About every 12 months over the past 3 years or so I have attempted to use a Feather blade. These are, as almost everyone here knows, the sharpest blade available.
Early on, when I first got into DE shaving (okay, it wasn't technically the first time DE shaving as I had used them in my youth) I tried using Feathers. The result was something out of a Friday the 13th film. Blood everywhere!
But I have improved immeasurably over the past year or so. My shaves are better than anything than I could have imagined before I first ordered a Merkur HD, some Truefitt & Hill cream, and a Simpsons Brush. I had no idea that things could get as good as they are now. Back then I was getting nothing but horrific shaves with various modern gillette systems. Getting into DE shaving took time, practice, and patience, but I think I finally got it right. I seriously don't know how things could improve from here, but then one never knows.
So tonight, on a lark, I suddenly decided to use a Feather blade in my freshly cleaned and scrubbed 38c. I just thought "why not"? I had once thought that Feathers would never be for me but I thought it couldn't hurt to try again now and then. At least it would show me where I was at on this journey - meaning if I got only half as many nicks it would show a level of progression.
I did all the usual prep. Hot shower, washing and hydrating face very well. I did some extra lathering with my brush and Mitchell's Woolfat Soap. I had thought about using Olive Oil as part of my preshave prep, which has worked for me very well, but I decided against it.
With the first passes I was delighted to find that all was going swimmingly. I used everything I had ever learned about shaving (most of it from HERE) in this shave. I truly brought all my experience to bear, much as Larry Holmes did when he fought Ray Mercer in '91
The Feather Blade was sharp, but finally, after all these shaves, my technique was sharper!
The result: a very, very smooth shave. No irritation whatsoever. Only a tiny micro-dot of blood of which there was no trace of after a cold water splash and a palm full of Aqua Velva.
Not a perfect shave - but perhaps close. Probably one of the things that I have learned here which has been most valuable is that things can never be perfect, and that there are aims in the art of shaving that offer an even greater pay off than achieving a perfectly shaved face.