10-14-2012, 12:16 PM
#1
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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I like aggressive or efficient razors. Some of my favorites include the Barbasol floating head, Joris, Fatip, R41, Futur dialed to 6, OCMM, ... you get the point. Throw the Cobra Classic on the list if you think it's aggressive (I don't).

So after a lengthy hiatus, I loaded up my Feather All Stainless DE earlier this week with a Schick Plus Platinum blade. I have always considered the Feather AS to be one of my favorites. It's a razor I can always count on for an easy, irritation-free, close shave. I also consider it one of my mildest razors. By no means does mildness in a razor mean that you can't achieve an incredibly close shave. I think with milder razors, you need to have the shaving angle just right - err in either direction and it won't hurt you, but it also won't cut as closely.

Knowing this, and having plenty of experience with the Feather, I was surprised by the mediocrity of my first shave with it this week. I didn't have any irritation, but the shave just wasn't as close as I would like. I made an extra pass, did some extra blade buffing in areas. Even with the added work, I still felt stubble in areas. Mediocre shave.

Day 2, my muscle memory with this razor must have come back, because the shave was excellent - the kind of shave that I remember with this razor. Mentally, I wasn't paying much attention to technique, so I thought maybe I just needed a little time to get back into the groove with the Feather, to find that perfect blade angle.

Day 3, I paid more attention to what I was doing and realized the difference in technique between my day 1 and day 2 shaves. Now, please don't go out and try this yourself, because I don't want to take the blame for any injuries. Let me also add that I do NOT do this with any of my aggressive razors - it's something I just FIND myself doing without thinking when I use the Feather. What is it? What do you hear over and over again NOT to do on the shaving forums?

I apply pressure.

Yes, to get that extra close shave with the Feather AS, I find myself applying pressure - pushing the razor into my face a little as I slice off the whiskers. I find the Feather to be such a "safe" razor, that I just can't hurt myself with it. I don't think it's a factor of blade angle for me - I tried any number of them, and without adding a little pressure, I just didn't get the same closeness.

If I try this with any other razor I end up with a few weepers, or, more consistently, a red, irritated neck. Not with the Feather.

I have read a number of threads posted by guys who buy the Feather expecting a sublime razor, only to sell it because they couldn't get a close shave. I wonder if they didn't give the Feather enough time to find that right blade angle, or if they used proper shaving technique by not applying any pressure, when in fact the Feather can take a little pressure.

As a disclaimer, what works for me may not (and probably won't) work for you. I just thought it was interesting that it is "bad" technique that helps me get the best shave from my Feather AS.

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 10-14-2012, 12:23 PM
#2
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My experience has been exactly the same with my Feather AS, Andrew. And I have found the same to be true with my Wilkinson Sticky. Both can give me extremely close shaves if I use them right. How hard I need to apply pressure seems to depend somewhat on the sharpness and smoothness of the particular blade being used. Since the Feather and Sticky are the only two razors I use now, I am sure that if I tried any of the more aggressive newer razors and unconsciously applied pressure, I would cut myself to ribbons.

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 10-14-2012, 02:00 PM
#3
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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That bums me out a bit, John. I sold my Sticky after using it in rotation with some aggressive shavers. I just couldn't get a close shave with it. If I'd only used it in rotation with the Feather, it would still be featured on my countertop.

Perhaps I should begin a search for another one...

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 10-14-2012, 02:09 PM
#4
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(10-14-2012, 02:00 PM)Andrew Wrote: Perhaps I should begin a search for another one...

If you do get another one, try some high-quality vintage blades, such as Wilkinson Light Brigades, Schick Plus Platinums, or Gillette Platinum Pluses, rather than a modern blade. The vintage ones are smooth enough to allow quite a bit of razor pressure without causing nicks. In fact, you might want to try one or more of those blades in your Feather. They are just about all I use now.

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 10-14-2012, 04:31 PM
#5
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Why don't you gents try shimming the Feather?
i wish i had not sold mine, twice, so i could try it.
i, too, found it to be the safest razor and impossible to cut or nick yourself and, i, too, applied pressure, but to no avail.
i could not get a close shave. Enjoy the razors, lads.

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 10-14-2012, 06:08 PM
#6
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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I don't see a need to shim it. With a little pressure, the shave is great,

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 10-14-2012, 07:21 PM
#7
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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(10-14-2012, 12:23 PM)churchilllafemme Wrote: My experience has been exactly the same with my Feather AS, Andrew. And I have found the same to be true with my Wilkinson Sticky.

I can actually get a great shave with my Sticky without adding pressure. The same was not true of the Feather AS though...I found myself really bearing down just to get it to cut anything. I ultimately decided the Feather AS was just not for me. Cool

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 10-14-2012, 08:59 PM
#8
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You guys do know how much I was cringing as I was reading that, right? Possibly because I'm presently undergoing some issues by using milder razors and then having problems with my more aggressive razors. It's difficult to treat a mild razor "right" so that when returning to a more aggressive razor one doesn't see a lot of blood. Weepers, nothing major, but it's still red.

