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Feather SR vs SS for beginners

Hi everyone. I’m new to shavette/straight razor shaving

I have credit to use on a shaving website and the Feather SR & SS have peaked my interest

I have previously seen people say that the SS is better for beginners as it is “more forgiving” but it doesn’t provide as good of a shave and it’s tough to go ATG due to the head design

But would i be better off getting the SR (cheaper) and using the feather soft guard blades to get a closer yet still safe shave? Rather than getting the SS now and then buying the SR later?

Many thanks


I shaved a fortune
I have limited experience with AC barber razors. I have two of them... both Kais... I was advised to avoid the SS because the bump is annoying... The SR is a better beginner's barber razor.. or a Kai Kosho Woody... or Excelia... I have those two.

I do use several AC single edge razors and love the format... I've only used the Excelia one time so far... but I was surprised at how natural it felt.

I'm sure more knowledgeable people will chime in soon.
I learned the basic technique for these types of razors with real straight razors, and have used clones of the Feather / Kai razors a bit too (DX and Captain).

I recently took the plunge on a real Feather and went for the SR (apparently it should arrive later today - exciting). I felt like getting used to the bump of the SS would mean having to adapt my technique, and it may force me to adopt a steeper angle than I would like. For me one of the most important things to getting a nice shave with these types of razors is being able to adopt a very shallow angle when necessary, especially for ATG.

Some people find the "bump" on the SS is just fine and get good shaves with it, but others feel it is more of an obstruction than a help (it is meant to make life easier by helping to stretch the skin). If you aren't sure, the SR is probably the safer option.

...or do the B&B thing and get both!

Eben Stone

Staff member
Another vote for the SR.

I started with DE, than added AC SS, then AC SR, then straights. Now I shave with them all, except the SS.

I always felt shaving with the SS was like using a broken tool.

In hindsight, I probably should have tried the guarded blades. That first shave with the SS was uneventful but terrifying. I had no idea what I was doing.
I have both, use both, and get great shaves from both with guarded blades. If I had to choose one of the two?

SR...it shaves more like a straight razor, with a flatter angle.

Still, I get excellent results with either the SS or SR.

Old Hippie

Somewhere between 61 and dead
I haven't used them much but I did go down that road. I started with an SS clone and confirmed for myself that (as a head shaver particularly) the bump was a hindrance. About that time the SR came out and I picked up a kamisori style. I chose that over Western style because it doesn't get in the way of my vision when I'm trying all kinds of funky grips to get various parts of my scalp.

I've also got the Kai/Kasho "Woody" which is pretty similar to the Feather SR.

I'd say if you're intent on a Feather, to grab the SR in whatever format you like. The Kasho is Western style but I really wanted it so there you go.

As for blades, I find guarded blades to be uniformly harsh and rough. I'm aware that's a minority opinion. :) I much prefer the Kai Captain Titan Mild Pink or whatever they're calling them these days. Very smooth. I'm less likely to carve myself with them than a guarded blade. Besides, a clean slice from a sharp edge is better than a jagged rip from a guarded edge, if you really want to play the numbers. (Eek.)

I started with the SS and learned something about technique. Graduated to the DX which I dearly love. Later bought the SR just because I didn't have one yet. Started out using Feather Pro Guard blades but didn't care for them and switched to the Kai Protouch MG. Now I use 2 razors with 2 different blades. DX with Kai Mild Pink blade for the WTG pass and then switch to the SR with Kai Protouch MG for the ATG pass. Still not comfortable using an unguarded blade while going against the grain. Maybe some day.
Since the SR is more similar to other shavettes I recommend that you learn with it. That should allow you to transition to other razors more easily if you ever want.

That said I also like the SS and I think it is the more forgiving razor. I only got a SS after I was getting good results using the Feather and Kai, so I cannot reliably comment on whether I think the SS would have made it easier to learn on from day one. My suspicion is that it would not made much difference in shortening the learning curve, as one still needs to work out the correct angles and pressure needed to get a close shave without abrading the skin. I find that the SS helps in speeding up the shave without worrying about getting nicked.
The Feather DX has a hollowish "grind" shape and, in my experience, is a closer approximation to using a straight razor, particularly wedge/near wedges. I've been on a kick of using it almost exclusively lately, and I'm getting the most consistently low-irritation shaves of my last 20 years. (When I was young, and my whiskers didn't have the consistency of rebar, it was easy to get an irritation-free shave with anything.)

I've been short on time lately, I've really learned to appreciate using a good shavette. You don't even have to dry it off when you're done. It goes right in the stand, and you're off to other things.
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