I can confidently say that I’ve found Feather’s AS D2 to be a damn-near-perfect double-edge safety razor, I’ll explain.
In the world of gear, it’s hard to find something that’s damn near-perfect and one can almost never find something that’s perfect, hence the search continues. The same could be said in the wet-shaving world that one could never find a near-perfect double-edge safety razor, and that’s why you’ll always see that wet-shavers almost never have only one razor in their collection.
Usually, we hoard at least 2-3 and upwards of 10+ Double-edge safety razors and keep switching to see which one we like and which one is perfect for what kinda shave and it’s all sorts of complicated.
But I can confidently say that I found Feather’s AS D2 (weird name, I know) to be THE best double-edge safety razor, which you most probably should never buy and there are multiple reasons for that.
Let’s talk about the razor a little bit, a review if you will, so you’d know where I’m coming from and why I think most people shouldn’t buy it.
Gear hoarding is a problem and most people have it because they are looking for a perfect piece, the perfect thing that can be used in their life scenarios. But to find that you have to test all sorts of products which isn’t possible without buying them (in most cases), hence one ends up hoarding so much.
Anyways, getting back to the point, after getting into wet-shaving and being at it for half a decade or so, I know most things there are to know and have come to expect what I am gonna get from what kind of razor/soap/blade combination.
So after trying adjustable razors like Merkur Futur (don’t buy it) or Merkur Progress or the likes of Parker Variant, I wanted a razor that I don’t have to tweak every time I wanna shave, the kind of razor that just is what it is and works well, not too mild like Merkur 23c but not too aggressive like most open-comb razors, the one that’s just right for me (IKR).
Sadly I was never able to find it in the past, well not until I found RazoRock razor’s game changer (I’ll put up a full review of that later about it as well, hopefully), I was happy that I finally found the one until I tried the feather’s AS D2.
Now I’m not saying that AS D2 is MILES better, but it is a tiny bit better in things that matter the most, We’ll talk about it later when I’m gonna compare the two, in the end, so jump there if you wanna read about that, but let us talk about the Feather AS D2 safety razor for a minute here.
Let’s talk specs.
Feather AS-D2 Specifications
This is a 3-Piece, stainless steel Double-edge safety razor, so we are talking high-end territory here. The handle is about 3.5 inches, putting the whole length of the razor at about 3.9 inches. Now some might consider this small and it is a tad shorter than Merkur 23c, but it’s also taller than your average Merkur 34c.
Comfortable handle length
It is long enough that it’s not hard for men with big hands to grab onto it and not too long that it’s hard to maneuver around tricky spots, it’s what I like to call just right. The Knurling on the handle is so good that I could easily handle it with my soapy hands and not let it slip and cut me.
Talking about the handle, it’s not a hollow handle, the handle is one solid piece of steel, making it a bit of a bottom-heavy razor, which is fine by me. Holding a solid handle is a bit different and a welcome feeling.
The Slim, Wide Razor head
Being made of Stainless steel, it’s heavy and comes in at around 90 grams, and with that slim head, that weight makes sense. Talking about the head, it is a well-engineered double-edged razor head. I like that it is a slim head, not really chunky or thick so it’s easy to get under my nose with it or shave around something without much hassle.
The head is a bit wide so it hides the edges on the sides of the razor fully so you don’t cut your finger open when trying to unscrew the razor. The head features a slotted design to hold the blade in place instead of three pins, which doesn’t make a huge difference in the actual performance of the razor but it’s a nice-to-have.
Now I know what you are gonna say, “But it’s not that big of a deal, get over it“, and I’d agree mostly, but I’d argue that these kinds of little things do matter a lot for the whole experience. The head is designed so that it’s easy to clean up the shaving cream while shaving unlike most of the other razors, so that’s definitely an added bonus.
Now let’s talk about the aggressiveness of this razor and talking about aggressiveness, I don’t think I need to mention the state-of-the-art machinery and engineering capabilities feather as a company has. The blades and other products themselves speak for the high standards Feather has already set for the industry.
I rank AS D2 safety razor as somewhat more aggressive than your run-of-the-mill mild razor (like Merkur 23c). Sure some people rate it as a mild razor but I’d respectfully disagree. With a feather blade inside, Feather’s AS-D2 DE safety razor gives me one of the smoothest, closest, and most enjoyable shaves without nicks or cuts, which is the goal here.
If I was gonna rate the aggressiveness between 1-10, I’d give it about 5 points.
