08-13-2016, 08:41 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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In a current thread, one poster — his identity is of no relevance to this thread — made the comment:  

Quote:“I've been disappointed in the hype with modern blades (here's looking at you, Feather)."


. . .  which got yr obdnt srvnt to thinking:  the circumstance when it is most dangerous to be in my company.

Any hype associated with any modern DE blades almost certainly does not emanate from the manufacturer itself.  We do see TV ads for cartridge razors and for whatever that is that Brett Favre is claiming to use.  But DE blades?  I think that the last time I saw an ad for DE blades either on television or in a magazine was back when Gillette was sponsoring the World Series broadcasts; perhaps when Bill Mazeroski was the hero of the moment for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 7?

Most retailers who sell DE blades these days sell several competing brands, and make no effort to hype one brand over another.  So, in addition to razor blade manufacturers, razor blade retailers are off the hook, it seems to me.  So — if there is any hype associated with modern DE blades — whence does it originate?  

The poster mentioned a specific brand of blade (Feather).  I must confess that I have never encountered anything that I would consider hype” relating to Feather DE blades in any context.  But, then, I may just be running with the wrong crowd, hanging out with the wrong people.  If you, dear reader, have seen “hype” related to Feather DE blades, where did you encounter it?  

Now, in fora similar to this one, Feather blades do seem to get a somewhat higher volume of mentions than the (presumed) market share (I am not privy to relative sales figures for DE blades) of Feather blades would seem to justify.  From recollection, the individual mentions seem to fall into one of two categories:  Feathers are sharp; and Feathers are likely to bite the unwary, a blade that needs to be tamed.”

In my own non-rigorous examination of the different qualities of various brands of DE blades, I have found evidence in personal experience that would tend to support both of the two kinds of comments usually encountered about Feather DE blades.  Feather blades indeed are sharp — that is objectively verifiable, not hype.  And Feather DE blades are on the thin side (that is, made from a light gauge of steel) compared to other quality blades.  With a thin blade, if the blade is not tightly clamped by the razor relatively close to the edge, then the blade is prone to bending, like an archery bow, and when the springy blade snaps back from its displacement, it could very well bite the user.  Those who report that they have “tamed” Feather blades appear, from the limited data set I have observed, to be users of razors that give the blades support on the baseplate side out to a place very near to the cutting edge, where the other side of the thin blade gets clamped down by the top cap; those who have had difficulty in “taming” Feather DE blades seem to be those who are putting them in razors where the baseplate bends down and away from the blade.  Do others have contrary observations?

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 08-13-2016, 09:10 PM
#2
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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Good observations.  I use Feather blades (when not using my more preferred Wizamets) in a BBS-1, which holds it very tightly.  However, before this I used Feather blades exclusively in a cheap Merkur 34C and didn't feel a need to tame it.  I had decent shaves with no biting.  I think for some the perception becomes their reality.

Eric

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 08-13-2016, 09:30 PM
#3
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Very good observations.

when I started DE shaving, about 18 years ago, the only blades I could find (beside the Merkur blades given with the razors) were the feather. I had very little to compare to, so I just learned shaving with those blades. Wet-shaving is always something I considered very subjectively, and I always believed that since hardware was fixed in characteristics, it was up to the wet shaver to adjust.

I could have a more "natural" affinity with a given blade or razor, but I should, not only be able to adapt to any hardware, but also found that my "natural affinities" changed greatly with experience.

Since the feather blade was the first one I got to experiment with for a long time, it sort of became my point of comparison. It's always the one I will try when I get acquainted with a new razor, because I "know it" so well. I don't think it's a matter of hype for me, but more a reference point. With years I developed a preference for thicker blades (which eventually made me move into SE and straights) but I still bring out the O'll feathers when I'm trying a razor (and even sometimes soaps!!!)

I enjoyed reading your post and your observations. I'm sorry I cannot really provide any input on the "hype" factor, but I'm going to follow this thread.


Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

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 08-13-2016, 10:44 PM
#4
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Feathers do not work for me. 
I've used very sharp blades but Feathers are not pleasing to use. Do not know why that is. All I know is those won't touch my face again and I do not care if for that I don't seem as manly to some. Hint, IMO that's where the hype comes from.

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 08-14-2016, 07:43 AM
#5
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Nothing is more obnoxious than the new convert; be it religion, fad diet or razorblade. The converted need to reinforce their choice by prosyletizing everyone down to the family dog. I can name few blades who do not have at least one ardent booster including MERKURS. I've come to believe every new shaver who chooses said razor needs to use that complimentary blade as right of passage. Someone, a lot of someones must be buying, and using all those Dovers, Bolzanos and even damnable Polsilvers or they would be shifting production to chamberpots.

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 08-14-2016, 09:50 AM
#6
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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<dupe deleted>

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 08-14-2016, 09:58 AM
#7
  • Entasis
  • Atop the Razor's Edge
  • Southern California
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"Hyped Blades" would make a great brand name.

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 08-14-2016, 12:24 PM
#8
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I enjoy sharp blades; Kai is my favorite over feather do to the thickness. Can't say that claims regarding their cutting power are anything but objective, verifiable fact. I don't know that I've seen blades hyped like soaps or brushes tend to. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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 08-14-2016, 03:12 PM
#9
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I feel like everything is hyped in some form or another. It's all about perspective in my eyes.

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 08-14-2016, 03:55 PM
#10
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I suppose I was referring to the traditional definition: 

"Hype" - To promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively, often exaggerating its importance or benefits.

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 08-14-2016, 05:10 PM
#11
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Interesting.  I love Feather blades.  Currently I use them in Weber, Merkur 38C, Fatboy and Slim without any problems.  If fact for me, that first shave with a new Feather is always a really amazing shave, the blade just slices through whiskers without any hesitation.  However after the second or third shave the Feathers are worthless.  So perhaps they are sharper than other blades at the outset but for me they certainly don't hold an edge very well.  My other favorite blade is the Wizamet Super Iridium which doesn't cut quite as smoothly as the first day Feather but it stays very sharp and shaves beautifully for ~10 days.

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 08-15-2016, 08:49 AM
#12
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I have tried Feathers and other "sharp" blades - Med Preps and KAIs and others. Even though i am using a Feather razor, that blade irritates my skin even there is no visible nicks or cuts. The Med Preps was not working well either. 

I have found that for me the KAI blade in a Feather DE works really well - no irritation, nicks or cuts - and the blade last longer than all other i have tried (~10 shaves).

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