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Question on Gillette Adjustables


New member to the forums with a quick question for the gurus out there.

I've recently gotten into wetshaving and have been using a Merkur HD for abot a month. A little tough on the face at first, but I've got things pretty well down now and it gives me a good, reasonably close shave with 3-4 passes. I'm using the Merkur blades.

I had been having some problems with my neck, since the hair on it grows in multiple directions depending on where you're at. I bought a reconditioned fatboy from Country Collectibles a few weeks back and have been playing around with it, hoping that by adjusting the blade I can afford to get more aggressive with my trouble spots.

After a few weeks, it seems that I am either getting a shave that's less close than what I could get with the HD, or I'm cutting my face open all over the pace. I've mostly been staying in the 1-3 range, since that's what most members here seem to use from what I can tell.

Can anyone comment on what setting on the fatboy would be similar to the HD's angle? The head geometry is different, and I'm sure that's making a big difference in the quality of the shave I'm getting... I'm just trying to figure out if I'm not using the Fatboy correctly, or if it's just not the razor for me.

Thanks in advance,

i shave with my fatboy set on 3, compared to my HD the fat boy at this setting shaves at a flatter angle, if i dial it up it shaves even flatter. when i say flat, i mean to say that more of the razors head (silo doors) is flat against my skin and the handle is not angled down much at all (from perpendicular to my skin at all times). so what im getting at is that if youre shaving with your fat boy at the same angle as your HD than youre probably scraping a bit and that's most likely the trouble maker.
Welcom to B&B, Bart.

James makes some very valid points on razor angle with the Gillette. I too, suffered through many nicks and cuts with my Gillette before I realized these facts. Even now, I have to take extra care to adjust my technique when using the Gillette.
Thanks for the replies. I was all excited to try the new toy and was less than impressed with the results. I'll try it a while longer and see what happens... if it still doesn't work out for me, I may try to swap it on the boards here.

im sure you'll get it, the head geometry differences just make it so that there isnt any setting where it will shave at the same angle as the HD imo, learning the new angle is just as simple as the first time, put the head against your face and lower the handle until it starts to cut (you'll notice you wont pull down as far as you do with the HD)
The more I use the FB the lower I find myself setting it. I usually stay around 3 except for the final clean up on my cheeks where I may go up to 5 or 6.
Under my neck and on my upper lip I stay at 2 to prevent any irritation from being too aggresive.
I took another crack at it today and had better results thanks to the advice given here. Made the first 3 passes at setting '3', and then cranked it up to a '4' for the final pass, and a '6' to clean up some tough spots on my neck.

My neck is normally sensitive after shaving, and it seems no worse than normal. No matter what angle I'm using, though, it still feels like the razor is skipping during my against-the-grain pass. Any ideas on how to combat this, or is this just normal?

Hmmm interesting either im playing Kamikaze with my Thin Gillette or the Fatboy's head is really different then the thin handle. I use it on 7-8-9
That's why it's adjustable. You can adjust it for your face's needs. Everybody is going to have a different perfect setting.
The first time I used the FB, it was forgoten on 9, after some cleaning... Figured that fast. The 2 shaves I had afterwards were on 1 and 2, and that was not closer than straight razor pass...

I like my Fatboy because I can dial it down to 1 or 2 for my neck and chin against the grain, and crank it up to 7 for my flat, easy to shave cheeks. I think its range of settings and ease of adjustment make it very versatile. I also love its head angle/geometry. Was kinda 'eh' on the fixed head Merkur 1904 so I gave it away to my brother, who loves it. I guess you are having trouble because you started out and learned with a HD and the different geometry of the FB is throwing you. Maybe that's why I didn't like the 1904 too much, because the Gillette is what I started DE shaving with.
Don't forget that these old razors aren't perfectly calibrated. 3 on one razor may be 5 on another. I have a number of Gillette adjustables, and I gave up on figuring out how to get a shave that was equal to the shave I get with either the HD, Slant or the Progress. I may try them again at another time, but for now, between my Merkur razors and my straights, I'm satisfied with the results I'm getting.

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