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My review of the Merkur Vision

Well thanks to Austin I'm now the proud owner of a Merkur Vision 2000 razor.
This morning was my first shave with this guy, so I'll post more thoughts as it gets more shaves under it's belt, but here are my thoughts so far.

Initial Reaction:
When I first took this out of it's packaging I remember thinking to myself "whoa, now THAT is a razor". :001_tt1: While this may seem kind of silly, I think it's important to stress that this is NOT an ordinary razor. The smoothness of this razor, the lines, the craftsmanship... It was all excellent and noticable right away. Compared to my HD and SS, well... There really isn't a comparison. It truely is like comparing a Cadillac to an Hyundai... They'll both get you where your going, but from the MOMENT you get inside either, the differences are obvious. The Cadillac is going to do it in style. So my friends, will the Vision...

Further Inspection:
After giving the razor a closer look over, a few more things came to light. The build of the razor lends itself to be very easy to clean. The surface is "matte", yes very smooth and finished. No diamond griding, etc. Because this razor is a bit larger then others, it doesn't have as many "tight" areas either. The only noticable place that may get some "soap scum buildup" that I can see is on the underside where there is a set screw recessed into the handle.
There are a couple of places inside the silo doors where there is a slightly noticable rough edge (flashing) that could have been cleaned up a little better, but let's face it, it's in no way noticable when the doors are closed, and in no way effects the performance of the product.
The "Action" of the mechanisms is also VERY smooth as well. For those that don't know, the razor adjustment mechanism doesn't "click" into settings, etc.. Rather it's a very smooth, continuous adjustment. Setting it at one adjustment and putting a lot of pressure on the head does NOT move the adjustment at all however, so it's obvious that once a setting is set, it will stay there without fear of it "walking" to a different setting. The same goes for the silo door opening. As the bottom of the handle is turned, it's VERY smooth. Rather this will change over time remains to be seen, but keep in mind this is already a "used" razor, albiet not much.

Loading A Blade:
Again the operation of the silo doors is very smooth. Loading a blade is no different from any other razor in that it is simply placed into position in the head. (There is a long center column that guides the razor into the correct position.) Then you simply close the silo doors. One thing that was immediately noticable after loading the blade was it seemed to me that the blade was "exposed" more then with any other razor I had used. I'm not talking about in relation to the safety bar, I mean in relation to the head itself. For example, when loaded in my SS, the bevel part of the blade barely makes it passed the top of the head. In the vision however, the bevel portion and quite a bit more is exposed beyond the head. This probably has something to do with the fact that the safety bars are so huge on this thing.

Mechanism Test:
For anyone that uses an adjustable, you know how critical the adjustment can be. For that reason, it's very important that when you set a specific setting it remains consistant. For this reason, I tested the adjustment mechanism. I set a specific setting then measured the gap between the blade edge and the safety bar edge. I proceeded 5 times moving the adjustment to other settings above and below, then back to the previous setting and measured again. Each time the gap went back to EXACTLY the same setting. (I used an old blade and spark gap tool to do this). I then tried 5 times of opening the silo doors, removing and re-inserting the blade, closing doors, moving adjustment, putting it back, then measuring again. Each time again the setting went back to the exact gap I had started with. So the "Setting" is very precise and should remain consistant through all shaves.

My First Shave:
I began my shave exactly as I normally do, though since I was a little short on time I didn't get a shower. Normally I shower with Proraso pre-shave on, but since there was no shower this morning, I just left the Proraso on while I was shaving my head. No steam, so it doesn't work quite as well. My beard wasn't quite as soft beginning my shave as it usually is, but that shouldn't affect the results too much.
I dialed the vision back, about 1 to 1 1/2 markings out from closed. (The vision is not numbered. Instead it relies on markings ( V - I - S - I - O - N - ) around it's neck so that a particular setting can be easily found again. When it first started going across my face I was stunned. I don't know if this is a result of the razor itself, the fact that more blade is exposed, or what, but the sound of the whiskers getting cut was QUITE pronounced! Maybe it was just me, but someone across the room, even with some ambiant noise probably could have heard each and every whisker being cut off. Speaking of whisker's being cut... Boy did they ever! Perhaps it's the extra weight, or maybe the design, but for whatever reason this thing just seemed to whack through whiskers like no tommorow. After my FIRST with the grain pass I was already very presentable looking. I could have stopped there and been pleased. After the second cross-grain pass I was still not BBS by any means, but much smoother then my old Mach3 or Fusion would get me.
In the interest of science I tested the adjustability on my third pass. I tried dialing it down and doing some of my pass at the bottom setting, opening it up to it's mid point, and then all the way up to it's maximum. :scared:
When Merkur say's this razor is "adjustable" BOY do they ever mean it. This thing can go from a baby on it's lowest setting to a Samurai sword capable of removing your entire face in a single pass at it's highest setting. The most aggressive setting was downright scary! Yes dialed all the way down I felt like I almost couldn't do ANY harm to myself. Because of this I wouldn't think twice about recommending this to a new DE shaver. Not only would it provide a perfectly tame shaving experience in the beginning, but it is more then capable of growing with them and providing any experience they choose down the road. Dare I say it? :eek: This razor could quite possibly prevent a newb from catching RAD! :biggrin:
The design of the handle is also genius. Trying to get the proper "pressure" on most razors can be a balancing act between trying to keep a somewhat reasonable grip on the razor and keep far enough back on the handle to allow the weight of the razor to do the work. Because of it's size and weight, you can grip the Vision exactly where it "feels right" to grip it, and the weight and pressure are perfect. You certainly won't find yourself having to grip this thing by the very tips of the handle. Because of that, you'll also find yourself having a bit more "control" over the blade then you might ordinarily.

