What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

ASD2 - what am I doing wrong?

First time post here, so appreciate the forbearance. I started wet shaving a few months ago and started with the Feather ASD2. Looks great, feels great in the hand, but I can’t seem to get a great shave out of it. I shave every day. I have tried a variety of blades (Derby through Feather, with best results being Personna reds). However, there always seems to be some spots that I can’t shave efficiently. This became apparent to me when I got my second razor (48-51 Gillette Aristocrat) a couple of weeks ago, which I get much, much better results with.

Does the ASD2 require a more refined technique and focus on blade angle and thus is less forgiving (from an efficiency perspective), even as it is very mild? I am really struggling here, as this razor is very well reviewed. Is this a razor that really rewards perfect technique and focus? I would guess mine isn’t wonderful since I am starting out, but I get really great shaves from the Gillette. Any advice appreciated.

This razor needs two things. The first one is Feather blade.

The second is that almost all razors need to work at 30 degrees angle. The ASDS2 needs to work at 45 degrees angle.
 
This razor needs two things. The first one is Feather blade.

The second is that almost all razors need to work at 30 degrees angle. The ASDS2 needs to work at 45 degrees angle.
I tried this with 45 degrees initially (months ago) with no pressure and with the Feather blade. Feather blade wasn’t working well at all for me, but that may have been the no pressure. I will try it again 45 degrees, feather blade and moderate pressure. I wonder if that gets it done.

To Avi’s point, this seems like a good razor that you can get a good shave with if you optimize and learn and tweak. I guess the philosophical question I have more broadly is: is it really worth paying a premium for an expensive razor that is difficult to use if after all that it performs only equally as well as a cheap razor? I would argue the results would need to be better to be worth the trouble and it’s unclear to me if that will be true. I am going to keep on working on it. Massive step change in quality for me today but unclear if can be better than the Merkur 34C while shaving lazily...

A little off topic but thought Avi’s observation was interesting
 
I tried this with 45 degrees initially (months ago) with no pressure and with the Feather blade. Feather blade wasn’t working well at all for me, but that may have been the no pressure. I will try it again 45 degrees, feather blade and moderate pressure. I wonder if that gets it done.
The angle is more sensitive when you have a narrow window to work from. You can check this angle on a straight edge with the cap and base plate in contact with the edge; that will you give you the neutral or design angle. Move too far away from that angle and you will need more pressure to keep the blade on the skin. Hence with these razors you don't want to use more pressure than required because that will translate to poor technique with the other razors you use, especially when they have a large blade gap and/or positive blade exposure.
 

Avi

Contributor
To Avi’s point, this seems like a good razor that you can get a good shave with if you optimize and learn and tweak. I guess the philosophical question I have more broadly is: is it really worth paying a premium for an expensive razor that is difficult to use if after all that it performs only equally as well as a cheap razor? I would argue the results would need to be better to be worth the trouble and it’s unclear to me if that will be true. I am going to keep on working on it. Massive step change in quality for me today but unclear if can be better than the Merkur 34C while shaving lazily...

A little off topic but thought Avi’s observation was interesting
my guess is @Invicta is right .. we are all probably substituting a slight bad habit for good technique. You can test this w/ the alum block which tends to point out where you've gone a bit raw. My guess is the absolute proper technique with the as-d2 makes using the alum block feel like doing nothing and at the same time works as well as what you and I are doing now (a bit of pressure). The opportunity of the hyper mild razor is to hone that in a way, that in contrast and at an extreme, the r41 will just as soon stab you in the face and the 34c or r89 is somewhere in between.

At the end of the day one could argue.. do I really care.. the cheap razor gets the job done and we all have somewhat different sensitivities to alum block rawness. The only response to that would be .. well this is a nerd site for nerds so of course we care!!!

As an aside my wife would argue the as-d2 is clearly the prettiest razor out there and so by default it wins, end of story :)

Avi
 
There's definitely a learning curve to using the AS-D2 correctly. When I bought it, it felt like it wasn't cutting at all. I contacted Feather and they had me send it to them (at their expense) to the check the head. They sent it back saying the head was fine. After that I tried it for a few more days playing around with the angle. It probably took me a couple of weeks after which I got the hang of it. After that I could no longer shave with my prior razor, the EJ DE89, and ended up selling that on BST.

I am so glad that I did not sell the AS-D2. It's my second razor ever, and the only one that I have been using since ca. 2014.
 
Last edited:
As an aside my wife would argue the as-d2 is clearly the prettiest razor out there and so by default it wins, end of story :)
I have both the AS-D1 and AS-D2. The former shaves better for me, but the latter looks better. I'm keeping the latter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Avi
I've not tried the razor but understand the answer is pressure and technique.

