What's new

Vision

Item Description

So, I started shaving with a double edge about a year and a half ago now (I'm a long time lurker here at B&B) and for the first 6 months I got my technique down using the Merkur 34C HD. It's a great blade but the entire time I was thinking that I could get a more aggressive shave. After looking around and antiquing multiple times I never found a fat boy (still looking for one at a decent price), so I looked into the adjustable razors on the market. This left me between the Progress, Futur, and Vision.

I really liked the weight of the 34C and I thought that something heavier might be fun to try, but the Vision is prohibitively expensive. After searching and searching for 3 or so months I found a Vision on Craigslist with a case and some blades for under $50. I thought that this couldn't be the same vision that westcoastshaving.com has because it was so much cheaper than the MSRP. It was.

My Vision doesn't have the problem with the blades being out of alignment so that was a huge plus for me. Cleaning the vision was a little hard at first but I got used to it after learning how to from geofatboy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nydOxEvoJmk)

On to the shave, as some people have mentioned before it is very percussive. I'd say its about 120% the noise of the HD. I can't imagine this drastically changes the way that you are going to shave, but YMMV. I found that the Vision on the lowest setting was about as aggressive as the HD, so I started there to get a handle on the weight difference. Over time I have worked myself up to the "O" position on the blade. I have never used a feather but I can imagine that would give a very smooth shave (I use bic, derby, shark, and personna blues depending on how I feel).

Cleaning the beast is a real time consuming process, but I generally clean the inside and blade between every shave and fully clean once a week when I change my blade.

Other people have talked about how the handle at the bottom gets gummed up over time. I notice that this does happen if you forget to clean that piece for a few weeks, but I can't say that it's hard to fix. I found that using a musical instrument snake to clean the nylon threading is very effective (these can be had at http://www.amazon.com/Venture-1022-Brass-Mouthpiece-Brush/dp/B002Q0WU3W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403905065&sr=8-1&keywords=mouthpiece brush for under two bucks).

There has also been some concern about the plating and how it stays on over time, I have not noticed this with regular cleaning. When I got mine there was a slight residual build up on the inner rod. The toothbrush and soap would not remove this piece but after I heated up the rod and applied LIGHT pressure to the rod with steel wool the residual came off instantly.

Feel free to leave any questions you have about how I do upkeep on the razor.

Another great place to learn about it is the How it's Made video on the Vision (I can't believe I hadn't seen it here before) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRdJ89Pvhp4

Latest reviews

Pros: At the highest setting is Vision a very aggressive shaver fully on par with the most aggressive modern razors
Cons: Vision's functionality is brilliant. Its construction and maintenance is, to put it mildly, stupid. Will my yet unborn (hurry up boy!) grandchildren be able to inherit my Vision? Probably not. My Fatips on the other hand, can most likely be used long afte
Merkur Vision – A Shavers in Depth Analysis of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


This is not THE truth, it´s only MY truth. I have no interest in misleading anyone, but I have only my own experience to go by and my experience is based on my shaving technique, my fast growing, greying and very coarse beard and my obsession with BBS. I always shave WTG+XTG+ATG and I stretch my skin to raise the stubble while shaving. I do a lot of blade buffing ATG. Even so I hope that sharing my experience as objectively as possible can serve as a guide to this rather unique razor tested to the limit of its aggressiveness.


The good:
At the highest setting is Vision a very aggressive shaver fully on par with the most aggressive modern razors.
Vision seems to be able to use (almost) any razor blade without changing its really smooth shaving characteristics or the excellent shaving results. To me, the Vision is in class by itself when comes to combine extreme smoothness with a really close shave.

The bad:
The price is high, but today there are some razors that cost even more. We all have different budgets and different priorities.
Vision's functionality is brilliant. Its construction and maintenance is, to put it mildly, stupid. Will my yet unborn (hurry up boy!) grandchildren be able to inherit my Vision? Probably not. My Fatips on the other hand, can most likely be used long after I'm gone.
It seems that Vision, after many years of rumors, actually no longer is in production.


