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View Full Version : Feathers - Is this a weeper I see before me?



Spatterdash
03-05-2009, 10:49 PM
Once, long ago, (about 18 months, actually) I tried a Feather.

With great respect I gingerly placed it against my face and kept it moving, never stopping, planning each swipe and stroke, letting it whisper it's deadly intent to my whiskers. Two passes were all my soul could muster and I lowered the razor in humility, uncut but barely shaven.
I was too new with a double edge, so I stepped back and dedicated myself to the basics. With Crystal tutors leading me through my elementary courses, I finally reached the point where I was slicing away with ease; north, than south, than touch-ups against the grain. I attained an almost constant BBS, and the old weepers on the side of my Adams apple faded to red splotches, then a memory. I was a competent shaver, with more than a year of practice.

So tonight, needing a fresh blade, I released a Feather from it's papery imprisonment and collared it snarling in my razor. With a familiar respect I began, slow but with a graduate's confidence, never pushing and with my usual angle. Three passes and I smiled, my fingers finding no grit. I washed my brush and scuttle and face and lifted my polished visage to the glass...
and like the tears of some hellish spirit, crimson began to flow. Slowly my neck wept at my arrogance, first here, then there. Another ruby bead joined them, and another, and soon my throat was bespeckled with the stinging dewdrops of a morning in Hades, while my Feathers snickered at me from the shelf.

It's a terrible thing, to stand in a fading cloud of soap aroma, bleeding, beginning to hurt, knowing you will be typing failure into the forums of Badger & Blade.

I have two theories. One, I have a semi-soft beard and a soft face, so it maybe my face is simply too tender for a Feather's edge.
The other theory is that a Feather, mounted in a Merkur HD as mine was, is too aggressive for my particular mug.
No matter the cause, it would seem that the loudly lauded Feather has found me unworthy.

I am... hamburger-ed.

:blushing:

Fnord5
03-05-2009, 11:02 PM
At least it wasn't in a slant:biggrin:

VR6ofpain
03-05-2009, 11:22 PM
I hate Feathers. Always gave me irritation.

Are they sharp? Yes.
Do they shave well for me? No.

Hanlon's Razor
03-05-2009, 11:59 PM
Well written!

I, too, was speckled with blood the first time I used a feather blade. But I had a bunch left in my sampler package, and, being the cheap bastard that I am, didn't want to waste them. So I tried again. Turns out, these blades shave very nicely if you don't exert any pressure. Just got a bbs shave today, using my Red Tip and a feather.

nuovorecord
03-06-2009, 12:26 AM
I hate Feathers. Always gave me irritation.

Are they sharp? Yes.
Do they shave well for me? No.

What he said. I realize they're spoken of in near-reverent tones by many of us, but I think they suck balls. I've needed a transfusion after each of the three times I've tried them. YMMV, of course. :biggrin:

SRock
03-06-2009, 12:40 AM
I had a few weepers early on with Feathers but after learning to shave with them they quickly became one of my favorites, definite top 3.

dszpiro
03-06-2009, 01:43 AM
Are they sharp? Yes.
Do they shave well for me? No.

That's exactly how I feel, too. The Feathers are just "too" sharp for my beard / face. I use Derby blades and my favorite shave is always the second or third time on the blade. I guess my face just likes something a bit more dull.

Cheers,
Danny

MikeLip
03-06-2009, 04:25 AM
One thing I have noticed about Feathers - the first shave or two is harsh. Then they settle down. I think perhaps I will have to try corking them.

Mr_Eval
03-06-2009, 06:25 AM
I've persisted 3 times so far with a feather, the first in a tech, the last in a fatboy set on#1. The fatboy seemed to do the best job although probably because that's my go to razor and I'm used to it but I still had multiple weepers. I haven't given up yet (I'm a sucker for punishment):lol:

JimBow
03-06-2009, 06:33 AM
At least it wasn't in a slant:biggrin:

+1 Imagine the carnage!!!:lol:

1LT
03-06-2009, 06:39 AM
I am... hamburger-ed.

