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In Praise of the Merkur Progress...

I use one as my current travel razor. Gives me a great shave with a Personna blade.
 
I recently got a progress as well, it's my second favourite razor. Just the head geometry works for me, the gentleman I got it from told me that the feather and progress are a math made in heaven and he wasn't wrong. I use setting 3 for all my passes and get a BBS shave everytime. I don't like to use it for every shave because i read on a post that progress being made of zamak can get eroding issues and even uneven blade alignment.

So I like to use it on one setting and clean it after each use, also ordered silicone lube to keep its mechanism intact.

Cheers.
 
If I remember correctly the current Progress has a brass handle and Zamak head. Still that razor is sooo good I would readily buy another if in 7-10 years this on goes to the bin. I also bought a spare top plate.

I don't see any need to use ultra sharp blades like the Feather with this razor. I just put a mild blade and crank it to 5. Even my very heavy beard disappears in 3 passes. Total BBS. Trust me, not that many razors can give me BBS.
 
I’ve got a love/hate relationship with my Progress and Variant. Every other week I’m taking picture of them for BST but never get them posted.

Had a Progress years ago and had it transformed into a Mergress. Sold it.

Bought the Parker Variant...meh. Get a GREAT shave and then follows up with a bloodbath. Then bought a Progress AGAIN and have the same situation. One great shave and then a crappy one.

I’m giving it one more shot.....really....


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As I have several that are 60-70 years old, I'd say a Progress can last you a lifetime.
I don't think the quality of the current production is a match to those Merkurs manufactured 60-70 years ago. Would be surprised if the Progress I bought this year lasts for more than 10-12 years.
 
Pokey, I had the same problem with the Progress my first two shaves -- until people here told me to tighten the knob all the way down first, i.e.,, turn it to the right until it would go no more, then open it up to my preferred setting.
Hi.
Is it each time you use it, or just the very first time, if you don't mind a me asking?
Ordered one two days ago, and want to do things right!

Thanks!
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Moderator Emeritus
I wonder what that assessment is based upon.
Without seeing Ivan_101 working in the Solingen factory for decades I would say it's based upon conjecture.

My modern Progress razors appear just as well built as my older ones. At one point Merkur did change the inner TTO sleeve to metal from a whitish plastic which may have actually increased durability.
 

nemo

Cheaper than ink
Moderator Emeritus
..... a GREAT shave and then follows up with a bloodbath. Then bought a Progress AGAIN and have the same situation. One great shave and then a crappy one.

I’m giving it one more shot.....really....
Inconsistent technique? Some other variable?

Hmmm, I wonder, does that ever happen with any of your other razors?
 
Hi.
Is it each time you use it, or just the very first time, if you don't mind a me asking?
Ordered one two days ago, and want to do things right!

Thanks!
No, just the first couple of shaves. I nicked myself and felt the whole time as if it might bite me. My 'Net research, including the current and vintage instruction sheets, turned up zilch, so I asked here and found you have to tighten the thing down first.

Now it's one of my favorite razors.
 
Used the Merkur Progress again this morning on a 48-hour beard, for a fine shave. One puzzle: When I bought the razor and first tightened it all the way down, it stopped at setting 2. This morning I noticed that it stopped at setting 1! So instead of setting ti to 3 for my first pass and reducing the setting to 2.5 and then to 2 on subsequent passes, I did 2 -> 2.5 -> 1. Same great shave. But it's odd.
 
Used the Merkur this morning, out of my usual sequence and on a 24-hour beard instead of 48. I left it at setting 1, the mildest, and did a 1-pass everywhere, second pass on throat plus some cleanup, with La Toja soap. The blade was still last month's Personna Red with 3 shaves on it. So I did not expect to get a comfortable. near-BBS shave. But I did. Astonishing.
 
Used the Merkur this morning, out of my usual sequence and on a 24-hour beard instead of 48. I left it at setting 1, the mildest, and did a 1-pass everywhere, second pass on throat plus some cleanup, with La Toja soap. The blade was still last month's Personna Red with 3 shaves on it. So I did not expect to get a comfortable. near-BBS shave. But I did. Astonishing.
Another shave with the Merkur this morning, though with a newer Personna Red blade (2 shaves on it) and my usual 3 passes on a 48-hour growth. Dynamite.
 
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