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Feather AC

Item Description

Intro:

The Feather AC (Artist's Club) was my first wetshaving razor. It still gets plenty of use in my rotation, even though I have a bunch of fine 'real' straights as well now. There are (at least) 6 different models available, three each in the 'RG' series made of solid brass, and the pricier 'DX' series made of stainless steel. I have the basic RG model, and that's the one I'm reviewing.

(But I suspect most of the comments apply equally to all versions!)

There are also three types of blades, the 'Pro-guard' with added cut-protection, the 'Professional' for regular beards, and the 'Professional Super' for heavier beards. I have the Pro-guard.

Price:

The price-range is from $99 for the basic RG model with plastic scales (they call it a special polymer that can be boiled for cleaning, but it sure looks like plastic to me ... ) to the top-end DX with teak or ebony scales for $250. It's hard to justify the extra cost when you think of the razor simply as a blade-holding device ... with 'real' straights you would expect some improvement in shave-edge quality (as well as better scales) for that sort of price jump. Ask me in 30 years if the brass RG version is not as well assembleed as the stainless DX version ...

At to blades, The Pro-guard are almost $1 per blade (in a 15-pack) and the others are just over $0.50 per blade in 20-packs. Depending on your preferences and tolerances (and all that other YMMV jargon) figure on a week or two of shaves per blade. (Feather's info says 7-10 shaves on average.)

All prices are based on classicshaving.com prices.

Craftmanship:

I cannot comment on the wooden scales, as I have the plastic ones. Doubtless these have their fans for the boiling/autoclaving cleaning ability, but I'd say the plastic scales are 'okay'.

The real key to the puzzle is the tang/head of the razor. First, a side-note that the monkeytail is a bit longer than usual,so you can get a second finger on it for added stability. Good idea!! The 'head' is spring-loaded to keep the blade in place, but pinch the two sides of the head together along the spine and the blade comes loose for ease of removal (or ease of insertion when you put the blade in.

Easy To Sharpen:

Okay, you just pop in a new blade. Like, can it get easier? The blades come in plastic dispensors that dispense one blade at a time, in a way that you can transfer the blade from dispensor to razor without actually touching the blade ... a real bonus when you consider that these are Feather blades after all.

Lasting Edge:

Well, I guess everyone will have his own opinion as to when to change the blade and all. I think the blades last a fairly long time; I compare them to the old disposable cartridges I used to use in the bad old days, and they do quite well (at a much better price.) The impression I get about DE blades, is that they last for maybe 3-4 shaves, so these ones are ahead of the game there.

Shaving Smoothness:

The blades generally go through three stages of life ... too sharp, just right, and getting dull. The first few shaves, you have to be really careful, or else you end up bleeding ... but no problem getting a close shave. Once the blade "rounds into mid-season form" you have a great time shaving close. I'd say that the blade in the first two phases is noticeably sharper than you can expect with a straight. As the blade ends it's useful life, there is a bit more pulling and tugging on whisters.

Easy to Maintain:

Piece of cake. And the two parts of the head pop open so cleaning the interior mechanisms is really easy.

Overall:

A great shave, provided you respect the blade. Feather is famous for the super-sharpness of thier blades ... totally in evidence here. If you are used to regular straights, there is a learning curve in switching over, as you actually shave somewhat differently (less angle, less pressure, &c) than with 'real' straights. In terms of getting a very good shave, I can get that inone pass with my Feather, where with a 'real' straight I'd take a lot longer and make two passes ... so this can be a realistic 'before work' razor.

Admittedly, I don't have experience yet with the other blades, or with the other model. (And there's also a non-folding Japanese style version too.) I'm hoping this review will be a way to start a collection of reviews and opinions about the Feather AC in one central locale.

I also wanted to link in some of the best Feather threads from the Straight Razor forum, so here's a good place to start for more discussion and opinions:
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13313&highlight=feather
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=236&highlight=Feather
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10708&highlight=feather
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8827&highlight=feather
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2896&highlight=feather
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=47&highlight=feather
http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=2027&highlight=feather

Thanks to all who contributed and commented in those threads ... special thanks to Joel for his thoughtful comments and photos (if you posted a review of the Feather, sorry I couldn't find it!!)

To discuss this product with out submitting a review, please discuss here: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?p=227379#post227379

Latest reviews

My introduction to the Feather AC, along with my experiences with different blades and the DX, are here: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=94625

Convenient, (over time) inexpensive, and great shaver. Probably not for everybody, but great for those it fits.
Price
4.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
5.00 star(s)
Craftsmanship
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
5.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)
I have the non-folding AC DX and I use the Super Professional blades.
This has given me the closest, smoothest shaves I've ever gotten from any razor ever. Its super sharp and you do have to watch your angle, but the shaves I've gotten from this razor quickly made it a daily shaver for me.
Learning how to use it was precarious, but I followed the advice regarding the blade angle and I got great shaves from day 1. With the Supers, it glides through whiskers like they aren't even there. No tugging at all and the results are BBS every time. Its really a pleasure to use. I only wish it came in more colors.
Trademark Feather sharpness and quality.
I simply can't imagine a closer shave.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
5.00 star(s)
Craftsmanship
4.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
1.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
5.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)
Price: I got it on the bay for a considerable discount that is why I rate it so high, but normally the price is really high but mind you in my opinon worth it consider you will not need another holder if convience and a good shave are what you desire, like me and dont really plan to get many other razor/holders. You do get what you pay for and this in my opinon is the case here.

Craftsmanship: I really enjoy the weight of the holder as opposed to my shavette, that I previously used. The Teakwood accent gives the holder considerable character. It feels as though with care I will be using this for a long time.

Ease of sharpening: Had to be a ten since all I have to do is switch the blades out, always easy to get it sharp.

Lasting edge: I have shaved myself, sterilized the blade, and allows other to experience and do the same, all supperb shaves after six shaves still sharp with no problems. I also dont have to shave everyday (like every 2-3 days) so blades will last me a while in theory with 7-10 shaves projected per blade, that nearly a month per blade when I use it solo on the low end of the use spectrum.

Shaving smoothness: I used the Super pro blades first because I have coarse stubble. It was amazing I didnt cut myself and the first shave was smooth to the touch - off top. It also helped me clear up an issue I had with healed razor bumps. It cleanly slices them off to show clean skin. I was sold on it after I saw that. No pressure was needed b/c the DX has a considerable weight to it. I consider myself a modern shaver and love the disposable aspect and the long lasting blades, I would recomend this to anyone who wants a convient smooth shave with a minimal input or effort, just good technique. Also I know alot of reviews say the blades are VERY sharp but oddly enough when I crazily tried to touch the edge it didnt cut me but when I applied it to my lathered face to shave it just mowed the hair down, WOW.

Ease to maintain: Of course when the blade is not sharp anymore it can be loaded into a blade safe or into the blade injector. To experiment when I got the holder I slid the front piece off, after I read the direction, to see how the mechanism worked and I then was able put it back together with ease. The teakwood handle has to be removed before sterilizing it but I just dunk the main part it boiling water, from my electric water heater that I use for warm lather, to ensure it is clean and spray with disenfectant that contains ethonal to ensure it sterilazed. When I was ready to use again I just rinsed it off in hot water to get the disenfectant off and used it was used again with ease.​
Price
4.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
5.00 star(s)
Craftsmanship
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
5.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)

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