:blushing:

Hamburger-ed.... I like it; possibly my new favorite description for a rough and bloody morning.

glycerine
03-06-2009, 06:44 AM
I've persisted 3 times so far with a feather, the first in a tech, the last in a fatboy set on#1. The fatboy seemed to do the best job although probably because that's my go to razor and I'm used to it but I still had multiple weepers. I haven't given up yet (I'm a sucker for punishment):lol:

I've used a feather in several razors and I'd have to say that the fatboy was probably the smoothest ride so far, set on 1 of course. If I bump up to 2 or 3, forget about it. The tech wasn't so bad either and now that I think about it my super-speed wasn't terrible, but the fatboy has been the best...

ssilcox
03-06-2009, 08:27 AM
Just got a bbs shave today, using my Red Tip and a feather.

You, my friend, are a real man! I love my feathers - but in my New. I only tried them in my red tip once - never again :lol:

Trius
03-06-2009, 08:34 AM
I had a few weepers early on with Feathers but after learning to shave with them they quickly became one of my favorites, definite top 3.

+1 The only razor in which a Feather doesn't perform for me is ... a Feather Portable. :redface: Go figure, but I'm not giving up yet!

gdc
03-06-2009, 08:36 AM
I too tried and failed with Feathers (also with an HD) after a good few months of DE shaving. For my face Feathers (or at least in combination with an HD) are just too much. I did have some shaves that were without blood, but not very many.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I'm just about to try a batch of Gillette 7 o'clocks (green pack) that I brought back from India last week. Should they turn out to be less than suitable then I hope I will realise this a little more quickly than with the Feathers!

6mungo6
03-06-2009, 11:44 AM
You guys are scaring me:eek::eek:
.... runs off to throw feathers in the bin.



:w00t:

Steve08
03-06-2009, 12:04 PM
I just used a feather this morning in a 1920 Old Type, numerous weepers. this is the 3rd time I have tried a feather and I find these blades are too sharp, at least with the razors I have.

whodat
03-06-2009, 12:20 PM
WTS: A couple boxes of feathers...

C'mon... seriously. Buy them. I know I'll never use them... haha

Trius
03-06-2009, 12:35 PM
How can a blade be "too sharp"? Not sharp enough, uneven/rough, etc., I understand. I want a blade to be a sharp as possible.

The variables are razor, prep, technique, and face (beard/skin) ...

nuovorecord
03-06-2009, 12:43 PM
You guys are scaring me:eek::eek:
.... runs off to throw feathers in the bin.



:w00t:

Well, don't do that if you haven't tried them! Some guys love them and get great results. Maybe you'll be in that group. My dad, for example, swears by them; I swear AT them! :biggrin:

Trius
03-06-2009, 01:39 PM
Well, don't do that if you haven't tried them! Some guys love them and get great results. Maybe you'll be in that group. My dad, for example, swears by them; I swear AT them! :biggrin:

Exactly! I swear at Derby blades, the very same ones that many here verily worship!

DunEdinRanger
03-06-2009, 06:27 PM
Hamburger Ed,

You have a way with words. That should required reading by HS students.


Once, long ago, (about 18 months, actually) I tried a Feather.

With great respect I gingerly placed it against my face and kept it moving, never stopping, planning each swipe and stroke, letting it whisper it's deadly intent to my whiskers. Two passes were all my soul could muster and I lowered the razor in humility, uncut but barely shaven.
I was too new with a double edge, so I stepped back and dedicated myself to the basics. With Crystal tutors leading me through my elementary courses, I finally reached the point where I was slicing away with ease; north, than south, than touch-ups against the grain. I attained an almost constant BBS, and the old weepers on the side of my Adams apple faded to red splotches, then a memory. I was a competent shaver, with more than a year of practice.

