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Thread: Are we (wrongly) discouraging learning with feathers?

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    Default Are we (wrongly) discouraging learning with feathers?

    I would like to preface this with the statement that I am relatively new to DE. I have been using a badger brush/soap for about a year and a merkur HD for just over a month. I have tried a merkur (yikes...won't be doing that again), 3 feathers, a red pack israeli, a derby, and a crystal. I have to agree completely that the feather is the sharpest. I have had 3 nicks, all from the feathers. However.....

    In my opinion, it was using feathers that has taught me correct shave technique. They are instant feedback....you use too much (or any) pressure, nick. You use the wrong blade angle...nick. the last 15 shaves with feathers have been extremely close, extremely comfortable, irritation free, nick free. Thought I should add that I started with the merkur, followed by the israeli, derby, and crystal, and using those blades allowed me to use too much pressure! They almost reinforced incorrect shaving technique that will not work with sharper blades or a fresh blade! IMO, we should be telling people who are learning to start with feathers, warn them they are sharp, and that when the get a nick, they are doing something incorrectly!

    Just my 0.02

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    Interesting subject since one can justifiably be on either side (or even somewhat both). I believe that if someone is committed to learning the correct technique and won't get discouraged by a handful of difficult shaves you're point is right on, the Feathers will give you performance feedback immediately.

    At the same time, I would hate to see a new wetshaver give up on the practice because they became intimidated by the perceived diligence an extremely sharp, and to him, unforgiving, blade may pose.

    As with most things in our fine hobby, YMMV but you raise a very good point. If you have the nerve to persist I agree that you go for it. If not, start with the forgiveness of another blade and work your way up. I know that I started with some drug store specials that really tore me up. When I used a Crystal or a Derby I thought I was in heaven.
    I have spent most of my money on women, booze and shaving. The rest I just wasted...

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    Are we (wrongly) discouraging learning with feathers?
    Not me. The first DE blade I used was a feather. It's a great blade, and will teach you to slow down and take your time. Beginners should be encouraged to try everything.
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    I've been both avoiding and longing for the feathers in my sample pack. Maybe I should try it tomorrow.

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    Meh - Feathers are very sharp.
    Razor blades are very sharp.
    I don't think there is anything to fear with a feather. It has a needlessly fearful reputation, just like a Slant.
    Big news here - but a razor (any razor) with a blade in it (any blade) can cut you if you are not diligent.
    Be careful, for sure, but I don't think anyone need fear either of those pieces of shaving equipment.
    Phil

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    I started with Merkur and Feather. My technique was finalized on the Feather blades. I am now going through a sample pack to find what blades work best with my face/neck. I believe everyone needs at least two different blades since you never know when one might be back ordered when you need blades.

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    I think you have it right. There are a huge number of hamburger faced folk on B&B who talk about how badly this or that thing did them bad. I think mostly if you take a little care and pay attention to advice things go well and with little blood loss.
    Mike

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    I think it's a case of YMMV. I know I did not like my first experience with Feathers. Truth told I did not like many of the popular blades spoken about on this forum. I did eventually find one I liked and have stuck with it ever since. Having said that I did enjoy a excellent shave Monday with a vintage Gillette which now has me questioning which blade I should use.

    I think everyone new to B&B and wetshaving ought to be encouraged to seek out a sample pack from one of our wonderful vendors. Not every blade is for everyone, but there is a blade for everyone-you just have to look for it.
    Owen
    kwk285 quoted: You can never use logic when talking with your wife. It will just confuse her and make her angry

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMP View Post
    Are we (wrongly) discouraging learning with feathers?
    Possibly, but we're also rightly discouraging learning with the Charles Roberts method, so it all evens out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoratioCaine View Post
    Possibly, but we're also rightly discouraging learning with the Charles Roberts method, so it all evens out.
    How can we tell when we've disturbed the cosmic equilibrium?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ouch View Post
    Not me. The first DE blade I used was a feather. It's a great blade, and will teach you to slow down and take your time.
    That, and also that the best razor is not always the most aggressive. I get excellent results with a feather in my favorite, fairly mild razor.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Nid Hog View Post
    How can we tell when we've disturbed the cosmic equilibrium?
    Generally when you run very low on Feather blades, or have an abundance of Method Shaving products in your medicine cabinet.
    Last edited by Stubblefield; 03-30-2010 at 10:55 PM.
    “The things you used to own, now they own you.”

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    IMHO, bloodletting is not learning, no matter how/what/where.

    To advocate a specific product or methodology as a unique path to a goal indicates confusing the path with the destination as well as illustrating one is a tool of herd mentality/peer pressure/marketing.

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    I think we should have a permanent ban on using the word "should" on this site.



    Jeff in Boston

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    raisindot - hilarious; I love a good self-defeating statement in the morning

    I will say that, as a newb, I am punished and rewarded the most with Feathers. I think it's that extreme which prompts a lot of gents to discourage their use at first. I have seen people recommend IP's, Iridiums, Kai's, etc - but none of those blades give me what a Feather does in terms of punishing and rewarding feedback (not to mention a smooth glide through the thickest of beards).

    I don't think they're as bad as people make them out to be, but I do think learning with Feathers will teach you quickly and perhaps spoil you rotten.
    -Josh

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    agreed!

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    Feather was my first blade (ok I used a Wilkinson for two shaves then switched). For me a Feather provides a great shave but isn't as smooth and comfortable as others I now prefer.

    Learning with a Feather was great. It cut well and if I was slow and methodical (not method shaving) in my actions it was good to me.

    Part of the success of learning with the Feather came from lurking on B&B...I had no idea what to buy so I went with what got the highest amount of universal respect on here. There was confidence that came with knowing the respect given Feathers and that a lot of people got good results with it. "if they do it so can I"

    I stuck solely with Feathers until I could get a DFS every-time then started trying other things. Learn with the best, most minimal gear possible. Learn all the variables that go into a good shave in a controlled manner....then go nuts!
    Nothing to read here...move along

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    I have been eyeing the Feather blades on my shave shelf for quite some time now...I have yet to try one because of advice on this very forum. So far I've used Merkur blades, Red pack personnas, crystals, Gillette 7 O'Clock yellows, and tonight I'm trying a derby. In another week or so I'll probably move to a feather for the very first time, but I admit, I am a bit leery and a bit nervous about doing so from what I've read on here.. That said, my technique has improved substantially over the last several weeks, so maybe it won't be an issue. Either way, I'm both nervous and excited to get around to test driving my first feather blade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMP View Post
    Are we (wrongly) discouraging learning with feathers?
    Now this hasn't happened to me personally, but someone told me it did happen to a relative of his. If you leave an opened feather blade in an open drawer or cabinet (or heaven forbid lying out on the counter) it will actually jump up and slash you!

    Think about this -- Feather Blades and Toyota accelerator pedals are both made in Japan. Coincidence? I don't think so.
    I have a strong moral sense - by my standards. -- Rex Stout

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Paulsen View Post
    Now this hasn't happened to me personally, but someone told me it did happen to a relative of his. If you leave an opened feather blade in an open drawer or cabinet (or heaven forbid lying out on the counter) it will actually jump up and slash you!

    Think about this -- Feather Blades and Toyota accelerator pedals are both made in Japan. Coincidence? I don't think so.
    Have to agree with you there i would never shave with a feather blade whilst driving a prius that would be just asking for trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agent8426 View Post
    i've been both avoiding and longing for the feathers in my sample pack.
    +1

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