The new Feather All Stainless safety razor is probably the most beautifully crafted razor I have ever seen. Quality is nothing new for Feather, the Japanese favorite famous for its Hi Stainless double edge blades and the Artist Club disposable straight razor system. These are among the highest quality and quite possibly the sharpest instruments that any shaver will ever encounter. Feather's newest razor breaks the mold of traditional double edge safety razors and raises the bar for design, cutting angle, packaging, and -- of course -- price.
The technology behind the modern double edge safety razor has remained for the most part unchanged since its launch in 1904 -- a true testament to its perfection of design. What has changed over the years, however, is the quality of the materials and craftsmanship of modern-made razors. The Feather All Stainless is nothing short of phenomenal in this area. This razor along with the PILS and iKon razors represents a new class of superior quality shaving hardware on the market today.
Distinguishing Details and Design
The Feather All Stainless razor comes packaged in a wood presentation box secured with black foam padding insert and includes a five pack of Feather DE blades. The included blades are packaged with a black and white label although they are the same blades that come packaged in the yellow and red 10 packs available from most wet shaving retailers. It is a traditional three-piece razor, which is nothing new in terms of design; however, the razor is crafted in a gorgeous brushed stainless steel finish.
The razor itself has a substantial weight at approximately 3.2 ounces. In the hand the razor is well balanced, meaning the weight of the razor is well distributed between the handle and the cutting head. Disassembling the razor, you can start to see some of the finer details of the workmanship that go into the production of this model. The cutting head fits together with very exact tolerances and the top plate has corners that prevent the blade from shifting off center when locked in the razor. This prevents uneven blade exposure on either side of the cutting head, which can sometimes be an issue with lower quality safety razors. The handle has a nice deep diamond pattern knurling that provides a very secure grip for wet hands during shaving.
A Kinder, Gentler Ninja
One of the most important features of this razor is the significantly smaller gap between the blade and safety bar. Unlike the Merkur, the Feather requires a different cutting angle. The blade angle on the cutting head of the Feather All Stainless encourages the razor to be against the skin at a much more dramatic angle. Instead of holding the razor at about a 30° angle, I angled the razor at about 45° so that the blade made smoother contact with the skin.
The smaller gap between the blade and safety bar helped the razor to be very gentle on the skin during shaving. When I first put the razor to my face, I was amazed that it is such a mild razor. A new Feather blade in a razor is typically approached with caution as they are known to cut aggressively; however, in this razor I could hardly feel the blade at all. The razor cut very comfortably throughout the shave with no problems on any of the more sensitive areas of my face such as the lower neck. The cutting head rinsed free of lather very easily and was no problem to clean after my shave was completed.
A Trophy Wife
The Feather All Stainless razor is a gorgeous razor that provides a comfortable shave. It is suited for those who have an appreciation for the highest quality that money can buy. It is expensive with a retail price of around $160 USD and it's fun to show off to your friends. Is it worth the price? Yes and No.
This razor may be a worthwhile investment for men who have sensitive skin when cutting with more aggressive razors. Men with heavy a heavy beard mass that prefer the more aggressive types of razors may not appreciate the mild shave and should stick to a good quality DE razor, such as a Merkur HD. In other words, many razors can give you an equally enjoyable shave.
This razor along with the PILS are connoisseur razors for someone who wants the best of the best in his collection. These new razors take the good ol' utilitarian safety razor and make it a luxury item -- with a price tag to match. The fact that Feather produced a razor with this quality is a strong indicator that the popularity of double edge shaving has been noticed as worthy of an investment.