As mentioned I'm a BBS-addict and very much so. Over the years I have therefore journeyed along the edge (no pun intended) of wet shaving to find the ultimate shaving experience (meaning closest and not necessarily smoothest) through safety razors and straight razors, but lately I´ve more or less settled with the tools I´ve mostly been using the last two years. The stream of new shaving tools has become a trickle, a trickle that recently brought me Merkur Vision.


I had never thought I would become the owner of a Merkur Vision, the reason being that its size and appearance made me find it rather distasteful and even grotesque. I had never seen it in real life though; just pictures of it like the one above. Despite its appearance, being what I am, the Vision was in the back of my mind as it holds a reputation as a highly capable and very aggressive razor. Then, some time ago, a local website sold out their Vision for a little less than half the list price. There´s been constant rumors over the years that Vision will no longer be manufactured so I thought this was a very good opportunity, and maybe also the last. I clicked the order button. Two days later there was a tin box in the mail. In the box was a manual, a package with ten Merkur razor blades and a Merkur Vision razor.


When I first took the Vision out of the box my thought was "Oh well this is not too bad". Calling the Vision a beauty would be to exaggerate. It is over designed, heavy and large, but it is also very easy to grip and perfectly balanced. A gentle two finger grip around its narrow and marked waist is all that´s needed to operate it. The easy grip makes it very intuitive to let the very well balanced heavy razor do its job without adding pressure. At the same time, Vision is extremely tolerant regarding the shaving angle “the sweet spot”. As I´m writing this I realize that I don't have the slightest idea what angle I use when I shave me with Vision, it just comes naturally. Vision truly is the user's razor.


After the first shaves, I came to the conclusion that Vision, at maximum setting, was at least as effective as Fatip. Since then I´ve only used Vision on maximum setting. More than 30 shaves later, I have verified that my first hunch was correct (at least to me). When the Vision was designed Fatip probably was most aggressive razor in production. Shaves with the Vision (at highest setting) are not as close as the ones R41 (2013 and 2011) gives me, but to me the Vision is more effective than any other adjustable safety razor (note that I haven´t used Black Beauty or Toggle or Progress´ rather uncommon predecessors) and fully comparable to the most aggressive razors you can buy today. There are reviewers that have claimed that Vision is as effective as R41 2011, so I might be wrong about Visions aggressiveness YMMV. A good razor gets even better when you really get to know it so Vision still probably have some to me unrevealed tricks up its sleeve.


There is a very big difference between Fatip/R41 and Vision regarding the shaving characteristics. Fatip in general, and R41 in particular, requires very good technique, otherwise the shave will be anything but pleasant. Vision on the other hand is probably the smoothest and most forgiving razor I have ever used. In fact, it is impossible for me to feel the blade against my face while shaving with the Vision, that regardless of razor blade. During the shaves I´ve had with the Vision so far I've only got disturbing skin irritation on one occasion, and that was due to a IMHO really bade blade (Treet Platinum). Another blade (Shark SS) gave me a couple of weepers and mild irritation. That's all. Otherwise I´ve had almost no irritation and no cuts and I have not been overly cautious while shaving. Visions´ smoothness actually means that I can go over the same trouble spot over and over again without getting irritation. That means that I don´t need to calculate if it´s worth the risk of getting skin irritation to get rid of that annoying missed stubble in an otherwise good BBS. So in the end, even if I get about two hours longer BBS with R41, I honestly can´t always say that it´s totally flawless, which isn´t a problem when shaving with Vision. It always delivers a perfect shave, at least to me.


Visions´ head has large lather drainage channels. These channels also act as sound amplifiers; therefore I can loudly hear that the stubble is cut, though I never feel the blade. The Vision not only looks like a toy, Vision also feels like one while shaving with it. If I hadn´t known better I could have sworn that the razor blade was hanging on springs.


