09-22-2013, 07:53 AM
#1
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I'm a pretty experienced straight razor user. Also, over the years, I've tried the Feather AC razors (and Kai), and always moved back to straights (more on that later). I've tried the AC-DX folding, non-folding, Kai, AC-SS - you name it, I've tried it. I figured out a while ago that I like the Feather Pro Super blades over the other varieties.

However, after several tries, I came to the conclusion that the replaceable-blade AC-Type straights were not for me. I'm now down to one CJB non-folder and one pack of Pro-Guard blades. I loaned this setup to a friend, and didn't get it back for over a year. Last week, it was returned to me, and I thought I'd give this razor another go.

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So, this morning I popped in another Pro-Guard blade into the CJB and built a lather with my Coates SC and went at it.

I remember how sharp these blades are, so I kept to my usual rule of using as little pressure as possible, while maintaining a fluid stroke. As expected, on the WTG pass, the blade took off more hair than a regular straight. This was most noticeable in the upper-lip area. The shave so far was very comfortable.

However, I do need to do an XTG pass at least (and in some places, even an ATG pass). This was where the razor reminded me why I didn't stick with the AC razors in the past.

On several occasions, my shaving angle slipped slightly, and the blade let me know that. I got a couple of weepers, but there were a few more spots where I knew my technique had slipped.

Still, after a two-pass shave and touch-ups, the shave was close and felt good (for the most part). This was in spite of the blades not being my first choice AC blades. The application of the aftershave announced that the shave was not the worst I've had, but certainly not the most comfortable either.

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A few observations (vis-a-vis a regular straight):

1) The AC blades feel sharper than any straight I've used. They seem to cut hair on contact. Very nice!
2) This razor is a lot more unforgiving than a regular straight. The way I hone my straights, they seem to prefer to cut hair - not skin. That's not to say that they will not give an uncomfortable shave if I lose technique, but they are certainly more forgiving.
3) My technique needs to adjust to this razor.
4) I have a feeling that it may just not work with my hair growth pattern (which requires an ATG pass in some regions), and skin (which has a few bumpy areas).

I'll keep working at it and keep you posted.

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 09-22-2013, 11:54 AM
#2
  • Obie
  • Senior Member
  • Glendale, Wisconsin
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For me, what was missing when shaving with these razors was the traditional straight razor ritual: stropping, fussing around the blade, and so on. They took the pleasure out of straight razor shaving. Also, the blades were too small — the blade holders, I should say — and I like the big blades. And you're right, they are unforgiving. In the end, after several tries, I decided the straight razor with the replaceable blades — even the Feather, which I consider the best of the group — is not for me. If I need a quicker shave — although not that quick — I'll stay with the double edge, which I've always been fond of. Otherwise give me my traditional straight razors and I'm a happy soul.
Stay well.

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 09-22-2013, 12:10 PM
#3
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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Different people different tastes. As much as I liked straights once I discovered the Feather and KAI razors I really fell in love with them. The blades are very sharp but never had any problems with them (maybe because I was used to straights?). Two passes on the face and one on the head and I'm done.

The Guarded blades however give me far lesser shaves, I don't like them. Really looking forward until the LeeHunt razor becomes available.

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 09-22-2013, 12:28 PM
#4
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I could never get on with those darn sharp Feather Pro blades, Yohann! Good luck to you.

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 09-22-2013, 05:56 PM
#5
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
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I cannot get a straight to give me more than a just passable shave. I know my straights are sharp as I have compared them to freshly honed razors from SRD. It is true that my technique needs to improve, but.... Using my straights, I can do a WTG pass no problem, and XTG and ATG on my face with a great deal of effort. My neck I can only do WTG and XTG in a couple of small areas.

With the Feather, using the ProGuard blades, I can get a DFS in 2 passes and a touch up. Yes, you really have to pay attention, but the sharpness of the blade makes strokes that are difficult with a straight much easier.

Straights are more "forgiving" because they are not as sharp. Also, the Feather blade is shorter than the length of a traditional straight making them more maneuverable. The Feather blade is also used in the Cobra. I think the Cobra is the finest razor and blade combination available today for extremely close comfortable shaves. Sharpness matters especially when you have a very coarse beard.

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 09-23-2013, 04:02 AM
#6
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Day 2 -

Same prep and SC used today. I paid more attention to technique, remembering where I had issues yesterday.