Clean Up:
Clean up was a cinch. I just rinsed it under some hot water and it seemed to do a more then adaqute job of clearing out all the little nooks and crannies. Fling it a few times to clear excess water and it's ready to be put up.

The After Shave Experience:
One thing I've found in the short time I've been wet shaving is that if there's ONE way to know right away how good of a job you did shaving, it's by blocking your face. As soon as that Alum hit's your face you'll immediately know the areas that you did great on, and which areas you "roughed" up a bit. When I blocked after the vision experience I only had one area that had the tall-tale signs of a bad shave. That was the area on my cheek where I had opened the adjustment all the way up and shaved. It was noticably more irritated then any other area of my face.
What is perhaps most astonishing about this is the face that I used a Merkur blade in the Vision. I have NEVER had good luck with the Merkur's. I can shave all day long with a feather, and as long as I'm careful have little to no irritation. Throw a Merkur in there and my face turns into sausage. With the Vision I had no such trouble. I'm going to try a feather tommorow to see if I just got lucky and the Vision PREFERS the Merkur blades, or if as I suspect, my shave tommorow will be even smoother then todays!

- Well made, excellent design
- Adjustability makes it excellent for a new shaver or an experienced one
- IMO one of the greatest shaves I've ever had

- Much larger then other razors, could be too big for smaller guys?
- Weight could cause too much pressure if held by tip of handle
- Expensive compared to other razors

I'll update this review tonight when I get home with some pictures, and continue to update it with my further shaving experiences as I get more aquinted with the razor. Hope this information helps!
I am pleased to see that you are enjoying your new Vision 2000 and that you and Andrew got together on a mutually agreeable arrangement. Great machine. I hadn't used mine for some time and then took it out of the cabinet to do some blade testing. It would seem that I forgot how much I really enjoyed shaving with it.
You will find that as your skill (familiarity?) grows with the Vision 2000 that you will be able to accommodate just about (NB Just about does not mean all!) any blade, no matter how smoothly or coarsely sharpened.
Good luck and continue to ENJOY!:thumbup1:
I'm anxious to know how your Vision 2000 has held up nearly four years after your initial post! I may be inclined to ask Santa to bring me one this year if the reviews are still favorable. Cheers!
I'm anxious to know how your Vision 2000 has held up nearly four years after your initial post! I may be inclined to ask Santa to bring me one this year if the reviews are still favorable. Cheers!

I doubt you'll get a response as the OP stopped posting almost two years ago.
Another Vision lover here. I've had nothing but good experiences with mine, but the thing does take some getting used to because it is big. I got mine used (used to belong to Bullgoose :)) and it has no issues, but I don't doubt the impressions of others.
Very nice razor, but I should have been more careful and read the reviews before getting it. While my Futur was (and still is, of course) solid stable and not flimsy at all, I cannot say the same for my Vision 2000. For the money paid, this should not be happening, really.

Beauty lies in simplicity. A DE razor need not be with so many parts (two or three is ideal), makes the final product occasionally a bit flimsy (like mine, which behaves a bit like a slant) and requires more maintenance.

Nevertheless, and as others have said here or in any other thread, it is still a very good machine.
I always get a fantastic BBS with my Vision. I have had it for eight years with no problems. Personna Lab is my favorite blade with this razor, but i also like Supersharp, Timor, and Kai.
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