This video may be helpful


Shave and the explanation starts 10 mins in
 
There's definitely a learning curve to using the AS-D2 correctly. When I bought it, it felt like it wasn't cutting at all. I contacted Feather and they had me send it to them (at their expense) to the check the head. They sent it back saying the head was fine. After that I tried it for a few more days playing around with the angle. It probably took me a couple of weeks after which I got the hang of it. After that I could no longer shave with my prior razor, the EJ DE89, and ended up selling that on BST.

I am so glad that I did not sell the AS-D2. It's my second razor ever, and the only one that I have been using since ca. 2014.
I experienced the same situation during my first shaves with the AS-D2. I always had redness and blood spots with each shave. I did not understand that people say that this razor is too soft and that it is impossible to cut with it. I almost sold it but I decided to persevere and control the beast. With patience, I learned how to hold and use this razor. I do not regret it. I understand that YMMV, there are razors for all skin types but for me the AS-D2 is my daily razor.
 
I've revisited this thread a couple of times since I bought my ASD2. The reason? Well some shaves have been brilliant, I've managed BBS after a couple of passes and pickups on my neck. Yet other shaves have been poor, forcing me to reshave areas multiple times to cut the growth, which leads obviously to irritation and burn. I only ever use Feather blades in the ASD2 so we can discount the kit, as it were, especially as I never use a DE blade past its third use.

So having had a bad shave two days ago, I re-read all the comments here once more. It is annoying and disheartening having spent a lot of money on a razor which doesn't provide its one purpose for existing, a good shave.

Well I'm pleased to say I had an excellent shower shave this morning. So I would like to add my tips to the thread in case it helps anyone else experiencing problems with the razor. As I keep a log, it may be useful to say that today was the 15th shave I've had with it.
  • Prepare your beard - wash it, use a pre-shave (I like Proraso green and PAA's cube) get it soft
  • Use a Feather blade - it's what the razor was built to use
  • Use a well hydrated lather - take your time brushing and make sure you have fully coated your beard
  • Listen for the sound of cutting to find your angle - the ASD2 is quite an audible razor, I could hear it even over the noise of the water in my shower
  • Use that shallower angle (about 45 degrees) and try to lock it in for all parts of your face
  • Take your time - use short strokes - turn the razor often - rinse it regularly
  • You do not need pressure to get a good shave, pressure will simply cause irritation, especially with a new, sharp Feather blade
  • Between passes, feel if you have missed any areas
All of that may seem obvious and can be summed up in terms of prepare, take your time and use good technique.

As others have said in the thread, the razor does have a narrow area of operation but it's worth taking your time to get into the zone, as the shave it gives are so smooth and easy.
 
If you are having issues with mildness and want to crank it up a notch There is a few things a person can only do with out Physically altering the razor. You either shim it or a better alternative is just try a KAI SS blade, they are a little wider than a Feather blade by approx .009 thousands of a inch or .0045 per side. By using a wider blade you will increase the blade exposure or blade feel and that will give you a closer shave. How much closer a shave? As long as your content that is all that matters, I use Kai SS in some of my razors and it makes a difference but not overly aggressive!
It sounds like the ASD2 is neutral blade exposure or not much positive exposure.
KAI SS DE Blade.jpg
Have some great shaves! Stay & think safe in these times!
 
I shave against the grain using pressure with my Feather. Works just fine. No blood, no burn, no drama. And it does so regardless of the blades I use (and I don't use Feathers).
 
I ended up selling my ASD2. I am able to get effortless BBS shaves with my Rex Ambassador. I think one’s technique needs to be very good to get a BBS with ASD2, and mine is nowhere near. My skin isn’t prone to irritation, so I find that something with a higher gap and more blade exposure works well for me.
 
If you are having issues with mildness and want to crank it up a notch There is a few things a person can only do with out Physically altering the razor. You either shim it or a better alternative is just try a KAI SS blade, they are a little wider than a Feather blade by approx .009 thousands of a inch or .0045 per side. By using a wider blade you will increase the blade exposure or blade feel and that will give you a closer shave. How much closer a shave? As long as your content that is all that matters, I use Kai SS in some of my razors and it makes a difference but not overly aggressive!
It sounds like the ASD2 is neutral blade exposure or not much positive exposure.
View attachment 1207600
Have some great shaves! Stay & think safe in these times!
I do have a pack or two of Kai blades, and I'll give them a try in the Feather. Thank you also for your comments.

I checked my spreadsheet and from 15 shaves I've had what I'd class as 10 good shaves and five less good shaves. I think they key is to take your time with this razor and find the angle. I don't shave every day and have a large collection, so I also need to spend more time with it. :)

All the best.
 
Top Bottom