This morning I shaved with the new Feather Artist Club SS (Japanese style, non-folding) razor for the first time. Here is my summary.
1. The overall weight is lighter and the size smaller than a traditional 5/8" razor. But this in no way compromised my shave. In fact, I appreciated the compactness - able to reach certain spots without changing hands as often.
2. As expected, the blade was exceptionally sharp but not at all harsh to me. A lighter touch is mandatory. I got a few tiny nicks in the usual places but otherwise was very comfortable with the shave. You do need to respect these blades and they will reward you.
3. I recommend the Super Professional blades for the real straight razor experience. This blade sticks out farther and provides a wider range of possible angles than the other blades. I also have a very thick, dense beard and this is the recommended blade for me.
4. The fixed Japanese shape is different. I rather appreciated it by the third pass, which by the way was probably not necessary. The second XTG was BBS. The small size worked nicely under the nose, better than any straight I have ever used. It will take some getting used too because I mostly rotate 6/8" or larger extra hollow ground blades.
I highly recommend the new Feather AC SS Japanese-style razor. In fact, I still think for $95 the folding model is what most newbies should start with before investing in traditional straights.
This little wonder is going into my weekly rotation. Now to see how many shaves I can get out of one blade!