A little comparison with a few other Razors to consider:
|Name||Overall length||Handle Diameter||Weight||Aggressiveness||Material||Price (Roughly)|
|Feather AS-D2||98 mm|
|90 grams||5/10||Stainless Steel||170 Dollars|
|RazoRock Game Changer (.84 P)||99 mm|
|101 grams||7/10||Stainless Steel||60 Dollars|
|Merkur 23C||105.6 mm|
|60 grams||6/10||Brass handle|
Merkur 23c vs. Feather AS D2 Safety Razor
I’ve been using the Merkur 23c for roughly 5 years and got into DE shaving with it, and where it shines, it REALLY does. With the long handle and not-high aggressiveness, it’s great for beginners who want to get into wet-shaving and feel intimidated by the exposed blade edge as opposed to 5-6 blade ‘safe’ cartridge razors.
The mild blade exposure is also great if you want to use it anywhere other than your face (basically body-shaving) and I’ve known many ladies who have left those expensive-yet-inferior plastic Gillette razors in the favor of Merkur 23c to shave their arms, legs, and what-not and it couldn’t be any better for them, which is great.
But after trying two dozen different razors, I personally find 23c to be not as aggressive as I want it to be. Now if we compare it to the AS D2, the latter is a bit more aggressive and gets a bit closer to my skin (which I tend to prefer now).
If we talk about the construction, yes, the Merkur 23c has a tad longer handle but I do fine with the feather AS D2’s middle-ground of handle length. Build-Quality wise, Feather is superior in every way, sure 23c is shiny chrome-plated but the stainless steel construction of Feather AS-D2 and the feel it gives in the hand is just phenomenal.
BUT, If you are just starting your journey as a wet shaver and wanna buy your first double-edge safety razor, I’ll always recommend you go with Merkur 23c or 25c (the open-comb head version of 23c) because of its beginner-friendly features. The AS D2 is NOT for beginners.
RazoRock Razor’s Game Changer vs. Feather AS D2
Now let’s talk about the real competitor here, I’ve used it for about 1 and a half years and I found it to be the best until I used the feather. Now, the Game changer features solid build quality with stainless steel, making it the best bang-for-the-buck DE safety razor because of its lower price of around 55-65 bucks on a good day. I have the super knurled handle and I am happy with the way it sits between my fingers while slicing through that stubble, not slippery at all.
The Blade balance is just perfect, the head design is different from the feather AS D2 but not in a bad way, yes sure there is always room for improvement, but you can’t go wrong with this design of game-changer. The Head is designed in such a way that there is ample space under the blade to clean the shaving cream under the water tap.
Now Let’s talk about the law of diminishing returns, I know it sounds like I’m trying to teach an economics class here, but this tiny bit is important than most things one learns in life. And I suck at explaining the laws and theories, so I’ll quote the law here as it is and then explain my point.
Law of Diminishing Returns
Used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.
Now let me explain law of diminishing returns in the context of the Double-Edge safety razors.
So What this law states is that when you buy a safety razor that costs, let’s say 10 dollars (your random QShave or no-brand) pharmacy razor, you get value, there are a lot of things to be improved but you get something that’s reasonable for that kind of low price.
Then you go out and spend about $15 more, let’s say you buy a Merkur 23c or 25c for about $25. What you get is Substantial improvement in terms of build quality and design, which results in miles better shave.
But then you go out again and spend about 10-15 dollars more and buy an Edwin Jagger DE 89. Materials used are much better, the plating gets better, the overall fit and finish get a step up, the design gets a step up, the overall material feel and quality is improved, and along with that the quality of shave you get is improved a bit more.
Now there is a difference between the quality of a shave you get from a Merkur 23c vs an EJ DE89, but it’s not as huge of a difference in improvement as it was when you jumped from a random $10 safety razor to a $25 safety razor.
You go out again, spend about 20-35 dollars more and buy a Razorock’s gamechanger razor. Now you’ve invested substantially more amount of money on this one. And yes, you get improvement in materials used, for example, you jump from a chrome-plated razor to a stainless steel razor, the overall design is much better, and the shave quality is improved, but not by a HUGE margin to justify spending that substantially increased amount of money for most people.
And this is the note we end this explanation here on.
If you have made up your mind about buying a high-end DE razor and are willing to spend that high premium for the Feather AS-D2 DE safety razor, by all means, go ahead and buy it. It’ll most probably be one of the best investments you make to improve your daily shave quality for decades to come.
But in my opinion, MOST people would get pretty awesome results with the Razorock Gamechanger or the Merkur 34c.
So, Feather AS D2 provides much better quality as compared to the Razorock Game Changer or the likes of it?
Yes, it does.
But as I explained above, according to the law of diminishing returns in the context of DE safety razors and such, the Quality and improvement in your shave you get from Feather AS-D2 is not 3 times greater than the Game Changer to justify this high price tag.