Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Feather Hi-Stainless Double Edge Blade - The Sharpest Blade Ever

Feather Hi-stainless Double Edge Razor Blades are considered to be the sharpest. I have used a dozen or so different blades and I have to agree. But does it mean they are the best?

The Background 

After using various electric shavers for over 10 years, I switched to double-edge safety razor shaving, briefly trying Schick Hydro 3 Blade Razor, Schick Hydro 5 Blade Razor, Gillette Fusion, Gillette Fusion Power and Gillette Fusion ProGlide in the interim. That switchover happened over two years ago. Double-edge shaving gives me a closer shave than that with an electric shaver but with less irritation than cartridge systems.

After using Shark Super Chrome blades and Derby Extra Double Edge Razor Blades, I tried a variety of different blades, last of which were Feather Hi-Stainless blades made in Japan.

I mostly use the Lord L6 and Edwin Jagger De89bl 3-piece razors. I use a badger hair brush and shaving soap for prep and an alum block, witch hazel and after-shave lotion after the shave.

Note that different skin and beard types respond better to different blades and the combination of the razor with the blade matters as well. Lord L6 is pretty mild razor and I tend to get best results with sharp blades. I had good results with Shark. Shark Super Chrome blades are sharper than Derby, last longer and pull less. I then tried Astra Superior Platinum, which in my case turned out to be Inferior rather than Superior.

Despite being highly regarded on various shaving forums, they proved to be the worst for my skin/beard type in my razors. Irritation, tugging and pulling and poor packaging were noted.

I then tried Gillette 7 O’clock Sharp Edge, which were very sharp but lasted only 3-4 shaves. Then I tried Personna blades, which were excellent, providing a close shave, no irritation and lasting for 6-8 shaves. Next were Dorco ST-301, which turned out to be too dull for me. The German Wilkinson Sword blades were adequate, but not sharp enough and lasted only 3 shaves. And now is the Feather’s turn.

What is Feather Hi-Stainless Double Edge Razor Blade

The Feather Hi-Stainless blades are stainless-steel double-edge blades made in Japan. Considered the sharpest of all double-edge blades, they are generally either loved or hated and never in between. They are frequently feared and respected. It is common knowledge that you have to pay attention when you shave with these or blood might result.


Unlike Astra and 7 O’clock, these blades have little glue on them. They come in a sturdy plastic dispenser in packs of five blades.


Indeed, these are the sharpest blades I have used. You have to pay close attention when shaving with these, in other words you have to apply no pressure, use the correct angle and account for the direction of the beard growth.

They are noticeably sharper than Astra Superior Platinum, Derby Extra Double Edge Razor Blades and much sharper than Dorco ST-301 or German-made Wilkinson Sword Classic.

I have sensitive skin and tough beard. Interestingly, most people new to wet shaving describe their skin as sensitive and beard as tough. But regardless, I find that the sharper the blade the better it works for me and I still need 3 passes to get to BBS or DFS (baby-butt smooth or damn fine shave). However, with the Feather, I can get DFS is 2 passes instead of 3, if Feather is used on regular basis. That is in the Lord L6 mild razor as well as in the Edwin Jagger De89bl medium razor.

In Edwin Jagger De89bl, 1.5-day growth is easily removed in one pass, with 2 passes achieving DFS with no nicks, irritation or any other issues.

That said, the Feather blade is not without issues. It is so sharp that it does exfoliate the skin pretty well (if used daily or twice a day) and the alum block or witch hazel stings quite a bit after using it, but not worse than when I used Astra Superior Platinum, which didn’t shave nearly as well. It lasts 5-6 shaves, which is pretty good. However, at $0.40-0.50 per blade it is still only $0.06-0.10 per shave.

The biggest issue for me is there are at least two other blades that I prefer better and they cost less as well. Gillette 7 o’clock Sharp Edge is virtually as sharp as Feather, yet more smooth and forgiving, lasts about the same and costs $0.25 per blade if bought in bulk.

But the best for me are Personna blades, which are only $0.13-0.20 per blade, yet almost as sharp, much smoother and more forgiving, while lasting 6-8 shaves. Not only that is only $0.02-0.03 per shave, more importantly I don’t need to disassemble the razor as frequently and at the same time I can skip applying witch hazel to my face. The result is smooth shave in about the same time (3 passes instead of 2, but skipping the witch hazel application) for less money.

To summarize: 

1. These Feather blades are the sharpest in business, period.
2. These blades are unforgiving so you have to be really careful when shaving with them
3. They provide very close shave and you may be able to shave faster with them than with other blades, e.g. I do 2 passes instead of 3
4. They last the average number of shaves before getting dull
5. They are expensive per blade (although only $0.06-0.10 per shave, which is much cheaper than shaving with cartridges anyway).

Be mindful that the results depend on the type of the beard and skin.


These are the sharpest blades and if they work well for you, they won’t be very expensive per shave. My cost per shave is $0.06-0.10 whereas Personna blades result in $0.02-0.03 per shave.

Pros: You won't find a blade that is sharper; provides fast and close shave
Cons: Somewhat expensive, requires respect and attention when shaving, other choices work almost as well

Bottom Line

These Feather Hi-stainless Double Edge Razor Blades are the sharpest so treat them with respect. They provide me with smoothest, fastest shave, but I found that Personna blades that work as well or better for less money and with less skin removal. Try these Feathers, they might work well for you.

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