Skip to content

The Feather SS Razor: A Bridge Between Safety And Shavette Razors?

Listen to this article
feather artist club ss razor

For those of us today wondering how to gently transition into the world of straight razor shaving, I say unto thee, Fear Not the Wicked Straight Edge Razor!  The Feather Corporation of Japan has cultivated their expertise and inventiveness to smoothly guide us towards this new realm of shaving delight.  

The Feather Shavette is a wonderful entry and stepping stone towards the world of straight razors, beginning our explorations without risk of injury by diving straight towards said straight razor.  By picking up this product we can take the introductory “baby steps” on the road of personal grooming from cartridges, to safety razors, then to this shavette, and finally to a full straight razor should we so desire.  We may stop at any point which maximizes our comfort, convenience and experience.  

The Feather Corporation Origin Story  

[Ed. Note: links are affiliate.]

The Seki Safety Razor Company was born in Japan circa 1932, and you might think of this as Japan’s foray into generating a homegrown equivalent to the Gillette Corporation, which in this era was running quite strong in the United States.  Seki was the natural location for Japan to begin a safety razor company since the region has been the home of swordsmiths for roughly 800 years.  Today Seki is known for world-famous knife factories and cutlery houses, catering to restaurants and chefs throughout the world.  For those of you familiar with straight edge lore, you will recognize this city as one of the trifecta of Seki, Sheffield, and Solingen, all of which are famous worldwide for knives and blades of various assortments.

Feather Corporate Building

The company changed names to the Feather Safety Razor Co., Ltd. In 1953, which we recognize today. Over the many decades the Feather product line includes shaving blades and razors, shave cream, nail clippers, surgical instruments, barber shears, hair styling blades, scissors, knives, and more besides.  For those in our craft, The Feather corporation is the producer of the ultra-sharp Feather Hi-Stainless blades, as well as the immortal AS-D2 safety razor, which our generous host Mantic59 reviewed recently here: .

While the manufacturing of Feather products takes place in Japan, Feather does not directly sell product to consumers. Jatai is the official master distributor of Feather products in the United States and Canada, having a direct relationship with Feather. So if you want direct from the source authentic Feather product, visit

Relative to today’s subject, Feather makes an assortment of shavettes which will serve as an introduction to straight razor shaving, both in the form of a traditional straight razor type shaver and also the single body “kamisori” style razor.  We will be reviewing the former offering today.

Feather offers different shavette razors with unique side profiles, granting different comfort levels to suit various shaving needs.  

Type DX 

Feather DX razor tip geometry
The Feather DX Shaver Profile

This is a Shavette with a very traditional feel, and slim “nose” profile and slightly more blade exposure, granting the greater blade field you might find with a traditional straight razor, but also allowing for precision, detail work.  The DX is heavier than other shavers, and is suggested for more experienced users and/or those with very durable, tough skin.

Type SR  

Feather SR razor blade profile
The Feather SR Shaver Profile

This Shavette was released in 2021, and features a more gently rounded profile which is more forgiving for users with somewhat sensitive skin, thus offering a more “middle-of-the-road approach” in shave comfort and performance.  Of the three product releases the SR shavette is moderate in weight, has a slightly bulbous profile, and offers a balanced approach between the beginner’s comfort of the SS and the authentic straight razor feel from the DX.   

Type SS:  

Feather SS razor blade geometry
The Feather SS Shaver Profile (Which We Will Be Using Today)

This shaver has the most rounded, even bulbous nose profile, granting the most forgiving shave for a beginner.  When held at the proper angle, the rounded tip of the Feather SS gently pushes the skin down, raises the hair follicles, and the pressure off the blade. In short, this profile serves as a close approximation to the safety bar we are used to with the traditional safety razor.  The novice users should acquire this, and thus we will begin our review with the Feather SS.  

Prices are reasonable for the initiate looking to break into the world of straight shavers.  I managed to snag my SS razor for little more than $50 on sale from Amazon towards the end of last year, although the cost has gone up since then.  If you desire an upgrade in quality, you may also purchase one of the folding razors with wooden scales instead of the default high-grade plastic handle, but these arrive at your door bearing a more premium price.  

Design and Features:  

Razor “head” is stainless steel with your choice of a polymer or wooden handle.  The head is spring-loaded and clamps on the blade in a pocket between two stainless steel “leaves”.  The razor can be disassembled for ease of cleaning.  

Feather razor blade replacement


Feather razor blade disassembly

Pin-And-Hole System

Consider this video here for more detailed instructions:  

A Bundle of Blade Choices:

Feather also offers five different types of shaving blades, each with a different characteristic which allows the end-user to dial in their most comfortable and efficient shave based on their individual needs and preferences.

The 5 Artist Club Blade Types Which Feather Offers

Two types of these blades, Pro-Guard PG-15 & Soft Guard PSF-15, have a “guard” system,  where the blade has a thin serrated sheet steel layer on top and bottom of the main cutting blade to reduce irritation.  This increases safety and reduces nicks and cuts for beginning users.  

