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Review of the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Filament, Part 2: Return of the Weepers…

Review of the Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements Filament, Part 2: Return of the Weepers…

Kit Used (Differences from First Shave)

  • Wizamet Super Iridium DE Blade
  • PAA Planet Phoenix Shave Soap (Special Edition only available as a sample size with purchase of the Intergalactic Travel Scuttle)
  • PAA Amber Lite Shave Brush

My prep was the same as the first shave, though with a moderate difference. I used a bit more Cube 2.0 pre-shave obtaining a bit slicker and thicker layer worked with my hands after applying it.

Shave #2

After the first use of the Filament and the post-shave issues I experienced (razor burn, weepers, irritation) I needed a solid 5 days to recover before trying again. I was really looking forward to tonight’s shave and having a second go with the PAA Filament.

I loaded the Filament with a new Wizamet Super Iridium. After applying a nice layer of creamy CK6 formula shave soap I began with my neck. As you may recall this is the most sensitive area I shave and I wanted to give it the benefit of a virgin blade before shaving my head.

The first stroke was barely perceptible as compared to using the PAA Strangelet Super Sharp. I really like Wizamet Super Iridium blades. There was absolutely zero tugging or drag. Had I stopped after one pass I may have called this a success and been done with only a couple of weepers on the most sensitive part of the most sensitive area around my larynx. However, I didn’t stop and went for a full 3 pass shave with some touch ups. More than few weepers around my larynx resulted and in the end some razor burn as well. In the end I experienced considerable irritation as compared to using the same blade in my GT. I’m left to conclude at least two things: my technique with the Filament sucks or the razor itself is too aggressive for me.

Reflecting upon my technique I can say I had some difficulty maintaining a consistent angle of contact (handle to skin) which may be causing some of my issues. This was very evident as I shaved my head: more on that in a bit. Perhaps in the realm of DE safety razordom I might not necessarily call this razor aggressive. It is however more aggressive than my vintage GT. The only other razor I can compare it to is a Gillette Red Tip I had and eventually sold because it was far too aggressive for my liking. The results of my shaves with the Red Tip felt somewhat similar to how I’ve felt after two shaves with the Filament, hence my assertion.

Shaving my cheeks resulted in the least amount of overall irritation this time around. But as I mentioned in the first review, I had near zero alum feedback post-shave with my GT loaded with both a Perma-Sharp and a Wizamet: not so during this shave.

The head shave I had this evening was really about the same as the first. In the end I was left with a few weepers and some rather loud alum barking. I also had to spend a considerable amount of time touching up. The passes I hit at the right angle were good clean smooth finishes. However, I would not have had the same issues using the multi-blade Leaf. In fact, I became frustrated enough to use my Leaf to touch up areas of my dome I wasn’t getting well enough with the Filament. I was immediately struck by the comfort and ease with which the Leaf took care of the remaining stubble to leave me BBS. The combination of the floating/pivoting head, the three blade construction and the overall heft of the Leaf really does the job quite well. And, as I mentioned in the first review, my last head shave with the Leaf left me with zero alum feedback and a shiny BBS finish.


Not to be redundant or repetitive, there was considerable alum feedback all over my head, neck and cheeks. I can safely say I removed/abraded the skin on a few areas of my scalp and had significant irritation all over based upon the level of sting and post-shave burn. Reiterating, my cheeks were the least effected but not unscathed.

Final Thoughts

At this juncture I’m not enamored with the Filament. As I’ve stated a couple of times, I’m willing to concede one of the contributing factors to this may very well be my technique with this razor, or perhaps better said, the lack thereof. It is clear to me that pairing the Filament with PAA’s Strangelet Super Sharp DE Blade is not my cup of tea. From the first stroke of the first shave it felt a tad draggy through the coarse stubble on my neck and didn’t really improve from there. However, I will continue to experiment with the Strangelet loaded in my GT for my next neck and cheek shave.

The resulting overall irritation from the first shave lasted about 3.5 days. I anticipate similar results from this second shave. I’ve a high threshold for discomfort/pain but will not endure this a third time with the Filament at this time. It will be cleaned up and go back into its box. Perhaps I’ll experiment again with this razor when it begins to warm up in the spring.

My gratitude to those of you who have taken the time to share my journey by reading this review.

In Abundant Health and Smooth Shaves…


I shaved a fortune
I am sorry the Filament doesn’t seem to be working for you at this time. Most of my razors, including the Filament, fall into the lower end of the medium efficiency range, I believe. It could be, given its feather weight, it’s very easy to use too much pressure, but that’s just a guess on my part.

As you suggested, you might pull it out of the box sometime in the future and it might work better for you.
Phoenixkh, thanks for the understanding reply. I'm interested in experimenting further with the Filament and intrigued by their DOC line. You could very well be right in noting the weight of the razor being a factor in my experience. It is indeed very light, requiring a more practiced technique to navigate and I can definitely have a heavy hand with other pursuits: hence the reason I very candidly noted my technique could be way off.

My first shaves at 13 years old were using a Gillette TTO, not sure which though I can say it was a readily available drug store purchase. It was my father's razor. If memory serves I also used his Old Spice glass/ceramic mug (wish I still had it) and a puck of soap: many, many moons ago. Even with full face shaving through my early 20s when I grew a full beard for the first time, the areas I noted for these experiments were always very sensitive.

Lastly, I would like to reiterate, I've had consistent and highly positive experiences with PAA's product line and happily recommend these. If someone is new to this community and looking for recs: try their CK6 line of shave soaps, the Cube 2.0 preshave, Intergalactic Travel Shave Scuttle (love the fact I can use boiling water creating a warm lather for the length of my shaves) and their brushes. I think these are money well spent to have in one's shave den.
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