The shave was pretty good. As I sit here and feel my face, I can't pick any areas that were missed.

A few observations:

1) There's a distinct feeling of having my face 'peeled' - similar to what I get when I have a mediocre kamisori shave.
2) The WTG and XTG passes missed the same spots on my face that regular straights miss - above the Adam's apple and on the right side of my throat (where the hair grows towards the right). I had to do touch-ups there.
3) The shave in the upper-lip area is still pretty good, even without an ATG pass. Not as good as doing an ATG pass with a safety, but on par with the best straight shaves.


My issue with these razors is that my face is not 'regular' there are a few bumps here and there and this razor just takes them off when it encounters them. That's what happened yesterday. Today I paid more attention and I focused on using a very light touch when I shaved those areas. That seemed to help. As I said, there was still a feeling of being peeled. I put this down to my technique and will not blame the razor of blade until I've given myself a chance to adjust my technique enough.

Secondly, the blades are pretty expensive. When I last used them, I got somewhere in the range of 10 shaves with each blade. I'll see if this one can go seven shaves - at which point it will be worth it.

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 09-23-2013, 06:27 AM
#7
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
  • GTA
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I have and use an AC DX non folding. It can give as good a shave or better than any razor but takes a light touch and a lot more finesse than a regular straight. Best shaves are after the blade has been used a couple of times. I get 10-12 shaves per blade. Great item for travel and those who don't care for the full straight ritual. I do one WTG and one ATG pass with all my razors including the AC. The advantage to a regular straight is maintaining the blade in a condition you prefer rather than that a factory determined. The AC will keep a place in my lineup.

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 09-23-2013, 09:06 PM
#8
  • Snuff
  • Senior Member
  • Belgium
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(09-23-2013, 04:02 AM)yohannrjm Wrote: My issue with these razors is that my face is not 'regular' there are a few bumps here and there and this razor just takes them off when it encounters them.

As I said, there was still a feeling of being peeled. I put this down to my technique and will not blame the razor of blade until I've given myself a chance to adjust my technique enough.

Those two points are IMHO related to using still too much pressure during the shave. I have several bumps and scars on my face and head and I can shave right over them with no problem. You need a very light hand compared to other shaving tools. You might wanna look at this video to get a good idea of what I mean:


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 09-24-2013, 02:22 AM
#9
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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I enjoy the various shave options.. Straight when I have time, to take the time; Feather when I am a little less leisurely; DE & SE when I just need a fest quality shave.

I prefer the Kai Milds in the Feather Dx non-folding. Though they are expensive, they seem to last a long time, especially since I don't use the Feather every day.

Though I try to keep my straight razors in good order, the shaves I get from the Feather are superior. No ATG needed.

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 09-24-2013, 02:39 AM
#10
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Yep, I'm still adjusting to the requirements of these razors. My plan is to stick with it until the shaves are comfortable and close. We'll see if that works out. I'll keep you all posted.

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 09-24-2013, 10:15 AM
#11
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Good luck to you, Yohann! You are much braver than I! Biggrin

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 09-26-2013, 09:57 AM
#12
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+1 on low/little pressure with these Feather/KAI blades. I use them every day now for my head and face, but it took a while to "really" learn the meaning of low/little pressure - these blades are very unforgiving!

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 09-26-2013, 11:06 AM
#13
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Well, I did another shave with the Feather Pro Guards. The shave was nice and close and pretty comfortable. I took everyone's advice and was very gentle, and that definitely helped with the comfort factor. It's still a work in progress, though.

That was Tuesday and I decided to rest my skin for a few days. I used a DE on Wed and my Livi Damascus this morning. Both those shaves were amazingly comfortable, when compared to the CJB/Feather Pro Guards. The DE shave didn't last as long as the CJB shave, but was pretty close anyway. The shave with the Livi was super-comfortable and every bit as close as the CJB/Pro Guard shave.

That's not surprising. I've used the CJB for three days this year, and I've been using regular straights for over five years. There's a difference in my skill level with these razors.

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 09-28-2013, 04:04 AM
#14
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Another shave with the CJB, and it was pretty good. Two passes and touch-ups were all that was needed. This morning, after feeling the day's growth, I can state that the shave is as close as my regular straights.

This may never become a regular thing for me, but I'll probably continue to use it occasionally.

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