Many will ask straight out “why should I pay so much for a razor.” Ah! But this is not your run-of-the-mill everyday type of razor. It is made in the Seki town in the Gifu Prefecture in Central Japan that is famous for manufacturing superior swords and knives. Hence the nickname “Seki edge.” With superb quality and materials used, this is really an item you can pass to your children and grandchildren. Not so for the most other modern razors that are made out of zamak (pot metal) and will surrender to corrosion in time. So if you are interested in buying a great razor as well as family heirloom then keep reading.
+ Premium quality
+ Stainless steel
+ Good grip
– Not suitable for men with coarse beard
- Mildly aggressive razor. This makes it suitable for men with sensitive skin, soft beard or who have no prior experience with safety razors
- Is made out of stainless steel. This means it will not rust hence it will outlive you if properly taken care of
- Superb craftsmanship
- Comes in a posh package worthy of the price tag
The Feather AS-D2 comes in a maroon colored box. The name of the razor is written on the lid with golden letters. This red and gold combination makes you think of renaissance, royalties and sun king – it makes you feel special. The razor and default Feather blades sit snugly in the foam cushion thus making it very transportation safe. When you hold the box its heavy, solid and there is no rattling sound when you shake it. Everything about this package talks about high quality and attention to details. It is aesthetically very pleasing and would make an excellent gift.
Feather has great weight and size to it. Not too heavy nor too light. Same can be said about the length. For this reason, it suits for most wet shaving enthusiast. Regardless of your hand size or where you want to use it. The length is comfortable enough should you wish to shave your legs or head with it.
Weight: 3.1 oz / 87 g
Length: 3.9″ / 9.8 cm
Made in Japan
How Does It Feel In Your Hand
Feather AS-D2 comes with a polished all stainless steel handle. The handle length is 3.5″ / 9 cm which is suitable for most users regardless of your hand size. The handle has multiple grooves which combined with the deep knurling provides excellent grip.
With 3.1 oz / 87 g this razor is heavier than many other beginner-friendly razors. Yet it is not massive like Merkur Futur that needs some time getting accustomed to. You will get used to it in no time. I enjoy more heavier razor because I get a better tactile feeling out of them while shaving. The weight of the razor will do the work for me, and you don’t need to add pressure when shaving. But your mileage may vary as they say.
The weight, balance and grip are all superb. And because it is made out stainless steel, you don’t need to worry about corrosion either.
What About The Design
Fether AS-D2 is beautifully machined and masterfully finished razor. It is three-piece closed comb safety razor that is made 100% out of stainless steel. This is also one the reasons why it is so expensive. Most razors in the 50$ price range are made out of zamak (pot metal). While those other razors can endure years of shaving, there will come a time when the chrome finish will fail and corrosion kicks in. Not so for the Feather. It will outlast you if you don’t break it. So you could buy every decade a razor (if you are unlucky then even more frequently) or you could buy one for a lifetime.
The three-piece design makes this razor foolproof to use. Just unscrew the handle from the base plate and cap. Place the blade on the base plate and reassemble.
Besides the polished steel model AS-D2, there is also a wooden handle version available. This model is called WS-D2. Made out of stainless steel like AS-D2 but the handle, the part where you hold it, is made out of wood. Unfortunately, this doubles the price of this already expensive razor and for this reason, I will not discuss it further
Will It Shave?
The Feather razor comes with 5 default razor blades – the esteemed Feather razor blades that are considered to be among the sharpest blades out there. For a beginner, this might feel like a conundrum. Why should they hand out the sharpest blades for a beginner? Do they wish me to cut myself? What kind of a cruel joke is this! But there is a very reasonable explanation for that. Feather AS-D2 is a mild razor, so the added sharpness of feather blades adds to the aggressiveness. In a nutshell, you will get a smooth, efficient razor.
Blade exposure and blade gap are both minimal in the Feather AS-D2 making it a mild beast. While this makes the razor a bit inefficient, the upside is that it’s nearly impossible to nick yourself with it. One thing you will notice if you have had prior experience with safety razors is that it needs a more aggressive angle while shaving. The standard 30° angle won’t cut it, and you need to increase the angle up to 45°.
Once you master the angle and use Feather blades, you will get baby-butt-smooth every time without being afraid of cutting yourself. But if you have a very coarse beard, then you might want to consider something more aggressive. See also Best Adjustable Razor
Comparison: Feather AS-D2 vs. Merkur 34C HD
I chose Merkur 34C for this comparison only because it is widely recommended for beginners. Though they are very different, the general profile is similar. Meaning they are both mild razors hence good for men with sensitive skin and soft whiskers.
Merkur 34C HD is a two-piece safety razor made out of zamak (pot metal). This means that it is more susceptible to rust should the chrome plating fail. But on the upside, you have the price. Merkur 34C HD is fairly cheap and represents excellent value for money.
Merkur 34C weighs less and it is also smaller. The weight difference is around .7 oz / 20 g. It doesn’t affect the quality of your shave though. What is more critical from the shaving point of view is the size. Merkur 34C is smaller by .6″ / 1.5 cm. So men with bigger hands might feel uncomfortable when using it. It also limits the way you can use it. Shaving your armpits and legs with a short handle is tedious work.
If you are searching for the absolute best or you need a gift which will impress – consider Feather AS-D2. It is an excellent safety razor if you need something less aggressive. But if you are on a budget and you only need the razor for your beard – go for the Merkur 34C.
To summarize the key differences:
- Merkur 34C HD is made out of zamak (pot metal). This will lower the durability of the razor compared to all stainless steel razor
- Merkur 34C HD is 2.7 oz / 77 g heavy and 3.3″ / 8.3 cm long. The size limits the way you can use your razor
- Merkur 34C HD is a two-piece safety razor compared to Feather AS-D2 which is three-piece. Switching razor blades is a little bit easier in a two-piece design
- Merkur 34C HD is more affordable
Feather AS-D2 is superb. The only problem with this razor is that it is so expensive. But let’s do a quick math exercise. Let’s presume that you heed the advice of Gillette and change the cartridge of your Mach 3/5 every month. Eight cartridges of Gillette Mach 5 blades costs around 3$/cartridge. If you continue to buy those 8-packs, in 5 years (60 months), you have used up 60 cartridges totaling 180$. Even if you use one for two months, it will still set you back 90$ at the end of the five years. Now add another five years and yet another. In 20 years you may have saved up enough money to buy the Feather AS-D2 also for your son!
So if you happen to have the money then go for it. Only for men who have a very coarse beard and who need a very aggressive razor, I wouldn’t recommend it.