So tonight, needing a fresh blade, I released a Feather from it's papery imprisonment and collared it snarling in my razor. With a familiar respect I began, slow but with a graduate's confidence, never pushing and with my usual angle. Three passes and I smiled, my fingers finding no grit. I washed my brush and scuttle and face and lifted my polished visage to the glass...
and like the tears of some hellish spirit, crimson began to flow. Slowly my neck wept at my arrogance, first here, then there. Another ruby bead joined them, and another, and soon my throat was bespeckled with the stinging dewdrops of a morning in Hades, while my Feathers snickered at me from the shelf.

It's a terrible thing, to stand in a fading cloud of soap aroma, bleeding, beginning to hurt, knowing you will be typing failure into the forums of Badger & Blade.

I have two theories. One, I have a semi-soft beard and a soft face, so it maybe my face is simply too tender for a Feather's edge.
The other theory is that a Feather, mounted in a Merkur HD as mine was, is too aggressive for my particular mug.
No matter the cause, it would seem that the loudly lauded Feather has found me unworthy.

I am... hamburger-ed.

:blushing:

Maybe you should have used some TOBS St. James cream to combat the nefarious forces at play?

Evan
03-06-2009, 06:39 PM
I'm pretty new to DE shaving and in my ignorance I bought 100 Feathers after a somewhat mediocre experience with the Merkur blades I was talked into buying with my Futur. My first few shaves with a Feather were admittedly a bit bloody, but I quickly learned that you have to use absolutely zero pressure, and than they perform wonderfully. Now I rarely get any cuts or weepers and they are my favorite blades. I've also tried Derbys--they do seem smoother, but they are so smooth I tend to get sloppy with them and then I end up getting more irritation and cuts than I do with the Feathers.

grumpy old codger
03-06-2009, 06:44 PM
I have Lords, Gillette, Family Dollar, Persona and Merkur in my stash. For me, the Feather works the best. However, I think that technique, or lack of it (overconfidence?) cause most of the problems encountered with this blade.

Technique, Technique, toujours, Technique!!!

xdkeys
03-06-2009, 06:45 PM
I had good luck with feathers, derbys ate me up.

al7jj
03-06-2009, 06:54 PM
It is surprising how people's faces differ. I have never shed a drop of blood with a Feather (Futur at 1.5 and NO pressure). But they dull after a few days and scrape. But then, I seem to be the only one here whose favorite blades are the Merkurs :-)

invisionz
03-06-2009, 07:14 PM
Nicely penned, I enjoyed reading your story.

I have gotten some nicks with a feather but not any weepers. I have however, gotten some red splotches that I don't normally get when I use Derbys or Wilkinsons.

Good luck to you and stick up on the Hydrocortisone :001_smile

richmondesi
03-06-2009, 07:27 PM
That was one well written story. Too bad for your bad experience though.

Scorch
03-06-2009, 08:11 PM
Spatterdash - A very interesting read. :) Nice post.

I remember reading about Feathers on different forums and blogs before I started wet shaving. They seemed scary and a reckless choice which most writers regretted.

I started wet shaving the first week of this year after reading and watching videos about it for many months. I shaved once or twice with CVS brand (personnas red, I think). Not pleasant. Not at all. My shaven face was a reddish purple like Fred Flintstones 5pm shadow.
http://moviescomments.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/fred-20flintstone.jpg All because I was impatient and my Derbys hadn't arrived before my razor :redface:

Derbys arrived and I was pretty happy for a few weeks but I felt there had to be something that could get the job done more smoothly. Feathers. 3 blades from the test pack and I ordered 200 more. Done! :)

They are fantastic for my very sensitive face and moderate to very course beard. They make for a near to or virtual bbs with 2 passes plus buffing. I have had to learn patience and avoidance (or at least when I should just stop) for my tough areas.

Feathers are Awesome in my book at least with my 34c's and my skin/beard. Maybe the razor you are using is simply too aggressive.

dreadpirate
03-06-2009, 09:46 PM
Feathers are great in a Gillette, esp. adjustable models set on 5 or less. Too much in more aggressive razors. :w00t:

Spatterdash
03-07-2009, 04:31 AM
I humbled.