With exception of Treet I have done at least 9 passes with every blade mentioned here. At first I used Vision with Feather, Gillette Black and Polsilver SI. I usually I find these IMO very good blades to behave very different, this time I felt no difference at all. I went down one step in my personal hierarchy of razor blade quality and used the Astra SI and found no difference then either. Therefore, I decided to try using what for me is the bottom sediment of razor blades. I started with the Merkur blade and was very surprised when I found that the shave was even closer than with the premium blades. Could it be that the Vision is designed to be used specifically with the Merkur blade? To me it at least feels that way. I pushed deeper down in the bottom sediment (my very subjective judgment) and used a Derby blade without feeling much difference, perhaps a passing feeling of “dryness” but that might have been my imagination. So I decided to try some of the blades I keep stored away in a plastic box in a drawer. Those blades, often with uninterpretable writing, that seems to pop up from nowhere and tend to accumulate over the years. I chose three blades whose names were reasonable familiar to me and has good reputation as low cost blades;

•Treet Platinum (BAD idea). My neck was covered with irritation and weepers afterwards. I´ll most likely never ever use a Treet razor blade again in any razor. I do apologize to those of you who find Treet to be a good blade. I am happy that it works for you YMMV.
•Lord SS. Lord didn´t behave different than the other blades, the behavior of the Vision was very much the same with no sense of the stubble being removed. Afterwards I actually looked up the price of these blades and got a nice surprise.
•Shark SS. Vision behaved as usual but the Shark blade gave me a couple of weepers and some mild skin irritation. I´ll use up the remaining blades.


My conclusion is that I can use Vision to use up (most of) the rather large amount of to me odd razor blades that I have acquired over the years.


I have read reviews of Vision that points out that the large head makes it difficult to access the stubble under the nose. I don't have that problem, but then I must confess that Mother Nature has given me a rather small nose. On the other hand I find it a lot easier to shave under the nose with Vision than with Futur.


Vision's Achilles´heel is its construction. I've only been using it daily for a little more than a month. I have taken it apart and cleaned it twice, it was no big deal. Everything works and I do not quite understand what reviewers mean when they write that the construction should be “cheap” or “plastic”. Under my scrutinizing eyes Vision is admittedly complex built and thus brittle, but my personal assessment is that the build quality is very good. Even so I have three BIG questions to address to Dovo/Merkur even though they probably won’t read this thread:



1.Why did you have to make the razor so large? With a little effort, you had been able to reduce the size. Vision had not needed to be larger than the Futur. Actually they could both have been made a lot smaller.
2.Why did you construct a razor that requires the user to take it apart for maintenance? This is Visions really weak spot. Disassembling the fragile parts time after time and then putting them together again will inevitably mean that these fragile parts sooner or later will break. As I recall much of the negative posts I´ve read on Vision focus on the breaking of these parts, along with complaint that the calcium in hard water in the long run clogs it. Why didn´t you make Vision a sealed maintenance free razor like the Fatboy or Slim? I´ve got both and they are about 50-55 years old and still fully functional.
3.Why don´t you calibrate the scale of the adjustment ring? Being a German company you should know not doing so isn´t the sign of craftsmanship but the mark of products coming from Third World countries, costing a fraction of Vision.


The Final verdict
I really like Vision but it will not overthrow the R41 or Joris/Fatip, but the Pearl/Razorrock/Cadet etcetera probably will have to make some room for Vision in my weekly rotation. Stating that I still believe that the Pearl probably is the best all round open comb razor.


I've read that others strongly discourage newbies from using Vision. My personal opinion is that Vision is the perfect razor for the person who has basic shaving skills, heavy beard growth and who is not interested in more than the simplest and most comfortable way possible to get an extremely good BBS. However, do not count on that the razor will last forever. Even so in comparison with other adjustable razors we do IMHO have an undisputable King.


Now I´m going to whine but I hope you excuse me. I´m no master shaver and I´ve never claimed to be. Even so I´m proud of having the skill to shave my greying stubble rather effortlessly and get long lasting BBS with some of the most aggressive shaving tools ever produced. Getting that skill has taken time and literally cost blood. To me one of the joys of shaving is to know that I´m getting a really good shave with a razor that would really hurt me if I didn´t know how to use it. Shaving with Vision takes away that joy since it gives the same results without requiring any more than basic shaving skill. Actually second to Visions´ construction my hurt pride is my largest objection to it and that really makes me feel like a pompous git.


