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#1
(This post was last modified: 01-13-2016, 04:06 AM by Hobbyist.)
I bought a Feather AS-D2 recently and want to post my experience thus far with this beauty of a razor. First I feel I should describe my beard type. It is fairly thick and coarse and grows full. I actually wore a beard for 7 years and then shaved it off last year when I started wet shaving with a DE. I am a daily shaver most of the time but skip a day now and then. My hair grows in a few different directions on my neck which makes that the most difficult area for me, and also makes finding a razor and blade combo difficult. To date I have owned several razors but only 2 have been acceptable for daily use, a EJ DE89 and Ikon 101, both with Maggard handles. Those two razors are nearly perfect for me but I always wanted to own a stainless steel razor head which is where the Feather comes in. I was looking for a smooth shaving razor that is very efficient at removing the hair. My skin is sensitive, especially my neck so it's not as easy for me to find razors that work. I had a Standard Razor that worked great on my face but tugged on my neck so out it went. Now onto the Feather review.

The Feather AS-D2 is a beautifully designed razor with the highest build quality I've seen (haven't owned a Wolfman). There are no imperfections anywhere on the handle or head and blade alignment is absolutely perfect every time. The razor has a nice weight and balances very well. I prefer a larger diameter handle usually but I'm already used to this one and don't plan to change it out anytime soon.

For my first shave I loaded up a Feather blade since I hear that is the best combo. The first two shaves were great with the exception of my neck area on the first shave. It turned out I wasn't using the proper angle which I figured out on the second shave. The 3rd shave I had a couple days growth so I used my Ikon 102 Slant for the first pass and followed up with the Feather for the second and ended up with a nice shave but a little bit of irritation on my neck which I blame on the dull Feather blade. My experience with Feather blades has been great but they only last 2 shaves and then need replaced or else I get irritation. For the next shave I decided to go with a Kai blade, which has been my favorite blade since the first time I shaved with one. I realize blades are subjective and some may disagree on which ones are sharper but most agree that Feathers are the sharpest. Well, to me the Kai actually feels sharper in the AS-D2, and every bit as smooth or smoother than the Feather blades. My first shave with a Kai blade in the AS-D2 went very well but I did get a little bit of irritation on my neck again but not too bad. I always get better shaves with Kai blades on the 2nd through 5th use. For some reason the 1st shave is usually a little less smooth which I believe is due to how sharp the blade is. In addition, it is worth noting that the Kai blades don't have glue on them so there is no gunk left on the razor head, something Feathers and a lot of other blades are bad about. Using either blade the AS-D2 cuts very well but not quite as efficient as my Ikon 101 on the first pass, but it's close. I used to have an issue with it not cutting well on my neck but I learned the effective angle of attack and now have no problem. Even though it is not quite as efficient on the first pass as my Ikon 101, it is very smooth and on the second pass is where it shines. I am able to go XTG on my face now, something I gave up doing with my Ikon 101 and DE89 due to weepers sometimes. However, I always go ATG on the second pass on my neck with any razor and that isn't a problem with the Feather either. The final test is my neck area with the Kai blade. I have only shaved one time with the Kai loaded and it went well but like I said, there was a little irritation which I think was due to the blade being new and I think I applied too much pressure on my neck as well. I am still trying to get comfortable with the angle that is required with this razor but so far it has been a joy to use. To those who say this razor isn't efficient I wonder if they are not using the right angle. I find it is efficient, not R41 by any means, but it's not a mild razor either. What is different about it thought is how little play there is in the angle at which the razor touches the face. There is minimal play and if you don't have the angle right it won't cut at all, but get it right and it cuts very well.
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#2

Chazz Reinhold HOF
Thanks for sharing your experience. This is my travel razor and it is a great performer, specially when paired with a Feather blade.
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#3

