February 26, 2021 4 min read
Shaving with a straight razor is incredible. The focus, the incredible smoothness and closeness, the long-term savings. People come to straight razor shaving for many reasons and rarely turn back once they’ve discovered just how great it is.
But getting into it can be tricky. For some, using a leather strop can be intimidating and for many, the price is a deterrent. If only there was a way to get a straight razor quality shave, with less of the hassle….. Enter the Feather Disposable Straight Razor.
Established in 1953, Feather Safety Razor Co. has been a long-time manufacturer of disposable shaving blades and surgical blades. Feather keeps all their production close to home in Japan to ensure the greatest quality in their products. They felt they could offer barbers a better quality blade than what was on offer, and thus was born their disposable blade straight razor. These razors shave almost effortlessly, leaving a smooth feel with just a couple of passes. The blades offer similar precision as a traditional straight razor, and best of all: They manufacture 4 different blades for different shaves.
Feather Green - These are narrow blades, barely sticking out of the housing, this makes them easy for an amateur to use, but are still incredibly smooth to shave with. A little extra pressure makes them glide smoothly.
Feather Black-These are the standard blade, good for most faces. They are more exposed from the head which could require some getting used to if you started with the Green, and can bite if you’re not careful, so take your time with them and you’ll have an amazing shave.
Feather Tan -These are for the toughest of tough guys, with maximum exposure from the razor head. Most regular humans won’t need to shave with these, but for those with tough skin and wire-wool beard they are certainly worth a try.
Feather ProGuard -These are great if you are truly afraid of your razor, have extremely sensitive or acne-prone skin. A tiny metal wire raises the blade ever so slightly from the skin, making these incredibly gentle.
I’m the type of hipster that likes baking my own bread, polishing my shoes, and fixing things by hand (even if I suck at it). But, I also understand that not everyone feels that way. A lot of folks would prefer to have an excellent shave with less fuss — and that’s totally cool. Feather Straight Razors are the perfect solution to this conundrum.
The blades crafted by Feather are incredibly smooth and precise, and the handles are stainless steel and are easy to take apart and clean. There’s no serious maintenance compared to a straight razor, and the shave is just as good (I’ve heard some argue it is better). The main disadvantage of most disposable straight razors is how easily they nick and irritate the skin. Feather has all but eliminated these issues by using a thicker piece of japanese steel, polished to perfection. While the standard blade can be slightly more aggressive than a standard straight razor, as you’ve seen, you’ve got options when it comes to how aggressive your shave is.
Just like doing a full shave, you can’t get more precise than a straight razor. There’s no safety guard to get in your way like on a DE razor. Also, using the point of the straight, being able to pick off individual hairs from your beard is extremely satisfying. When you’re trimming your facial hair, there’s nothing more important than accuracy. Nobody wants a lopsided beard. While a disposable blade razor doesn’t offer the cool-factor and romance of a traditional straight razor, it rules supreme as far as accuracy goes. The incredibly fine blade cuts through hairs effortlessly, and the light handle stops you from cutting off more than you intended. By disposing of the blade after the shave and loading a new one in every time, you can keep the blade in perfect condition for maximum control. The cheeks are relatively easy to shave, but take your time around your neck. This area is more sensitive, and shaving aggressively or in the wrong direction can be bad. As a general rule, shave in the direction of the hair first, then against it to get a closer cut.
I started using a feather disposable when I was still struggling with my first straight razor, and it blew me away. We use them in our shaving classes because they are an amazing analogue for a traditional straight razor. They are also available in Japanese kamasori style (no scales) or Western style (with folding scales) to suit your preference.
For those that want to get into straight razor shaving at a lower price-point, you can get a feather and a basic pack of blades for $190. In order to be successful with your razor, be sure to use a good shaving cream and a shaving brush to protect your skin and soften your whiskers. An aftershave balm will soothe the skin, and an alum block is useful to deal with any cuts. If you’re just edging up the beard, a pre-shave product will offer the glide and protection that you need while allowing you to see what you’re trimming.
While I prefer the blade that requires honing and stropping each time (because I’m like that), I truly adore these feather razors. There’s something slightly blade-runner esque about them that my inner sci-fi nerd loves. We can’t recommend Feather’s products enough, they shave with laser precision, and they are perfect for those who don’t care for the upkeep of a classic blade, or just want the convenience that they offer in addition to their regular routine.