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Merkur Progress vs Parker Variant The battle of the adjustables

Most likely this is discussed before to say the least and yes some will prefer a vintage but when it comes to new there's two popular ones that stand out for basically the same amount of $$ but which one do you prefer performance, handling, quality and design tel me about it ✌ MerkurProgressvsParkerVariant.jpg
 
Both razors will have their fans. I prefer the Parker Variant. I think it has better grip and I prefer its balance (at least for the way I hold the razor). I don't think you can go wrong with either razor. It will probably depend on the grip and/or the handle length. I believe the Progess also comes in a longer handle as well.

eric
 
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I have both the Parker Variant and the Merkur Progress. They perform very, very similar, however, at least to me, the Merkur is a little smoother, not by much, but it is.

I love both, because they have different look and finish. I'm am glad I don't have to, but if I had to choose only one, it would be the Merkur Progress.

Here are my reasons, I am pretty sure some of you won't agree, but this is my personal opinion based on my experience.

1. I like the Merkur Progress vintage design that was introduced since the 40s or 50s last century. Pretty much this Razor has been in production since it first came out. They did a couple of improvements in the construction, but has been the same razor for a very long time.

2. I like the shorter handle, it is easier to maneuver. Although, they have a longer handle version, for people that prefer it like that.

3. It is a tiny bit smoother than the variant. Not by much, don't get me wrong. You really have to compare them side by side to notice the difference. They perform very close as I mentioned before.

4. Finally, believe it or not, I like the plastic tip, functionally and the way it looks.

Functionally, because it is wider that the rest of the handle and it helps with the grip particularly if you are shaving against the grain.

The way it looks, well honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of the plastic tip at the beginning, but once I understood the intention for being the way it is, something happened to my brain and now I appreciate its beauty. Look at these pictures with designs of the same era and you'll see the relationship. I don't think I need to explain.

However, having said all these. If you flip a coin and get either one, you'll be happy for sure. Both are great.


Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 
I have both razors and find them to be essentially equal in performance. Of the two, probably I'd pick the Merkur Progress, as I find its appearance to be slightly more refined. And contrary to some, I do love the Bakelite knob. The Parker Variant looks more utilitarian to me, but then "utilitarian" is not necessarily a bad word.

The consistency of calibration between Parker Variant razors is spot-on good, while the comparative calibration of the Merkur Progress razors is all over the map. I find that to be perplexing and inexcusable. I expect more from "German engineering."

I have 10 DE adjustable razors and 2 SE adjustable razors. I've never met an adjustable razor that I didn't love.
 
They are both great, but I prefer the Variant. Not by much, but... I think the handle is better, the grip is better - overall, for me, it comes down to how they handle (because they both shave extremely well), and Variant is the winner in that respect.
 

THall

Ambassador
If you like the aesthetics of the Variant but also prefer the smoothness of the Progress and it’s thinner cap for under the nose shaving, simply put the Progress top cap on the Variant. I used Mantic59’s YouTube Progress video to calibrate the Merkur cap to my Variant with the handle turn method. It makes the Variant smoother and more efficient. I calibrated the + as my lowest setting since it also makes the razor more aggressive. My notch lined up with the number stamped on the bottom of the cap.

You don’t have to find a Progress cap, all Merkur long threaded caps work. I did this for mine and 2 razors for my sons. Don’t toss the Variant cap, it does have brass threads unlike the Merkur cap.
 

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pbrmhl

Contributor
I had a Variant, but gave it to my oldest son after only a few uses. I had the Mergress at the time, so I knew I had the adjustable landscape covered. I also have a Rex Ambassador, but still find the Mergress (set at 5) to be the cat's meow. I once had a Slim, long ago, but also gave it to my son--I couldn't get a close shave, even set at 9.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
I have both the Parker Variant and the Merkur Progress. They perform very, very similar, however, at least to me, the Merkur is a little smoother, not by much, but it is.

I love both, because they have different look and finish. I'm am glad I don't have to, but if I had to choose only one, it would be the Merkur Progress.