Vintage Shaver
Seattle, WA
I tried many different razors before settling on the Feather AS-D2 because of its combination of efficiency and smoothness. It works especially well for me with top-quality vintage blades such as Wilkinson Light Brigades, Gillette 'Swedes,' and Schick Plus Platinums, with which I can get 5 or more very close shaves per blade with no nicks or irritation at all, so long as I am careful and focused on my technique. Your mention of the importance of the cutting angle is exactly right; unless the angle is exactly as it should be, the shave will not be good.
John
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#4
Thanks for the fine summary!
I used to own the D1, and really liked it, but my main complaint was that the underside of the cap started to rust, after only a handful of shaves.
It's my understanding that D2 is better, not only in terms of performance, but also steel quality; I doubt you'll have any rust issues.
The D2 also looks more aesthetically pleasing, from my perspective. Enjoy it!

Thus far, the Feather blade is most effective for my thick facial hair, by virtue of its sharpness - and by extension smoothness. But yeah, I agree, those dots of wax, are a bit irksome. I'd take an oil-coated blade (a la discontinued Gillette Swedes in their dispenser), over the wax, although I'd rather the blade be free of both those substances.
I've never tried the Kai blade, but am intrigued. Looks like I'll just have to try it, one of these days.
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#5

Member
Austin, TX
(01-13-2016, 06:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Your mention of the importance of the cutting angle is exactly right; unless the angle is exactly as it should be, the shave will not be good.
Great overview Hobbyist and I fully agree. Particularly with the point that both you and @churchillafemme made.

With a "mild" razor it is even more important to get the angle just right and it is often less tolerant with less blade exposure & gap.

I feel that many that report that the ASD2 or Mamba are too mild for their beards have simply not cracked the code on angle and how to maintain in various areas of the face and neck. I get superb, close shaves with both and I grow barbed wire on my face Smile

If you think about it, as long as the razor can get the blade edge adjacent to your skin with no physical barrier it is going to remove hair. Two popsicle sticks and a rubber band should be able to offer up a decent shave in fact.
Kevin
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#6
(01-13-2016, 06:53 AM)hrfdez Wrote: Thanks for sharing your experience. This is my travel razor and it is a great performer, specially when paired with a Feather blade.
I agree but I find the Kai just as good and lasts longer.

(01-13-2016, 06:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: I tried many different razors before settling on the Feather AS-D2 because of its combination of efficiency and smoothness. It works especially well for me with top-quality vintage blades such as Wilkinson Light Brigades, Gillette 'Swedes,' and Schick Plus Platinums, with which I can get 5 or more very close shaves per blade with no nicks or irritation at all, so long as I am careful and focused on my technique. Your mention of the importance of the cutting angle is exactly right; unless the angle is exactly as it should be, the shave will not be good.
I may try some of those blades too some day. I agree on the efficiency and smoothness combo. It offers the best of both for me so far out of every razor I've tried.

(01-13-2016, 10:07 AM)ask4Edge Wrote: Thanks for the fine summary!
I used to own the D1, and really liked it, but my main complaint was that the underside of the cap started to rust, after only a handful of shaves.
It's my understanding that D2 is better, not only in terms of performance, but also steel quality; I doubt you'll have any rust issues.
The D2 also looks more aesthetically pleasing, from my perspective. Enjoy it!

Thus far, the Feather blade is most effective for my thick facial hair, by virtue of its sharpness - and by extension smoothness. But yeah, I agree, those dots of wax, are a bit irksome. I'd take an oil-coated blade (a la discontinued Gillette Swedes in their dispenser), over the wax, although I'd rather the blade be free of both those substances.
I've never tried the Kai blade, but am intrigued. Looks like I'll just have to try it, one of these days.
The Feather AS-D2 is made from 316 Stainless Steel from what I read, thus you are correct, it is higher quality steel. The Feather blade is excellent but I was only able to get 2 comfortable shaves from a blade, and the Kai I just finished my 4th shave and it was still very smooth.

(01-13-2016, 02:55 PM)kwsher Wrote:
(01-13-2016, 06:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Your mention of the importance of the cutting angle is exactly right; unless the angle is exactly as it should be, the shave will not be good.
Great overview Hobbyist and I fully agree. Particularly with the point that both you and @churchillafemme made.

