One of the few downsides of making the switch to wet shaving is the big money sink that goes into the safety razor – if you really want to get a good one, you have to shell out some serious dough. Sure, you end up saving a lot of money in the long run with how cheap razor blades are nowadays, but that initial money sink can get kind of daunting. To that end, when you’re dropping upwards of $200 on safety razors, you want to make sure you’re getting the right one.
When I saw the price of the Feather safety razor, my jaw dropped – a couple hundred Gs for a safety razor?! However, now that I’ve had a chance to review it, I think I can see what the appeal is; it’s got quite a reputation, and boy does it earn it. There are a few dings in the Feather razor’s otherwise spotless record, but it more than makes up for it in sheer performance and look. Below, I decided to share my thoughts on this razor so you can see if it’s worth spending money on that instead of whatever TV show’s complete series box set is the Daily Deal today. (Spoiler alert: it is. Unless we’re talking Breaking Bad.)
Interesting Facts About Feather Safety Razors:
It’s one thing to tell you about the different razors available and what we like or dislike about them, but this got us thinking about the something. What about the company that makes them? We usually don’t get to tell you much about the companies that are behind the razors you love, so today we are going to change that! Let’s find out a bit about the Feather Safety Razor Company now!
The history of the Feather Shaving Company is rather interesting and goes all the way back to World War 1. The company was started in 1932 in Japan by two German POW’s that lived in the country after they were released from captivity. There is a bit of an interesting twist to the company’s history though. It was once very difficult for non-Japanese business owners to experience success, so the founders got a little creative. In order to make it, they hired Toshio Kosaka to serve as the face of the company. Well played, well played indeed.
In the early days of the Feather Shave Company the main money maker were carbon blades, which morphed into the Gillette model that many of us know today. It sold well in Japan before it made its way over to the United States where it continued to flourish. After seeing what success they were having with the Gillette disposable razor heads, they introduced the Valet auto-strop style single edge razors. The razors are still sold to this day, although the handles are no longer available.
It didn’t take long for Feather to really make it big with their quality products, which eventually lead to them being at the very top of the market for many decades. Their safety razors were unable to be beaten by any others on the market…that is until Schick released the “Personna” razor. The new competition put Feather on shaky ground beginning around 1965 when they maintained about 72% of the market. By 1970, however, they had fallen to 42% and by 1980 they were down to 9.4%.
Proving that they were still in the game and just as resilient as ever, they have made some major head way in the current razor market. We are sure that the resurgence in traditional shaving methods was a major help in breathing life into the company again. They even joined in on the multi-blade cartridges that mainstream razor companies have been banking off of for years. Unfortunately, their razor holders are hard to come by, so snag it if you see one.
These days, Feather likes to focus their main efforts on professional shaving tools and it seems to be working for them. Their line of Artist Club disposable blade razors are made for professionals to use and they are raking in the praise with many saying that they are the best “non-sharpen straight razors”. You probably won’t find a barber in Japan that doesn’t have an Artist Club razor on hand and we are even seeing this trend coming to our shores. Feather has decided in recent years to branch out a bit and is now producing quality medical tools, barber tools among many other products.
The Feather Shave Company just celebrated 82 years of making quality razors and we are hoping that we see them around for the next 82 years.
The Upsides and Downsides of Feather Safety Razors:
Feather already makes some pretty damn nice razor blades, so it’s no surprise that their safety razors are fairly solid as well. When I first tried one, the thing that struck me right away was just how gorgeous the Feather safety razor is. Now, it’s got the same basic look as your Edwin Jaggers and Merkur Progress – a standard two-piece razor head and a regular silver handle with stippled texture.
However, the big difference between the Feather razors and other ones is that, while most other ones are crafted from chrome-finished brass, this is all stainless steel, baby. You can feel it too; it’s nice and hefty, which is great for those shavers (like me!) who shave using the weight of the blade. It’s actually kind of funny how ironic the Feather razor’s name is, considering its weight; still, it’s just as heavy as I think a really good safety razor should be (it’s balanced very nicely as well).
The presentation is actually something I find heavily in the Feather’s favor. When you get the razor, it comes in this nice presentation box made of wood, which you then open to find the Feather encased in black foam padding – like some combination of the Ark of the Covenant and those scenes in spy movies where someone assembles a sniper rifle. It’s an undeniably badass presentation, and I like to keep the Feather in this classy case instead of keeping it with the rest of my shave kit.
If I had to nitpick the Feather, it would just be the price. $200 is a big chunk of change no matter what kind of safety razor you’re buying; for that rate, the Feather should also wipe your butt and do your taxes for you while it shaves you with little robots that crawl all over your face. Still, I exaggerate; for how well it shaves, and the coolness of its presentation, I give it mad points for style.
The Best Audience for Feather:
Who would benefit most from investing in a Feather safety razor? Other than wealthy millionaires / night-time crime fighters, of course? Well, if you believe that you get what you pay for, the Feather proves that axiom right – it’s a phenomenally good shave, with a nice gentle gap in the head between the blade and the safety bar to keep your face from getting scratched and nicked. It’s like shaving your face on a cloud.
Also, if you’re not afraid to change up your shaving technique a bit, the Feather is right for you. You see, because of that shorter gap in the blade, you need to attack your stubble at a much sharper angle to get the same effect. While that can be annoying at first, once you get the hang of it the new angle virtually guarantees a gentle, close shave that won’t leave a scratch on you. It’s a real collector’s item for people who want to give themselves a taste of luxury while also having something they can actually use.
A Light Touch for Feathers:
Despite the greater amount of money you need to throw at this razor, it definitely earns its keep; it’s a fantastically elegant and classy razor that will help you get a nice, close shave while also making you feel like a million bucks. Also, one thing you need to remember is that, in the long run, you’re still saving money getting the Feather safety razor when compared to a lifetime’s worth of regular dry shaving; the blades themselves are incredibly cheap. Just give it a little bit of time, and you’ll have saved hundreds of dollars by not buying disposable razors.
In the end, the Feather razor is a great investment; it’ll last you the rest of your life, the shave itself is phenomenal, and it’s a good friend to those with sensitive skin. Plus, on the bright side, the case itself is worth the price of admission – I’d like to just empty out the foam padding and replace it with precious jewels, or Marcellus Wallace’s soul in Pulp Fiction. While it may seem shallow to justify the purchase of a safety razor based on the coolness of its included accessories – well, you just have to see this thing to believe it. Yes, the box is awesome, but the razor itself is more than worth the trouble.