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Feather AC SS, how to get a closer shave?

I completed my 32st shave with the Feather AC SS last night. I use Feather Pro blades. I can achieve a close and zero irritation shave, and I typically go for 3 passes: WTG, ATG, ATG. What I cannot seem to do is achieve a very close shave, it's not close enough for my standards. I've tried various angles and different lathers. I prefer lather that is like "wet paint" or "melted marshmallow" than the foamy nonsense that many rave about. For the angle I prefer to feel the blade, I have no idea where that actually is in terms of steep or shallow. I can get a significantly closer shave with my Ikon Tek or RazoRock Hawk V3-OC. Is that to be expected? Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?
 
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I get just as close a shave with the Feather SS as with any other razor I own, but I have also shaved almost 400 times with it or another AC shavette. Maybe it just takes time and experience?
32 shaves is nothing. Took me at least fifty or sixty with an old fashioned straight before I was getting reliably good shaves.
 
Have you considered doing an XTG pass? I like the zero irritation shave that the Feather SS delivers with ease when compared to say a Feather DX or DE shavette. So I usually do not push my SS to get super close like what is possible with XTG pass from the Feather DX or a DE. Though I don't often go XTG with any of my razors.

You might find a difference using the Super Pro blades, their longer blade exposure should allow for a slightly lower shaving angle or a different sense of pressure at the cutting edge.
 
@Eben Stone -I have had literally thousands of shaves with various Artist Club holders. IMO, no, it is not to be expected that a safety razor will shave you closer using the same blade than an unguarded holder. They should actually be roughly equivalent when using the same blade, as it's the blade that's doing the cutting in both cases. So, it is likely something with technique and the Feather SS holder. The Feather SS holder has a more rounded tip above the cutting edge and a protruding ledge in the body of the holder, to prevent stiction, when compared to the Feather DX and some other holders. I get really close shaves with my SS, but I can see how either of those two design elements might impede your shave. The first thing I would suggest you try is a bit tighter, i.e. more, skin stretching with some shorter strokes to see if that helps. After a pass tried like this, stop, rinse and see if that has helped. If not, I would then suggest also raising the back edge of the SS holder away from your face some to get a bit more take from the blade. Hopefully, these ideas will help. Good luck!

Also as suggested above, you could try the Pro super blade that has an extra .2 mm exposure and adding an XTG pass. But if you are getting really close shaves with the same blade in a different holder with your existing routine, it seems more likely to me to be the idiosyncrasies of the Feather SS holder than your blade choice. The fact that you're 32 shaves in I took to mean you've changed the blade more than once, which should rule out bad or dull blade issues. Feather blade QC has been pretty good in my experience.
 
I have tried hard to love AC (Feather Pro) and SS clone. And failed miserably. DE -shavette gives always better shave (feel and quality) and same or longer longevity (12-23 shaved against 3-15 of AC). Maybe you are like me...
 
So, it is likely something with technique and the Feather SS holder. The Feather SS holder has a more rounded tip above the cutting edge and a protruding ledge in the body of the holder, to prevent stiction

There is definately something weird about the holder that I still haven't quite figured out. On my 3rd pass, if I press the holder flat against my skin with some pressure, slight tilt, and try to maintain that same pressure during my stroke, it feels different and it seems to be magnitudes more efficient. I'm not sure if that (apply pressure) is what I'm supposed to be doing for all strokes of all passes, but so far I've only been capable of doing it on the 3rd pass, and only in some areas like my cheeks and under my chin going ATG. If I could do that for my entire shave I think I would have a very close shave.
 
There is definately something weird about the holder that I still haven't quite figured out. On my 3rd pass, if I press the holder flat against my skin with some pressure, slight tilt, and try to maintain that same pressure during my stroke, it feels different and it seems to be magnitudes more efficient. I'm not sure if that (apply pressure) is what I'm supposed to be doing for all strokes of all passes, but so far I've only been capable of doing it on the 3rd pass, and only in some areas like my cheeks and under my chin going ATG. If I could do that for my entire shave I think I would have a very close shave.
Perhaps in this way you are overcoming the roundness at the edge of the holder above the blade :001_smile . My suggestions were designed to aid in that result, although I'm loathe to ever recommend using the word "pressure" to someone with regard to a sharp edge.
 
