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OK, I need some input from the regular Feather DE users

For the last several weeks I've been shaving along real well with my Personnas. (the jury is still out as to whether or not they're the Israelis'). BBS, no burn or irritation, really nice. But, I just tried my first Feather this morning. Sucked in by the "need for the ultimate". I also figured that it simply made sense to have the sharpest blade as it would likely result in less drag, closer shave, blah, blah, blah . . . It was not what I was hoping for or expected. I used my Gillette adjustable set on 2 and 3. The end result was some razor burn and not all that close. In fact, it seemed rough. There was no question that it was SHARP though.

I think that not only is there a blade/razor combo for every shaver, there is probably the additional lather element in there as well.

So, what I would like to know is this:
1.) I didn't use a preshave oil today. I really just wanted to see what I was dealing with, with the least number of variables. Does it make a difference in the first place? How about straight glycerine or is something else a little better?

2.) If you use an adjustable, what's a good setting? Does a Feather seem to work better with a fixed razor?

3.) Do the blades "settle down" some after a use or two?

4.) Where's the best lather from for these blades? Soap (hard milled, glycerine?) or cream? Dense or thin? A particular brand?

I know all of this is somewhat subjective and MMMV . . . but, I'm looking for a consensus. The best place to tweak based on what works for the most. I need to know what don't know . . .

What works best for you if you use the Feather DE blade?

I'm still a total newbie. I used Merkurs for a week or two, then went with Feathers to try to reduce the burn (yes, it was premature). I managed to cut myself several times in one shave (still healing... I hope). What I found instantly though, was that the Feather wanted a slightly different angle in the same razor. I just wasn't careful enough, or familiar enough with my face.

I think they're actually reaching into an alternate universe, via superstring gymnastics, and you have to compensate for that. :biggrin:
Kenneth I vote for your old avatar:biggrin:


I like to say "shaving without great lubricating thick slick unctuous fragrant billowing hot soft lather'' is like driving a sports car with a flat tire"
I use the super soaps from Mama bear or HBS Sue both with Shea butter. I have very sensitive skin and my beard grows wildly in all directions so I must make multiple passes up to 6 plus touch and buffs.If I did not have these slick soaps I could not do it.The best news is they are sanely priced you can get 4-5-6-7 soaps for the price of a tub of the T's.

Bottom line is great lather great shave-poor lather crappy shave no matter what the blade.
I agree with the point that with Feathers you must be sure that the blade angle is correct. The blade is going to cut whatever's in the direction it's pointed, so you want the blade pointed as close to parallel to your skin and at a right angle to your whisker: like a scythe swooping near to the ground to cut through the grass stalks: you don't want the scythe to hit the ground. With adjustables, start with a low setting (1, say) and move it up if you feel it's not doing the job. Beard prep is always important...
I've never used a pre-shave oil---I don't like what it would do to my brush. A couple of drops of glycerine (or Coral Skin Food) rubbed into the wet whiskers just before you lather is very helpful---do it before each pass. Any good soap or cream should work fine, just make sure you have a nice thick lather---if the lather's thin, it won't do a good job of lubricating.
I'm new as you are to the Feather and have been using them in a Gillette adjustable as well. I've used settings ranging from 2-5 and it has been interesting. I seem to have a greater chance of getting irritation on the 2 setting rather than the 5 setting. It might be that my technique is better on the higher number as I'm paying more attention to the angle of the razor. On the lower setting I'm guessing that I'm getting rather cavalier with my technique and getting some razor burn.

Still learning here but enjoying the overall experiment.
I don't get good results with Feathers. I find them highly variable blade to blade. Sometimes you'll get an uber-shave, other times a crappy one. I stick to Derbys now.
Getting razor burn on the lower setting of adjustable razor but not on the higher: this might be analogous to cigarette smokers who inhale more smoke and more deeply when using filtered low-tar cigarettes. On the lower setting perhaps you're unconsciously using more pressure in order to get the cutting action you want. Just a thought.
Well, I just got out of the shower . . . (I know, too much information)

Hadn't shaved since Friday AM. Used some conditioner on my face in the shower, hot distilled water and C&E Almond soap, my Aristocrat with a blade used once, a little glycerine on my face with a little hot water, whipped up a good lather for a one pass shave.

Unbelievable. I could not tell that there was a blade in the razor . . . until I got to the corners of my mouth . . . caught a couple of weepers. Turned out VERY smooth for one pass. As smooth as anything I got with my cartridge stuff on a day to day basis.

So, I've concluded the following for me using Feathers:

1.) Adequate preparation is a MUST and you can't get in a hurry and you can't cut corners in your routine using this blade, no pun intended.
2.) I think you must have some reasonable technique refined and under your belt to get the optimum results. I'm still not there yet. Blade angle is critical as well as stretching the skin. You can get away with being quick or sloppy with some blades but, not these. When I use these again, it will be in my Tech razor until I get some more experience. (I wish I had never seen a cartridge razor)
3.) No pressure. These blades seem to be incredibly sensitive to too much pressure. More so than others I've used.

So, if I can get it all together, I think these blades may be all they are cracked up to be but, they are not my daily blade. Not yet.
agreed feathers are probably capable of giving a better shave than any other blade but i do find i must pay more attention when using them. also it seems they are more vulnerable to bad prep.

Leisureguy said:
Getting razor burn on the lower setting of adjustable razor but not on the higher: this might be analogous to cigarette smokers who inhale more smoke and more deeply when using filtered low-tar cigarettes. On the lower setting perhaps you're unconsciously using more pressure in order to get the cutting action you want. Just a thought.
I believe that you hit it head on. Depending upon the adjustable's head geometry, I find that (the Gillette in particular is so mild) you invariably end up scrapping (using an excessive blade angle) to get steel to beard often resulting in irritation. That is somewhat less true with the greater exposure and gap of the Merkur family of adjustables.
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