A review of the Feather DER-A Butterfly Doors, Adjustable Safety Razor

A review of the Feather DER-A Butterfly Doors, Adjustable Safety Razor

A review of the Feather DER-A Butterfly Doors, Adjustable Safety Razor

The launch of the Feather DER-A was a bolt from the blue, the first I knew about it was when the agent sent me a sample in the post. I immediately ordered 25 as I knew there would be initial interest. I was right, we sold 10 after we featured the razor in an email to our customers and another 7 have since sold probably after seeing a Facebook post of ours.
Lots of you will be aware of the Feather stainless steel AS-D2 and AS-D2S safety razors that many say are the best safety razors in the world. What I can say is that in the 10 years we have been selling Feather razors, only one has been returned for quality reasons and even then, that was down to a tiny flaw in the finish underneath the baseplate. Stainless steel Feather razors are not cheap, the AS-D2 is £170 and £200 with the matching stand so the new DER-A is a complete turnaround for Feather. Firstly, the price, it’s only £39.00, secondly, it’s made mainly from ABS resin.
ABS resin is tough, hard and rigid and has good chemical resistance and dimensional stability. ABS resin is known for its resistance and toughness. In other words, it’s ideal for a safety razor except that it is a lightweight material and this may put some men off buying one.
The DER-A isn’t pretty, it has functional features. What sets this razor apart from cheap plastic razors from China is the standard of engineering and the DER-A is adjustable.
It has two settings, 1 for a mild shave and 2 for a closer shave. You adjust the setting by moving a lever that’s situated under the baseplate to the left or right. Although the lever is also made from ABS resin it feels reassuringly solid when it clicks into place.
Another unusual feature for a modern-day razor is the butterfly doors, they’re made from stainless steel and they look just like the butterfly doors on late 1960s-70s Gillette razors. The opening/closing movement is very smooth, you operate the doors by turning the ridged collar under the baseplate.
So, how does it shave? I have only used it three times. Initially, I did find the lightness of the razor slightly disconcerting, this is likely down to me using a stainless steel OneBlade Genesis since late July but once I got to grips with the weight, I was fine. What appealed to me is how easy, quick and safe blade changing is, no faffing around, turn the collar, the doors open, you place a blade in, you close the doors and you shave. What I also like about the DER-A is the long, 104mm handle and the deep grooves on the handle which deliver a very firm grip. I’ve now had three shaves with my DER-A.

  1. Using setting 1, I shaved with the grain and across the grain only, the results were not bad but not great.
  2. Using setting 2, I shaved with the grain and across the grain only – much better.
  3. Using setting 2, I shaved across the grain and against the grain only – bingo! That’s what worked for me, using this two-pass method I got a really good shave.

My shave result on day three was not as good as the shaves my OneBlade Genesis or even the OneBlade Core deliver but the Core is almost twice the price of the DER-A, and the Genesis is almost eight times the price of the DER-A, you get what you pay for I guess.

Who is the Feather DER-A razor for?

  • Men who for health reasons need a thick, long, non-slip handle.
  • Teenage boys starting off wet shaving.
  • Frequent travellers.
  • Campers, festival goers and hikers.
  • Men who want a lightweight razor.
  • Men who want a quality razor and don’t want to spend more than £40.00.
  • Women who use a safety razor to shave their legs, the long handle is a real bonus for the ladies.
  • Anyone who shaves in the shower, if you drop a safety razor on your toes, you are in trouble, drop a DER-A on your toes and you’ll suffer no damage.

Who is the DER-A razor not for?

  • Purists, both male and female who want a metal razor.

Handle diameter: waist 11 mm, maximum diameter 15 mm
Handle length: 104 mm
Weight: 40g

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