After having shaved a couple of weeks with the Vision, I checked if the seller still had the Vision on sale. I was lucky. So to assure myself access to a functioning Vision for many years, I bought another one. So in the end I was ready to pay full price for Vision, but under the condition that I got two for the price of one. I guess that summons up my view of the Vision. If you after reading this are interested in getting a Vision I suggest that you get one while you can. They are rather rare beasts and have never been common. Personally Vision is one of the few, if not the only, razor I wouldn´t buy second hand. Even if the exterior looks good you also need to know that the mechanism is in order.

I hope my Swedish English “Swenglish” has been more amusing than annoying. Thank you for taking your time to read this.
Grip
5.00 star(s)
Price
1.00 star(s)
Balance
5.00 star(s)
Quality
2.00 star(s)
Adjustability
5.00 star(s)
User Friendly
5.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
5.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)
Pros: Heavy Weight, Adjustable, Durable
Cons: Heavy, Hard to Clean, Expensive when New
So, I started shaving with a double edge about a year and a half ago now (I'm a long time lurker here at B&B) and for the first 6 months I got my technique down using the Merkur 34C HD. It's a great blade but the entire time I was thinking that I could get a more aggressive shave. After looking around and antiquing multiple times I never found a fat boy (still looking for one at a decent price), so I looked into the adjustable razors on the market. This left me between the Progress, Futur, and Vision.



I really liked the weight of the 34C and I thought that something heavier might be fun to try, but the Vision is prohibitively expensive. After searching and searching for 3 or so months I found a Vision on Craigslist with a case and some blades for under $50. I thought that this couldn't be the same vision that westcoastshaving.com has because it was so much cheaper than the MSRP. It was.



My Vision doesn't have the problem with the blades being out of alignment so that was a huge plus for me. Cleaning the vision was a little hard at first but I got used to it after learning how to from geofatboy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nydOxEvoJmk)



On to the shave, as some people have mentioned before it is very percussive. I'd say its about 120% the noise of the HD. I can't imagine this drastically changes the way that you are going to shave, but YMMV. I found that the Vision on the lowest setting was about as aggressive as the HD, so I started there to get a handle on the weight difference. Over time I have worked myself up to the "O" position on the blade. I have never used a feather but I can imagine that would give a very smooth shave (I use bic, derby, shark, and personna blues depending on how I feel).



Cleaning the beast is a real time consuming process, but I generally clean the inside and blade between every shave and fully clean once a week when I change my blade.



Other people have talked about how the handle at the bottom gets gummed up over time. I notice that this does happen if you forget to clean that piece for a few weeks, but I can't say that it's hard to fix. I found that using a musical instrument snake to clean the nylon threading is very effective (these can be had at http://www.amazon.com/Venture-1022-B...rds=mouthpiece brush for under two bucks).



There has also been some concern about the plating and how it stays on over time, I have not noticed this with regular cleaning. When I got mine there was a slight residual build up on the inner rod. The toothbrush and soap would not remove this piece but after I heated up the rod and applied LIGHT pressure to the rod with steel wool the residual came off instantly.



Feel free to leave any questions you have about how I do upkeep on the razor.



Another great place to learn about it is the How it's Made video on the Vision (I can't believe I hadn't seen it here before) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRdJ89Pvhp4
Grip
2.00 star(s)
Price
2.00 star(s)
Balance
3.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Adjustability
4.00 star(s)
User Friendly
3.00 star(s)
Aggressiveness
5.00 star(s)
Ease of Blade Replacement
4.00 star(s)

Item information

Added by
cantrelllee
Views
272
Reviews
2
Last update
Rating
4.50 star(s) 2 ratings

More in Safety Razors (Reviews)

Top Bottom