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Opinion - Derbys Rock, Feathers Shock

Okay, so I've been trying out various blades since I started this wet shaving thing about two months ago or so. Not a long time to count for much, but I have come to the conclusion that, at least for me and my Merkur HD, Feathers don't work for me.

I started using Merkurs and they were satisfactory, then I tried a Derby and I had really excellent results. Then I tried a Wilkinson with, well, satisfactory results. Then I went back to the Derby and it was amazing.

Then I tried the Feather. I know you'll know what I mean when I say it was just TOO sharp. Did is shave smooth? Absolutely. Unfortunately, it was the first time since I started DE shaving that my face felt "shaven" like the bad old Trac II days. It was sore, kind of pink, a bit stingy when I wash, just really uncomfortable. I thought maybe it was my budget Weleda cream, so I switched to TOM Mint (thanks for the hint Kyle - amazing stuff!) and I got the same feeling, like I've shaved off skin along with beard.

So, I had a job interview on Monday, so I switched out the Feather and put in a brand new Derby, and had a wonderful 4-pass shave with Tom's Mint Cream, Thayer's after the cold splash, and it was the best shave I have ever had, bar none. BBS, no pain or irritation whatsoever, looked good, felt good - I was faceturbating for hours.

So, I know this is long-ish to read, but I am just so thrilled that I found the perfect combination of HD and Derby that suits my face and my (still improving) shaving technique.

Thanks, too, to an unnamed fellow B&B member for allowing me the luxury of trying out those blades. I recommend to anyone new to DE shaving to get a sampler pack and actually try the blades out. It's amazing how much difference that simply changing the blade can make. And it's different for every face too, so read the reviews, but the final analysis will still be how your face reacts, and everyone's face is different.

Now I have a hundred Derby blades, and I'm set for while. When those are just about gone, I'll order more derby blades. Just because they work for me.


I use primarily Feathers and recently purchased a 5-pack of Derby Extra's...I have since purchased 200-additional Derby blades - very nice, consistent shaves.

I did not do well with the Israeli Personna's. The Euro Gillettes are ok.
cooncatbob said:
Some razors are picky. My Toggle doesn't like Derbys but My HD loves them.

I find the same with my Merkur 1904....just doesn't work.....consequently that particular razor has dropped out of my rotation.



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As you can see from these and other responses, everyone has their favorites, and certain blades seem to match better with certain razors. Finding out what works is all part of the fun.
With a light hand, a Feather can provide a remarkable shave, but when the bottom drops out, it drops out fast. I find them to be terrific for the first two of three shaves, then it's a crapshoot.
The Derbys are a competetively priced, versatile blade that performs well with most of my razors and ages gracefully. If I were stuck with only Derbys, you wouldn't hear a complaint out of me.
The Wilkinsons are cheap and easy to find, and give a decent but not thrilling shave. If you're stuck on the road, you should have no problem finding these, and, as they say- any port in a storm. Since a lot of us buy by the 100's, it may be hard to justify getting these.
The Israeli Personnas have a lot of fans. I haven't quite made up my mind about them, so I'll reserve comment.
The Swedish Gillettes are the only blade I use that seem to get better with each ensuing shave. They are very smooth and make my Merkur long handle and Gillette fat boy perform better than any other blade.
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