Monday, October 13, 2014

Why I'll Likely Never Use Feather Blades

I have a package of Feather double-edge blades that I bought as part of a sample assortment. I may eventually try a shave with one, but I know that they will probably never be a blade that becomes part of my regular rotation. If I had it to do again, I would not order Feather blades as part of a sample pack.

If you are of the mind set that DE users need to try everything because "mileage varies" (I hate that expression), well, frankly, you are mistaken. I have no more need to try a Feather-brand blade to know that it is not the best blade for me, any more than I need to try on a pair of pants with a 40-inch waist (my waist is 32 inches).

Here is how I know Feather blades are a less-than-ideal fit for my skin and beard; first the facts, then conclusions from the facts.

  • Feather blades in different packaging (yellow label versus black label) are the same blade (per an email from Tsuyoshi Ishiyama of the  Feather Safety Razor Co.,LTD., Overseas Trade Division, on 10 December 2010).
  • Feather-brand blades are generally recognized as being the sharpest of the DE blades available.
  • Feather blades are coated, which helps to attenuate irritation.
  • Feather blades have been generally acknowledged to have a limited shave life -- most commonly four shaves or less.
  • Feather blades tend to be on the pricey side as DE blades go.
  • My beard is moderately tough.
  • My skin is very sensitive, generally thin (very little sub-cutaneous fat), loose in places (specifically on my neck), and has lots of dips, curves, and corners.
  • I get good shaves (bordering on almost too close based on irritation or weepers) with Astra SP, Bluebird, Personna Superior (blue), etc., and these blades are also coated for lower irritation.
  • One blade from my standard inventory of blades normally provides a week of shaves [UPDATE 13NOV2015: By stropping my blades on my oiled palm after every shave, I now routinely get double-digit comfortable shaves from many of my blades. Recently I recycled a Personna Platinum Chrome blade -- the Israeli red-label blade -- after 24 shaves, and which, really, had more good shaves in it. My current blade as of this writing is a Bluebird, which will give me a 26th shave this morning -- and the 25th shave was one of the best!UPDATE 27MAY2016: I stopped stropping my blades a couple of months ago, and now change my blades after seven shaves -- just for simplicity and to ensure good shaves every day.]
  • Feather blades are more expensive than my usual blades.
  • My moderately-tough beard requires a sharper blade.
  • My sensitive, loose, highly-contoured skin is very susceptible to nicks and weepers as well as general irritation merely from too many strokes with too-sharp a blade.
  • Feather blades would cut my beard hair just fine, but are likely to increase irritation, nicks, dryness, and weepers due to excessive sharpness beyond what is actually needed.
  • Feather blades may have less durability than my normally-used blades.
Ultimate conclusion:
  • Feather blades are clearly not the best for me. They would be unnecessarily irritating, and a step back in quality of shave for my beard and skin. My cost per shave would also go up.
You, too, can apply the same kind of thought process when considering new, untried shaving products.

Happy shaving!


  1. I just tried shaving with feather for the second time and it was a horrible experiance

  2. I thought its my technic, but I do get excellent shaves with Kai