Thank you for the kind words about my writing. Glad it was enjoyed. I was trying to have some fun in the middle of an otherwise disappointing venture.

I know technique is a constant goal in life, I suppose that I was shocked that I was unable to navigate a Feather safely with just over a year of DE shaving under my belt.
I'll keep them around for future attempts.

pablo_h
03-07-2009, 06:01 AM
Feathers are the only blade that seem sharp enough for me with the more agressive razors. Anything less grips, tugs and pulls my stubble. Sure I can get away with ATG and XTG passes with a blunter blade on a non agressive razor (gillette, derby, etc), but never ATG with those blades, so never a close shave.

I go into DE for purely cost reasons, I get no irritation, cuts or burn from a mach3 and a M3 gave me a pretty good damn fine shave. But my stubble will blunt a M3 after 3 shaves. Obviously not everyone is the same because some people can get 5-10 shaves out of their cartridge razor, but for me a M3 cartridge was too pricey.
My stubble is coarse, harsh and will fight off any average blade, so feathers work best for me. Derbys, BICs etc feel like a pocket knife being dragged across my face.

You just have to attack your beard like a ninja when using a feather.
First rule in ninja shaving: Don't fight fair. Wear the hairs down with heat to make them tired, cover them over in good soap lather so they can't see what you're doing.
Only then attack! Make it light short attacks, exerting no pressure, so your the hairs under the lather don't suspect anything and can't reorginise to defend.

Most cut and nicks are purely because of bad prep and bad angle as stated.
But the main thing with a ninja attack, (sorry feather blade), is the strokes have to be very short and light. I got cut up when starting DE because I was used to long strokes and pressure with a M3, I stopped getting cuts with most sharpish blades and non agressive razors when I did shorter strokes (like 1.5") and very very little pressure.

I didn't stop cutting myself with a feather until I did even shorter strokes (under 1") and shaved so lightly the razor hardly touched the skin, ie light straight short swooping strokes, like mantics video of him displaying a j hook touch up action to pick up any strays. That light quick short action but just straight strokes, is what is needed to normally shave with feathers.
Only problem that is around the adams apple, that's the hardest part, you have to go really slow and carefully

amateriat
03-07-2009, 11:22 AM
Ah, the Feather.

First encounter was loading one up in my Vision, my first DE, and this was after my first month of shaving, mostly with the Merkur blades that came along for the ride with the Vision. Not much drama with the Merkurs, although I got some burn getting too slap-happy with more-aggressive settings. Then I loaded up one of the two Feathers a fellow B&B'er (and fellow Brooklynite) gave me. Yes, I knew the Feather's legend, but, given my going off the deep end with a Vision as a starter DE, I thought I might as well get a taste of the thing sooner than later.

It wasn't as bad as I feared it would be, but it was still a bit treacherous: a few weepers (expected), but only a few. But more burn than I'd have liked. This was the first time out. Subsequent shaves provided closer shaves and less drama, but I wasn't bowled over...the hype-to-experience ratio was a bit hard to take right then.

Since that time, my Main Axe razor has changed (twice: the now-damaged Vision was replaced a year ago with a Futur, which only a week ago was displaced by a 40s-era Gillettte Aristocrat and, to a lesser extent, a '72 Gillette Super Adjustable). Just as radical a change has occurred with blades: after a year of great shaves with Israeli Personnas, my new standard is the Dorco ST-300, of which I just placed a fairly large order (200 blades). More about those blades in another (http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?p=1042169#post1042169) thread.

The Feather was an interesting experience, but, as the saying goes, "'experience' is what you get when you didn't get what you really wanted." I suppose I could add that perhaps there are no (or at least few) truly lousy blades, just mostly bad combinations of blade/skin/hair type. Many of the threads here on the subject of blades seem to bear this out: one man's Mead is another man's poison, and so on. I've found my killer shave combo now. All I need to do at this point is keep from getting bored with the results! :rolleyes:


- Barrett