I can't address the Feather, but my mild razors I've mothballed as just not delivering the ultra close shave I demand anymore. I used them for so long just to maintian the blade tests, then I just got disgusted and mothballed them. I can't even conceive of applying pressure, but that's me.

I find my technique just gets sloppy with milder razors. My mild razors lots of other folks consider to be aggressive. It's all relative.

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 10-14-2012, 09:06 PM
#9
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(10-14-2012, 06:08 PM)Andrew Wrote: I don't see a need to shim it. With a little pressure, the shave is great,

* Andrew, as long as you are happy, that is what is important. i have been shimming my mild razors and they have been revitalized. Continued success.

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 10-14-2012, 09:56 PM
#10
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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In my experience, the angle is indeed more critical with a mild razor and I, too, tend to apply more pressure.

I might add that I make a wetter, less viscous lather when shaving with a mild razor. That gives me lubricity with only minimal cushion so that it won't impede the cut.

- Murray

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 10-15-2012, 12:57 AM
#11
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This Feather AS is one of my ToGo razors, when I first got it when't through a learning curve. Tried lots of DE blades settled on just two: Voskhod & Gillette Super Thin's.

Charles U.K

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 10-15-2012, 07:34 AM
#12
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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The Feather AS was made for most shavers that is south of medium aggressive. With that said I never apply pressure regardless of which razor I use. My hand and brain won't let me do that.

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 10-21-2012, 12:20 PM
#13
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I find I have the same problem with vintage gillettes.
They are so safe and won't punish you if you apply pressure.
Also i have a small cleft in my chin so a bit of pressue does seem to work there instead of keep changing the angle for no pressure.

After weeks of wonderfull shaves from the Tech, Super Speed, Milord, Aristocrat and NEW, I thought I had my technique perfected. Then came along the Tradere SB which taught me otherwise.... first shave was greadt, but I also got some skin layer as well, and subsequent 4 shaves were awefull until I *really* got the no-pressure point.

I am kind of split because with the Tradere, i get a more even shave with it. With the pressure-applied-Gillettes, I get a very close shave but it varies according to the different pressure levels that I applied at different places. Too much pressure around the neck is also a sure way to get in-grown hairs because the pressure can push the skin such the hair is cut under the skin level.

On the upside, if I don't push it too much, i can get a DFS in no time and not too much attention, which is not bad thing when I need to get ready early in the morning on a weekday.

I suppose as long as I don't use these forgiving razors too often I can maintain what little technique I have.

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 10-21-2012, 02:13 PM
#14
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(10-14-2012, 09:56 PM)CMur12 Wrote: In my experience, the angle is indeed more critical with a mild razor and I, too, tend to apply more pressure.

I might add that I make a wetter, less viscous lather when shaving with a mild razor. That gives me lubricity with only minimal cushion so that it won't impede the cut.

- Murray

Great observation about lather viscosity/mild razors- I've always wondered why people who coat their faces with an exorbitant amount of rich thick lather expect to get a good shave from a Feather AS.

What you have described regarding technique and lather quality is exactly what gave me better results with the relatively mild closed comb side of the iKon OSS....

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 10-21-2012, 03:53 PM
#15
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My second DE razor was the AS-D1. I totally loved it, but I agree I did learn very bad habits using that razor. Pressure was needed for me to get a good shave. When I used it as my daily driver it was great, but once I started having more and more razors I just found myself either not getting a good shave with the Feather or wrecking my face with an aggressive razor after using the Feather. Either way you look at it, I ended up selling the AS-D1 as for me it was too much of a PITA to use in a rotation.

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 10-21-2012, 04:20 PM
#16
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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(10-21-2012, 12:20 PM)Galhatz Wrote: I find I have the same problem with vintage gillettes.
They are so safe and won't punish you if you apply pressure.
Also i have a small cleft in my chin so a bit of pressue does seem to work there instead of keep changing the angle for no pressure.

After weeks of wonderfull shaves from the Tech, Super Speed, Milord, Aristocrat and NEW, I thought I had my technique perfected. Then came along the Tradere SB which taught me otherwise.... first shave was greadt, but I also got some skin layer as well, and subsequent 4 shaves were awefull until I *really* got the no-pressure point.

I am kind of split because with the Tradere, i get a more even shave with it. With the pressure-applied-Gillettes, I get a very close shave but it varies according to the different pressure levels that I applied at different places. Too much pressure around the neck is also a sure way to get in-grown hairs because the pressure can push the skin such the hair is cut under the skin level.

On the upside, if I don't push it too much, i can get a DFS in no time and not too much attention, which is not bad thing when I need to get ready early in the morning on a weekday.

I suppose as long as I don't use these forgiving razors too often I can maintain what little technique I have.

You hit the nail on the head. This is precisely my experience with DEs.

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