Echoing those who said it just takes a lot of shaves and some experimentation, simply because everyone’s face is different and that close of a shave with little to no guard takes a lot of skill. The majority of my 400+ open blade shaves have been with the folding Feather AC SS. I couldn’t claim a BBS until at near 100 shaves at the least.

Even now, for convenience, when I do use an open blade, I’ve taken to doing two passes with the Feather and my last with a DE or SE, simply because I can get it done with more ease and less concentration.

The “lip” on the blade holder is akin to a faux safety bar. I like the feature. The only reason it might be disliked is by traditional SR users who prefer holding the blade at flatter angles to the face.
 
I typically go for 3 passes: WTG, ATG, ATG. What I cannot seem to do is achieve a very close shave, it's not close enough for my standards.

Wow, this really lights up my overthinker gene!

From our brother Slash McCoy I picked up the tactic of WTG/WTG/ATG. It works so well for me that I tried it on some safety razors and like the result there as well. Two WTG passes makes sure to knock down whatever there is so the ATG pass entails less struggle cutting through stuff you could have eliminated earlier.

I've tried to visualize the force vectors and may not have done it correctly, but here's what I'm thinking. If you take an unloaded safety razor and hold it against your arm as though you were going to shave, you will notice that you are pulling the edge from above and somewhat ahead of where the edge meets the skin. You also have a bar or comb leading the edge unless you're using a devette.

Now take an unloaded shavette and hold it against your arm in shaving position. You are now pushing the edge from behind and slightly above, and there is no bar or comb leading the edge to help stretch or at least move the skin out of the way a little. The SS razor has that bump, which works in a similar fashion but it is not exactly the same.

I'm a newbie to shavettes, so I'm also still developing the feel for them. (I'm also yipping off after an extended shave-off with a pile of slants and not taking much time for shavettes at the moment.)

The received wisdom is that because of all the new variables you're introducing it simply takes a while for technique to accommodate that. For me, gentleness and time are key. If I take long enough -- which can be twice as long as a saftey razor shave -- I can get a shave that is bar none the best ever.

O.H.
 
Feather SS is excellent, so I use it as my avatar. If you want to perform a closer shave, rotate the blade slightly to make it a steep angle. The lips should be behind the blade, not under the blade, with very light pressure.
 
There is definately something weird about the holder that I still haven't quite figured out. On my 3rd pass, if I press the holder flat against my skin with some pressure, slight tilt, and try to maintain that same pressure during my stroke, it feels different and it seems to be magnitudes more efficient. I'm not sure if that (apply pressure) is what I'm supposed to be doing for all strokes of all passes, but so far I've only been capable of doing it on the 3rd pass, and only in some areas like my cheeks and under my chin going ATG. If I could do that for my entire shave I think I would have a very close shave.

Any progress with your endeavour with SS ? After using the SS for around 40 shaves, I am getting very close and comfortable shaves. So much so that I am using this razor continuously for last 10 shaves without looking at my shavettes and DEs :straight:
 
Any progress with your endeavour with SS ? After using the SS for around 40 shaves, I am getting very close and comfortable shaves. So much so that I am using this razor continuously for last 10 shaves without looking at my shavettes and DEs :straight:

Nope. I went 37 shaves with the ACSS, last 2 shaves using Feather Pro Supers, and wasn't able to achieve a very close shave, at least not to my standards. The shaves were all zero irritation, zero alum burn, but I typically achieve that with the Ikon Tek but my shaves with the Tek are noticeably closer. For me, the closeness of the shaves using the ACSS isn't even in the same ballpark as the Tek.

I recently acquired the Blackland Dart, for me is more efficient than the Tek. I currently have no desire to use a different razor.
 
Any progress with your endeavour with SS ? After using the SS for around 40 shaves, I am getting very close and comfortable shaves. So much so that I am using this razor continuously for last 10 shaves without looking at my shavettes and DEs :straight:

Thanks for checking in on me BTW. So I put away my Dart for tonight's shave and tried the ACSS again...

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SR shave #38
Preshave: Proraso red
Razor: Feather AC SS
Blade: Feather Pro Super #3
Brush: Sawdust Creations Studio Chocolate Goodness 26mm
Soap: Officinia Artigiana Milano Stay Traditional
Aftershave: Stirling Iced Pineapple

4 pass: WTG, WTG, ATG, ATG.

