Revisited the Feather last night to celebrate 2 months of DE shaving.
In the EJ I was disappointed in the shave. rough and not as close as I was lead to believe so I ditched after 2 shaves.
Over a month n, the R41 got used last night. A little bit of trpidation using the Feather in such an aggressive razor but I need'nt have worried. Smooth, easy shave with no irritation or burn and possibly the closest shave I've had in the 2 months. whereas in the EJ I may have been doing something wrong or the razor itself is too mild but the blade in the R41 was just exceptional and I sort of understand the hype around this blade now.
Of course my technique has improved since I last used it but it also maybe the fact the R41 has such great feedback I apply even less pressure and just ended up with a great shave.
I've got an unopened pack of Astra SP so will try these after the weekend. I need to keep with the Feather for now to see how it goes over the next couple of days and see if it dulls as quickly as some say but 2nd shave with one of these blades was far better than my first, glad I revisited it.
Go on EBay, get yourself a functioning Stahly Live Blade razor (I'm quite serious), and spend a week dealing with the thick handle, and winding it up twice per shave.... It's worth the learning curve, as Feathers and Astras become silk road cream puff razor blades that rarely draw even the slightest weeper, yet most always deliver a near perfect shave in two passes + minor touch up. No kidding.. My Merkur 38C (and other standard blade handles) does a pretty fine job with Astras, Personnas, and Derbys. With Feathers, it's a great shave that involves some degree of blood letting along the way. In the Stahly, properly wound, all the above blades perform beautifully, and the Feather is astounding in its smoothness.. Astra SP's are my go-to blade for their price/performance, but since I tried a Feather in my Stahly, it has become my luxury shave for special occasions bar none...
Sorry for the late reply but to answer your question no, I just recently purchased an alum block and have yet to give it a go but there are several blades where a block is just not needed...my face lets me know immediately if it does not agree with the blade. :(