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Merkur Progress vs Parker Variant The battle of the adjustables

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.





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Looking at these two excellent pictures, I would say a plumber would prefer the Variant and a college professor would prefer the Progress. The shaving performance would be equal, however.
 
I own both of them. I slightly prefer the Variant, due to its longer handle. I'd say they shave equally well
 
I have one of each and they shave about the same for me (which is to say very well). The Variant pretty obviously copies a lot of things from the Progress so at least they made a good copy - with a couple improvements. I honestly don't have much preference for one over the other. They're both really good.
 

THall

Ambassador
Decided to order both. That way I can't go wrong. Typical me. :pipe:
Since you will have both, make sure you also try the Merkur cap on the Variant as I mentioned above at some point, you won’t be disappointed. To try, you don’t have to recalibrate, just put the cap on and eye the gap you want. Calibrate only if you love the mod like me.
 

Vaporstang

Contributor
I only have the Merkur, but it is the long handle version. How does this compare to the Variant's handle length?
 
I have both; they're very similar and I think both are excellent. I use my Progress more, though, as it feels a touch smoother (but I could be imaging it) and the top cap is a little thinner. I haven't tried the top cap of the Merkur on a Variant, though.

The Variant has a much grippier handle.

Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either - 5 stars out of 5 to both for me.
 
I tried the Parker Variant for head shaving with multiple blades, it was worthless....dialed all the way up. So the Progress for me.....got rid of the other.....
 
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.?
Here is the weight of each one. They both feel nice and hefty. Obviously the variant is heavier because of the larger handle, but they both feel nice and heavy. The finish, although different, is A+ on both.


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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.
I agree. I find the Progress to be really hard to handle when my hands are wet and slippery with soap. Not so with the Variant.

That said, I apply some alum to my fingers and then handling the Progress is much better.
 

emwolf

Contributor
I have both and prefer the Variant only slightly. They are both really good razors. I like longer handles and heavier razors. Also, I feel the Variant adjustment knob is less prone to changing during the shave.
 

Vaporstang

Contributor
Here is the weight of each one. They both feel nice and hefty. Obviously the variant is heavier because of the larger handle, but they both feel nice and heavy. The finish, although different, is A+ on both.


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Online the Merkur Progress 500 (short handle) is listed as 93g, which matches your scale. The Merkur 510 (long handle) is listed as 103g, which is a little closer in size and weight to the Variant.
 
I have not used the Progress, so I cannot compare, but I do like the Variant.
The variant has a long handle. I have big hands and prefer long handle razors.
The Variant is heavy, but I like heavier razors.
Some people complain that the top cap of the Variant is too thick. I guess I might find that to be the case if I had to shave my stache area, but I have a moustache. I find that it it easy to ride the cap on the Variant and get a nice shave angle with no guesswork.
I like the metal knob on the Variant vs the plastic knob on the Progress.

For every one of the advantages I see in the Variant, I am certain somebody will see it as a disadvantage. Thus, it is good to have options.
 
I can see that the cap is a little thicker on the variant, but honestly I can't feel any difference when using them. In fact, I know it is larger because many people has mentioned. Knowing it, it is obvious, but this is something you don't spot right away.

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Rusty Blade

Ambassador
Here is my review of the Merkur Progress and the Parker Variant: I've used both for about a week now. Both with a Tiger blade. I have used them with settings of 3, 4, and 4.5. The 4.5 gives a nice close shave...aggressive, but smooth.

They both have identical heads. The Progress has a smooth fluted handle while the Variant has a handle with more grip. I prefer the grip of the Variant. The Variant has a slightly longer handle and it has more heft making it feel more balanced than then Progress. The plastic turn nob of the Progress feels more flimsy than the Variant turn nob which is metal.
Overall, my preference is definitely the Parker Variant.
 
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I have used both; have the Progress large handle and like the shaves I get w it. Then got the rose gold Variant. I tried and tried at least 6 different blades and settings from mid to max and my variant did NOT provide a close head shave. No id do NOT push against the scalp!!! Anyway I was happy the seller took it back and I got store credit.
 
I’ll vote for the Mercedes!! (Lovely interior!!) :a29: :a29:
Looks like the famous 300SL, either the Gullwing or the Roadster. Though I think the Roadster usually came with leather seats, and the Gullwing did not. Cloth was standard as in this pic.

Might also be the 300SL's 4-cylinder little brother, the 190SL; I can't tell from the nameplate on the dash.
 
I had them both. Identical shaves, in my opinion. I preffered the Variant, due to its longer handle. Sold the Progress.
 

BigJ

Ambassador
Looks like the famous 300SL, either the Gullwing or the Roadster. Though I think the Roadster usually came with leather seats, and the Gullwing did not. Cloth was standard as in this pic.

Might also be the 300SL's 4-cylinder little brother, the 190SL; I can't tell from the nameplate on the dash.
I’ll take any of the above (so long as it is in reasonable shape)!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
 
I am currently searching for a Gillette Fatboy in my area. (not an easy task!) If I cannot find one, I think I will go for a Merkur Progress. I prefer short handles and lighter weight razors.
 
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