick smooth shave. Very smooth but could see the hair on the blade following passes. Follow up touches were easier. Hardest part for me today was along the Jaw line, but I am still amazed at the closeness I get on the neck, Because there is no irritation with the blade I can actually shave against the grain here and get really smooth. The difficulty along the jaw is still me getting my angle of attack dialed in.
Day 5 A repeat of day 4 but with Castle Forbes Lime shaving cream. Great shave off the bat, getting the hang of the jawline but still the hardest part for me so far.
Day 6 Still on the original blade and back to the Truefitt & Hill 1805. I was able to score my first nick if that is what I can call it. I wouldn’t even say it was the fault of the blade or the razor even though I usually retire my blades at 5 shaves. The shaving has been so mild, that I have purposely been increasing the aggressiveness of my shave. I have been going much faster than I usually do and the nick occurred over my adam’s apple where I hadn’t even bothered to stretch or tug the skin over, so yes, I had that one coming, but even then it was so mild that it was gone with a splash of cold water.