With a "mild" razor it is even more important to get the angle just right and it is often less tolerant with less blade exposure & gap.

I feel that many that report that the ASD2 or Mamba are too mild for their beards have simply not cracked the code on angle and how to maintain in various areas of the face and neck. I get superb, close shaves with both and I grow barbed wire on my face Smile

If you think about it, as long as the razor can get the blade edge adjacent to your skin with no physical barrier it is going to remove hair. Two popsicle sticks and a rubber band should be able to offer up a decent shave in fact.
I agree 100%. I always wondered how some people claim a razor blade won't cut through the hair on their face.


Thanks for all the replies above. I have now had enough shaves with the AS-D2 to safely say it's my favorite razor. For today's shave I kept switching back and fourth from my Ikon 101 (closed comb side) to the AS-D2 and the AS-D2 was just as efficient and a bit smoother. Previously I felt the 101 was more efficient but it's either a tie or the Feather may have it beat by a small margin. I was using a Kai blade on shave number 4 in the AS-D2 and a Kai blade with either 2 or 3 shaves in the 101. The trick with this razor is without a doubt the angle at which you hold it to your face. There is hardly any play, and if I had to put a number to it I would guess the effective cutting angle tolerance is < 3 degrees. I can understand some wet-shavers wanting to have a wider angle tolerance but I am already used to it and don't mind it at all, and actually I kind of prefer it now that I'm used to it. I think that might be why it's more difficult to cut yourself with it. If it's not at the right angle it just doesn't cut at all.

I hope this review is helpful for others who may be considering the AS-D2.
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#7

Chazz Reinhold HOF
I love Kai blades, I just find the Feather a better match. I use Kai often with my other DE razors.
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#8

Member
Omaha, NE
Very thorough review. Thank you for your insight.
"I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate." — George Burns
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#9
(This post was last modified: 01-18-2016, 11:37 AM by ask4Edge.)
(01-16-2016, 10:43 PM)Hobbyist Wrote: The trick with this razor is without a doubt the angle...I can understand some wet-shavers wanting to have a wider angle tolerance but I am already used to it and don't mind it at all, and actually I kind of prefer it now that I'm used to it.
A mastered razor, is a beautiful thing.Smile


(01-16-2016, 10:43 PM)Hobbyist Wrote: I think that might be why it's more difficult to cut yourself with it.
Certainly a bonus.


(01-16-2016, 10:43 PM)Hobbyist Wrote:
(01-13-2016, 06:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: ...Wilkinson Light Brigades, Gillette 'Swedes,' and Schick Plus Platinums...
I may try some of those blades too some day.

I second (in particular) the "Swedes" Platinum. Although not explicit on the packaging, it's rather well documented these legendary blades were manufactured in Lodz, Poland. Indeed, the blades were rather special: excellent steel quality and thickness, very sharp, yet very smooth - perhaps the perfect blade, IMO. The blades were housed in a plastic dispenser, and packaged in a blister pack. Your description of Kai vis-a-vis Feather, is sort of similar to the way I view "Swedes" (vis-a-vis Feather).

Unfortunately, these blades are no longer produced. FYI, although the current Gillette Platinum blades are sometimes touted as "Swedes," they are not: different packaging, production facility, and performance. Of course, acquiring NOS is not easy.

BTW, I've read that the center hole of the Kai blade is a bit smaller than that of the standard DE blade - making the razor cap post go in tightly. Can you comment on that?

Thanks.
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#10
Couldn't agree more with the review. I find the D2 slightly more aggressive than my D1 but it's much easier to find the right angle with the D2. The feather blades are my current blade of choice but they only last for 2 shaves and go downhill fast. The fit and finish on the feather is superb and the razor is extremely well balanced. Incidentally, if we were just talking shave quality, it shaves only slightly better than vintage Gillette techs - I've experimented using the feather handle on my vintage tech and the performance is a close second. The feather makes a superb travel option and you don't have to worry about shaky hands first thing in the morning Smile
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