Not very close. No cuts, 1 nick, no alum burn.

Overall, not very satisfied with the results.
 
Thanks for checking in on me BTW. So I put away my Dart for tonight's shave and tried the ACSS again...

View attachment 1282349

SR shave #38
Preshave: Proraso red
Razor: Feather AC SS
Blade: Feather Pro Super #3
Brush: Sawdust Creations Studio Chocolate Goodness 26mm
Soap: Officinia Artigiana Milano Stay Traditional
Aftershave: Stirling Iced Pineapple

4 pass: WTG, WTG, ATG, ATG.

Not very close. No cuts, 1 nick, no alum burn.

Overall, not very satisfied with the results.
Just curious, aren't you even attempting an XTG pass ?
 
Just curious, aren't you even attempting an XTG pass ?

Luckily I don't have any little swirls in my grain, but in a few places that change direction I don't bother to follow it with any determination.

For me, saying WTG, XTG, ATG is more of an approximation. I never found the mostly XTG pass very useful.

My SR shave passes are probably more like this:

1st pass: N-S
2nd pass: Ear to nose on cheeks, N-S under chin/neck
3rd pass: nose to ear on cheeks, S-N under chin/neck
4th pass: S-N
 
Not very close. No cuts, 1 nick, no alum burn.

Overall, not very satisfied with the results.
I'm puzzled by this. I have only used their DX razors and a recently purchased knockoff kamisori, but I can't imagine there is that much difference between them. And a Pro Super AC blade ought to be fine on its third use. It should have been a very close shave by objective standards. I haven't gone back to read the whole thread, but I presume you are stretching your skin where you can. I'm guessing you have also tried some of the other blades. I dunno. Maybe your angle is too acute between your face and the blade? That's pure speculation on my part.
 
I'm puzzled by this. I have only used their DX razors and a recently purchased knockoff kamisori, but I can't imagine there is that much difference between them. And a Pro Super AC blade ought to be fine on its third use. It should have been a very close shave by objective standards. I haven't gone back to read the whole thread, but I presume you are stretching your skin where you can. I'm guessing you have also tried some of the other blades. I dunno. Maybe your angle is too acute between your face and the blade? That's pure speculation on my part.

I do some skin stretching, maybe not enough. In a nutshell, I emulate what GeoFatBoy does in this video (the shave starts at 9:50):


By exactly I mean I've watched this video about 4 times and have paused and resumed it in places to see the angle he's using. As far as I can tell I'm doing exactly what he's doing.
 
I do some skin stretching, maybe not enough. In a nutshell, I emulate what GeoFatBoy does in this video (the shave starts at 9:50):


By exactly I mean I've watched this video about 4 times and have paused and resumed it in places to see the angle he's using. As far as I can tell I'm doing exactly what he's doing.
I watched the first bit of his shave and that looks like the right technique to me. When you are shaving, are you hearing the sounds like are in the video? The sort of "scraping" as he makes short strokes? If not, I think it might be an angle issue.

I don't use my DX everyday, but for what it is worth, I pretty much never go ATG with it (or a DE), just doesn't work for my beard/skin combo. Exceptions might be made for stubborn spots, but with the DX, I can usually get pretty much everything in one pass with some cleanup.
 
Interesting challenge to get a perfect shave with a Feather SS, it has to be technique and blade feel to reach that pinnacle . I believe you must be close to reaching your goal because you are not cutting or nicking yourself and getting at least DFS and that is great.
I tried a naked blade in my Kai style shavette and it was not a very good shave for myself. I had to change the blade to a Kai Protouch MG and it made a lot of difference to a great shave. What I found with the guarded blade I can push the blade feel to another level with out cutting my self and knock off a nice shave. I have never got 100% BBS but more DFS,BBS range with not a lot of problems. I swear the guarded blades are awesome and a person can bush blade feel to the outer limit with a more natural feel with out fear of a mistake. My $.02 worth. WTG + ATG +ATG = great shaves with my AC shavette.

Kai Luffy style folding shavette- Mfg- 2017--.jpg

Have some great shaves!
 
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