Guard vs blade geometry
The Basic Premise Of The Guarded Blade.  The Wavy Guard Applies To The Soft Guard Blades Only

The Pro-Guard blades look like they have a small, thin metal rake attached blade faces itself.

close-up of used pro-guard blade

A Micro-Photograph Of My Twice-Used Pro-Guard Blade

 The Soft Guard blades are the mildest of the offerings, where the guard metal exposes less of the working edge of the blade, giving the user the easiest and most forgiving shave possible.  

The Soft-Guard Blade Details.  This Blade Is Even Milder Than The Above Pro-Guard Blade.

These guarded blades are fewer in number (15 per package versus the usual 20), and moderately above average in price due to the increased materials used and slightly higher manufacturing cost.  

The three remaining blade products differ in blade thickness and blade length / protrusion.  None of these blades have any compound type of guard;  you’re simply dealing with our usual sharpened bare-metal cutting edge.

The remaining choices are:

feather light blade

Light Blade PL-20: Shorter Blade Length But Average Thickness, For Reduced Blade Exposure And Greater Comfort.

feather pro blade

Professional PB-20: Average Length & Thickness

feather pro super blade

Super Blade PS-20: A Slightly Longer And Thicker Blade For Heavy Whisker Cutting And Greater Blade Feel

Of course there are a handful of similar blades offered by other companies, predominantly the Kai corporation, also known for making double edge razor blades.  

kai captain titan blade close up

The Kai Captain Titan Mild Blade Is Similar To The Feather Pro-Guard

For those interested in exploring options and trying a competing product, consider acquiring samples of the 4 similar blades available from Kai.  A razor blade sampler pack containing all of these blades would be a good investment for those experimenting. You may acquire singular Artist Club blades of all varieties from Razor Blades Club Website: .  In preparation for this article, I did just this myself for the princely sum of ~$14, including shipping.  And while you are there, you may as well pick up a few of those regular double edge blades which you’ve also been meaning to try.  

Sharp Shave Thinking:

Returning to our ponderings on the Feather Corporation, the above range of shave variables is quite unique in the personal grooming industry, where a singular style of razor can get you up to 15 different combinations you can adjust to meet your particular needs.  

It is plainly self-evident the designers and engineers at the Feather Corporation put an exceptional amount of thought into not only the razor product itself, but also the corresponding blade product line as well.  There is plenty of room for you to explore and experience here as you move into this style of shaving.  

For absolute beginners to this style of razor, the novice holding this in hand can keep the shaver empty of any blade, and go through the motions of sweeping this shaving instrument across the face and neck to develop the proper muscle memory.  That alone makes it worth the trip.

On With The Shave!

I began with the Pro Guard 15, as this seems a middle-of-the-road approach.  Loading the blade into a shavette is an absolute breeze.  Simply insert the pin on the dispenser into the hole in the shavette, pry open the spring-loaded leaves of the razor, slide the button on the dispenser, and release.  You may need to gently shake the shavette while it is upside down and held open to ensure the blade is properly seated.  


The Feather SS Shavette In Situ.  Part Of This Complete Shave Setup

After the loading ritual was complete, the shave begins in earnest.  This was one of the first times I’ve used this style of razor, so I learned as I proceeded.  I notice the proper angle of the razor is critical to maximizing comfort.  Maintaining a constant angle of about 15° will result in maximum comfort.  For those of us with sensitive skin, including myself, this is key to keeping problems and irritation to a minimum.  On my first try I only ended up with one or two small spots on my cheek or neck, so luck was with me that day.

I can shave Against the Grain [ATG] with the Feather and get a good cleanup with this razor, but this experience is a noticeable departure from the familiar universe of our trusty safety razor with the close column safety bar.  There is more direct blade contact with the skin and more blade feel even with a guarded blade.  This results in slightly more irritation than with my double edge of choice, but perhaps with further consistent use this may diminish.  

That said, I did get a decent Baby Bottom Smooth [BBS] Shave finish on most of my face.  Due to the unique and somewhat unfortunate geometry of my neck and Adam’s apple, I was unable to fully clean up in all areas of the neck.  However I noted a surprising advantage of straight-type razors is that edging around my beard is now demonstrably easier versus the more obstructive process with my usual D.E. razor.

In spite of the somewhat more variation in shave quality compared to I consistently get with a double-edged razor, I found this to be a most satisfying and enlivening morning grooming ritual.  This is the first foray into a much more manly fashion of shaving, and I look forward to more in the future.  

Best of all, even my sturdy assistant appreciates the newfound shave instrument:  

cat and razor

For your further interest of the Feather Company, please see here:  

The Feather Company also has a museum you may visit if traveling to Seki City:  

Here is a quick video tour for those who cannot make the trip just yet:

Charles Smith

Charles Smith

1 thought on “The Feather SS Razor: A Bridge Between Safety And Shavette Razors?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *