Coticule edge vs Feather blade

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by rb120134, Jun 30, 2019.

    When comparing a coticule edge to a DE blade, that's an apples and asteroids issue. Me, personally, I am not all that impressed with Feather blades so to me they're not a magical benchmark to judge edges by. I think they're harsh as hell and prone to dying fast; I don't get better shaves from them. They tend to tug on whiskers above my lip by the corners of my mouth - my straights never do.

    FWIW - close shaves are reliant upon honing skills AND shaving skills. The best edge in the world isn't going to make magic on anyone's face unless they know how to: prep right, lather correctly, be proficient with the straight.

    How much skill is needed to get 'there' ? Well, whatever it takes, is what it takes. Everyone is different. I suppose that, for a number of reasons, some people never get there. But I think the majority of people that put in the effort do though.
    How long that takes is up to the user, there's no way to quantify or qualify this.

    Honestly though, once people start shaving well with the edges they are making on Coticules, or whatever stone, a certain type of maturity begins to evolve; they stop worrying about what other people think about Feather blades and they begin to appreciate other factors that affect the shave in different ways.
  1. Todd S. has some good electron microscope images of several manufactured blades on his site. The Feather AC Super Pro blades are very keen indeed. As I recall, edge width of about 0.05 micron. A very well honed straight can be in that same ballpark. Most other manufacturers blades will be anywhere from that level to 0.40 micron max judging by what I've seen from varying sources.

    It is not surprising that a new Feather blade wouldn't test well on a sharpness test. When they are new they are completely covered in a very thin layer of some sort of teflon coating, really visible in Todd's images. I've tested several myself, and when new they will NOT pass an HHT. Not even violin. If you try again after a shave or two the coating will have been wiped away and they will sever a hair silently and cleanly. You can also just wipe them clean (I know you fellows will already know this, but will say it anyway: off the edge, not into or along it) using alcohol or acetone and a piece of tissue and get the same result.

    I fully agree that harshness of an edge that is very keen can often - not always - be a result of poor technique. Edge damage also. If one is used to shaving with a blunter edge, that does require an increased angle on the face. Using a much sharper edge this way will result in discomfort and weepers. They need to be used with the spine very low and just barely touching the face, almost floating above.

    If they are not used correctly, edge damage will definitely occur. A tougher beard can surely play a factor as well. The finer apex is more prone to damage. Edge damage means extreme discomfort. A very fine wire edge will often shave incredibly well until the edge fails. Usually this happens in the first shave, mid-shave. However they can sometimes last a shave or two, especially on a stainless razor. Some stainless steels tend to hold onto wire edges or burrs more tenaciously.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
  2. Feathers didn’t test badly. They were far and away the sharpest DE, and if memory serves they tested before and after removal of the coating and took the best score.

    That said, I’ve got a dollar store blade in a DE right now that scored the same as the feather for me, and is actually considerably sharper in my shave test (actually a half decent de shave, which I never had before and always blamed technique )... but maybe I got a really lucky blade? I’ll definitely pick up another one when the 5 blades I got are gone and see if it was a fluke.
  3. Gotcha. I wonder how the blades for the Feather straights compare to the DE blades from same. One would hope that they are fairly close.
  4. Interesting how Feather DE blades feel on my face. As smooth as can be right after a shave. Problem is that I can start to feel whiskers around 5pm after a morning shave. With my sharpest straights, it's 8-10pm before I can feel the whiskers.
  5. What time do you usually shave?
  6. 6am

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