Here are my reasons, I am pretty sure some of you won't agree, but this is my personal opinion based on my experience.

1. I like the Merkur Progress vintage design that was introduced since the 40s or 50s last century. Pretty much this Razor has been in production since it first came out. They did a couple of improvements in the construction, but has been the same razor for a very long time.

2. I like the shorter handle, it is easier to maneuver. Although, they have a longer handle version, for people that prefer it like that.

3. It is a tiny bit smoother than the variant. Not by much, don't get me wrong. You really have to compare them side by side to notice the difference. They perform very close as I mentioned before.

4. Finally, believe it or not, I like the plastic tip, functionally and the way it looks.

Functionally, because it is wider that the rest of the handle and it helps with the grip particularly if you are shaving against the grain.

The way it looks, well honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of the plastic tip at the beginning, but once I understood the intention for being the way it is, something happened to my brain and now I appreciate its beauty. Look at these pictures with designs of the same era and you'll see the relationship. I don't think I need to explain.

However, having said all these. If you flip a coin and get either one, you'll be happy for sure. Both are great.


Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
I’ll vote for the Mercedes!! (Lovely interior!!) :a29: :a29:
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
You guys are not making my choice any easier...I am trying to decide between the two. Both have their good features...at this point I am leaning towards the Merkur Progress...but I also like the Parker Variant in chrome. Decisions...decisions. Do we know where these razors are made/manufactured? :pipe:
 
You guys are not making my choice any easier...I am trying to decide between the two. Both have their good features...at this point I am leaning towards the Merkur Progress...but I also like the Parker Variant in chrome. Decisions...decisions. Do we know where these razors are made/manufactured? :pipe:
Same here looking at several adjustables I guess no razor is flawless but I'm leaning towards the progress, the Rockwell model T looks very cool as well but I can't justify the 150$
 
You guys are not making my choice any easier...I am trying to decide between the two. Both have their good features...at this point I am leaning towards the Merkur Progress...but I also like the Parker Variant in chrome. Decisions...decisions. Do we know where these razors are made/manufactured? :pipe:
Parker made in India
Merkur made in Germany

I know we are not helping you to make your choice easy, but this are my 2 cents.

As I mentioned before, I have both and because of this discussion, I decided to shave with both this morning. This is my conclusion.

I know, this will probably make it even harder for you

On my face, they feel the same. I think any difference I noticed is just my brain trying to find those differences, but honestly, the they feel the same.

Even though they are made by different manufacturers, think of them as if they were 2 presentations of the same razor made by the same manufacturer. I hope this makes sense.

The difference is pretty much aesthetics. This is what I think. Take a look at these 2 pictures and ask yourself which one looks better to you. Which one you'll see in your bathroom.

You can't go wrong with either one. Both have great craftsmanship, both shave incredible well and both look gorgeous.





Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Parker made in India
Merkur made in Germany

I know we are not helping you to make your choice easy, but this are my 2 cents.

As I mentioned before, I have both and because of this discussion, I decided to shave with both this morning. This is my conclusion.

I know, this will probably make it even harder for you

On my face, they feel the same. I think any difference I noticed is just my brain trying to find those differences, but honestly, the they feel the same.

Even though they are made by different manufacturers, think of them as if they were 2 presentations of the same razor made by the same manufacturer. I hope this makes sense.

The difference is pretty much aesthetics. This is what I think. Take a look at these 2 pictures and ask yourself which one looks better to you. Which one you'll see in your bathroom.

You can't go wrong with either one. Both have great craftsmanship, both shave incredible well and both look gorgeous.





Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Actually, your assessment is very helpful. I do prefer the look of the Parker. Looks like it has more heft and I like heft in a razor. And I prefer an longer handle. Just feels better in my hand. Is there much of a difference in weight between the two? And is there much of a difference in manufacturing e.g rough edges, polish, ease of mechanics, etc.?
 
Variant is noticeably heavier. Manufacturing is good on both. The finish is totally different. Parker comes in three different finishes too, the most recent one being rose gold.
 
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